Alive Naturalsound Records

Independent record label based in LA. Home to The Black Keys, Two Gallants, Buffalo Killers, Radio Moscow, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Hacienda, John The Conqueror, Brian Olive, Black Diamond Heavies, Left Lane Cruiser, T-Model Ford, Thomas Function, Waves Of Fury, etc. More at

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

HENRY'S FUNERAL SHOE - Sleazegrinder

Is Henry’s Funeral Shoe the Welsh answer to the White Stripes? Or to the Black Keys? How about both at once? The duo certainly plows the same guitar/drum blues duo earth as those acts, but is less pop-oriented than the former and less obsessed with Led Zeppelin than the latter. Aled Clifford is a manly but versatile vocalist whose hero seems to be Steve Marriott, rather than Robert Plant, and he’s a fine slide/boogie guitarist. His brother Brenning keeps the cans a-rockin’ and a-groovin’. With a pronounced bent towards the John Lee Hooker side of the blues fence, the Shoes have an entirely different feel than their more famous brethren, lighter of foot and heavier of tone, as heard in Second Hand Prayer and It’s a Long Way. Mary’s Tune ends the record on a folky and rather sweet note, just to show that the guys can pitch woo as well as make whoopy. - Michael Toland / Sleazegrinder


Outrageous Cherry's music recalls simpler times. More than just evocative of the psychedelic rock's earliest years, the band's ninth album brings back the long-forgotten belief that a band could make a complete statement in 36 minutes - 10 songs no less. Universal Malcontents# remembers the days when lyrics make the title of the song obvious by their recurrence, which was a good thing because that repetition kept the song alive long after it was over.

"I Recognized Her" starts the album with a four-on-the-floor beat with some appropriately rigid tambourine playing that plays up the song's chunky riff and ooh-la-la backing vocals. The band bathes everything in natural reverb, which in an ideal fit for this music, especially the more pensive tracks like "Horizon," which has a Walls and Bridges-era John Lennon feel, due especially to the swirling piano and Matthew Smith's rich vocal track. And no modern psych album would be complete without a drone track, which comes in the form of "Outsider," which swirls on for eight hypnotic minutes.

The only things missing are bridges. As in middle eights, as in the interlude in the middle of the songs that offers a respite from lyrics that sometimes rely too heavily on the same lines. If Smith had fashioned a break in the middle of more than the last two songs, Universal Malcontents would be on the fast track towards teenage symphonies to you-know-who. But as it is, he's still come up strong set of material, nary a bit of filler among them. - Mike Shanley / Blurt

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


With their thick, gooey, swamp stomp sound, I would have guessed this guitar ‘n’ drum twosome was from some uncharted region of the Louisiana bayou. Turns out Henry’s Funeral Shoe are from Wales, which is about as far away from gumbo and gators as you can get. Kudos to the Clifford brothers—Aled (vocals, guitar) and Brennig (backing vocals, drums)—for achieving such an authentic racket. I guess this disproves my theory about the correlation between intense swamp gasses and dense Delta blues-type rock music.

Is it possible to review an earthy, bass-free garage band without referencing that famous boy/girl combo that was all the rage a few years ago? Of course, I speak of Nutrajet, the glam-rock duo that seemed to pop up at every musical event in the state of Florida around the turn of the millennium. They really seemed like they were about to break; then Suzy quit and whatever momentum they had totally stalled. Well, it’s irrelevant, anyway—Henry’s Funeral Shoe mops the muddy floor with Nutrajet and nearly every other raw, rudimentary twosome that comes to mind. The sound on Everything’s for Sale could be a little more gritty or in-your-face, but hey, not everybody has John Anthony Gillis at their disposal (you know, the guy who produced all those Gap ads featuring that fake band, “the Whitey Strips”).

Regardless of any production woes, you can still feel Aled’s craggy face contorting as he strains to deliver such lines as “Gonna inject my love into your bones!” and “Don’t let your heart get heavy.” Underneath all that, the guitar growls and jerks about like a crazed mutt tearing apart its first fresh ham hock, lest we forget the drums, which simmer delightfully and add a boisterous flavor to numerous tracks on Everything’s for Sale. If you’ll allow me to continue with the food metaphors, this record is a middle-o’-summer fat back barbeque freak-out that’ll leave you pickin’ your teeth and reaching for the nearest frosty beverage. The following statement may strike you as dubious, but I stand by it: Henry’s Funeral Shoe is quite possibly the best airboat cruisin’ music since Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen.”

