A Cheaper Kind of Love Song (self-released)
Red Sammy's Adam Trice played a handful of these songs solo at The Windup Space in April, with just an acoustic guitar and a hushed desperation that infused every line. With his band, Trice retains that compelling quality but also brightens the sound with a fine-tuned mix of twangy guitar, brushed and beaten drums, and a smattering of atmospheric keyboards. The sparse, sparkling instrumentation softens Trice's raspy-to-rough vocals to the point where listeners will gladly follow him down darkened roads to the trailer parks and junkyards populating his songs.
Red Sammy plays a CD release show at Metro Gallery on June 12. The $8-10 cover includes a copy of the new disc.
Beautiful Songs—The Best of Jad Fair (Fire)
Local favorite Jad Fair—who founded the seminal punk band Half Japanese with his brother, David—says he writes "love songs and monster songs," and this triple-disc compilation offers a generous selection of both. Dipping into his enormous catalog of Half Japanese releases, solo work, and various collaborations, the former Carroll County resident veers from Skittles-sweet declarations of love and lust to dissonant blasts of beastly noise. It's no wonder Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was a fan, because he worked similar territory—albeit more melodically and, often, within the framework of a single song. For the most part, Fair keeps his amorous and monstrous selves separate, and most of these 109 songs—that's right, 109!—clock in around two minutes. So if you're not in the mood for "The Beast with a Million Eyes," don't fret—there's "Love and Comfort" coming. In fact, those two tracks appear back-to-back on disc three.
Do Whatever You Want All the Time (We Are Free)
On its first two releases, Ponytail introduced its unique blend of spazzy guitar waves with Molly Siegel's mostly unintelligible vocals surfing the breakers. The local quartet refines that approach on these seven songs, which downshift from punk to prog with surprisingly satisfying results. The band, especially guitarist Dustin Wong, clears more space for Siegel to fill, and her manic glee ripples through the tunes.