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The Big Takeover #80 Spring 2017
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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.

Gundella The Hour of the Witch Modern Harmonic

Gundella - The Hour of the Witch (Modern Harmonic)

18 October 2017

Just in time for Samhain, Gundella’s classic obscure educational record about witchcraft sees its very first reissue for the millennium’s uninitiated.

Dylan Hicks - Ad Out

17 October 2017

Sophisticated lyrics and stylistic tunes.

Turn Me On Dead Man Heavymetal Mothership Heavy Psych

Turn Me On Dead Man - Heavymetal Mothership (Heavy Psych)

15 October 2017

San Francisco space cadets Turn Me On Dead Man return with their fifth offering of psychedelic interstellar metal.

The Luxembourg Signal Blue Field Shelflife

The Luxembourg Signal - Blue Field (Shelflife)

11 October 2017

Three years after their stellar eponymous debut, The Luxembourg Signal deliver a strong sophomore followup.

Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent

Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent (Domino)

10 October 2017

The Detroit post-punk quartet’s latest LP is largely indistinguishable from its predecessors for the best reasons.

The Clientele - Music for the Age of Miracles

The Clientele - Music for the Age of Miracles (Merge Records)

9 October 2017

The Clientele’s first record in seven years proves that they are still inarguably capable of elegance, but occasionally lapse into obscurity, or even worse, a retreading of old ground, playing into a law of diminishing returns.

Album cover for Same Century by The Morelings.

The Morelings - Same Century (Mostly Venus Records/Custom Made Music)

8 October 2017

“…savor their unique blend of trippy but dreamy sonic textures. They remind me in spots of Cocteau Twins and even Kate Bush, but in the end, they sound merely like themselves.”

Courtney Farren - Nothing Like It

Courtney Farren - Nothing Like It (Self-Released)

3 October 2017

If you’re sitting in a bar and the memories of a past love fill your head, Courtney Farren’s debut album Nothing Like It is a quiet voice that lets you know that you’re not alone. With straightforward lyrics, subtle arrangements, and gorgeous vocals she is the saint of the broken-hearted.

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.

Mother Engine Hangar Heavy Psych

Mother Engine - Hangar (Heavy Psych)

30 September 2017

German trio Mother Engine return with their third full-length of sprawling prog-inspired instrumentals.

Stubborn Son - North

29 September 2017
Deadsmoke Mountain Legacy Heavy Psych

Deadsmoke - Mountain Legacy (Heavy Psych)

27 September 2017

Italy’s heaviest band delivers a sophomore monolith that makes them serious contenders in the global doom coliseum.

Lee Ranaldo - Electric Trim

Lee Ranaldo - Electric Trim (Mute Records)

27 September 2017

Save for a few moments of mastery, Electric Trim is a frustratingly uneven LP from modern guitar curator Lee Ranaldo.

Various Visions of Darkness in Iranian Contemporary Music

Various - Visions of Darkness in Iranian Contemporary Music 2xCD (Cold Spring)

26 September 2017

Historically, music has been an extraordinarily potent form of rebellion.

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.

Time Attendant Ruby Modifier Ancient Neughbour

Time Attendant - Ruby Modifier 12" (Ancient Neighbour)

24 September 2017

Paul Snowden, the brain behind London’s Time Attendant, returns with a new LP that successfully bridges the gap between glitch beats and Berlin school electronics.

Album cover for Kaiho from KAUAN

KAUAN - Kaiho (kauanmusic)

24 September 2017

“This is a sublime collection of post rock pieces, arranged meticulously and exquisitely rendered. Fans of post rock, ambient, and modern classical will greatly enjoy this release. “

Living Colour Shade album art

Living Colour – Shade (Megaforce Records)

23 September 2017

Living Colour has released Shade and, sorry for the cliché, it rocks. There is nothing unexpected here and that is not a complaint as the thirteen tracks have the riffs, grooves, hooks, and beats found in their early days. The production is pristine mixing hard rock blues, funk, jazz, and hip-hop. Bottom line, if you need some rock and roll, don’t mind some tough talk lyrics, Shade is not to be missed.

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.

Deerhoof - Mountain Moves

Deerhoof - Mountain Moves (Joyful Noise Recordings)

21 September 2017

If you’re willing – in a profoundly strange but fun way, Mountain Moves is the kind of album America needs now to begin the healing process, if that’s at all feasible.

Chad VanGaalen - Light Information

Chad VanGaalen - Light Information (Sub Pop)

21 September 2017

With his sixth solo outing, VanGaalen mines his haunting production values to yield the same goofy brand of surreal yarns we know him for.

Fvzz Popvli Fvzz Dei Heavy Psych

Fvzz Popvli - Fvzz Dei (Heavy Psych)

20 September 2017

Roman power trio Fvzz Popvli celebrate fuzz their own way on a debut full-length that will likely leave many scratching their heads.

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.

Alvvays - Antisocialites

Alvvays - Antisocialites (Polyvinyl Records)

13 September 2017

Alvvays have raised the stakes, brushing up on the handbook of pop and making the competent, forward-thinking, deceptively saccharine album they’ve been studying for.

