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Freeman – Freeman

July 29th, 2014
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Like a Phoenix

It wasn’t so long ago that Gene Ween was wondering whether he’d ever write again. He’d dissolved Ween by executive decision, learning the hard way that he was living an unsustainable lifestyle and that his creative partnership that had lost its spark. After what can only be described as a very public meltdown, he went to rehab and embarked upon sobriety in a state of uncertainty. Luckily for us, the celestial muse struck once again and in just three or four weeks, Aaron Freeman arose from the ashes of his Gene Ween persona with a magnificent album. Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews ,

The Fresh & Onlys – House of Spirits

June 12th, 2014
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All Vanilla, No Spice

The Fresh & Onlys are nothing if not hard working. House of Spirits is the San Franciscan band’s fifth LP since they started in 2008, and by now, they’ve largely abandoned their garage-rock origins in favor of a high fidelity, psych-indie sound. They are more meticulous here than in their past endeavors, but House of Spirits sounds wrongly restrained and fans who once relished in The Fresh and Onlys’ weirdness might feel betrayed. Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in Reviews

Papercuts – Life Among the Savages

May 10th, 2014
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Remember to Return

It’s been three years since Jason Quever has released an album with Papercuts, but the songwriter made good use of all this passed time. Life Among the Savages shows that Papercuts is still very much the same, but their baroque dream pop is more refined than ever. The album was largely recorded in Quever’s studio in San Francisco and it’s marked by rich production and sleepy sounds. The guy’s got a knack for writing a catchy tune and his music leans toward a jovial sound, but don’t be fooled by the feel-goodery. The man’s got some serious blues in this brave new world. Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in Reviews

Bobby Bare, Jr. – Undefeated

April 28th, 2014
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But Is He Victorious?

Bobby Bare Jr. might have been scathed by a failed relationship, but he’s returned Undefeated. This is his fourth offering with his backing band, the Young Criminals Starvation League, which has shape-shifted over the years but has featured talents from the likes of …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead, My Morning Jacket and Lambchop. In fact, the album was recorded by Lambchop’s frontman Mark Nevers and Vance Powell, who’s worked with everyone from Jack White to Buddy Guy. Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in Reviews

Perfect Pussy – Say Yes to Love

March 22nd, 2014
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23 Minutes is a Long Ride

This is our first real taste of Perfect Pussy. The five piece riled the hype machine with their very washed out cassette demo, I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling, but four songs can only say so much about a band. Say Yes To Love is still short—eight tracks—but they punch you right in the face. They’re slightly removed from their past hardcore tendencies this time around, but their sound is tight and confident. This Perfect Pussy you’ve been hearing about is worth your time. Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in Reviews

Natural Child – Dancin’ With Wolves

March 1st, 2014
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Not Free From Form

Natural Child lie in a sweet place between folk, rock, country and soul and Dancin’ With Wolves feels like a timeless record. It could have been written four, five decades ago. Problem is, maybe that’s when it should have written. It’s 2014 and we live in the future, so what good’s the past? Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in Reviews

Bear Hands – Distraction

February 19th, 2014
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Not on the Frontier

Back at SXSW 2010 when Bear Hands was hot on the heels of Burning Bush Supper Club, drummer TJ Orscher said, “We fight like brothers and love like mothers. The rest is magic.” That’s to say, it didn’t take long for Bear Hands to find their footing and dynamics. Once they were done promoting their debut, this Brooklyn treasure retreated back into their New York homes and slipped into Distraction. Literally. But hey, maybe a little distraction is okay, because a pretty good record came out of it.
Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in Reviews

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything

January 26th, 2014
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“Look On My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!”

It begins with sweet Ezra’s voice: “We live on the island called Montreal, and we make a lot of noise… because we love each other!” and then very abruptly, there’s noise and light on everything. It’s terrifying and empowering, it’s beautiful and ugly–sometimes all at once. But I heard that they’re really a bunch of anarchists from this place called Kanada. They keep changing their name so you never know what they are called and they keep making an awful lot of noise. You best lift your skinny fists. Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in Reviews , ,

Stacey – Stacey EP

December 8th, 2013
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Easy to Do, Hard to Own

Stacey shows that there’s something to be said about simplicity. The relatively unknown and enigmatic songstress hailing from Toronto relies on a basic set of tools on her debut, one that is equal parts delicate and transparent. There’s a feeling that anybody could have written the songs on Stacey, but only a rare and commanding talent could make it compelling. Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in Reviews

Wooden Shjips – Back to Land

November 13th, 2013
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The Drones Ring True

When guitarist and vocalist Eric “Ripley” Johnson created his motorik, psychedelic darling about a decade ago, he formed it around a simple but intriguing philosophy. With a fascination with repetition akin to that of the late Lou Reed, his aim was to create mantras that paid homage to the music from the ‘60s and ‘70s that inspired him. Understanding simplicity was more valued than necessarily playing well and Johnson went so far as to seek musicians lacking technical proficiency to reach this desired mark. But now that Wooden Shjips is Back to Land with their fourth proper LP, it’s hard to tell that these musicians could have once been considered sub-par. And if one thing the album proves certain, it’s that the drones still ring true. Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in Reviews