Thursday, December 20, 2018

Record reviews: Western Star and Silver Screams

By Andy

Western Star: "Any Way How" LP

Saustex Records kingpin Jeff Smith told me this was gonna be a good one. After digging Western Star’s “Fireball,” my ears pricked up at the news of “Any Way How” cracking its way into existence. Simply put, this is crucial rock n’ roll with a razor-sharp country edge that can kick the shit out of most stuff on the planet these days. With J. Robbins on the Baltimore unit's side in the producing, engineering and mixing seat, WS’s Max Jeffers, Justin Myers, Bob Shade and Matt Milner have put themselves in a red-hot spot with these 10 tunes. The lyrics stick with ya, too, and “Part of the Deal” drives things home: “Once you spin the wheel you can never go back; You might land on red, you might land on black; But you learn real fast, you gotta be quick; And you’ve got to stick to your part of the deal.” (Saustex Records)

Silver Screams: “Alive in the Afterlife” EP

You can’t go wrong with Silver Screams. Whenever the Boston-based trio punches the clock, they deliver a batch of gritty, fist-pumping punk n’ roll tunes that leave you amped and ready to attack your day. Hammering on the heels of their stellar “Defective Machines” LP from 2017, the band uncorked the three-song “Alive in the Afterlife” EP in August and you’ll want to hit the repeat button a ton on this gem. The title track and “Stitches Up” jump into the fray first, and then comes the killer cover of Government Issue’s “Understand.” Yes, John Stabb (RIP) would be on board to the hilt with this choice from GI’s rockin’ “Joyride” LP from 1984. (Voodoo Lodge Records)

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