Author Archives: heysoulclassic

Iceage – “Plowing Into The Field Of Love”

Courtesy of Allmusic: “On their third album, [Iceage] has clearly been going through some changes. The intense, hardcore-influenced attack…has given way to a different but similarly passionate sound, with acoustic guitars, piano, and trumpets working their way into the mix. On numbers like “On My Fingers,” “Abundant Living,” and “How Many,” the results bear a […]

Greylag – “Greylag”

Portland-based trio playing that slick-sounding, well-produced, harmony-heavy slice of Americana-based rock that seems to be everywhere. One big difference is the vocal work of Andrew Stonestreet. He is almost Jeff Buckley good. Very powerful vocals all over this album, and when they go heavy, there’s a nice mid-90’s vibe that has been missing from rock […]

Broncho – “Just Enough Hip To Be Woman”

Fuzzed-out, punk-rocky, old-school, garage-pop. T-Rex playing Phoenix songs? Pavement covering The Cars? Super catchy songs, with very Ric Ocasek-like delivery (but with better range/tone), and crunchy guitars. These songs can really get stuck in your brain, and track-for-track, each song is really good. Play: #2, 4, 6, 8, 5 FCC: #1, #7 RIYL: The Cars, […]

Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell

This album is chock-full of gems, but they are all over the place musically, a tribute to the man this double-disc set is celebrating. Arthur Russell was a cellist/songwriter/artist/etc who died of AIDS in 1992, but not before making all kinds of experimental, genre-defying, music throughout the 1970’s & 80’s. The New Yorker described it […]

Blake Mills – “Heigh Ho”

Guitar prodigy, who has written/produced/played with almost everybody (Sarah Watkins, Fiona Apple, Dawes, Avett Brothers, Kid Rock, Bright Eyes, Haim, etc), finds his own way on this remarkably intimate album. Very stripped down blues/folk/rock, with very understated guitar work (considering how amazing a player he is). Guitar work on this album is subtle, beautiful, & […]

Sleater-Kinney – “Start Together 1994-2006”

Not enough time or space to go over why Sleater-Kinney were one of the seminal bands of their era. This album is a good starting point. Even though it’s technically a sampler of their upcoming box-set, this album is pretty much a greatest-hits of their 7 albums (about 2 songs per album). Great guitar riffy […]

The Barr Brothers – “Sleeping Operator”

Easy-listening folk rock from this Montreal based band. Ghostly folk with some African rhythms, gives it a nice Graceland-era Paul Simon vibe. Slide guitars, gentle piano licks, acoustic guitars, and sweet vocal harmonies throughout. The book is not being re-written here, but this a really nice collection of rock, blues, and folk tunes, with some […]

Flying Lotus – “You’re Dead”

On his fourth album, Flying Lotus has expanded his sound in a really impressive way. Known for his trippy, g-funk, west coast, sound; on You’re Dead, FlyLo adds eastern sounds (swirling guitar parts, bells, etc) to create a very concise-sounding, funky adventure. Appearances by Snoop Dogg (Not FCC Clean, track #6) & Kendrick Lamar (FCC […]

Goat – “Commune”

Swedish alternative and experimental fusion music group. Insane world music done through prism of psychedelic rock. A lot like contemporaries Toubab Krewe and Tinariwen. Weird, chant-like vocals over insane guitar parts, with a stellar rhythm section. RIYL: Toubab Krewe, Tinariwen FCC: Clean Play: 2, 3, 7, 9

Death From Above 1979 – “The Physical World”

Second album (debut was over 10 years ago!) by hard rocking duo, is pretty remarkable considering their time spent away from each other. Killer guitar riffs, pounding drums, epic Synth swells, rawk singing. What else do you need to know? Turn it up to 11. RIYL: Queens of the Stone Age, Gang of Four, Wolfmother, […]

Fucked Up – “Glass Boys”

Musically, this is a much broader, concise, sound than their previous efforts, but this is not a new/tamer Fucked Up. This album is super-hard rocking, you can just understand singer, Damian Abraham’s lyrics better. The sound of this album is remarkable. Produced in analogue with producer Bill Skibbe (Dead Weather, The Kills), the mix between […]

Bahamas – “Bahamas Is Alfie”

Third album from former Feist guitarist is way more polished than his previous efforts. Still maintains that laid-back bedroom recording sound, but with strings, horns, and almost no constraints. Imagine Jack Johnson if he had way more talent. Great vocal harmonies throughout. This is a really great album. Imagine Jack Johnson playing JJ Cale songs, […]

Dry The River – “Alarms In The Heart”

