Advertise with The Big Takeover
Big Takeover Issue #83

Mark Suppanz

Mark Suppanz has been a passionate music fan since the 1970s, when he would persuade his Mom to take him to the local mall to buy him 7” singles that he heard on Casey Kasem’s Top 40. His music tastes took a turn for the better in 1986 when his college roommate Lon turned him onto R.E.M., The Cure, The Smiths, and Joy Division, and upon graduation he frequented New Brunswick, NJ’s much-missed music club, The Melody. He discovered The Big Takeover in 1994 after happening upon issue #35 in a Tower Records in Mountain View, CA. He began transcribing interviews for the magazine in 1997, became moderator of its online discussion list in 1999, and began writing record and live reviews in 2000. Since that time, he has managed to see over 700 concerts while balancing a successful career in market research. He currently lives in Montclair, NJ, and in addition to attending shows, enjoys reading books and magazines, browsing record stores, watching movies, running, and traveling.

Gift Machine-New Tangles

The Gift Machine – New Tangles (People in a Position to Know)

8 December 2018

Mastered by Frank Arkwright at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London, this Escondido, CA-based foursome’s seventh album sounds more robust, expansive, and sonorous than their previous six.

Thomas Comerford-Blood Moon

Thomas Comerford – Blood Moon (Spacesuit)

29 November 2018

Aided by 16 guest musicians, this Chicago troubadour’s third solo album adds plenty of new stylistic wrinkles to the homespun, Wilco-esque alt-country of his 2014 II and 2011 Archive + Spiral.

Tuomas Palonen-Tuomas Palonen

Tuomas Palonen – Tuomas Palonen (Palatsi Finland)

29 June 2018

Aside from his familiar trill, the hushed, homespun folk Helsinki’s pleasantly-voiced Palonen fashions on TP is far removed from his previous outfit Kuparilinna’s punchier, ‘60s-inspired indie pop, surf, and psych-rock.

Stacie Rose-Stacie Rose

Stacie Rose – Stacie Rose (Enchanted)

18 June 2018

It’s been five years since New Jersey native Rose’s last album, 2013’s sumptuous Stars, Stripes, and Milestones. But boasting livelier and more luxurious production and arrangements, this self-titled sixth LP outshines it.

Roz and the Rice Cakes-Devotion

Roz and the Rice Cakes – Devotion (Team Love)

4 April 2018

This follow-up to 2014 second LP Need to Feed finds this Providence, RI art-rock trio – fronted by likable, lovely-voiced lead singer and keyboardist Roz Raskin – still pursuing an unconventional approach.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Michel Griffin - Feel My Love

Michel Griffin – Feel My Love: Michel Griffin Sings Bob Dylan’s Finest Lovesongs (Vine Valley Music)

4 July 2017

Born in Oxford, England, this tender-voiced troubadour expands upon the theme of his last three covers-speckled albums by re-imagining 14 love songs from his “early hero” Bob Dylan’s copious catalogue.

No Line North - Dream of Trees Part 1

No Line North – Dreams of Trees Part 1 EP (Twin Lakes)

9 June 2017

Compared to the more robust rock crunch of this New Haven, CT Americana/folk-pop collective’s 2014 Farther Out Beyond Today, the production and playing on Dreams is lighter and lither.

Dotsun Moon - My Apology EP

Dotsun Moon – My Apology EP (Dotsun Moon)

8 May 2017

A couple of years after this Buffalo, NY outfit’s 2011 debut LP 4am, dazzling lead singer Mary Ognibene left the band. DM’s new vocalist Maria Sebastian is as breathtaking as her predecessor, and this EP’s three distinctive tunes showcase her multifarious skills.

Jen Gloeckner - Vine

Jen Gloeckner – Vine (Spinning Head)

14 April 2017

Dubuque, Iowa’s sensual and soulful chanteuse Gloeckner doesn’t make many albums; this is only her third LP going back to 2004’s Miles Apart, and first since 2010’s Mouth of Mars. Yet Vine is worth the seven-year wait.

