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The Big Takeover #79
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Album cover for Foxhole from The Proper Ornaments.

The Proper Ornaments – Foxhole (Tough Love Records)

15 January 2017

“They have created a winning collection of medium tempo songs, sunny melodies only partially disguising the moody lyrical content.”

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.

Ramsey - "Love Surrounds You"

Ramsey - "Love Surrounds You" (Self-Released)

13 January 2017

Electronic noir artist Ramsey offers another slow-burning stunner that features her tormented, yet alluring vocals.

MIss Ohio - White Hot: The best of Miss Ohio

Miss Ohio - "14" (Pyrrhic Victory Recordings)

11 January 2017

Long-standing NJ-based band Miss Ohio delivers American indie rock at its finest on its new single.

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.

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.

Album cover for Known to Collapse's Transport Paradise album.

Known to Collapse - Transport Paradise (Green Chair Music Ltd)

29 December 2016

“Diverse arrangements and themes abound on this album. Put the needle anywhere, and you’ll be drawn into an intoxicating melodic drift that sweeps you along with it.”

The Modern Airline Bus Trapped Underground Mimic the Prayer Sounds

The Modern Airline - "Bus Trapped Underground"/"Mimic the Prayer Sounds" 7" (The Modern Airline)

21 December 2016

After five years of flying under the radar, Brooklyn’s The Modern Airline finally follow their eponymous 2011 debut full-length with a strong 7” that shows where they’ve been and where they’re going.

Album cover for Landing's Complekt album.

Landing - Complekt (These Are Not Records)

11 December 2016

“This truly is music for floating away forever into the clouds, an infinite journey with Complekt as the perfect soundtrack. Highly recommended!”

Album cover for the Getaway reissue by The Clean.

The Clean - Getaway Reissue (Merge Records)

11 December 2016

The Clean need no introduction as they are a long established classic Kiwi pop band on the venerable Flying Nun label.”

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.

Ministry Trax! Rarities Cleopatra

Ministry - Trax! Rarities 2x12" (Cleopatra)

7 December 2016

Before Al Jourgensen became defined by the metal industrial sound he pioneered, Ministry began as a synthwave band blending elements of post-punk, goth and electronic krautrock into a unified sound.

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.

Emma Pollock - In Search of Harperfield

Emma Pollock — In Search of Harperfield (Chemikal Underground)

6 December 2016

A late look at one of the year’s best albums. The internal momentum of Pollock’s discography, seemingly impervious to the passage of time and lack of immediate rewards, remains its most striking feature.

Sonambient Harry Bertoia Clear Sounds Perfetta Important

Harry Bertoia - Clear Sounds/Perfetta (Sonambient/Important)

6 December 2016

Following the box set documenting Harry Bertoia’s complete Sonambient catalog comes a brand new release of previously unheard recordings that further the legacy of the legendary sculptor/composer.

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.

Album cover for The Magic Shoppe's Wonderland album.

The Magic Shoppe - Wonderland (Little Cloud Records)

4 December 2016

“This supercharged psych quintet records for the Portland, OR imprint Little Cloud Records. With a triple threat in the form of three guitarists (Josiah, Kate, and Tayler), these folks kick out the jams on this 8 song short album.”

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.

Hey Colossus Dedicated to Uri Klangers MIE

Hey Colossus - Dedicated to Uri Klangers 2x12" (MIE)

1 December 2016

To celebrate their ten year anniversary in 2013, London noisemongers Hey Colossus assembled a “best of” compilation, originally released on cassette by S.O.U.L. with only 50 copies made.

Personal and the Pizzas Slovenly

Personal and the Pizzas - Personal and the Pizzas 12" (Slovenly)

29 November 2016

Having released a slew of 7“s and a lone full-length, New Jersey’s Personal and the Pizzas finally return with another long player that reminds us why they’re the greatest thug rock band in the world.

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.

The Smart Pills Lost Studio Recordings VCP

The Smart Pills - Lost Studio Recordings EP (Vince Conrad Productions)

28 November 2016

Inspired by the scene happening around them along with punk rock from England, The Smart Pills formed in New York City in early 1978, but relocated to Topeka, KS after finding themselves completely destitute.

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.

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.

album cover for Hammock's Raising Your Voice...Trying to Stop an Echo

Hammock - Raising Your Voice...Trying to Stop an Echo, Deluxe Edition (Hammock Music)

27 November 2016

“Hammock sounds utterly unique, their shimmer and shine is all their own. All their releases are gems that stand on their own, each the next chapter in a series of dreamscapes.”

