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Album reviews

COTILLON: SELF-TITLED

January 26th, 2015 · No Comments

Debut opus from bummer-pop iconoclast Jordan Corso, now under the most appropriate guidance of producer Chet “JR” White from Girls—who makes sure no sound or idea on this album lingers too long. Here, Cotillon are focused through a host of post-VU experiments on this corrosively intimate excursion into heartbreak.

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STERILE JETS: LIQUOR STORE

January 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

Hailing from Long Beach, Sterile Jets plays an aggressive and in-your-face style of music that celebrates the degeneracy and poetics that life can sometimes bring all at once. Still, Sterile Jets are one of those bands that are slightly hard to define.

ITASCA: UNMOORED BY THE WIND

January 21st, 2015 · No Comments

Unmoored By The Wind is a funny name for this album, since the music here is anything but flying wild and frightened free—instead, the photo on the back is a better tell, with silhouettes of mountains split by sky and empty space. But maybe the title means the state of mind: as she sings on “Nature’s Gift,” “I was staring at these windows for hours … I was just looking for a sign.”

RED AUNTS: COME UP FOR A CLOSER LOOK

January 20th, 2015 · No Comments

This all-female Long Beach punk act formed in 1991 at the outset of the first punk revival and in the middle of the burgeoning riot grrl movement. The Aunts got a bit lost in the brief flurry of hype surrounding the movement so this career survey serves as reintroduction as well as reevaluation. These sick 26 tracks, culled more or less evenly from their four LPs and sporting ageless bad-girl razor romps like “Detroit Valentine,” “Poison Steak,” and “Freakathon” show a band still evolving at the time of their 1997 breakup.

HANNI EL KHATIB: MOONLIGHT

January 19th, 2015 · No Comments

His music has a raw power and grit that evokes the spirit of what rock ‘n’ roll is all about, without sounding dated or cheesy. Working with Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys on the production of his previous album proved to be a great pairing. However, on Moonlight this powerhouse decided to take the reins produced something himself—and while it’s similar to his previous work, it’s also an evolution and an even truer creation.

LACE CURTAINS: A SIGNED PIECE OF PAPER

November 18th, 2014 · No Comments

Coomers (of Harlem, probably one of the more underrated bands on Matador) returns with his second solo-ish album as Lace Curtains, set in a semi-imagined L.A. somewhere between Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard and Warren Zevon’s Gower Avenue and soundtracked by what sounds like Gary Wilson’s Blind Dates and a pack of wolves. (Listen to ‘em howl on “Kali.”)

THEE COMMONS: ROCK IS DEAD: LONG LIVE PAPER AND SCISSORS

November 12th, 2014 · No Comments

Rock is Dead: Long Live Paper and Scissors is a comprehensive anthology containing 20 tracks hand-picked from Thee Commons’ nine EP discography. For the first time in their relatively short (but extremely prolific) tenure as a band, they’ve released a compilation that brings together the best of the best from all of their mini-volumes into one CD, chronicling their growth as musicians and tracking the various influences that have shaped their unique style along the way. Here, they bring together a very diverse array of elements including 60’s-era garage riffs, strong surf-guitar melodies, cumbia rhythms and vocals heavy with retro-Latino flair.

TÜLIPS: “HOTSPUR” B/W “WAIT” CASSINGLE

August 29th, 2014 · No Comments

It spurs fantasies in me of what Belinda Carlisle might have gotten up to if she’d never dropped the moniker “Dottie Danger” and had saved Sid Vicious’ life by getting him to play bass with her in Superchunk.

THE PHENOMENAUTS: ESCAPE VELOCITY

August 4th, 2014 · No Comments

Imagine an after-hours party with Marc Bolan, Devo, and Cheap Trick . . . and then the Groovie Ghoulies show up!

THE EVANGENITALS: MOBY DICK; OR, THE ALBUM

July 20th, 2014 · No Comments

I haven’t heard harmonies ring this good since the Chapin Sisters were on the scene.