Archives for July 2004

Polar – Comes with a Smile

PolarComes with a SmileSince forming in 1994, Valencia (Spain)-based Polar has written and played music while constantly increasing its fanbase in the musicians' own country. After 10 years, the band now deserves to gain international critical acclaim. You can easily understand the reason why Polar’s music is well worth investigation upon … [Read more...]

Sam Phillips – A Boot and a Shoe

Sam PhillipsA Boot and a ShoeDon’t ask me how she does it. There are 13 songs on Sam Phillips’ A Boot and a Shoe, and each of them feels flawless, impeccably performed and carefully put to tape, the ideal companions to the subtle atmospheres and acoustic gems of 2001’s frighteningly engaging Fan Dance. Phillips is backed on the record — and backed … [Read more...]

Grupo Salvaje – In Black We Trust

Grupo SalvajeIn Black We TrustAcuarela (“watercolor” in Spanish) is one of my favorite record labels, indie or other. It’s a Madrid operation that consistently signs bands with a flair for interesting, usually quirky and warm, highly personal music in English and/or Spanish. Acuarela also seems to be more prolific in its release of indie-pop/rock … [Read more...]

To Rococo Rot – Hotel Morgen

To Rococo RotHotel MorgenI stayed in a hotel once. It was brown and silent. To Rococo Rot’s Hotel Morgen is neither of these things. Hotel Morgen is a record album, full of those things called sounds that we hear with our ears. Thus it is not silent. Likewise it is not brown. I don’t know what color it is, but the disc face is sort of green. … [Read more...]

Blueprint Car Crash – Rhetoric of a Marionette EP

Blueprint Car CrashRhetoric of a Marionette EPI’ve been lucky enough to have a good track record with The Militia Group up to this point (Tora!Tora!Torrance!, Brandtson, Big Collapse, Rufio). Unfortunately, though, it seems that streak’s going a bit off the beaten path with Blueprint Car Crash’s Rhetoric of a Marionette, which comes off as a whole … [Read more...]

S. Brooks – In Preparation for Dance

S. BrooksIn Preparation for DanceTime has shown over and over again that in music there is nothing quite so powerful and distinctive as the human voice. The wails of James Brown, the raw strength of Freddy Mercury, and the soul-baring whispers of Elliott Smith all attest to this fact. S. Brooks’ idiosyncratic tenor joins this pantheon with its … [Read more...]

A Day in Black and White – My Heroes Have Always Killed Cowboys EP

A Day in Black and WhiteMy Heroes Have Always Killed Cowboys EPDamn!!!!! What is it with Level Plane? Why do those folks rock so hard? Their recent discovery, A Day in Black and White, is a perfect example of why this label is destroying all the other hardcore labels and shattering the notion of what that term can even mean. My Heroes Have Always … [Read more...]

Deverova Chyba – Do Stran

Deverova ChybaDo StranFormed from the rhythmic section of the Czech band Hodouskova Vina and another additional bassist, the members of Devorova Chyba (Devera’s Mistake) named themselves after a former band member who left for the US in 1997. Devorova Chyba’s newest album Do Stran brings talented and supremely technical bass-heavy rhythmic punk to … [Read more...]

Sleep Station – After the War

Sleep StationAfter the WarAnd now it comes: The Foo Fighters influence on the indie-rock music scene. Somehow, I knew this was coming, but I was powerless to stop it, and as such, I chose to ignore it. But really, this has been a long time coming: “Everlong” was a great enough song for anyone to admire, but the uninspired, “Ed” theme song pap … [Read more...]

Tarantula – S/T

TarantulaS/TI used to work for a university that had a very prestigious music school, and I’d wander those halls with all the students carrying their instruments from one room to another, or I’d hear the wash of classical strings, keys, and horns float from under practice rooms. Always a sucker for the sounds of strings, I’d be riveted by the more … [Read more...]