Oh Sees - Orc

Oh Sees - Orc (Castle Face Records)

12 September 2017

Following several LP and song names that could double as entries in the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual, they now fittingly bring us Orc.

Antibalas Where The Gods Are In Peace Daptone

Antibalas - Where The Gods Are In Peace (Daptone)

11 September 2017

Nearly two decades on, Brooklyn’s twelve-piece afrobeat ensemble Antibalas shows no signs of slowing down on its powerful sixth full-length.

Lusterlit - List of Equipment EP

Lusterlit - List of Equipment EP (Self-Released)

8 September 2017

Literature has been an inspiration for many musicians and bands. Susan Hwang and Charlie Nieland of Lusterlit have taken that to a honest and dreamlike place, on their new e.p., List of Equipment.

DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince He's the DJ I'm the Rapper Real Gone

DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper 2xCD (Real Gone)

6 September 2017

Before becoming a revered Oscar-nominated A-list actor, Will Smith was one half of a hip-hop duo who not only placed Philadelphia on the map, but also achieved wide mainstream success with the genre’s first double LP.

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.

The Knast - Reckless Soul

The Knast - Reckless Soul

28 August 2017

There is a longtime specter haunting the Pacific NW; it is known in every garage and soul club.

Queens of the Stone Age Villains

Queens of the Stone Age – Villains (Matador)

27 August 2017

Queens of the Stone Age return with their seventh studio album, Villains, and not surprisingly it swings, rocks, and grooves. If this is what happens when a well-paid producer combines with a band that helped define a sub-genre than who cares, let the beat go on.

Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins

Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins (RCA)

23 August 2017

Painted Ruins is such a reversal of Shields’ instant accessibility that although genius, its palette may appear alienating to some. To quote the lyrics of member Daniel Rossen, “It’s chaos but it works.”

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.

Album cover for Mysterium by Hammock.

Hammock - Mysterium (Hammock Music)

13 August 2017

“It’s all about the emotion swirling through these compositions, and whether you call it post rock or dream gaze or even drop the term polymath in passing, there are multiple layers here on these long tone poems. For exquisite works of art they are, with stunningly gorgeous instrumental passages chock full of strings and horn sections.”

Cornelius - Mellow Waves

Cornelius - Mellow Waves (Rostrum Records)

8 August 2017

Just short of 11 years have passed since the last proper full-length from Keigo Oyamada’s Cornelius outfit, and after such a long gap, it’s difficult to determine whether or not his latest effort invokes more than it originates.

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.

Samson Shock Tactics Real Gone

Samson - Shock Tactics 12" (Real Gone)

2 August 2017

Before Bruce Dickinson became known as the wailing banshee of Iron Maiden, he fronted Samson, a vehicle for Paul Samson, a guitarist who peacefully resides as an unheard giant of the new wave of British heavy metal.

waxahatchee out in the storm album

Waxahatchee – Out in the Storm (Merge)

28 July 2017

By the end of the first listen to Out in the Storm, the latest album from Waxahatchee, the tunes already felt familiar. The album is filled with enjoyable melodies, guitar-driven rock, and lyrics that are quite personal. The album closes on “Fade” but not for long as this record screams repeat.

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.

Vine album by Jen Gloeckner.

Jen Gloeckner - Vine (Spinning Head Records)

25 July 2017

“When you hear its rich, lush layers, it will seem inconceivable that it wasn’t recorded in an expensive studio. Jen’s music is a technicolor, acid-washed daydream, both trippy and expansive and cinematic in all the best ways.”

Ravi Shankar Nine Decades Ghanashyam A Broken Branch East Meets West

Ravi Shankar - Nine Decades Vol.5: Ghanashyam - A Broken Branch (East Meets West)

21 July 2017

In 1989, Ravi Shankar delivered a powerful dance-drama, sort of an Indian ballet, to the Birmingham Touring Opera Company on commission.

Melvins - A Walk with Love and Death

Melvins - A Walk with Love and Death (Ipecac Recordings)

19 July 2017

Melvins’ first ever double LP combines an eerie film score with a record of their traditional song-based (and naturally heavy) standard fare.

Album cover for Looking Forward from Chris Bell.

Looking Forward: The Roots of Big Star - Featuring Chris Bell (Omnivore Recordings) / Big Star - The Best of Big Star (Concord Music Group)

16 July 2017

“The Best of Big Star_ makes me wonder what superlatives I can offer that haven’t already been offered by a thousand other scribes. I got into Big Star in the 80s, before reissues happened and when original copies on Ardent Records were fetching big bucks. I remember how difficult it was to find #1 Record and Radio City back in the day, and my resulting delight when I found them in New York City via mail order. Reissues came later and now it’s dead easy to find these tunes, but even so, it’s always a pleasure and a delight to hear these songs, sounding as crisp and clear as the day they were recorded.”

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.

Various The Complete Loma Singles Vol.1 Real Gone

Various - The Complete Loma Singles Vol.1 (Real Gone)

13 July 2017

Between 1964 and 1968, Loma Records, an imprint of Warner Brothers that began as a commercial enterprise, became the conglomerate’s soul division under label head Bob Krasnow (formerly of Del-Fi, Autumn, and King Records).