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The Big Takeover #80 Spring 2017
Recordings
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Saint Blasphemer - Theotokos (Self-Released)

22 May 2017

One should hesitate in calling Theotokos a concept record, but drug addiction and how it effects both the user and those around them is a theme that repeats on many of the songs.

Girlpool - Powerplant

Girlpool - Powerplant (ANTI-)

16 May 2017

Girlpool may have enlarged their sound, but they still possess a nakedness to their performance that is unmistakably their own. If anything, expanding to a full band has strengthened their identity.

Cover art for Modern Kosmology by Jane Weaver.

Jane Weaver - Modern Kosmology (Fire Records)

14 May 2017

“Jane Weaver is progressive rock in its purest molecular form. Fossilised in ferric, the crystal in the concrete. Magnetic, melodic, folkloric, unapologetic and rhythmic in her discipline.”

Space Motel - Arrival (Self-Released)

13 May 2017

Arrival doesn’t show a tremendous amount of growth in Space Motel since their last full-length, but it does show them just as strong with no sign of slowing down.

Cachemira Jungla Heavy Psych Sounds

Cachemira - Jungla 12" (Heavy Psych Sounds)

12 May 2017

Barcelona, Spain’s Cachemira explode with a stoner-friendly debut straight out of the Summer of Love.

Jed Kurzel The Babadook OST Waxwork

Jed Kurzel - The Babadook OST 12" (Waxwork)

9 May 2017

A large part of what made Jennifer Kent’s 2014 horror film The Babadook so effective was Jed Kurzel’s unsettling score.

Dotsun Moon - My Apology EP

Dotsun Moon – My Apology EP (Dotsun Moon)

8 May 2017

A couple of years after this Buffalo, NY outfit’s 2011 debut LP 4am, dazzling lead singer Mary Ognibene left the band. DM’s new vocalist Maria Sebastian is as breathtaking as her predecessor, and this EP’s three distinctive tunes showcase her multifarious skills.

Secret Shine - There Is Only Now

Secret Shine - There Is Only Now (Saint Marie)

8 May 2017

Seminal indie shoegaze/dream-pop band Secret Shine returns with the gloriously dreamy and sublimely spectacular There Is Only Now.

Giöbia Magnifier Heavy Psych Sounds

Giöbia - Magnifier (Heavy Psych Sounds)

5 May 2017

Milan, Italy’s Giöbia see their undisputed 2015 masterpiece remastered, repackaged and reissued for all the world to finally hear properly.

Fred Schneider & the Superions The Vertical Mind HHBTM

Fred Schneider & the Superions - The Vertical Mind (HHBTM)

4 May 2017

In case you haven’t heard, B-52s vocalist Fred Schneider has been active with his new band The Superions (Noah Brodie and Dan Marshall) for over a decade.

Round Eye Monster Vision Sudden Death

Round Eye - Monster Vision (Sudden Death)

3 May 2017

Shanghai, China’s Round Eye return with a referendum on last year’s election that offers an insightful glimpse from outside the United States.

Jaimie Branch Fly or Die International Anthem

Jaimie Branch - Fly or Die (International Anthem)

2 May 2017

Having already established herself as a prominent side-player to the likes of William Parker, TV on the Radio and Spoon, trumpeter Jaimie Branch delivers an outstanding debut as band leader that showcases the full range of her talent.

Album cover for Form of Play: A Retrospective by The Sneetches.

The Sneetches - Form of Play: A Retrospective (Omnivore Recordings)

29 April 2017

“I hear so many things as I parse through these songs, all of them memorable in that timeless way that great 60s songs had on me. I also hear echoes of modern artists like Sloan, *Fountains of Wayne, and The Posies. I am sure that is because all these bands have similar influences and all grew up with the same records in their collections.”

Swans The Great Annihilator Drainland Young God

Swans - The Great Annihilator/Drainland (Young God)

27 April 2017

By 1995, Swans had evolved through several styles of music, from no wave skronk to punishing industrial sludge to Southern Gothic ballads to driving, droning guitar rock.

Arto Lindsay - Cuidado Madame

Arto Lindsay - Cuidado Madame (Northern Spy)

25 April 2017

Displaying a clamor of ideas and a cavalier misdirect of convention, Lindsay’s first album in 13 years sees his avant garde leanings at their most pronounced yet in his Brazilian influenced work.

Sam Levin - Frame of Mind (Self-Released)

23 April 2017

Frame of Mind has a wonderfully charming home grown sound that perfectly suits Sam Levin’s quietly confident style, and should easily turn out to be surprise indie sleeper hit.

Rocket Science / Lost in Space RSD single from The Chills.

The Chills - Rocket Science / Lost in Space 7” single (Fire Records)

22 April 2017

Martin Phillipps, acclaimed singer/songwriter from the equally fabulous group The Chills, is on a roll. He’s emerged in the last several years with one of the finest albums of his career (Silver Bullets) and this version of The Chills is better than ever. Following last year’s Record Store Day release, The Chills return with a fine single “Rocket Science” / “Lost in Space”.”

Various Edie Sedgwick Ciao! Manhattan Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Cinewax

Various - Ciao! Manhattan Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 12" (Cinewax)

21 April 2017

Between 1967 and 1971, directors John Palmer and David Weisman, fixtures of Andy Warhol’s Factory, filmed Superstar/“It” girl Edie Sedgwick in what would ultimately prove to be the defining role of her short life as Susan Superstar, the subject of 1973’s Ciao! Manhattan.

Alessandro Cortini Merzbow Important

Alessandro Cortini and Merzbow - Alessandro Cortini and Merzbow 2x12" (Important)

19 April 2017

Japanese noise god Masami Akita, better known as Merzbow, teams up with Nine Inch Nails keyboardist Alessandro Cortini for a mutual celebration of the famed EMS synthesizer.

Chaz Bundick Meets The Mattson 2 - Star Stuff

Chaz Bundick Meets The Mattson 2 - Star Stuff (Company Records)

17 April 2017

Combining forces with The Mattson 2 has granted Bundick with his most accomplished product to date, and although Bundick prefers to explore new territory rather than retread old digs, we may hope that should he choose to break tradition someday off in the future, he sees fit to return to this psychedelic powerhouse.

Cover art for When the Light Shines Through by Sad Lovers and Giants.

Sad Lovers and Giants - Where The Light Shines Through – 1981-2017 (Cherry Red Records)

16 April 2017

“When I heard that Cherry Red was releasing a band-curated box set of all their recordings, I thought it was about damned time. That the band is enjoying a renaissance is no accident, as classic bands from that era are reforming and drawing bigger audiences than ever.”

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.