Peter Case: Wig!

RIYL: The Plimsouls, Robert Plant, Stevie Ray Vaughn

Peter Case recently had a heart attack that required multiple-bypass surgery, and it brought the founder of the Nerves and the Plimsouls to within an inch of his life. But luckily for Case, and for his family and for his fans, the surgery was successful, and he even received financial aid in the form of benefit concerts that brought Case together with old friends like T-Bone Burnett, Dave Alvin and Richard Thompson. After a recovery period in which he listened to a lot of old jazz, Case’s new album, Wig! was spawned from a few songwriting and jamming sessions with his band. The result is a raw, bluesy effort that features Case’s distinctive vocals, but is almost more straight blues than the rock he’s been making most of his life. The live, direct-to-analog sound is reminiscent of ‘60s or ‘70s-era recordings, and the songs, while very much following a straight line in style, are nice – not great, but nice. In fact, it’s so bluesy that fans of the Plimsouls might not take to this effort as much as, say, fans of authentic blues would. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Case has earned the right to make music his way, and he sounds, not surprisingly, exuberant and full of life on Wig! Standout tracks are the blazing “Dig What You’re Putting Down” and the piano shuffle, “Look Out!” (Yep Roc 2010)

Peter Case website


Radio Moscow: Brain Cycles

On Brain Cycles, Radio Moscow’s sophomore release, there’s an eight-minute jam called “No Good Woman,” in which there is a three-minute drum solo complete with headphone-porn stereo effects. The audacity of said drum solo is matched immediately by a one-minute unaccompanied guitar solo that closes out the track, with equally ludicrous stereo-shifting effects thrown in for no good reason. If that sounds awesome to you, then you should probably just buy Brian Cycles (as well as Radio Moscow’s 2007 debut) right now. If not, well, then you have no soul. Radio Moscow is a blues-rock band with some heavy psychedelic influences. They’re carved from the same stone as Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Allman Brothers. Subtle as a punch in the face, their musicianship is without question; guitar solos run amok as drums fly at you in all directions, while Parker Griggs bemoans about womanly woes and many other of life’s common ills. It’s not original in the least, but sure as hell sounds good. These boys from Iowa know what they are doing, and Brain Cycles is sure to cause all but the most jaded blues rock fan to drop his head in awe and cry out “goddamn” at least once. This isn’t Wolfmother-style emulation of a classic rock sound – this is the real deal. (Alive 2009)

Radio Moscow’s MySpace page


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