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Big Takeover #81 Fall 2017
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Giant Flying Turtles - Waltz to the World (Self-Released)

22 September 2017

Their second and latest album, Waltz to the World, is a strangely jazzy affair that combines various elements of both prog and left-of-center pop in a catchy yet artistic way slightly similar in vein to XTC.

Deerhoof - Mountain Moves

Deerhoof - Mountain Moves (Joyful Noise Recordings)

21 September 2017

If you’re willing – in a profoundly strange but fun way, Mountain Moves is the kind of album America needs now to begin the healing process, if that’s at all feasible.

Chad VanGaalen - Light Information

Chad VanGaalen - Light Information (Sub Pop)

21 September 2017

With his sixth solo outing, VanGaalen mines his haunting production values to yield the same goofy brand of surreal yarns we know him for.

Fvzz Popvli Fvzz Dei Heavy Psych

Fvzz Popvli - Fvzz Dei (Heavy Psych)

20 September 2017

Roman power trio Fvzz Popvli celebrate fuzz their own way on a debut full-length that will likely leave many scratching their heads.

Lochness Monster - Fables (Self-Released)

13 September 2017

To anyone, it is immediately clear that Weezer is a large influence on Lochness Monster, but the band’s slightly more progressive and serious than the pseudo-heavy metal pop punk lyricism of Rivers Cuomo.

Alvvays - Antisocialites

Alvvays - Antisocialites (Polyvinyl Records)

13 September 2017

Alvvays have raised the stakes, brushing up on the handbook of pop and making the competent, forward-thinking, deceptively saccharine album they’ve been studying for.

Oh Sees - Orc

Oh Sees - Orc (Castle Face Records)

12 September 2017

Following several LP and song names that could double as entries in the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual, they now fittingly bring us Orc.

Antibalas Where The Gods Are In Peace Daptone

Antibalas - Where The Gods Are In Peace (Daptone)

11 September 2017

Nearly two decades on, Brooklyn’s twelve-piece afrobeat ensemble Antibalas shows no signs of slowing down on its powerful sixth full-length.

Lusterlit - List of Equipment EP

Lusterlit - List of Equipment EP (Self-Released)

8 September 2017

Literature has been an inspiration for many musicians and bands. Susan Hwang and Charlie Nieland of Lusterlit have taken that to a honest and dreamlike place, on their new e.p., List of Equipment.

DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince He's the DJ I'm the Rapper Real Gone

DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper 2xCD (Real Gone)

6 September 2017

Before becoming a revered Oscar-nominated A-list actor, Will Smith was one half of a hip-hop duo who not only placed Philadelphia on the map, but also achieved wide mainstream success with the genre’s first double LP.

Here's the Riot - Tonight We're Alive EP (Full Bleed)

2 September 2017

Tonight We’re Alive isn’t music one can analyze endlessly, which is exactly why this record sits firmly in the long tradition of corporeal rock and roll.

Staring Into Nothing - Power (Self-Released)

28 August 2017

The record occasionally slips into territory that hints at a purely cursory glance at 1984, but Power remains a fascinating first glimpse at a trilogy that can only be fully appreciated at its eventual close.

The Knast - Reckless Soul

The Knast - Reckless Soul

28 August 2017

There is a longtime specter haunting the Pacific NW; it is known in every garage and soul club.

Queens of the Stone Age Villains

Queens of the Stone Age – Villains (Matador)

27 August 2017

Queens of the Stone Age return with their seventh studio album, Villains, and not surprisingly it swings, rocks, and grooves. If this is what happens when a well-paid producer combines with a band that helped define a sub-genre than who cares, let the beat go on.

Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins

Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins (RCA)

23 August 2017

Painted Ruins is such a reversal of Shields’ instant accessibility that although genius, its palette may appear alienating to some. To quote the lyrics of member Daniel Rossen, “It’s chaos but it works.”

Veseria - RLTVTY (Self-Released)

16 August 2017

Veseria is entirely comfortable combining elements of punk, rock, and folk, and they have never sounded more confident and relaxed in the studio, while showing an attention for detail that, thankfully, doesn’t entirely erase the band’s scrappier edges.

Album cover for Mysterium by Hammock.

Hammock - Mysterium (Hammock Music)

13 August 2017

“It’s all about the emotion swirling through these compositions, and whether you call it post rock or dream gaze or even drop the term polymath in passing, there are multiple layers here on these long tone poems. For exquisite works of art they are, with stunningly gorgeous instrumental passages chock full of strings and horn sections.”

