Archives for May 2004

Troy Gregory – Laura

Troy GregoryLaura Friend: "Name one of the most unassumingly cool living musicians you can think of right off the top of your head...GO!" Me: "That guy from Blessed Union of Souls!" Friend: "Be serious. Plus, didn't he die in some freak ski accident or something? GO!" Me: "No no he's still kicking, they're actually playing at my college … [Read more...]

Saint Joan – One at Twilight

Saint JoanOne at Twilight A rough-hewn beauty underscores the new release from Brits Saint Joan. The songs collected here are careful studies in melancholy: muted, down-tempo, and marked by the twin highlights of Ellen McGee's crystalline voice and Matthew Williams's scratchy, Michael Timmins-esque guitar playing. At only three songs, the band … [Read more...]

The Calculators – Circut Breaking Silence / Simplicity and Style 10”

The CalculatorsCircut Breaking Silence / Simplicity and Style 10” The Calculators, a short-lived synth-punk band, emerged in 1997 from San Francisco's musicscape during a time when emo and pop-punk dominated the underground radio waves and anything 80s was still a joke. The Cali quintet dusted off an antique Moog and donned two-tone suits to … [Read more...]

Nora – Dreamers & Deadmen

NoraDreamers & Deadmen Nora is a metal-influenced hardcore band from New Jersey that employs crunchy, neck-snapping riffs, cacophonous, hyper-fast drumming, and ragged, throat-straining screams. But that's not the weird part. Vocalist Carl Severson sings about what it feels like to stare down the barrel of a gun and why he wants to burn down … [Read more...]

Micah Blue Smaldone – Some Sweet Day

Micah Blue SmaldoneSome Sweet Day As the pale sun wanes in the horizon, you snap open a frosty bottle of Doc Walton's World's Best Sarsaparilla, knock back the brim of your straw hat, and contentedly listen as Micah Blue Smaldone's sweet vocals spill out of your phonograph. His gentle, almost preternatural acoustic guitar pickings and racially … [Read more...]

Josh Goode Band – Fact of the Matter

Josh Goode BandFact of the Matter Sometimes no matter how hard the reviewer tries, he can never describe a band as well as a band describes itself. Case in point: If I were to tell you the Josh Goode Band features amazingly adroit players capable at leaping from one style to another in the blink of an eye, you may be tempted to investigate further. … [Read more...]

The Charms – So Pretty EP

The CharmsSo Pretty EP The Charms keep in lockstep with the zeitgeist on this Farfisa-fed disc of hard hitting brat-rock. Sounding like a collision between Hot Hot Heat and the Yeah Yeah Yeah's with a less repetitive moniker and a more basic desire to rock, the Charms are forgivably derivative, yet very of-the-moment. Vocalist Ellie Vee is a … [Read more...]

Onelinedrawing – The Volunteers

OnelinedrawingThe Volunteers Say what you want about Jonah Matranga, but he sure is sincere. His lyrics, straightforward style, and seemingly every way he approaches his career through live shows, putting out records, and employing the Internet is fresh, hands-on, personal, DIY in spirit, and charming. Simply put, he has people skills. His love-y … [Read more...]

Múm – Summer Make Good

MúmSummer Make GoodI have my preconceptions about Iceland, but I can bet all of them are misguided, stereotypical, or just wrong. Even so, when I listen to music by Bjork, Sigur Ros, and Mum (the holy trinity of Icelandic music), I can't help but imagining myself bathing in a natural hot spring, surrounded both by glaciers and tall and … [Read more...]

Lion Fever – Lustre EP

Lion FeverLustre EPIt is initially hard to decipher, but the vocals that fill your ears are actually coming from Jennifer Pearl, a woman, not some snotty coked-up (male) lunatic. When Pearl displays her best range, you get the feeling Lion Fever sounds like what might happen if Jeff Buckley fronted the Stooges or Gun Club. The vocals soar, and even … [Read more...]