Matt Fiander: You are unlikely to hear a bed of guitars and thick and loud and unyielding as the one Mike Polizze unleashes on “Fever”, the first track from Purling Hiss’s upcoming record, High Bias. The effect, along with the thundering roll of drums and pit-of-your-stomach low rumble of bass, is bracing, so bracing you might miss the excellent, even catchy rock song that takes shape around all those heady layers. The chorus is big and excellent, not only because it’s catchy but because when Polizze belts out “you’re so misunderstood” you can hear how much he relishes calling bullshit. Like so many great Purling Hiss songs, this one sneaks some sweet melodies into the craggy mix. But this may find Polizze’s project striking its best balance yet between cut-loose noise and tight composition. At the center of the squall that is “Fever”, Purling Hiss unleashes a deeply focused and triumphant defiant, which is exactly what we need right now. [8/10]
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If you’re looking for a fascinating way to spend 20 minutes this lovely Thursday morning, we’ve got you covered — we’re pleased to be able to premiere a mini-documentary on the sound of contemporary Latin American music. Produced by ZZK Records and featuring up-and-coming singer-songwriter Mateo Kingman on narration duties, it explores the innovative and exciting new music coming out of Ecuador. Have a look below.
Steve Horowitz: The song “Make Me” serves as a soundtrack to a video about the cool kids—the beautiful girls and handsome boys who indulge themselves and flaunt their good looks and desires. Fans will gyrate to the moves and imagine living the fantasy lifestyle, but without the video the song is nothing special. G-Eazy doesn’t add much to the mix. He just breaks up the monotony like the fat guy doing the dance moves. The professionalism and perfection of the whole thing is impressive but ultimately unsatisfying. [6/10]
Chris Ingalls: British singer John Newman has crafted a harmless, fun summer single that is undoubtedly pop but eschews the normal dance music trappings for something slightly more exotic. A light, carefree reggae beat stomps its way through the song and is carried along with some tasty rhythm guitar and Newman’s raspy crooning. The song sounds like it should come with a fruity umbrella drink. [7/10]
Chris Ingalls: Like her Tri Angle labelmates Adult Jazz, Katie Gately does a wonderful job of turning synthpop on its head by creating an atmosphere thick with interesting textures and unique arrangements, while still maintaining a pop sensibility. The exotic vibe brings to mind M.I.A., but Gately is more adventurous than that, searching (and often finding) the right mix of pop and experimentalism. [7/10]