by: Sam Farzin, KUCI Music Director
Talkdemonic - Eyes At Half Mast [Arena Rock Recording Co.]
Viola+drums, instrumental awesomeness. Other instrumentation as well, but mainly the interplay of strings and thumps is what makes Talkdemonic continue to be so compelling.
Little Teeth - Child Bearing Man [Absolutely Kosher]
Super-nice folks from hella Norcal who play totally bizarre, damaged only-using-the-term-because-I'm-lazy indie rock. A cavalcade of broken instrumentation and really idiosyncratic vocals make for a heckuva full-length debut.
Zach Hill - Astrological Straits [Ipecac]
Speaking of Hella Norcal, Zach Hilla is the drummera in Hella, and if you know anythinga about Hella, its that the drumsa are brain-burningly awesome. So, here we have a insanely capable drummer asking a lot of his friendsa to come and rock with him on his own songsa. Disc 2 of this release is a single 30 minute track of drums and pianoa.
Starf*cker – Starf*cker [Badman]
Of Montreal, poppy-jams, hype, blah blah blah. Okay I'm not a jerk, these songs are really fun and relevant. Everyone will enjoy them. No relation to the NIN jam.
Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez - Why Is Bear Billowing? [Carpark]
Do you like oddly strummed folk songs with layering and interesting melodies and topics? Boy, check this out.
Doctor Bird - Meet Doctor Bird [Self-Released]
This band is awesome. They are from San Diego. Check out the hand-made cover on this record: it is beautiful. These are really great pop-punk songs. Was there ever a time when pop-punk wasn't a dirty word? Because that's what this is. Punk songs with a pop edge, boy-girl sing-a-long choruses with heart. Fans of dudes like Times New Viking take note.
I Am Robot And Proud - Uphill City [Darla]
Darla is on fiiiiiire. I thiiiiink this is all instrumental (and therefore probably belongs in RPM as it is essentially IDM). These are really nice, poppy electronica tracks. No pretension or overdramatizations - just great, hooky melodies that tickle your ears. Tickle. Think Postal Service but quirkier and without God metaphors.
Dianogah - QHNNNL [Southern]
This is a wacky CD. This band features 2 bassists and a drummer. I scanned through the CD and found a number of different styles at play. One song sounded like a normal, good rock song. One song sounded like low-frequency noise. One song sounded like a drone-scorcher. It seems like these folks like hopping around while thumping on basses.
The Mojomatics - Don't Pretend That You Know Me [Ghost]
We get a fair amount of garage-rock type discs at KUCI and a lot of them are just way too cliche, with too much ripping off without enough honesty. This disc is totally a scorcher, and makes no attempts to win you over by any means other than fast and rollicking two-man rock.
28 Degrees Taurus - How Do You Like Your Love? [Self-Relased]
This CD looks and sounds like it was produced in 1988. In the best way possible. (The music can be probably be classified as "shoegazer").
The Shaky Hands - Lunglight [Kill Rock Stars]
Disjointed, pointed post-indie rock? Post-indie? How the heck do you go beyond what is not a genre? Man, I write the rules. What am I even talking about anymore.
And two discs that really don't belong in Rock-A but are great and I added them:
Brad Barr - The Fall Apartment [Tompkins Square]
Like instrumental guitar finger-picking but turned off by James Blackshaw's endless 12-string sonic assaults? This is totally your ticket then.
Charlie Louvin - Steps To Heaven [Tompkins Square]
This disc is essentially as Roots Americana Country as it gets. This guy was already alive when the Grand Ole Opry started. He was alive through the Great Depression, and he was alive through both World Wars (serving in the 2nd). He is 81 years old. You should basically know what to expect: honest-to-God (literally) American music. And he is TOURING (not around here but geez). I can only hope that at age 81 I have the power to play an E chord on the guitar.