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Seahaven: Reverie Lagoon: Music for Escapism Only

Reverie and its new sound may throw some old fans, but that’s a good thing.

Music

Tombs: Savage Gold

Savage Gold proves extreme metal to be a race to the bottom that no one wins.

Music

The Menzingers: Rented World

For what it is, Rented World slays.

Music

Owls: Two

Two is certainly a good album, and it’s absolutely the one Owls wanted to make. It’s just not always a record I want to listen to.

Music

Carla Bozulich: Boy

Boy sounds like nothing other than Bozulich’s own twisty back catalog, a culmination of a career spent distorting punk rock and country and the blues into exciting new shapes.

Music

Real Estate: Atlas

Without a doubt, this is another Real Estate album.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Seasons of Mist

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Bruce Springsteen: High Hopes (take 2)

On this, Bruce Springsteen's most unsteady album, Tom Morello demonstrates how a backing player can nearly ruin the proceedings.

Music

Edging Toward the Mainstream: Extreme Music in 2013

By breaking previous genre constraints, Deafheaven and its peers have created a new template, with strangeness no longer the selling the point for extreme music.

Robert Rubsam
Music

Ten Great Cover Singers

Though this may be the time of year when cloying pop covers of Christmas songs are picked up from far too many supermarket checkout lines, let it not sour you on all covers completely. The ten artists listed herein are laudable exemplars of how to make the cover version an artform all its own.

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Their/They're/There: Analog Weekend

Musical kinship excuses hero worship on this EP.

Music

Land of Kush: The Big Mango

This uniquely celebratory work is one of the best of the year.

Music

Shearwater: Fellow Travelers

The liner notes may actually be the most insightful part of this record, and that is no slight to the music.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Topshelf

Music

Swearin': Surfing Strange

Swearin's best songcraft battles their derivative impulses on this sophomore record.

Music

Grails: Black Tar Prophecies Vol's 4, 5 & 6

Grails further defines their midnight-movie aesthetic on this compilation.

Music

Breathe Owl Breathe: Passage of Pegasus

Passage of Pegasus is a singularly uninspired, uninteresting, and unaccomplished record.

Music

Horseback: A Plague of Knowing

Odds-and-sods compilations are a tough proposition, for sure, but if you’re able to crack their code, much like the one surrounding Horseback, you’ll find a wealth of excess, a musical cup overflowing with ideas, vitality, and energy, always on its way towards becoming something else, something greater.

Music

12 Compositions to Introduce You to Classical Music Post-1950

Classical and compositional music has continued to thrive in the 20th and 21st centuries, reaching new heights of both dissonance and beauty.

Music

Unwound: Kid Is Gone

A vital, though for fans only, box set of early Unwound recordings.

Music

The Transcendant Power of Extreme Music

Genres like metal can be experienced as a cleansing agent, removed of anger, sadness, pleasure, and bereft of space and origin. Momentarily, you are negated, a joyous flipside to nihilism.

Music

Jesu: Everyday I Get Closer to the Light From Which I Came

Everyday I Get Closer to the Light From Which I Came, is the poppiest, most beautiful, and, arguably, most satisfying collection from Jesu in recent memory.

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