Taking a Listen: Local music reviews

by Heather MacIntyre

Jews and Catholics ­- Inside EP

This is the latest release since their God’s Trash LP. Track by track (and there aren’t many), I’m getting a different vibe, possible influences, and a wide range of RIYL suggestions for you: almost like a mix tape. The vocals seem to have a little bit of Conor Oberst’s tone with shaky syllables and a hint of Joy Division. I’m enjoying the random pop-punkish riffs mixed in with the dark euro-melodramatic mood-something that would happen if the Libertines decided to collaborate with Interpol. Alanna and Eddie have really captured simplicity and produced something a little different from their earlier releases. Besides, the album is earth friendly with 100-percent recycled packaging and paint-printed labels. You can check out all four tracks on Write to me (, tell me why you like it, and you might be able to win an autographed copy with stickers.

Rating: 3 records out of 5

Death Cab For Cutie ­- Narrow Stairs

Let’s face it. It’s going to be pretty damn hard to top the classic and forever nostalgic ballads of Transatlanticism. Though the new album is favorable for most all audiences, whether you like pop, indie, rock or just like Death Cab. Ben Gibbard is notorious for his romantic, quivering voice and ballad-swooning lyrics, but this release has trailed off onto more focus being experimental with more music than (or lull in between) the decent break-up metrical compositions. The first single has already been condensed from the almost nine-minute track to being performed on a number of late night shows. “I Will Possess Your Heart” is a prime example of what should normally have followed the three-minute-and-45 second rule. Don’t get me wrong; the album really is worth adding to your collection. And girls don’t worry, regardless of your current musical taste, if you and DCFC share any sort of intimate past, he will still possess your heart.

Rating: 3.5 records out 5

J. Scott Hinkle – Blueridge Martini

Now located in the heart of the Triad, Kernersvillian J. Scott Hinkle is bringing solo Americana-folk to the center of the state. With tracks like “Take my Bones To Alabama” there is no question that his heart lies here in the South. Even his record label, Casa Montana Records is way out in the Swannanoa area. The acoustic tracks with piano and violin add-ins really add to the sad-song-moutain-meets-island setting. A James Taylor vibe sets into the song “Don’t Live Faster Than Your Angels Can Fly.” Though most of the lyrics and order of songs seems rather typical, from blues and boy-loses- girl to mountain-man pride and a confident synth-organ hit, it works well. What a great ideal live performance to see on a summer night outside in the park (hint, hint to promoters of Triad summer events).

Rating: 3.0 records out of 5