Big vocals, sweeping anthems, great arrangements. Male vocals are a lot like Antony, of Antony & The Johnsons’ fame, but without the trademark warble. Accompanied by sweet female vocalist, it has a The Head & The Heart vibe. They sound like a lot of great artists (Jeff Buckley, Fleet Foxes, Mumford, etc) but the songs […]

Cold Specks – “Bodies At Bay EP”

Containing tracks from her album “Neuroplasticity”, this EP is a nice taste of what to expect.  Track #4 is a Swans cover (she’s played with them, and Michael Gira appears on “Neuroplasticity”.   RIYL:  Couldn’t begin to think of comparisons….PJ Harvey, maybe.  Swans, I guess. Play: #1, #2, #4 FCC: Clean

Floating Action – “Body Questions”

Seth Kauffman returns with another one of his “lo-fi California funk” albums.  Very sunny & mellow, Floating Action has always excelled at this style, and this album finds them mastering that art.  Unfortunately, there aren’t many songs to go with the execution.  The production is tight, the harmonies are awesome, but there is just a lack […]

Cymbals Eat Guitars – “LOSE”

Ironically, this album was created as a sort-of Irish Wake for the death of Rock and Roll.  It just might kickstart it back to life.  This album just blows doors down.  Produced by the legendary John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Dinosaur Jr.), Cymbals Eat Guitars destroy all over this album.  Fast, exciting, fun (what was the […]

Sarah Jaffe – “Don’t Disconnect”

Walks that line between St. Vincent & Katy Perry, or Haim & Wilson Philips.  VERY poppy, but with enough music chops, good song-writing, and integrity to pull it off. Produced by McKenzie Smith of Midlake, there’s an sturdy indie undercurrent that prevents this from tumbling too far into schmaltzville.  Stand out tracks are truly that; […]

The Rentals – “Lost In Alphaville”

First album in 15 years from former-Weezer bassist Matt Sharp’s heavy-synth-pop outfit, The Rentals (remember “Friend of P.”?).  Surrounded by a band of A-Listers, including Pat “Black Keys” Carney on drums, and Jess Wolfe & Holly Laessig (Lucius) on vocals, this album is stellar.  I give it the “Arctic Monkeys: Who Saw This Coming?” Award for […]

The Orwells – “Disgraceland”

“Life is Better With A Hand Full of Ass, Badass Shades, And A Bag Full of Grass” – (Southern Comfort (Track 1) So…….Bob Dylan these guys are not. This is just stupid, fun rock n’ roll. No fussy deep lyrics to worry about, just awesome hooks, songs about being young & dumb (they are all […]

“I Saved Latin: A Tribute To Wes Anderson”

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!  Someone read my diary.  Awesome indie bands doing awersome covers of awesome songs from Wes Anderson’s many awesome movies.  Great song choices by great bands make for an excellent album.  RIYL: Wes Anderson movies, covers FCC: Clean Play: Disc 1: #2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 Disc 2: # 1, 2 ,3, […]

Pixies – “Indie Cindy”

First new album from the legendary Pixies (sans Kim Deal).  Pretty disappointing, to be honest.  Interesting from a historical context, as anything they do should be paid attention to, but this does not hold up to their catalog.  That being said, tracks #2 & #4 are pretty darn good. RIYL:  The Pixies (C’mon), Nirvana, etc […]

Moby – “Innocents”

A kind-of return to form for Moby, which sees him returning to his Play-era sound.  Ethereal, chilled-out vibes dominate with lots of cool vocal collaborations.  “Almost Home” with Damian Jurado is killer (ends up sounding exactly like Bon Iver), as is the uplifting Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips) jam “The Perfect Life”.  Mark Lanegan, Skylar Grey, […]

The Paper Kites – “States”

Comfort food music.  Not the best, not the worst, but it tastes good and leaves you feeling satisfied.  Very much in the ilk of Lumineers, Head and the Heart, etc, but just a bit too lite.  A lot of good songs, great vocals, and it’s well produced, its just not a game changer.  There are […]

Willis Earl Beal – “Nobody Knows”

Former subway busker Willis Earl Beal’s sophomore release is much more defined than his 2012 debut.  The higher production value accentuates his vocal prowess & paints a great picture for his musical future.  Nobody Knows has a much slicker recording style, but with the same shifting restlessness that marked his debut. He often shifts from […]

Albert Hammond Jr – “AHJ”

LATEST EP FROM STROKES GUITARIST ALBERT HAMMOND JR IS JUST 5 SONGS LONG WITH ONE REAL STANDOUT (TRACK 1: ST. JUSTICE).  Hammond’s knack for fast guitar parts and interesting pop melodies makes you wonder why the last few Strokes albums have been disappointments, and whether maybe he should be writing more of their stuff.  This […]