Archives for May 2005

Stars – Set Yourself on Fire

StarsSet Yourself on FireFrom the opening strings of “Your Ex-Lover is Dead,” it’s clear that the listener is in for a treat with this third full-length from Stars, a group of transplanted New Yorkers now based out of the indie-rock hotbed of Montreal. The band, which includes members of super-hyped labelmates Broken Social Scene, is incredibly … [Read more...]

All Combinations – Ghosts

All CombinationsGhostsPost-rock is a stupid genre name. For example, I’ve no idea why Slint garnered such a emasculated tag. As evidenced by Coachella reviews as well as the legendary Spiderland LP, the band does indeed RAWK. However, those musicians are apparently the “godfathers” to what has become a catch-all bin for any release containing … [Read more...]

Piano Magic – Disaffected

Piano MagicDisaffectedThere's something about that enchanted, gun-metal grey isle of Britain that breeds moody blokes. One need only invoke the names of famously irritable frontmen like Roger Waters, Johnny Rotten, Ian Curtis, or Morrissey, and the lyrics on Piano Magic’s new album Disaffected seem to make a certain type of sense. Suddenly notions … [Read more...]

Wow, Owls! – Pick Your Patterns

Wow, Owls!Pick Your PatternsThis review of Wow,Owls! debut CD Pick Your Patterns could read like the final installment in a history lesson of Virginia/DC hardcore from the mid-90s through the present. In the past weeks I've reviewed records from similar sounding but now defunct bands Stop It!! and Helen of Troy. All of these bands borrow heavily … [Read more...]

Heavy Trash – S/T

Heavy TrashS/TOne thing you can always count on Jon Spencer for is irreverent, funny lyrics. Unlike many other roots-rockers, Spencer has always attacked any retro style with a tongue-in-cheek approach that sets him apart from the pack. Heavy Trash, the band, is the first time Spencer (of Blues Explosion fame) and Matt Verta-Ray (Speedball Baby, … [Read more...]

Plankton – Insomnia EP

PlanktonInsomnia EPYou know something’s amiss when the majority of songs on an album called Insomnia make you want to go to sleep. It’s not that I need constant stimulation or anything — ok, maybe I do — but if Plankton could just throw me a few hooks, a couple of lyrics, something to latch onto, then I’d probably be a much bigger fan. As it … [Read more...]

Et Sans – Par Noussss Touss les Trous de vos Cranes!

Et SansPar Noussss Touss les Trous de vos Cranes!Only recently has Canada become officially cool, and the country owes this cred to one city: Montreal. This ville has produced the Stills, the Arcade Fire, the Dears, among others, and with Et Sans’ sophomore release, Par Noussss Touss les Trous de vos Cranes!, we’re reminded why the French-Canadian … [Read more...]

Various Artists – 4 Women No Cry

Various Artists4 Women No CryThe closest thing I ever got to a deep appreciation for female vocalist was the obligatory Cocteau Twins fetish towards the tail-end of my high school career and those crucial mind-altering early college experiences when musical habits get rearranged or annihilated completely. Couple this my then roommate’s love affair … [Read more...]

The Lucksmiths – San Francisco EP

The LucksmithsSan Francisco EPPerhaps Belle & Sebastian have become the poster children for indie pop, but in my book, there isn’t a band that does it better than Australia’s Lucksmiths. Light and airy, jangly, playful one moment and serious the next, the Lucksmiths may have never written a bad song. And for those who can’t get enough of summery … [Read more...]

Drowsy – Growing Green

DrowsyGrowing GreenGrowing Green is the debut effort of 22-year-old Finnish singer/songwriter Mauri Heikkinen, who is the sole force behind Drowsy. The album is a collection of 14 mostly acoustic, ambient, bedroom folk tunes recorded at home. While a couple of tracks employ additional instrumentation and an occasional electric guitar, most are … [Read more...]