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The Big Takeover Issue #93

Mark Suppanz

Mark Suppanz has been a passionate music fan since the 1970s, when he would persuade his Mom to take him to the local mall to buy him 7” singles that he heard on Casey Kasem’s Top 40. His music tastes took a turn for the better in 1986 when his college roommate Lon turned him onto R.E.M., The Cure, The Smiths, and Joy Division, and upon graduation he frequented New Brunswick, NJ’s much-missed music club, The Melody. He discovered The Big Takeover in 1994 after happening upon issue #35 in a Tower Records in Mountain View, CA. He began transcribing interviews for the magazine in 1997, became moderator of its online discussion list in 1999, and began writing record and live reviews in 2000. Since that time, he has managed to see over 700 concerts while balancing a successful career in market research. He currently lives in Montclair, NJ, and in addition to attending shows, enjoys reading books and magazines, browsing record stores, watching movies, running, and traveling.

Laura Hickli 36-Both Feet in the World at Least I Can Stand Naturally

Laura Hickli/36? - Both Feet in the World, At Least I Can Stand/Naturally Split LP (North Pole)

13 March 2023

Calgary, Alberta’s classically-trained, award-winning Hickli possesses a beguiling voice that flabbergasts on first listen; though stylistically poles apart from Hickli’s solo side, Calgary art-rock/electro-pop quintet 36? is captivating in its own quirky way.

Tim Barry-Spring Hill

Tim Barry - Spring Hill (Chunksaah)

5 March 2023

Though Richmond, VA’s Barry reunited in 2019 for shows with Avail, the punk band he fronted from 1987-2007, he still releases quieter folk albums; this is his eighth studio LP since 2006.

Knife the Symphony-All the Wrong Turns Taken to Get Here

Knife the Symphony - All the Wrong Turns Taken to Get Here (Phratry)

24 February 2023

Following 2008’s Crawler and 2009’s Dead Tongues, this punishing Cincinnati, OH post-punk trio put out a handful of split releases from 2010 to 2017; here finally is their third full-length.

Steve Robinson and Ed Woltil - Shadow Play (Steve Robinson and Ed Woltil)

21 February 2023

Hendersonville, NC-based Robinson is a British ex-pat who played in Roger McGuinn’s touring band, and Woltil is a Tampa Bay, FL resident who fronts power-poppers The Ditchflowers; this is their second combined effort sharing lead vocals, following 2015’s Cycle.

Civilians-Lush and Tumble

The Civilians - Lush and Tumble (The Civilians)

10 February 2023

This Seattle five-piece’s first two albums, 2019’s Over the Bar and 2020’s Straight In/Straight Out so wowed Elvis Costello’s Attractions and Imposters keyboardist Steve Nieve, he supplied alluring piano to this third LP’s soulful ballad “Harder Than the Truth.”

Ryan Shelkett-Someone Becomes No One

Ryan Shelkett - Someone Becomes No One (Steadfast)

5 February 2023

Shelkett’s career in the Baltimore emo scene goes back 30 years, having fronted and released albums with Blank, Cross My Heart, Dead Red Sea, and Liars Academy; this debut solo LP was produced by hardcore/punk vet J. Robbins.

A Cast of Thousands-Songs From the Second Floor

A Cast of Thousands - Songs From the Second Floor (Record)

30 January 2023

On their eighth album, this Auburn/Finger Lakes, NY outfit, led by husband and wife co-lead singers Terry Cuddy and Beth Beer, further sharpens the stylistic breadth shown on 2019’s Sleeping World.

Joobieseaz-Pitch Black (The Singles)

JoobieSeaz - Pitch Black (The Singles) (Pyrrhic Victory)

24 January 2023

Based in Lille, France, this duo of Lola (singer/guitar/bass) and Alex (bass/guitar) worked in video production at the Academy of Cinema; since 2020, they’ve been releasing singles of their narcoleptic, sinuous dreampop, a dozen of which are collected here.

Queen Kwong-Couples Only

Queen Kwong - Couples Only (Sonic Ritual)

21 January 2023

Discovered in 2005 at age 17 by Trent Reznor — she’s opened three Nine Inch Nails tours — L.A.’s multi-talented Carré Callaway (who’s also an actress, sculptor, podcaster, and skincare product founder) has released three albums as Queen Kwong.

Ov Stars-Tuesdays

Ov Stars - Tuesdays EP (Ov Stars)

15 January 2023

Most notably the bassist in the reformed lineup of Psychic TV from 2003-2020, Hoboken, NJ-raised Alice Genese now shares lead vocals in this Asbury Park-based outfit with Pretoria, South Africa pianist/artist Shaune Pony Heath.

