To buy, or not to buy?

Greg Laswell’s Through Toledo

What would waking up one morning to the surprise that your spouse is gone and never to return sound like? Unfortunately, Greg Laswell is familiar to this situation and produces an entire album based on his experience. His smooth melodic voice that can be compared to a modern day Nick Drake will soon be making big noise this year. With his debut album Through Toledo, singer/songwriter Laswell has garnered comparisons to Beck and Radiohead. Laswell produced all eleven tracks on the album that deal with heartbreak, longing and loss.

Mastodon’s Blood Mountain

Ever heard of an album that is based on an ascent of Blood Mountain in search of a crystal skull which when implanted in your head will eradicate “reptile brain” and transport you to the next phase of human evolution? If this sounds interesting, then Mastodon’s Blood Mountain should be a satisfying listen. On their third album, they take metal to new dimensions as they incorporate each of their favorite styles into a kick-ass album that will give you chills. Each track carries a name such as “Sleeping Giant,” “Crystal Skull” and “Siberian Divide,” which describe events while ascending Blood Mountain- Mastodon created a journey all listeners will enjoy.

The grates’s Gravity Won’t Get You High

Some word associated with the word grate: annoy, irritate and aggravate. These words definitely come to mind when listening to The Grates debut album Gravity Won’t Get You High. The majority of the album is bleak both lyrically and instrumentally, and Patience Hodgson leads the Aussie trio with shaky pipes that are a cross between The Donnas’ Brett Anderson and Karen O. The Grates are just another band that’s riding on the mainstream success of others such as The Zutons, Be Your Own Pet and the Go! Team. Most of their praise comes from their home country, a place that has produced bands such as Jet, Wolfmother, and…well, that’s about it. According to the band, Gravity may not get you high but their music certainly won’t either.

Marcos Colon may be contacted at