Reviews

Primitive Hearts, ‘High & Tight’

October 31, 2013

Primitive Hearts, ‘High & Tight’ FDH Records/Resurrection Records/P. Trash Records, 4/9/2013 It probably won’t make any national headlines, but if you’ve been paying attention there’s been something of a revival of trashy, hook-filled, oldies-inspired, garage-y, poppy punk rock lately (not to be confused with pop punk, because... 

CAVE, ‘Threace’

October 30, 2013

CAVE, ‘Threace’ Drag City, 10/15/2013 Chicago’s CAVE are masters of a simple yet effective formula: introduce a riff, be it on the guitar, keyboard, or bass, add in the respective sounds from each band member, and build on said riff until a tightly wound, borderline chaotic release. Previous tracks that have employed... 

Lustmord, ‘The Word as Power’

October 23, 2013

Lustmord, ‘The Word as Power’ Blackest Ever Black, 7/8/2013 As Lustmord, Brian Williams has had a long and legendary career bringing us the deepest, darkest sounds we could scarcely imagine, famously using field recordings from caves to craft sonic atmospheres with primordial, richly-textured resonances. Here he turns his eye to... 

Cass McCombs, ‘Big Wheel and Others’

October 22, 2013

Cass McCombs, ‘Big Wheel and Others’ Domino, 10/15/2013 For an artist whose existence is notably steeped in mystery, Cass McCombs has had a relatively standard career arc. After releasing several EPs and albums of developmental singer-songwriter-based indie rock throughout the early 2000s, McCombs’ songwriting simply became too good... 

Volcano Choir, ‘Repave’

October 17, 2013

Volcano Choir, ‘Repave’ Jagjaguwar, 9/3/2013 Imagine (don’t get carried away now) that you are a musician of humble origins and good intentions who has gradually over the past two years achieved commercial success whilst maintaining artistic integrity and a persona that many find welcoming, honest, friendly. It sounds... 

Ricart/Millevoi Quartet, ‘Haitian Rail’

October 8, 2013

Ricart/Millevoi Quartet, ‘Haitian Rail’ Gaffer Records/New Atlantis Records, 8/13/2013 There is a menacing quality to free jazz that suggests creative acts are not fully borne through clear, intuitive sequences, but also through violent flares and truncations. Bassist Edward Ricart and guitarist Nick Millevoi lead their quartet through rattling... 

Tag Cloud, ‘Winter Hours’

October 7, 2013

Tag Cloud, ‘Winter Hours’ Zeromoon, 8/5/2013 Tag Cloud is the electronic drone project of Washington, DC’s Chris Videll. On this stunning new offering, he presents a stark, lonely narrative reflecting “the long, strange winter of 2012-2013.” The day after he handed this CD to me (there’s something so profoundly inimitable... 

V/A, ‘Afrobeat Airways Vol. 2: Return Flight to Ghana, 1974-1983’

October 7, 2013

V/A, ‘Afrobeat Airways Vol. 2: Return Flight to Ghana, 1974-1983’ Analog Africa, 9/17/2013 Analog Africa is one of many imprints conducting crucial music archaeology in the vast continent of Africa, motherland of our species and of the syncopated rhythms buried deep within our genes. Their Afrobeat Airways series delves into the funky microcosm that is Ghana, and... 

Yek Koo, ‘Love Song for The Dead C’

October 4, 2013

Yek Koo, ‘Love Song for The Dead C’ Emerald Cocoon, 4/16/2012 Earlier this month, The Dead C released Armed Courage, the New Zealand trio’s fourth release on the Brooklyn-based Ba Da Bing imprint (and their umpteenth in a decades-long career that began in 1987). Upon release, the LP was almost universally acclaimed in the online...