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Big Takeover #81 Fall 2017

Cody Conard

Luca Bash - Keys of Mine (Self-Released)

21 March 2018

Keys of Mine is the sound of an artist reveling again in being surrounded by the creative atmosphere of like-minded musicians.

Evan & the Live Oaks - Hyde Street EP (Self-Released)

13 March 2018

It’s impossible to not feel like the EP is just starting to warm up by the time it’s over. It could have benefited by, perhaps, one more track, but what is here shows a tremendous amount of artistic growth and maturity.

Ajay Mathur - Little Boat (Yakketeeyak)

11 March 2018

An entirely self-made product, the album has a raw, homegrown quality which is superbly produced, and is likely one of his best thematically as it deals with Mathur’s own personal issues from a number of angles, both cathartic and humorous.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Night Herons - Relevant Noise (Self-Released)

15 November 2017

Regardless of whether it will prove to be a transitory record or the end of one individual chapter in the band’s history, Relevant Noise will stand as the testament of Night Herons truly coming into their own.

Patrick Grant - A Sequence of Waves (Peppergreen Media)

11 November 2017

A Sequence of Waves is no doubt a challenging listen that one can’t simply put on in the background, but it is a work of art that rewards the open-minded listener with close, repeated examinations.

Westward - The Empire of Deception (Self-Released)

8 November 2017

The Empire of Deception builds significantly on Westward’s debut album, and sets them up to be the latest torchbearers of the power trio tradition.

Michael P Cullen and the Soul Searchers - Live at Lazybones EP (Self-Released)

1 November 2017

Live at Lazybones captures something revelatory about Cullen, and it’s that as good as his studio albums may be, it’s very likely the best way to experience his music is live on stage.

Noise Ratio - Songs on Fire (Self-Released)

25 October 2017

It’s undeniable that Songs on Fire is more or less the artist’s debut album, and at times this naivety bleeds through, but it also remains a remarkably well-constructed product that is as catchy as it is dramatically produced.

Eric George - Not About Nightingales (Self-Released)

21 October 2017

Not About Nightingales has captured American folk music in a way that countless other musicians have failed to do, and with any luck, many of these songs will become standards in their own right.

Shrek is Love - Vol 1: This Is My Swamp (Self-Released)

2 October 2017

If Wizard rock, and the proliferation of Harry Potter bands in recent years is anything to go by, one can only hope the successive Shrek-themed musical acts are at least as half as talented as Shrek is Love.

The Stangs - American Sessions EP (Self-Released)

25 September 2017

Only time will tell whether The Stangs are a band born in the wrong time or if they’ll lead the charg of a new revivalist movement, but American Sessions will nevertheless stand on its own merits.

Giant Flying Turtles - Waltz to the World (Self-Released)

22 September 2017

Their second and latest album, Waltz to the World, is a strangely jazzy affair that combines various elements of both prog and left-of-center pop in a catchy yet artistic way slightly similar in vein to XTC.

Lochness Monster - Fables (Self-Released)

13 September 2017

To anyone, it is immediately clear that Weezer is a large influence on Lochness Monster, but the band’s slightly more progressive and serious than the pseudo-heavy metal pop punk lyricism of Rivers Cuomo.

Here's the Riot - Tonight We're Alive EP (Full Bleed)

2 September 2017

Tonight We’re Alive isn’t music one can analyze endlessly, which is exactly why this record sits firmly in the long tradition of corporeal rock and roll.

Staring Into Nothing - Power (Self-Released)

28 August 2017

The record occasionally slips into territory that hints at a purely cursory glance at 1984, but Power remains a fascinating first glimpse at a trilogy that can only be fully appreciated at its eventual close.

Veseria - RLTVTY (Self-Released)

16 August 2017

Veseria is entirely comfortable combining elements of punk, rock, and folk, and they have never sounded more confident and relaxed in the studio, while showing an attention for detail that, thankfully, doesn’t entirely erase the band’s scrappier edges.

Jacqui L - PLANET PARALLEL 5 (Self-Released)

2 August 2017

Perhaps, it’s an album that would work best without the somewhat confusing concept, but the songs are strong enough to nevertheless stand up on their own.

Adam Winn - Adam Winn EP (Self-Released)

26 July 2017

Winn isn’t afraid to dig deep on tracks like “Better Friend,” and consequently, he comes out with something truly inspired and pure.

Groupoem - Dirt Church (Self-Released)

15 July 2017

With any luck, Dirt Church will put Groupoem back on the map and introduce them to an even larger fan base than ever before.

Rich Lerner & The Groove - Push On Thru (Self-Released)

10 July 2017

Sonically speaking, the band effortlessly combines the folkier elements of The Grateful Dead with the power pop of groups like Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and a harder blues rock edge à la The Rolling Stones.

American High - Bones in the Attic, Flowers in the Basement (Self-Released)

27 June 2017

American High still sound like a band just beginning, which makes this such an exciting and enthusiastic debut.

Eric Frisch - Late in the Night EP (Self-Released)

26 June 2017

Late in the Night is a wonderfully fresh concept, if only a slight addition to the artist’s larger body of work.

Jody Cooper - Serenades & Odes to a Cracked World Part 1 (Self-Released)

7 June 2017

Overall, Cooper’s goal is an energetic one, with the ultimate aim of getting the public to “start engaging with the problems around them in an attempt to make a positive change.”

Saint Blasphemer - Theotokos (Self-Released)

22 May 2017

One should hesitate in calling Theotokos a concept record, but drug addiction and how it effects both the user and those around them is a theme that repeats on many of the songs.

Space Motel - Arrival (Self-Released)

13 May 2017

Arrival doesn’t show a tremendous amount of growth in Space Motel since their last full-length, but it does show them just as strong with no sign of slowing down.

Sam Levin - Frame of Mind (Self-Released)

23 April 2017

Frame of Mind has a wonderfully charming home grown sound that perfectly suits Sam Levin’s quietly confident style, and should easily turn out to be surprise indie sleeper hit.

Captain of the Lost Waves - Hidden Gems - Chapter 1 (Self-Released)

15 April 2017

Although there exists definable cornerstones, the band thrives more in that vague no man’s land, that abstract Venn diagram where goth, cabaret, vaudeville, and the circus all intersect.

C.K. Flach - Empty Mansions (Self-Released)

31 March 2017

Flach’s Empty Mansions, is a concept album about division and confusion in the modern era, and is the culmination of a long series of attempts and experiments by Flach.

My Silent Bravery - Breakthrough (MWS Records)

25 March 2017

Breakthrough is an album easy to enjoy and hum along to what’s on the surface, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a work rich in complex emotional content.

The Long Dark Road - Self-Titled EP (Self-Released)

11 March 2017

The Long Dark Road may have too much shoegaze in it to satisfy traditional metal fans, but has enough merit to attract newcomers as well as those searching for something a little weightier than normal.

Electric Ray and the Shockers - California Torpedo (Beedirecords)

8 March 2017

In many regards, California Torpedo sounds like a debut album. It’s the work of a band that is still searching for its footing, but it’s also a work of unquestionable merit when the pieces fall perfectly into place.