Sonic Reducer

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Contrary to what you might assume given its moniker, Death Vessel is actually quite cheery. Acoustic folk set to a slow gallop and held together by the pitter-patter of guitar strings is a wee bit eerie but hardly the stuff of nightmares. Lead singer Joel Thibodeau’s falsetto beckons you, and there’s something quaint and old-timey about the band’s approach. Perhaps it’s the frequent influx of banjo, mandolin and lap steel, which are put to use without overpowering the mostly quiet aesthetic. Relaxing, but not at all bland, Nothing is Precious Enough for Us is a luminous and altogether charming record that acknowledges melancholy without letting it win. (SM)

Jamey Johnson That Lonesome Song (Mercury Nashville)

In the modern world of country music, there’s an onslaught of fads and fashion that’s tarnishing that good ol’ traditional twang. Jamey Johnson’s career took flight right in the middle of neo-country’s surge, marked by the same materialism and hype as mainstream rap. (Turn it to CMT and you’ll know what I’m talking about.) But Johnson’s rich inflection possesses a harmonious, folk-quality lyricism. That Lonesome Song is lonely and hollow, but not shallow. This album whistles Dixie, and its ex-marine-turned-country-singer is the real McCoy. (JH)

Trapt Only Through The Pain... (Eleven Seven)

Beyond doubt, we live in a period when a vast universe of interesting music lies before us, waiting to be explored, discovered, then rediscovered. Between ever-expanding units of new recorded music and the infinite volumes produced in the 20 th century, there really is no end to your listening possibilities. That said, why in fucking fuck would anyone give their time or money to a bunch of marauding dilettantes playing pansy metal? Boo! (JCC)

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