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The Big Takeover Issue #88

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.

Knife Crime-Lovely Gary

Knife Crime – Lovely Gary (Black Site)

15 June 2021

Though Kansas City foursome Knife Crime has been together a decade, Lovely is only their first LP. But founding brothers Byron and Brad Huhmann, Jeremiah James Gonzales, and Jake Cardwell have honed their skills in 16 bands between them.

Chess Club-You're Lucky I Like You

Chess Club – You’re Lucky I Like You (Black Site)

15 June 2021

On album #2, Lawrence, KS trio Chess Club sharpens their songwriting and attack – and ditches the sporadic lapses into screamo – over 2018’s haphazard Hit the Ball.

The Enigmatic Foe-The Original Plan

The Enigmatic Foe – The Original Plan [double 12”]; “The Kids Are Alright” EP; “The Suffering Art” EP; “Ms. Fortune and Her Mate” EP (The Enigmatic Foe)

28 May 2021

Knoxville, TN singer, guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist Jared Colinger began The Enigmatic Foe with 2005’s self-recorded The Titular Project; having since expanded to a full band, this 14-song double LP is their fifth album.

Jeffrey Dean Foster-I'm Starting to Bleed

Jeffrey Dean Foster – I’m Starting to Bleed EP (Jeffrey Dean Foster)

26 May 2021

With only three solo LPs since 2001, this June 12, 2021 Record Store Day EP from Winston-Salem, NC singer/guitarist Foster (ex-Right Profile/Carneys/Pinetops) is welcome.

The Swindon Lot-The Scariana Trench

The Swindon Lot – The Scariana Trench (Braxeling)

22 May 2021

I dug Portland, OR noise-pop foursome The Honus Huffhines’ 2014 second LP Feel Safe, Be Safe; named for a put-down line from The Office UK, The Swindon Lot is their singer/multi-instrumentalist Andy Giegerich’s solo project.

Jerry Oliver-Zombification of a Nation

Jerry Oliver – Zombification of a Nation (Odd)

17 May 2021

Throughout Zombification, Nashville-based, Minneapolis-raised singer/songwriter Oliver flails and massages his contorted, misshapen acoustic, while his distressed, rasping vocals sound like he’s having a hallucinogenic acid trip.

Philip Goth-Philip Goth

Philip Goth – Philip Goth (Team Love)

14 May 2021

Not an actual person, Philip Goth is the moniker for the new project of Josh Rawson, former bassist of folk-rockers The Felice Brothers; this debut was recorded by him in Philmont, NY over three years.


Jphono1 – Parliament (Potluck)

10 May 2021

Formerly the drummer in The Comas, and currently in indie rock quintet North Elementary and improvisational guitar/electronic duo Tacoma Park, Carrboro, NC’s John Harrison also makes solo albums as Jphono1.

Richard Brisbois-Anytime You Think of Her

Richard Brisbois – Anytime You Think of Her (Drums and Wires)

8 May 2021

On his first solo LP, Seattle’s Brisbois abandons the blasting guitars of his ‘90s roots-rock outfit 4 Ft. Ramona (he’s also been in The Buckets, Acme Band, and Lava), for something drastically more hushed.

Phantom Wave-Wilds

Phantom Wave – Wilds (Phantom Wave)

6 May 2021

Having recorded 2018’s Sixer EP as a trio, these Brooklyn shoegazers are pared down to their core duo of Ian Carpenter (vocals/guitars) and Rachel Fischer (drums) for this debut full-length.

Micah Sheveloff-Rockville

Micah Sheveloff – Rockville (Micah Sheveloff)

4 May 2021

It’s been nine years since Boston-raised, now St. Petersburg, FL-based singer/pianist Sheveloff released his 2012 solo debut Exhibitionist. But this sublime second studio LP more than justifies the long wait.

Athensville-Undressing Minds for Show

Athensville – Undressing Minds for Show (Athensville)

2 May 2021

Following up 2018’s Proper EP, this Philadelphia foursome (whose moniker was the original name of Ardmore, the Philly suburb where they first rehearsed) sound even more inspired and imposing on this debut LP.

Miss Massive Snowflake-Your Favorite Band

Miss Massive Snowflake – Your Favorite Band (North Pole)

1 May 2021

It’s been five years since this eccentric outfit released their fifth LP The Final Photograph, yet their former strangeness hasn’t waned.

Dan Israel-Social Distance Anxiety Disorder

Dan Israel – Social Distance Anxiety Disorder (Dan Israel)

13 July 2020

Prolific Minneapolis singer/guitarist Israel’s 16th LP since 1998 dispenses with some of the previous album’s diverse, uncharacteristic stylistic progressions in favor of a more consistent, unwavering approach.

Partition-Prodigal Gun

Partition – Prodigal Gun (MPLS Ltd)

22 June 2020

Like their similarly discordant label and city mates Sass, Partition is another cogent and youthful Minneapolis band, whose first album’s pummeling, convulsive queercore mines a different side of the noisy rock coin.

Sass-Chew Toy

Sass – Chew Toy (MPLS Ltd)

21 June 2020

Originally released as a limited edition cassette in May 2019 by Heavy Meadow Records, the debut full-length by this youthful Minneapolis noise-rock quintet gets a welcome vinyl issue from MPLS Ltd.

