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Review: 4th full-length 'Sister Faith' may push Coliseum over top

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Brian Krasman
Friday, May 3, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

‘Sister Faith'

Coliseum (Temporary Residence)

★★★½

The past decade has meant a lot of twists and turns (as well as some killer music) for Coliseum, as they went from a group that delved into hardcore and metal to one that streamlined their writing and became a solid, punk-fueled rock band.

“Sister Faith,” the fourth record from Louisville-based band, finds them somewhere between Baroness and Clutch soundwise, and their 13-track effort is one that could really put this band over the top as it's stuffed with great riffs and razor-sharp hooks. Singer/guitarist Ryan Patterson is at his gruff best, and Coliseum run the gamut of sounds from the rough “Last/Lost”; the sinister, menacing “Doing Time”; eerie, post-punk “Love Under Will”; and impossibly catchy closer “Fuzzbang.” This band's getting better and better, and “Sister Faith” sounds best played at top volume.

‘Strange Cacti'

Angel Olsen (Bathetic)

★★★½

It's been a huge 12-month period for singer-songwriter Angel Olsen, who opened eyes with her excellent “Half Way Home” and then signed to Jagjaguwar. Bathetic is reissuing her debut “Strange Cacti,” a stripped-back collection of songs that show a fantastic artist entering the world.

The six cuts are just acoustic guitar and her enrapturing voice, from gripping opener “Creator, Destroyer,” where her pain cannot be rawer; “Drunk and With Dreams,” that sounds like a ‘50s torch song; and “Some Things Cosmic,” where her lyrical prowess is at her best when she reveals, “I want to be naked; I don't mean my body.” This is a great early gem that's the start of what's going to be a great career.

‘Fain'

Wolf People (Secretly Canadian)

★★★

English rock band Wolf People might remind you of the Moody Blues, Genesis, and early Fleetwood Mac on their third record “Fain.” The songs are progressive, folk-laden, and ambitious, and these songs could slip into classic rock radio playlists without anyone batting an eye.

Singer/guitarist Jack Sharp has a voice that's smooth and sounds like it should have landed 35 years ago, and he and the band shine on exploratory “Empty Vessels”; bluesy psyche jam “When the Fire Is Dead in the Grate”; and they even show some Southern rock thunder on “Answer.” They could be a little more exciting at times, but Wolf People do a good job transcending decades.

Brian Krasman is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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