Archives for September 2003

TV on the Radio – Young Liars EP

TV on the RadioYoung Liars EPYou know, it's the strangest thing. That could be the introduction to some sort of surprising concept to come in this review, but really, it's best left to describe this music, as any of my petty ideas pale in comparison. How can someone amalgamate every good idea to have come out of punk, indie, and other such genres … [Read more...]

El-P – Fantastic Damage

El-PFantastic DamageProfundity in mainstream hip-hop is as rare a commodity as water in the Sahara; it just doesn't exist save for a few sparse and surprising oases. Sure, there is an ever-improving level of production spurred by producers such as Timbaland, but in a genre so reliant on lyrical content, no one seems to have anything to say. When … [Read more...]

The Constantines – Shine a Light

The ConstantinesShine a LightA spacey beep opens and betrays Shine a Light; this album is neither lavish production nor modern space-rock. No, it's something entirely different indeed. One could argue that rock music has been the most influential single genre on the mainstream in the last 30 years, and one probably wouldn't be contested. But … [Read more...]

Atmosphere – Seven’s Travels

AtmosphereSeven’s TravelsIn the world of modern hip-hop, there exist two main camps: the mainstream and the underground. While it is possible to subscribe to both simultaneously, the caustic discourse between the zealots of the two communities has become tiring. It's discouraging to listen to the simplistic barbarism of most mainstream rappers, yet … [Read more...]

Service Group – Minimum R&B

Service GroupMinimum R&B Service Group is a great new band that does one thing really well: genu-wine power-pop with great rock hooks. It's funny, because while Minimum R&B is a fantastic and totally enjoyable album, releasing a record like this in today's metal- and hip-hop-centered culture is complete commercial suicide. It's like the band is … [Read more...]

Anadivine – S/T EP

AnadivineS/T EPKingston, NY must be an interesting place to hang out in right now. The locale seems to be sprouting emo-metalcore bands faster than . . . well, faster than anyplace else seems to be. It's the home of such underground luminaries as Coheed and Cambria, Autopilot Off, and Matchbook Romance. Anadivine was born unto the world the same … [Read more...]

The Bled – Pass the Flask

The BledPass the Flask There isn't much mystery or middle ground to a band such as Tucson, Arizona's The Bled. You either enjoy their bruising mix of crushing hardcore and technical metal or you don't. Personally, I would find metalcore a lot more interesting and dynamic if more of the vocalists involved would at least occasionally drop the … [Read more...]

Jim Dugan – Marigold

Jim DuganMarigold Never in my life have I heard a more pretentious album than Jim Dugan's self-released and self-acclaimed gem, Marigold. At first listen, the album is pure cheese, with lyrics like: "I will give you water / I will drink with you my friend," which refers to seeds Dugan planted at the age of 6. But upon further research on the album … [Read more...]

Natural Dreamers – S/T

Natural DreamersS/T It happened so quickly that you might not have noticed it, but in the quietest revolution ever, the avant-garde end of experimental rock has managed to slide nearly into the center lane of independent music. Sure, we always had Sonic Youth and Captain Beefheart as the primers for those who wanted to write songs with wildly … [Read more...]

Birddog – Songs From Willipa Bay

BirddogSongs From Willipa Bay Without a doubt, one of the best parts of being an indie-rock journalist is that you are granted near-immediate victory in any game of cooler-than-thou one-upmanship. As the game of pretentiousness can quickly descend into a battle to see who can dig into obscurity to find the clearly brilliant band from the past that … [Read more...]