Archives for July 2005

Wilderness – S/T

WildernessS/TPost-rock has evolved since the days of Slint. Early post-rock bands shifted the emphasis from vocals to instrumentation, relying more on the communicative powers of guitars and drums than the more literal language of a lead singer. The next step in the evolution, however, saw the role of the lead singer disintegrate. Bands like … [Read more...]

Man in Gray – No Day / No Night EP

Man in GrayNo Day / No Night EPThe promotion for Man in Gray’s debut EP No Day/No Night is pretty much exactly what I’ve come to expect of labels idly hyping passable indie-rock acts: the band’s genesis came from a desire for a musical outlet other than “playing along to their Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth albums;” its sound is marketed as a … [Read more...]

Slow Dazzle – The View From the Floor

Slow DazzleThe View From the FloorInspired by “The Prosecution Rests,” the dreamy fourth track on Slow Dazzle’s debut album, The View From the Floor, consider my opening statement, as one of this publication’s new music prosecutors: I rarely enjoy alt-country, but I like The View From the Floor so much that I’ve listened to the album on repeat … [Read more...]

Blitzen Trapper – Field Rexx

Blitzen TrapperField RexxI don’t know about you, but it doesn’t take a lot to make me smile. Certain things just always do it. Snow, cats in baby clothes, goofy inside jokes involving sprinkles – we all have a litany of things that persistently make us happy. And now I can add Blitzen Trapper’s “Asleep for Days” to that list. It’s sunny and … [Read more...]

The Mae Shi – Heartbeeps EP

The Mae ShiHeartbeeps EPGod bless the good folks at 5 Rue Christine and their stalwart appreciation for the seemingly inappreciable. I’m willing to place good money that no other label can come close to replicating the polarizing effect of 5RC’s fine stable; mention a band like Deerhoof, Need New Body, or Xiu Xiu (especially Xiu Xiu) to the right … [Read more...]

Wilderness – self-titled

Wildernessself-titledThe word wilderness can conjure images of dark territory and violence in nature. Imagine if you will a vast black space with no light, eyes appearing out of the void, hot breath on the back of your neck, and the smell of blood. The cover art to Wilderness' self-titled debut record is the polar opposite of every thought that … [Read more...]

The Lucksmiths – Warmer Corners

The LucksmithsWarmer CornersMy personal philosophy provides infinite room for well-written, clever indie pop. From AC Newman to The Shins, a cheerful guitar-pop song with a good turn of phrase never gets old. Enter native Australians The Lucksmiths, a band that takes all the right turns and strums all the right chords. Eight albums into their … [Read more...]

The Wingdale Community Singers – S/T

The Wingdale Community SingersS/TThough one may snicker at the suggestion that the central cultural reference point for the Wingdale Community Singers — the mostly acoustic trio of Rick Moody, David Grubbs, and Hannah Marcus — are saccharine folkies Peter, Paul, and Mary, it may be more appropriate to instead look 80 miles north of New York City. … [Read more...]

The Brunettes – Mars Loves Venus

The BrunettesMars Loves VenusMars Loves Venus is definitely a summer record. There are the sunny, power-pop melodies, doo-wopy harmonies, and of course the prerequisite sticky-sweet boy/girl vocals. And for the most part it works pretty well. Heather Mansfield and Jonathan Bree coyly sing about a season’s worth of flirtatious altercations, with … [Read more...]

Hats – 5th

Hats5thHATS tends to put its name in all caps which, despite the lack of periods after every letter, leads me to believe there’s an acronym situation going on here. Maybe HATS stands for Hip-hop Aware Two-man Syndicate? Or Harmonic Assortment (of) Trippy Sounds? Or maybe it’s Heady Amazing Thrilling Sexy…? Yeah, maybe not. “5th” is an … [Read more...]