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Capsule Reviews

Friday, April 4 2014

Bernie Worrell: Elevation: The Upper Air

For Elevation: The Upper Air, Bernie Worrell leaves the funk at home. Light years away.

Wednesday, April 2 2014

Weaves: Weaves EP

Canadian newcomers weave their way through indie-rock conventions to produce overdone, mediocre material.

Bear Hands: Distraction

Too often the compositions on Distraction are presented as basic, but a flurry of instrumentation makes this basic nature seem too easy instead of straightforward.

Magic Sam: Live at the Avant Garde

Nothin' fancy or overly polished: just the blues.

Thursday, March 27 2014

Wild Throne: Blood Maker

A great first track shows off Wild Throne's potential. Unimpressive second and third tracks make this EP depressingly average.

Booze & Glory: As Bold As Brass

Oi! rockers release another installment.

Teeko & B. Bravo: Tempo Dreams Vol. 2

For listeners in the right mood, the slowing of the clock will bless them with bliss.

Abelardo Carbonó: Maravilloso Mundo De Abelardo Carbonó

It's the sparkle of the mid-century rumba guitar and its northwest descendents that Carbono seems to love most.

Monday, March 24 2014

Stepdad: Strange Tonight EP

Stepdad continues its uninterrupted string of solid releases.

New Electric Ride: Balloon Age

There must be something in that Newcastle water...

Molly Drake: Molly Drake

Molly Drake isn't mere preamble to her son Nick Drake's impressive career. This is Molly Drake's record, her story, and she tells it with heartbreaking beauty.

De Temps Antan: Ce Monde Ici-Bas

Honkytonk Québécois folklore with lots of stomp.

Thursday, March 20 2014

Msa Ysa: Worth EP

The Worth EP, at its best, recalls the finest electronica of the 1980s, offering a great musical throwback.

Pow!: Hi-Tech Boom

Pow!'s combination of speak-sung vocals and synth noise can be off-putting. But it feels like it's supposed to be that way -- this is dystopian San Francisco via a synth-punk band.

Tuesday, March 18 2014

David Novick: Your Sister’s Hand

Novick's excellent second solo record provides a varied and fascinating exploration of folk traditions.

Helms Alee: Sleepwalking Sailors

Seattle-based loud rock outfit Helms Alee mixes together an array of rock and metal genres, all the while offering up actual hooks. If it's on-paper ridiculous, it's also executed surprisingly well.

Self Defense Family: Try Me

Swirling guitar riffs buttress intense vocals with lyrics so repetitive they function as mantras. And a 40-minute interview with an ex-porn star. Try Me is an acquired taste, to say the least.

Monday, March 17 2014

Whomadewho: Dreams

The fifth album from the Danish indie-pop trio is their deepest, richest yet.

Dave Rempis, Joshua Abrams, Avreeayl Ra: Aphelion

Dave Rempis has had many projects. This is one of the great ones.

Jóhann Jóhannsson: Prisoners

Enter Jóhannsson's dark and haunting atmosphere full of tension, turmoil and suspense.

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