Cormorant – Earth Diver

Cormorant - Earth Diver

The true black metal aesthetic seems to have been pushed to its outer limits, so when bands utilize black metal as a base and sculpt around it with other styles it can be a worthwhile endeavor.  Cormorant from San Rafael, California manage to do just that on their new self-released album Earth Diver.  This marks their third full-length release and … [Read more...]

Mick Harvey – Intoxicated Man / Pink Elephants (deluxe reissue)

Mick Harvey - Intoxicated Man / Pink Elephants

Thanks to improved international distribution of his work, Sylvie Simmons’ 2001 informative biography, 2006’s Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited tribute LP, Joann Sfar’s eccentric 2010 biopic and copious referencing from contemporary artists, Serge Gainsbourg is no longer such a misunderstood figure outside of his native France or recognised only for … [Read more...]

Owls – Two

Owls 2

It’s difficult to write good music that ventures outside the boundaries of traditional popular music.  Popular music, on the other hand, is relatively easy to write. Since popular music deals in chord sets and forms that exert a proven visceral pull on the listener, it has a built-in direction and clarity.  This is part of what makes it popular … [Read more...]

Oliver Cherer – Sir Ollife Leigh & Other Ghosts

Oliver Cherer - Sir Ollife Leigh And Other Ghosts

During his esoteric journey under the Dollboy alias over the last decade or so, Oliver Cherer has certainly covered a lot of artistic ground through exploring skewed folktronica (2009’s Beard Of Bees), ambient conceptualism (2010’s acclaimed Ghost Stations and this year's Tuning Loops), lopsided folk-pop (2012’s Further Excursions Into The Ulu With … [Read more...]

Deleted Scenes – Lithium Burns

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I had to look up Wikipedia to find out anything much about Deleted Scenes, such as that this is their third album or that more than one of them were once members of another band called Fell Off The Face Of The Earth, which is the kind of band name that might suggest its inspirations derive from 1950s Sci Fi movies, or similar. Quite why I should … [Read more...]

Owen Tromans – Golden Margins

Owen Tromans - Golden Margins

Although this is his first full-length album since 2009, Owen Tromans has been far from idle.  In the interim years he’s shared a 7" with Wooden Wand, compiled a solo years anthology (Eternal Western Youth Dream), forged a side-project as part of the psyche-folk shaped Candles (whose debut LP follows soon on Critical Heights), slipped-out … [Read more...]

Parquet Courts – “Sunbathing Animal”

Parquet Courts - "Sunbathing Animal"

For many, the late 1980’s were a renaissance for punk in America, and SST stood as not just a record label, but a stamp of approval. Greg Ginn used the label to foster the growth of some of punk rock’s forefathers – Black Flag, Husker Du, Meat Puppets, even Sonic Youth got their start on the raucous label. Unlike many other genres that saw their … [Read more...]

Mac DeMarco – Salad Days

Mac DeMarco - Salad Days

Prior to the advent of indie, the creation of odd music had a place and a purpose.  Odd music was made by outsiders - people whose characteristics made them different, and as a result, outcasts from society in one sense or another.  Music was an artistic vehicle for revelation, rendering and expressing those characteristics in a way that manifested … [Read more...]

Calling All Astronauts – “It Could Have Been Lust”

Calling All Astronauts - "It Could Have Been Lust"

“It Could Have Been Lust,” the sixth and final single for Calling All Astronauts' 2013 debut Post-Modern Conspiracy is a fitting end to the life cycle of the band’s introductory LP. In comparison to most of the songs from that album, which abruptly begin and end with a similar fit of guitar riffs, drums and keyboards, “It Could Have Been Lust” … [Read more...]

Endangered – Fierce Panda 2004 – 2014

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Really, it's a myth about Pandas. They aren't in any way endangered as a species, as every zoo in China keeps breeding them, often sending the resultant offspring to live in other zoos around the world. Having said that, two decades ago things may have seemed a little less rosy, for pandas and everyone else, and perhaps a grimy cloud of impending … [Read more...]