Matt Caflisch-Runaway

Matt Caflisch – Runaway (Fat Oak)

14 June 2020

Singer/guitarist Caflisch (AKA Matt Young) was previously in Eau Claire, WI’s Venison, Minneapolis’s ÜberScenester and J.U.L.P., and L.A.’s Hard Luck Country Club; his sincere, affable folk-pop is enlivened by his vivid words.

Chris Root-Wind Made of Kisses

Chris Root – Wind Made of Kisses (Team Love)

13 June 2020

Those unfamiliar with NYC-based Root’s seven albums with his bossa nova/Brazilian pop bands A.M. Sixty (or AM-60) and The Mosquitos might be taken aback by his whimsical, guileless lyrics on his first solo LP.

Rogers & Butler-Poets & Sinners

Rogers & Butler – Poets & Sinners (Zip)

7 June 2020

Rogers & Butler is Birmingham, UK-born, NYC-based Edward Rogers, who has released seven top-notch solo albums, and Stephen Butler, frontman for New Jersey power-pop bands Smash Palace and Quincy.

Husbands-After the Gold Rush Party

Husbands – After the Gold Rush Party (Cowboy 2.0/Clerestory AV)

6 June 2020

Based in Oklahoma City and Seattle, former college buddies Wil Norton and Danny Davis crafted this second LP (following 2015’s Golden Year) remotely, in between their attorney and software engineer day jobs.

Peter Baldrachi-Slow Recovery

Peter Baldrachi – Slow Recovery (Peter Baldrachi)

1 June 2020

On his third LP, Boston-based singer/drummer Baldrachi moves away from the power-pop that dominated 2012’s Back to the Start – first released in 2011 as Tomorrow Never Knows – and 2006’s Solid Ground.

Recalculating-All Talk

Recalculating – All Talk (Recalculating)

31 May 2020

Those familiar with this Queens/Brooklyn post-punk trio’s 2018 debut No Banter will instantly notice the tenfold upgrade in their attack’s tightness, speed, and muscle on this sophomore effort.

Underwater Kites-Hot Feet

Underwater Kites – Hot Feet (RBM)

25 May 2020

Along with RBM, Johanna’s House of Glamour, and Neurotic Cage, Underwater Kites is another of Boston-based experimentalist Bruce MacLeod’s guises, with one prior LP and six EPs going back to 1999.

Voice of Doom-Saint Blaise

Voice of Doom – Saint Blaise (Pyrrhic Victory)

24 May 2020

Along with gruff, Glenn Danzig/Dave Vanian-evoking bellower Evil Heim, and anchored by formidable 65’s guitarist/bassist Joe Pugsley and Ryan Struck (who play bass and drums here), it’s no surprise this New Jersey horror-punk quintet sound like a Misfits and Damned lovechild.

Winfield-Winfield EP

Winfield – Winfield EP (Winfield)

23 May 2020

Fans of this three-year-old Chapel Hill, NC quartet’s 2018 debut mini-album Giant will immediately notice the silkier, more incandescent stylistic shift on this follow-up four-song EP’s first two tracks.

Full Counts-Next Up

The Full Counts – Next Up (Phratry)

18 May 2020

The second LP by Pittsburgh’s Full Counts – formed by 1990-94 Gumball bassist/singer Eric Vermillion and Cynics drummer Mike Quinlan, who were both also in FOOD – is even better than their otherwise superb 2017 debut, First Out.

Watch Clark-Backscatter Effect EP

Watch Clark – Backscatter Effect EP (Watch Clark)

17 May 2020

As he did on his 2019 debut LP Couch, Seattle’s one-man EDM virtuoso Paul Furio rotates between Depeche Mode/OMD/New Order synth-pop/new wave and tougher, Front 242/Nitzer Ebb techno/industrial on this follow-up five-songer.

High on Stress-Hold Me In

High on Stress – Hold Me In (High on Stress)

9 May 2020

Having backed Slim Dunlap, and opened for Tommy Stinson, it’s no wonder High on Stress evoke the rootsier side of hometown legends The Replacements; frontman Nick Leet’s emphatic, twangy drawl even conjures Paul Westerberg.

65's-Never Say Never

The 65’s – Never Say Never EP (Mint 400/Pyrrhic Victory)

8 May 2020

This three-songer blasts even harder than their 2017 “Wolves and Men” 7”, enhanced by the addition of second guitarist Ed Roessler to an already intimidating lineup of Joe Pugsley, Ryan Struck, and John Steele.

Liila Jokelin - Kaamos on huono esileikki

Liila Jokelin - Kaamos on huono esileikki (Helmi Levyt Finland)

24 December 2019

Behind her impassioned, one-of-a-kind voice and idiosyncratic songs, Helsinki, Finland singer/guitarist Jokelin’s solo debut Kaamos has a distinctive ambience that is enticing and transcendent.

Hollis Brown-Ozone Park

Hollis Brown - Ozone Park (Cool Green)

12 December 2019

This Queens, NY quintet’s fifth album dispenses with the too-conventional, leisurely-paced country/roots-rock that dominated their last LP, 2015’s 3 Shots, in favor of more buoyant, vivacious playing and arrangements.

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.