Jerry Goldsmith Chinatown Cinewax

Jerry Goldsmith - Chinatown OST 12" (Cinewax/Light in the Attic)

24 November 2016

According to lore, Chinatown’s producer Robert Evans disliked Phillip Lambro’s original score so much, he hired Jerry Goldsmith to compose an entirely new one.

Lee Hazlewood Cowboy in Sweden Light in the Attic

Lee Hazlewood - Cowboy In Sweden (Light in the Attic)

23 November 2016

In 1970, Lee Hazlewood left his shambling record label Lee Hazlewood Industries, broken relationship with longtime partner Suzi Jane Hokom and the Vietnam War, which threatened to draft is only son, for the calmer pastures of Sweden.

Cover for Let's Go Down and Blow Our Minds.

Let’s Go Down and Blow Our Minds: The British Psychedelic Sounds of 1967 (Grapefruit/Cherry Red)

20 November 2016

“Cherry Red has become the archival label, in my humble opinion. In conjunction with Grapefruit Records, this fantastic compendium spanning four hours and eighty tracks has arrived. All manner of sounds inhabit the three disks, anticipating the fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love and chronicling a tumultuous 12 month period of music in the British Isles. “

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.

Tim Buckley Wings The Complete Singles 1966-1974 Omnivore

Tim Buckley - Wings: The Complete Singles 1966-1974 (Omnivore)

18 November 2016

Though not necessarily a “singles artist” per se, Tim Buckley recorded 10 singles throughout his eight-year career.

Our Daughter's Wedding Moving Windows Futurismo

Our Daughter's Wedding - Moving Windows (Futurismo)

15 November 2016

New York-via-San Francisco’s Our Daughter’s Wedding only lasted from 1979-1984, yet, in those five years, they toured with Iggy Pop, U2, Duran Duran and The Psychedelic Furs, appeared on a budding MTV as guest hosts and delivered a synthpunk masterpiece that, sadly, became lost to time.

James Chance & the Contortions The Flesh Is Weak True Groove

James Chance & the Contortions - The Flesh Is Weak (True Groove)

14 November 2016

In 1979, James Chance & the Contortions delivered Buy, the seminal New York no wave album that bent brains and bones with its twisted take on post-punk, skronk and funk.

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.

Album cover for Split Single's new album Metal Frames.

Split Single - Metal Frames (Inside Outside Records)

11 November 2016

“I find myself tapping my toes and bobbing my head as I listen, and the roots of all those Jason has worked with kind of come through. “Glori” even has a spot where the guitar reminds me of Swervedriver. And “Untry Love” is not unlike The Foo Fighters circa “Learning to Fly”.”

Darrin James Band - Strange Storm

Darrin James Band - "Strange Storm"

9 November 2016

Darrin James trenchantly tackles timely American topics on his sonically dynamic and lyrically-blistering new single.

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.

E Thrill Jockey

E - E (Thrill Jockey)

8 November 2016

Thalia Zedek teams up with Neptune’s Jason Sanford and Gavin McCarthy of Karate for an art-noise trio that recalls the heyday of ’90s Touch and Go while looking forward to a bleak, uncertain future.

Dean Ween Group: The Deaner Album (ATO Records)

7 November 2016

The Deaner Album is a 110% Dean Ween joint- for good or ill. Adjust your attitude and dig in!

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.

Lee Fields & the Expressions Special Night Big Crown

Lee Fields & the Expressions - Special Night (Big Crown)

3 November 2016

Veteran New Jersey-via-North Carolina soul singer Lee Fields returns with long-time collaborators The Expressions for yet another powerful album that sounds like it warped out of the ’70s.

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.

Freddy Boom Boom Cannon The Gears Svengoolie Stomp Wondercap

Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon - "Svengoolie Stomp" 7" (Wondercap)

2 November 2016

Just in time for the Halloween season, ’50s teen heartthrob Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon celebrates the legacy of Chicago horror host Svengoolie with a rockin’ theme song backed by LA’s rockabilly surf punk pioneers The Gears.

Skinny Girl Diet Heavy Flow HHBTM

Skinny Girl Diet - Heavy Flow 12" (HHBTM)

2 November 2016

Three years after their side of a split 7” with Ethical Debating Society blew minds here in the US, London’s Skinny Girl Diet finally give us a full-length that fully delivers on everything promised on that initial release.