Praise must also be doled out for the subtle Star Wars reference on the cover of Everything’s for Sale. I feel like it would be slightly easier to comprehend what I’m talking about with a vinyl copy of this album, but it’s not beyond imagination on the CD version. Of course, if you opt to get your HFS fix via iTunes or good ol’ fashioned torrent theft, then you will not experience the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with staring at an intergalactic shoe while the gentle closing track “Mary’s Tune” nestles its way into your nerdy heart. “Mary’s” is extra sweet because it shows up just when you think you can’t handle anymore sweat-fueled slide guitar or shack-shakin’ sex rhythms. It’s a nice way to decompress after a sludgy trek through the UK’s muggiest sonic landscape.

Really, the only thing missing from Henry’s Funeral Shoe is a heapin’ helpin’ of banjo, but that can be excused. The banjo is a tricky instrument to correctly insert into any kind of rock. Really, only one band ever did it right (read: Without being shitty, obnoxious, or an obvious novelty)—Creedence Clearwater Revival. I’m sorry, but the banjo in rock begins and ends with John Fogerty. Well, and Led Zeppelin. You can’t argue with “Gallows Pole.” Oh, and Primus. They had a couple of nice numbers with banjo. Oh man, I almost forgot about Flogging Molly. They really aren’t as bad as I used to think they were. Jeez, I guess my banjophobia isn’t all that raging. I’m going to have to rethink this entire vicious and apparently baseless attack. At any rate, Everything’s for Sale except hot banjo licks. Keep that in mind if you seek this record. - James Greene, Jr / Crawdaddy!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Brandishing the usual rock 'n' roll setup (guitar, bass, drums) plus an exuberant organ, this Huntsville, Ala. fourpiece yanked me out of my travel-induced stupor late Wednesday evening, giving me the energy I needed to take in more shows. There were only about 30 people watching them at Headhunters that night, but look for that number to grow steadily this year. No wonder they called their debut album Celebration . - Austin L. Ray / Paste

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


It’s been a good run in recent years for Outrageous Cherry. Aside from having a hits compilation curated by Little Steven Van Zandt and their spacey version of Junior Kimbrough’s “Lord, Have Mercy On Me” being picked for the excellent Black Snake Moan soundtrack from a couple years ago, the band has also released a solid ninth album, Universal Malcontents. Ever the American music revivalists, the new record doesn’t break much new sonic territory for O.C. (or rock n’ roll in general), but that’s the point– its self-conscious vintage flavor will make fans of their stripped down psych pop feel right at home in a dreamy version of the Seventies.

There’s plenty of reasons to believe O.C. are fully conscious and unapologetic of their decidedly old-school references. Clap-along “It’s Not Rock N’ Roll (And I Don’t Like It)” explores the inreasingly Internet-based soundscape of pop culture (”computers only made you smile/ program you with so much style”) and “The Song Belongs To Everyone” nods at the changing music industry (”the song belongs to anyone/it swept through fibers and wires to meet your desires”). Futuristic references, like the rocketship synth touches on “What Have You Invented Today?” and lyrics that mention new dances point further to an overall feeling of clash between an increasingly old-fashioned artform and wherever it is American popular music is heading. There are some tracks, like the slow, stripped down “Horizon” lack O.C.’s fortes of psychedelia or wit. But even if O.C. isn’t your bag, Universal Malcontents might find a nice niche as a groovy addition to a summer soundtrack. - Motor City Rocks

The NERVES - Rock Sound

Saturday, March 14, 2009

RADIO MOSCOW announce SXSW shows and European tour dates

NEW album "BRAIN CYCLES" out April 14th!
Not in stores for weeks, get it from Bomp mailorder first
LISTENING PARTY March 27 @ Smash - Des Moines, Iowa

Mar 19 SXSW - Austin TX @ Smokin' Music Lounge with the Flower Travellin' Band
Mar 20 SXSW - Austin TX @ Spider House FREE SHOW
Mar 21 SXSW - Austin TX : HIGH TIMES 2009 DOOBIE AWARDS - Show at 2 PM

