Hopefully, this will add up to a comprehensive consumer's guide - a little late for Christmas shopping, but not too late to catch up with anything you might have missed. Obviously, we've excerpted from the complete reviews or features, all of which are available on nuvo.net/music (or since we gave the week of the first print appearance, you're welcome to head to the library and ask for the bound editions).

Zero Boys, Vicious Circle and History of... re-releases (Secretly Canadian)

[Vicious Circle] was a watershed moment in the annals of Hoosier rock. Terry Hollywood was doing incredible guitar riffs that connected with your DNA. [Paul] Mahern was the perfect embodiment of a punk singer, all teeth and claws and rapid-fire delivery." - Jeff Napier, Feb. 25

Jethro Easyfields and the Arrowheads, Elixir

"Easyfields' new album is a full-on, full-band, hard-strumming acoustic guitar-led piece of Americana music that was recorded in five sessions over six months with his backing band, the Arrowheads. It rings of influences ranging from The Band to Tom Petty to Steve Miller." - Rob Nichols, March 4

Stereo Deluxe, When the Party's Over

"The band's current sound suggests a broad, intergenerational range of influences, without settling on any particular retro shtick. The players came of age in the era of Green Day and Nirvana, but thanks to Indiana radio, they also were thoroughly steeped in the classic rock of the '60s and '70s." - Scott Hall, March 11

We Are Hex, Gloom Bloom

"The darkest tracks are stylishly unbalanced numbers that stare into the void and don't find much that's redeeming: 'Bottom of My Belly' has a goth feel, with an angular guitar and careening bridge that leads into the first of several screams by Weiss on the record, and 'No Enemies' is a chronicle of depression... set against a stripped-down soundscape of lonesome guitar and synth." - Scott Shoger, March 18

Tonos Triad, S/T

"They're half joking when they call the music 'jazzpop/Eurofolk,' but that's about as close as you'll get to a manageable description. Otherwise, you'd end up with something like 'acoustic instrumental Latino-Celtic minimalist Gypsy funk-jazz,' which is an unwieldy tag for such a sleek sound." - Hall, March 25

So Sayeth, ... The Silver Tongue

"A breath-taking document of a band that's ready for the national stage. Opening tracks 'Ghoster' and 'Charity Carwas' are full of chunky arena-sized Pantera riffs buoyed by a brutal rhythm section and [Jason] Kindred's raspy Big Jim Dandy voice." - Napier, April 1

Luke Austin Daugherty, Sweet Freedom

"Luke Austin Daugherty has crafted a California-via-Indiana folk record that echoes Jack Johnson, Steve Forbert and Dylan. He asks larger-than-our-life questions, continually searching for hope." - Rob Nichols, May 20

Shelby Kelley, Alone

"On the appropriately titled Alone, Shelby Kelley strips away the garage rock of his Creepin' Charley and the Boneyard Orchestra band to craft an intimate yet rocking solo record showcasing his folk rock side." - Nichols, May 27

Grumpy Old Men, I Remember When (Audio Reconnaissance)

"On their debut album, the local trio known as Grumpy Old Men reminisce about the golden age of hip-hop like they were speaking about holy Scripture, striving to resurrect more carefree days." - T.J. Reynolds, June 10

Same as Sunday, The Dollar for Dollar EP

"This is fun, sing-along punk, with harmonized, repetitive choruses sung in the nasal whine characteristic of the genre." - Emma Faesi, July 1

The Working Hour, Unbreakable

"Produced by Zero Boys frontman Paul Mahern, the record offers a variety of power-pop arrangements that are catchy and well-developed, complex and rich." - Sarah Murrell, July 15

Jennie DeVoe, Strange Sunshine

"Jennie DeVoe's best record yet wisely foregrounds the Indianapolis-based singer-songwriter's voice, a soulful, raspy, bird-like instrument." - Nichols, July 15

