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Big Takeover #81 Fall 2017
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Superchunk - What a Time to Be Alive

Superchunk - What a Time to Be Alive (Merge Records)

21 February 2018

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.

Andrew Reed - If All The World Were Right (Artists International)

20 February 2018

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.

Scream Hello Island Earth

Scream Hello – This Island Earth (Black Numbers)

17 February 2018

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.

Roger Harvey-Two Coyotes

Roger Harvey – Two Coyotes (Chunksaah)

16 February 2018

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.

Jason Vitelli - Head Above Tide (Self-Released)

15 February 2018

It’s an album that resists categorization or understanding, and it constantly morphs and evolves, often within a single song.

Nebula Let It Burn Heavy Psych Sounds

Nebula - Let It Burn (Heavy Psych Sounds)

13 February 2018

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.

Arden and the Wolves - Who Can You Trust (Self-Released)

11 February 2018

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.

Corrosion of Conformity NCNC

Corrosion of Conformity - No Cross No Crown (Nuclear Blast)

10 February 2018

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.

Ben Brookes - The Motor Car & The Weather Balloon (Martin-Guild)

4 February 2018

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.

Delta-S - Coven (WindM Records, Scribe)

2 February 2018

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 - Quit the Curse

Anna Burch - Quit the Curse (Polyvinyl Records)

2 February 2018

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.

Wau Y Los Arrrghs El Mañanero Slovenly

Wau y los Arrrghs!!! - "El Mañanero" 7" (Slovenly)

30 January 2018

In May of 2017, Spain’s Wau y los Arrrghs!!! played their final show, ending an uncompromising fourteen-year garage onslaught.

Raven King - Raven King (Self-Released)

29 January 2018

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.

Geoff Gibbons - Buffalo Hotel (Self-Released)

29 January 2018

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.

Half Japanese - Why Not?

Half Japanese - Why Not? (Fire Records)

29 January 2018

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.”

Rivener - Rivener

Rivener – Rivener (Twin Lakes/These Are Not)

28 January 2018

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.

Ivan Beecroft - Whatever (Self-Released)

24 January 2018

Whatever is an album that is rough around the edges, but perhaps that’s the point and it’s all the better for it.

Tune-Yards - I can feel you creep into my private life

Tune-Yards - I can feel you creep into my private life (4AD)

24 January 2018

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.

Psychic TV Kondole Dead Cat Cold Spring

Psychic TV - Kondole/Dead Cat 2xCD+DVD (Cold Spring)

22 January 2018

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.

Album cover for S. Carey's Hundred Acres album.

S. Carey - Hundred Acres (Jagjaguwar Records)

20 January 2018

“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”

Meat Beat Manifesto Impossible Star Flexidisc Virtual

Meat Beat Manifesto - Impossible Star (Flexidisc/Virtual)

18 January 2018

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.

The Green Door - Wolf In The Fold (Self-Released)

16 January 2018

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.

God Bless from The Citradels

The Citradels - God Bless (Self-Released)

15 January 2018

“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.”

Lovedrug Relive

Lovedrug - Relive (Lovedrug Music)

14 January 2018

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 - BEES EP (Self-Released)

14 January 2018

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.

Betty Davis Nasty Gal Light in the Attic

Betty Davis - Nasty Gal (Light in the Attic)

11 January 2018

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.

Laini and the Wildfire - Wandering

Laini and the Wildfire – Wandering (Laini and the Wildfire)

10 January 2018

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.

Julia Krueger - for(e)go EP (Self-Released)

30 December 2017

for(e)go is an important first introduction from a musician with an original and compellingly fresh perspective.

album art for The Stars Seemed Brighter by Pale Lights

Pale Lights - The Stars Seemed Brighter (Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten)

29 December 2017

“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.”

Album art for One Nation Underground by Pearls Before Swine.

Pearls Before Swine - One Nation Underground (Drag City Records)

28 December 2017

“ this seemingly obscure band has been venerated by a generation and more, and the album has been reissued multiple times”

the Midwesterns Wexico

The Midwesterns - Wexico (Self-Released)

28 December 2017

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.

NYDTyson - If You're So Smart, Why Are You So Sad? (Self-Released)

27 December 2017

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.

Seneko - True Dimension (Self-Released)

18 December 2017

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.

Gilman Mom - Manifest Destiny

Gilman Mom – Manifest Destiny (Macaque)

18 December 2017

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.

Costero by Slow Meadow

Slow Meadow - Costero (Hammock Music)

17 December 2017

“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 - S/t

The Wichita Flag - The Wichita Flag (Thunder Kick Records)

15 December 2017

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 World Palestine - Dik Dik Sounds

The World Palestine - Dik Dik Sounds (Easter Bee Home Recordings)

14 December 2017

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.

NegativeHate - Solipsis (Self-Released)

9 December 2017

Solipsis is one of Negativehate’s greatest releases yet, and represents a coalescence of everything they have stood for over their long existence.

Fracktura - Oculus (Self-Released)

4 December 2017

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.

Suspended Second by The Granite Shore.

The Granite Shore - Suspended Second (Occultation Recordings/Fishrider Records)

3 December 2017

“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.”

OCS - Memory of a Cut Off Head

OCS - Memory of a Cut Off Head (Castle Face Records)

1 December 2017

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.

Hand & Leg Slovenly Black Gladiator

Hand & Leg - Hand & Leg 12" (Black Gladiator/Slovenly)

27 November 2017

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.

Gutara Kyo Mondo Mongo Slovenly

Gutara Kyo - Gutara Kyo 10" (Mondo Mongo/Slovenly)

27 November 2017

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.

Bibio - Phantom Brickworks

Bibio - Phantom Brickworks (Warp Records)

27 November 2017

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.

Agency - Resist (Self-Released)

26 November 2017

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.

Aurganic - Distant Echoes & Close Encounters (Self-Released)

24 November 2017

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.

Harry Bertoia Sonambients: The Sound Sculpture Important

Harry Bertoia - Sonambients: The Sound Sculpture Of Harry Bertoia CD/DVD (Sonambient/Important)

19 November 2017

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.

The Great Escape - Universe in Bloom (Self-Released)

18 November 2017

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.

Caspar Babypants - Sleep Tight (Babypants Music)

16 November 2017

You may never hear the last part of this record of charming lullabies, because you will be asleep before you get there.