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The Big Takeover Issue #88
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High Chair - Hey Mountain Hey (Kiyabisu Records)

17 August 2021

It’s interesting to ponder how these songs would have been received if they had been released in the 90s, but it is undeniable that Hey Mountain Hey is absolutely perfect for this moment.

Moon Coven - Slumber Wood (Ripple Music)

17 August 2021

The great country of Sweden has no shortage of stoner rock bands, so it can be hard to get excited about yet another one. But there’s something about Moon Coven that makes the group stand out.

The Alchemysts - One Eyed Again/Over and Out (Tee Pee Records Annex)

16 August 2021

The Alchemysts may not have existed in two decades, but, thanks to Tee Pee, their music not only lives on – it holds up nicely.

Sorrows - Love Too Late...The Real Album (Big Stir)

13 August 2021

Four decades after the first attempt, Sorrows release their masterpiece.

The Cruzados - She’s Automatic (Scamco)

12 August 2021

Evolving out of L.A.’s much-beloved Chicano punk trio the Plugz, the Cruzados never got their due in their eighties existence – the curse, perhaps, of being a straightforward, punk-pedigreed rock & roll band on a major label (Arista) looking for both the next Bruce Springsteen and the next Poison.

Geoff Palmer - Charts & Graphs (Rum Bar/Stardumb)

11 August 2021

Since his compadre Brad Marino released another solo album this year, naturally fellow Connection singer/songwriter/guitarist Geoff Palmer follows suit.

The Fourth World Quartet - 1975 (Cuneiform)

10 August 2021

The music of Ann Arbor’s Fourth World Quartet lasted less than a year (the titular 1975) and all of two gigs. So what makes this document of fully-realized demos so important?

Country Funk

Various Artists – Country Funk Volume III (1975-1982) (Light in the Attic Records)

9 August 2021

Country cousins take a snort of disco and funk. Get out on the floor!

Dany Laj and the Looks - Ten Easy Pieces (Rum Bar)

9 August 2021

Born in the small town of Kirkland Lake, south of Toronto, singer/guitarist Dany Laj writes the kind of tunes full of yearning: for love, for commitment, for purpose, for getting the hell out of town.

Tenuous Threads - Mettle (Self-Released)

8 August 2021

Rarely is a first release as ambitious as Mettle, and fortunately for the artist and the listener, the finished product more than lives up to that promise in bold and highly original ways.

Damon & Naomi with Kurihara - A Sky Record (20-20-20)

6 August 2021

Boston duo Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang have had a long relationship with legendary Japanese psych guitarist extraordinaire Michio Kurihara (Ghost, Boris, the Stars, White Heaven), but haven’t been able to record with him in a decade.

The Peppermint Kicks - s/t (Rum Bar)

5 August 2021

Both veterans of the Boston rock & roll underground, singers/songwriters/guitarists Sal Baglio (the Stompers, the Amplifier Heads) and Dan Kopko (Watts, the Shang Hi-Los) combine forces to form the Peppermint Kicks.

Odd Circus - Arch Nova (self-released)

4 August 2021

For its second EP, Orlando trio Odd Circus is eager to prove that free improvisation isn’t just the province of jazz musicians.

The Lords of Altamont - Tune In, Turn On, Electrify! (Heavy Psych Sounds)

3 August 2021

Having passed the twenty year mark, The Lords of Altamont now stand as veterans of L.A.’s always-thriving garage rock scene.

Killed by The Architects - Killed by The Architects (Self-Released)

2 August 2021

Killed by The Architects doesn’t try to reinvent indie rock or post-punk, but it will easily charm and melt the frozen hearts of even the pickiest of gatekeeping fans.

East Axis - Cool With That (ESP-Disk’)

2 August 2021

One look at the personnel on the debut album by East Axis makes it hard to resist: pianist Matthew Shipp, drummer Gerald Cleaver, saxophonist Allen Lowe and bassist Kevin Ray make up a free improvisation dream team.

Lee Michael Stevens - I Miss U Now (Self-Released)

1 August 2021

The debut solo single by Swagger frontman Lee Michael Stevens is the first step in a promising journey.

Shirley Collins - Crowlink Ep (Domino Recording Co.)

1 August 2021

Dame Shirley Collins returns with the power of nature in and all it’s beauty

Los Lobos

Los Lobos – Native Sons (New West Records)

30 July 2021

A Los Angeles institution crafts affectionate covers of hometown faves.

Robert Harrison - Watching the Kid Come Back (Monostereo)

30 July 2021

Rather than fill nooks and crannies with ear candy, Harrison lets the songs breathe, the air around each lick and vocal framing the tunes as much as backwards guitars and tape splices did in the Kontiki days.

Barista - Open Sesame Vol 2: Press Rewind (Monoplay Records)

29 July 2021

Rather than padded with filler, the immense album is proving to be made with meticulous care and attention.

J. Peter Schwalm/Markus Reuter - Aufbruch (RareNoise)

29 July 2021

A joint effort from two musicians equally comfortable with organic and synthetic sources of sound, Aufbruch feels like the perfect soundtrack for the Pandemic Years.

Michael Mantler - Coda - Orchestral Suites (ECM)

28 July 2021

For Coda – Orchestral Suites, the Austrian musician reworks pieces from past works via a horn-and-string laden chamber orchestra, vibraphone, electric guitar and his own probing horn.

Shun - s/t (Small Stone)

27 July 2021

Shun leader Matt Whitehead used to lead South Carolina’s Throttlerod, and while his new group Shun fields some of the former band’s ragged-but-right stoner metal, there’s a lot more going on here.

