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Remember when all that crazy news about Justin Vernon working with Kanye broke? Remember how we didn’t know what to think? Had Vernon sold out, or was Kanye collaborating with people who could really bring his vision to fruition? Well, Yeezy released “Monster”, which was the first taste anyone got of the Vernon/West collaborations, but it was a sort of after-thought verse tagged at the end of a bloated song. Nicki Minaj had already turned in the best verse of her short career, and Vernon’s slow-burning melodicism was perhaps too much of a contrast.

Now, “Lost in the World” has leaked, and it’s a true monster. The song begins innocuously sampling Vernon’s auto-tune experiment “Woods”, but quickly, it becomes a dark, twisted dancefloor jam that samples Gil-Scott Heron and hardly even features aside from some sing-a-long and a concise but consistent verse. “Lost in the World” is easily the best track to come from Kanye’s lengthy, prodigious leak campaign to promote his latest album (wait, what is it called again?).

I’d attribute the source of the leak, but I think you can figure it out from the most annoying tags since Beggars. Someone forgot a “w”.

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This might be my favourite track to come out this year. It’s by Adam Haworth Stephens, who you might know from his work in Two Gallants, and it sounds like if Bob Dylan re-wrote “Another Brick in the Wall”.  It’s off his first solo release, We Live On Cliffs, which is out today.

There’s almost nothing better than some funk in your folk.


Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 28 , 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Abigail Williams – In the Absence of Light (Candlelight/Lumberjack)
August Burns Red – Home [Live CD/DVD] (Solid State Records)
Bad Religion – The Dissent Of Man (Epitaph Records)
Kenny Chesney – Hemingway’s Whiskey (Sony Nashville)
Eric Clapton – Clapton (Reprise)
Phil Collins – Going Back (Atlantic)
Combichrist – Making Monsters (Metropolis Records)
Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest (4AD Records)
Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra {EU} (Nuclear Blast)
Doobie Brothers – World Gone Crazy (HOR Records)
Electric Six – Zodiac (Metropolis Records)
Enslaved – Axioma Ethica Odini (Nuclear Blast) - Adam Thomas
Gin Blossoms – No Chocolate Cake (429 Records)
Glasser – Ring (True Panther Sounds) - Kiran Soderqvist
Halford – Made of Metal (Metal God Ent)
Ingram Hill – Look Your Best (Rock Ridge Music)
InMe – Phoenix: The Very Best of InMe (Indie Europe)
Ice Cube  – I Am The West (Lench Mob)
Jimmy Eat World – Invented (David Geffen Company)
KMFDM – Greatest Sh*t (Metropolis Records)
James LaBrie – Static Impulse (Inside Out U.S.)
Lazerbeak – Legend Recognize Legend (Doomtree)
Mark Ronson And The Business International – Record Collection (RCA)
Nellie McKay – Home Sweet Mobile Home (Verve Forecast)
MSWhite – Squares (Rise Records)
Mushroomhead – Beautiful Stories for…


you won’t need me where i’m goin

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Simple Plan – you know the name, but do you know the story?  The nitty-gritty?  The highs, the lows, the drama, the bond that these five young people share?  For those of you who have just recently heard of the band, you might think that they’ve always been on top, that they’ve always had the kind of success that they have now, but it is not so.

“Yeah man,” says lead singer Pierre Bouvier.  ”We weren’t always doing songs for the live action Scooby-Doo movie and playing shows on MTV’s Hard Rock Live.  We’ve had to work hard to get where we are.”

Indeed, in 1999, Bouvier was slaving away in his first band, Reset.  They’d just released their second album, No Limits – a title which proved ironic because nobody anywhere cared about Reset.  ”Yeah man I’ll admit it,” Bouvier says, “Reset wasn’t going so well.  We were pretty punk, you know – no compromise and all that – but eventually I just had to look out for myself, right?  I had to say ‘Fuck it.  It’s time to write some pop music.  It’s time to write about my inner turmoil, my inner despair.’  Because I’ll tell you man, at the end of the day sometimes I feel like that’s all I’ve got.”  Here, Bouvier pulls out a notebook and writes something down.

He laughs.  ”Just had a great idea for a song,” he says.

Part 1: The Beginning

Bouvier’s work in Reset was not necessarily bringing in…


Boston, MA pop-hardcore act Four Year Strong (pictured above) will perform in New York City’s Irving Plaza on October 5 with the insanely strong support line-up of Comeback Kid, the Wonder Years and American Fangs.

