Author Archives: levmccarthy

Viet Cong – Viet Cong

Droning post-punk, with splashes of phychadelia and a refusal to rest on one groove. Guitarist Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace are former members of the defunct and beloved post-punk band Women, who’s comparison the band will deservedly benefit from. Women’s unfortunately-short existence has fed into the tenacity of this album. The band members seem […]

Iska Dhaaf – “Happiness b/w Rumi”

A cross between post-punk and melodic 60’s psychedelic baroque rock. Gorgeous vocal harmonies, poetic lyrics, heavy rhythms and sweet melodies that ebb towards and away from tension. RIYL: Play: 2,1 FCC: Clean

R. Stevie Moore – “Personal Appeal”

On the opening track of Personal Appeal R. Stevie Moore answers his own question of, “why can’t I write a hit”  with the response, “the songs are too weird”. Plenty catchy, very clever, and often brilliant R. Stevie Moore has the ability to reach musical fame, but can’t constrain himself in one box. Constantly exploring […]

Heavy Times – “Fix It Alone”

On “Fix It Alone” Heavy Times lashes out with a slew of short, punk-y garage pop tracks. 19 songs in 33 mins can whip by and Heavy Times doesn’t do much to slow the pace or make noteworthy changes to the sound. It’s all Guitar-led, with heaps of distortion, catchy riffs and pleasant melodies. Definitely […]

Nuda Veritas – “Meaty Hooks”

Burlington experimental singer-songwriter who creates all of her music by looping and distorting vocals to create a mix of meditative repetition and tense cacophony. Clattering electronic percussion and distorted guitar accompany the lush, layed-back and choral vocals. Tense, gentle, intelligent and disorienting all at once. Listen, and get enveloped. RIYL: Grimes, Braids Play: 3, 2, […]

Elephants – “Elephants”

Elephants are an indie rock quartet from Boston, who’s music ranges from fuzzed-out –> dream rock –> bright pop. They use a punk delivery but the edges are soft, the guitar lines are simple, the drums punch and a haze of guitar riffs hovers at the back. RIYL: Speedy Ortiz, The Breeders, Superchunk Play: 1,5,2,11,13 […]

Dent May – “Warm Blanket”

‘Warm Blaket’ is a sonic warm blanket. Pop rock with a bit of country stumble, psychadelic funk, and smart melody. Dent May puts an weird and academic edge onto pop music, pulling aspects from 60’s soul  and mushing them with strange synth warbles, and Brian Wilson-esque vocals. RIYL: Ariel Pink, Crocodiles, The Beach Boys Play: […]

Jacuzzi Boys – “Jacuzzi Boys”

On their third full length Jacuzzi Boys mellow out, clean up their sonics, and deliver another round of catchy garage rock tracks. Without diving as far into pop as many of this year’s garage rockers, they retain plenty of searing guitar, airy vocals, and hollered choruses. Slow-burning tracks such as ‘Dust’ and ‘Domino Moon’ equalize […]

Crocodiles – “Crimes of Passion”

Garage rock/psych pop that’s joyous and complex. Gospel choruses, piano, sax freak-outs, spoken word finales, distorted vocals, grooving bass lines, simple garage-rock guitar riffs are all featured on an album that begins with Phoenix-esque pop anthems and closes with the Deerhunter‘s brand of garage rock. “Teardrop Guitar” is a wobbling psych tune, “I Like it […]

No Age – “An Object”

Noise punk that’s been toned down and expanded. Slightly more accessible than No Age’s previous work, the ‘noise’ on this album is more recessed and condensed. The vocals and instrumentals are detached, the vocals are laid-back and the instrumentals are crackling and distorted. Many of the tracks seem to get stuck on the build-up, but […]

Weekend – “Jinx”

On their second full-length album Weekend increase their precision, clean up a bit, but retain the shattering waves of distorted guitar, dark new wave bass lines, stammering breakdowns, eerie build-ups and echoed vocals. Guitar is the main attraction on each track, Weekend is able to build intriguing textures by wrenching out some impressive guitar noises. […]

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – “Any Port In A Storm”

Craig Darmody, the man behind Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, recently relocated from Australia to NYC, and on “Any Port In A Storm” Darmody is lashing out as the city eats him up. His deadpan vocal delivery fits oddly over the wail of the distorted guitars.  The songs are about  rock n roll, city living, and how frustrating […]

Quiet Lion – “Whatever You Say”

An addition to WRUV that’s long overdue. “Whatever You Say” is the debut full-length from Burlington’s own Quiet Lion. The band is co-fronted by the founder of  Jenke Arts, Tommy Alexander. Alexander is well matched with Alanna Grace Flynn, and their lush and gentle folk is a group effort, epitomizing what their artists collective can […]

Wise Blood – “ID”

