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Big Takeover #81 Fall 2017
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Paul Maged - The Glass River (Self-Released)

25 April 2018

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.

Freak Heat Waves - Beyond XXXL

Freak Heat Waves - Beyond XXXL (Telephone Explosion)

25 April 2018

Beyond XXXL is made for those who love Iggy Pop’s The Idiot, but would specifically like a 45-minute reflection of “Nightclubbing.”

Ryan Hutchens - The Last Ten Years (Self-Released)

23 April 2018

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.

Mekons - Never Been in a Riot

The Mekons - Never Been in a Riot and Where Were You? (Superior Viaduct)

23 April 2018

Superior Viaduct has reissued the first two classic singles by U.K. punk pioneers The Mekons.

Ruins Sample SIze Album Cover

Ruins – Sample Size (Self Released)

22 April 2018

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.

Jasmine Karimova - From the Womb (Stuart Davis Media)

18 April 2018

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.

Spanish Love Songs Schmaltz cover

Spanish Love Songs – Schmaltz (A-F Records)

16 April 2018

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.

Sleepyhead - Future Exhibit Goes Here

Sleepyhead - Future Exhibit Goes Here (Drawing Room Records)

13 April 2018

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.

Honnda Maraschino Mic Drop Orange Milk

Honnda - Maraschino Mic Drop CS (Orange Milk)

12 April 2018

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.

Mouse on Mars - Dimensional People

Mouse on Mars - Dimensional People (Thrill Jockey)

11 April 2018

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.

Guided By Voices - Space Gun

Guided By Voices - Space Gun (Rockathon Records)

10 April 2018

GBV’s 25th album ensures that the frequency of their output isn’t due to phoning it in but rather the miracle of dedication.

Preoccupations - New Material

Preoccupations - New Material (Jagjaguwar)

9 April 2018

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.

Evil Spirits album art by The Damned.

The Damned - Evil Spirits (Search and Destroy / Spinefarm Records)

8 April 2018

“A highly melodic release with huge hooks and the usual amalgamation of punk, garage, goth, and psych that the band excels at.

Ben Ryan - Abacus (Self-Released)

5 April 2018

Abacaus ends up spreading itself thin ever so slightly, but it nevertheless has many fantastic moments which suggest an even brighter future.

The Messthetics - S/T

The Messthetics - S/T (Dischord Records)

5 April 2018

This debut of a supergroup featuring members of Fugazi gets too caught up in the jamming aspect of band practice.

Black Rainbows Pandaemonium Heavy Psych Sounds

Black Rainbows - Pandaemonium (Heavy Psych Sounds)

4 April 2018

After eleven years of mind-blowing releases, Italy’s Black Rainbows deliver their sixth, best, most solid album yet.

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.

Sam Levin - I Am (Clarence Productions)

2 April 2018

I Am ends up as the perfect title for what is essentially a quietly confident manifesto on a deeply personal level.

Tomorrow's Eve - Mirror Of Creation III – Project Ikaros (Baze Records)

29 March 2018

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.

Album cover for "Songs For Somewhere Else" from The Hanging Stars.

The Hanging Stars - Songs For Somewhere Else (Crimson Crow)

25 March 2018

“The Hanging Stars are a delightful, London folk rock collective whose musical range also extends into country (think Gram Parsons) and West Coast psych.”

Mount Eerie - Now Only

Mount Eerie - Now Only (P.W. Elverum & Sun)

23 March 2018

Now Only is a more focused and musically satisfying second chapter in the ongoing chronicle of Geneviève’s postmortem.

Luca Bash - Keys of Mine (Self-Released)

21 March 2018

Keys of Mine is the sound of an artist reveling again in being surrounded by the creative atmosphere of like-minded musicians.

Yo La Tengo - There's a Riot Going On

Yo La Tengo - There's a Riot Going On (Matador Records)

15 March 2018

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.

Evan & the Live Oaks - Hyde Street EP (Self-Released)

13 March 2018

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.

Ajay Mathur - Little Boat (Yakketeeyak)

11 March 2018

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.

ANMLS Slovenly Algo

ANMLS - ANMLS 12" (Slovenly/Algo)

6 March 2018

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.

Screaming Females - All at Once

Screaming Females - All at Once (Don Giovanni Records)

4 March 2018

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.

Kudzu Defeated Push & Pull

Kudzu - Defeated CS (Push & Pull)

27 February 2018

Springfield, MO synth punks Kudzu return with a sophomore effort full of driving beats and infectious melodies.