Jason Wilson - Perennials

Jason Wilson – Perennials (Wheel)

29 March 2017

Blending breezy reggae with brassier jazz/bebop, Ontario’s two-time Juno Award-nominated pianist/singer Wilson’s sixth album is a polished, ear-pleasing pastiche.

Chris Murphy - Red Mountain Blues

Chris Murphy – Red Mountain Blues (Teahouse)

28 March 2017

Throughout veteran L.A.-based violinist Murphy’s Red Mountain Blues, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin frolic so euphorically, you’d expect an impromptu line dance to break out any minute.

Furniture Girls - In Shadows

Furniture Girls – In Shadows (Furniture Girls)

19 March 2017

In mostly foregoes the hard-driving rock crunch of this Seattle quintet’s 2015 Chaos EP, in favor of subtler, more intricate arrangements that better accentuate the velvety and vivacious voice of frontwoman stayC Meyer.

The Special Pillow - At the Earth's Core

The Special Pillow – At the Earth’s Core (The Special Pillow)

17 March 2017

It took seven years for this Hoboken, NJ foursome to release their first-rate 2014 fourth LP Infinite Regression, so it feels fortunate to have this follow-up come only two years later. At is another alluring album.

Solilians - Shin

Solilians – Shin (Goodbye Better)

15 March 2017

This Long Island, NY/Maryland-based “space drone” outfit is fronted by two hypnotic female singers, Neptune Sweet and Sharon Malkin, the latter crooning in Hebrew. With subdued beats and celestial synths, Shin is a soul-purifying, inner peace-producing pleasure.

Milemarker - Overseas

Milemarker – Overseas (Lovitt)

8 March 2017

With its stratospheric synths, encircling guitars, battering ram drums, and baleful, bellowed vocals, Overseas is a revitalizing return from this strapping synth-punk outfit.

The Pack A.D. - Positive Thinking

The Pack A.D. – Positive Thinking (Cadence Music)

6 March 2017

Following the indistinctive alt-rock direction and too-polished production of their 2014 fifth LP, Do Not Engage, this Vancouver drums-and-guitar duo’s sixth LP is their most exhilarating, explosive album to date.

Gary Schwartz - "I Really Like You"

Gary Schwartz – “I Really Like You” [blue vinyl 7”] (Ownself)

20 February 2017

I’m not sure what prompted former United States of Existence/The Jigsaw Seen drummer Schwartz to reissue this upbeat, Supertramp/Hall & Oates-like 2014 digital single as a 7”. But I still “really like” it.

Cereal Banter - Junk Jazz

Cereal Banter – Junk Jazz [12”]; Oatmeal Outburst [cassette] (Cereal Banter)

19 February 2017

Despite drummer/founder Joseph Joseph’s replacing of departed keyboardist Molly Pamela with bassist Nicholas Gunzburg as this Cleveland experimental duo’s “other half” in 2015, Junk is as spastic and strident as their previous releases.

R.K. Ich - Fey

R.K. Ich – Fey (R.K. Ich)

17 February 2017

Shoulder and hand injuries have shelved Atlanta guitarist Richard Coker’s punk and folk career, but his instrumental synth LPs keep coming – Fey is his eighth since 2012.

Floorian - At Your Surface

Floorian – At Your Surface (Drigh)

16 February 2017

I described this 20-year-old Columbus collective’s 2009 second LP More Fiend as “ominous, trance-inducing space-rock, with hints of metal, psychedelic, and Eastern influences.” That could similarly sum up this new six-song, 43-minute fourth.

Tulipomania - Don't Be So Sure/Who Let You Know

Tulipomania – “Don’t Be So Sure” / “Who Let You Know” [7”]; This Gilded Age (Sursumcorda)

6 February 2017

For those still tentative about diving into this atypical, atmospheric Bristol, PA trio’s 2016 fourth LP This Gilded Age, this double A-side 7” of two of its tunes is a tempting toe-dip.

Cheshires - Cheshires

Cheshires – Cheshires (Cheshires)

4 February 2017

Birmingham, AL’s Remy Zero released three major label LPs during their original 14-year run, before disbanding in 2003. This new trio comprises two original RZ members, along with their touring guitarist/drummer, and preserves RZ’s penchant for brawny alterna-rock.

