Circle and Square – The Difference Engine

Circle and SquareThe Difference EngineCircle and Square is a relatively new indie rock band from New York City. They've already generated a sizable buzz in east coast circles, not an easy thing to do in a region so overcrowded with similar bands. However, the attention is well deserved in this case. This five-piece band crafts sweeping pop songs … [Read more...]

Outsmarting Simon – Drive-By Monologue

Outsmarting SimonDrive-By MonologueFrom New Brunswick, N.J., Outsmarting Simon comes from a surprisingly fertile indie rock scene. "Drive-By Monologue" is one of two demo tracks recently posted on their website. Those familiar with the post-hardcore stylings of Appleseed Cast and Penfold will see a lot of similarities here. This definitely … [Read more...]

Andy Gorwell – Uprooted

Andy GorwellUprootedAustralian Andy Gorwell's debut release, Uprooted, is a tepid, workmanlike foray into American roots music. On it, Gorwell and his backing band plod studiously through eight Gorwell-penned originals and one Rolling Stones cover. You can hear them trying to please, to make "authentic" sounding country-rock on the record. … [Read more...]

Velvet Crush – Soft Sounds

Velvet CrushSoft Sounds On their latest album, the appropriately named Soft Sounds, The Velvet Crush delve deeper into the folksy harmonies and slide guitars that have always been more subdued in their earlier power-pop releases. While still a collaboration between equal partners - Rick Menck and Paul Chastain - this time around Chastain took the … [Read more...]

Various Artists – Third Strike: Punk Rock Strike, Vol. 3

Various ArtistsThird Strike: Punk Rock Strike, Vol. 3 Compilations and samplers generally fall into two categories: the bad and the good. Most common are the bad, crammed with the crappy B-sides, dropped tracks, and overplayed hits of more popular bands. Less likely are the good, heaped with delicious "new-to-you" bands that can result in a few new … [Read more...]

Damnation – The Unholy Sounds of Damnation

DamnationThe Unholy Sounds of Damnation Don't be fooled by the satanic skull; Damnation are no cheesy death-metal band still clinging to the 80s. With nonstop noise and testosterone-drenched vocals, they're a raw, amped-up assault, perhaps better described as the nefarious offspring of The Misfits and Metallica or The Dwarves and Judas Priest. The … [Read more...]

Jen Turrell – Honesty and Apologies EP

Jen TurrellHonesty and Apologies EP You may or may not recognize Jen Turrell from her work with Rabbit in Red, but after a slew of seven-inches, cassettes, and compilation contributions, here she is with yet another solo release. When she is not writing and recording these lovely little folk-pop tunes, she can also be found running the record label … [Read more...]

Bon Voyage – The Right Amount

Bon VoyageThe Right Amount Some couples are constantly fighting. Some couples spend all of their time in the bedroom. Some couples act so they barely resemble couples. Judging by the work of Jason and Julie Martin, some couples also create beautifully textured songs that show off some of the sugary sweetest pop you've ever heard. You may … [Read more...]

My Dad is Dead – The Engine of Commerce

My Dad is DeadThe Engine of Commerce Though 80s rock has become vogue with the "in" crowd of the indie scene, many modern bands supposedly influenced by that sound fail the find the nitty gritty production aspects that make some of the best groups from the 80s truly memorable. Though the music of that decade is well known for indulgence and excess, … [Read more...]

The Jimmy Stuarts – Ma-Ma-San

The Jimmy StuartsMa-Ma-San This is the second full-length from this three-piece that come from the state of Washington with their brand of noisy psych jumble. The band performs quirky pop songs that are shrouded in guitar fuzz and feedback while the sweet melodies are hidden under the commotion. The band can easily go from psych-punk freakout to … [Read more...]