LionFish Swimming Upstream
Swimming Upstream is obviously a product of skilled and schooled musicians, and there’s undeniable reassurance in listening to something made by experts. But all the slick production can’t cover up the fact that you’ve heard these songs before in your parents’ record collection. Playing a nice mix of adult-contemporary rock, it’s hard to not compare LionFish to Tom Petty or Santana (which may or may not be favorable). However, tracks like “Red Rock Rendezvous” and “Son Song” are potent enough to silence any rocking noob.
The Upstarts Salt Lake City Ska & Reggae Music
Maybe all the years of watching bumfight videos have made me cold because I generally don’t fall for overtly positive music like ska. Every once in awhile, however, an album comes along that gives me the sunny nostalgia of watching ska shows in Happy Valley; SLCS&RM is that album. After the B-movie sleaze of opener “Salvation Day,” the album settles into a genuinely catchy groove. “Socialist” alone will make you want to dust off that bowling hat and those two-tone shoes. While they don’t bring anything new to the table, The Upstarts will do until the th generation of ska hits big.