Shop our Big Takeover store for back issues, t-shirts & CDs
Follow The Big Takeover
Ultimately, Romantic Stories is richer and far more fulfilling than a mere travelogue.
Aside from his familiar trill, the hushed, homespun folk Helsinki’s pleasantly-voiced Palonen fashions on TP is far removed from his previous outfit Kuparilinna’s punchier, ‘60s-inspired indie pop, surf, and psych-rock.
At the end of World War II, the victors, i.e. the USA and USSR, split the territories they’d defeated along ideological lines.
The album’s first great stretch of songs starts with the 3rd track, the lilting ballad “Halls of Sarah,” ending with a vocal hook utilizing Case’s astonishing voice that is destined to get stuck in your head for days afterwards.
As the EP is a little ephemeral, it could use some beefing up, but it remains a touching tribute to a cause which deserves far more attention.
“This music is unsettling, sparse, elegant, and always engages the listener. Yet, it is never easy listening by any stretch.”
The Official may have been a long time coming, but Halfwait have handsomely rewarded their fans for the wait with an album that encapsulates their entire growth as a band up until this point.
In Your Room is commendable for the risks taken, but hopefully it will be lauded more for the quality of Sebastian O’s songwriting.
Many asked what kind of music would come out of the Trump era, and without a doubt Anatomy is an injection of compassion which we so desperately need.
You’d be hard pressed to find many horn sections today finer than the one in Disaster Relief, and this album comes just in time to remedy this summer’s heat wave.
It’s been five years since New Jersey native Rose’s last album, 2013’s sumptuous Stars, Stripes, and Milestones. But boasting livelier and more luxurious production and arrangements, this self-titled sixth LP outshines it.
“Their songs are full of sensory imagery and deeply felt instrumentation, and it’s their unique way of trying to approach universal joys and sorrows that allows the band to achieve the emotional connection with their listeners that makes them so special.”
In just four songs, Cordova makes a bold statement at a blisteringly fast pace with Runaway Summer, and sets a precedent for their next full-length album, whatever that may be.
The covers obviously can’t compare to the originals, but In the Light of Led Zeppelin does a more than commendable job of proving the elasticity of a well-written song and that recording another artist’s work doesn’t have to mean a faithful reproduction.
For an album recorded at a practice space, there is an accomplished aspect to Basement Recordings regardless of its very unpolished state.
By looking back through the history of world and pop music, James Labrosse ends up creating something with Orange Night that is both fresh and exciting.
Joan of Arc’s latest is a patchwork of retrospective blips that fade in and out at an almost subliminal rate, not looking to drag new meaning out of the past but rather to ensure that nothing was overlooked.
““Golden Blunders” is marvelous ear candy with a memorable main melody and strong lyrics. And the muscle behind the sweetness kicks ass! That’s what power pop is all about really, an amalgam of sweetness and light mashed with hard driving drums and bass, and these guys do it so well!”
Maniac’s Release ‘Dead Dance Club’ Is A Radiant Devotion To Punk Rock
Ultimately, And the Stars Above is music which one can easily put on in the background while carrying on with one’s day, but it also invites close listening and individual interpretation.
Dork Matter isn’t a great leap forward for The Thirds, but it makes the case once again that they are very capable of writing subtly mature pop with a brand of confessional lyricism rare in their scene.
By the 1990s, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins had been relegated to the annals of obscurity.
Strange Culprits captures a band still finding their footing, but there’s plenty of glimpses of a strong, captivating identity to warrant numerous listens.
“There really is no mistaking Victoria Legrand’s winsome alto, or the delicate little flourishes the group employs to dress up their sound. Victoria and musical partner Alex Scally have produced a winning collection of songs on what is arguably their best album.”
“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.