Although Iowa City band Commanders is already revving up some new tunes with a new bassist, their 2017 release Stones, Stooges and Spacemen is well overdue for attention in this space. With its brash title, the album invokes some of the greatest acts in ’60s and ’70s rock and roll and then evokes them throughout with a heavy dose of what Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop and David Bowie had most in common: strut. […]
If you’re familiar with Ryan Stier’s work, it’s probably from regular plays of the theme music for the Iowa Public Radio shows River To River and Talk Of Iowa that his band the River Monks composed. That band enjoyed acclaim particularly for their 2014 album Home Is The House. […]
Let me start out by saying that it brings me so much joy that we have, here in Iowa, a label like Sump Pump Records, that continually releases top-notch metal records. They’re no one-trick pony; they release other genres all the time, including many albums that have been reviewed positively on this page. But someone there knows their heavy music, and I always feel a little rush of joy whenever I open an email or a package from Sump Pump, because I know it’s going to contain something kickass.
Creature Comforts, the 2017 sophomore effort from Des Moines three-piece Pets With Human Names, is a tight, solid, confident rock and roll album. The band — Alex Nickeson, Andrew Pierson and Benton Schoenrock — recorded the 10 tracks at Flat Black Studios for a driven, polished disc that will make you want to throw it on repeat.
Some Night You Will Hear Me Crowing, the debut album from Cedar Rapids trio treesreach, uses the story of Peter Pan as a thread joining the musical squares in a large double album quilt in the form of symphonic interstitial pieces. Taken by themselves, the rock songs are not directly Peter Pan-themed, but they evoke a sense of melancholy similar to Peter Pan’s afterthought.
Here is another year of albums to consider. It’s silly to rank music at all and also fun in that it ignites passionate conversations about the art that has moved us (for better or worse) in the last year. Please accept this list as an invitation to hear something new, and introduce us to something new by sending your own list of wonderful musical moments — albums, songs, shows, etc. — from 2017. […]
We’re now over 50 albums deep into the career of Iowa City’s home-studio legend Samuel Locke Ward. He is, as they say, prolific. But the scale of his output wouldn’t be much more than a gimmick if not for the fact that he has maintained an almost unbroken string of high quality across his entire massive catalog. […]
Cedar Rapids musician Ryan Phelan has been a mainstay on the close-knit music scene there for years, from beloved jam band Dr. Z’s Experiment to fresh effort Young the Lion. So it’s no surprise that on Memories, his solo effort released last month, he draws on the wide array of Cedar Rapids talent for an album filled with guest appearances, varied genres and local hat tips. […]
To release two EPs under two different names within a few months of each other suggests Clancy Clark — aka Selec, aka Clarence Johnson — has been busy. According to Clark, horror at the election of Donald Trump motivated him to be more proactive at making and putting out music.
The songs on Des Moines band/project Gloom Balloon’s sophomore album were inspired by life-changing events of falling in love and the birth of Patrick Tape Fleming’s son Nilsson (who makes an appearance on the opening track, “Password”). […]
‘we will will you’ isn’t about Julie and Andrew Thoreen’s separation as couple and band but rather the subtly uncharted part where they consider coming back from it. The band goes on to describe the album as a record that “invites us into the process of re-commitment.” […]