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The Big Takeover #80 Spring 2017
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Captain of the Lost Waves - Hidden Gems - Chapter 1 (Self-Released)

15 April 2017

Although there exists definable cornerstones, the band thrives more in that vague no man’s land, that abstract Venn diagram where goth, cabaret, vaudeville, and the circus all intersect.

Rush - Cygnus X-1, Book I & II 12" (UMe/Anthem/ole) - Record Store Day

14 April 2017

This is a fun release for Record Store Day that mimics the cornerstone of countless mixtapes made by teenaged prog-rock nerds of decades past, self included. For the first time, “Cygnus X-1, Book I: The Voyage” and “Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres” are officially bundled together into one complete story.

Jen Gloeckner - Vine

Jen Gloeckner – Vine (Spinning Head)

14 April 2017

Dubuque, Iowa’s sensual and soulful chanteuse Gloeckner doesn’t make many albums; this is only her third LP going back to 2004’s Miles Apart, and first since 2010’s Mouth of Mars. Yet Vine is worth the seven-year wait.

Arranged Marriage NP Team Love

Arranged Marriage NP - Arranged Marriage NP 12" (Team Love)

13 April 2017

New Paltz, NY ambient duo Arranged Marriage NP deliver a stunning debut that merges Indian classicism with Brian Eno’s sonic manipulation.

Inhalt Part Time Punks Sessions Cleopatra

Inhalt - Part Time Punks Sessions (Cleopatra)

12 April 2017

San Francisco synth-punks Inhalt deliver their first full-length in the form of a “best of” session for the celebrated Part Time Punks radio show.

Flamin’ Groovies - Live 1971 San Francisco (Rock Beat)

10 April 2017

“The Groovies were more punk than hippie – think of a San Fran Stooges – and never seemed to be a good fit for the laid-back California scene, but that didn’t slow them down.”

Album cover for Robyn Hitchcock's self-titled album.

Robyn Hitchcock – Robyn Hitchcock (Yep Roc Records)

9 April 2017

“His iconic career has followed many twists and turns, but on his upcoming release, he is revisiting the quirky psych pop he is known for. Tongue is firmly in cheek with these songs, but there are serious moments too. The sound here hearkens back to The Soft Boys as well as his early solo records.”

Broken Biscuits by Corin Ashley

Corin Ashley - Broken Biscuits (self-released)

8 April 2017

“This new album is a testament to his strength, courage, and unflagging determination to heal and soldier on. And what a great new album this is.”

Cold War Kids - L.A. Divine (Capitol Records)

6 April 2017

A review of Cold War Kids sixth studio album, L.A. Divine.

Nana Grizol - Ursa Minor

Nana Grizol - Ursa Minor (Orange Twin)

4 April 2017

Nana Grizol return with their first album in seven years without skipping a beat, continuing to craft intimate anthems for those who prefer their romanticism served with a side of reasoning.

C.K. Flach - Empty Mansions (Self-Released)

31 March 2017

Flach’s Empty Mansions, is a concept album about division and confusion in the modern era, and is the culmination of a long series of attempts and experiments by Flach.

Flamingods Majesty Soundway

Flamingods - Majesty (Soundway)

31 March 2017

Split between Bahrain and the UK, Flamingods persist, releasing a third studio album that reaches beyond earthly exotica into alien territory.

Pharmakon Contact Sacred Bones

Pharmakon - Contact (Sacred Bones)

30 March 2017

To celebrate a decade of sonic disturbance, NYC’s Pharmakon, aka Margaret Chardiet, delivers a full-on assault on the senses in the form of her third full-length.

Jason Wilson - Perennials

Jason Wilson – Perennials (Wheel)

29 March 2017

Blending breezy reggae with brassier jazz/bebop, Ontario’s two-time Juno Award-nominated pianist/singer Wilson’s sixth album is a polished, ear-pleasing pastiche.

Chris Murphy - Red Mountain Blues

Chris Murphy – Red Mountain Blues (Teahouse)

28 March 2017

Throughout veteran L.A.-based violinist Murphy’s Red Mountain Blues, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin frolic so euphorically, you’d expect an impromptu line dance to break out any minute.

My Silent Bravery - Breakthrough (MWS Records)

25 March 2017

Breakthrough is an album easy to enjoy and hum along to what’s on the surface, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a work rich in complex emotional content.

Furniture Girls - In Shadows

Furniture Girls – In Shadows (Furniture Girls)

19 March 2017

In mostly foregoes the hard-driving rock crunch of this Seattle quintet’s 2015 Chaos EP, in favor of subtler, more intricate arrangements that better accentuate the velvety and vivacious voice of frontwoman stayC Meyer.

