J. Briozo “Deep In The Waves” (Swallow The Music, 2017)

J.Briozo is in fact Jeff Crandall, the lead singer of Swallows, who found himself writing a parallel set of songs as Swallows recorded their third album. He invited his band mates along to fill in the framework of the songs and J. Briozo was/were born. The stylistic diversity of the record is probably a result of him trying to do things differently from Swallows. The sounds are more eclectic and less roots based, the standout Beautiful Mess sounding so much like an Elliott Smith song that I had to check it wasn’t, but in fairness to Crandall he does start by mentioning Miss Misery so the resemblance is not coincidental. Continue reading “J. Briozo “Deep In The Waves” (Swallow The Music, 2017)”

Cheap Wine “Dreams” (Independent, 2017)

These Italian stalwarts have been pumping out Americana records for two decades now; this is their twelfth and the third in a trilogy that began with Based On Lies. This record, and the previous Beggar Town, share the same characters. These characters have endured hardship and are now finally looking beyond the dire economic circumstances to find redemption in love and dreams. Like all of their records this is pretty down the line roots rock, the biggest influence that I can discern being the Walkabouts, who are deservedly huge in Europe. Cheap Wine as the name suggests don’t have the subtlety of the Seattle band, they lack the light and shade but these are stark line drawings as songs that are effective in their own way. Continue reading “Cheap Wine “Dreams” (Independent, 2017)”