Devil to Pay, Heavily Ever After

"Heavily Ever After is probably the best guitar record Indy has produced in quite some time. 'Grimoires,' 'Distemper' and especially 'Thinning the Herd' are thick, heavy chunks of guitar sludge, which feature [Steve] Janiak and [Rob] Hough's guitars in a locked-in, competitive groove." - Napier, Aug. 12

Heavy Hometown, Action Figures

"The debut album by Indianapolis/Louisville band Heavy Hometown conjures a hazy low-fi dreamworld inhabited by jangling, echoing guitar, rumbling bass and thudding drums." - Greg Winget, Aug. 12

Andy D, Choose Your Perversion

"The music resembles synth-based new wave, while his delivery is at times reminiscent of the Beastie Boys circa License to Ill. The songs on Choose Your Perversion tend to be lewd, often surrealistic, tales of Andy D's game." - Liam Somers, Aug. 12

Yuki, Pony Play EP

"Yuki's sound is reminiscent of mid '80s shoegaze and dream pop bands like My Bloody Valentine or Cocteau Twins, combining atmospheric keyboard with jangling, crashing guitars; deft, melodic bass with passionate, energetic drums." - Winget, Aug. 19

Mandy Marie and the Cool Hand Lukes, $600 Boots

"Each song is a chapter in her musical memoir. Each chord is a brushstroke in a vast mural painted in blood, sweat and PBR." - Wayne Bertsch, Aug. 26

Uncle Funkenstein, Together Again re-release (Jazzman)

"The music Webster laid down [in 1983] with a full roster of local jazz players - including trumpeter Clifford Ratliff, pianist Claude Sifferlen and organist Melvin Rhyne - matches his ambition. From the straight-ahead soul-jazz of the title cut to the full-blown orchestral arrangements on the big band tone poem 'Rock My Cradle,' Webster paints a panoramic landscape of Indianapolis' jazz heritage." - Kyle Long, Aug. 26

Amo Joy, The Sane Design (Standard Recording Company)

"When considering the coloring and activity book included with Amo Joy's The Sane Design, I'm left wondering - like a good capitalist, maybe - about the utility and relevance of this look backwards into childhood." - Shoger, Sept. 2

Mystikos Quintet, Wup Bup

"For better or worse, by the end of the 19 tracks that make up their most recent album Wup Bup, we know Mystikos Quintet's game - a late-night jazz club vibe meets mid-tempo house music, samples of jazz riffs chopped up and repeated over a plodding drum and bass, often with organs or other synths, and plenty of echo effects to give the music depth and a slight otherworldliness." - Shoger, Sept. 2

Frank Glover, Politico re-release (Owl Studios)

"Self-released in 2005 but making its national debut this year on Owl Studios, Politico deserves to be heard by as wide an audience as possible, and has a chance to make a mark in a world where jazz clarinet players - particularly those playing something beyond Dixieland - are far outnumbered by saxophonists." - Shoger, Sept. 2

The Elms, The Great American Midrange (TRUST Incorporated)

"It's an album loaded with ragged melodicism, authentic rock & roll hooks and tales of a post-industrial Midwest." - Wade Coggeshall, Sept. 9

Mark Buselli feat. the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, An Old Soul (Owl Studios)

"Buselli's preference for the flugelhorn, which has a mellower and breathier tone than its kissing cousin, the trumpet, is of a piece with his work as an arranger and songwriter, which has a relaxed, unhurried feel, and a sense of balance that's absent, for instance, the kind of high-note fireworks that one might hear from a trumpeter." - Shoger, Sept. 9

The Gates of Slumber, Hymns of Blood & Thunder (Rise Above)

"Hymns of Blood & Thunder belongs in a time capsule. It's heavy metal in its purest form, before it split into a hundred sub-genres." - Coggeshall, Sept. 23

Gwen Stacy, A Dialogue (Solid State)

"The album follows basic trends in modern metalcore, combining a post-Hatebreed hardcore sensibility with metal-esque guitar, melodic interludes and the standard mix of angst-ridden singing and throaty screaming." - Faesi, Oct. 21

Jookabox, Dead Zone Boys (Asthmatic Kitty)