The Special Pillow - At the Earth's Core

The Special Pillow – At the Earth’s Core (The Special Pillow)

17 March 2017

It took seven years for this Hoboken, NJ foursome to release their first-rate 2014 fourth LP Infinite Regression, so it feels fortunate to have this follow-up come only two years later. At is another alluring album.

Moral Panic Slovenly

Moral Panic - Moral Panic 12" (Slovenly)

16 March 2017

Former members of Brooklyn’s Livids reconvene for a scorching debut as Moral Panic.

Jay Som - Everybody Works

Jay Som - Everybody Works (Polyvinyl Records)

16 March 2017

Jay Som, the project of Oakland musician Melina Duterte, channels her bedroom-produced lovelorn ballads into its first proper LP, proving that headspace and recording space share no correlation.

Revbjelde Buried Treasure

Revbjelde - Revbjelde 12" (Buried Treasure)

16 March 2017

Berkshire, UK trio Revbjelde deliver an astonishing debut that blurs so many lines between genre boundaries the entire concept becomes irrelevant.

Solilians - Shin

Solilians – Shin (Goodbye Better)

15 March 2017

This Long Island, NY/Maryland-based “space drone” outfit is fronted by two hypnotic female singers, Neptune Sweet and Sharon Malkin, the latter crooning in Hebrew. With subdued beats and celestial synths, Shin is a soul-purifying, inner peace-producing pleasure.

Life in 24 Frames - Ctrl+Z (Gold Standard)

13 March 2017

Ctrl+Z is one of those special albums that goes beyond being just a collection of songs; rather, it’s an impactful and continuous voyage into beauty, tragedy, and everything in-between.

Common Deer - I (Self-Released)

13 March 2017

I doesn’t usher in a brand new genre; rather, it perfects a special type of music that only a few other modern artists can match.

The Long Dark Road - Self-Titled EP (Self-Released)

11 March 2017

The Long Dark Road may have too much shoegaze in it to satisfy traditional metal fans, but has enough merit to attract newcomers as well as those searching for something a little weightier than normal.

Album cover for The Show Must Not Go On by Daydream Machine.

Daydream Machine - The Show Must Not Go On (Picture In My Ear)

11 March 2017

“The title track is an extended mini jam with interesting elements percolating through at different points, but the brilliant use of trumpet is what makes it really stand out! It’s an instrument I love, and it’s so classy.”

Electric Ray and the Shockers - California Torpedo (Beedirecords)

8 March 2017

In many regards, California Torpedo sounds like a debut album. It’s the work of a band that is still searching for its footing, but it’s also a work of unquestionable merit when the pieces fall perfectly into place.

Milemarker - Overseas

Milemarker – Overseas (Lovitt)

8 March 2017

With its stratospheric synths, encircling guitars, battering ram drums, and baleful, bellowed vocals, Overseas is a revitalizing return from this strapping synth-punk outfit.

The Psyatics - Famous Monsters (Self-Released)

7 March 2017

Their third and most recent album, Famous Monsters essentially follows the pattern of the previous two, but it finds a band at their peak, and if not, at least very close to it.

Justin Allen and the Well Shots - White Oak & Kerosene EP (Self-Released)

7 March 2017

Listen to any song from White Oak & Kerosene, and you can immediately sense the dirt caked on Allen’s hands, and the cheap, hard-earned whiskey on his breath.

Paul Weller Jawbone Music From The Film Warner Parlophone

Paul Weller - Jawbone: Music From The Film (Parlophone/Warner Bros.)

6 March 2017

As a founding member of both The Jam and The Style Council, as well as a prolific solo artist, Paul Weller has done much to help shape British rock’n‘roll.

The Pack A.D. - Positive Thinking

The Pack A.D. – Positive Thinking (Cadence Music)

6 March 2017

Following the indistinctive alt-rock direction and too-polished production of their 2014 fifth LP, Do Not Engage, this Vancouver drums-and-guitar duo’s sixth LP is their most exhilarating, explosive album to date.

Brokeback - Illinois River Valley Blues

Brokeback - Illinois River Valley Blues (Thrill Jockey)

2 March 2017

Whether on the move or sedentary, listening to the intensely atmospheric Illinois River Valley Blues will awaken your inner roughneck traveler/wanderer.