RADIO MOSCOW European tour dates ˆ US dates to be announced soon :
Apr 1 @ Le Saint Des Seins - Toulouse, France
Apr 5 @ Garorock Festival - Marmande, France
Apr 7 @ Living Room - Belgrade, Serbia
Apr 8 @ Klupche - Zenrajanin, Serbia
Apr 9 @ Kset - Zagreb, Croatia
Apr 11 @ Lebowski - Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Apr 12 @ Novi Sad Lazino Tele - Serbia
Apr 15 @ Sala Stereo - Alicante, Spain
Apr 16 @ Savoy Club - Gijon, Spain
Apr 17 @ Helldorado - Vittoria, Spain
Apr 18 @ Rock Sound - Barcelona, Spain
Apr 19 @ Durango Club - Valencia, Spain
Apr 21 @ La Mecanique Ondulatoire - Paris, France
Apr 22 @ Inside - Dortmund, Germany
Apr 23 @ Roadburn Festival - Tilburg, Germany
Apr 24 @ Db's - Utrecht, Netherlands
Apr 28 TBC - Strasbourg, France
Apr 29 @ Clubkeller - Frankfurt, Germany
Apr 30 @ Queen Days Festival - Rotterdam, Netherlands
May 1 to May 10 : Sweden, Denmark, UK - DATES TBA
May 12 @ Bohemien - Bari, Italy
May 13 TBA - Tuscany, Italy
May 14 @ Magnolia - Milan, Italy
May 15 @ Stoned Hand Of Doom Festival - Rome, Italy
May 16 @ Festintenda - Mortegliano, Italy
May 17 TBA - Rovigo, Italy
May 19 @ Rock Palace - Madrid, Spain
May 20 @ Mardi-Gras - La Coruna, Spain
May 21 @ Orfeau Club - Velo, Portugal
May 22 @ Plano B - Porto, Portugal
May 23 @ Castrus Bar - Foreas, Portugal
May 25 @ Rockadelic - Gandia, Portugal
May 27 @ Gallion - Lorient, France
May 28 @ Heretic - Bordeaux, France
May 29 @ Astrolabe - Orleans, France
May 30 @ Festival Mixed Up - Beauvais, France
May 31 @ Art Rock Festival - St Brieuc, France

Friday, March 13, 2009


Top Jam of the Week: I Wouldn’t Treat My Enemies The Way You Treat Yourself by Outrageous Cherry
Matt Smith and Outrageous Cherry make crafting a top jam seem so easy: Find a hook, add hand claps, oohs and aahs, then lay down a beat and some words about a woman who's done you wrong, and top jam. Yet, if writing a pop song was so easy, then every hack with a guitar and a dream would be doing it, right? If writing a pop song was so easy, we certainly would have found the next Beatles by now, right? There's something else at work here. Smith has this way with phrasing, deftly dodging the rhythm section when "I Wouldn't Treat My Enemies the Way You Treat Yourself" picks up some serious steam in the chorus. The tempo, itself, doesn't undergo a noticeable shift, and there isn't a dramatic change volume. Nor, is there a screeching guitar solo to signify, "Now, this is where sh*t gets good." No, that work is left largely to Smith's lyrical ramble tambles delivered in double time. Lines like, "Call my name/It's the same one you once knew/Just one more thing you outgrew/You're so difficult to please/I wouldn't treat my enemies the way you treat yourself," wouldn't sound nearly as pointed if they were properly enunciated or carefully crooned. Similarly, without Smith's urgent cadence, the song itself would be just another power pop song about a girl to slot in your iTunes playlist between Matthew Sweet and Sloan. Instead, we have top jam. Universal Malcontents, the ninth album by Detroit's Outrageous Cherry, is out now on Alive Records. Fans of Sloan, The Apples in Stereo, and pop songs in general, should not sleep on this one. - I Rock Cleveland


RADIO MOSCOW playing the HIGH TIMES 2009 Doobie Awards
Mar 21 @ Red7 - SXSW - Austin, TX

Monday, March 2, 2009


I’m about 100% positive that I’m not the only sucker out there for some vintage psychedelia. Radio Moscow is the type of down-home bred band we all imagine. You know, the no name town (Story City, Iowa), the direct influences (Peter Green, Nuggets compilations, really any psychedelic guitar god), and the boy prodigy (insert Parker Griggs). But make no mistake, these boys are the real deal, and the proof is coming on their upcoming album, Brain Cycles, releasing April 14th.

Having the backing of the Black Keys and Alive records, the band has recently been able to find themselves in a perfect position to stone minds all around the country and have a little fun in the process. But hear, hear! Don’t come into this with a nasty attitude against psychedelic music, because if you do, then a band like Radio Moscow will never be for you. But if you want to sit back and let the wah-wahs and blues-driven guitar solos blow your mind, do yourself a favor, and check out the new single “Broke Down”. - John Bohannon / PopMatters

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