CD Reviews

Clockwork, Surge EP; Zeds Dead, Hot Sauce EP; Late Night Alumni, The Beat Becomes a Sound

Big Room House

Clockwork, Surge EP (DimMak)

Apparently only two tracks constitute an EP these days, even though in music history that’d be more akin to a single and B side. Such is the case for the two-song EP from American youngster DJ/producer Clockwork. By teaming up with dance-music diva Wynter Gordon on “Surge,” it has all the formulas for a successful EDM track … but that’s the problem: It’s a formula. Though production is strong, it’s another soon-forgettable combo of builds, drops and weak lyrics. “Tremor” is a bit better, but still feels like it’s been done plenty of times before. Sigh. ★☆☆☆☆

What We’re Buying

1. Local Natives, Hummingbird
2. Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob
3. A$AP Rocky, Long.Live.A$AP.
4. Hatebreed, The Divinity of Purpose
5. Tomahawk, Oddfellows
6. Ben Harper With Charlie Musselwhite, Get Up!
7. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city
8. Bad Religion, True North
9. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours (Expanded Edition)
10. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Heist

According to sales at Zia Record Exchange on 4225 S. Eastern Ave., Jan. 27-Feb. 3.


Zeds Dead, Hot Sauce EP (Mad Decent)

Hot Sauce burns with almost every flavor of electronic seasoning. Take “Demons,” which resembles a group of music-sampling robots having a seductive conversation—with orgasmic noises. In this five-song EP, the Canadian duo delves into some eight-bit blip-y territory with a dash of trap thrown in for relevance on “Playa.” An admirable experimentation of sound made even more so by including audio from classic horror films on “Mr. Sub” (a cool, grooving track), and fun throwbacks to breaks with “Rave.” Hot Sauce takes a few tracks to get into, but rights itself. ★★☆☆☆

Ethereal House

Late Night Alumni, The Beat Becomes a Sound (Ultra)

Sexy! Seducing the listener with breathy vocals and sensuous house vibes, it’s the kind of album to put folks in the mood. The fourth LP from electronic band Becky Jean Williams, John Hancock, Finn Bjarnson and Ryan Raddon (a.k.a. Kaskade for the less-educated), delivers another palatable offering with just enough technical complexity to keep things interesting (though the beginning of “Shine” does sound a bit like “Move for Me”). Things get a little more soulful in the 12 tracks on “Summer Lies,” and jerk a few tears on the piano ballad “Sun Space.” Buy this for your lady; it’ll get you laid. ★★★☆☆

Upcoming Releases

Upcoming albums on Deanna’s radar …

FEB. 26: Speaking of Kaskade, his remix of “In My Arms” by Plumb is still a fave, and the singer’s collaboration with Paul van Dyk, “I Don’t Deserve You” was also a gem. Need You Now will be her next solo album. MARCH 5: “Nicest Thing” by Kate Nash is also a beloved tune, so hoping for some more lovely singer/songwriter treats when Girl Talk drops.

Suggested Next Read

Stand Up Guys


Stand Up Guys

By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

A writer must eat, which is why most playwrights eventually try their hands at screenwriting. Stand Up Guys, starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin, comes from the stage-trained Noah Haidle, whose story premise sounds like a sure (if derivative) thing for a trio of well-worn, well-liked mugs.