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by Adriane Pontecorvo

30 May 2017


Oakland-based group Bang Data gets the summer started right with “Galáctica”, a rocket-fueled mix of dancehall rhythms, driving Latin surf rock, and melancholy lyrics. As producer Juan Manuel Caipo explains, “Galáctica is this girl, completely out of this world in every way, who is somewhat of a wild card. At the same time, she’s kind of breaking our heart.”

Under the moniker Bang Data, Caipo and vocalist Deuce Eclipse (joined live by guitarist Michael Cavaseno) have made a distinctive splash across many forms of media with their genre-bending style. The group’s songs have been featured on everything from Lucha Underground to Breaking Bad, and star-studded 2014 album Mucho Poco featured Chico Trujillo, Hector Guerra, and members of Santana and Ozomatli. “Galáctica” shows this fusion at its most organic, as steel drums and handclaps weave tightly through layers of sharp guitar. Deuce Eclipse’s voice, meanwhile, soars straight into outer space with undeniable pathos.

by PopMatters Staff

26 May 2017


Adriane Pontecorvo: “Die 4 You” is a collection of contradictions. Airy, yet anchored. It flows, but it bounces. It’s the non-Newtonian fluid of indie pop, a liquid and a solid, and that unpredictability fascinates. Perfume Genius takes his cues here from trip-hop and quiet storm but never lets a single category hold the song hostage. It’s a sublime balancing act between the ethereal and the sensual, with a surreal video suitably vivid for one of the strongest tracks on album No Shape. Perfume Genius is an artist with incredible artistic depth, and “Die 4 You” shows a tantalizing slice of it. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

26 May 2017


Paul Carr: It’s evident from the blindingly obvious innuendo that Perry wants us to compare herself to a meal prepared by a Michelin-starred chef in a ridiculously over-priced restaurant where tap water costs at least a tenner. However, this is about as sensual and erotic as a prospective lover turning up at your house having prepared a meal out of everything they’ve found in the bin. Perry sounds genuinely unhinged like she doesn’t quite understand how deranged and unarousing it sounds to compare yourself to a buffet. Especially when you consider that a buffet usually consists of mostly stubby cocktail sausages and withering egg sandwiches. If that wasn’t bad enough, Migos contribute some demented, Auto-Tuned yelps that sound like the dying noises of an Amiga 500 as it is smashed up with a hammer. Seemingly desperate to impress,  they come across like a baby brother and his best friend desperately to impress his big sister’s mates. All in all, this is a meal that should be sent back to the chef. [3/10]

by PopMatters Staff

25 May 2017


Paul Carr: Fleet Foxes serve up another taste of their new album with this progressive folk song that comes across like a lost and less psychedelic Jefferson Airplane number. As expected it harnesses the power of the harmonies which after six years sound as fresh as ever. Just when things seem to be getting too settled the mood and tempo shift to reveal a gauzy, floaty gem of a chorus. A timely reminder of what we’ve been missing. [8/10]

by PopMatters Staff

25 May 2017


Mike Schiller: It’s just two verses and a hook, but these verses kill. Vince Staples hasn’t been around long but his mastery of meter, rhythm, and wordplay is in full effect throughout “Big Fish”, which says its piece and leaves us wanting more. It sounds like it’s a tale of self-aggrandizement thanks to its hook, but the lyrics are another tale of the difficulty and conflicts of interest that came with the gang affiliations of his youth (not to mention the literal sinking ship of the video). “Big Fish” is a fine way to lead into his new album. [9/10]

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