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, email your full name along with confirmation that you’ll be available to attend to sputnikreviews@gmail.com.

The rules? There are no rules! Just be available.

Closing date: midnight EST September 30.


Earlier this week, Katy Perry hauled her autotuned ass to Sesame Street and indulged in a little duet with Elmo on her 2008 hit ‘Hot N Cold.’

Just… um… just… yeah.


OK, this is pretty old (witness the 9.6 million plays), but it really needs to be seen to be believed. You’ll never listen to ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ the same way again, and if you’re anything like me it’s a life-altering event on the scale of losing the use of one’s legs. But in a good way.


Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 21 , 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.


Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson – Soundtrack (Ghostlight)
Cam’ron – The U.N. Gunz N’ Butta (E1 Entertainment)
Paula Cole – Ithaca (Decca)
Billy Currington – Enjoy Yourself (Mercury Nashville)
Delerium – Epiphany [DVD] (Nettwerk)
Drudkh – Handful of Stars (Season of Mist)
Enslaved – Axioma Ethica Odini {EU} (Nuclear Blast)
Flying Lotus – Pattern + Grid World [EP] (Warp Records)
Frankie Rose And The Outs – Frankie Rose And The Outs (Slumberland Records)
Hilary Hahn – Higdon & Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos (Deutsche Grammophon)
Randy Houser – They Call Me Caddillac (Show Dog Universal)
J57 (Brown Bag Allstars) – Digital Society (Balanced Records)
John Legend and The Roots – Wake Up! (Columbia)
Kiske/Somerville – Kiske/Somerville {EU} (Frontiers Records S.R.l.)
Manic Street Preachers – Postcards From A Young Man (Sony)
Margot & The Nuclear So And So – Buzzard (+1 Records) – Channing Freeman
Maroon 5 – Hand All Over (A&M/Octone)
Johnny Mathis – Let It Be Me: Mathis in Nashville (Columbia)
Maximum Balloon [TV On The Radio's Andrew Sitek project] – Maximum Balloon (Interscope Records)
Metallica – Six Feet Down Under [EP] (Metallica.com)
Methods Of Mayhem – A Public Disservice Announcement (Roadrunner Records)
Michael Franti & Spearhead – The Sound of Sunshine (Capitol)
Liza Minnelli – Confessions (Decca U.S.)
Vincent Minor –…


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Falling Short

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Blackened Eyes Staring

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Better Off Dead

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Take

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Flotsam and Jetsam have been around for nearly thirty years and have never truly received the attention that they deserve. Some of the blame could be placed on bad timing (Cuatro) or bad productions (When the Storm Comes Down and Dream of Death) – and their unwavering dedication to flying the thrash flag through the nineties probably had something to do with it too – but it doesn’t fully explain how this band has remained in the shadows all of these years. The real shame is that Flotsam and Jetsam seem to be…


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I bet you didn’t see this one coming.

International woman of mystery and self-appointed spokesperson for all gay people in the world ever Lady Gaga has recorded a message (not actually an “address” – shoot me) aimed at the United States Senate, appealing for the US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to be abolished.

Stefani’s speaking voice makes her seem kind of slow, and there’s the most awkward phone ringing sequence ever in the middle, but it’s still worth watching whether you agree or disagree with the central premise.


The resurgence of thrash continues…

Over the last decade metal has made a huge resurgence. This popularity has inspired a lot of bands to make a deliberate return to their roots (Metallica, Megadeth, etc). It has also prompted the reformation of quite a few long-defunct bands from the past (Believer, Anacrusis, etc). You can now add Connecticut’s Indestructible Noise Command (aka I.N.C.) to that list.

I.N.C. formed in 1985 and quickly recorded their first album, Razorback. The album was quirky but heavy with an underlying sense of humor that was missing from most thrash at the time. It was enough to allow them to play with bands such as Megadeth, Exodus and King Diamond. Their second album, The Visitors, built on everything that fans loved about Razorback and garnered even more attention for the band – Pantera, in their infancy, even opened for I.N.C. at one time. One of the more unique elements that I.N.C. had going for them was the vocals of Dennis Gergely. His voice provided a bit of a hardcore/metal crossover vibe at a time when only a few bands were doing it (most notably D.R.I.). Due to a lack of solid label support and funding, the band took an indefinite hiatus shortly after the release of their second album, and that was the end of the story – until now.

