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What a Time to Be Alive is a far more apt address than the one Donald Trump issued in January; it’s a State of the Union of the people, by the people, for the people.
If All The World Were Right may very well be a concept album, but if it is, then it’s the most unobtrusive concept album ever made.
Hailing from New Jersey, this is the band’s first new material in about 10 years. One can hear hints of post Sunny Day Real Estate Jeremy Enigk and the melodic styling of Death Cab for Cutie – these are offered only as reference points and not meant to detract from this band’s ability to have their own voice, which they do in spades. Keep an eye out for these guys, let’s hope they keep the music coming.
Philadelphia-based Harvey makes mellower music than most of punk label Chunksaah’s strident, speedier-playing signees. But his moderately tempoed folk-rock is plenty resonant and robust.
It’s an album that resists categorization or understanding, and it constantly morphs and evolves, often within a single song.
In 1997, guitarist Eddie Glass and drummer Ruben Romano left stoner rock kings Fu Manchu to pursue a slightly different sound than their alma mater.
What’s so enthralling and relatable about Who Can You Trust is that Leigh sounds like she’s truly singing for herself and no one else, which will ultimately make the EP all the more relatable for so many people.
All is right with the world: Corrosion of Conformity have released their tenth studio album, No Cross No Crown. Much is written about line-up changes, who is in, who is out, but this matters very little since all C.O.C. releases are a reason to celebrate. Regardless of how the world changes, it is great to know C.O.C. will continue to add to the punk/ metal lexicon they helped establish and once again prove the best head-bangers have a punk soul.
Had The Motor Car & The Weather Balloon been released in 1994, at the peak of the Britpop era, it’s very likely it could have been a much bigger album, but it still stands a set of superbly crafted tunes from a musician with the secrets of British pop running through his blood.
For established fans, Coven will be a welcome addition to the band’s oeuvre, but new listeners might want to start with the previous trilogy to brush up first.
Anna Burch’s solo debut proves that if you plug in a guitar and apply a noticeable amount of reverb somewhere within the process of recording, indie pop can indeed be quickly reduced to something anyone can do.
In May of 2017, Spain’s Wau y los Arrrghs!!! played their final show, ending an uncompromising fourteen-year garage onslaught.
Raven King is an album that is tied to experimentation, and it is this that is ultimately responsible for both its successes and its (relative) failures.
The album will be a treat for fans of the California country-tinged folk of acts like Jackson Browne and The Byrds, and Gibbons’ soulful, earthy vocals lend an authenticity to songs coated in a thick layer of dusty Americana.
Jad Fair remains an overflowing fountain of wide-eyed, childlike poetry and his bandmates all craft the dependable art rock stylings that have become associated with the name over the years. “One word for it: Wow.”
This esoteric New Haven, CT art-rock duo consists of guitarist/keyboardist Paul Belbusti, also of prolific psych-folk outfit Mercy Choir, and drummer Michael Kiefer, of weighty sludge-rockers Myty Konkeror. However, Rivener sounds nothing like their other bands.
Whatever is an album that is rough around the edges, but perhaps that’s the point and it’s all the better for it.
Our aggressively dystopian present has collided with Tune-Yards, temporarily sapping them of their comedy. However, wit stays safely intact on their latest, and they’ve traded in their jesting aptitude for a beefed up dance engine, destined to get every last woke one of us on the floor.
After the demise of Throbbing Gristle in 1981, frontman Genesis P-Orridge formed Psychic TV with former bandmate Peter Christopherson as an audio/visual enterprise building on the mindset of their former group.
“He pens lovely compositions drenched with emotion. Carey’s easy, almost laid back approach speaks of confidence and clarity of vision. He was trained in jazz and it lends itself to the skillful presentation on this release”
Political electronic pioneers Meat Beat Manifesto, led by lone remaining founding member Jack Dangers, continues evolving their ever-morphing sound with a nod to ’90s darkness on their first album in seven years.
Wolf In The Fold, in fantastic, explosive pulsations, hearkens back to the rawer, unbridled history of the Wild West—a history which is in many ways fabricated, and in doing so the band’s music adds to this mythologizing.
“Whatever you’re expecting with this fine new release from Melbourne band The Citradels, it’s not one size fits all psychedelia. They manage to mash up a wide variety of styles, ranging from the paisley vibes of “Believe and Receive” to the stellar, Beach-Boys infused “Dawn Chorus”, with its gorgeous harmonies and gentle melodic warmth.”
