Album reviews

Album reviews

THE SHRINE: RARE BREED

January 15th, 2016

You need this album even more than you need a stint in rehab.

Album reviews

VARIOUS ARTISTS: LIFE IS …

December 22nd, 2015

Echo Park’s Mono Records was an early supporter of the Echo Park bands who don’t fit so easily into that kind of garage/psych/fuzz-and-fun punk-as-pop sound; instead, Mono’s select releases tend to celebrate the esoteric, and here’s the definitive statement so far: a compilation of L.A. bands heavily inspired by U.K. sounds during that bottomlessly special post-punk moment where the spirit of ‘anything goes’ met the ability to make everything sound good. Shoegaze, C86, labels like Glass and Fire and Rough Trade—this is what Life Is … or at least where it starts.

Album reviews

DEANTONI PARKS: TECHNOSELF

December 14th, 2015

Technoself, Parks' debut under his own name, shows off a percussionist’s approach to composition. His biggest strengths are his attention to the timbre of the instruments and voices he samples and how he pairs them with his aggressive rhythms, which he plays himself on the drums. Combined with a generally minimalist approach, the result is an album that—while consisting largely of samples and electronic sounds—never feels synthetic.

Album reviews

CASSIE RAMONE: CHRISTMAS IN RENO

December 11th, 2015

Christmas In Reno is just the slightest bit off, much like the holidays themselves: all waxy cheer, forced merriment, and comforting commercialization on the surface, with a darker, melancholy and disillusioned layer brooding underneath. It’s the perfect album for anyone wanting some familiar Christmas music that doesn’t have Coca-Cola Santas and tinsel shooting out its ass.

Album reviews

W-X: SELF-TITLED

November 28th, 2015

Here, Presley invites us behind the curtain, and the reveal is delightful, if a bit disorienting. Across 20 tracks, Presley dabbles in rubbery, tight-lipped funk (“Running from the Dogs”), cut-and-paste sound collage (“Copping in the Afternoon,” “Restless Leg”), noisy reverb-rock (“Clean It Glen”), burbling hip-hop beats (“The Lurk”) and swirling synth-psych exercises (“Dancing Lips,” “Brazilian Worm Band”). Occasionally—“Steer Clear,” for example—Presley lifts his veil and shows off the fuzzy pop chops that has made him one of this city’s vital artists over the past decade. But those are palate cleansers in this set.

Album reviews

BILLY CHANGER: SELF-TITLED

November 23rd, 2015

Billy Changer has the name of the everyman in a Philip K. Dick story, and like the everyman in a Philip K. Dick story, there may be something special about him—something powerful even—that he neither knows about nor fully controls.