Glenna Bell - Lone Star: Songs and Stories Straight from the Heart of Texas

Glenna Bell – Lone Star: Songs and Stories Straight from the Heart of Texas (Glenna Bell)

2 February 2017

Texas-born-and-bred Bell again avoids modern country clichés on her fifth LP, and first since 2010’s Perfectly Legal: Songs of Sex, Love and Murder.

Louise Distras - "Aileen"

Louise Distras – “Aileen” (Louise Distras)

1 February 2017

On this hard-hitting new single, about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, London’s provocative, powerfully-piped Distras breaks free from stringent punk structures. It blends a ‘60s British Invasion/Merseybeat and girl-group sound with more contemporary, crunchy power pop.

Roxy Swain - Beneath Full Moonlight

Roxy Swain – Beneath Full Moonlight (Spade Kitty)

21 January 2017

I swooned over this fetching Chicago foursome’s “buoyant, shimmery” 2014 second LP Restless Hearts, which followed up their heftier 2010 debut The Spell of Youth. But Beneath manages to best them both.

The Mumzees - Teal EP

The Mumzees – Teal EP (The Mumzees)

10 January 2017

On their 2015 first LP, I heard “Sonics/Shakers-inspired garage rock, Shellac-styled industrial/post-punk, and SLF Inflammable Material-era punk” in this college-aged Nashville band’s sound. That’s still accurate, as Teal contains many of the same characteristics as the full-length.

Haley Bonar - Impossible Dream

Haley Bonar – Impossible Dream (Gndwire)

6 January 2017

St. Paul, MN-based Bonar’s follow-up to her 2014 sixth LP Last War is even better, featuring more focused and finely-honed playing. As well, its arrangements are alternately aggressive and atmospheric, thanks to Bonar’s brawny and buoyant backing band.

The Whispering Tree - "Space Oddity"

The Whispering Tree – “Space Oddity” (David Bowie cover); “Mother” (Pink Floyd cover) (The Whispering Tree)

2 January 2017

This New York duo’s dreamy covers of these two familiar classic-rock staples are so assiduously crafted, and Eleanor Kleiner’s singing so stupendous, it’s like you’re hearing each song for the first time.

Kuparilinna - Kuparilinna

Kuparilinna - Kuparilinna (Palatsi Finland)

4 December 2016

You might question the wisdom of a Helsinki band securing U.S. distribution for a debut LP sung entirely in Finnish. But one listen to this distinctive, charismatic two-year-old quintet, whose name translates in English to “Copper Castle,” and you’ll be captivated by their countless charms.

Lafayette Regency - All My Friends Died in a Rock 'n' Roll Accident

Lafayette Regency - My Friends All Died in a Rock 'n' Roll Accident (Lafayette Regency France)

28 November 2016

France’s forceful foursome Heming Wave have now morphed into this trio. However, the brash and bracing U.K. Britpop influences that Heming Wave invoked have been sidelined in favor of a more strident, stentorian style.

Turnsole - Little Boys and Black Dogs

Turnsole - Little Boys and Black Dogs (Turnsole)

8 November 2016

The echoed, East River Pipe-evoking bedroom recordings on Eric Bates’s one-man Turnsole’s self-titled, early 2016 debut are more defiantly delivered on this way different follow-up, an “abstract look” at the life of France’s tragic teen Joan of Arc.

Micah Sheveloff - Live and On Fire From Firehouse 12

Micah Sheveloff – Live and On Fire from Firehouse 12 (WIRC Music)

4 September 2016

The Firehouse 12’s pin-drop, church-quiet ambience and an attentive, breath-holding audience allows Sheveloff’s twinkling, deep-toned piano trilling and romantic, robust voice to register more prominently than on his previous platters.

Jody Seabody & the Whirls - Holographic Slammer

Jody Seabody & the Whirls – Holographic Slammer (Artificial Head)

24 August 2016

Given that this sophomore LP from this Houston foursome deviates in so many directions from their 2014 “Some Change” two-song 7” single, it’s not a stretch to surmise the band’s status as hard-to-pin-down chameleons.

