Mac Demarco – This Old Dog


RIYL: Homeshake, Mile High Club, Real Estate

Recommended Tracks: “This Old Dog,” “One More Love Song” and “Still Beating”

Grade: B

Review By: Sean Lynch

Mac Demarco takes his songwriting skills to a whole other level through This Old Dog. The album serves as the third full-length LP from Demarco, following up the mini LP Another One in 2015. The album was produced during Demarco’s move out to California from Rockaway, Queens.

The album sounds in sync because Demarco does everything himself in the recording process. He plays every single instrument, engineered and produced the entire album. Traditionally, we’ve seen Demarco work with a full band on albums, so it will be interesting to see how the material will translate to live shows with a full band.

The song “This Old Dog”, serves as a pop-ballad that brings out the charm within Demarco’s style. This does not come as a complete change of form for Demarco like other tracks on the album, but rather is a refinement of the craft. The song also shows off the strength of his songwriting skills with lines like “Often a heart tends to change its mind/A new day decides on a new design.”

An example of the new style that Demarco is bringing out can be found in “Still Beating.” The song carries a dominant guitar that stretches and bends throughout the song. The acoustic backup is a great base layer for the song as the electric guitar serves its dynamic purpose. The guitar’s vintage sound is reminiscent to a sound out of the ‘80s.

Demarco doesn’t shoot for the moon on This Old Dog, but he doesn’t have to. The change to a classic vibe to his music is something that will take some time to adjust to, but it melds well with his earlier Jizz-Jazz sounds.

Steel Panther With Special Guest Citizen Zero: Rapids Theatre 4/12/17

Review By: Daniel Nelligan

Steel Panther made their return to this area after five long years and preformed once again at the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, New York with special guests Citizen Zero to open the show. If you are an outsider looking in, and just hearing the name “Steel Panther” for the first time, Steel Panther is a band that some would say is a parody of the 80s hair band era. They have four studio releases and have been growing in popularity since their first album.

The band truly started as an 80s-hair metal cover band on the LA Strip however, they have an origin story that says that they were from the 80s, and they were the most popular band that you have never seen and they separated until they released their first album. Their raunchy and dirty style of humor perfectly over exaggerates what somebody who’s knowledgeable of the 80s hair bands would act like, (i.e. living the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll lifestyle to the fullest).

From everybody that I talked to at the concert, they capture the feel of what the concerts of the hair bands were like in the 80s minus the raunchy humor mixed in. However, enough about the band, let’s talk about how amazing the experience was.

To begin,  I have to say that the venue itself is beautiful, I’ve been their once before and it’s a perfect venue for shows, and also having free parking was a great addition. To open the show was Citizen Zero, and they absolutely were an amazing choice to open for Steel Panther.

They had so much energy for their entire set. They played an entire set of their originals and threw in the mix a cover of “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent. Their songs are very catchy and powerful; I’ve never seen such energy from a band in a while and I’d love to even see them again. As their final song ended, the lead singer went through the crowd and stood on the bar which is in the middle of the venue and finished the song from there.

After a quick intermission, Steel Panther comes on stage and it feels almost electric once they take the stage. Their usual introduction music starts, however the band is making shadow puppets behind the curtain. They start off with three songs back to back with “Eyes of a Panther,” “Goin’ in the Backdoor,” and “Just Like Tiger Woods.” These three songs were amazing and the crowd was really loud for all three.

At this point their shenanigans begin with their lengthy introduction of their selves. It starts with Satchel, the lead guitar player hyping up the lead singer as “One of the top 25 heavy metal singers…. In this room.” This goes on until they decide to play the next song, “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows,”  and then bring up an Asian girl for the song “Asian Hooker.” They decide to play the next song as a song of their new album which was “Poontang Boomerang” which was followed by Satchel having the best guitar solo I’ve ever seen. He played some crazy riffs then went up to the drumkit, and started beating the drums while playing popular riffs from songs like “Crazy Train,” “The Trooper,” and even “A doe, A Deer” from the sound of music.

After he finishes, the band returns to the stage as Satchel asks for the crowd to keep chanting his name. They return to playing music with “Anything Goes” which again was another song of their new album. I have to say, I’m surprised that they are playing so many new songs off their new album because it just came out a week or two ago. Also in the song “Anything Goes” there is a reference to Niagara Falls which got a huge response.

They then brought up a girl, and they start taking turns singing to her, and hilarity ensues, however while they are on stage with her, they sing “Girl From Oklahoma” to her and when she joined in, she actually sang really well with them. After this they brought up any girl who wanted to get on stage and dance during the next two songs which were “17 Girls In A Row” and “Glory Hole.” After they got the girls of stage they played their last song of the set which was “Death To All But Metal” which was their first big hit, which was a great way to “close out the show.”

But as we all know, there is always an encore and they came out for “Community Property” and their last song of the night which was “Party All Day.” Which at the end the drummer wouldn’t beat the last drum beat so they drew it out for around 2 minutes, which was just the band just egging him on while they held the last note.

Album Review: Milky Chance- Blossom

Review by Matt MacKenzie

Recommended Tracks: “Blossom,” “Clouds”

Grade: B+


If you’re asking yourself “Who is Milky Chance?” don’t worry. I had that same thought when scrolling through the new releases on Spotify. Honestly I downloaded the album because the cover photo for it was intriguing. It turned out, however, that it was a catchy album. It wasn’t too fast-paced but not too slow either. It has that nice balance of speed throughout the entirety of the album. But first, let us address the question of who Milky Chance is.

Milky Chance is a group originating from Germany that focuses mainly on folk music. They first emerged back in 2013 with their single “Stolen Dance,” which topped the charts in countries such as Austria, Poland and France. About five months later, they followed their single with an album titled Sadnecessary. It got album of the week by SPIN, described as a “serenely rollicking crossover jam” because it consisted of low beats and gentle guitar. Their first TV appearance came on the Jimmy Kimmel show the same month as Sadnecessary’s release (October 2014).

Folk isn’t a genre I would consider myself to be experienced in, but when I was listening to it, I would never have guessed that it was folk. I would have guessed Indie or something along that line. The album consists of some nice intro hooks following into some mellow lyrics and a catchy chorus (at times). It was very surprising to see that the album included acoustic versions of certain songs—something I’ve never seen. I listened to this on a whim, and it turned out to be a nice find. I’ll probably listen to it again.