The New Pornographers – Together

Honestly, why have The New Pornographers not made the jump to a major record label at this point? The music industry hierarchy and model of yesteryear may be continuing its downward spiral into irrelevance, but that hasn’t stopped other indie giants like Death Cab for Cutie and The Decemberists from signing contracts with the big leagues in recent … [Read more...]

Fang Island – s/t

It seems like that the music gods have only been asking me to review power-pop. I can't escape it; I never hear electronic or folk music anymore, somebody is forcing power-pop on me! Don't get me wrong, I like power-pop, but I've been left cold recently by the batch of power-pop that I've been hearing. It's loud and/or fast, but it goes nowhere and … [Read more...]

Mass Fiction – Genre

If you're unfamiliar with Mass Fiction, they can be off-putting at first. Genre opens with a twinge of emo and, well, that's never a good start. But as that first song gets rolling, you start to hear something else entirely. Once you're adjusted to the high-strung vocals, a meticulous sing-along party ensues. "Bad Form" steamrolls with power-pop … [Read more...]

Hunter, Run! – EP2

Spending 10 minutes with Hunter, Run! seems reasonable in the digital ADD era. With two LP's in 3 years, Hunter, Run! can get away with a two song EP that captures the band's energy onto one easy to digest release. Jangly guitars and pounding percussion give life to this melodic power-pop band, along with the energetic vocals. "If I Had the … [Read more...]

Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix wasn't exactly circled on my calendar. First, I was lukewarm on their 2006 It's Never Been Like That. That album left a bitter taste in my mouth, primarily due to its unfulfilled potential. The rest of the album couldn't catch up with the stellar 3 song stretch in the middle. And upon the release of their new album, I just … [Read more...]

Outrageous Cherry – Universal Malcontents

Universal Malcontents refreshes late 1960's and early 70's bubblegum and power pop. More traditional and rootsy than other pop rock revitalizers like The New Pornographers or, from earlier days, The Cars, Outrageous Cherry fits the current indie scene well, sporting strong vocal harmonies, abundant pop hooks, and solid rhythm guitars. The band has … [Read more...]

Victorian Halls – s/t EP

On the success of its previous LP, Springsteen, Victorian Halls return with a self-titled EP to stay sharp while the band continues to work on their sound. Sean Lenart anchors this group with his voice that is sure to prick up a few ears. To put it kindly, Sean's voice could be mistaken for a female's. Gender issues aside, his high strung vocals … [Read more...]

The Thermals – Now We Can See

You can read, "Either way, the story continues...from beyond the grave! With catchy choruses!" and suddenly, everything The Thermals has made makes perfect sense. This is how the press release for The Thermals' latest, greatest, new album, Now We Can See reads. It's been well noted and detailed that breakthroughs can change bands and when you are … [Read more...]

Who Shot Hollywood- Springtime in Greenland EP

Massachusetts' Who Shot Hollywood has median age of 14. Okay, at this point I'm already skeptical. Then after a minute of hearing the first song, I'm in disbelief at their age. They sound like a college band! I can't prove it, but I'm fairly sure their press release lied to me. Okay, they're not lying, but it's important to not let their age cloud … [Read more...]

American Werewolf Academy- Triceratops

A fleeting thrill, the album Triceratops is a cheap date with American Werewolf Academy. The band isn't ashamed of that. The problem is that tomorrow morning they probably won't be wanted anymore. The band, a three piece from Denton, Texas, sounds like a garage band playing power pop. At their best, they pitch a spirited raucous. But otherwise … [Read more...]