Review: Jakob Dylan Seeks Healing with New Album ‘Exit Wounds’

Review: Jakob Dylan Seeks Healing with New Album ‘Exit Wounds’
July 11, 2021
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Jakob Dylan of The Wallflowers – Courtesy image


















By AVA LIVERSIDGE

When The Wallflowers established themselves as principal players in the post-grunge pop-rock emergence, they were met with praise, awards, and a horizon teeming with great expectation and talent. This was the high note upon which the outfit took hiatus nearly a decade ago.

Today, Jakob Dylan has taken hold of the a solo roots rock endeavor and is back with Exit Wounds, the long-awaited record.

What Dylan has been up to over the past decade may clue us in to the occasionally lackluster, then at times formidable, alternative rock presented on Exit Wounds. His hiatus
consisted most notably of solo projects met with varying degrees of critical acceptance, but all working within the same constraints of bolstered Americana. Dylan seems to have gotten comfortable, shunting some of his edge along the way.

Exit Wounds is The Wallflowers’ most succinct, tidy, record yet. It’s the reflection of years and years spent scrupulously mapping out one sound. That isn’t to say Dylan has not wisened over his solo years. Amidst the consistent formula of a leading piano part, some leathery electric guitar on top, and an arpeggiated acoustic accompaniment, there truly are pockets of brilliance.

“Roots and Wings,” track two of ten, is a dive-bar romp, both groovy and bitter, and featuring a crying electric guitar interlude that is certainly a record standout. “Darlin’
Hold On” features a slightly insipid chorus, but makes up for it in compelling verses and backing vocals, provided by Shelby Lynne and reminiscent of [Bob] Dylan’s later works. As the record’s requisite piano ballad, it’s underwhelming, but Dylan’s lyrical impulse hints at looming potential. The record comes alive on “The Dive Bar In My Heart” which boasts a breathlessness in its rant-ish cadence and urgency while maintaining the somber and emotional maturity that haunts all of Exit Wounds.

The record begins to crumble when a diversion from genre is attempted, particularly on its backside, including “Who’s That Man Walking ‘Round My Garden” which features a tedious bluesy call and response pattern. Any experimentation leaves the listener wishing for the  days of pure, regurgitated roots rock. Regardless of any false starts or banal production value, Dylan is a veritably tuneful songwriter who was able to produce the familiar melodious tracks for which he is known.

He hums, “I hear the ocean (when I wanna hear trains)” on the track of the same title. Dylan seems to not only name the sonic juncture he has confronted, but also notes the progress that lies in front of him.

Holistically, the record speaks of searching and inquisition into the overcast side of life. Perhaps after Exit Wounds, Jakob Dylan will find what he’s looking for and The Wallflowers’ sonic evolution will emerge in earnest.


















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Green Day Releases New Single ‘Pollyanna’ and Confirms Hella Mega Tour Dates

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May 18, 2021
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Billie Joe Armstrong – File Photo © Donna Balancia


















By JOHN DALY

Green Day has released a new single “Pollyanna,” which gives the listening public hope for a better day.

The band also recently confirmed dates for the Hella Mega Tour with Weezer, Fall Out Boy, and The Interrupters this summer.

With the new track, “Pollyanna,” the Northern California-based Green Day shows a positive outlook for the future of the U.S. and for those who want to get together for entertainment and concerts.

The band recently announced rescheduled dates for the Hella Mega Tour, which kicks off in Dallas on July 24 and wraps on the West Coast in September. Weezer, Fall Out Boy and The Interrupters join Green Day on the Tour.

“Everything’s gonna be all right / Don’t let em get you down / Don’t let ’em push you around / We’re gonna take back the night!

Check out the positive vibes on “Pollyanna” here:

Check out Green Day’s Pollyanna and Merch here:


















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Review: A Place to Bury Strangers Regroups But Retains its Trademark Sound with ‘Hologram’

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April 23, 2021
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APTBS – Courtesy


















By AVA LIVERSIDGE

There aren’t many loud bands left. A Place to Bury Strangers is one of them and their latest EP, Hologram, keeps the torch aflame for staggering listening to come.

The Brooklynite and band progenitor, Oliver Ackerman (guitar, vocals), has welcomed a lineup change for 2021, inviting John Fedowitz (bass) and Sandra Fedowtiz (drums) to join him in his quest to become psychedelic metal machines- fitting words that have all been thrown around to try and define such a quizzical sound. The five tracks on Hologram comprise a body of music fueled by nervous energy, buzz-laden and searching. The record is a jerky ride, insular in an atmosphere in which abrupt cuts followed by doubled-down instrumentals feel like a natural marriage.

The trio seem to have perverted guitar and vocalist Oliver Ackerman’s shoegaze roots with mastery. What’s left is palatable sensationalism; an endless hum holds as the layers of each track weave in and out of center-stage. On Hologram, APTBS allows tracks to slip seamlessly out of great intensity just as often as they reach it, often outsmarting their audience.

Ackerman’s vocals are cool and watery, and everything else is the opposite. The feeling of each track is about as elusory as a hologram- take the evasive arc of “I Need You” or the, even, dissatisfying cuts on “In My Hive”. “Playing the Part” is an entire track that diverts to a quintessential soft punk take, highlighting the groups ability to embrace a melody and package experimentalism, but also their overarching divisive tendencies.

The lead single, “End of the Night” and it’s accompanying video – both out now – give us a glimpse into the physical projectile of an APTBS track, particularly how fluidly something from the group can both mellow and intensify. More so, how the intimacy of a one-room creative process makes vibrations tangible as they emerge from each mechanical component.

In breaking down the composition of any A Place to Bury Strangers project, you will find the rawness of mechanicalism paired with the psychedelia of machine-made noise. That is to say, APTBS is making machines come to life, pumping them with palpable energy and transfiguring analog severity atop a digitized base- metal for the modern age.

Most important to portraying the charged atmosphere the trio is known for are their live shows which follow the guidelines more for performance art than punk concert. Ackerman and crew have long-touted the way to listen to APTBS music is at a live experience with visual stimulants and similarly entranced peers, which will, hopefully, be a possibility on their upcoming 2022 worldwide tour. If all goes well, we might be able to experience Hologram in its intended, fully sensationalized effect, but, until then, the EP will be available for streaming on July 16.

Listen whenever, with whomever, but, whatever you do, listen as loud as possible.

For more information go to the A Place to Bury Strangers website.


















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