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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.
It’s an album that resists categorization or understanding, and it constantly morphs and evolves, often within a single song.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
In May of 2017, Spain’s Wau y los Arrrghs!!! played their final show, ending an uncompromising fourteen-year garage onslaught.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Whatever is an album that is rough around the edges, but perhaps that’s the point and it’s all the better for it.
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.
After the demise of Throbbing Gristle in 1981, frontman Genesis P-Orridge formed Psychic TV with former bandmate Peter Christopherson as an audio/visual enterprise building on the mindset of their former group.
“He pens lovely compositions drenched with emotion. Carey’s easy, almost laid back approach speaks of confidence and clarity of vision. He was trained in jazz and it lends itself to the skillful presentation on this release”
Political electronic pioneers Meat Beat Manifesto, led by lone remaining founding member Jack Dangers, continues evolving their ever-morphing sound with a nod to ’90s darkness on their first album in seven years.
Wolf In The Fold, in fantastic, explosive pulsations, hearkens back to the rawer, unbridled history of the Wild West—a history which is in many ways fabricated, and in doing so the band’s music adds to this mythologizing.
“Whatever you’re expecting with this fine new release from Melbourne band The Citradels, it’s not one size fits all psychedelia. They manage to mash up a wide variety of styles, ranging from the paisley vibes of “Believe and Receive” to the stellar, Beach-Boys infused “Dawn Chorus”, with its gorgeous harmonies and gentle melodic warmth.”
Michael Shepard appears to be staying in his electro-pop phase with the release of Relive. It is a crisp, modern album with a steady flow of mid to slow tempo synth-driven/ effects songs. Let’s hope they take this effort on the road as it would be great to hear these in a live setting side by side with the bands earlier rock anthems.