Mirrorring – Foreign Body

When I heard The Sight Below's harrowing cover of Joy Division's "New Dawn Fades" featuring the vocals of Jesy Fortino (Tiny Vipers), I immediately started dreaming of a more substantial collaboration between the two. While a rumored collaboration between the two and Benoît Pioulard has yet to surface (perhaps that material is what ended up as the … [Read more...]

Idaho – You were a dick

I lost track of Idaho after 1995’s This way out LP. Prior to that, their debut Year after year, had been a household favourite, perfectly bridging the gap between Codeine’s Barely real and Sebadoh’s Bubble and scrape. Happily – and rather embarrassingly for me – Jeff Martin has been busily making Idaho records ever since. Its been a real joy to … [Read more...]

Low @ the Paramount Center, Boston, MA 4/29/11

Those who obsessively use their disposable income to purchase records and attend shows know full well that some artists soar highest when onstage while others are better suited to the environs of a recording studio.  Many of us have been to performances expecting the same sonic expansiveness exhibited by groups on their albums, only to discover … [Read more...]

Cass McCombs – WIT’S END

If you've been following Cass McCombs for awhile, you know that his albums have slowly become less loud, less showy, more intimate, and more refined. Though PREfection and Dropping the Writ both were finely executed and enjoyable albums in their own right, his last album Catacombs felt like a triumph in artistry, the sound of a musician stripping … [Read more...]

Low – C’mon

Slowcore.  If your band of choice favors meandering soundscapes, glacial atmospheres, or plodding tempos, odds are good that the s-word has appeared more than once in reviews of their albums.  If said band is Low, then the term seems particularly banal; for all of the hypnotic melodies, quaking textures, and riveting harmonies that husband/wife … [Read more...]

Zoo Animal – s/t

The Minneapolis trio known as Zoo Animal maximize the sound from their minimal instrumentation (guitar, bass, drums) by creating songs that are both earthy and comforting while being raw and edgy. A variety of moods are expressed over the course of the album's 15 tracks, making for a somewhat uneven listen. The band wind their way through … [Read more...]

Mukaizake – Unknown Knowns

Mukaizake might be a hard band name to pronounce but its music doesn't challenge in the same way. That's not to say that it's AM-radio fare. It's decidedly indie rock but it's also paced to let you absorb the sounds without haste. What would happen if you took Red House Painters and gave them Wheaties before recording? Mukaizake's languorous … [Read more...]

CNC – No Mood

There is a foundation here, but No Mood just doesn't work. The foundation is a synth heavy breed of psychedelic pop. The band, a Polish duo called CNC, takes a shoegazer's approach to this music, slowing down the rhythms and mumbling vocals that disappear into the music. Problem is, these guys just don't have the aesthetics down yet. The title … [Read more...]

Felix – You Are the One I Pick

Nottingham duo Felix delivers their first album, You Are the One I Pick, as Kranky’s final release of the fall. Curiously, there’s very little in Kranky’s discography that compares to this. While the label has been diversifying its sound over the last 5 years or so (I’m thinking of Out Hud and Bradford Cox’s Deerhunter and Atlas Sound projects), … [Read more...]

Belmez – Apariciones

Smitten with those downbeat melodies, slow tempos, and minimalist arrangements, Spanish band Belmez give their version of American slowcore on the new album, Apariciones. This LP is full of misfires, but the band’s sound shows a real appreciation for the genre as well as a willingness to step outside of it. When this appreciation comes through, the … [Read more...]