Cornelius - Mellow Waves

Cornelius - Mellow Waves (Rostrum Records)

8 August 2017

Just short of 11 years have passed since the last proper full-length from Keigo Oyamada’s Cornelius outfit, and after such a long gap, it’s difficult to determine whether or not his latest effort invokes more than it originates.

Jacqui L - PLANET PARALLEL 5 (Self-Released)

2 August 2017

Perhaps, it’s an album that would work best without the somewhat confusing concept, but the songs are strong enough to nevertheless stand up on their own.

Samson Shock Tactics Real Gone

Samson - Shock Tactics 12" (Real Gone)

2 August 2017

Before Bruce Dickinson became known as the wailing banshee of Iron Maiden, he fronted Samson, a vehicle for Paul Samson, a guitarist who peacefully resides as an unheard giant of the new wave of British heavy metal.

waxahatchee out in the storm album

Waxahatchee – Out in the Storm (Merge)

28 July 2017

By the end of the first listen to Out in the Storm, the latest album from Waxahatchee, the tunes already felt familiar. The album is filled with enjoyable melodies, guitar-driven rock, and lyrics that are quite personal. The album closes on “Fade” but not for long as this record screams repeat.

Adam Winn - Adam Winn EP (Self-Released)

26 July 2017

Winn isn’t afraid to dig deep on tracks like “Better Friend,” and consequently, he comes out with something truly inspired and pure.

Vine album by Jen Gloeckner.

Jen Gloeckner - Vine (Spinning Head Records)

25 July 2017

“When you hear its rich, lush layers, it will seem inconceivable that it wasn’t recorded in an expensive studio. Jen’s music is a technicolor, acid-washed daydream, both trippy and expansive and cinematic in all the best ways.”

Ravi Shankar Nine Decades Ghanashyam A Broken Branch East Meets West

Ravi Shankar - Nine Decades Vol.5: Ghanashyam - A Broken Branch (East Meets West)

21 July 2017

In 1989, Ravi Shankar delivered a powerful dance-drama, sort of an Indian ballet, to the Birmingham Touring Opera Company on commission.

Melvins - A Walk with Love and Death

Melvins - A Walk with Love and Death (Ipecac Recordings)

19 July 2017

Melvins’ first ever double LP combines an eerie film score with a record of their traditional song-based (and naturally heavy) standard fare.

Album cover for Looking Forward from Chris Bell.

Looking Forward: The Roots of Big Star - Featuring Chris Bell (Omnivore Recordings) / Big Star - The Best of Big Star (Concord Music Group)

16 July 2017

“The Best of Big Star_ makes me wonder what superlatives I can offer that haven’t already been offered by a thousand other scribes. I got into Big Star in the 80s, before reissues happened and when original copies on Ardent Records were fetching big bucks. I remember how difficult it was to find #1 Record and Radio City back in the day, and my resulting delight when I found them in New York City via mail order. Reissues came later and now it’s dead easy to find these tunes, but even so, it’s always a pleasure and a delight to hear these songs, sounding as crisp and clear as the day they were recorded.”

Groupoem - Dirt Church (Self-Released)

15 July 2017

With any luck, Dirt Church will put Groupoem back on the map and introduce them to an even larger fan base than ever before.

Various The Complete Loma Singles Vol.1 Real Gone

Various - The Complete Loma Singles Vol.1 (Real Gone)

13 July 2017

Between 1964 and 1968, Loma Records, an imprint of Warner Brothers that began as a commercial enterprise, became the conglomerate’s soul division under label head Bob Krasnow (formerly of Del-Fi, Autumn, and King Records).

Toro Y Moi - Boo Boo

Toro Y Moi - Boo Boo (Carpark Records)

12 July 2017

Chaz Bear’s acuity for pop showmanship hasn’t ditched out on this record, but along with the themes, the compositions sound vastly darker and more contemplative than ever before.

Mutoid Man - War Moans

Mutoid Man – War Moans (Sargent House)

11 July 2017

Mutoid Man’s latest LP, War Moans, opens fast and furious with “Melt Your Mind” and does not slow down much thereafter. Knowing the historical output from the band members’ other bands, namely Cave In and Converge, it is not surprising the 12 tracks comprise a splendid mix of extreme metal and hardcore punk.

Rich Lerner & The Groove - Push On Thru (Self-Released)

10 July 2017

Sonically speaking, the band effortlessly combines the folkier elements of The Grateful Dead with the power pop of groups like Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and a harder blues rock edge à la The Rolling Stones.

Album cover for the C88 box set.

