KENOSHA NEWS CORRESPONDENT
The Shins, “Heartworms” (Columbia)
I was listening to The Shins’ latest, when my 20-year-old daughter walked into the room. “Oh, that sounds like a lot of the hipster bands that I like,” she commented. There you have it, folks, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Unlike many of their contemporaries, though, I find their songs considerably more accessible.
The Shins don’t shy away from hooks, indeed “Heartworms” is chockfull of earworms. Filled with echoey vocals and enough ’80s-inspired synth to make Howard Jones blush, these songs, particularly “Name for You” and “Cherry Hearts,” push all the right buttons. I’m looking forward to repeated listens.
Soundgarden, “Ultramega OK” (Sub Pop)
Soundgarden was never really my cup of tea, so instead of being critical of the music, I’ll just make this more of a product review. This is a really nice reissue, being made available by Sub Pop in several different forms, including colored vinyl Lp and cassette.
This version was remixed by the band, from the original masters. Tacked on for good measure is the six-song “Ultramega E.P.” While this predates the explosion of Nirvana and the full-on wave of ’90s grunge bands, you can clearly see where music is headed by listening to this.
Def Leppard, “And There Will Be a Next Time ... Live From Detroit” (Eagle Rock)
Yes, Def Leppard is long past their heyday. Yes, you’re right that they haven’t had a hit in years. Yes, they always seem to be playing the same songs. You know what, though? They’re REALLY GOOD songs. Regular readers of this column know that I’m a sucker for a great pop hook, no matter the genre, and these Sheffield dudes know something about writing hooks.
Caught on tape during last summer’s tour, this three-disc set offers up the band’s key tracks with a smattering of material from the last decade. A Blu-ray disc gives you a front-row seat, accompanied by two-discs of audio to take with you in the Camaro this summer. Rock on.
Ed Sheeran/Divide (Atlantic)
Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes/The Fever (Real Gone)
Colin Hay/Fierce Mercy (Compass)
Khalid/American Teen (RCA)
The Rascals/Complete Singles (Real Gone)
Artful Dodger/Complete Columbia Recordings (Real Gone)
Minus The Bear/VOIDS
Bela Fleck/Juno Concerto (Rounder)
CDs provided by CD-DVD-Games-Warehouse 3717 80th Street, Kenosha 262-942-9400