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Non-Prog CD Reviews


Notes to My Blood

Review by Gary Hill

There is a subset of alternative rock that is constructed out of large helpings of roots music. This album fits under that heading. It's a strong set. It has a nice flow between songs, and a good variety. It earns a few parental advisories here and there. This is a definite element of punk rock at play a lot of the time. I suppose in regards to blending acoustic roots driven music with punk rock angst, this has a lot of shared ground with Violent Femmes. However, it sounds more like bands like Camper Van Beethoven than it does that Wisconsin based outfit.
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Track by Track Review

This song comes in like a folk ballad. It's a bit twisted and humorous in terms of lyrics, though. It definitely earns a parental advisory.

Randolph Carter Rides Again
Violin brings some roots music elements here. Beyond that, though, this is an energized, stomping alternative rocker with a lot of punk in the mix.
Art Is Never Free
Here's another with a parental advisory. This seems to land between the first cut and the second in terms of sound. It's a cool alternative rocker. It's one of my favorites. It seems to be a slam of the folks who think that music is "free."
New Song
This is on that lands more in the folk music area. Still, it has plenty of alternative rock in the mix. It's one of the more "mature" songs. It's a solid number for sure.
Not a huge change, this is another solid alternative rocker. It's more on the melodic side than the rocking side, but it has energy.
I Never Told You
This is more of an expansive cut with cool alternative rock merged with roots music, modern proggy stuff (think Radiohead) and more. It's noe of the more intriguing songs here.
Here we get one of the more dynamic cuts. In a lot of ways it makes me think of Camper Van Beethoven. This definitely has a lot in common with that band. It's one of my favorites here.
Middle Child
Another that earns a definite parental advisory, this has plenty of folk music built into it. It's a classy tune. The roots elements really push this one into the realms of greatness.
There are no big changes here. Instead, this is another energized and quite effective folk turned alternative tune.
When the Time Comes
This is more punky than some of the rest. It's a screaming hot rocker. Yet, it's still acoustic in nature. It's a bit of a change in a lot of ways. That, and just the effectiveness of the piece, makes for a strong closer.
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