09 Mar 2011 @ 1:20 PM 

When I’m not looking around for new bands to pique my interest, I occasionally come across singles from bands I know and love. So today I’m highlighting 4 exceptional tracks from that group and if they’re new to you, all the better. Thats what I’m here for.

Explosions In The Sky – Trembling Hands

Not only is Explosions In The Sky one of the most popular post-rock bands ever, they’re also releasing another LP next month. April 26th, to be exact. Every one of their records has either met or surpassed expectation, so Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, though redundantly titled, should be no different.

Washed Out – New Theory (RAC remix)

Remix Artist Collective(RAC) is a band that likes to remix songs from other bands and makes those tracks available for download. Thats it. Not terribly creative, you say? Not quite. At least, not once you’ve heard the final product, that is. Case in point, take Washed Out‘s New Theory. If there was any doubt of how good a remix could be after hearing this, I haven’t found one.

TOBACCO – Super Gum

Before TOBACCO released Maniac Meat last year, he was selling a little DVD called Fucked Up Friends 2 on his tour. This DVD/Blu-Ray had many of his new songs synced to some of his freaked-out videos that he likes so much. There was one, however, that stood out among the rest. I’m of course talking about the infamous German E.T. sex video which he synced with his song, Super Gum. Despite being the weirdest video I’ve ever seen, the song was actually really good and made me excited for the new record. Then to my dismay, it wasn’t included on the album. Thanks to him whenever I hear this, I still can’t get that video out of my head. Other than that, great song.

Okkervil River – Mermaid

Okkervil River hasn’t put out a proper release in nearly 3 years until now… sorta. Mermaid is just a single to whet our appetite for their May 10th release of I Am Very Far. Though merely a B-side, Mermaid is a beautiful reminder of how much I’ve missed their work and the potential it has to be the best album of 2011. If Mermaid is any indication, this ought to be interesting…

 18 Nov 2010 @ 7:22 PM 

Records. As with a lot of things that come out constantly and in large numbers, there are a few hits and plenty of misses… even from a few bands I love. Sometimes they pleasantly surprise me while others just surprise me with a punch in the stomach. This week I’ve got a little bit of both for you as well as a few other emotions, so try to keep up while I wildly cheer, cry, yell and finally lay down for a nap.

Cloud Nothings: Turning On– While I’ve stuck up religiously for lo-fi in the past, sometimes someone comes along and makes me think I might have been mistaken. The best part about lo-fi rock is the energy that it tends to have. Thats #1. If you don’t have enough of it, you’re fucked. Unfortunately, this is also the biggest thing that Cloud Nothings lack on a consistent basis. They start off on a good note with a song that was so energetic that I immediately thought they might be a lo-fi version of Les Savy Fav. My excitement was almost immediately quelled as the album continued. Its not the tempo of the songs that made them drag so much, it was the uninspired drumming and low-energy vocals that really killed this for me. If they can fix those problems on their next record, they might have something here. If not, they’ll drift back into obscurity as quickly as they came out of it… 5.2/10

Old Street

Maserati: Pyramid Of The Sun– Instrumental rock bands are a dying breed nowadays, let alone instrumental psychedelic rock bands and Maserati isn’t helping things with their latest record. While I’ve not only enjoyed every record they’ve put out until now, I considered them one of the best instrumental post-rock bands around… that is, before I heard this album. Sidebar: Maserati lost their drummer about year ago in a tragic accident and this album is a tribute to his last works. That being said, this record is painfully repetitive and it recycles good ideas and riffs over and over to a point that it at times make it unlistenable. I don’t usually mention how much of a chore it is to listen to something that I don’t like so I can write about it here, but let me tell you, it was a long 50 minutes. Times three. But all is not lost if you’re still interested in their past works, which are all wonderful. Start with The Language Of Cities and make your way to the present. In fact, instead of just leaving you with an mp3 from this forgettable album, I’ll also include a favorite of mine from their 2007 release, Inventions For The New Season. I just can’t leave you with a bad taste in your mouth when they used to be so much better… 4.0/10

Pyramid Of The Sun

12/16 from Inventions For A New Season

The Radio Dept.: Never Follow Suit– As with every EP thats released soon after or just before an LP, the new tracks are whats going to make or break a record. Ironically, this also what makes this difficult for me to rate. The extra songs by them are so short that just when I’m starting to enjoy them, they end. Then, On Your Side is almost a medley dedicated to the memory of Never Follow Suit, which is kinda strange. Then we have a dub remix of the title track by Pistol Disco that extends the title track to double it’s length which turns it into a long, overdrawn and forgettable memory. Then it predictably ends with the radio version of Never Follow Suit. So yeah, I have mixed feelings about it. Overall, its decent but thats about it. Personally, I’d say get the new tracks and forget about the rest… 6.8/10

