Dengue Fever – The Deepest Lake
The album kicks off with “Tokay,” a song packed with a thumping bassline, an ancient-sounding keyboard and singer Chhom Nimol singing in Cambodian. As Dengue Fever slowly builds up the tension, adding percussion, a horn, and a string section, Nimol’s singing gets more impassioned. This was the song that caught me off guard, turning me on to their music. But it’s only the beginning.
Things keep getting added as the album progresses: on “No Sudden Moves,” for example, Nimol bursts into a rap before segueing into a twangy guitar solo, layers of horns, and a bassline worthy of Jah Wobble. Meanwhile, on “Ghost Voice”, they go for a mellower 60s pop sound, with a twirling guitar line, strings and David Ralicke’s low-rumbling saxophone. Read the full review on Bearded Gentlemen Music
Punch Bros – The Phosphorescent Blues
Whether or not these Punch Brothers still feel young now, only they can say. But they certainly sound young. Though each group member has been involved with music since childhood, none of their compositional energy and creativity has diminished whatsoever. The same can be said for The Phosphorescent Blues, the band’s fourth full-length. Like its predecessor, the album finds these lads continuing to push themselves compositionally, all the while maintaining that crucial balance between the cerebral and emotional aspects of their music. Read the full review on Glide Magazine
Gov’t Mule – Sco-mule
Sco-Mule isn’t a jazz album by any standard definition; it rocks way too hard for that. Still, with Scofield’s intuitive way of taking the music ever so slightly out, only to bring it back in again with the kind of effortless aplomb he’s developed in a career now entering its fifth decade as the guitarist moves into his mid- sixties, Sco-Mule ain’t your typical jam band album either. Instead, it sits somewhere in-between, with everyone forgetting about artificial delineation. Sco- Mule is, quite simply, great songs played by a terrific group that may have been performing live for the first time, but was already imbued with a profound connection that went deeper and broader than any one genre. Read the full review on All About Jazz