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Record Roundup

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Matt Brewer


Criss Cross Jazz

In Unspoken, bassist Brewer both fronts and anchors a quintet featuring tenor sax, piano, guitar and drums to offer nine tracks (mostly his own original compositions, with two by Bill Frisell and Charlie Parker). After making his bones as a sideman, Brewer still retains his ensemble sensibilities. Speaking of Frisell, if you like his vibe, you’ll enjoy listening to Brewer’s crew. There are similarities in thoughtful tone and tempo, as well as that unhurried parallel universe that Frisell creates.

– Bruce Collier

The Brown Goose

Tales from the Mini-City


Tallahassee’s the Brown Goose have something for everyone. They’re a rock band that endlessly fuses other genres and influences into their sound, creating something that doesn’t fit neatly into the boxes of typical genre descriptors. Said another way, the Brown Goose sound like the Brown Goose, and they’re certainly deserving of a listen.

– Nikki Hedrick

Highly Suspect

The Boy Who Died Wolf

300 Entertainment

If you mixed Queens of the Stone Age and Stone Temple Pilots, and threw in a pinch of early Nirvana and a mad dash of Blink 182, you’d get a band like Highly Suspect—deliciously gritty, always real, definitely rock. By now, you’ve probably heard the guitar-infused “My Name Is Human,” but the album is way more diverse. There’s the bluesy “Send Me an Angel” and almost tender “Little One,” eerily reminiscent of Kurt Cobain’s slowed-down style.

– Joni Williams

Mercy Kill

The Great Betrayal

K.O.T.P. Records

Angry music is catharsis—an expression of finding the words and rhythm of what you don’t like about the world, the people around you, sometimes even yourself. Pensacola’s Mercy Kill deliver an emotional exorcism with the help of hardcore music. If they manage to bottle up this much energy in the recording studio, I can only imagine the level of intensity they bring to their live shows.

– Nikki Hedrick

Rise Up Lights

A Sunny Place for Shady People


Right out of the gate, this Pensacola band is a force on the area music scene, blending pop-punk with anthemic lyrics and mosh-worthy drops of hardcore. These young rockers have done it up well on their debut, right down to the clean production and album design elements. A full professional package from a fresh band.

– Nikki Hedrick

Daniel Zimmermann

Montagnes Russes

Label Bleu

French trombonist and composer Zimmermann’s existence came as a complete surprise to me when I found his Montagnes Russes while browsing online. With a deadpan baby face (reminded me of a silent movie comedian), he here leads a quartet of bass, drums, and guitar/dobro. The album moves at its own dreamlike pace. There’s blues, funereal processions, off-center jive/swing sendups, and some almost clownish stuff. The titles evoke some of Satie’s little works (“Mamelles,” “Vieux Beau”). It can get under your skin, following you around like a kid demanding attention. He is definitely a guy to watch and listen to.

– Bruce Collier
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