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new kexp album reviews

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New Album Reviews:

Holy Esque: At Hope's Ravine
Buy! - (Beyond The Frequency)
This Scottish band's debut full-length is an impressive set of anthemic post-punk combining loud, shoegazerish guitars, soaring keyboards and muscular rhythms with Pat Hynes' husky, howling vocals. 2/12/2016 - Don Yates

The I Don't Cares: Wild Stab
Buy! - (Dry Wood)
The debut album from this project pairing The Replacements' Paul Westerberg with Juliana Hatfield is a strong set ranging from buzzing garage-punk and anthemic Replacements rock to jangly power-pop and plaintive folk-pop, combining a loose, casual sound with buoyant harmonies and sparkling melodies. 2/12/2016 - Don Yates

Milk Teeth: Vile Child
Buy! - (Hopeless)
This British band's debut full-length is an excellent set of '90s-steeped grunge-pop with a raw, dynamic sound featuring fuzzy guitars, muscular rhythms, alternating male/female vocals and angst-fueled lyrics on a diverse set of smartly crafted songs ranging from catchy pop-rock to spartan ballads to feral punk. 2/12/2016 - Don Yates

Sunflower Bean: Human Ceremony
Buy! - (Fat Possum)
This Brooklyn trio's debut album is a diverse, impressively crafted blend of jangly psych-pop, crunchy garage-rock, motorik prog, dreamy post-punk, fiery stoner-rock and more, highlighted by sharp songwriting and an abundance of potent song hooks. 2/12/2016 - Don Yates

So Pitted: neo
Buy! - (Sub Pop)
This Seattle trio's debut full-length is a powerful set of scuzzy noise-punk with angular, abrasive guitars, pummeling rhythms and dread-filled lyrics. 2/12/2016 - Don Yates

Pinegrove: Cardinal
Buy! - (Run For Cover)
This Montclair, NJ band's debut full-length is a strong set of anthemic, folk-tinged indie-rock combining guitars and occasional rootsy instrumentation and shifting rhythms with Evan Stephens Hall's sardonic vocals and knotty, emotive lyrics. 2/12/2016 - Don Yates

Flowers: Everybody's Dying To Meet You
Buy! - (Kanine/Fortuna POP)
This London trio's second album is an impressive set of fuzzy, '90s-steeped pop-rock with distorted guitars, metronomic rhythms, celestial vocals and sugary pop hooks. 2/12/2016 - Don Yates

Suede: Night Thoughts
Buy! - (Suede Ltd.)
The veteran British band's seventh album (and second since reuniting in 2010) is a strong set of dramatic, glam-inflected rock with a dark, majestic sound featuring glittering guitars, cinematic strings, impassioned vocals, soaring choruses and often-poignant lyrics revolving around aging, relationships and mortality. 2/12/2016 - Don Yates

Other Suede album reviews:

Bloodsports - 3/29/2013

Massive Attack: Ritual Spirit EP
Buy! - (Virgin)
The latest release from this veteran British crew is a strong 4-song set of haunting electronic grooves combining a dark, brooding sound with a stellar lineup of guest vocalists including Tricky, Young Fathers, Roots Manuva and Azekel. 2/12/2016 - Don Yates

Other Massive Attack album reviews:

100th Window - 2/15/2003
Mezzanine - 5/15/1998

Draemhouse: Only Friends EP
Buy! - (Blind Blind Tiger)
The second EP from this Seattle band led by Rose Windows founder/songwriter Chris Cheveyo (and also featuring former Rose Windows drummer Pat Schowe) is a promising 4-song set of atmospheric, psych-tinged dream-pop. 2/12/2016 - Don Yates

Wild Nothing: Life of Pause
Buy! - (Captured Tracks)
The third album from this Brooklyn-via-Virginia project spearheaded by Jack Tatum finds him continuing to evolve by giving a wider range and more studio sophistication to his shimmering dream-pop. Along with glistening guitars and synths, the album features sax, strings, marimbas and more on beautifully arranged songs ranging from propulsive '80s dream-pop and swooning, atmospheric songs to tropical-inflected minimalist pop and moody, soul-steeped ballads. 2/5/2016 - Don Yates

Other Wild Nothing album reviews:

Nocturne - 8/24/2012
Golden Haze - 12/7/2010

Deep Sea Diver: Secrets
Buy! - (High Beam)
The second album from this Seattle band led by Jessica Dobson is another sharply crafted set of adventurous pop-rock ranging from moody rockers spiked with Dobson's intricate guitar work to atmospheric, piano-based ballads. 2/5/2016 - Don Yates

Other Deep Sea Diver album reviews:

History Speaks - 2/3/2012

Versing: Nude Descending EP
Buy! - (Youth Riot)
This Seattle band's debut EP is a promising 7-song set of moody, '90s-influenced guitar-pop with fuzzy, intricately textured guitars and an abundance of memorable song hooks. 2/5/2016 - Don Yates

Field Music: Commontime
Buy! - (Memphis Industries)
The sixth Field Music album from British brothers Peter and David Brewis is a more immediate and emotionally direct take on the band's quirky, jazz and funk-tinged prog-pop. 2/5/2016 - Don Yates

Radiation City: Synesthetica
Buy! - (Polyvinyl)
This Portland band's third album features a more synth-driven sound for their eclectic dream-pop, combining bright synths and glittering guitars with funk-inflected rhythms, ethereal vocals and sparkling pop hooks. 2/5/2016 - Don Yates

The Castillians: You & Me
Buy! - (PNKSLM)
This British trio's second album is a strong set of '60s-steeped garage-pop inflected with R&B, featuring a raw, lo-fi sound combining buzzing guitars, energetic rhythms and catchy song hooks. 2/5/2016 - Don Yates

Junior Boys: Big Black Coat
Buy! - (City Slang)
The fifth album (and first in five years) from this Hamilton, Ontario duo is a more forceful, rhythm-driven take on their spacious electro-pop, masterfully blending house, techno and disco grooves with R&B, funk, motorik prog and more on moody, aching songs combining bubbly synths and propulsive rhythms with hushed vocals and passion-fueled lyrics. 2/5/2016 - Don Yates

Other Junior Boys album reviews:

It's All True - 6/2/2011
Begone Dull Care - 3/30/2009
So This Is Goodbye - 9/5/2006
Last Exit - 9/23/2004

DIIV: Is The Is Are
Buy! - (Captured Tracks)
The second album from this Brooklyn band led by Zachary Cole Smith is an impressive set of shimmering, surf-tinged post-punk. Recorded and produced by Smith himself, this lengthy album features 17 songs that rarely flag with a dreamy blend of jangly guitars, driving rhythms, murky vocals and wistful melodies. 1/29/2016 - Don Yates

Other DIIV album reviews:

Oshin - 7/6/2012

Porches: Pool
Buy! - (Domino)
The second full-length from this New York band led by Aaron Maine is an excellent set of brooding, '80s-tinged electro-pop combining dark electronic soundscapes with Maine's plaintive vocals, wistful lyrics and melancholy melodies. 1/29/2016 - Don Yates

Marlon Williams: Marlon Williams
Buy! - (Dead Oceans)
This New Zealand artist's debut solo album is a beautifully crafted set of expansive folk-pop ranging from jangly garage-pop and hard-charging western to sumptuous orchestral pop, creepy cabaret and some sublime finger-picked ballads. The album features a rich, diverse sound blending a variety of acoustic and electric instrumentation with Williams' powerful, elastic vocals. (Released last year in New Zealand, it's now being released in the US.) 1/29/2016 - Don Yates