Album reviews

Album reviews

SAN CHA: CAPRICHO DEL DIABLO EP

July 20th, 2018

The album sits nicely alongside Rosalia’s Los Ángeles, a pyrotechnics-packed album of guitar-driven dark flamenco ballads. San Cha takes a more fiery folk approach, centering her songs on recognizable melodies passionately delivered. The results are irresistible—a testament to her heart’s ability to outrun the demons in her head.

Album reviews

SMOKESCREENS: USED TO YESTERDAY

July 11th, 2018

Used to Yesterday is darker than most pop-informed records, offering a nuanced take on the form that celebrates its cracks and inner connections, and suggesting directions the genre could potentially visit. They’re like the West Coast cousins of Galaxie 500 or even Luna, and yeah, I know, Dean Wareham, but this could be Smokescreens' Penthouse.

Album reviews

HERE LIES MAN: YOU WILL KNOW NOTHING

July 5th, 2018

I’m writing in the middle of a heat wave while trapped in the hottest room in the house without AC, and Here Lies Man has become more than metaphor. It’s the essential state of suffering—the very reality of being!—and You Will Know Nothing becomes the soundtrack to said suffering, comprehensively embodying the sweltering undulating rhythm of pure heat.

Album reviews

THE BLANK TAPES: CANDY

July 3rd, 2018

What I want now more often than anything is an expert songwriter’s understanding of hooks and melody that can get to the center of my brain and make me feel like life could be OK, if only for the short time I’m listening. Not everything has to be Brechtian alienation. Some things just make you feel better, and that’s what the Blank Tapes do best.

Album reviews

PEACH KELLI POP: GENTLE LEADER

June 2nd, 2018

“Hello Kitty Knife” is the first track of Peach Kelli Pop’s new Gentle Leader and the most accurate description of the sound the band has sharpened the last few years. It’s cute but fierce and delightful yet dangerous, and it’s some of Peach Kelli Pop’s most propulsive pop punk yet.

Album reviews

CLOWN SOUNDS: PREACHER MAKER

May 22nd, 2018

It’s more a natural continuation of the sounds the Underground Railroad To Candyland was exploring, rather than the more aggressive Toys That Kill material. More than anything, Preacher Maker sounds fresh, passionate, and exciting. The songs—even when they’re dealing with darker themes±are vibrant and captivating, and add even more to Todd’s already impressive body of songwriting.