Music » Album Reviews

New releases from Martha Wainwright, Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt, and Brown Sabbath

Sound Advice

by and

Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath
  • Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath

Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath

Vol. II

Ubiquity Recordings

File next to: Black Sabbath, Santana

High-concept musical acts have been around for decades. Dread Zeppelin was one of the earliest groups to recast well-known music in a decidedly different idiom (reggae-style Led Zeppelin); Hayseed Dixie has been serving up bluegrass-fried versions of hard rock for many years now. Both acts — and most others of their ilk — do so with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Not so with Brown Sabbath: Their Tex-Mex and horns-flavored readings of classics from the Black Sabbath songbook might elicit an initial laugh, but stick around and be impressed by just how expertly they reinvent the tunes. This second collection displays no drop-off in quality from their debut; they kick things off with a brilliant version of "Supernaut," and the quality never flags The horn arrangements and percussion accents work surprisingly well, proving just how sturdy these tunes really are. — BK

Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt
  • Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt

Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt

Live at Various/Various Live

Palilalia Records

File next to: Jeff Beck, Fushitsusha

Chris Corsano, a New England-based drummer whose credits include recordings with Björk and Jailbreak, first teamed up with guitarist Bill Orcutt of the Miami scream-rock trio Harry Pussy on 2013's The Raw and The Cooked. That album found Corsano's percussion taking a frenetic lead role, while Orcutt worked with oddly tuned acoustic stringed instruments. The duo shifts direction on this double-album set, with Orcutt contributing wailing, piercing electric guitar while Corsano's drum approach is slightly more constrained. Make no mistake, Corsano and Orcutt may be satirical pranksters, but they're not for the weak of heart. The untitled tracks on this long live set are disciplined and complex, but also an all-out aural assault that befits their two creators. The result is an often-intriguing album from musicians who make few compromises in their distorted jazz escapades. — LW

Martha Wainwright
  • Martha Wainwright

Martha Wainwright

Goodnight City

PIAS Cooperative

File next to: Laura Veirs, Patty Griffin

Martha Wainwright, the Montreal-based sister of Rufus and daughter of Loudon, only graces the world with a solo effort every four or five years. Such occasions are cause for celebration, filled with smoky chanteuse jazz sung in a coy voice. On Goodnight City, she works from a richer suite of arrangements, evoking artists like Natalie Prass and Kate Bush. Recorded with an assist from her bassist husband Brad Albetta, the album's 12 tracks are wildly diverse, complex, and gut-wrenchingly confessional. From the piano arpeggios of the opening "Around the Bend" to the roaring guitars of "So Down," Wainwright takes listeners on an unforgettable journey. In her solo work and duos with half-sister Lucy Wainwright Roche (daughter of Loudon and Suzzy Roche), she's consistently proves herself the most intriguing member of the Wainwright clan. Goodnight City should cement this legacy. — LW

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast