Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Prints - s/t

Hailing from LA, Prints is a pop duo that has sprung up seemingly from nowhere and released a brilliantly fun and even a little but absurd album on Temporary Residence, one of my personal favorite labels. At its core the music on this album, while structurally creative and sophisticated, is born from the beauty of simplicity. As a result, the songs on this album are not only dangerously catchy, but just plain fun without the day-care, sing-songy bullshit.

The feel of the album is lighthearted enough to crack even the most obstinate anti-pop music lovers out there. In all likelihood, if your idea of fun involves something other than violence then you will probably enjoy this album to at least a moderate degree. The vocals are fun, the lyrics are quirky, and the interplay between the musicians both instrumentally and vocally is superb.

Temporary Residence seems to have it out to rebuild the long lost establishment of when there was real music that could play on a radio. Prints and label-mate Rob Crow could serve to reclaim a genre that has been long lost to out generation.

9.5/10 More information and ordering at

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fridge - The Sun

Its been quite a long time since the sounds of Fridge have been sneaking into my head at unexpected times, but now those subtle moments if musical sublimity are slowly starting to creep back with the release of The Sun. The sound on this album peels back the layers of a group centered around the fun of music and offers us something deeper. The music is focused, relaxed, and transparent. Listening to this album for the first time was similar to finding shoes that were just the right size the first time.

The production on this album was just as amazing as the music, which is to be expected when you have the likes of Four-Tet and Adem as part of your band. The sound of the album does a great job of maintaining a huge sense of space. This album is just plain comfortable. Overall, let's just hope it doesn't take this long to make the next one.

8.5/10 More information and ordering at

Monday, August 27, 2007

Grails - Burning off Impurities

If you take a look at the TRL website, you'll see that Jeremy DeVine says that this album brings the first real change to their genre in ten years. Seeing as Jeremy has been one of the biggest supporters of instrumental music, that is one huge claim to back up. After listening to this album a few times and being absolutely astounded, I'm starting to agree with him. Grails' latest, Burning off Impurities, is a downright masterpiece.

The textures utilized and the feelings that the music evokes are deep, subtle, and gargantuan in scope. This band may have finally succeeded GY!BE as a legitimate face and leader for the future of the "post-rock" genre. This album goes way beyond the music that has been coming out lately though, bringing subtle changes, dense drones, and ethnic complexity in the mix Grails has formed something truly phenomenal. Bringing sounds that have been hidden deep in dusty basements for years to the public view at last.
9.7/10 More information and ordering at

Mono - Gone

Gone is a collection of rare EP's released over recent years by the formidable Japanese group, Mono. These include several split releases, a previously Japan-only release, and the band;s contribution to the elusive Travels in Constants series. This release is truly a preset for anyone familiar with Mono in the past few years. Hearing their sound progress from the music through the years brings the work of this group into great perspective.

The music on this collection is diverse and well-produced throughout. From the opening, "Finlandia" to the closing "Little Boy" the impact of this band is beautiful, cinematic, and heartfelt. The one downfall is that we had to wait so long to hear it, but now that its here, who's complaining?
9/10 More information and ordering at

Rob Crow - Up

Rob Crow has just released the second single from the album I Hate You Rob Crow, Up. This new song and the three others (not on the album) are further reinforcing the already huge critical acclaim he has been getting from across the country and beyond. I, for one, am not going to stop them. The new single was one of my favorite off of the album and the unreleased ones are just as ridiculously catchy.

The sensibility of the musicianship and sensitivity to fun are nearly unmatched. Rob Crow has truly outdone himself on both this single and the full-length. It sounds nice, it looks fun, and it might even taste good if you take a nice bite out of it.
My advice, go get it if you like to enjoy what you're listening to.
9/10 More information and ordering at

Maserati - Inventions for the New Season

Maserati is a band from Atlanta, Georgia that not only omits the usual presence of a vocalist but goes so far as to condemn it on their website. Their latest, Inventions for the new Season, is an impressive mix of typical post-rock material with nice sense of groove to back it up. The CD is enjoyable from beginning to end from the most part but a few places, including the introduction, seemed to get a bit repetitive.

The album does sound really good though. The production amply captures each voice of the band while giving the music a lot of space to breathe. it is also hard to deny the skill this group has in blending a genre that has become all-too-serious with some serious fun. Overall this album is especially good for anyone hating vocalists and tired of the same old cinematic post-rock.
8/10 more information and ordering at

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dan Marriner - Below the Seas

Dan Marriner is a new name to me, as a listener, and I am clueless as to what he has done in the past. Presently though he has been putting his efforts into a collection of evocative, creative songs that goes beyond the largely contrived nature of the all-but-dead singer-songwriter genre. The deep smoky voice is accompanied by creative guitar and sparse use of other instruments and sounds that usually reserved for for ambient music. The tone of the guitar itself on this album is earthy, organic, and serves to give the music a dense sense of purpose and repose.

The songs contained within Below the Seas are varied and serve well to represent a musician that goes beyond saying what he wants to say and moving on. There seems to be attention to details outside of the voice and guitar that make this album particularly enjoyable. Overall, it is apparent that there is at least one person making up for the tired bullshit that singer-songwriters have been throwing at us for years, and his recompense is more than welcome.

You can find more information on Dan Marriner and his work at


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Nathamuni Brothers - Madras 1974

The Nathanumi Brothers were a pair of performers in the classical Indian music tradition that switched from the original clarinets of the country to the E flat Albert, or western standard clarinet. This document is a truly unique collection of music that demonstrates the magic that can occur when different musical cultures draw on each other. The band consists of the clarinetists, a brass section and a superb percussion section. The drum work on this album is simply breathtaking at times, providing a wealth of musical momentum upon which the group surely drew.

Musically, the most rewarding part of the album is the interplay between all of the instruments. The virtuoso performances from the players do not overshadow the value this ensemble had as a collective unit. The only problem with this document is that the songs chosen may sound repetitive to the first-time listener of Indian Music.
9/10 more information and ordering at

Phoenix Bodies - Too Much Information

Phoenix Bodies is an Indianapolis based band that has been serving up an intense brew of noisy grind-core for some time now. The music is harsh and fast but still maintains a pervading sense of the fun that is being had while these performers command the stage. The drummer on this collection drives the band with a keen sense of focused intensity. The result being an amazingly consistent sound and vibe through the plethora of live and studio tracks that make up this album.

With thirty-seven track on the CD and an accompanying DVD, Too Much Information is a truly massive collection of material. It remains entertaining throughout and although it can seem a bit repetitive (with thirty-seven tracks who wouldn't?) this album is really a solid body of work.
8/10 more information and ordering at

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Daitro - Laisser Vivre Les Squelettes

Daitro is a French hardcore band that has been touring the U.S. extensively this summer. Their latest full-length offering, "Laisser Vivre Les Squelettes" is an impressive album offering more than many other bands in the same vein. The opening of the album is excellent with a sense of urgency that permeates their heavy sound, and the overall song writing is impressive.

Their approach to the music is mature in a performance respect, and it is clear they have spent ample time with their respective instruments. The weak spot for this album was that some parts were simply unoriginal. The band does show a potential to take their music to a new level of creativity if they continue their work. Overall, the album is definitely worth checking out if you're maybe a little tired of the material we've been pumping out here in the States.

7/10 More information and ordering at

Genghis Tron - Triple Black Diamond Tour EP

Genghis Tron is certainly a horse of a different color. With the inclusion of a sequencer in lieu of a human (which is sadly being done more commonly these days), and a musical precision that is matched by very few in their genre. It becomes very clear from the outset of the record that this band is a musical force to be reckoned with. The live tracks that being the album are so flawless that you being to question whether or not the liner notes are lying.

Following the live tracks are a few compositions and remixes that manifest the band's talent that goes beyond normal rock-band standards. They have produced a set of songs that show a real compositional thought process.

Now, as for the sequencer, normally I would condemn a band for using a sequencer and omitting a drummer but the programming on this album is complex, diverse, and work to achieve a sound that a real drum set cannot always deliver. Their taste for sounds on this ep is impeccable and makes up for their lack of sticks in the back.

9/10 more information and ordering at

Friday, August 17, 2007

Graf Orlock - Destination Time Tomorrow

After a solid performance at this year's Dudefest in Indianapolis, I was excited to hear what Graf Orlock put together for their latest album. This album opens with the first of many (perhaps too many) movie samples. The following music, though, is focused, propulsive and features excellent musical control. They are especially effective in the use of dual vocalists, with their respective parts meshing well.

Over all, the music has some thrash and grind tendencies with out getting so out of control as to lose the musical integrity. The production is lacking in parts and sounds generic for much of the album. This band certainly has a lot going on, and is likely to do well in the future. My personal favorite part is the final track featuring a cover of the Jurassic Park theme.
8/10 More information and ordering at

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Antique Brothers - Vol 3 Hospital Daze

One of my personal favorite psych-folk duos has done it again. With this volume, the brothers take their sound to more even organic realms. The sound for this album is focused, spacious, and sprawling all at the same time. The drum work on this album is probably the best and most tasteful for any of their music so far. The varied instrumentation helps create a dense cohesive whole.

Over all, this album is extremely strong and demonstrates the musical talent of these two six-string explorers. From chant-like vocals to the deep sound of "Swamps of Glory", this album has something for just about everyone. A sublime listening experience.
9/10 More information and ordering at

Monday, August 13, 2007

Kheta Hotem - Winter Solstice (Foxglove 160)

My first encounter with Kheta Hotem, Winter Solstice, has left me torn between my usually open outlook on music and my annoyance at the number of ideas flying around at random throughout this particular recording. The opening track alone is enough to drive all but the most veteran listener up the wall. With a noise-jazz cacophony rivaling the most crazed modern jazz, this recording still seems to lack any musical direction, leaving most listeners unsatisfied.

The album does improve moderately after the first track but is mostly similar material with varying instrumentation and feels. The last track is the strongest by far sounding like some sort of Native American chant, although it seems to drag on a bit in the end. This release is certainly unique, but it may take a few more tries to get it quite right.
5/10 More information and ordering at

Barn Owl - s/t (Foxglove 158)

Barn Owl is a group with which I'm not too familiar. This is the first recording I've heard from them and I now hope it is not the last. The sound on this album is dense, organic and, at times, strewn with elements of darkness and mystery. Although instrumental psych-folk can often be repetitive, Barn Own do a remarkable job of pulling the listener into their world if six-string mystique.

This CDR is full of compelling guitar work, and it is apparent from the opening track and beyond that the musicians involved have a keen ear for instrumentation and arranging. The work is at time reminiscent of recent work by guitar gurus Mike Tamburo and Matt McDowell, bringing to the table a shared attraction to the power of drones. Cinematic, intimate at times, a must have for the disciples of the new drone mantra.
9/10 More information and ordering at

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Hey everyone, I apologize for all of the delays in some of the reviews. I have at least nine going up later today, I promise, so hold tight. Also if you sent me vinyl, I just got a new needle for my turntable, so I will be focusing on that in the next few days. Thanks fr your patience.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Vuneny - V2

The second full length from Bosnian band Vuneny is an electronic opus that is engaging from the beginning to the end. With complex rhythms and driving synth work, V2 is full of compelling material that demands the listener's attention throughout the entire work. The sound is dense, multi-layered, and just plain good.

The impeccable production and recording work on this album helps to amply represent the compositional complexity and talent that drives Vuneny. This music could definitely be used for a soundtrack of some sort. With the diversity of music on this album and the real talent this band has exhibited on this release, this band could definitely go places with their music. For fans of electronic music and good music in general.

8/10 More information and ordering at and

COG - Course Over Ground

COG is a Croatian trio that boldly blends rock, noise, and electronic music. This music is very well composed with intricate instrumentation driving the songs on the album. This music has an edginess that is lacking from most math-rock today. The electronic textures and sounds on this album are very well placed and serve to demonstrate the musical maturity of this band.

With vocals similar to American band Mewithoutyou and structure similar to Damiera, this release is aurally exciting and diverse, with each song displaying different sides to the writing of this group. The production and recording of this album reflect the strength of the band and helps to capture the plethora of sounds used in the music. Over all it is very apparent that the folks over at Moonlee Records knew what they were doing when they signed this band. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from these guys stateside soon.
9/10 More information and ordering at

Friday, August 3, 2007

Belly Boat - Dear Robert Hanoy

Belly Boat is a inde-pop duo who recently put out a full-length album on California's Not Not Fun records. Their main instrumentation consists of piano and accordion, which dominates a good portion of the album. The rest of the album is mostly driven by the unique vocals and found sounds recorded from varying sources. Over all the album's production is lo-fi, most likely for aesthetic reasons as the musical ideas have no major problems coming through the mix.

As for the music within this disc, this would be an excellent choice for any fans of Joanna Newsom, as the vocals sound very similar and the songwriting is very conducive to the type of nasally vocals this duo produces. As for fans of more "normal" music this album can be almost annoying after a few songs, with the vocal sound being anything but conventional. As for the songs in general, it is very apparent that these two have a real ear for song structure and flow. This album represents the unique talents of this band really well. This is definitely worth checking out if you want to get a break from the typical indie-pop mantra and expand your aural palette.

7/10 More information and ordering at

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bilk - This Bilk is Radioactive

Bilk is a Croatian band that recently released their debut full-length on the impressive Moonlee Records. This album is nothing short of phenomenal. The production is impeccable, the cd having been recorded at the renown Kozmo Studio. The drums on this release bear a great resemblance to the sound from The Jazz Mandolin Project's "Jungle Tango", and the overall velocity of the music is similar as well. From the opening synth line to the closing drum hit, this album is alive with electro-rock vigor.

With moments as diverse as any album in the last few years, this trio goes through genres ranging from electronica, to jazz, even some dub reggae moments, then they turn those genres on their heads blazing through them with driving beats and assertive synthesizer and guitar work. For a debut, Bilk will surely be turning some heads in the near future as this album features a musical maturity that is not easily ignored. This could be the new standard for European bands to look to.
9.8/10 More information and ordering at and