Friday, October 12, 2012

CD Review: New Music From The West Coast

The Northwest corner of the country has been busy with some new independent releases this fall season. The music flowing from the region features some great roots rock along with singer/songwriter pop style.

First up is Kuwaiti-American singer/songwriter Yusif! with his self-titled debut album. He turns tragedies of his past into very personable triumphs, beginning with the guitar-rock of "Third World Soldier." Yusif! has been around too much war and destruction that he wants to create inspirational songs as in "Underdog" and "My Heart Is Yours Forever." He said he was inspired by the Seattle music scene in the nineties, with bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden. Yusif! places that rock edge in his music as shown in "Reach Out," before closing with the Soul Asylum-sounding "Fools Know Better."

Yusif!'s self-released album is available now and he has a load of tour stops along the U.S. For more information on this indie artist, please visit his website at

Up next is the Americana band Sassparilla from Portland, OR with a new album entitled "Magpie." The band's laid-back approach resonates through their songs like "Threadbone" and "You Took It All." They also have a rawness to their sound, which is what makes songs like "Star" and "Two Black Hearts" have that real, true feel. The band experiments with some guitar fuzz on album closer "The Man Who Howled Wolf."

Sassparilla's new album "Magpie" will be available on October 23 on Fluff & Gravy Records. They also have a bunch of live dates scheduled in the Oregon area of the country. For more information, please visit

A newcomer from the west coast is Wilkinson Blades with their debut album, "4:00 AM." The new album will be released on October 30 through Shiftone Records. Lead singer Steve Wilkinson comes off as a countrified version of Billy Idol. His vocals have that snare to them as in the opener "No Exit" and "Holding Me Down." The songs on this album have very seventies, Rolling Stones-type country rocker as displayed on "No One" and "It Might Hit Me." THe album closes with the country sway of "Walking In The Snow."

Wilkinson Blades have a couple shows scheduled in Portland, OR. For more information on this new band, please visit

Finally, from Boise, ID comes Revolt, Revolt with their latest release "Latah Nights" on Spark And Shine Records. The band just completed a successful tour with fellow rockers Built To Spill as Revolt Revolt expand their sound on this newest release. Their music take pieces of Seattle grunge, mix it with some southern rock and give it a sixties garage rock punch to create a truly unique style as hear in the opener "Nu Blud." Lead singer Chris Bock sounds a little like the late-Bling Melon frontman Shannon Hoon on the mind-expanding sounds of "Gold" and "Satellite." The band is at its best when is plays straight-up, raw rock as in "Flares" and "Hell Has Its Roads."

Revolt Revolt just wrapped up their fall tour last month and are currently working on some new material. Look for more live dates to be announced soon at

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