Berlin trio Kadavar started off innocuously enough, first attracting attention from the stoner/retro-heavy rock crowd, but in 2013 their second album Abra Kadavar, followed by a series of revelatory performances in North America and Europe, established them as a true force to be reckoned with in hard rock and heavy metal. Their follow-up, the aptly-titled Berlin, places more emphasis on the rock ‘n’ roll side of their sound (as opposed to stoner metal) than ever before, echoing the filthy, gritty sounds of Detroit’s Stooges and MC5.
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I’m not necessarily entirely huge on the electronic funk that Silicon seems to be bringing to the table, but I can definitely appreciate it for what it is from a technical standpoint. He’s being remarkably clean-cut with their mastering for a debut release, and that’s something that I think will carry them far within their respective lane. A bit too calculated to be quite sensual to me, which seems to be what the song is trying to evoke, though I know there’ll be plenty who’ll dig it all the same.—JONATHAN FRAHM [6/10]
Just in time for the dog days of summer, musician W. Heyward Sims, AKA Devereaux, has released a video for his current single “Bikini”, from the 2014 album Pineapple Flex. A sun-splashed chillwave-meets-Kraftwerk piece that evokes the dreamy, hot laziness of late July, the video itself is simple yet effective, nothing more than slow-motion footage of seagulls swooping on a beach. Normally in real life that’d be annoying as hell, but on video the movement of the birds comes across as languid and graceful, just like the hooky little track itself.
Boston band the Shills have created an interesting hybrid of sounds on their latest album Keep Your Hands Busy, Vol. 2, enough to frustrate any critic from making quick reference points for readers. There’s a touch of the angularity of post-hardcore, the effervescence of indie pop, the abstract nature of psychedelic rock, and the technical proficiency of progressive rock. A great example is the album’s first track “Oh, This Devilish Place”, a glossy, shimmering ear worm of a track that wriggles its way into your head with its sunny melodies and harmonies, not to mention some fantastic hand-claps at one point.
The latest full KEXP session just hit the web and it’s from beloved Americana band Calexico. These KEXP sessions are becoming among our favorite performance videos, especially as they feature such a wide range of American roots music, intermixed with smart interview segments. Kicking things off with the utterly gorgeous “When the Angels Played”, this video features a number of the group’s latest tunes from Calexico’s Edge of the Sun played in stripped down acoustic fashion.