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New Album Reviews:

Run The Jewels: Run The Jewels 2
Buy! - (Mass Appeal)
New York rapper/producer El-P and Atlanta rapper Killer Mike follow up their excellent 2013 debut as Run The Jewels with an even stronger album featuring a darker, more dynamic and intricate sound with banging hip hop beats accompanying the duo’s booming deliveries and razor-sharp rhymes. The album’s first half leans hard on adrenaline-pumping battle raps while the second half is loaded with politically charged protest songs. The energy is non-stop, and the duo remains on-point from start to finish. 10/31/2014 - Don Yates

Other Run The Jewels album reviews:

Run The Jewels - 7/3/2013


Les Sins: Michael
Buy! - (Company)
Les Sins is the dance-oriented project of Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick. His debut full-length under that name is a smartly constructed blend of house, techno and hip hop beats with warm synths and repeated vocal hooks. 10/31/2014 - Don Yates


Smokey Brights: Taste For Blood
Buy! - (self-released)
This Seattle band’s debut full-length is a promising set of moody, ‘70s-influenced rock and pop with mostly dark, well-crafted songs combining warm, reverberating guitars, eerie keyboards, driving rhythms and gorgeous harmonies. 10/31/2014 - Don Yates


Ming City Rockers: Ming City Rockers
Buy! - (Mad Monkey)
This young British band’s debut album is an impressive set of lo-fi garage-punk inflected with old-school British punk and ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll, combining primal guitar riffs, energetic rhythms, snarling vocals and catchy song hooks. 10/31/2014 - Don Yates


The Twilight Sad: Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave
Buy! - (FatCat)
This Scottish band’s fourth album brings back the loud, shoegazerish guitars that were mostly absent from their last release (2012’s No One Can Ever Know), while still carrying forward with that album’s icy synths and often-mechanical rhythms on sharply crafted songs blending elements of brooding post-punk and anthemic, shoegazer-tinged rock with mournful vocals, bleak lyrics and haunting folk-tinged melodies. 10/24/2014 - Don Yates

Other Twilight Sad album reviews:

No One Can Ever Know - 2/10/2012
Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters - 3/19/2007


Thurston Moore: The Best Day
Buy! - (Matador)
The former Sonic Youth guitarist is accompanied by a stellar lineup on his latest album, including My Bloody Valentine bassist Deb Googe, Nought guitarist James Sedwards and Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, though the end result is much closer to the sound of his previous band than his last solo release. The Best Day is a confident and sturdy set of tension-filled, atmospheric noise-rock with mesmerizing, occasionally dissonant, guitars using unorthodox tunings, chugging rhythms and detached vocals. 10/24/2014 - Don Yates

Other Thurston Moore album reviews:

Demolished Thoughts - 5/19/2011
Trees Outside the Academy - 8/31/2007


Francisco The Man: Loose Ends
Buy! - (Small Plates/Fat Possum)
This LA band’s debut album is a promising blend of shoegazer psych-rock, wistful dream-pop, motorik prog and anthemic indie-rock, with atmospheric guitars, propulsive rhythms and catchy pop hooks. 10/24/2014 - Don Yates


Atoms and Void: and nothing else
Buy! - (self-released)
Formerly known as Ghost Wars, this LA/Seattle project led by former Juno frontman Arlie Carstens and Eric Fisher (Constant Lovers, Damien Jurado, etc.) delivers their long-awaited debut album. It’s an expansive set of brooding post-rock reminiscent at times of Talk Talk, with a dark, dynamic sound combining a variety of instrumentation with Carstens’ haunting vocals. 10/24/2014 - Don Yates


Tangerine: Behemoth!
Buy! - (self-released)
This Seattle band’s latest EP is a first-rate set of sparkling indie-pop with jangly guitars, bright keyboards, light vocals, often-melancholy lyrics, warm harmonies and wistful melodies. 10/24/2014 - Don Yates


DELS: Petals Have Fallen
Buy! - (Big Dada)
The second album from England’s Kieran Gallear (aka DELS) is a strong set of underground hip hop combining adventurous production with DELS’ intensely personal lyrics. 10/24/2014 - Don Yates


