Reviews

Northern State | Can I Keep This Pen? (Ipecac)

Written by Rebecca Reardon Tuesday, 02 October 2007 16:06

cd_northernstate.jpgYou're actually just what Luscious Jackson fans like me should really dig.

 

 

 

 

 

Liars | Liars (Mute)

Written by Kevin Renick Tuesday, 02 October 2007 15:58

cd_liars.jpgLiars is just as freaky and formula-defying as before—it's just that there isn't a theme or concept this time per se, unless the concept is Liars simply trying to make music without a fictional backdrop.

 

 

 

 

   

Les Savy Fav | Let's Stay Friends (French Kiss)

Written by David Lichius Tuesday, 02 October 2007 15:53

cd_lessavyfav.jpgTo phrase it quite simply, Les Savy Fav is an incredible rock band. And whether it is frowned upon or not, LSF do have a "party" quality to them.

 

 

 

 

VHS or Beta | Bring on the Comets (Astralwerks)

Written by Jim Ousley Tuesday, 02 October 2007 15:49

cd_vhsorbeta.jpgVHS or Beta are reinventing themselves by aiming for the radio as well as the clubs; the hooks on Bring on the Comets come as fast and furious as the beats.

 

 

 

 

   

Donny Hue and the Colors | Folkmote (The Kora)

Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 26 September 2007 01:28

cd_donnyhue.jpgThis album is all about feel, and you can't manufacture that. Feel has to be an organic thing, kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simian Mobile Disco | Attack Decay Sustain Release (Interscope)

Written by Leah Martin Tuesday, 25 September 2007 14:11

cd_simian.jpgI actually had the urge to do the robot in my chair, from this track on for the full 37 minutes of the album.

 

 

 

 

   

The Cave Singers | Invitation Songs (Matador)

Written by Gabe Bullard Tuesday, 25 September 2007 14:02

cd_cavesinger.jpgThe three claim they didn't set out to be a folk group, or to make a folk record. They've failed. Invitation Songs is the best folk albums in years.

 

 

 

 

 

The Hail Marys | Faith, Forgiveness, Sweet Revenge (S/R)

Written by Eammon Azizi Tuesday, 25 September 2007 13:55

Overall, it's a seriously upbeat, rockin' 28-minute listen that offers nothing even close to a ballad.

   

Dethklok | The Dethalbum (Williams Street/Roadrunner)

Written by Jason Green Monday, 24 September 2007 07:22

cd_dethalbum.jpgNorway's greatest fictional metal band comes alive on this soundtrack from the the Cartoon Network/[adult swim] smash hit series Metalocalypse, just in time for the premiere of the show's second season.

 

 

AdriAnne Lenker | Live at the Southern (s/r)

Written by Amanda Pelle Thursday, 20 September 2007 02:14

cd_adrianne.jpgStanding barefoot on the stage of a crowded room, Lenker addresses the audience with a demure yet unapologetic pout on her lips.

 

 

 

 

   

Black Lips | Good, Bad, Not Evil (Vice)

Written by Leah Martin Thursday, 20 September 2007 02:03

cd_blacklips.jpgThey consider themselves "flower punk," the meaning of which is unclear—perhaps a reference to a Frank Zappa song—and for a punk band, they certainly attempt to convey a varied message.

 

 

 

 

 

Amiina | Kurr (Ever)

Written by Kevin Renick Sunday, 16 September 2007 13:51

cd_amiinaThere is always a sense of forward motion in their music: a unique flow, an aesthetic that seems to almost survey the details of the beauty and vastness all around them.

 

 

 

 

   

LCD Soundsytem | A Bunch of Stuff EP (DFA/Capitol)

Written by Gabe Bullard Sunday, 16 September 2007 13:35

While 45:33 was supposedly made for joggers to listen to while working out, A Bunch of Stuff seems destined for club DJs and people who aspire to be club DJs.

 

 

Rilo Kiley | Under the Blacklight (Warner Bros.)

Written by Kevin Renick Sunday, 09 September 2007 09:32

cd_rilo-kileyRilo Kiley have made a perfectly delightful, tightly arranged record, a lean, fat-free collection of 11 tunes that broadens the sonic palette a little bit.

 

 

 

 

   

Dandi Wind | Concrete Igloo (Summer Lovers Unltd.)

Written by Kevin Renick Thursday, 06 September 2007 14:23

cd_dandiwindBut the meat of the album comes with tougher tracks like "Balloon Factory," which goes on about the virgin mother being seen on the face of a balloon, while distorted, exuberantly weird vocals breathe fire and deliver a ripping chorus of "Whang-diddly dang dang."

 

 

 

 

Brown Shoe | Vanity (s/r)

Written by James Nokes Thursday, 06 September 2007 14:19

cd_brownshoeWhat began in a Folsom, Calif., garage has taken these three brothers and friend on a journey of textural rhythms that verge on what the band calls ethereal rock 'n' roll.

 

 

 

 

   

Benzos | Branches (Stinky)

Written by James Nokes Thursday, 06 September 2007 14:15

cd_benzosBenzos' sophomore album, Branches, attempts to seamlessly blend the ambience and rhythm of early underground dance and experimental electronic music with lush, rock-based guitars and soaring vocals.

