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New Releases

Reviews of releases by Dream Phone and The Crew of the Half Moon

Dream Phone
Dream Phone

The only review of Dream Phone that really matters is the one I just heard from the guy working behind the counter at a local coffee shop: “Dream Phone rips.” The local super-ish group — featuring members of The Lopez, Roulette Waves, Harlan Twins, etc. — is fast becoming a fan favorite, and with good reason. On the whole,  Dream Phone resembles the harmony-laden, gray-day retro surf rock that we’ve heard lately from the likes of Chastity Belt, but a song like “Someone to Love” — which has the feel of The Pretenders covering The Kinks — is a reminder that artists have been going retro since forever, to great effect. Bottom line: This record rips.

DREAM PHONE ALBUM-RELEASE SHOW. 9 p.m. Sat., Sept. 12. Spirit, 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. $7. 412-586-4441 or

The Crew of the Half Moon
Rays Hill

In terms of elapsed time, this EP from the Johnstown, Pa.-based three-piece is short. But it does an impressive job of packing in the range of this band’s capabilities. Bookended by straightforward neo-Americana, the middle of the record takes a dramatic turn, venturing into ’90s alt-rock territory. (“The Party After the Show” sounds like something Billy Corgan would have played on his recent acoustic tour). By the band’s own admission, it can’t be pinned down: “Whatever we like, we play,” as its Facebook page states. This lends itself to some disjointedness, but overall, Rays Hill is a solid effort.

THE CREW OF THE HALF MOON EP-RELEASE SHOW. 9 p.m. Thu., Sept 10. Thunderbird Café, 4023 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $7. 412-682-0177 or

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