On Your Side

TOBACCO: La Uti– While the previous record I wrote about focused on a couple of new songs with one remix, TOBACCO‘s La Uti is almost exclusively a remix record except for three totally new tracks. The formulation is simple: Take a song from Maniac Meat, and rap your ass off. The results are not only impressive, they surpassed my expectations at nearly every turn. I approached this with a great deal of skepticism because the originals were more than impressive on their own. Adding vocals of any kind is a tricky fence to walk, but Rob Sonic, Anti-Pop Consortium and the others did it artfully. Unholy Demon Rhythms‘ vocals are a bit annoying, but it still works on a certain level because they’re minimized for the most part. As usual, the three new tracks with guest vocals are inventive, beat-heavy and flow beautifully. Finally, something an indie kid can cruise around with and not look like a total douche. You can thank TOBACCO for that… 8.8/10

TV All Greasy (Feat. Anti-Pop Consortium)

 06 Aug 2010 @ 10:47 PM 

If you come by here from time to time, you’d have noticed the considerable lack of actual reviews lately. Mostly I’ve been using my time off to catch-up on my Mad Men DVDs and hog-tie hobos and blow them up with dynamite on Red Dead Redemption. You know, guy shit. But during that break I also had a chance to listen to a lot of new and noteworthy albums. So many in fact that I’ve had to narrow it down from 15 records to a top 5. Besides, who wants to hear about the last few months without highlights? Not this guy.

Depreciation Guild: Spirit Youth– In the tradition of electronic shoegazers like The Radio Dept., Depreciation Guild which showed immense promise on their debut, In Her Gentle Jaws, have finally realized their potential with Spirit Youth. From start to finish whether you’re looking for hooky guitars, subtle synthesizers or dreamy vocals in your electro dream pop, this album is one of the best. I had big expectations for this record and they absolutely surpassed them in every respect. Well fucking done…9.8/10

Depreciation Guild – Blue Lily

TOBACCO: Maniac Meat– It seems like I talk endlessly about this guy. If you haven’t read anything on this website, let me sum up: Tobacco is an innovative electro experimentalist who is also a founding member of Black Moth Super Rainbow. After Fucked Up Friends, Tobacco was going to have a bit of trouble following up something that off-the-wall, catchy, beat-heavy and altogether hard to understand. And thats exactly why I love this guy. I can’t figure out exactly what he’ll come up with next. But one thing is for certain: You’ll know its Tobacco when you hear it. Seldom do you hear something thats as distinct as this. And with Beck guest-starring on 2 different tracks, you have yet another reason to explore this record and figure out just what the hell is going on inside of this guy’s head…8.7/10

TOBACCO - Mexican Ice Cream

Deastro: Mind Alter EP– After writing a few songs(like 200, I think) Randolph Chabot aka Deastro has decided to follow up his sugar rush-induced sophomore LP Moondagger, with a toned-down and relaxed Mind Alter EP. Now, if you’ve followed Deastro’s releases at all, this won’t surprise you in the least. In fact, Moondagger was more of an anomaly than this release. Mind Alter EP is Chabot going back to the basics in many respects and not so much slowing things down as much as doing what he does best. The only difference this time is that hes signed to Ghostly and actually making some money rather than giving it away for free. Overall, when considering all of this, it didn’t particularly blow me away but it did keep me coming back for more which is a quality he’ll never lose so long as he stays true to his roots… which this EP truly does…7.4/10

Deastro - Mowgli The Lynx

Mountain Man: Made The Harbor– The concept behind this ‘band’ is almost too simplistic. Imagine three women singing acapella with an acoustic guitar to original folk songs in the vein of Joanna Newsome or Alela Diane. Thats it. No, really. For me what really makes a song worth listening to, no matter how simplistic, is if the artist can hypnotize you to a point where you forget where you are and all that there is is the moment of that song. Multiply that by 13 and you have this record. Completely surprising and positively stunning…8.9/10

Mountain Man - Animal Tracks

Magic Bullets: Magic Bullets– For a band on their 2nd LP and 3rd release overall, its kinda weird that they’d only now have a self-titled album. I guess thats just me thinking aloud. Yes, this is Magic Bullets‘ 2nd full-length and if you’re not familiar with them, lets just say that they’re a modern version of The Smiths. I hate to limit them like that, but this record forced me to do it. Their first 2 records actually stood on their own and although I could definitely hear a Smiths influence, it wasn’t nearly as apparent as it is now. That isn’t to say that this isn’t a decent record because it totally is. The thing is, compared to their previous albums, it falls a bit short at times. I think the biggest shortcoming of this album was my preconception of it. What I’m trying to say is that they led me on and they broke my heart– just a little. I’m not sure if this is just a moderately-paced version of themselves or if this is their new general direction, but I do know one thing: I like their previous work more…7.2/10

Magic Bullets - Lying Around

Posted By: thelittlefield
Last Edit: 08 Aug 2010 @ 10:58 AM

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