Album Review: These New Puritans – Hidden (Domino)

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Amid all the jagged electro rock hullaballoo that filled Beat Pyramid, the first full-length by These New Puritans, you could catch hints that there was a more intrepid and artistic group waiting to emerge (the languid synths on “Doppelganger”, the Human League leaning “En Papier”). Who would have guessed though that it would take the [...]

Album Review: Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here (XL)

Monday, February 8th, 2010

In recent years, we’ve seen a number of wannabe Rick Rubins try to grab a hold of an iconic artist from the past – someone whose career had stagnated commercially and creatively – and helping bring them back into the spotlight with an updated sound and a few well-chosen covers. The latest is XL Recordings [...]

Album Review: Pit er Pat – The Flexible Entertainer (Thrill Jockey)

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Some bands hit the nail on the head with unusual strength when naming themselves. The duo known as Pit er Pat are one such group, capturing the core of their sound – a rhythm heavy rumble that relies heavily on the slithery drumming of Butchy Fuego and Fay Davis-Jeffers’ clamoring keyboard runs – in one [...]

Album Review: Lindstrøm & Christabelle – Real Life Is No Cool (Smalltown Supersound/Feedelity)

Monday, January 18th, 2010

The collaborative effort by producer Hans-Peter Lindstrøm and Christabelle Sandoo is steeped in the sounds of the past. Take a cursory spin through the album and the attuned ear will hear references to the work of Giorgio Moroder, Afrika Bambaata and Michael Jackson wafting off the tracks like steam trails. It seems to me those [...]

Last Man Standing – False Starts & Broken Promises (Imprint)

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

This British nine-piece announces its intentions early on this, their debut album. It starts with “Variation”, a short instrumental that could easily have been the main theme of a Michael Cimino or Brian DePalma film from the ’70s. This is a band with a penchant for the artifice of the silver screen and the theater [...]

Album Review: Via Tania – Moon Sweet Moon (The Hours)

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

For her second full-length, Tania Bowers doesn’t mess with the captivating formula that made her an underground success story. She and her collaborators stick with a lush backdrop of reverberating downtempo beats and electronically-processed atmospherics that comfortably cushion her warm kitten’s tongue of a singing voice. The audible shifts are more for clarity and volume, [...]

Album Review: Medeski Martin & Wood – Radiolarians: The Evolutionary Set (Indirecto)

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

After building up a healthy amount of cred among jazz, indie, funk and jam band aficionados, Medeski Martin & Wood have spent the last decade dabbling in various ways to reshape their already well-formed funk/jazz fusion, as well as stretching their own muscles as players and composers. They’ve pulled in vocalists and turntablists, knocked out [...]

Album Review: Thee American Revolution – Buddha Electrostorm (Garden Gate)

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Robert Schneider has spent the better part of the past decade as the public face of Elephant 6, the loose knit, Athens-based musical collective that spawned such groups as Neutral Milk Hotel, The Olivia Tremor Control and Schneider’s own outfit, The Apples In Stereo. Like those other groups, the Apples cultivated a shambolic psychedelic pop [...]