Snake! Snake! Snakes!- s/t EP

I can't ever imagine saying "hey, let's go see Snake! Snake! Snakes! tonight," but a band can name themselves whatever they want. However, I do get the honor of reviewing the debut, self-titled EP of a young, ambitious band. Snakes! takes the art-rock approach, surprisingly underused, using layered, dense arrangements. They mix in violins, organs, … [Read more...]

Venice is Sinking- Sand & Lines

I had the privilege of reviewing last year's EP Okay by Venice is Sinking. Somehow I got them again, this time for a live LP recorded at the now-defunct (but rebuilding) Georgia Theatre. If you're leery about live albums (understandable), just know that there is no crowd, only the band performing. There's no trace of this being live, beyond a … [Read more...]

William Hut – Silent Hum

William is clearly talented, with a terrific voice and an acute ability for writing a pop song. Hut is clearly going to appease a certain taste, I guess you just have to decide if he's your taste or not. I could definitely see him on the Sirius soft-pop station with Ray Lamontagne and Coldplay, but there's baroque elements in his music that adds to … [Read more...]

Venice is Sinking- Okay EP

My God, this is pretty good stuff right here. Venice is Sinking's new disc is everything you want a quality EP to be; seventeen minutes long and terrifically catchy. Venice breaks out the violins and bells in the beautiful "Compass," making a remarkably sweet and warm song. It's the type of pop music that seems ideal, when done correctly; … [Read more...]

Nothern Howl- All That’s Under the Night’s Sky

It's Sufjan Stevens for people who think Sufjan is overlong! I mean, one of the biggest knocks on Sufjan, if someone has a beef against him, is that his songs and albums run too long. Nothern Howl give the baroque-folk genre a nice spark to keep enthusiasts of this type of music something to be invested in for a while. Every song is a winner, but … [Read more...]

Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls – Catching More Than We Miss

Miles Hunt's career spans over 22 years, most notably as the main man in The Wonder Stuff, so naturally on Catching More Than We Miss, the songs sound accomplished and confident. Miles employs Erica Nockalls for their second album, which gives a great complement to Miles' songwriting, with her outstanding violin play. This duo reminds me of the … [Read more...]

fun.- Aim and Ignite

I never cared for The Format. My friend used to play them all the time, and it just wasn't good times for me. They were of the Alternative, semi-emo lot and it just wasn't my style. Then, The Format broke up, Nate Ruess started fun., and I subsequently heard how these guys were really different and exciting. As fate would have it, I get their CD in … [Read more...]

Almost Charlie- The Plural of Yes

Dirk Homuth obviously gushed over the British Invasion when he took up listening to music. The whole 1960's era in general must have really captivated the German as a boy. He sought out to make music, in hopes to revive that era, via the German Invasion! Actually, he would want to consider a different title, but you get the idea. But despite Dirk's … [Read more...]

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

Loaded with flourishing arrangements dripping with a bountiful of opulently layered music, Grizzly Bear is a master at delivering, to be succinct, gorgeous music. The group's arc is an interesting one to follow: there was the bedroom tranquility of Horn of Plenty, which was followed by the ghostly restlessness of Yellow House and then the Brooklyn … [Read more...]