c.Kostra – Now I Feel It – Review

January 31, 2017

Heavily distorted vocals push, pull and mold these ten tracks into beautiful miniature soundscapes that sound fresh and innovative while still managing to be accessible and distinct.

Pixies – Head Carrier – Review

September 26, 2016

The Pixies 2.0’s second tilt, Head Carrier, picks up where the first one, Indie Cindy, left off; and like its predecessor, it’s a bit uneven.

Violent Femmes – We Can Do Anything – Review

May 13, 2016

Whatever Gordon Gano’s been doing to preserve that awful tenor of his should be patented, because, like on last year’s EP Happy New Year, he’s never sounded better. That idiosyncratic wail is as fresh as it was on the eponymous record of yore. It’s funny even critiquing a band like the Violent Femmes, it’s kinda like critiquing Orwell, Miró or Shakespeare: What can I say?

Local H – Hey Killer – Review

April 10, 2015

Hey, Killer is the most consistent Local H record since 2002’s superb Here Comes the Zoo (which was also their last non-concept try) and the band’s best since at least 2004’s Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles? Though it should be noted that Here Comes the Zoo sure as hell sounded thematic, and, surprise, surprise, so does Hey, Killer.

Senses Fail / Man Overboard – Split 7″

March 6, 2015

Post-hardcore vets Senses Fail and pop punk upstarts Man Overboard team up for this four-song EP, featuring a new song from both bands as well as each band covering one of the other’s choice cuts.

Pixies – Indie Cindy – Review

June 20, 2014

Wow, so they went and did it. I was hoping with the tepid and even downright awful response to their new EPs they’d take the hint, and maybe at least wait another year or so and write some better music, go in a different direction, try something else… or just stop.

Owls – Two – Review

March 19, 2014

Owls are a satisfying throwback to a time when emo rock hadn’t yet evolved into an overly sleek, whiny mess of a movement. Originally on the scene for a brief time in the early 2000s, the group is back after a decade-plus hiatus, and they sound fantastic.

The Crimson ProjeKCt – Live In Tokyo – Review

March 3, 2014

Featuring two sets of three King Crimson alum (Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto; Markus Reuter, Julie Slick and Tobias Ralph) and using the “double trio” approach that KC favored in the ’90s, The Crimson ProjeKCt is a suitably ambitious offshoot from the legendary prog masters.

Dum Dum Girls – Too True – Review

January 27, 2014

My brother-in-law saw this band open up for Ben Gibbard a while back, and his zero-word review was a lethargic shoulder shrug. So I didn’t have high hopes going in to this but, hey, maybe they’ve improved with age. Maybe not.

Pixies – EP-2 – Review

January 24, 2014

For a band that waited a couple decades to drop a new collection of songs with last September’s EP-1, the Pixies went a whole four months before releasing EP-2 on their site in early January. And I want to say it’s an improvement over EP-1, but it’s not. Let’s see why.

J. Roddy Walston – Essential Tremors – Review

January 14, 2014

If music was rated inversely on how much someone pilfers, than J. Roddy Walston & The Business’ third full-length, Essential Tremors, would have to be considered a good-sounding failure. But when you nick and splice as well as they do – thereby making it your own, well, than that’s an art form in itself.

Matt Pryor – Wrist Slitter – Review

January 8, 2014

The Get-Up Kids have been the butt of many of my emo/bad indie rock jokes. The band got less terrible with every release, as the cute college girls I assigned to review them for the magazine often noted. I actually liked their cover of The Cure’s “Close to You” on Before You Were Punk Vol. 2. Liked, I say.

Boardwalk – Review

January 2, 2014

Pleasant, predictable, and absolutely mesmerizing. While it’s a dick move to say an entire genre is pretty indistinguishable (to the obvious outsider), that’s what I’m gonna do. Breathy, gauzy female vocals, and some hipster dude handling the deeply-reverbed, mellow guitars, and drum machine set on snooze.

Blitzen Trapper – VII – Review

December 31, 2013

No, the title of the new Blitzen Trapper album isn’t meant to be clever or anything (I thought maybe this was their, like, fourth album), this is their seventh full-length. And the music, heard here on “Ever Loved Once,” is just as straightforward and unpretentious, with a confident alt.country swagger.

Rogue Wave – Nightingale Floors – Review

December 9, 2013

“College” is appropriately-named. For those a little older and wiser (just ask ’em) than their cliquey high school counterparts, Rogue Wave offer up a 101-level anthem for awkward, nervous late-teens.

The Stone Roses – Made of Stone – Review

December 7, 2013

It’s a fantastic documentary of the Roses’ reformation in 2012 after 16 years off the map. Director Shane Meadows’ incredible access to the band enables him to chronicle everything from their first reformed rehearsals (shot in reverent black and white) through their multi-night homecoming shows in front of more than 200,000 fans.

The Sounds – Weekend – Review

December 1, 2013

The fifth album from this Swedish band that seemed to vanish from the radar after their first album here in North America. Weekend has energy and emotion to spare, and makes me wonder just what the hell people are listening to instead of this.

Goldfrapp – Tales of Us – Review

November 15, 2013

Not that Goldfrapp (first name, Alison) hasn’t been doing well for herself for quite a while, dating back to her mid-’90s collaborations with Orbital, but c’mon — having your song in an Apple commercial is a new level of stardom (and moolah, one would hope).

Pixies – EP-1 – Review

October 11, 2013

It’s a tough thing for a band that hasn’t put out new material in more than 20 years (aside from two singles) to come back like gangbusters. Too much time has passed, and for better or ill, music and production technology have moved on.

1 2 3 28