Rock It: Record store outing nets odd assortment

Posted on November 14, 2013


Rock It: Record store outing nets odd assortment



By: Rachael Mattice

The phrase “like a kid in a candy store” has a special reverence to our specific hobbies and passions. That phrase applies to me when I walk into a record store.

I’m not referring to retailers such as Walmart or Target that censor perfectly artistic albums due to swear words or other words deemed offensive, but local independent music holders like Von’s Records or JL Records, both in West Lafayette.

When my wallet has a bit of flexibility, I’ll pick up an album or two that I was referred to for excellence in musicianship or just for my own curiosity.

Recently, I picked up five random albums from JL’s that caught my attention. I had either never heard of the musician or group or never heard of the album, and bought them for the sake of expanding my knowledge and potentially adding a new favorite to my collection.

Here is my brief review of each:

Stiff Little Fingers – “Get A Life”

Stiff Little Fingers 'Get a Life'

Stiff Little Fingers ‘Get a Life’

Having heard only a handful of songs from the influential Belfast, Ireland, punk rockers of the late 1970s, I
was pleasantly surprised to like the pop-punk songs from this 1994 release. The album has the simplistic yet
catchy riffs and rhythms of punk, and my personal favorite is the self-titled track with the most Irish
influence on the album. Tracks such as “Cold” and “I Want You,” though, sound so far off from the rest of
the album it makes me think they were written strictly to conform to the fads of the ’90s.

Aversion – “Fit to be Tied”

This album from Orange County, Calif., thrashers Aversion was another thriller I had vaguely heard of, though with the band logo and cartoonish art of the band members being hanged on the CD cover, I was expecting some form of ’80s metal band. Thrash has big spot in my heart, so I loved the varied songwriting as well as the signature speedy drumming and scratchy guitar on the 1994 album, especially on “Let It Go” and “Bratattack.”

Bethany & Rufus – “900 Miles”

Bethany and Rufus

Bethany and Rufus

I immediately loved Rufus Cappadocia’s bass-like finger plucking of cello on the opener and title track “900 Miles.” The soft, honey-whispered vocals by Bethany Yarrow that accompany lyrics of a traveler are easy to connect with. Welding modern jazz and folk, the duo provides smoky, yet attentive, easy listening and a soulful, rhythmic experience. The 2005 album could entertain audiences at both smaller clubs and large halls.




Suzi Quatro – “Quatro”

Suzi Quatro 'Quatro'

Suzi Quatro ‘Quatro’

Released in September 1974, “Quatro” was an album unfamiliar to me, but not from an unfamiliar artist. I don’t remember her from the sitcom “Happy Days,” but as a one of the first women to become a notable rock bassist. For a woman who had to take a lot of criticism, she still produced killer albums like this one. It’s safe enough for soft rockers but edgy enough to play in most environments.





Thunder – “Headphones for Cows”

Thunder 'Headphones for Cows'

Thunder ‘Headphones for Cows’

I had no idea who this band was – the album caught my attention with its cover’s complete strangeness. Maybe the Midwestern appeal of cows on the front snagged me, but what makes it even more odd is that the album comes from an English rock band formed in 1989. The melodic power pop ballads are irritating in every way, from the vocals to the clean guitars and synth. Thunder has been on the Monsters of Rock cruise in the past, which seems fitting, but will be at Wacken, the world’s largest heavy metal festival, this weekend in northern Germany. The fact this band even got on the roster of such a colossal festival completely baffles me.

Tell me your brief review of any of these albums or a story about a random record find that was either a gem or a flub at or on Twitter @RachaelM_JC.

Mattice is a producer and music journalist for the Journal & Courier. She can be reached at or on Twitter @RachaelM_JC.

Posted in: "Rock It" Column