Carnivores-All Night Dead USA [Double Phantom]
This lil' musical plant has a garage rock pot with fertilizer pellets of the jangly variety that has also sprouted a tropical stem, a psychedelic leaf, a some slightly frightening thorns, all leading up to a mostly pretty purple-pink flower. Makes a good present for most, but you'd have to trim it a little if you wanna give it to your mom.
Small Black-Small Black EP [Jagjaguwar]
Bedroom style casio pop for the radio dj soul. While this genre can get a little packed with stuff, these dudes know how to write music and those sentimental sort of hooks.
The Fall- Your Future Our Clutter [Domino]
Yet another album from these post-punk classics. I'm sort of afraid to review this since there's probably too much to say if I knew better, so I'll go with this: Rock n roll with a sort of raw maybe garage-y sound + keyboards that don't suck/overpower combined with rambling-style delivery that's not actually rambling since he says cool stuff.
Ceremony-Rocket Fire [Killer Pimp]
TOP NOTCH. Distorted slightly noise-y pop pieces out of Virginia in which you can hear the influences pretty clearly, but has high enough quality to stand on its own to avoid too much comparison (maybe even up in the ranks of the upper-echelons of this sound?). The combination of melodic chords that are distorted to the point where they tap into noise is sort of influenced by Jesus and the Mary Chain, but that's just the guitar tone/one piece of the formula. For fans of post-punk/shoegaze, but good enough for everyone else too.
Soundpool- Mirrors in your eyes [Killer Pimp]
Dance dreams! This album is totally hip-shake-able but at the same time a bunch of sonic landscapes to close your eyes and get lost in. Here is the make-up: swirling guitars among other pretty guitar tricks, moving beats, female vocals, bass hooks, and a dash of synth flares here and there to make dance-y shoegaze. Also a touch of glamorous fab. Unrelated personal note: Put Killer Pimp on labels to watch.
The Whitsundays- Saul [Friendly Fire]
Swell indie rock with a lil' piece of 60s nostalgia thrown into this well-produced album. Very nice and fun, hearing influences all the way from Bright Eyes to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes to The Zombies. This album is for you if you are tired of the following words in the blurbs this week: postpunk, jangle, shoegaze.
The Lodgers-Flashbacks [Slumberland]
I like it when this sort of thing happens since its the middle-ground of no-frills styles that no one wants to tread since that means the song-writing has to stand on its own: analog recording techniques with no computer tricks BUT good quality no lo-fi static BUT ALSO a lot of instruments and complex song structures. Anyway, this a band out of Leeds that has a classic twee sound with big songs including various horns, strings, and even percussion. Orchestral twee that was supposed to be no-frills but transcends that.
Frog Eyes- Paul's Tomb: A Triumph [Dead Oceans]
Pretty raw and energetic punky post-punk (yeah I just said that) with really awesome guitar antics going on. The guitar doesn't come off as over-the-top, but its always there and doing a lot of cool sonic pop assaults that sound pretty nuts. But I suppose one of the larger appeals would be the frontman Carey Mercer who is constantly wailing in some weird cracked-out preacher sort of way. Actually this guitar stuff is really cool on here and could probably make a lot of good bands really rad.
Sonoi-Sonoi [Meno Mosso]
An experimental pop album that is most definitely pop. I guess the experimental side comes out the production and guitar effects. There's a big minimalist aesthetic going on that sort of reminds me of Phillip Glass or certain kraut-rock styles. A nice and space-y thing this is.
Guidance Counselor- Guidance Counselor [old wave]
Pretty sweet post-punk-goth tainted group with gritty electronics, loud drums, and some guitar and bass flourishes. Still pretty happy and cool for this kind of band (or maybe thats just the cover art speaking) but its nice. ALSO member of STARFUCKER.
Its pretty cool how Daughters have evolved since I was back in high school. They still have the sliding basslines, similar Arab-on-Radar guitar riffs, but now they've dropped the screaming and instead of 20 second songs they've got 8 to fill almost half an hour. Even though I'd say this is more listen-able, the complexity of the longer songs sort of make it more chaotic. Thumbs up to this release: I thought I had out-grown Daughters but they've updated their song quite a bit.
Kayo Dot-Coyote [Hydrahead]
This is hard to describe. You used to be sort of able to pin this band down as "prog-metal with sludge" but this album has a little bit of Capt. Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica inflected riffs and free-jazz in combination with the doom-like dirges with not a lot of metal to be found. Its still a little dark so I can still make the comparison of this being a much more mature Sleepytime Gorilla Museum.
Sugar & Gold- Get Wet! [Antenna Farm Records]
Ultra-dance group from SF that mixes Zapp & Roger style old-school funk-r&b with newer synth-pop style stuff into one sweet big sleek dance party. So fun and clever all you need is one listen-through to grab a catchy lyric/chorus to sing while you cook yr dinner.