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The Big Takeover Issue #82
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Bells in New Towns album art from Landing.

Landing - Bells in New Towns (El Paraiso Records)

20 May 2018

“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.”

James Adkins - Brokedown Free Man Blues (Self-Released)

19 May 2018

Brokedown Free Man Blues is ultimately far more accurate of a self-portrait than anything the artist may have planned.

Aya Maguire - The Sandcastle King (Self-Released)

16 May 2018

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.

Acid Mothers Temple with Yoo Doo Right, Hooveriii and Leaf – The Echo 5-8-18 and Alex’s Bar 5-9-18

16 May 2018

Acid Mothers Temple closed out their North American tour with shows in Los Angeles and Long Beach last week, leaving minds blown and eardrums buzzing. The 40-date tour also featured Yoo Doo Right from Montreal, with local support from Hooveriii (at the Echo on 5/8/18) and Leaf (at Alex’s Bar on 5/9/18).

Benjamin Dean Wilson - The Smartest Person in the Room (Self-Released)

14 May 2018

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.

The Sea and Cake - Any Day

The Sea and Cake - Any Day (Thrill Jockey)

11 May 2018

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.

Ghostly Beard - Inward (Self-Released)

10 May 2018

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.

Jaala - Joonya Spirit

Jaala - Joonya Spirit (Bedroom Suck Records)

9 May 2018

Almost two years after they teased its title track, Jaala’s sophomore LP Joonya Spirit is well worth the wait.

Melaku - Golden Age (Angellion Records)

7 May 2018

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.

Album cover for It Shall Be from Spirit.

Spirit: It Shall Be: The Ode & Epic Recordings 1968-1972 (Esoteric Recordings)

6 May 2018

“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.”

The Smoking Flowers - "Young & Brave"

30 April 2018

Heart-on-sleeves, hardscrabble troubadours The Smoking Flowers.

Hop Along - Bark Your Head Off, Dog

Hop Along - Bark Your Head Off, Dog (Saddle Creek)

30 April 2018

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.

Mark Peters - Spirits EP (Audio Heart)

30 April 2018

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.

Astral Weeks - (Penguin Press)

30 April 2018

Ryan H. Walsh’s vivid look at the legendary Astral Weeks recounts its creation and the town that influenced it.

Paul Maged - The Glass River (Self-Released)

25 April 2018

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.

Freak Heat Waves - Beyond XXXL

Freak Heat Waves - Beyond XXXL (Telephone Explosion)

25 April 2018

Beyond XXXL is made for those who love Iggy Pop’s The Idiot, but would specifically like a 45-minute reflection of “Nightclubbing.”

Ryan Hutchens - The Last Ten Years (Self-Released)

23 April 2018

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.

Mekons - Never Been in a Riot

The Mekons - Never Been in a Riot and Where Were You? (Superior Viaduct)

23 April 2018

Superior Viaduct has reissued the first two classic singles by U.K. punk pioneers The Mekons.

Ruins Sample SIze Album Cover

Ruins – Sample Size (Self Released)

22 April 2018

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.

Jasmine Karimova - From the Womb (Stuart Davis Media)

18 April 2018

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.

Spanish Love Songs Schmaltz cover

Spanish Love Songs – Schmaltz (A-F Records)

16 April 2018

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.

Sleepyhead - Future Exhibit Goes Here

Sleepyhead - Future Exhibit Goes Here (Drawing Room Records)

13 April 2018

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.

Honnda Maraschino Mic Drop Orange Milk

Honnda - Maraschino Mic Drop CS (Orange Milk)

12 April 2018

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.

Mouse on Mars - Dimensional People

Mouse on Mars - Dimensional People (Thrill Jockey)

11 April 2018

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.

Guided By Voices - Space Gun

Guided By Voices - Space Gun (Rockathon Records)

10 April 2018

GBV’s 25th album ensures that the frequency of their output isn’t due to phoning it in but rather the miracle of dedication.

Preoccupations - New Material

Preoccupations - New Material (Jagjaguwar)

9 April 2018

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.

Evil Spirits album art by The Damned.

The Damned - Evil Spirits (Search and Destroy / Spinefarm Records)

8 April 2018

“A highly melodic release with huge hooks and the usual amalgamation of punk, garage, goth, and psych that the band excels at.

Ben Ryan - Abacus (Self-Released)

5 April 2018

Abacaus ends up spreading itself thin ever so slightly, but it nevertheless has many fantastic moments which suggest an even brighter future.

The Messthetics - S/T

The Messthetics - S/T (Dischord Records)

5 April 2018

This debut of a supergroup featuring members of Fugazi gets too caught up in the jamming aspect of band practice.