Ought - Room Inside the World

Ought - Room Inside the World (Merge Records)

26 February 2018

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

26 February 2018

Matthew Stubbs and the Antiguas have crafted a whacked-out soundtrack with these 10 cuts.

Full Color Dream What Do I Owe You cover art

Full Color Dream – What Do I Owe You EP (Self-Released)

25 February 2018

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!

Linqua Franqa Model Minority HHBTM

Linqua Franqa - Model Minority 12" (HHBTM)

24 February 2018

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.

Superchunk - What a Time to Be Alive

Superchunk - What a Time to Be Alive (Merge Records)

21 February 2018

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.

Andrew Reed - If All The World Were Right (Artists International)

20 February 2018

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.

Scream Hello Island Earth

Scream Hello – This Island Earth (Black Numbers)

17 February 2018

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.

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.

Jason Vitelli - Head Above Tide (Self-Released)

15 February 2018

It’s an album that resists categorization or understanding, and it constantly morphs and evolves, often within a single song.

Nebula Let It Burn Heavy Psych Sounds

Nebula - Let It Burn (Heavy Psych Sounds)

13 February 2018

In 1997, guitarist Eddie Glass and drummer Ruben Romano left stoner rock kings Fu Manchu to pursue a slightly different sound than their alma mater.

Arden and the Wolves - Who Can You Trust (Self-Released)

11 February 2018

What’s so enthralling and relatable about Who Can You Trust is that Leigh sounds like she’s truly singing for herself and no one else, which will ultimately make the EP all the more relatable for so many people.

Corrosion of Conformity NCNC

Corrosion of Conformity - No Cross No Crown (Nuclear Blast)

10 February 2018

All is right with the world: Corrosion of Conformity have released their tenth studio album, No Cross No Crown. Much is written about line-up changes, who is in, who is out, but this matters very little since all C.O.C. releases are a reason to celebrate. Regardless of how the world changes, it is great to know C.O.C. will continue to add to the punk/ metal lexicon they helped establish and once again prove the best head-bangers have a punk soul.

Ben Brookes - The Motor Car & The Weather Balloon (Martin-Guild)

4 February 2018

Had The Motor Car & The Weather Balloon been released in 1994, at the peak of the Britpop era, it’s very likely it could have been a much bigger album, but it still stands a set of superbly crafted tunes from a musician with the secrets of British pop running through his blood.

Delta-S - Coven (WindM Records, Scribe)

2 February 2018

For established fans, Coven will be a welcome addition to the band’s oeuvre, but new listeners might want to start with the previous trilogy to brush up first.

Anna Burch - Quit the Curse

Anna Burch - Quit the Curse (Polyvinyl Records)

2 February 2018

Anna Burch’s solo debut proves that if you plug in a guitar and apply a noticeable amount of reverb somewhere within the process of recording, indie pop can indeed be quickly reduced to something anyone can do.

Wau Y Los Arrrghs El Mañanero Slovenly

Wau y los Arrrghs!!! - "El Mañanero" 7" (Slovenly)

30 January 2018

In May of 2017, Spain’s Wau y los Arrrghs!!! played their final show, ending an uncompromising fourteen-year garage onslaught.

Raven King - Raven King (Self-Released)

29 January 2018

Raven King is an album that is tied to experimentation, and it is this that is ultimately responsible for both its successes and its (relative) failures.

Geoff Gibbons - Buffalo Hotel (Self-Released)

29 January 2018

The album will be a treat for fans of the California country-tinged folk of acts like Jackson Browne and The Byrds, and Gibbons’ soulful, earthy vocals lend an authenticity to songs coated in a thick layer of dusty Americana.

Half Japanese - Why Not?

Half Japanese - Why Not? (Fire Records)

29 January 2018

Jad Fair remains an overflowing fountain of wide-eyed, childlike poetry and his bandmates all craft the dependable art rock stylings that have become associated with the name over the years. “One word for it: Wow.”

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.

Ivan Beecroft - Whatever (Self-Released)

24 January 2018

Whatever is an album that is rough around the edges, but perhaps that’s the point and it’s all the better for it.

Tune-Yards - I can feel you creep into my private life

Tune-Yards - I can feel you creep into my private life (4AD)

24 January 2018

Our aggressively dystopian present has collided with Tune-Yards, temporarily sapping them of their comedy. However, wit stays safely intact on their latest, and they’ve traded in their jesting aptitude for a beefed up dance engine, destined to get every last woke one of us on the floor.