decker.’s rock draws from blues, garage-rock revival, and psychedelic—all genres stemming from a dusty, down-home electricity. “The Holy Ghost” stomps in double time, driving 12-bar blues marrying frenetic guitar in an explosion of weariness. decker.’s harried twang holds down center stage, wildly gesticulating in a way that mirrors the live-wire guitar solo midway through. It’s stressful in the most enticing way, driving full speed towards a wall and living off the thrill of being so close to the edge.
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If you’ve ever complained about people tagging music which ends up being too straightforward for your taste “psychedelic rock”, the Dan Ryan might be something you’d like. “Tomorrow Forever” is all whimsy and LSD-fueled glee, trance-like drums falling into line behind off-kilter synths and inseparable waves of guitar. There’s more than a little Beatles influence, inspiration taken from Harrison’s journeys in Asia and the sonic collages on the group’s later albums, but that influence is used in novel ways. It’s exceedingly trippy, not in the “man, this light show is so trippy, man” sense, but truly in the scatterbrained, wildly colorful acid sense. Things are all over the place, and that’s just fine.
Andrew Keoghan‘s Every Orchid Offering is a mélange of tangential genres. There’s a touch of baroque chamber pop a la Son Lux, a smattering of off-color indie pop of the Dirty Projectors’ style, and snippets of the hyperprocessed muzak of vaporwave. It’s blocky and pleasantly unwieldy, a definite boon in a style of alt-pop which prides itself on its obtuseness. Weird pop is always intriguing, since there’s so many ways its weirdness can manifest — and the teetering disco of Every Orchid Offering is certainly a satisfying implementation.
Michael Blume’s percussive pop is a listener’s dream, everything perfectly polished and all elements in their proper places. When I Get It Right is part Flume’s processed, pop-savvy electronic, part Sam Smith’s pained gospel falsetto, part James Blake’s soul-flavored downtempo. It’s equally comfortable at higher speeds as lower, bouncing between Casio-heavy blue-eyed soul and upbeat R&B. If When I Get It Right is any indication, Michael Blume’s career can only go up from here — this is a seriously impressive debut.
Chris Ingalls: Moving forward with Edith Frances replacing vocalist Alice Glass, Crystal Castles keep up with what they’ve been known for: loud, in-your-face sheets of electronic sounds and pounding beats. “Concrete”, from their upcoming fourth album, is a heavy, brash, slab of danceable doom-and-gloom. While they appear to be a forward-looking band, there are definitely nods to the past and “Concrete” seems to conjure up an unholy alliance of Ministry and the Cure. [7/10]