The Checks, Steve Earle

The Checks
Hunting Whales
5/5
Having relocated to London and released their debut album on a major label, North Shore five piece The Checks seem destined for stardom. Their bag is (extremely) well executed sixties/seventies blues rock fetishism a la The White Stripes. Not exactly original, but they?’ve got their Led Zep chops completely down, and, importantly, the songs more than bear repeated listening.
ipod essential – Tired from Sleeping

Steve Earle
Washington Square Serenade
5/5
Self-described ‘hardcore troubadour’ Steve Earle recently packed up and moved to the Big Apple, probably seeking political refuge from his redneck roots. His latest offers more gritty but life-affirming country and roots rock delivered in his trademark Southern drawl, with an eye to the plight of the underdog in American life: from inner-city immigrants to hillbilly junkies (‘Oxycontin Blues’).
ipod essential – Come Home to Me

The Twang
Love It When I Feel Like This
2/5
The Twang’s delayed guitars, hedonistic blokey attitude, and strong Birmingham accents have been enough for the UK press to have slate them as this year’s next big thing (cue comparisons to Oasis), and, oddly, ‘the baggy U2′. The Ned’s Atomic Dustbin revival starts here! If you believe the world needs another U2 or Oasis, then give this a listen.
ipod essential – Wide Awake

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