Archives for October 2003

The Badger King – Break Up EP

The Badger KingBreak Up EP "I don't want to be mediocre / and complain about my job / I want to have a bow and arrow / and do battle with evil" -from "Flee to Me, Remote Elf". I find describing the Badger King's sound difficult. Using adjectives such as bouncy, light, and even-tempered is no good. If I choose to use the aforementioned … [Read more...]

Chris Moore – Joy and Abandon

Chris MooreJoy and AbandonThis is the third solo release by Detroit artist and resident Chris Moore, and it's one that may force you to look further into his career. Moore has been kicking around the Detroit area for years and had experience in the punk and indie scenes. Moore unleashes 11 cuts of folk that are very reminiscent of a more mentally … [Read more...]

John Larsen – Kismet

John LarsenKismet "Saint Sebastian" opens Kismet like an invocation. The simple, haphazardly strummed acoustic guitar and drawling, slightly lazy vocals float through as though in a another room. You're lured in and find yourself rising on a swell of music and voice straining to lift the entire mass up to - to . . . to what? Another level, a new … [Read more...]

Staring Back – On

Staring BackOn There are times when you can listen to an album - I mean really listen to it - closely scrutinizing all of its individual parts and elements, and still come away with no clear opinion about it whatsoever. There are some things that you may really like and others that you don't, but, mostly, the music just comes and goes without … [Read more...]

Shimmer Kids Underpop Association – The Book of Mirrors EP

Shimmer Kids Underpop AssociationThe Book of Mirrors EP If the rise and fall of the Elephant 6 empire has taught us anything, it's that psychedelic pop is a cruel and fickle mistress, enticing its practitioners with the genuine hope that rock and roll has remaining frontiers, allowing them a glimpse at the promised land, and turning them back out … [Read more...]

Primus – Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People

PrimusAnimals Should Not Try to Act Like People There's a sample that turns up a few times on the newest record from Primus, their first offering since 1999's dark and vastly under-appreciated Antipop: the low, bassy slurring of audio tape being looped in reverse. Slight as it may seem, it may just be one of the biggest defining traits of the … [Read more...]

Cerberus Shoal – The Ducks and Drakes of Guapo and Cerberus Shoal

Cerberus ShoalThe Ducks and Drakes of Guapo and Cerberus ShoalI have this friend. Let's call him John. Now, everybody who I introduce to John seems to love him. He's got a great personality. He's intelligent, but not in that condescending or threatening way. He's got a good sense of humor. He has interesting opinions and incredible stories. And so … [Read more...]

The High Llamas – Beet, Maize & Corn

The High LlamasBeet, Maize & Corn With Beet, Maize & Corn, The High Llamas prove that tunes that take you to both a personal mood and a societal setting are hard to create but more rewarding when done carefully. Although "careful" often carries an ugly connotation when applied to musicians, Sean O'Hagan, his band of Llamas, three more brass … [Read more...]

Clearlake – Cedars

ClearlakeCedars It's sort of a shame that there isn't more theater in indie rock. The underground music scene is not only devoid of publicized dramas, but there are precious few bands capable of creating a bombastic, showy sound that can shift imaginations as well as bob heads. Benjamin Gibbard may be an outstanding lyricist, but his stories lack … [Read more...]

August Premier – Fireworks and Alcohol

August PremierFireworks and AlcoholFrom the first song to the last, there is no mistaking that August Premier is a pop-punk band. It's a genre I shy away from, but one I'm all too familiar with from flipping through radio stations looking for something good. Pop-punk in general is one of the reasons I don't listen to the radio much at all anymore, … [Read more...]