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CD Reviews:
The Listening Room: Megadeth, Savages, Tank, Tricky and more...

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Friday, January 22, 2016

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Grade: B

Megadeth certainly wasn't wanting for drama during the three years since its last album, "Super Collider." Half the group left, and behind the scenes there was management turmoil and other business issues. Group leader Dave Mustaine doesn't necessarily need any of that to make him surly, but it certainly didn't hurt matters on "Dystopia." The good news is that with new members Kiko Loureiro and Lamb of God's Chris Adler on board, Megadeth is charged and in high gear on this 11-track set, switching from the punky thrash of "The Threat is Real" and a cover of Fear's "Foreign Policy" to the sophisticated frenetics of "Fatal Illusion" and the more melodic hard rock of the title track. "Bullet to the Brain" and "Poisonous Shadows" blast off from gentler, acoustic-tinged intros (the latter even ends with piano), and the instrumental "Conquer...Or Die!" is a muscular showcase of virtuoistic guitar work. Mustaine's socio-political worldview is as dire as ever here, anti-establishment and fueled by the specter of Isis and the upcoming presidential election, decrying "a culture made of cover-ups" and even envisioning a frighteningly conceivable "Post-American World." But if you're looking for a soundtrack for impending doom, you could do far worse than this.

New & Noteworthy:

Eleanor Friedberger, "New View" (Frenchkiss): The third solo outing by the sister half of the Chicago sibling indie rock duo the Fiery Furnaces.

Savages, "Adore Life" (Matador): The highly anticipated second album from the British punk revival troupe that lit things up with its 2013 debut "Silence Yourself."

Ty Segall, "Emotional Mugger" (Drag City): The independent, idiosyncratic California rocker is still going strong eight years and eight albums after launching his solo career.

Tank, "Sex Love & Pain II" (Atlantic): The smooth R&B singer from Washington, D.C., hearkens back to his past on this sequel to his chart-topping 2007 release.

Tricky, "Skilled Mechanics" (False Idols): The British trip-hop pioneer teams with Ivy, Francesca Belmonte and Milo on his latest musical excursion.

Steven Wilson, "4 1/2" (KScope): The prog rock hero's latest solo outing is a six-song "interim" album that includes a remake of "Don't Hate Me" from his days with Porcupine Tree.

Also Out: Abbath, "Abbath" (Season of Midst); Cyrille Aimee, "Let's Get Lost" (Mack Avenue); Autopsy, "After the Cutting" (Peaceville/Snapper); Regina Belle, "The Day Life Began" (Shanachie); Borknagar, "Winter Thrice" (Century Media); Cactus Blossoms, "You`re Dreaming" (Red House); Casualties, "Chaos Sound" (Season of Mist); Chairlift, "Moth" (Columbia); Julie Christensen & Stone Cupid, "The Cardinal" (self-released); Death Angel, "Frolic Through the Park" (Metal Blade); Paquito D'Rivera, "Paquito & Manzanero" (Sunnyside); Failure Anthem, "First World Problems" (Razor & Tie); Green River Ordinance, "Fifteen" (Residence Music); Hell in the Club, "Shadow of the Monster" (Scarlet); High Llamas, "Here Come the Rattling Trees" (IK7); Mark Huff, "Down River" (Exodus Empire); The I Don't Cares, "Wild Stab" (Dry Wood); Jazz Funk Soul, "More Serious Business" (Shanachie); Jesu/Sun Kil Moon, "Jesu/Sun Kil Moon" (Caldo Verde); Aidan Knight, "Each Other" (Outside Music); Manimal, "Trapped in the Shadows" (AFM); William McDowell, "Sounds of Revival" (eOne); Mute Gods, "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me" (Inside Out); Popa Chubby, "Big, Bad & Beautiful Live" (Cleopatra Blues); Jordy Searcy, "Seasons" (self-released); Shearwater, "Jet Plane and Oxbow" (Sup Pop); Sweet Honey in the Rock, "#LoveInEvolution" (Appleseed); Tindersticks, "The Waiting Room" (City Slang); Tortoise, "The Catastrophist" (Thrill Jockey); Various Artists, "Now That's What I Call Rock" (Sony Legacy); Various Artists, "2016 Grammy Nominees" (Republic)

From The Vaults: Black Sabbath, "Black Sabbath (Deluxe Edition)", "Paranoid (Deluxe Edition)," "Master of Reality (Deluxe Edition)" and Past Lives (Deluxe Edition)" (Warner Bros./Rhino); Miles Davis, "Paul's Mall, Boston September 1972" (Hi Hat); Lush, "Chorus" (4AD); Alan Price, "Savaloy Dip" (Ominivore)

Soundtracks: "The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Studio Cast Recording)" (Ghostlight); "Kung Fu Panda 3" (Sony Classics)

New Music DVDs: "The Ritchie Blackmore Story" (Eagle Rock); "The Jam: About the Young Idea" (Eagle Rock)

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