December 5th Music Reviews

Artist: Shiny Toy Guns
Album: III
Rec’d Tracks: 1,2,3,5,9
Comments: (LA / OKC) It feels a bit like the Guns are resting on their laurels; they’ve carved out a niche in synth-pop by combining kitschy 80s nostalgia with electroclash and it looks like they’re keeping their tent pitched in that terrain, come what may. They’ve got their signature banger in “Speaking Japanese,” they get a little Stevie Nicks on “Fading Listening,” and the rest is a solid bunch of tunes that don’t fall far from the tree. (Review by Phil)
Genre: snyth pop



Artist: Skipping Girl Vinegar
Album: Keep Calm, Carry the Monkey
Rec’d Tracks: 1,3,5,7,8,9,10
Comments: (Melbourne) These Aussies sound like the big island’s answer to our Edward Sharpe-style indie folk collective. They work themselves into a boisterous jamboree on one track and then deliver a gentle Coldplay melody on the next. A lot of versatility in this great set of songs and probably the coolest album packaging I’ve seen this year. (Review by Phil)
Genre: Indie Folk




Artist: Dethklok
Album: Dethablum III
Rec’d Tracks: 4, 9, 10, 11, 12
Restricted: 1, 3, 6, 7
Comments: Dethklok set a high standard with their first album and Dethalbum III is a great follow up for that legendary CD. The album keeps the sound we love alive with its creative lyrics, signature Brendon Small guitar harmonies, and extremely technical drums. The first half of the album was faster paced and I feel was made to look inferior in comparison to the last half. In particular, the last four songs steal the show. They are very melodic and heavy enough to justify wearing Dethklok t-shirts to every concert that we may attend in the future (disregarding genre). (Review by Harry Peterson)
Genre: Metal


Artist: Clinic
Album: Free Reign
Rec’d Tracks:1, 2!, 3, 5, 7!, 8
Comments: Slow moving and continually progressive, Clinic’s 7th release is neither a departure from their previous works, or a drastic change. Smoky sax solos, and dreary keys let Clinic’s vocals ease in at a pace that is similar to awkward torture tactics. It’s like wanting to see that monster appear from underneath the bed that you’ve been waiting years to see. The anticipation and dread is daunting but completely consuming. This album’s strengths and power sneaks up on you while you’ve just begun to trust your instincts and tastes.
Genre: Corroding electronic rock



Artist: How to Destroy Angels
Album: An Omen EP
Rec’d Tracks: 1, 2! 4, 6
Restricted: 3
Comments: Trent Reznor is one of those musicians that you either already have had a lifetime of influence from, or just didn’t know he existed for whatever reason. While the later seems improbable, his discography is so vast that it can be daunting to be a point where you just ignore it altogether. His impact on industrial and electronic music is unprecedented and here he doesn’t waver technically. He just asks his wife to sing like an angel on top to further the thought process and genius that drives Trent into a world all his own.
Genre: Industrial Rock


Artist: Bogan Via
Album: Wait Up EP
Rec’d Tracks: 1, 2, 4, 6
Comments: Here is another budding duo still finding their place among the mass of other ‘budding’ girl/guy duos. A respectful EP that see growth and experimentation with classic indie hook, bridge patterns. Almost reminds of a Beach House that decided to give contemporary guitar pop a go.
Genre: Indie rock





Artist: Black Marble
Album: A Different Arrangement
Rec’d Tracks: 1, 2! 4, 5, 8, 9
Comments: Dark overtures and 80’s synth influences drive this album of cold wave gold. Influenced by Ian Curtis, (like everyone else on this planet) here we see a little ‘happier’ baritone that still mumbles, drains, and depresses. His vocals create an ambivalent moody record perfect for impending winter doom. Mixing elements of some of my favorite bands ever, (Future Islands, Joy Division, and John Maus) it’s hard to ever get on this band wagon of forward musical progress. I know this ‘genre’ of music has influenced and come and gone for the last 20 years, but that’s because it’s wonderful. So as long as new bands continue to make the genre sound wonderful, I’ll keep on listening.
Genre: New Wave


Artist: Black Moth Super Rainbow
Album: Cobra Juicy
Rec’d Tracks: 1,2,6,8
Restricted: 3,9,11
Comments: Creepy autotuned mumblings hover at depth above a shimmering dream-pop seascape as the crew prepares their techno-propelled torpedo of shoegaze. With the wild Secret Music album recorded through telephone receivers at 6 o’clock in the periscope, Black Moth Super Rainbow have charted a course toward even weirder territory. The reverb-laden vocals and the atmospheric electro-pop make the whole album sound like it was recorded on a submerged Ohio class within ping range of Dan Deacon and the Death Set. (Review by Phil)
Genre: Electro Rock


Artist: Slam Dunk
Album: Welcome to Miami
Rec’d Tracks: 1-10
Restricted: 8
Comments: Take the “try anything aesthetic” of the Black Lips or Les Savy Fav and the polished lo-fi charm of Tapes n Tapes and you’re in the right neighborhood, but it’s so much more awesome and unhinged than that. They sing along to guitar solos in ridiculous falsetto. There’s a western-style song about selling a beloved pet horse. Chubby Checker sock hops descend into Titus Andronicus free-form punk. Odd-fitting piano ditties, a fired up horn section, Joe Strummer banshee screams. The more I listen, the more I think this is the most brilliant thing I’ve heard all year. Color me smitten. (Review by Phil)
Genre: Rock


Artist: The Heavy
Album: The Glorious Dead
Rec’d Tracks: 1-4, 7-10
Comments: Big dirty funkin’ soul with a degree in blues-rock from Black Keys University that’ll get your toes to tapping and your hips to gyrating. If Motown and the Motor City 5 made an unholy alliance to create a swaggering garage-soul hybrid and invited a couple of other Detroit natives–Bootsy Collins and Jack White–to the party, they might have arrived at the Heavy. Wait…why has nobody thought of this before and how are these guys British? (Review by Phil)
Genre: Soul blues rock



Artist: The Mountain Goats
Album: Transcendental Youth
Rec’d Tracks: 1,2,3,8
Comments: Even though the Mountain Goats are an indie folk band like the Decemberists, conceptually they seem like the Ramones or AC/DC because they make the same album over and over, but somehow it’s always compelling. What makes the Mountain Goats so consistently good, though, is the poetic songwriting of John Darnielle rather than a groundbreaking sound that’s worth hearing again and again. Transcendental Youth distinguishes itself from previous efforts with rousing flourishes of horns that make the moments on top of the mountain all the more gratifying. (Review by Phil)
Genre: Thoughtful Rock

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