"Little Victories EP"
Debut EP Move showed the sprightly side of Karate Coyote, with titles like "Move Yourself" and
"So Far So Good" scaling major-key mountains at rapid rates. Their second short-form offering,
Little Victories, unveils Coyote's grotesque underbelly (or at least comes as close to the dark
side as a band this poppy can manage).
The two discs aren't so different that they couldn't have been combined into one release, but
there's a definite thematic consistency in these four latest selections. "Sails of Black" and
"Cousteau" tackle danger from the surface to the depths, while "Knight" offers a ray of light
before descending into one of the band's most convincing emotional climaxes.
Little Victories is a fine step forward for a band that continues to impress. Pick it up
Saturday, May 16, at Junctionview Studios' Agora celebration, where Karate Coyote will take the
stage at 6 p.m.
Brad Swiniarski has drummed in some of the city's most vicious rock bands. Bob City, The Means,
Little Darlings - the list goes on. So it only figures that when he straps on his guitar and steps
to the microphone, the sound is similarly razor-sharp.
Vespin's latest, Model Citizen, is a series of relentless body blows, first from dependably
destructive low-end riffs, then via Swiniarski's enraged grunts. The solos shred, the rhythms hit
with sledgehammer force and the songs don't outstay their welcome - it's everything one could want
from a record like this.
The group is no one-trick pony, though. For instance, "400 Hessian Prisoners" exudes a pleasant
Pixies vibe while maintaining the menacing veneer that suits Swiniarski so well.
Vespin is throwing a release party Friday, May 15, at The Summit with Salvage and the reformed
Means (Jacob Sundermeyer edition), now known as Bozniaks.
"Talking to Ghosts"
With help from a long list of talented friends, Hoover, a skilled singer-songwriter in the Tim
Easton/Ryan Adams/A.A. Bondy vein, offers a splendid set of folk-rock tunes. Talking to Ghosts
doesn't blaze new trails in Americana, but it navigates the well-worn paths with the savvy of an
Things start quietly with the harmonica-tinted balladry of "Nothing's Fair," but by the time
"Glow of Nicotine" blows through like a torrential storm, Hoover has amassed an entertaining
journey through enduring themes like heartbreak, redemption and the substances we use to cope with
Most members of Hoover's ever-shifting band the Super Saints will be on hand for the release
show on Friday, May 15, at Rumba Cafe, including pedal steel master Barry Hensley, who'll be
packing his bags for Portland shortly after. Hayseed and Erika Carey will play sets too.
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