sound check

By Michael Swanger


“Mind Control”
Silent Majority Group


With a new lineup and heavier sound, singer Hugo Ferreira has resurrected his former platinum-selling rock band Tantric and recorded its fourth album, “Mind Control.” Two months ago when the album was released, its title track landed in the Top 40 on the Mediabase Active Rock chart, prompting the filming of a video for the song, which airs on MTV2. The album’s 12 songs are the result of Tantric’s new members writing tunes from respective homes and submitting them electronically to Ferreira for assembly. The band then spent a week performing them in the studio and the result is this album. Yet despite the geographical distances from which the songs were written, the album is cohesive in its radio-friendly, arena-rock sound, ranging from the rocking title track to the power ballad, “What Are You Waiting For.” CV

(Tantric plays Monday, Sept. 21 at House of Bricks at 5:30 p.m. $15.)



Rick Estrin & The Nightcats
Alligator Records


For 30 years, harmonica player-singer-songwriter Rick Estrin was the face of Little Charlie & The Nightcats, which took its name from founding guitarist Charlie Baty. Upon Baty’s retirement from the road, Estrin has since become the namesake for the band, too, carrying on its tradition of intertwining West Coast swing, 50s Chicago blues and Gulf Coast rock. “Twisted” is the band’s debut and includes 14 original songs that feature Estrin’s masterful harmonica playing throughout (highlights include “P.A. Slim is Back,” “Take It Slow”) and Estrin’s renowned wit (“I’m Takin’ Out My In-Laws,” “You Can’t Come Back”) and swagger (“Walk All Day,” “UBU”). But the strength of this album is its collective musicianship of Estrin, Norway guitar-wiz Kid Anderson (check out the surf instrumental “Earthquake”), bassist Lorenzo Farrell and drummer J. Hansen. CV


(Rick Estrin & The Nightcats perform Friday, Sept. 18 at 9:30 p.m. at Blues on Grand. $10.)

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