Friday, February 14 2014
Small Town Heroes is a collection of songs that speak from and for the heart of America’s fringe.
Robust and complete, both of these reissues are a welcome reminder that you didn't have to be punk to be a punk in 1980s California.
Throughout Sun Structures, Temples obsess over emulating their idols and many songs go by without a hint of originality. Yet, there is some fun to be had.
Tara Jane O'Neil's latest channels a kind of narcotic cloudiness that makes it surprisingly appropriate for any number of moods.
After four years off, Magik Markers return with a dark, compelling album that demonstrates the power of good sequencing to craft its own narrative
Thursday, February 13 2014
For a moment, the darkness holds at bay and the band colors their world with tropical guitars and chanting vocals, a type of brief bulwark against cold, linear modernity.
Seriously strange and seriously excellent.
On this challenging and intimate album, Robert Ellis walks up to the brink of despair and calls it out to play.
This is a nice keepsake not only for fans of the original '80s tenure of the group, but new fans coming aboard thanks to the band's Guided By Voices connection.
The Norwegian trumpet player enchants with sounds inspired by various locations of worship.
Some good tunes leaven an otherwise tame offering.
Wednesday, February 12 2014
Pioneers of West African trance-rock release their best album in years.
The British pop band's '80s-'90s pastiche does the trick.
On her first album in more than a decade, the coal miner's granddaughter proves she's at her best when she pieces together her own story.
R. Kelly returns to the obtuse comedy trappings of Double Up and Untitled, but after two albums of retro soul are we really eager to hear a 47-year-old do his best Ty Dolla $ign anymore?
Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter offers a bit too much.
Tuesday, February 11 2014
New York-based, avant-pop duo Cibo Matto have returned after a hiatus of 14 years to deliver their most bewitchingly bonkers album yet.
You know how every John Hughes soundtrack has that one left-field New Wave song in the middle of the latter half? The Casket Girls turned that song into an album.
This collaborative offering from Evidence and Alchemist brings some of the best beats of January, but lacks the substance to keep it in rotation for the rest of 2014.
This lively archival release captures the L.A. band in their early "cowpunk" stage before Geffen got '80s production all over them.