Category Rock

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VANISH VALLEY // QUEEN OF THE CONCERT (HARD BARK RECORDS)

Fuzzy folky alternative rock.  Raspy vocals, electronic sounds married with Americana, “bucolic and stripped down acoustic guitars soon give way to pulsing synthesizers, raw guitar solos, psychedelic flourishes and Abbey Road Leslie speaker rotations” about sums it up.  If Pavement and Wilco had a baby who wanted to add some synthy stuff to their music, […]

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COLONY HOUSE // WHEN I WAS YOUNGER (DESCENDANT RECORDS)

Summer-pop vibes with Vampire-Weekend-esque drums and meter. Upbeat and optimistic, the album delivers some heavier rockers (#6) and some lighter drum-and-finger-picked/acoustic tunes (#7, #10). Track 8 is straight rawk.  Opener is definitively poppy and #11 reminiscent of Head and the Heart in both percussion and vocals..  Many reviews say this album takes a few listens […]

Restless Ones-HEARTLESS BASTARDS (Partisan Records)

A punch to the stomach comes with this music as it plays out and the vocals are yelped. There is a lot of emotions in the music and the vocals push those along as well. The album hums along at a happy bop with melodies that play around the distorted bass and guitars. TRACKS: 2,3,4 […]

Black Mountain-BLACK MOUNTAIN (Jagjaguwar)

Rock n’ roll being revisited. There are vocal back and forths that give the vibe of a live show; there are big solos that climax in hushed vocal harmonies. The sound is swampy and builds around blues riffs. You could call it musical regifting with the band’s use of old sounds reimagined in this new […]

Verge-TOWN MEETING (self)

Folky, Americana, country that is very calming in the vocal arrangements. There are great stories, as all country-folk albums are meant to have, and the musical arrangements are very pretty with hints of influence beyond the typical realm. TRACKS: 1,2,4,5,10, RIYL: Shakey Graves, Grateful Dead

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DANE TERRY // COLOR MOVIES (TONK RECORDS)

Smooth vocals blending Father John Misty with Alt-J and Herman Düne over simple fun songs “reminiscent of Randy Newman, Brian Wilson, and Elton John” as well as Ben Folds.  Easy cinematic pop with clean musicianship, lyrics, and vocals.  Definitely some folk flare with very throwbacky-70s-pop backdrops. PLAY: 3, 4, 10, ALL | FCC: Clean | […]

The Shade-METRIC (Fat Possum)

Powerful electronic pop ballads. The music is aggressive and calls for all of the attention that it is given; it moves around with cool melodies that glide over the music like a skate over the icy electronic grooves. The whole EP keeps it light and does not dwell on some of the darker ideas that […]

All Are Saved-FRED THOMAS (Polyvinyl Records)

I could not conceive what was cooler while listening to this album; was it the laid-back guitar-driven music that gave each song a pulse or the descriptive lyrics and ideas that were spoken over each note just melodic enough to be considered singing? Fred Thomas plays it cool and seems to understand it. His songs […]

This Thing We Got-CHERRY BIKINI (Armand Abagliani)

Electronic music that is composed of delayed synths that create a chill atmosphere with a heavy dose of manipulated vocals. The music is awesome for a montage of a fun day at the mall. It has a very heavy pop sound with a clear influence of 80s movie scores like Beverly Hills Cop or Fletch. […]

With Love-GENE JR & THE FAMILY

Slinky guitars and rambling drums that build soulful composition with a unique walk. The music continues to build and build until there is a full sound of beauty that blends blues guitar with Americana airiness. It is a grab bag of influence with cool lyrics that slide seemingly effortlessly out of the singer and create a […]

Nothing Matters-DIAMOND YOUTH (Topshelf)

Diamond Youth present very sweet music that shows a bit of sadness that really only shows in the slightest note change in their melodies. The music is grand and sweet, similar to a gigantic sour gummy worm. It swallows you up in the apparent happy rock and power chords, but their is definitely a scene […]

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Superheaven – Ours Is Chrome

Label: Side One Dummy Ours Is Chrome is the sophomore album from Pennsylvania band Superheaven (formerly known as Daylight). They play a style of heavy guitar rock that mixes grunge and shoegaze that is heavily influenced by the music of the early 90’s. This is an album of very sludgy, downer rock yet has a […]

For The Town-SONREAL (Capitol)

Canada has shed its puffy jacket as the “nice country up north” to reveal a bullet-proof vest with a red maple leaf over their heart. With Drake repping the 6, Sonreal’s new album is full of references to some of the most frequent topics of rap albums; there are drugs, girls, self-importance, pop culture references, […]

Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour-LEONARD COHEN (Sony)

Leonard Cohen’s tour is recorded and a select few tracks are placed on a CD for the future’s sake. The songs are so clean and his voice comes out of the tape with his raspy growl that is oddly pretty paired with the poetic lyrics he draws out, the music wrapping around each word and […]

Disposable Friends-HUMBLE BRAGGERS (Admirable Traits)

Slow burning electronic jams with soaring vocals that give a retro feeling akin to the 80s slow ballads. There is more energy than the typical jam ballad, but the feeling is there so I will write it. Keeping the synth players in business, the album is centered around the synth and vocal pairing. The group […]

Home Economics- PRINZHORN DANCE SCHOOL (dfa)

Dark and rhythmic and cool. Like a trendy cafe set in a shipping container being sent over from New York to Chile via a trip along the east coast of South America that gives you the chills due to the geographic location yet excitement in the familiarity and mystery of this new experience. The music […]

Younger-JONAS ALASKA (Long Blood)

This Norwegian singer-songwriter takes rockabilly music and puts a a cool twist on them. The songs evoke the feeling of hanging out in a highway bar on a Thursday night but in the future, there is a poppy bounce throughout the album yet deep down the songs are too cool to smile in pictures. Jonas […]

All Signs Point to Yes-DAVE MONKS (Dine Alone)

Bright acoustic tracks that take on a slightly mellower approach to songwriting than Monks’ gig as Tokyo Police Club stands. Monks still is able to make a track sound nostalgic while looking to the future for inspiration and topics. The songs bounce with well crafted melodies and bass lines that give everything optimism. TRACKS: 1,3,5,6 […]

Flying Lessons-FOOL’S GOLD (ORG Music)

A breezy tropical funk album that blends peppy guitar riffs with equally funky bass lines to the sound equivalent of a daiquiri. The album’s groove only gets better with each track as Fool’s Gold turn up the funk to 11 and make sure to keep the rhythm section working. Each song beams in it’s own […]

Motherwell Johnston- C. Gibbs (Eastern Spurs)

Powerful solos dragged through the swamp with a soulful pull and voice that creates a well-rounded rock album. There are moments are soul, swamp rock, but all rooted in southern rock. TRACKS: 1,3,4,9,10 RIYL: Jace Everett, Cage the Elephant, Roy Orbisson

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Talk In Tongues // Alone With A Friend & Mas Doper (Love Me Probably) / (Fairfax)

Talk In Tongues presents their debut album “Alone With A Friend” and single “Mas Doper (Love Me Probably).  With influences from early 60’s psychedelia of Pink Floyd and 13th Floor Elevators as well as from Creation Records of the 90’s, this album may take you through a time warp.  Nice synth sounds, dreamy vocals, light […]

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Little Children // Traveling Through Darkness (Cosmos Music)

Little Children (singer/songwriter Linus Lutti) from Stockholm, Sweden presents “Traveling Through Darkness”.  The album is simplistic and airy, with gentle vocals and touches of psych-pop.  Tracks: there are only four songs..start with 4 but give them all a try!  FCC Clean.  RIYL: Radio Dept., Dungen, Wild Nothing, Temples, Beach Fossils, War on Drugs.

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Crushed Breaks // Scatter (Matilda/Moshi Moshi)

Scatter is Crushed Breaks of South London’s debut album.  Highly energetic noise-rock with some surf and post-punk vibes.  Play: 1, 2, 7, 9.  FCC Clean!  RIYL: Japandroids, Happyness, Nai Harvest.

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AUSTIN BASHAM // LINTON//OSLO EP (SELF RELEASED)

Finger-picked folk-rock acoustic tunes sung over by a voice with some rasp to it.  Minimal percussion and brass but well-placed when present. Very warm-cabin yurt-life feeling.  Makes you want to lie in a field and watch clouds.  Nice stuff. Play: 4, 3, 1, 5 | RIYL: The Tallest Man on Earth, The Barr Brothers, Bon […]

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JESSICA HERNANDEZ & THE DELTAS // DECEPTACON/DONT TAKE MY MAN TO IDAHO SINGLE (INSTANT RECORDS)

“Equal parts rockabilly and surf pop” is spot on.  Boppin, walkin’ beats, horn backdrops and a bit of a punk flare.  Vocals a la Lake Street Dive plus some more aggression in her tones. Play: 2 | FCC: 1 | RIYL: Lake Street Dive, Vermont Joy Parade

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