Twisted pop music, featuring a mash of varied instrumentation and hectic sampling. Odd lyrics bounce around the instrumentation that won’t settle on one style. R&B idie crashing into psychadelic. There’s pitch distorted trumpet, choral sampling, noise percussion, distorted piano, phone rings and hip-hop beats. Unique and interesting. RIYL:  Born Gold, Yalls, Son of Salami Play: […]

Brian Irving – “Radiant Things”

A neon ocean of synth-scapes.  Psychadelic and enveloping, Brian Erving’s music is all experience, with the heavily-washed guitar melting into the synth leads, and a drum machine thuds out beats in the background. A lot of this albums worth rests in its atmosphere. RIYL: HighWay 17, Neon Indian Play: 1,5,6 FCC: Clean

Speedy Ortiz – “Major Arcana”

Born out of the same town in western Mass as Dinosaur Jr, Speedy Ortiz churn out similar 90’s indie guitar-rock. A brash debut, Major Arcana features crashing choruses, tense verses, soaring releases, and  poetic lyricism. Tidy chaos? With some sweet ballads tossed in for variability.  RIYL: Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, Grass is GreenPlay: 1,7,2,4FCC: 5 […]

You Me & Us – “Stay Inside”

Beach-pop slathered in shoegaze. The melodies and vocals are up-beat and catchy, while the instrumentals are dominated by the swirling and distorted guitar. Brash enough to demand your attention, sweet and catchy enough to be addictive. RIYL: Best Coast, Indian Wars Play: 2,1,5 ALL FCC: Clean

Bosnian Rainbows – “Bosnian Rainbows”

With Bosnian Rainbows band leader Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is able to find a middle ground between inaccessible and forgettable, a place he’s struggled to land across dozens of releases and a few band reincarnations. Some viciously attractive guitar leads, vocals that lean on gothic, and  great post-production make up an album that crosses genres. Sometimes dark-new wave, sometimes garage pop, and there […]

Smith Westerns – “Soft Will”

On their third full-length release, Smith Westerns toy with nostalgia. Pleasant and obviously influenced, the music is filled with downbeat playfullness, piano flourishes, soaring guitar solos, lazy layered vocals, and pop landscapes. This albums sees them selecting the dreamier Beach House side of their previous material, rather than diving back into the T-Rex-esque mess-around garage rock. When it […]

Mavis Staples – “One True Vine”

Gospel-soul legend Mavis Staples teams up with modern folk icon Jeff Tweedy for a second album. Tweedy’s production cradles Staples’ gorgeous and moving vocals in light acoustics. Strength is embedded in her vocals,rendering them impossible to ignore. “One True Vine ” is a flourish of great collaboration. RIYL: Lucinda Williams, The Staple Singers Play: 5,4,1,2,8 […]

Various Artists – “State & Main Records: Volume II”

A collection of music by bands on  State & Main Records, a record label based in Montpelier Vt. From  Hip-Hop opener “You Want It” to the hardcore blitz of “Death Perception”, this release showcases the variety of musicians making deserving music in the Green Mountain State. Highlights include blues-y garage rockers Lake Superior, punk singer-songwriter Murdered Wives, the […]

Lake Superior – “Steam Engine”

Lake Superior are a rumbling blues-y garage rock duo who hail from Detroit, and reside in Vermont. The songs are filled with sliding guitar riffs, swaying vocals, and rock drums. The lyrics fit right into the mood of the instruments, focusing on bourbon, women, and mortality. The changes are slick, the guitar is fresh, and […]

Dennis Callaci & Simon Joyner – ” New Secrets”

Two veteran folk-rockers bond to make an album of downtrodden, folk-y, singer-songwriter tunes. Callaci and Joyner bring similar stylings to the collaboration, and the results are Dylan-esque vocal delivery with a broad instrumentation based in country and venturing into noise. Relaxed and brooding, the band members show off some quality lyricism that seems to deserve […]

Kid Congo and The Pink Monkey Birds – “Haunted Head”

Slow-rolling swampy surf rock that relies heavily on grooves and spooky atmosphere. Wavering guitar rifts, booming vocals, and swaying rhythm. The album sounds very retro with all the classic surf/psych instrumentation and abundance of crackle and fuzz. Haunted Head hardly ever demands your attention, but it definitely immerses you in its creepy vibes. RIYL: Vampire Hands, Acid Baby Jesus, […]

Capital Cities – “In A Tidal Wave of Mystery”

Electropop built almost entirely on synths and 808s. Repetitive and bubbly, with blatant catchiness that wears on the listener after a long listen. The tracks all contain grooving rhythms whos attractiveness battle with the hollow repeating vocals. RIYL: Strange Talk, Fitz and the Tantrums Play: 6 FCC: Clean