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The Big Takeover Issue #92

Cody Conard

Stan Snow - Into the Great Beyond (Self-Released)

27 May 2023
Snow covers a lot of territory here, but it all works magically making the album sound like a can’t-miss collection of great stand alone singles.

Sanjay Michael - Rocking Into Midnight (Self-Released)

27 May 2023

It’s as if Michael is sampling bits and pieces of the genre, a Whitman’s Sampler of rock ‘n’ roll, and Rocking Into Midnight succeeds wonderfully as a loving tribute in its own charmingly honest way.

Caroline Brennan - The Journey (Zephyr Sound)

24 May 2023

Brennan reaches into her personal experiences to pull out a general theme of hope throughout the five songs that manages to stay uplifting and optimistic without once becoming dangerously cloying.

David A - Lit (Mediavenger)

16 May 2023

Lit is a fantastic album that bridges genres and styles effortlessly, and it will easily appeal to both nitpicky blues heads and punk purists alike.

Judd Harris - The Beach EP (Self-Released)

13 May 2023

Set to be released later this year, The Beach EP doesn’t rock the boat too much or aim to challenge the status quo, but in his own brilliantly hummable way, Harris offers a folksy, optimistic point of view that is desperately needed right now.

Rocky Roberts & Friends - Pieces of Time (Wolfe Island Records)

13 May 2023

Without being flashy whatsoever, Rocky Roberts stands out as an important voice in classic country, and Pieces of Time has a beautifully timeless feeling.

Petty Human Emotions - Petty Human Emotions (Self-Released)

10 May 2023

Petty Human Emotions is a remarkably sprawling and diverse work of art for a group’s debut, and points definitively to even grander things on the horizon.

Skin On Flesh - Terrible and Sad (Self-Released)

10 May 2023

Terrible and Sad is a fantastic EP that leaves you wanting much more, and it’s an audible testament to individuals climbing out of their struggles, raising the listener alongside them.

Doc City - Welcome to Doc City (Self-Released)

24 April 2023

Welcome to Doc City is an exquisitely executed album, augmented by a cast of top session players, and the result is a listening experience that was clearly a labor of love for all involved.

The Ladderman - Figures on Demand (Self-Released)

23 April 2023

The Ladderman’s third album is easily their most ambitious and accomplished yet, and on Figures on Demand the group willingly throws themselves into the deep end, exploring uncharted territory with startling results.

Wayne Merdinger - Hidden Gems (Self-Released)

21 April 2023

Hidden Gems, instead of being a mismatched hodgepodge, is the most concerted document of Merdinger’s fine songwriting ability so far, and it represents the pinnacle of a real maturing for the artist.

Black Dog String Quartet - A Thousand Times Brighter (Self-Released)

19 April 2023

A Thousand Times Brighter will appeal to fans of any number of genres from both sides of the classical/pop aisle, and the album will be released April 28th.

The Earthly Frames - Taped Over (Self-Released)

6 April 2023

Shifting away from the electronic or ambient sounds of previous releases, The Earthly Frames have found a real home with folk, and although it’s unlikely they’ll linger here for long, one can only hope it’s a sound they return to in the future.

NTHNL - Cosmic Flute Rides Again (Self-Released)

3 April 2023

At the end of the day, Cosmic Flute Rides Again is a great pop record that manages to stay interesting and exciting throughout the entire duration without once growing tired or repetitive.

Erik & The Worldly Savages - Future Thunder Void (Self-Released)

3 April 2023

Future Thunder Void is by far the band’s most cohesive and accomplished collection of songs yet, and represents a perfectly crystallized distillation of their ethos.

Vectralux - The Subtle Extravaganza (Self-Released)

10 March 2023

Vectralux have truly come into their own here, maturing as songwriters and hitting upon a sound all of their own.

Paul Lewis & Romeo Rage - Sky’s Rust (Realize Records)

1 February 2023

Sky’s Rust transcends genres and resists categorization but it will easily appeal to fans of Romeo Rage’s influences.

Globus - Cinematica (Imperativa Records)

22 January 2023

Globus have really delivered a rollercoaster ride of an album that surpasses the already high bar set by the band.

Lord Sonny The Unifier - America's Newest Hitmaker (Interstellar Smoke Records)

16 January 2023

The production on the album was aided by Tony Maimone of Per Ubu, and the songs truly benefit from a bombastic, larger-than-life sound. Lord Sonny the Unifier truly outdid himself here.

What Strange Beasts - Starlight's Castaways (Self-Released)

12 January 2023

It’s insane to record something with a scale this large, but What Strange Beasts executes their vision with skill and ingenuity that is truly awe-inspiringly impressive.

The Last Optimist - This Moment is Gone (Last Optimist Records)

1 July 2022

Belanger has carved out a niche with a unique delivery and down-to-earth lyricism that is entirely his own, and This Moment Is Gone is sure to help find comfort and solace for many listeners.

Brynilde - The Sound of the Winter Sun (Self-Released)

1 July 2022

The Sound of the Winter Sun completely ignores any and all current music trends, and it is all the better for it as Brynilde creates an album that is as timeless as it is mysterious.

Fabels - Minds (Qusp)

30 June 2022

Truthfully, there is really nothing else out there like there so it is incredibly difficult to define, but Minds is subtly confrontational and rewards attentive listening as much as it demands it.

1st Base Runner - Light Roars (Souvenir Sound)

30 June 2022

Light Roars plays like the most crystallized realization of Husmann’s concept.

