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The Big Takeover #80 Spring 2017

Cody Conard

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.

The Psyatics - Famous Monsters (Self-Released)

7 March 2017

Their third and most recent album, Famous Monsters essentially follows the pattern of the previous two, but it finds a band at their peak, and if not, at least very close to it.

Justin Allen and the Well Shots - White Oak & Kerosene EP (Self-Released)

7 March 2017

Listen to any song from White Oak & Kerosene, and you can immediately sense the dirt caked on Allen’s hands, and the cheap, hard-earned whiskey on his breath.

BONOMO - Phases (Self-Released)

25 February 2017

Singer Bonomo’s vocals have a timeless soulful quality; not designed to stun with prowess, but commune with an introspective intimacy rare today.

no:carrier - Broken Rainbow (Self-Released)

18 February 2017

On their fourth full-length album, there’s no big shake ups in terms of style, but rather the band continues to explore the darkest corners of their own trademarked sound and expand the fullness of its production.

Saint Mars - Ocean Blues EP (Grá Mór Phonic Records)

14 February 2017

On their debut EP, Ocean Blues, this band from Bristol, UK manages to combine the sunniest of vocal harmonies with the gloomiest of Gothic melodies.

Eric Frisch - Music Under Sea (Self-Released)

6 February 2017

Music Under Sea has neither an entire foot in the music of the 60s or the pop today it inspired, but will nevertheless have fans who love either.

Astral Cloud Ashes - Too Close to the Noise Floor (Self-Released)

31 January 2017

On his debut album, Too Close to the Noise Floor, released last year, Antony Walker effortlessly combines the weirdness and constancy of The Pixies with the larger-than-life pop of XTC.

Verena von Horsten - Alien Angel Super Death (A Tree in a Field Records)

28 January 2017

Alien Angel Super Death doesn’t willingly give away much at first, but it generously rewards listeners who readily approach it with complete emergence.

King Ropes - Dirt (Self-Released)

25 January 2017

King Ropes, an indie garage band from Bozeman, Montana, effortlessly couples the inventiveness of The Pixies and the alternative country twang of Wilco with remarkable results.

Seneko - Self-Titled EP (Self-Released)

21 January 2017

For a set of solo recordings, it certainly doesn’t play like the work of one individual, and indeed the studio polish gives it a lush, full-bodied feel to the record that only aids Olshefski’s keen pop instincts.

Saul Losada - Energy (Self-Released)

14 January 2017

While there’s nothing groundbreaking or innovative on this record, Saul Losada erects the foundations on Energy to set himself firmly in the lineage of blues rock’s most individual guitarists.

Thorin Loeks - Thirsty Hearts (Self-Released)

2 January 2017

Thirsty Hearts is an incredibly relevant and powerful record that speaks directly to the uncertain and transitory impasse in which we are currently living in.

Michael Van & The Movers - A Little More Country (Self-Released)

10 December 2016

A Little More Country just might be the perfect Christmas gift for the country fan longing for traditional Americana and country that doesn’t entirely sacrifice a modern sensibility.

Gert Taberner - Fallen EP (Self-Released)

6 December 2016

While Taberner doesn’t as of yet have the most original of voices, it’s clear from the off that Fallen contains all of the makings for one, and all that remains to be seen is where he goes from here.

Dino Jag - Breakthrough EP (Self-Released)

3 December 2016

Dino Jag is a musician who has clearly cracked the code for pop songwriting, and he winningly replicates this formula six times over the course of the simply enjoyable Breakthrough EP.

Danophone - Rerun (Self-Released)

2 December 2016

Purposely recorded with limited technology, Rerun is as warm and tender as it is personal and intimate from a musician with an immediately identifiable voice deserving to be heard.

Saint Blasphemer - Simon Templar (Self-Released)

28 November 2016

A concept like this is a heavy one to cover, and by no means easy, but Saint Blasphemer tackles the job with deftness and heart on Simon Templar.

Fallen Asunder - S/T (Self-Released)

28 November 2016

Fallen Asunder occasionally gets lost in trying to sound too much like its influences, but it nevertheless remains a promising debut from a band who have clearly put everything into it.

Color You - The Grand Trine (Self-Released)

27 November 2016

The Grand Trine isn’t a perfectly cohesive effort, but it’s the sound of a band tightening up considerably since their formation, and truly beginning to find their own voice.

Wicklow Atwater - The Fallen Flame String Band LP (Self-Released)

20 November 2016

Raised and formed in Atwater Village, Southern California, the five members of Wicklow Atwater have all been friends since childhood, resulting in a long-standing bond and natural chemistry rare for musical acts.

Glenn Meling - Minnesota (Self-Released)

11 November 2016

Inspired in part by the Coen brothers’ film, Fargo, Minnesota is a moody post-punk vision of the coldest and bleakest reaches of America.

The Furious Seasons - Look West (Self-Released)

6 November 2016

Bastion of the Los Angeles pop scene, David Steinhart, is back once again with his band The Furious Seasons, but this time jumping head first into a new style for the first time.

One Track Mind - A Price to be Paid (Brygga Records)

3 November 2016

Although One Track Mind hails from Norway, their sound actually sounds more like it comes from the suburbs of California or the housing projects of Scotland.

Countless Thousands - You're Goddamn Right (Self-Released)

27 October 2016

Self-described as having “a punk rock core made accessible with doo-wop inspired vocal lines,” and “a Billy Joel-approved lyricism…” it’s clear the band are comfortable with stretching the genre to its breaking point.

Savage Henry and the Infamous One Pounders - Get Off Easy (Self-Released)

22 October 2016

Saskatoon party favorites have been pushing their unapologetic, if controversial, brand of raw garage punk since 1998, and their latest album, Get Off Easy, is no exception to the rule.