Suit of Lights-The Empty Vault

Suit of Lights - “The Empty Vault” Single (Visiting Hours)

8 January 2023

Singer/keyboardist Joe Darone, once the teen drummer of Totowa, NJ’s The Fiendz and later for New York City’s The Rosenbergs, follows up 2020’s fifth LP Hide and Seek with this spirited two-song digital single.

The Pinx - The Pinx (The Pinx)

4 January 2023

On the heels of brawny-voiced Atlanta singer/guitarist Adam McIntyre’s three 2020 solo LPs and his foursome The Pinx’s Electric! EP the same year comes that group’s fifth LP, following 2019’s Sisters and Brothers.

Suneaters-Suneaters IV Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fingers

Suneaters - Suneaters IV: Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fingers (Lotuspool)

29 December 2022

Following 2021’s red herring electronic/ambient sixth LP XI: It’s the Future, Kansas City, MO’s Suneaters return to their familiar hard-rocking ways on this seventh.

Blue Glass-Les Jardins Eternels

Blue Glass - Les Jardins Éternels (Two Roads)

14 December 2022

Not surprisingly, the “chilling mood-pop, as strangely still as David Bowie’s Low and Heroes, side twos” of Seattle outfit Blue Grass’s 2021 third LP Jardin des Étoiles is present on this similarly “jardin”-titled fourth.

Russ Hewitt-Chasing Horizons

Russ Hewitt - Chasing Horizons (Russ Hewitt)

6 December 2022

One listen to this mesmerizing fourth album was all it took to become hooked on Dallas instrumental guitar virtuoso Hewitt’s dexterous and highly melodious style of flamenco playing.

Martin Courtney-Elsewhere 1

Martin Courtney - Elsewhere Zone One (Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY) - Friday, August 5, 2022

11 August 2022

Unlike larger, more prodigiously-attended Real Estate shows, this more intimate setting allowed one to focus attentively on Courtney’s exquisite singing and guitar playing, and to better appreciate his delectable songwriting flair.

Stuart Pearson-Mojave

Stuart Pearson — Mojave (Stuart Pearson)

1 August 2022

While this follow-up resembles its predecessor Dark Americana: Stories and Songs in mood and style, it feels more ambitious and expansive, with intricate arrangements that conjure Ennio Morricone’s spacious, evocative spaghetti western soundtracks.

Lila Blue-Stranger

Lila Blue — “Stranger” (Lila Blue)

10 July 2022

This New York City-raised singer/songwriter’s new single is more in the vein of the hushed, Nick Drake-like folk displayed on her 2021 Not Yet EP, but with a rustic, down home alt-country/Americana feel.

Catnyp-Catnyp IIII

Catnyp — Catnyp IIII (Catnyp)

6 July 2022

Like his first three “Black Cat Trilogy” LPs, Missoula, MT-based Henderson K. Shatner’s fourth album as Catnyp is wildly unpredictable and varied, so much so that no two songs sound alike.

Knife Crime-Lovely Gary

Knife Crime – Lovely Gary (Black Site)

15 June 2021

Though Kansas City foursome Knife Crime has been together a decade, Lovely is only their first LP. But founding brothers Byron and Brad Huhmann, Jeremiah James Gonzales, and Jake Cardwell have honed their skills in 16 bands between them.

Chess Club-You're Lucky I Like You

Chess Club – You’re Lucky I Like You (Black Site)

15 June 2021

On album #2, Lawrence, KS trio Chess Club sharpens their songwriting and attack – and ditches the sporadic lapses into screamo – over 2018’s haphazard Hit the Ball.

The Enigmatic Foe-The Original Plan

The Enigmatic Foe – The Original Plan [double 12”]; “The Kids Are Alright” EP; “The Suffering Art” EP; “Ms. Fortune and Her Mate” EP (The Enigmatic Foe)

28 May 2021

Knoxville, TN singer, guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist Jared Colinger began The Enigmatic Foe with 2005’s self-recorded The Titular Project; having since expanded to a full band, this 14-song double LP is their fifth album.

Jeffrey Dean Foster-I'm Starting to Bleed

Jeffrey Dean Foster – I’m Starting to Bleed EP (Jeffrey Dean Foster)

26 May 2021

With only three solo LPs since 2001, this June 12, 2021 Record Store Day EP from Winston-Salem, NC singer/guitarist Foster (ex-Right Profile/Carneys/Pinetops) is welcome.