Restorations: LP3
Buy! - (SideOneDummy)
This Philly band’s third album is a strong set of brooding, anthemic indie-rock a la The National and Constantines, with a dynamic sound featuring loud, buzzing guitars and swelling keyboards accompanying Jon Loudon’s hoarse vocals and anxiety-fueled lyrics. 10/24/2014 - Don Yates


Meatbodies: Meatbodies
Buy! - (In The Red)
The debut album from this LA band led by Fuzz bassist (and Mikal Cronin touring guitarist) Chad Ubovich is an excellent set of psych-tinged garage-punk reminiscent of his Fuzz bandmate Ty Segall (who guests on bass and drums here). Ubovich is a killer guitarist, and the songs here are consistently strong, ranging from heavy garage-rock and blistering synth-punk to energetic glam-pop and psychedelic space-outs. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates


Cabana: Normal City
Buy! - (self-released)
This Seattle band’s debut full-length is a promising set of expansive psych-rock with a warm, dynamic sound featuring fuzzy guitars, hypnotic rhythms and dreamy melodies. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates


Marianne Faithfull: Give My Love To London
Buy! - (Easy Sound)
The 20th album from the veteran British artist is her strongest in years. There are a few well-chosen covers and a couple of new songs written for her, but most are new co-writes, combining Faithfull’s often-acerbic lyrics with music written by Nick Cave, Steve Earle, Roger Waters, Anna Calvi and other notables. The album also features an impressive supporting cast of musicians including Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley, Ed Harcourt on keyboards and guest appearances from Brian Eno and Bad Seeds’ Warren Ellis and Jim Sclavunos, and they provide sympathetic accompaniment on emotive songs ranging from stormy rockers to dark, majestic ballads. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates


Kevin Morby: Still Life
Buy! - (Woodsist)
The second album from the former Woods bassist and Babies frontman is a rock-solid set of muscular folk-pop with bittersweet melodies and lyrics of a life in transition. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates


Absolutely Free: Absolutely Free
Buy! - (Lefse)
Rising from the ashes of DD/MM/YYYY, this Toronto trio offers up a promising debut album that adventurously blends dreamy psych-rock with motorik German prog, combining spacy synths, hypnotic rhythms and airy harmonies. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates


The Tripwires: Get Young
Buy! - (FOLC)
This Seattle band’s third album is another first-rate set of smartly crafted power pop with jangly and crunchy guitars, energetic rhythms and bright pop hooks. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates


FF: Lord
Buy! - (Couple Skate)
This Seattle-based trio’s debut album is an impressive, well-executed blend of atmospheric shoegaze, Sonic Youth noise-rock and Nirvana/Wipers grunge, with churning, distorted guitars, energetic rhythms, gloomy vocals and strong song hooks. 10/17/2014 - Don Yates


Various Artists: Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell
Buy! - (Yep Roc)
The latest volume in the Red Hot series of albums to benefit AIDS awareness programs is an impressive 2-CD tribute to influential composer/musician Arthur Russell, whose eclectic works ranged from classical and experimental to disco, folk and rock. An impressive lineup of artists contribute, including Hot Chip, Sufjan Stevens, Robyn, Jose Gonzalez, Phosphorescent, Blood Orange, Cults, Devendra Banhart and many more. 10/10/2014 - Don Yates

Other Various Artists album reviews:

After Dark 2 - 5/24/2013


Kindness: Otherness
Buy! - (Female Energy/Mom+Pop)
The second album from London-based artist Adam Bainbridge (aka Kindness) finds him toning down the disco influences of his promising debut album in favor of an often-gorgeous set of ‘80s R&B-influenced electro-pop, featuring a spacious sound with atmospheric keyboards, occasional warm sax, harp and other instrumentation, gentle funk rhythms and soulful vocals from Bainbridge along with some special guests including Kelela, Robyn and Devonte Hynes (Blood Orange). 10/10/2014 - Don Yates



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