Michael Shepard appears to be staying in his electro-pop phase with the release of Relive. It is a crisp, modern album with a steady flow of mid to slow tempo synth-driven/ effects songs. Let’s hope they take this effort on the road as it would be great to hear these in a live setting side by side with the bands earlier rock anthems.
si,irene is really fantastic at blending both arty angularity and indie pop melodicism, and this commitment to confronting preconceived musical ideas is at the forefront of their existence as a group.
By 1975, sex-funk queen Betty Davis had assembled her own band, about half of which were family, and poised to conquer the music industry with her tightest, heaviest album to date and debut for Island Records.
Listening to this New Haven, CT piano-fronted trio’s debut album, it’s hard to fathom that their powerful-piped lead singer Laini Marenick had never sung in front of anyone until her wedding three years ago.
for(e)go is an important first introduction from a musician with an original and compellingly fresh perspective.
“I listen to this release and wonder how they summon such creative talents on all their work, fine, crystalline pop with a gentle dream pop cadence and hints of psych pop. It’s like they channeled Lloyd Cole’s entire catalogue and mashed it up with the best of Flying Nun and Postcard era music.”
“ this seemingly obscure band has been venerated by a generation and more, and the album has been reissued multiple times”
On Wexico, The Midwesterns offer ten enjoyable rockabilly/ alt-country tunes. Songs of love lost, hope and advice are sure to be sing-along anthems coming to local (and hopefully further) honky-tonks across the nation in the new year.
In reality, If You’re So Smart is actually much closer to art pop disguised with distortion than anything else, ultimately creating an experience that only reveals and intensifies with closer listening.
True Dimension is a must-listen for anyone who loves Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but most importantly it only heightens the anticipation for the inevitability of a full-length from Seneko.
Like a tape-recorded diary set to surreal, spooky sound collages, Berkeley, CA avant-garde artist Dominic Francisco’s second LP makes us feel like we’re prying into someone’s most private, painful emotions.
“This music is always striking, profound, and intensely emotional. It is difficult to write emotive instrumental music, but here, we have ethereal, supremely beautiful tone poems that paint multi-hued pictures in the listener’s mind.”
The Wichita Flag earns much more than it sets out to achieve, and across its felicitous 15-minute runtime, Les Easterby crafts a clever riposte in the face of blindly homogenized moralism.
The first of Wichita wunderkind Les Easterby’s Black Friday EPs stems from his longstanding World Palestine outfit. It features his wonderfully typical subtle poetry and guitar-centric, asymmetrically divine compositions.
Solipsis is one of Negativehate’s greatest releases yet, and represents a coalescence of everything they have stood for over their long existence.
Oculus is at once disturbing, unsettling, and the tension at times is unbearable; but it is most importantly a work of art that will stay with the listener long after it is over.
“The music twinkles, sparkles, and hints of anger and anxiety peek through the pretty melodies and well-executed harmonies. Don’t let its beauty fool you; Halliwell has plenty to say on the current political situation.”
For Dwyer and company’s 20th release (and Castle Face’s 100th title overall), they’ve changed the instrumental environs and even tweaked the project name to better resemble their humble beginnings.
Hailing from Crete, residing in Athens, Greece, female/male bass/drums duo Hand & Leg offer a perplexing full-length that weaves post-punk, goth and noise rock into a unified vision.
Kobe, Japan’s Gutara Kyo explode with an impressive blast of early ’80s-style hardcore, reminding us that there’s more to the Land of the Rising Sun than noise.
Stephen Wilkinson’s latest outing as Bibio is over an hour’s worth of ambient music that is sometimes somber, other times uplifting, and always sans-vocals.
Resist is a bold and brave conception that is expertly executed, and it will undoubtedly stand as one of the modern era’s first major political artistic works.
Distant Echoes & Close Encounters will undoubtedly be remembered as a great leap forward for Aurganic, a band unafraid to step outside of their own comfort zone.
Four recently discovered archival recordings of furniture designer/sculptor Harry Bertoia join a fascinating documentary short made while the artist was still alive for an essential deluxe release.
It’s highly probably Universe in Bloom will win over a lot of new fans for The Great Escape, because the band’s spirit and this album’s charm is ultimately irresistible.