The Pretenders with Lowlight - The Orpheum Theatre (Boston) - April 1, 2018

5 April 2018

Chrissie Hynde and Martin Chambers play through the The Pretenders songbook in front an appreciative Boston crowd.

Black Rainbows Pandaemonium Heavy Psych Sounds

Black Rainbows - Pandaemonium (Heavy Psych Sounds)

4 April 2018

After eleven years of mind-blowing releases, Italy’s Black Rainbows deliver their sixth, best, most solid album yet.

Roz and the Rice Cakes-Devotion

Roz and the Rice Cakes – Devotion (Team Love)

4 April 2018

This follow-up to 2014 second LP Need to Feed finds this Providence, RI art-rock trio – fronted by likable, lovely-voiced lead singer and keyboardist Roz Raskin – still pursuing an unconventional approach.

Leave The Capital - (Route Publishing)

4 April 2018

Paul Hanley – former drummer for The Fall – gives the musical history of his town Manchester in looks at The Hollies to The Smiths and more. Riveting.

Iceage with Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates – Gold Diggers (Los Angeles, CA) March 31, 2018

3 April 2018

Iceage finished their run of three sold-out nights at Gold Diggers in Hollywood on Saturday, with reclusive legend Gary Wilson opening.

Sam Levin - I Am (Clarence Productions)

2 April 2018

I Am ends up as the perfect title for what is essentially a quietly confident manifesto on a deeply personal level.

Tomorrow's Eve - Mirror Of Creation III – Project Ikaros (Baze Records)

29 March 2018

Mirror Of Creation III is out May 25th on Baze Records, and it proves the band still has a lot to give to the prog metal genre.

FOXES Fest – 1720 (Los Angeles, CA) March 25, 2018

29 March 2018

The first FOXES Fest in Los Angeles featured performances by Cosmonauts, Sextile, Death Valley Girls, Honduras, Thee MVPs, and The Mad Walls.

Album cover for "Songs For Somewhere Else" from The Hanging Stars.

The Hanging Stars - Songs For Somewhere Else (Crimson Crow)

25 March 2018

“The Hanging Stars are a delightful, London folk rock collective whose musical range also extends into country (think Gram Parsons) and West Coast psych.”

Mount Eerie - Now Only

Mount Eerie - Now Only (P.W. Elverum & Sun)

23 March 2018

Now Only is a more focused and musically satisfying second chapter in the ongoing chronicle of Geneviève’s postmortem.

Chrome with Automelodi and Boyscouts of Annihilation - Echoplex (Los Angeles, CA) - March 18, 2018

22 March 2018

Legendary cyberpunks Chrome headlined an eclectic night that also featured stand-out performances by Automelodi and Boyscouts of Annihilation.

Luca Bash - Keys of Mine (Self-Released)

21 March 2018

Keys of Mine is the sound of an artist reveling again in being surrounded by the creative atmosphere of like-minded musicians.

Yo La Tengo - There's a Riot Going On

Yo La Tengo - There's a Riot Going On (Matador Records)

15 March 2018

It’s 2018 and there’s a riot going on. As much as they opined, “This is it for all we know,” on last record Fade, it’s still too early to punch in their cards.

Evan & the Live Oaks - Hyde Street EP (Self-Released)

13 March 2018

It’s impossible to not feel like the EP is just starting to warm up by the time it’s over. It could have benefited by, perhaps, one more track, but what is here shows a tremendous amount of artistic growth and maturity.

Ajay Mathur - Little Boat (Yakketeeyak)

11 March 2018

An entirely self-made product, the album has a raw, homegrown quality which is superbly produced, and is likely one of his best thematically as it deals with Mathur’s own personal issues from a number of angles, both cathartic and humorous.

ANMLS Slovenly Algo

ANMLS - ANMLS 12" (Slovenly/Algo)

6 March 2018

In the middle of political turbulence, modern American punk rock seems oblivious and apathetic, even in the face of underground clubs closing doors across the country.

Screaming Females - All at Once

Screaming Females - All at Once (Don Giovanni Records)

4 March 2018

All at Once builds on the pop flirtations of their previous record while matching the length and bevy of ideas found on Ugly, marrying the two in a mettlesome, swaggering although humbled ultra-album.

Kudzu Defeated Push & Pull

Kudzu - Defeated CS (Push & Pull)

27 February 2018

Springfield, MO synth punks Kudzu return with a sophomore effort full of driving beats and infectious melodies.

Ought - Room Inside the World

Ought - Room Inside the World (Merge Records)

26 February 2018

On their third album in four years, Ought continue to be one of the most inventive bands of late, operating on the sheer ingenuity of its proprietors.