Guided By Voices – The Bears For Lunch

With the delivery of two new albums and a slew of tie-in singles so far this year, the reunification of the classic Guided By Voices line-up has already proved itself as far more than just a cash-grab from sentimental indie-rock fans of a certain vintage.  Thus, with reunion record number three the modest objective is just to keep up the momentum … [Read more...]

Ty Segall Band – Slaughterhouse

In a year where Ty Segall has already devoted one prior release with White Fence and promises a solo effort in the fall, he opted to record an album of impressive noisy rock with his touring band. And instead of trying to make it seem as if Segall is channeling the Stooges, a la Funhouse, the house that Segall has created is yet another one down a … [Read more...]

Guided By Voices – Class Clown Spots A UFO

Having quickly rediscovered Robert Pollard’s artistic mojo and democratic credentials through the likeable and inventive Let’s Go Eat The Factory LP earlier this year, the reformed early-‘90s line-up of Guided By Voices returns rapidly to keep the creative camaraderie momentum rolling.  And roll Class Clown Spots A UFO certainly does.  Whereas its … [Read more...]

The Mallard – Yes on Blood

On “I Listen to the Lyrics Last,” a song buried deep in the heart of The Mallard’s debut Yes on Blood, the shaky, rundown feel of the jaded guitar paired with grungy production depicts a stuttering ode to garage rock. Taking the bold grains of a jangly guitar and 70s inspired vocals that recall the late Janis Joplin, The Mallard take much of rock’s … [Read more...]

Best Coast – The Only Place

Bethany Cosentino’s love affair with California is not exactly clandestine.  From the name of her band to the inclusion of the state’s likeliness on two consecutive album covers, the BestCoast frontwoman’s obsessions with all things Golden State is so profuse that it practically rivals the Beach Boys.  In fact, it’s pretty much a given that if you … [Read more...]

Howler – America Give Up

Unfortunately for Howler, the Strokes’ last album wasn’t a stinker; otherwise this spirited bunch of young Minnesotans would probably take their place as the rightful heirs to the throne of fuzzy, floppy-haired, lo-fi strum ’n’ roll. While Casablancas and Co. can still bear each other’s company long enough to show the young pretenders how it’s … [Read more...]

Duke Garwood / Wooden Wand – split LP

Whilst split-singles have been an on/off quick-fix staple for independent labels over the years - to showcase artists in tandem or to celebrate musical kinship - split-albums are a less frequent proposition.  This is perhaps due to the dominance of CDs across the last two decades, given that a vinyl LP side apiece lends itself better to a … [Read more...]

Guided By Voices – Let’s Go Eat The Factory

Even though 2004’s dissolution of Guided By Voices had the marks of finality to it - especially with commander-in-chief Robert Pollard’s subsequent ceaseless productivity as a solo artist and a multiple side-project dabbler suggesting that he no longer needed the GBV funnel to channel his relentlessly flooding songwriting – there was still some … [Read more...]

Ladies Auxiliary – On the Shadow

Ah, the curse of the sophomore album.  Performers, critics, and fans alike are all keenly aware of the pressure that often plagues musicians with the follow-up to an inspired debut.  Apply too much creative zeal in your chrysalis, and you’re likely to be flogged by listeners for circumvention - those who fell for MGMT’s surging synthpop on Oracular … [Read more...]

Memoryhouse – The Years EP

When Memoryhouse’s first incarnation of The Years dropped in February of 2010, it was the recipient of overall critical approval. Referential qualities to dream pop progenitors like the Cocteau Twins? Check. Just enough scrappy electronic drum loops to bestow it with lo-fi cred? Sure. Wistful and sprawling in all the ways that made chillwave such a … [Read more...]