I.N.C. are back with a fresh set of songs that are heavier and darker than anything they did in…


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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 14 , 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

The Absence – Enemy Unbound (Metal Blade)
Accept – Blood of the Nations (Nuclear Blast)
Al’ Tariq (The Beatnuts) – God Connections (Traffic Ent. Group)
Amorphis – Magic & Mayhem – Tales From The Early Years {EU} (Nuclear Blast)
Azure Ray – Drawing Down The Moon (Saddle Creek)
Banner Pilot – Resignation Day [Remastered] (Fat Wreck Chords)
Beneath The Massacre – Maree Noir [EP] (Prosthetic Records)
Bilal – Airtight’s Revenge (PLUG RESEARCH)
The Birthday Massacre – Pins And Needles (Metropolis Records) – Trey Spencer
Black Milk – Album of the Year (100% WOMON) – Jared W. Dillon
Blonde Redhead – Penny Sparkle (4AD Records) – Cam
Buckethead – Spinal Clock (TDRS Music)
Caligula – Divine Madness (Krycek Entertainment)
The Charlatans – Who We Touch (The End Records)
Chromeo – Business Casual (Atlantic)
Dawn of Ashes – Genocide Chapters (Metal Blade Records)
DragonForce – Twilight Dementia [Live] (Roadrunner Records)
The Drums – The Drums (Downtown)
El Guincho – Pop Negro (XL Recordings) – Kiran Soderqvist
Electric Sunset – Electric Sunset (K Records)
Emmett And Mary – Emmett And Mary (My Idea of Fun)
Sully Erna – Avalon (Republic)
ESQ & Chikaramanga – The Succession (Tres Records)
Flotsam and Jetsam – The Cold (Driven Music Group) – Trey


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Singer/songwriter Darren Hanlon is reasonably well-known in his native Australia, but he’s a complete unknown almost everywhere else. So US indie Yep Roc’s decision to fly him over for the big international release treatment is a bit of a risk then, right?

Not really. Hanlon’s fifth album, I Will Love You At All, fits snugly into the M. Ward/Andrew Bird canon, with the singer’s mild Aussie twang the only potentially divisive feature of an otherwise terrific album. (And everybody loves Aussie accents, right?)

‘All These Things’ isn’t the best song on the album, or even one of the best, but it is a nice jumping off point in that it sort of condenses the entire record into an upbeat four-minute pop song. Strummed mandolin shows off Hanlon’s prowess in the mini-guitar genre (he’s also a decent banjo player), while piano and tuba lend the track some welcome gravitas. The best part, though, is the simple call-and-response routine generated between Hanlon and Portland singer Shelley Short.

Darren Hanlon’s I Will Love You At All is scheduled for release in the United States on September 21.

Darren Hanlon – ‘All These Things’

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Darren is currently on a mini-tour of the US with Billy Bragg:

09.08.10 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
09.09.10 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall
09.10.10 – River Forest, IL @ Dominican University
09.11.10 – Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark
09.14.10 – Indianapolis,


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With the events of last week still fresh in my mind, I’ve been able to reflect on the contrasting Guns N’ Roses-related experiences the past couple of months have thrown my way.

Last Wednesday, I was treated to the most bizarre concert-going experience of my life, as Axl Rose showed up an hour late for the fourth show running, got pissy with the audience for booing him and subsequently left the stage when a water bottle was thrown limply in his general direction from the crowd. A third of the crowd had left by the time he returned, 45 minutes later, to sleepwalk through his contractually obligated set. I’m still not entirely sure what to think of it all.

Compared with my experience when Slash came to town in June… well, there is no comparison. The man took to the stage on time and blasted through a mix of cuts from his recent solo CD, old Guns and Velvet Revolver hits and even a couple of Snakepit songs for the diehards. Frontman Myles Kennedy (better known for his work with Creed offshoot Alter Bridge) was a bit of a let-down… at least, it seemed that way, until Slash belatedly revealed that Kennedy had been suffering from flu and had barely been able to speak all day.

It’s an interesting contrast: the self-absorbed rock star who can’t even bring himself to show up for a $10 million-dollar gig on time, and a true professional who will play…


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