Listen Up! — September 2017

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Band: Least of These
Album: Wolves
Stars: 4/5

Least of These is an indie rock group from Denton, Texas whose latest release Wolves (2017) is a captivating EP to say the least. Thematically it deals with the balance between religion, politics, and morality; but conceptually it plays like a musical, with recurring lyrics and themes that make the album sound like a single song with different movements. My favorite song is “Wolves,” which deals with wolves in sheep’s clothing—in the traditional sense—as well as being a wolf covered by the blood of the Lamb. “Cadence” is also a fantastic track that serves as a musical recap of the album and is lyrically reflective of our society in many ways. The musicianship is solid but, due to the nature of the album, there are no real places for any one instrumental aspect to shine; the lyrical content is predominant. Overall Wolves is unique and appealing.

Band: ‘68
Album: Two Parts Viper
Stars: 4/5

Musical duo ’68 consists of vocalist/guitarist Josh Scogin and drummer Michael McClellan. Two Parts Viper (2017) is a high-octane album that stylistically is a hybrid of blues and grunge, and at times feels like being dropped in the middle of a jam session rather than an album. Despite only having two members, it can often feel like a full band is playing, resulting from Scogin’s pedal work and McClellan’s energy. The best track is probably “No Apologies,” where a large chunk of the song is just Scogin speaking. Similarly, the album’s closer has Scogin passionately screaming into the microphone. There are a fair amount of rockers as well, such as “This Life is Old, New Borrowed and Blue”. Although every track is good, several of them get lost in the noise, leaving a handful of memorable songs, which is disappointing. If loud and noisy is your thing, check it out.

— By Caleb Trimmer