Adriane Pontecorvo: Against Me! has fun with power pop, stepping back a few decades with Kiss-style face paint and low-budget sci-fi references. Laura Jane Grace shouts the post-heartbreak lyrics of “Crash” with the aggressive energy of a teenage garage band. It’s infectious, with a classic rock feel that Against Me! knows not to take too seriously. This is a song that doesn’t need a twist to make its point; it’s guaranteed to get a crowd jumping. [8/10]
Latest Blog Posts
If Balthazar’s singer and multi-instrumentalist Maarten Devoldere is hoping to make a big splash with his debut record as Warhaus, he’s done so already on the basis of its title alone: We Fucked a Flame into Being, which comes from D.L. Lawrence’s famous erotic novel Lady Chatterly’s Lover. Though the album’s title takes from English literature, Warhaus’ music is of a decidedly American-European feel, particularly in its noir influences. The first five tracks on We Fucked a Flame into Being exude cigarette smoke, aromas of whiskey, and a palpable sense of intrigue. One can easily place Warhaus in the storied legacy of Dashiell Hammett and Jean-Pierre Melville: all purveyors in shadow-drenched art.
Adriane Pontecorvo: Cosmic electronics shine and uplift on “Ova Nova”, a joyful, dynamic single from Underworld’s first new studio album in six years. Buoyant vocal harmonies lie at the heart of the song, lending a sweetness and a strength to clear, simple beats. A glorious example of how to add layers and layers onto a simple, repetitive foundation without losing any momentum. [9/10]
Andrew Paschal: Kaiser Chiefs just wanna have fun, but unlike Cyndi Lauper, they aren’t so much restlessly rattling against their own cages and constraints here: instead, if there’s anything the band wants you to know from their latest single and music video, it’s that they really are having quite a good time, with very few clouds on the horizon (this despite the macabre song title). While the impulse to craft a feel-good anthem is an understandable one, it’s a risky endeavor, as the final product has to be pretty damn infectious and genuine in order to be successful. “Hole in My Soul” is a bit too flat and one-dimensional to clear this high bar. [4/10]
Chris Ingalls: Glasper seems perfectly happy emphasizing the “experiment” part of his band’s name—“Day to Day” shows the unique jazz pianist stretching out stylistically to incorporate ‘70s and ‘80s retro pop and soul that tips its hat to the Auto-Tuned shimmer of Daft Punk. Sometimes the best move when branching out is to keep it simple and uncomplicated. A great funk/dance number that’s a welcome addition to Glasper’s repertoire. [7/10]