Quick Quips: Johnny Cash, Local Natives, Shout Out Louds, Ray Wylie Hubbard & Thee Silver Mt. Zion

There are some albums that I have had in heavy rotation lately that I just haven’t had time to review…these are those albums:

Johnny Cash – American VI: Ain’t No Grave

The latest and last installment of the American Recordings; this is another Rick Rubin produced collection of tracks from the American V: A Hundred Highways recordings.  This is not the best of the American series, but it’s great to have this final installment from the Man in Black.  I also think it’s funny that it wasJohnny’s request that this series of dark songs ends with Aloha Oe…seems the man did have a sense of humour.

Local Natives – Gorilla Manor

These guys from Los Angeles impressed everyone at SXSW last year and are gaining even more respect for their debut album, Gorilla Manor.  I listened to this album on my way into Portland today and, on this 6th or 7th listen, I finally got it.  This band sounds like the Pacific Northwest and maybe that’s why I couldn’t get into them in Denver.  All I heard on my first few listens was Fleet Foxes, Arctic Monkeys, The Shins, Spoon and on and on.  They were good, but nothing special.  But the more I listen, the more I find hiding behind these catchy pop songs.  This album is a creeper …it takes some time…but you will be rewarded for your patience.

Shout Out Louds – Work

I have to be honest on this one and say if you are not already a fan of this Swedish band, go listen to their debut, Howl Howl Gaff Gaff , because it is a much better album.  That being said, if you are a fan, as I am, this is a welcome addition to their catalog.  It might not be all I was hoping for, but it’s still a good album.  This is a grown up Shout Out Louds.

Ray Wylie Hubbard – A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is No C)

63 year old country music  singer-songwriter, Ray Wylie Hubbard, released his 15th album earlier this year.  This is the first album I have ever heard from him.  It’s damn good country/blues from a man who sounds like he’s lived it.

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – Kollaps Tradixionales

The 6th album from the Montreal-based band formed by Efrim Menuck of Godspeed You! Black Emperor.  While still experimental and falling into the post-rock genre, this album has some pretty accessible material with more traditional song structure than some of their past work.