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Album Review: Dryad — The Silurian Age

The metal scene in Iowa City has always been a pocket universe where the boundary between fans and musicians is permeable. It’s like the bar in Cheers — where everybody knows your name — but with more long hair, tattoos and black leather. The competition between bands is to be the loudest, heaviest and tightest, not the most successful. […]

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Album Review: Surf Zombies — Return of the Skeleton

Return of the Skeleton by Surf Zombies Five albums in with Return of the Skeleton, and Cedar Rapids’ Surf Zombies are as fresh and fired up as ever. A rotating cast of some of the CR music scene’s heaviest hitters, the Surf Zombies have at their core guitarist Brook Hoover (full disclosure: Hoover, an in-demand […]

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Album Review: Hex Girls — More of That

Listening to the debut album from Cedar Falls band Hex Girls, I’m reminded of the time before punk broke in the ’70s. Bands like the Dead Boys and Johnny Thunders’ band the Heartbreakers took ’60s garage rock and psychedelia mixed in attitude and energy (and speed and alcohol) and spilled it on the dirty stages […]

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Album Reviews: The Feralings — The Feralings

Iowa City folkies the Feralings released their highly anticipated debut EP last October, a collection of six gorgeous tracks that’s stylistically scattered but so tightly woven and so cleanly mixed and mastered (I hope we hear a lot more from Ben Schmidt and Rescued Rabbit Studio) that the diversity has the feel of a carefully curated sampler. […]

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Album Review: Kate Kane — Meet the Cats

Meet the Cats by Kate Kane I can’t think of a single better combination of words than “cat-themed Kate Kane album from Bloated Kat Records.” Any of those three factors would have me dropping everything else to listen, but the combination is an outstanding pop-punk success filled with whimsical odes that I’m pretty sure retroactively […]

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Album Review: Brother Trucker — 5

Des Moines band Brother Trucker is an honest-to-goodness Iowa institution. Since 2000, the band has toured extensively, bringing their roots rock and country to avid fans in bars throughout the Midwest. Their Iowa pedigree was established when they signed on as one of the original bands on Dave Zollo’s seminal Trailer Records, where they released […]

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