Dan Israel - Dan

Dan Israel – Dan (Dan Israel)

21 August 2016

Every song on Minneapolis singer/guitarist Israel’s 13th LP Dan delves into the details leading up to or resulting from his divorce, while generally touching on the trivial but telling warning signs that can sour romances.

Reptiel - Hobbitozz…A Land That Never Was

Reptiel – Hobbitozz…A Land That Never Was (Cubby Control)

19 July 2016

At nearly an hour in length, Hobbitozz is an ambitious rock opera/fairy tale, which this San Francisco prog-rock quartet claim is the “first in a multi-part series of psychedelic sci-fi/fantasy rock albums.”

Paul Mark & the Van Dorens - Stowaways

Paul Mark & the Van Dorens – Stowaways (Radiation)

30 June 2016

Unlike NYC roots-rocker Mark’s previous seven with longtime backing mates The Van Dorens, Stowaways veers from the group’s signature barroom blues and country-rock style.

The Gods Themselves - Pink Noise

The Gods Themselves – Pink Noise (The Gods Themselves)

14 June 2016

Named for a 1972 Isaac Asimov novel, this Seattle trio’s second album dabbles in plenty of that decade’s music styles – most notably its soul/R&B, funk, and disco – even more than on their 2014 self-titled debut.

The Mountain Movers - Death Magic

The Mountain Movers – Death Magic (Safety Meeting)

9 June 2016

With the exception of singer Dan Greene’s drowsy, deliberate drawl, this New Haven, CT foursome’s fifth full-length sounds almost unrecognizable from 2010 double LP Apple Mountain’s spooky, lo-fi campfire folk.

Drifting in Silence - Artificial

Drifting in Silence – Artificial (Labile)

30 March 2016

On his ninth album as the one-man DiS, Derrick Stembridge dispenses with the “intricate, pulsating, and ear-tickling beats” that adorned previous LPs. But the absence of percussive elements is in no way a detriment.

Frank Viele - Fall Your Way

Frank Viele – Fall Your Way (Horizon Music Group)

17 March 2016

Unlike his 2010 debut Neon Lights and its 2011 follow-up EP Acoustic Juju, each co-credited with his (then) band The Manhattan Project, Connecticut crooner Viele gets sole billing on this sophomore full-length.

The 4onthefloor - All In

The 4onthefloor – All In (Double Asterisk)

11 March 2016

If you’re in the mood for some muscular, “meat-and-potatoes”-style blues-rock, this Minneapolis quartet’s third LP is akin to seeing a show at an all-you-can-eat ribs and rotgut-shot night at your local roadhouse.

Royal Pines - Dead Last

Royal Pines – Dead Last (Royal Pines)

29 February 2016

Unfortunately, this aptly-titled fourth LP is their swan song, as the Chicago foursome has announced they’re breaking up after a decade together. Their finale is no going-through-the-motions phone-in, however.

Ring Them Bells - No One's Dead We're Just Dressed in Black

Ring Them Bells – No One’s Dead/We’re Just Dressed in Black (Burnt Toast)

24 February 2016

The production on this Copenhagen quintet’s debut full-length is not as crude or clamorous as on their self-titled 2013 EP, allowing you to fixate more attentively on the languid, interlocking guitars of Johannes Nidam and Jan Johansen.

Illinois - Summer EP

Illinois – “Summer” EP (Illinois & DJ Skipmode)

21 February 2016

It makes sense for this Bucks County, PA indie-folk outfit to reinvigorate interest in their early 2015 album Shine by spotlighting the LP’s best song for this (ironically) winter-released EP.

Dani Elliott - The Best Part EP

Dani Elliott – The Best Part EP; “Black Heart” single (Dani Elliott)

20 February 2016

On The Best Part, Nashville songstress Elliott backs her silky, sinuous singing with warm electropop, ambient and downtempo music. Meanwhile, “Black Heart” is by far her heftiest, meanest song yet.

Ed - Meglio Soli

Ed – Meglio Soli (Tirreno Dischi Italy)

18 February 2016

For whatever reason, Modena, Italy indie-pop practitioner Marc Ed decided to record this newest album in his native tongue. Despite my not being able to understand a lick of the lyrics, I was hooked like a famished fish on one listen.