Archives for January 1999

Smog – Dongs of Sevotion

SmogDongs of Sevotion Brooding, intense and sparse, Bill Callahan's latest effort as Smog digs further into the dark musical trenches carefully excavated in previous releases. Though nobody could accuse Callahan of being "uplifting," like on most of his recordings, rays of musical sunlight do occasionally pierce the rolling clouds of despair. … [Read more...]

River City Rebels – Racism, Religion and War

River City RebelsRacism, Religion and WarThis amazing recording could easily reaffirm belief in the youth of today. Influences are all over the map...the River City Rebels' sound recalls punk, ska, oi and hardcore simultaneously - fusing it all into a steamroller cavalcade of flag-burning, blaring punk. Out of this unholy miscegenation of styles … [Read more...]

The Gazillions – Have Landed

The GazillionsHave LandedLock your doors! Its the Gazillions! Coming at you from California, the Gazillions play a mean brand of what can only be called "spazz rock." Punk rock, that is, with its tongue planted firmly in its cheek. The songs are actually very catchy (you'll likely find yourself humming the melodies), the lyrics are silly (damn … [Read more...]

Flying Saucer Attack – Mirror

Flying Saucer AttackMirrorAfter two years of silence and time spent battling depression (see interview in Magnet), Dave Pearce's Flying Saucer Attack has emerged from the darkness with a masterpiece. Often compared to My Bloody Valentine, previous recordings seemed to evolve along musical lines enveloping increasingly dense feedback and reverb … [Read more...]

Common Rider – Last Wave Rockers

Common RiderLast Wave Rockers Last Wave Rockers packs in an albums-worth of pleasant, breezy music. Although from time to time reggae-tinged guitar, organ and piano make appearences, for the most part Common Rider plays straightforward, unoffensive pop. I guess I should confess my biases here - I'm drawn to music that is in some sense musically or … [Read more...]

Chicago Underground Duo – Synesthesia

Chicago Underground DuoSynesthesiaFrom Chicago comes this vibrant recording from Chicago Underground Duo. Characterized by bursts of Rob Mazurek's cornet catapulting off of a sinewy foundation of 'found' sounds and rhythms, this is at times dense, vertiginous jazz. Careening in a see-saw fashion from near mathematical explorations of the limits of … [Read more...]

Knife in the Water – Red River

Knife in the WaterRed RiverKnife in the Water sounds like Texas feels. If the atmosphere of a warm summer night in Central Texas could be somehow transformed into sound - this would be that sound. Pedal steel, softly strummed guitars, organ and sweetly sung male/female harmonies swirl around in the ebb and flow of singer/guitarist Aaron Blount's … [Read more...]

Joan of Arc – The Gap

Joan of ArcThe GapListening to Joan of Arc is an exercise in patience. The melodies aren't obvious. The songs don't flow. If you take the time to follow through, however, they make for very rewarding records. I was talking my roommate who doesn't particularly like Joan of Arc the other day, and I was trying to convince him that if you invest some … [Read more...]

Bonnie "Prince" Billy – Get On Jolly EP

Bonnie "Prince" BillyGet On Jolly EPThe Marquis de Tren and Bonny "Prince" Billy (aka Mick Turner of The Dirty Three and Will Oldham) offer up some dark and brooding music on Get On Jolly. Upon hearing of this collaboration, I was filled with optimism at the idea of these two making music together. The actual record fails to meet the idea … [Read more...]

Brian Michael Roff – Errors Intact EP

Brian Michael RoffErrors Intact EPFor a lo-fi self-release, Errors Intact sounds really polished and professional. Roff plays all the instruments here. The EP is a VERY limited edition 5-song EP and apparently a preview of an upcoming album. It will appeal to fans of art-damaged indie folk and pop in the vein of an artist like Vic Chesnutt. And in … [Read more...]