Renee & Jeremy - Whole Lotta Love

26 July 2021

Cover albums are normally predictable and unimaginative affairs, but not in the hands of Renee Stahl and Jeremy Toback. “Whole Lotta Love” is a gorgeous reimagining of some of the best known songs of the modern age and clever renders them into whispering, ambient folk songs whilst still retaining that special quality which made them so popular in the first place.

Blue Reality Quartet - s/t (Mahakala Music)

26 July 2021

With jazz’s long history of saxophone/drums duo albums, it was only a matter of time before some musicians decided to double up.

Blue and Broke - Night Shadows (Self-Released)

24 July 2021

Night Shadows isn’t above referencing pop culture or the long history of popular music, and by beautifully and effortlessly synthesizing both the high and the low the band is elevated to a living individual work of art.

Roy Brooks - Understanding (Reel to Real)

23 July 2021

Documenting a 1970 performance recorded by the Left Bank Jazz Society at Baltimore’s Famous Ballroom, the two-disk Understanding resurrects a magnificent Brooks gig from the vaults.

Where We Sleep - The Scars They Leave (Self-Released)

22 July 2021

Beth Rettig and Where We Sleep release their debut long-player, and it is explosive and enchanting

Orrin Evans - The Magic of Now (Smoke Sessions)

22 July 2021

Besides his piano, Evans wields the band as his instruments, knowing when to keep them in support and when to let them loose.

Michael Bisio/Kirk Knuffle/Fred Lonberg-Holm - The Art Spirit (ESP-Disk’)

21 July 2021

Inspired by and dedicated to nineteenth century American artist Robert Henri, The Art Spirit is clearly committed to Art For Art’s Sake.

Goldie & the Gingerbreads - Thinking About The Good Times - Complete Recordings 1964-1966 (Ace Records)

20 July 2021

Rock music’s premier all-female band get a long overdue retrospective.

The Idolizers - ConCretins (Rum Bar)

20 July 2021

A worthy follow-up to last year’s self-titled introductory EP, the Idolizers rip it up again on new EP ConCretins.

Greg Antista and the Lonely Streets - Under the Neon Heat (Primal Beat)

19 July 2021

There’s a lot of L.A. rock history in this band’s DNA.

Clifford/Wright - For All the Money in the World (Cliffsong Records)

18 July 2021

CCR legend Doug ‘Cosmo’ Clifford releases an extraordinary piece of work on August 27th, a collaboration with the late Steve Wright from the Greg Kihn Band

The Black Watch - Led Zeppelin Five (10th anniversary edition) (ATOM)

16 July 2021

Forever trumpeted within these virtual and physical pages as one of the greatest bands not enough people know about, The Black Watch celebrates the tenth anniversary of one of its best: Led Zeppelin Five.

Pluto Juice - s/t (Contagious Music)

15 July 2021

Led by acclaimed saxophonist Dayna Stephens and drummer Anthony Fung, Pluto Juice explores two concepts on its self-titled debut: space travel and the EWI, or electronic wind instrument.

French Girls - s/t (Rum Bar)

14 July 2021

Led by singer and bassist Che Beret, Arizona’s French Girls dig their guitars loud, their melodies sweet, and their rhythms pumpin’.

Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey - Our Back Pages (Omnivore)

13 July 2021

In which our intrepid co-leaders of the dB’s revisit their back catalog in more stripped-down and intimate takes than the louder versions on record by the band.

Gary Craig - Yesterday Into Day (Self-Released)

12 July 2021

As time and aging are common themes throughout the album, it is fascinating to listen to an artist with a new perspective sing these songs written by his younger self.

Black Reuss - Metamorphosis (Black Reuss Music)

12 July 2021

Metamorphosis will appeal most of all to fans of the genre looking for something more intellectual than the standard fare.

Disturbios - s/t (Midnight Cruiser)

12 July 2021

At a mere twenty-five minutes, Disturbios may seem short on the surface, but the band makes the most of its timeframe and never misses a step.

Francie Conway - Staycation (Sunfish Music)

11 July 2021

Francie Conway continues on his divine path of excellence with “Staycation”

Josh Caterer - The Hideout Sessions (Pravda)

9 July 2021

He’s created something well worth hearing and not just for obsessive Smoking Popes fans.

Keshav Batish - Binaries in Cycle (Woven Strands)

9 July 2021

The son of a master sitar player and grandson of a Bollywood composer, drummer Keshav Batish brings worlds of experience to his music.

Los Chicos - 20 Years of Shakin’ Fat & Launching Shit by Medical Prescription (Rum Bar)

8 July 2021

The aesthetic is exactly what you’d expect – three chord romps that drag fifties rock & roll through a Nuggets filter, with some C&W and R&B seasoning – but this music depends more on personality and energy than originality.

Jacques Schwarz-Bart - Soné Ka-La 2: Odyssey (Enja)

7 July 2021

For Soné Ka-La 2: Odyssey, a sequel to his 2006 LP Soné Ka-La, Schwarz-Bart takes inspiration for the Gwoka traditions from his youth growing up in Guadeloupe.

Echo Us - The Windsong Spires (Absolute Probability)

6 July 2021

Like the primeval thunderstorms of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, the music of Echo Us scratches an ancient itch deep in the back of the listener’s subconscious.

Wanderlust - All a View (self-released)

6 July 2021

Like a lot of members of the early nineties alternarock nation, Wanderlust was and is a power pop band at heart.

Duck Baker - Confabulations (ESP-Disk')

5 July 2021

Confabulations collects duo and trio recordings made over the course of twenty-three years, and features players from the more adventurous side of the jazz spectrum for an album of uneasy listening.