C88 Box Set - Various Artists (Cherry Red Records)

9 July 2017

“This new release is a celebration of the Eighties Indie scene, documenting a golden era when tuneful guitar-based bands made records on shoestring budgets, often issued on small labels with hand-made artwork, with little hope of mainstream exposure.”

Album cover for B-Sides and Rarities from Beach House.

Beach House - B-Sides and Rarities (Sub Pop)

5 July 2017

“The idea for a B-sides record came when we realized just how many non-album songs had been made over the years, and how hard it was to find and hear many of them. This compilation contains every song we have ever made that does not exist on one of our records.”

Michel Griffin - Feel My Love

Michel Griffin – Feel My Love: Michel Griffin Sings Bob Dylan’s Finest Lovesongs (Vine Valley Music)

4 July 2017

Born in Oxford, England, this tender-voiced troubadour expands upon the theme of his last three covers-speckled albums by re-imagining 14 love songs from his “early hero” Bob Dylan’s copious catalogue.

Alan Sutcliffe EMS Synthi AKS Improv

Alan Sutcliffe - EMS Synthi AKS Improv CS (Buried Treasure)

28 June 2017

During his lifetime, West Yorkshire, UK-born Alan Sutcliffe (1930-2014) founded the Computer Arts Society, produced animation for Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien (seen in the cover art) and acted as part-time director for Electronic Music Studios, creators of the EMS Synthi AKS.

Spooky Action - Jason Loewenstein

Jason Loewenstein - Spooky Action (Joyful Noise Recordings)

27 June 2017

Like staring at the clock and waiting for your ninth period class to come to an end, Jason Loewenstein’s latest effort is a tight, fast assortment of controlled chaos that rings that bell to set you loose.

American High - Bones in the Attic, Flowers in the Basement (Self-Released)

27 June 2017

American High still sound like a band just beginning, which makes this such an exciting and enthusiastic debut.

The Rippers A Gut Feeling Slovenly

The Rippers - A Gut Feeling 12" (Slovenly)

27 June 2017

Sardinia’s The Rippers return with their fifth full-length that shows their blistering freakbeat at full tilt.

Eric Frisch - Late in the Night EP (Self-Released)

26 June 2017

Late in the Night is a wonderfully fresh concept, if only a slight addition to the artist’s larger body of work.

Allen Ginsberg The Complete Songs Of Innocence And Experience Omnivore

Allen Ginsberg - The Complete Songs Of Innocence And Experience 2xCD (Omnivore)

23 June 2017

Before poet Allen Ginsberg recorded the legendary sessions that would end up on last year’s phenomenal The Last Word on First Blues collection, he paid tribute to his hero and inspiration William Blake by setting the master’s words to music for what would be his debut non-spoken word album.

Dusty Wright - Caterwauling Towards the Light

Dusty Wright - Caterwauling Towards the Light (Pet Rock)

22 June 2017

Wright…has been writing more deeply personal songs on recent albums, just from the greater perspective gained from dealing with all aspects of life over a long period of time. Recently, death in the family more keenly focused this tendency, and the hard-earned result is a touching album of plainspoken truths.

Luxembourg Signal Laura Palmer Shelflife

The Luxembourg Signal - "Laura Palmer" 7" (Shelflife)

21 June 2017

Two and a half years after their beautiful, stellar debut, The Luxembourg Signal finally return with an expanded lineup and a pair of excellent songs.

Banditos - Visionland (Bloodshot Records)

20 June 2017

“The Banditos rock to their own inner rhythms, picking influences and sounds from across both time and genres. Get on board.”

Album cover for Magic Shoppe's High Goodbye EP.

Magic Shoppe - High Goodbye EP (Little Cloud Records)

18 June 2017

“The band’s sound continues to evolve into a hammering wonder of drones, peaceful passages, and boot stompin’ psych blues.”

Cover art for Taeppe by Landing.

Landing - Taeppe EP (Vast Arc Hues)

18 June 2017

“This batch of songs is meant to surround and comfort the listener with fuzzy vibrations and soft tones.”

Phoenix - Ti Amo

Phoenix - Ti Amo (Glassnote Records)

16 June 2017

Ti Amo is the aural equivalent of a by all means successful – and at times particularly elating – booze cruise.

Eliot Lipp, Skywave

Eliot Lipp - Skywave (Young Heavy Souls)

16 June 2017

Austin-based musician Eliot Lipp preps the release of Skywave.

Album cover for the Floored EP from Stutter Steps.

Stutter Steps - Floored (Blue Arrow Records)

13 June 2017

“Stutter Steps is a Pittsburgh based jangle pop group who’ve deeply mined the Kiwi pop sound and added a soupcon of Luna and maybe some Go Betweens along the way.”