6 feb 2012
- The Big Sleep – Nature Experiments
These atmospheric indie rockers really up their game with Nature Experiments. There wasn’t anything wrong with them before, but this album just feels pulled into sharper focus: clearer production, stronger writing, better across the board.
- Gotye – Making Mirrors
Dude does sound unavoidably like Sting now and then, but more usefully his voice reminds me of Peter Gabriel, and, like Peter Gabriel, his music is much more polished and accessible than what I usually go for — but put together with a lot of craft and intelligence (not to mention a solid awareness of what constitutes a good hook). Throughout the album I keep thinking, “huh, I’m enjoying this. But this isn’t the kinda stuff I like. But, huh, I’m enjoying this,” ad infinitum.
- Loincloth – Iron Balls of Steel
Yes, it does hurt me to type a band name/album title combo that goofy. But Loincloth are metal minus my three least favorite things about most metal bands: vocals, lyrics, and guitar solos. Iron Balls of Steel is awesome. My first thought was that this reminded me of The Fucking Champs, but when I compared them, Loincloth is darker, growler, twistier, and much heavier. Maybe more like TFC crossed with Blind Idiot God (minus B.I.G.’s dub experiments). “The Poundry” has one of the coolest frickin’ fadeouts I have ever heard.
- Pop. 1280 – The Horror
Seems like I should love this, it mixes in roughly equal measure the skronky repetitiveness of Suicide, Captured Tracks-style scratchy/murky mixes, and a downbeat outlook and elements of melodic sensibility that remind me of heavy goths Fields of the Nephilim, only with future shock replacing Lovecraftian horror.
But initially it leaves me a little cold. Maybe needs more time for hooks to sink in; maybe it’s just a little too self-consciously assembled for me.
- John K. Samson – Provincial
Strong solo effort from Weakerthans guy. Sonically varied, some very catchy tunes. I would expect this to find favor with fans of folks like The Mountain Goats, John Vanderslice, Franklin Bruno, and David Bazan.
- Freeze the Atlantic – “Colour by Numbers” (EP)
Freeze the Atlantic sound distinctly influenced by grunge, and thoroughly convinced of their impending stardom. I kinda see ‘em as a British version of early Everclear.
- Gunning for Tamar – “Deaf Cow Motel” (EP)
GfT explores a couple different stripes of indie rock on this EP: sometimes sorta heavy, sometimes mathy. The blend reminds me of early Minus the Bear; the concluding bleepy-bloopy remix evokes Depeche Mode gone experimental/mimimalist. Intriguing; look forward to hearing more.
- Katie Malco – “… and the Slow Parade” (EP)
Unfailingly pretty indie folk that sometimes veers toward folk-rock. Malco’s voice reminds me a lot of Nat Johnson late of Monkey Swallows the Universe: not husky, but also not the least bit thin. “Get in the Car” is especially nice.
- Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation
Pleasant, but didn’t really command my attention. Could be a grower. Could just be not my thang.