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New Releases

Review of records by The Turbosonics and the Nied’s Hotel Band

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The Turbosonics 
Tres Gatos Suave
(Self-released)
www.theturbosonics.com

The first two tunes on the second full-length album from this local surf-rock trio almost bored me to the point of turning it off. They were too subtle, too similar to the basic surf-rock tunes we’ve all heard before. It’s a genre that breeds similarity, but even subtle surf songs need their jaw-dropping moments. I’m glad I didn’t give up, though, because this record definitely has them. Songs like “Jeanette’s Pier” and “Skip Jack Strut” are jammed with special moments when guitarist Jason Truckenbroad, bassist Keith Caldwell and drummer Timmy Klatte are firing on all cylinders, perfectly in sync. Other songs suffer from a lack of balance — lead guitar is important in surf rock but so is a prominent bass that sometimes sounds like it’s playing lead, and hard-driving percussion. Overall, though, it’s a solid effort. Charlie Deitch

THE TURBOSONICS. 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 19. Nied’s Hotel. 5438 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-781-9853 or  www.niedshotel.myfastsite.com

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The Nied’s Hotel Band
“Live & More”
(Seven Fields Entertainment)
www.niedshotelband.myfastsite.com

Nied’s Hotel Band — named for the long-standing Lawrenceville bar — could be called the E Street Band of Pittsburgh, thanks to John Vento’s rousing vocals and the generous contributions of saxophonist Ed Jonnet. Live & More (released earlier this year) features tracks recorded at the Oaks Theatre and the Pittsburgh Winery. There are a couple studio recordings as well, but thanks to quality production and tight performances, it’s hard to pick them out from the live tracks. Occasionally the record veers into cheese, but with blue-collar bar rock, that’s part of the charm. Margaret Welsh

NIED’S HOTEL BAND. 7 p.m. Fri., Dec. 18. Fox Chapel Racquet Club, 355 Hunt Road, Fox Chapel. 412-963-8331 


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