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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

The Donnas

spend the night

C-

Atlantis Records

If the Go-Gos and Kiss were thrown into a blender, The Donnas would probably be poured out of it. They successfully blend simple power guitar leads with lyrics that have a girl power attitude. The Donnas may look and sometimes sound like a bubble-gum pop band, but with lyrics like “Stop staring at my D cup,” they are far from being the good girls next door.

Just like an AC/DC album every song sounds basically the same as the one before it. The Donnas have come a long way from their first album, which had more of a punk influence to it. It is no surprise that the Donnas have grown with each album when you consider the fact that every member is only 23. They seem to have more than enough pent up anger to write a few more albums similar to this one.

For the first time in a long-time, The Donnas may have achieved something that many girl rock bands haven’t in the past: respect. If you are in the mood to listen to a simple girl rock album with catchy lyrics then The Donnas newest album Spend The Night more than delivers, it rocks. With the recent airplay and attention shown by MTV and the radio, don’t expect this band to disappear anytime soon.

– Eric Hann

THE WHITE STRIPES

ELEPHANT

A+

V2 Records

The best way to describe this album is to say, pure rock. The White Stripes have always believed in keeping their music simple and not over produced. All of the songs except for track four on Elephant, were recorded on an eight track reel to reel in a studio in London.

Computers were not used during the writing, recording, mixing or mastering of the album. To keep with the theme of pure rock, all of the equipment used was made before 1965. The end result of their primitive recording process is a masterpiece.

Jack White, the lead singer and guitarist of The White Stripes, decided to pick up the bass on this album, and it never sounded better. The opening track “Seven Nation Army” starts off with a simple but catchy bass line. Track eight, “Ball And Biscuit,” showcases Jack White’s ability to play a heavy rock guitar solo with a blues sound to it.

Jack White’s soothing yet out of pitch voice, fits perfectly with The White Stripes blues-rock style. Compared to the highly acclaimed album White Blood Cells, Elephant has a little bit more of a mellow mood to it.

The White Stripes are currently one of the most talented rock bands, and this album may go down as their best ever. Not only did The White Stripes deliver an amazing album to their fans, they did it their way.

– Eric Hann

LONGWAVE

THE STRANGEST things

A-

RCA Records

A memo to all those folks out there who want to start up a band: don’t start one up unless you plan on making each and every song unique, soulful, and magical. That is the formula used by Longwave on their second album, The Strangest Things, a batch of 12 songs masterfully put together by Dave Fridmann, who produced the last effort by the Flaming Lips.

Longwave is comprised of New York boys, but their sound is entirely influenced by such classic British shoegazing bands Joy Division, Swervedriver, and newer bands like the Doves, The Verve, Radiohead, and a little bit of Blur. But don’t let that fool you, these Yanks have the clout and sophistication that is entirely their own.

The opening track, “Wake Me When It’s Over,” is a layered, but never muddy track that sets the tone for the entire album; singer/guitarist Steve Schlitz is confused and hurt, but confident. “Everywhere You Turn” answers the question of whether a band can have a pop sound and still rock with a resounding yes.

“I Know It’s Coming Someday” is the first song Schlitz sticks out in, with the singing anticipating, almost begging for rejection. Strangest Things’ shortest track, the brilliant “Can’t Feel a Thing,” is under a minute and a half, and shows the dueling guitar power of Schlitz and Shannon Ferguson.

It isn’t until the last quarter of Strangest Things that Longwave goes full throttle in their goal to becoming rock gods. “The Ghosts Around You,” “All Sewn Up,” and “Exit,” are songs that continually push the envelope with loud, raging guitars, intermixed with disturbing distortion, but are comforting down to the very last note. The album’s finale, “Day Sleeper,” is an instrumental that goes back to the theme of distortion, a type of distortion that blankets over Mike James’ drums, and then comes full circle with a lightning bolt of edgy, ethereal power chords.

The Strangest Things may just be the antidote to the run-down and over-hyped headliners in rock today. And for once, the antidote is homegrown.

– Joe Bugbee

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