 

 

 

 

Alina Simone | Placelesness (54 40 or Fight)

Written by James Nokes Thursday, 06 September 2007 14:10

cd_alinaAlina Simone's sophomore release, Placelessness, expands upon the minimalism of her debut EP, Prettier in the Dark, this time with a stronger sensitivity and the addition of sandpaper and a filing cabinet.

 

 

 

   

Silverchair | Young Modern (Eleven)

Written by Nickolas Blazina Thursday, 06 September 2007 14:02

cd_silverchairThe band has grown far past the precocious teens of the mid-'90s dubbed "Nirvana in Pajamas" by the mainstream U.S. press.

 

 

 

 

 

They Might Be Giants | The Else (Idlewild/Zoe/Universal)

Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Monday, 03 September 2007 13:58

cd_tmbgThe biggest detriment to The Else is that it merely settles for being clever, instead of aspiring for that heady ingenuity that has kept TMBG relevant for so long.

 

 

 

 

   

Fjord Rowboat | Saved the Compliments for Morning (s/r)

Written by Glen Elkins Thursday, 30 August 2007 14:18

cd_fjordFjord Rowboat package a strong, vibrant sound into a collection of indie-rock tunes more along the lines of Doves or Interpol. And they do so impressively.

 

 

 

 

 

The Panic Division | Songs From the Glasshouse (The Militia Group)

Written by Tracie Tomlinson Thursday, 30 August 2007 14:07

cd_panicdivColton Holliday sings with such passion and conviction that it's hard not to believe every word he sings. No matter the tone of the song or the subject of the lyrics, he is able to convey its idea.

 

 

 

 

   

RadioRadio | Watch 'Em All Come Running (s/r)

Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:54

cd_radioradioI'm struck instantly of the amazing power of music. This song makes me want to cry: that's how deeply the voice and the notes combine, drawing a swell of emotions, of experiences, of memories and living life and feeling completely connected to all that surrounds me.

 

 

 

 

The Good Life | Help Wanted Nights (Saddle Creek)

Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:50

cd_goodlifeThe songs touch heavily on themes of heartbreak, infidelity and failure to commit; compositionally, they range from sparse and simple to fully orchestrated and swelling.

 

 

 

   

Eastern Conference Champions | Ameritown (Suretone/Fontana)

Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:47

cd_easternconfThis is truly an aural pleasure, a distinct and engaging listening experience more than a lyrical discovery.

 

 

 

 

Matt Nathanson | Some Mad Hope (Vanguard)

Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:44

cd_nathansonI hate to think that contentment kills creativity—really, must all artists be tortured and miserable?—but numerous listens to Some Mad Hope have left me uninspired.

 

 

 

   

The Pietasters | All Day (Indication)

Written by Jason Neubauer Monday, 20 August 2007 14:47

cd_pietastersIn their 17 years together, they have seen and done just about everything a late-breaking musician would name as an aspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

Kaz Murphy | Home for Misfits (s/r)

Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 20 August 2007 14:43

cd_kazThe songs here aren't retro, they're timeless—but not in a classic way. This album will never be irrelevant, but it won't ever really fit, either.

 

 

 

 

   

Numero 016 | Kid Soul: The ABC's of Kid Soul (The Numero Group)

Written by Sam Levy Monday, 20 August 2007 14:39

cd_numero16The Numero Group is brilliant at capturing stories that share a common, forgotten-by-time legacy. Michael Jackson is the only surviving member of Kid Soul, a genre that exploded, and imploded soon after.

 

 

 

 

Black Before Red | Belgrave to Kings Circle (I Eat Records)

Written by Raymee Holshauser Monday, 20 August 2007 14:34

I love the various textures of the male voice and Mark Ferrino's is pure and interesting. He adds emotion and creates a radiant pop/rock vibe.

 

   

Arks | The International (Highwheel)

Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 20 August 2007 14:30

The International is guitar-driven, jagged and danceable, right from the declarative first track. I started singing along right away, always a good sign.

 

 

Anna Wilson | Time Changes Everything (Transfer)

Written by Amanda Pelle Monday, 20 August 2007 14:24

cd_anna-wilsonThe album opens with "That's What Lovers Do," evoking the image of a passionate couple making love by the fire, snowflakes drifting outside the window and shadows dancing on the walls.

 

 

 

 

   

The Rentals | Last Little Life EP (Boompa)

Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 20 August 2007 14:20

cd_rentalsThe band used to quote Gary Numan when referencing relationships; now they sing about listening to Nat King Cole. The irreverence is there, but the attitude isn't.

 

 

 

 

 

The Lovemakers | Misery Loves Company (Fuzz)

Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 20 August 2007 14:18

cd_lovemakersTheir bandmates didn't appreciate Light and Blonde's makeout sessions during practice, so the duo became The Lovemakers, and built itself a following from Oakland to San Francisco.

 

 

 

   

The Foundry Field Recordings | Fallout Stations EP (Emergency Umbrella)

Written by Alex Hodschayan Friday, 10 August 2007 08:24

cd_foundryMore energetic then most of their material, "Transistor Kids" has something for everyone, with a resonance to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside while the drums in the background rage on like battle drums.

 

 

 

 

The Cape May | Glass Mountain Road (Flemish Eye)

Written by Mike Tangaro Tuesday, 31 July 2007 13:54

cd_capemayCalgary's The Cape May's sophomore album, Glass Mountain Roads, has a lot in common with a fresh box of warm, soft donuts.

 

 

 

 

   

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