Brad Pot Slovenly

Brad Pot - Brad Pot (Slovenly)

1 March 2017

Melbourne, Australia’s Brad Pot deliver a positively scorching debut full-length that continues the legacy of Oz punk greatness.

BONOMO - Phases (Self-Released)

25 February 2017

Singer Bonomo’s vocals have a timeless soulful quality; not designed to stun with prowess, but commune with an introspective intimacy rare today.

Ramsey - Ramsey EP

Ramsey - Ramsey EP (self-released)

24 February 2017

Daring electronic pop noir artist Ramsey enthralls with her darkly rich, powerfully raw, and riveting debut EP.

The Feelies - In Between (Bar-None Records)

21 February 2017

New Jersey’s legendary The Feelies are back after a 6 year rest, and In Between continues their subdued yet compelling sound.

Gary Schwartz - "I Really Like You"

Gary Schwartz – “I Really Like You” [blue vinyl 7”] (Ownself)

20 February 2017

I’m not sure what prompted former United States of Existence/The Jigsaw Seen drummer Schwartz to reissue this upbeat, Supertramp/Hall & Oates-like 2014 digital single as a 7”. But I still “really like” it.

Cereal Banter - Junk Jazz

Cereal Banter – Junk Jazz [12”]; Oatmeal Outburst [cassette] (Cereal Banter)

19 February 2017

Despite drummer/founder Joseph Joseph’s replacing of departed keyboardist Molly Pamela with bassist Nicholas Gunzburg as this Cleveland experimental duo’s “other half” in 2015, Junk is as spastic and strident as their previous releases.

no:carrier - Broken Rainbow (Self-Released)

18 February 2017

On their fourth full-length album, there’s no big shake ups in terms of style, but rather the band continues to explore the darkest corners of their own trademarked sound and expand the fullness of its production.

R.K. Ich - Fey

R.K. Ich – Fey (R.K. Ich)

17 February 2017

Shoulder and hand injuries have shelved Atlanta guitarist Richard Coker’s punk and folk career, but his instrumental synth LPs keep coming – Fey is his eighth since 2012.

Floorian - At Your Surface

Floorian – At Your Surface (Drigh)

16 February 2017

I described this 20-year-old Columbus collective’s 2009 second LP More Fiend as “ominous, trance-inducing space-rock, with hints of metal, psychedelic, and Eastern influences.” That could similarly sum up this new six-song, 43-minute fourth.

Hayes McMullan Everyday Seem Like Murder Here Light in the Attic

Hayes McMullan - Everyday Seem Like Murder Here (Light in the Attic)

16 February 2017

In the 1920s and ’30s, Hayes McMullan played blues around his home in the Mississippi Delta.

The Forgotten Man Holy Moly

The Forgotten Man - Holy Moly (The Forgotten Man)

15 February 2017

Nomadic songwriter Wilson Getchell (Wall-Eyed) lands in North Carolina to form the perfect band for his eclectic talent.

Saint Mars - Ocean Blues EP (Grá Mór Phonic Records)

14 February 2017

On their debut EP, Ocean Blues, this band from Bristol, UK manages to combine the sunniest of vocal harmonies with the gloomiest of Gothic melodies.

Cover art for the cassette release from Robert Scott called RePort.

Robert Scott-RePort (Thokei Tapes)

11 February 2017

“Robert excels at everything he touches, ranging from chiming jangle pop and on to gritty post punk. His work always is a standout, and his voice is unmistakable.”

Tobin Sprout - The Universe and Me

Tobin Sprout - The Universe and Me (Burger Records)

10 February 2017

In Sprout’s conquest to bridge a semblance of meaning between our youth and its relation to maturity, he may have hit the mark with his greatest accuracy yet.

Dr Boogie Peanut Butter Blues

Dr. Boogie - "Peanut Butter Blues"

9 February 2017

Never ones to stay quiet for long, Los Angeles rock’n‘roll heroes Dr. Boogie drop a song into cyberspace just to remind us that they’re still kicking.

Tulipomania - Don't Be So Sure/Who Let You Know

Tulipomania – “Don’t Be So Sure” / “Who Let You Know” [7”]; This Gilded Age (Sursumcorda)

6 February 2017

For those still tentative about diving into this atypical, atmospheric Bristol, PA trio’s 2016 fourth LP This Gilded Age, this double A-side 7” of two of its tunes is a tempting toe-dip.

Eric Frisch - Music Under Sea (Self-Released)

6 February 2017

Music Under Sea has neither an entire foot in the music of the 60s or the pop today it inspired, but will nevertheless have fans who love either.