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Oculus is at once disturbing, unsettling, and the tension at times is unbearable; but it is most importantly a work of art that will stay with the listener long after it is over.
“The music twinkles, sparkles, and hints of anger and anxiety peek through the pretty melodies and well-executed harmonies. Don’t let its beauty fool you; Halliwell has plenty to say on the current political situation.”
For Dwyer and company’s 20th release (and Castle Face’s 100th title overall), they’ve changed the instrumental environs and even tweaked the project name to better resemble their humble beginnings.
Hailing from Crete, residing in Athens, Greece, female/male bass/drums duo Hand & Leg offer a perplexing full-length that weaves post-punk, goth and noise rock into a unified vision.
Kobe, Japan’s Gutara Kyo explode with an impressive blast of early ’80s-style hardcore, reminding us that there’s more to the Land of the Rising Sun than noise.
Stephen Wilkinson’s latest outing as Bibio is over an hour’s worth of ambient music that is sometimes somber, other times uplifting, and always sans-vocals.
Resist is a bold and brave conception that is expertly executed, and it will undoubtedly stand as one of the modern era’s first major political artistic works.
Distant Echoes & Close Encounters will undoubtedly be remembered as a great leap forward for Aurganic, a band unafraid to step outside of their own comfort zone.
Four recently discovered archival recordings of furniture designer/sculptor Harry Bertoia join a fascinating documentary short made while the artist was still alive for an essential deluxe release.
It’s highly probably Universe in Bloom will win over a lot of new fans for The Great Escape, because the band’s spirit and this album’s charm is ultimately irresistible.
You may never hear the last part of this record of charming lullabies, because you will be asleep before you get there.
Regardless of whether it will prove to be a transitory record or the end of one individual chapter in the band’s history, Relevant Noise will stand as the testament of Night Herons truly coming into their own.
A Sequence of Waves is no doubt a challenging listen that one can’t simply put on in the background, but it is a work of art that rewards the open-minded listener with close, repeated examinations.
Between blowing minds with Zs albums, sax god Sam Hillmer devotes time to his solo noise/drone project Diamond Terrifier.
By mid-1970, singer/producer/songwriter Lee Hazlewood had broken up with his girlfriend and his label LHI Industries was floundering.
Rad Owl has released their debut EP, Alladin’s Castle. The bad news is there are only three songs but the good news is all are solid post-hardcore/ punk gems.
The Empire of Deception builds significantly on Westward’s debut album, and sets them up to be the latest torchbearers of the power trio tradition.
Needle Paw fulfills any Hiatus Kaiyote fan’s dream of hearing an MTV Unplugged set from the foursome’s mastermind, accompanied by an autobiographical music diary.
The tortured self-searching gloom Deradoorian applies to this collection of meditative pieces prove too unsettling to be filed under “easy listening.”
For eleven years, Michigan’s Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble has received deserved accolades for their interpretations of Steve Reich and Terry Riley.
Live at Lazybones captures something revelatory about Cullen, and it’s that as good as his studio albums may be, it’s very likely the best way to experience his music is live on stage.
The five guitar-laden pop-rockers on Gulfstream are emotionally potent while still connecting at the gut level, offering a promising start for a series of releases that extends into 2018.
“It isn’t exactly easy to pin a label on them, and maybe that’s the point. I suppose to start, it’s fair to say that they’re a psych influenced group. It’s the light and airy type, with dulcet harmonies and charming melodies winding around your ears. At other times, the group inhabits a similar art rock space to Radiohead.”
With the Amulet, Circa Survive offer fans a slightly softer [even] more atmospheric take on their unique mash up of alternative / post-hardcore/ emo/ prog rock hybrid. It is difficult to pick a favorite, as listening to this over the past month, each day brings a different top track, most likely tied to the listeners current mood or cycle of the moon.
New Orleans funk originators The Meters never saw mainstream success but are continually revered for their unique contributions to the genre.
In celebration of what would have been his sixty-seventh birthday, a third volume of Patrick Cowley’s unreleased electronic compositions pairs his famed gay porn soundtracks with demos for his seminal 1982 album Mind Warp (Megatone), plus a few archival recordings, into what is probably his most coherent posthumous collection to date.
It’s undeniable that Songs on Fire is more or less the artist’s debut album, and at times this naivety bleeds through, but it also remains a remarkably well-constructed product that is as catchy as it is dramatically produced.
After reissuing Nick Lowe’s first two solo albums in 2008 and 2011, respectively, Yep Roc have expanded their reissue campaign to include his entire ‘80s catalog.
Not About Nightingales has captured American folk music in a way that countless other musicians have failed to do, and with any luck, many of these songs will become standards in their own right.
Just in time for Samhain, Gundella’s classic obscure educational record about witchcraft sees its very first reissue for the millennium’s uninitiated.
San Francisco space cadets Turn Me On Dead Man return with their fifth offering of psychedelic interstellar metal.
Three years after their stellar eponymous debut, The Luxembourg Signal deliver a strong sophomore followup.
The Detroit post-punk quartet’s latest LP is largely indistinguishable from its predecessors for the best reasons.
The Clientele’s first record in seven years proves that they are still inarguably capable of elegance, but occasionally lapse into obscurity, or even worse, a retreading of old ground, playing into a law of diminishing returns.
“…savor their unique blend of trippy but dreamy sonic textures. They remind me in spots of Cocteau Twins and even Kate Bush, but in the end, they sound merely like themselves.”
If you’re sitting in a bar and the memories of a past love fill your head, Courtney Farren’s debut album Nothing Like It is a quiet voice that lets you know that you’re not alone. With straightforward lyrics, subtle arrangements, and gorgeous vocals she is the saint of the broken-hearted.
If Wizard rock, and the proliferation of Harry Potter bands in recent years is anything to go by, one can only hope the successive Shrek-themed musical acts are at least as half as talented as Shrek is Love.
German trio Mother Engine return with their third full-length of sprawling prog-inspired instrumentals.
Italy’s heaviest band delivers a sophomore monolith that makes them serious contenders in the global doom coliseum.
Save for a few moments of mastery, Electric Trim is a frustratingly uneven LP from modern guitar curator Lee Ranaldo.
Historically, music has been an extraordinarily potent form of rebellion.
Only time will tell whether The Stangs are a band born in the wrong time or if they’ll lead the charg of a new revivalist movement, but American Sessions will nevertheless stand on its own merits.
Paul Snowden, the brain behind London’s Time Attendant, returns with a new LP that successfully bridges the gap between glitch beats and Berlin school electronics.
“This is a sublime collection of post rock pieces, arranged meticulously and exquisitely rendered. Fans of post rock, ambient, and modern classical will greatly enjoy this release. “
Living Colour has released Shade and, sorry for the cliché, it rocks. There is nothing unexpected here and that is not a complaint as the thirteen tracks have the riffs, grooves, hooks, and beats found in their early days. The production is pristine mixing hard rock blues, funk, jazz, and hip-hop. Bottom line, if you need some rock and roll, don’t mind some tough talk lyrics, Shade is not to be missed.
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.
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.