The Swindon Lot-The Scariana Trench

The Swindon Lot – The Scariana Trench (Braxeling)

22 May 2021

I dug Portland, OR noise-pop foursome The Honus Huffhines’ 2014 second LP Feel Safe, Be Safe; named for a put-down line from The Office UK, The Swindon Lot is their singer/multi-instrumentalist Andy Giegerich’s solo project.

Jerry Oliver-Zombification of a Nation

Jerry Oliver – Zombification of a Nation (Odd)

17 May 2021

Throughout Zombification, Nashville-based, Minneapolis-raised singer/songwriter Oliver flails and massages his contorted, misshapen acoustic, while his distressed, rasping vocals sound like he’s having a hallucinogenic acid trip.

Philip Goth-Philip Goth

Philip Goth – Philip Goth (Team Love)

14 May 2021

Not an actual person, Philip Goth is the moniker for the new project of Josh Rawson, former bassist of folk-rockers The Felice Brothers; this debut was recorded by him in Philmont, NY over three years.


Jphono1 – Parliament (Potluck)

10 May 2021

Formerly the drummer in The Comas, and currently in indie rock quintet North Elementary and improvisational guitar/electronic duo Tacoma Park, Carrboro, NC’s John Harrison also makes solo albums as Jphono1.

Richard Brisbois-Anytime You Think of Her

Richard Brisbois – Anytime You Think of Her (Drums and Wires)

8 May 2021

On his first solo LP, Seattle’s Brisbois abandons the blasting guitars of his ‘90s roots-rock outfit 4 Ft. Ramona (he’s also been in The Buckets, Acme Band, and Lava), for something drastically more hushed.

Phantom Wave-Wilds

Phantom Wave – Wilds (Phantom Wave)

6 May 2021

Having recorded 2018’s Sixer EP as a trio, these Brooklyn shoegazers are pared down to their core duo of Ian Carpenter (vocals/guitars) and Rachel Fischer (drums) for this debut full-length.

Micah Sheveloff-Rockville

Micah Sheveloff – Rockville (Micah Sheveloff)

4 May 2021

It’s been nine years since Boston-raised, now St. Petersburg, FL-based singer/pianist Sheveloff released his 2012 solo debut Exhibitionist. But this sublime second studio LP more than justifies the long wait.

Athensville-Undressing Minds for Show

Athensville – Undressing Minds for Show (Athensville)

2 May 2021

Following up 2018’s Proper EP, this Philadelphia foursome (whose moniker was the original name of Ardmore, the Philly suburb where they first rehearsed) sound even more inspired and imposing on this debut LP.

Miss Massive Snowflake-Your Favorite Band

Miss Massive Snowflake – Your Favorite Band (North Pole)

1 May 2021

It’s been five years since this eccentric outfit released their fifth LP The Final Photograph, yet their former strangeness hasn’t waned.

Dan Israel-Social Distance Anxiety Disorder

Dan Israel – Social Distance Anxiety Disorder (Dan Israel)

13 July 2020

Prolific Minneapolis singer/guitarist Israel’s 16th LP since 1998 dispenses with some of the previous album’s diverse, uncharacteristic stylistic progressions in favor of a more consistent, unwavering approach.

Partition-Prodigal Gun

Partition – Prodigal Gun (MPLS Ltd)

22 June 2020

Like their similarly discordant label and city mates Sass, Partition is another cogent and youthful Minneapolis band, whose first album’s pummeling, convulsive queercore mines a different side of the noisy rock coin.

Sass-Chew Toy

Sass – Chew Toy (MPLS Ltd)

21 June 2020

Originally released as a limited edition cassette in May 2019 by Heavy Meadow Records, the debut full-length by this youthful Minneapolis noise-rock quintet gets a welcome vinyl issue from MPLS Ltd.

Matt Caflisch-Runaway

Matt Caflisch – Runaway (Fat Oak)

14 June 2020

Singer/guitarist Caflisch (AKA Matt Young) was previously in Eau Claire, WI’s Venison, Minneapolis’s ÜberScenester and J.U.L.P., and L.A.’s Hard Luck Country Club; his sincere, affable folk-pop is enlivened by his vivid words.

Chris Root-Wind Made of Kisses

Chris Root – Wind Made of Kisses (Team Love)

13 June 2020

Those unfamiliar with NYC-based Root’s seven albums with his bossa nova/Brazilian pop bands A.M. Sixty (or AM-60) and The Mosquitos might be taken aback by his whimsical, guileless lyrics on his first solo LP.

