Zack Hillman

REVIEW: Creative Adult – ‘Dead Air’

REVIEW: Creative Adult – ‘Dead Air’

Here’s a good litmus test for any hardcore album: If you jog to it, will you jog farther? With Creative Adult’s debut EP Dead Air the answer is a rabid, unequivocal YES! These unrelenting songs will erase your sense of fatigue and force you to stomp the sidewalk with unbridled aggression. Yet, this album is […]

 Zack Hillman

East Star All-Stars @ The El Rey 9/20/2012

East Star All-Stars @ The El Rey 9/20/2012

The Easy Star All-Stars have the reputation of delivering fun and interactive reggae shows, and Thursday’s performance at the El Rey was no exception. The band danced, sang, shouted, clapped… anything they had to do to get the audience engaged and excited. By the end of the night I was hooting and swaying, loosing myself […]

 Zack Hillman

REVIEW: Triple Hex – “Winter”

REVIEW: Triple Hex – “Winter”

Stripped-down rockers Triple Hex cut off a slab of gritty sex with their new single “Winter.” The song and band recall a golden underground of rock ’n’ roll, touching on the Stooges and the Velvet Underground in particular to arrive at their heroine-chic sound. Their cool and fierce rock ’n’ roll carries on these traditions, […]

 Zack Hillman

REVIEW: Ultra Zook – EPUZ

REVIEW: Ultra Zook – EPUZ

France’s Ultra Zook offers a startling blend of jazz, rock, and deconstruction on EPUZ, the first in a series of three EP’s. This band is certainly not for the faint of ear, but won’t come as any real shock to people who grew up with Frank Zappa records. The songs offer harmonic daring in smartly […]

 Zack Hillman

Easy Star All-Stars to perform in Los Angeles

Easy Star All-Stars to perform in Los Angeles

Turning in some of the most interesting cover music available these days, Easy Star All-Stars are taking on some of the most daunting challenges any reggae band has ever faced. While others continue turning in docile covers of everything from “Tears in Heaven” to “Ball and Chain,” the mad scientists at Easy Star Records are […]

 Zack Hillman

REVIEW: Sic Alps – Self-Titled LP

REVIEW: Sic Alps – Self-Titled LP

San Francisco’s Sic Alps swing for the fences on their self-titled fifth album, taking their hallmark garage rock aesthetic into an actual recording studio to deliver a lo-fi White Album in miniature. Fortunately, they temper this potentially overambitious approach with disparate flourishes that prevent the album from floundering for too long at any one time. […]

 Zack Hillman

Review: Engine Room Recordings Presents: “A Tribute to Pinkerton”

Review: Engine Room Recordings Presents: “A Tribute to Pinkerton”

As a rule, tribute albums tend to be a mixed bag. Either the covering artists are too true to the originals, slavishly rehashing them down to the tempo; or they strive too hard to move away from the originals, losing the point of the song or album. If they are too true to the originals, […]