Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color

ashakesBoys & Girls, the breakthrough 2012 debut from Athens, AL based Alabama Shakes didn’t exactly feel like a fluke, but it didn’t feel sustainable, either. Lead singer Brittany Howard was undeniably charismatic and the motown/soul vibes were a nice change of pace, but I wasn’t sure I’d ever hear from the band again.

That makes Sound of Color, an improvement on their debut, even more enjoyable. Sonically, it’s a very different record. While Howard’s Winehouse-esque vocal deliver remains, the motown sound is replaced by hook heavy southern rock (think Allman Brothers meet The Strokes).

Lead single “Don’t Wanna Fight” stacks up favorably to the Shakes’s 2012 hit “Hold On,” and deeper cuts “Shoegaze,” “I Ain’t The Same,” and “You Ain’t Alone” combine to create a well rounded album. I’ll try not to sleep on this band moving forward.

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The Classroom Series – Black Luck

At long last, KSDB welcomed Lawrence garage punk group Black Luck to the McCain studios for a Classroom Series set. Longtime friends of 91.9, the quartet played a brisk, hard hitting set before heading to Aggie Central Station for a show hosted by KSDB. The group has released 4 e.p.’s since their inception. They can be heard regularly in KSDB’s local music rotation, and found here:

Set list:

Nothing Complete

Butcher’s Block

The Good Fight

Time Elapsed


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Chastity Belt – Time To Go Home

Chastity Belt“He was just another man, tryn’a teach me something.”

“Drone,” the first track on Time To Go Home, a surprisingly thoughtful record from a band who arose from a frat party in Walla Walla, Washington, or so the legend goes. Chastity Belt’s lead singer Julia Shapiro’s vocal work is distant, echoey, almost dismissive at times, but the messages are all pretty clear. She swoons and strings out these messages over the course of the record in a way that seems almost casual, but the lyrics stroll over very important, complex themes involving the image of a woman’s sexuality, independence, and equality.


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