Rogers & Butler-Poets & Sinners

Rogers & Butler – Poets & Sinners (Zip)

7 June 2020

Rogers & Butler is Birmingham, UK-born, NYC-based Edward Rogers, who has released seven top-notch solo albums, and Stephen Butler, frontman for New Jersey power-pop bands Smash Palace and Quincy.

Husbands-After the Gold Rush Party

Husbands – After the Gold Rush Party (Cowboy 2.0/Clerestory AV)

6 June 2020

Based in Oklahoma City and Seattle, former college buddies Wil Norton and Danny Davis crafted this second LP (following 2015’s Golden Year) remotely, in between their attorney and software engineer day jobs.

Peter Baldrachi-Slow Recovery

Peter Baldrachi – Slow Recovery (Peter Baldrachi)

1 June 2020

On his third LP, Boston-based singer/drummer Baldrachi moves away from the power-pop that dominated 2012’s Back to the Start – first released in 2011 as Tomorrow Never Knows – and 2006’s Solid Ground.

Recalculating-All Talk

Recalculating – All Talk (Recalculating)

31 May 2020

Those familiar with this Queens/Brooklyn post-punk trio’s 2018 debut No Banter will instantly notice the tenfold upgrade in their attack’s tightness, speed, and muscle on this sophomore effort.

Underwater Kites-Hot Feet

Underwater Kites – Hot Feet (RBM)

25 May 2020

Along with RBM, Johanna’s House of Glamour, and Neurotic Cage, Underwater Kites is another of Boston-based experimentalist Bruce MacLeod’s guises, with one prior LP and six EPs going back to 1999.

Voice of Doom-Saint Blaise

Voice of Doom – Saint Blaise (Pyrrhic Victory)

24 May 2020

Along with gruff, Glenn Danzig/Dave Vanian-evoking bellower Evil Heim, and anchored by formidable 65’s guitarist/bassist Joe Pugsley and Ryan Struck (who play bass and drums here), it’s no surprise this New Jersey horror-punk quintet sound like a Misfits and Damned lovechild.

Winfield-Winfield EP

Winfield – Winfield EP (Winfield)

23 May 2020

Fans of this three-year-old Chapel Hill, NC quartet’s 2018 debut mini-album Giant will immediately notice the silkier, more incandescent stylistic shift on this follow-up four-song EP’s first two tracks.

Full Counts-Next Up

The Full Counts – Next Up (Phratry)

18 May 2020

The second LP by Pittsburgh’s Full Counts – formed by 1990-94 Gumball bassist/singer Eric Vermillion and Cynics drummer Mike Quinlan, who were both also in FOOD – is even better than their otherwise superb 2017 debut, First Out.

Watch Clark-Backscatter Effect EP

Watch Clark – Backscatter Effect EP (Watch Clark)

17 May 2020

As he did on his 2019 debut LP Couch, Seattle’s one-man EDM virtuoso Paul Furio rotates between Depeche Mode/OMD/New Order synth-pop/new wave and tougher, Front 242/Nitzer Ebb techno/industrial on this follow-up five-songer.

High on Stress-Hold Me In

High on Stress – Hold Me In (High on Stress)

9 May 2020

Having backed Slim Dunlap, and opened for Tommy Stinson, it’s no wonder High on Stress evoke the rootsier side of hometown legends The Replacements; frontman Nick Leet’s emphatic, twangy drawl even conjures Paul Westerberg.

65's-Never Say Never

The 65’s – Never Say Never EP (Mint 400/Pyrrhic Victory)

8 May 2020

This three-songer blasts even harder than their 2017 “Wolves and Men” 7”, enhanced by the addition of second guitarist Ed Roessler to an already intimidating lineup of Joe Pugsley, Ryan Struck, and John Steele.

Liila Jokelin - Kaamos on huono esileikki

Liila Jokelin - Kaamos on huono esileikki (Helmi Levyt Finland)

23 December 2019

Behind her impassioned, one-of-a-kind voice and idiosyncratic songs, Helsinki, Finland singer/guitarist Jokelin’s solo debut Kaamos has a distinctive ambience that is enticing and transcendent.

Hollis Brown-Ozone Park

Hollis Brown - Ozone Park (Cool Green)

12 December 2019

This Queens, NY quintet’s fifth album dispenses with the too-conventional, leisurely-paced country/roots-rock that dominated their last LP, 2015’s 3 Shots, in favor of more buoyant, vivacious playing and arrangements.