Cooper Castelle - Welcome To My World (Self-Released)

30 June 2022

It’s awesome to see some great new music come from Seattle again, and Welcome to My World is a fantastic debut EP that doesn’t really sound like anything ever before made in that city.

Blunda - Brighter Days (Self-Released)

29 June 2022

It’s music that, perhaps, could only be made in Los Angeles, it invites the listener, wherever they are, to step back and appreciate life away from the recent events of the last two years

Cos - Grace (Self-Released)

28 June 2022

Grace is such an exciting album that reminds the audience of the fun playfulness to be had with the genre.

Wayne Merdinger - Troubadour (Self-Released)

28 June 2022

Merdinger’s lifelong connection to these songs is immediate, making Troubadour a statement that is both a personal journey for the artist as well as representative of the story of American music since the 60s.

Bomb Cats - Third Street Melody (Self-Released)

26 June 2022

With a large turn to socially conscious music lately, the Bomb Cats are a refreshing blast of fresh air, reminding the audience to still have some fun occasionally.

Whitbeck - January 22 (Self-Released)

1 May 2022

January 22 has all of the theatrics of a U2 with more grit, and for an album self-recorded (at least partly on the artist’s sailboat), it is a stunningly ambitious achievement.

Yuval Ron feat Úyanga Bold - Sacred Spiral (Metta Mindfulness Music)

27 April 2022

What the artists attempt to achieve on Sacred Spiral is a lot, but listen to any of the songs and it’s clear they come extremely close to the sublime.

Mental Fracture - Disaccord (Self-Released)

26 April 2022

Overall, the album leaves the listener with a sensation that can only be described as awestruck.

Westrock - Welcome to the River (Self-Released)

26 April 2022

The five-piece band puts their own spin on the Red Dirt country genre with a Heartland sensibility that focuses on honest vignettes of individual lives to which their audience can immediately relate.

Stevie Cornell - Stevie Cornell (Sonoma-Sonic Records)

19 April 2022

Cornell’s trajectory somewhat echoes that of Nick Lowe, whose raucous beginnings gradually gave way to a gentler croon subtly influenced by pop of the 50s and early 60s.

Unfortunately Steven - Groovy Avocado Disco (Self-Released)

14 April 2022

It goes without saying that it is brave to be this honest and transparent about a subject that many still struggle to talk about openly, but this is also nothing short of a fantastic record.

Sickpay - Pureocracy (Alien Body Music)

13 April 2022

Pureocracy thrives and succeeds because of its production, and although modest, it’s a definite contender for one of the year’s strongest debuts.

Port Nasim - It’s Murky Grey (Battersea Alternative Music)

2 April 2022

What truly sells the album is an emotionally charged desire to capture a snapshot of modern life at a singular moment in time.

Spencer Elliott - SE3 (CandyRat Records)

26 February 2022

It’s a tour de force of technicality, but more importantly, SE3 is so fantastically addictive and challenging that it firmly lodges itself in your brain like a work of art you have known your entire life.

Lochness Monster - Working for a Future (Self-Released)

25 February 2022

It’s a fantastic document of a band captured in what is seemingly a transitional period, and leaves the door wide open for more great music on the horizon.

Venus Blake - The Other Side of Midnight (Count St. Germain Records)

25 February 2022

The Other Side of Midnight is a timeless work which could have been released in any number of eras and still have held a great depth of artistic significance.

Vannon - Desert of Our Dreams (Big Round Music)

14 January 2022

The world may not have ended, yet, but if the events of the last few years have fueled the inspiration of bands like Vannon, then at least we can be thankful for a work of art this powerful.

Aura Blaze - Open-Mindedness (Self-Released)

14 January 2022

It’s difficult to feel left wanting a little more, but what Aura Blaze has given us here is breathtaking in its scope and truly impressive in its beautifully lush production.

1st Base Runner - Ellis (Self-Released)

13 January 2022

Ellis is a fantastically hypnotic collection of songs, and a giant step forward for 1st Base Runner’s sound.

The Happy Pill Academy - Postcards to and from a Doomed Civilisation (Self-Released)

7 January 2022

A fascinating and captivating twist on grunge and alt-rock that strips the genres back to their bare essentials and injects a heavy dose of psychedelic oddness for good measure.

Flavour Nurse - Flavour Nurse (LovAnaverse Records)

5 January 2022

It’s an ambitiously dramatic and highly theatrical album that never loses focus, and the band never forgets to have a blast in the process, making the whole thing a rollercoaster of high octane fun.

Sluka - Figure It Out (Self-Released)

29 December 2021

It has glimpses of the 70s, 80s, 90s, even the future, and ultimately nothing today sounds quite like what Sluka are making.

Seneko - '69 Camaro (Self-Released)

29 December 2021

After four EPs, it clearly seems like Seneko is building his music to something big, and a full-length album will undoubtedly deliver on the promise in this collection of his best songs yet.

Tawni Bias - SEL Fellow (Self-Released)

23 December 2021

It might be some time and many repeated listens before the totality of SEL Fellow’s mysteries and beauty truly reveal themselves to this listener, but Tawni Bias is clearly a name that holds a ton of promise for the future.

Vectralux - Each Morning and the Morning Thereafter (Self-Released)

23 December 2021

Each Morning and the Morning Thereafter leaves the listener with the feeling that they have heard a collection that sounds a little like a million different references and yet also something entirely brand new and fresh.

Tanuki Project - Adamant _ CHAPTER#01 (Self-Released)

18 December 2021

In only four deceptively simple songs they have crafted an immersive experience that envelopes and hooks you with each listen.