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“pokes its head through the delay pedal fog and has a renewed focus on song and vocal. There are still some moments for the deep tryypr, but this record ranges from psych fuzz rock mayhem to acoustic fingerpicked whispers.”
Brokedown Free Man Blues is ultimately far more accurate of a self-portrait than anything the artist may have planned.
Undoubtedly, The Sandcastle King is starved for warmth, but it remains an absolutely fantastic mood piece which is perfect listening for anyone searching for something similar to the way they themselves feel.
The Smartest Person in the Room is an album that should be paid attention to closely, for it’s full of jokes, wisdom, and surprising moments of heart which can fly by unnoticed.
Any Day is a bold expression derived from stress and change crafted from the masters in rare form, typical form, and most importantly, new form.
Ultimately, the true identity behind the beard doesn’t really matter, because Inward speaks for itself as a shining, highly original example of the limitless possibilities of pop music.
Almost two years after they teased its title track, Jaala’s sophomore LP Joonya Spirit is well worth the wait.
It’ll be interesting to see what the extra songs add to Golden Age, but the EP in its present form is a ready-made, tightly coherent package of unadulterated, artful pop.
“In some respects Spirit were too inspirational and eclectic to ever become major stars, because what they were doing danced around the edges of many musical genres, but in doing so they mined a rich and exciting seam of music.”
Heart-on-sleeves, hardscrabble troubadours The Smoking Flowers.
Bewilderment over Hop Along’s latest cannot be indebted to any defined science—they just know how to wow by the cleverest and most economic means.
Stylistically both folksy and jazzy, while Peters’ lyrics are honest and stripped of unnecessary adornments, Spirits is an EP which will attract a wide array of listeners.
It’ll be interesting to see if he will continue this trajectory with an entirely political EP to finish off the trilogy, but the project has already resulted in some of the most potent music in Maged’s career.
Beyond XXXL is made for those who love Iggy Pop’s The Idiot, but would specifically like a 45-minute reflection of “Nightclubbing.”
The Last Ten Years is caught somewhere in between a statement of transition and a declaration of maturity, and is arguably Hutchens finest creation yet.
Superior Viaduct has reissued the first two classic singles by U.K. punk pioneers The Mekons.
Sample Size is the debut from Ruins, hailing from Liverpool, and it is a stunner demonstrating the ability to create atmosphere, emotion, and beautiful music in a minimalistic arrangement of sounds, beats, and voice. Go get this now and let’s hope it is not a one off. Hands down, debut of the year so far and, who knows, this could easily become album of the year.
What remains is a voice identifiable to her alone in both tone and subject manner, and From the Womb crosses the finish line as a remarkably self-assured minor masterstroke.
On Schmaltz, Spanish Love Songs offer up extremely emotional punk/ hardcore with hooks galore that just screams for audience participation in sing-alongs at a basement venue coming to a town near you. This an interesting LP: the hooks and energy make it hard not to recommend and the subject matter makes it curious to see what this band becomes when they grow up. This is a much deeper record than it appears at first glance, like someone smiling at you as they tell you how much they are struggling through life.
Revisiting Sleepyhead’s tenure on Homestead Records is as much of a trip down memory lane as it is an acid test for just how widely the gumption was spread to the more unknown sects of alternative circles at the time.
What if pop music actually aspired to be art? Honnda, aka Brooklyn’s Amnon Freidlin (Mouthguard88, Normal Love, ex-Zs), makes it happen on his brilliant collection of spastic cartoon dubstep/house hybrids.
Featuring an array of guest musicians and a wide berth of ideas and styles, MoM’s latest plays out like a series of bite-sized In the Fishtank performances, each touting its own brand of curiosity.
GBV’s 25th album ensures that the frequency of their output isn’t due to phoning it in but rather the miracle of dedication.
The complicated time signatures and Matt Flegel’s snarl are still intact on the band’s third LP, yet the lack of a centerpiece may leave fans unsated.
“A highly melodic release with huge hooks and the usual amalgamation of punk, garage, goth, and psych that the band excels at.
Abacaus ends up spreading itself thin ever so slightly, but it nevertheless has many fantastic moments which suggest an even brighter future.
This debut of a supergroup featuring members of Fugazi gets too caught up in the jamming aspect of band practice.
After eleven years of mind-blowing releases, Italy’s Black Rainbows deliver their sixth, best, most solid album yet.
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.
I Am ends up as the perfect title for what is essentially a quietly confident manifesto on a deeply personal level.
Mirror Of Creation III is out May 25th on Baze Records, and it proves the band still has a lot to give to the prog metal genre.
“The Hanging Stars are a delightful, London folk rock collective whose musical range also extends into country (think Gram Parsons) and West Coast psych.”
Now Only is a more focused and musically satisfying second chapter in the ongoing chronicle of Geneviève’s postmortem.
Keys of Mine is the sound of an artist reveling again in being surrounded by the creative atmosphere of like-minded musicians.
It’s 2018 and there’s a riot going on. As much as they opined, “This is it for all we know,” on last record Fade, it’s still too early to punch in their cards.
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.
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.
In the middle of political turbulence, modern American punk rock seems oblivious and apathetic, even in the face of underground clubs closing doors across the country.
All at Once builds on the pop flirtations of their previous record while matching the length and bevy of ideas found on Ugly, marrying the two in a mettlesome, swaggering although humbled ultra-album.
Springfield, MO synth punks Kudzu return with a sophomore effort full of driving beats and infectious melodies.
On their third album in four years, Ought continue to be one of the most inventive bands of late, operating on the sheer ingenuity of its proprietors.
Matthew Stubbs and the Antiguas have crafted a whacked-out soundtrack with these 10 cuts.
I have a soft spot for succinct post-hardcore EPs and thankfully Full Color Dream have released What Do I Owe You because I needed it. No new ground is broken here but putting all the pieces together from late 80s and early to mid-90s (before the bubble burst) alternative rock/ hardcore/ post-hardcore is not always done this well. Bring more soon!
Though hip-hop has historically been male-dominated, a few strong women have risen over the years to remind the boys that the girls can dish it out even better.
What a Time to Be Alive is a far more apt address than the one Donald Trump issued in January; it’s a State of the Union of the people, by the people, for the people.
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.
Hailing from New Jersey, this is the band’s first new material in about 10 years. One can hear hints of post Sunny Day Real Estate Jeremy Enigk and the melodic styling of Death Cab for Cutie – these are offered only as reference points and not meant to detract from this band’s ability to have their own voice, which they do in spades. Keep an eye out for these guys, let’s hope they keep the music coming.
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.