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Album reviews

BELLA NOVELA: TELEMETRY

February 26th, 2015 · No Comments

The album’s cover shouts out to Thin Lizzy, the first song channels what Gwen Stefani would sound like if she fronted Dragonforce, and everyone from Iron Maiden to the Motels are referenced in the other eight tightly packaged three-minute tracks (“Lenora” is an 80s power ballad transported to Baja). The songs are decidedly new but entirely familiar, making Telemetry—even without a zombie-apocalypse narrative present in 2011’s The Archeress—an easy album to listen to and an even easier album to love.

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SPACESHIPS: SELF-TITLED EP

February 17th, 2015 · No Comments

Four new songs from L.A. guitar/drums duo Spaceships, now dialing down the noise and discovering their own pop songs. Like Wavves or (the early levels-in-the-red) Best Coast, Spaceships are all about the ocean as both state of mind and sense for production, so if they sing about the beach, they’re gonna make it sound like the waves are crashing right into the tape recorder.

TALK IN TONGUES: “STILL DON’T SEEM TO CARE” 7″

February 13th, 2015 · No Comments

This sunny Los Angeles four-piece has apparently caused quite a stir on the interwebs with its debut single, “Still Don’t Seem To Care.” With dreamy, swirling guitars, soaring falsetto vocals, a glittery mid-song breakdown, and a deliberately abrupt conclusion that shuts the song off like a slammed door, it’s no wonder Talk in Tongues have been hyped by Vice (“your new favorite psych-rock band”) and that their agent hopes to one day hear their songs blast from the Coachella main stage speakers at midnight.

CHERRY GLAZERR: HAD TEN DOLLAZ 7″

February 11th, 2015 · No Comments

“Had 10 Dollaz” features catchy lo-fi riffs are tightly blended with lead singer Clementine Creevy’s dreamy, ethereal vocal style and simplistic minimalist lyrics in a way that balances out the raw-garage pop instrumentation and gives it a very refined (and almost sultry) feel.

BROWN SABBATH: “HAND OF DOOM” EP

February 10th, 2015 · No Comments

This is the Sabbath cover side-project of Latin-funk band Brownout, and this is the teaser for their LP—and so this is also a shot to see what a funky Latin Sabbath would sound like. Turns out you can’t really fuck with these songs too much, since we all know them so well and since they were written so tightly in the first place. Or to put it more simply: this is a time to do some sacred duty.

THE LIONS: SOUL RIOT

February 10th, 2015 · No Comments

The Lions have put out yet another musical gem called Soul Riot, which sounds like it came out of Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle Studio in the 1970’s—but not quite. This is Los Angeles goodness live and direct, blending classic reggae elements with soul and R&B to create something immediately timeless.

CORNERS: MAXED OUT ON DISTRACTIONS

February 9th, 2015 · No Comments

Corners are somewhere between blacked-out and black hole across a set of goth-punk-wave songs a la 154 Wire, Joy Division, Xymox, Xmal and early Cure. Corners understand how those songs were put together, which involved a lot of disciplined less-is-more-ism, and so Maxed Out is a spare, stark and complex album.

REALLY RED: TEACHING YOU THE FEAR: THE COMPLETE DISCOGRAPHY

February 7th, 2015 · No Comments

True to the name, Really Red was far too unironically left-wing and liberationist not merely for MTV, but for even the narrowest-gauge Eighties rock stardom. And the band, to their everlasting credit, appeared not to give the first fuck for any of that. That more than any other reason is why part of the secret history of American hardcore—the one as yet unwritten by fanboys and pop-narcs—is right here on these 44 tracks, with some ace liners to prove it.

JUNGLE FIRE: TROPICOSO

February 7th, 2015 · No Comments

Solid grooves intertwine with classic Afrobeat feeling, heavy syncopated drums and percussion that doesn’t miss a beat, and the tight compression on the rhythm side combined with strong horn arrangements makes Tropicoso a force to be reckoned with. If you’re a fan of this style or just dig funky sounds with a pinch of Afro-disco, you should add this to your collection of tasty tunes.

PEG LEG LOVE: UNTIL THE NIGHT TIME

February 6th, 2015 · No Comments

Great sound / heavy vibes from this L.A. trio who soldier forth with what you might call dark (as in “was the night, cold was the ground”) punk that spills forth from the same primordial source as the Gun Club, the Cramps, the Swampland Scientists and the Birthday Party, who get respects paid here with two ferocious covers.