"For the band Jookabox, the east side of Indianapolis is a dark place, populated by roaming bands of vampires, the Dead Zone Boys, who aren't nearly as pretty or harmless as those abstinent Mormons of Twilight fame." - Shoger, Dec. 2

The Down-Fi, America Now

"Their debut CD channels the Velvet Underground and the New York Dolls, with just the right mix of punk attitude and shoot-from-the-hip classic rock." - Faesi, Dec. 2

Bolth, If You Want Peace, Prepare for Class War (Useless World)

"Bolth's third album says what it needs to say in eleven songs that clock in at less than seventeen minutes total. Even for hardcore punk, that's remarkably concise." - Faesi, Dec. 9

J. Brookinz, "The Final Countdown"

"The hair metal salute was already a histrionic anthem. In Brookinz's hands, it becomes a B'More banger, complete with vocals by Granite and Philadelphia rapper Illy." - Coggeshall, Dec. 9

Monika Herzig, Peace on Earth (Owl Studios)

"The track list includes a few modern numbers ('Happy Xmas — War Is Over' by Lennon/Ono featuring a chorus of children at the close, 'Christmas Time is Here' by Vince Guaraldi from the Peanuts TV specials) as well four originals by Herzig ('Give Peace Every Chance' again riffing on Lennon) and an appearance by Norbert Krapf, who reads 'The Schneebrunzer,' his poem about a boy making kinetic art in the snow." - Shoger, Dec. 9

Bill Price, With the Eye of a Skeptic and a Few Other Stories (Grass Magoops)

"There's not much to quibble with on Price's second solo full-length, a well-crafted and -executed, rather dense, 13-song set that sees him considering politics, relationships, a sense of place, his own ethos and philosophy, his dreams for the future, the natural world and a good deal else." - Shoger, Dec. 16

The following records earned less than three stars:

Creepin' Charley and the Boneyard Orchestra, The Outcome of This

Shadyside Allstars, S/T

Marmoset, Tea Tornado (Joyful Noise Recordings)

Mudkids, MKEP

These remaining local albums crossed our desk this year but didn't receive in-depth consideration either because we were involved in their distribution (A Very Standard Christmas), we didn't much like them or we haven't gotten around to writing them up. But we do want to acknowledge their existence.

The Academy compilation, presented by M-Eighty (feat. RZA, Keith Murray, Canibus)

The Max Allen Band, Ending Sun

Children of the Corn compilation (wormusic)

Thomas Fout, The Talking Telescope

Give a Girl a Chance compilation (for 20th anniversary Tenderness Tour benefit, feat. Carrie Newcomer, Henry Lee Summer, Carl Storie)

Gray Granite, "Lay You Down" single (Heavy Gun Entertainment)

Tim Grimm, Farm Songs

Hey Hey Melodica, The Sinking Ship & the Landlocked Sailor EP

Hoosier Mountain Restoration Gospel, S/T (Flannelgraph)

jascha., there's nothing like love for making you miserable

The Maple Trio, Samara

Mudkids, Free Money EP

My Hidden Track, Hey Love (Dare to Dream)

New Addiction, Bandwagon

Collin Obremski, Second Love EP

Brian Paulson, Worlds Within (Aeon)

Cari Ray, always on

Rooms, S/T

Andrew Rosborough Andrew Rosborough & The Umbrella Parade

Shaggy Wonda, Real World Shaker

The Twin Cats, Thick (Owl Studios)

Vandarth, Alternative Christmas

A Very Standard Christmas, Vol. 2 compilation (Standard Recording Company, feat. Dead Beats, Amo Joy, Margot & the Nuclear So and So's)

Jeremy Vogt Band, Villains & Vocoders

If the above list isn't exhaustive, we may be to blame - you should see the music editor's desk before spring cleaning. But you, the local musician or label proprietor, may be at fault as well. Please send releases for review consideration to sshoger@nuvo.net (the link to a digital version, not the whole album, please) or c/o Music Editor, NUVO Newsweekly, 3951 N. Meridian St., Ste. 200, Indianapolis, IN 46208.


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