Archives for August 2004

Tiger Fernandez – The Final EP

Tiger FernandezThe Final EPIn The Final EP we find an interesting situation: the title is quite literal, as this is Tiger Fernandez’ last release. As a result there is a certain reckless abandon inherent in the EP’s four tracks, an almost schizophrenic adrenaline rush that I quite like. The music is a little more emo than screamo, but the band … [Read more...]

Various Artists – Hello, We are the Militia Group, Vol. 1

Various ArtistsHello, We are the Militia Group, Vol. 1I cannot believe the stuff that gets passed off as "emo" these days. This sampler for the Militia Group record label is better proof than anything that the genre is either completely dead or almost dead. There is not a single band on here that could pass for quality. Brandtson is the best band … [Read more...]

Actionslacks – Full Upright Position

ActionslacksFull Upright Position“This Damn Nation” starts off with a galloping drum line and a distant, spacey guitar line. By the time the rest of the band kicks in, the bass has already revealed itself in glory, playing perfectly fitting bass-lines amongst the intertwining drum and guitar pattern. The vocals appear, and the rough yet melodic … [Read more...]

Aroah – The Last Laugh

AroahThe Last LaughAmong Acuarela’s impressive catalogue of melodic indie folk and slow pop in English and Spanish, Aroah strikes listeners as one of the label’s stronger, more direct artists. Irene Tremblay, who is Aroah (with significant contribution from other artists), recently released her second full album but fourth recording overall for … [Read more...]

Pleasant Grove – The Art of Leaving

Pleasant GroveThe Art of LeavingThese songs can slip through your fingers pretty easily if you let them. Restrained, slightly countrified instrumentation and somber melodies combine with extended running times (or “extended lengths” if you prefer) to leave pleasant if hazy memories once the tunes have ended. But one rainy morning as I took the … [Read more...]

Lickgoldensky – S/T

LickgoldenskyS/TLoud, aggressive, and chaotic, Philadelphia-based trio Lickgoldensky plays with fearless abandon, banging out fierce, grating metalcore with enough quirky twists and turns to keep even the most astute listener off-balance. At times, the unpredictability works wonders, but most often the flurry of tempo changes and sudden shifts in … [Read more...]

Marc Gartman – Split CD

Marc GartmanSplit CDFor a band that’s so decidedly anti-fashion, so un-Strokes-like, with nary a glossy magazine cover in its storied history, there probably are few bands that have launched as many imitators as slow-core pioneers Low. With a veritable cottage industry of like-minded artists filling out Low's Chair Kicker’s Union label, the band's … [Read more...]

Like Tigers – Split 7"

Like TigersSplit 7"Well, for a pair of bands that both subscribe to a guitar-free musical theory, I don’t think it would be possible for Zombie Zombie and Like Tigers to be any farther apart on the genre scale. Zombie Zombie’s A-side packs in three-and-a-half minutes of surreal, disconnected nu-wave hardcore that substitutes keyboard … [Read more...]

Pan-American – Quiet City

Pan-AmericanQuiet CityThere’s not a single note out of place on Pan-American’s Quiet City, Mark Nelson’s fourth record under said moniker. The most faint murmur of guitar or piano is pristine and plotted and precise, falling into the listener’s ear at just the right moment with just the right intention. Even the phonograph-needle static on … [Read more...]

The Sex Maniacs – Mean as Hell

The Sex ManiacsMean as HellMean as Hell is what happens when four British guys who used to play hardcore decide to take a stab at straight-up rock n’ roll. It sounds like the bastard offspring of Motorhead and AC/DC with just a bit more modern punk attitude thrown in for good measure. It’s plenty fast, raunchy, and alcohol infused - just they way … [Read more...]