Author Archive

Wampire – Bazaar

November 6th, 2014
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Nine Songs Feels Long

Eric Phipps felt he was becoming a “Kafka-esque insomniac music novelist” while developing Bazaar, too bad that the resulting album never metamorphoses into such absurd fictions. The statement comes off as hyperbolized, but Phipps’ language highlights the type of narrative that Wampire has chosen to weave.  The band only practices what they preach in short spurts on Bazaar, a record that is more realistically characterized as slick and straightforward. The truth, that their psychedelia is mostly folkloric, might not be as grabby but there’s still plenty to enjoy here. So their strut doesn’t talk their talk and Bazaar won’t transform you into one of Kafka’s giant insects, but it sure is a fun record. Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in Reviews

This Will Destroy You – Another Language

October 2nd, 2014
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This Might Actually Destroy You

Say what you will about This Will Destroy You, but their name has never worked better. Back when the five-piece was just getting started in Texas, it might have been considered as a cutsie or audacious choice.  Now, it’s a fairly appropriate warning for what happens when the tides swell. Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in Reviews

Cold Specks – Neuroplasticity

August 30th, 2014
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Grace Under Pressure

Cold Specks titled their album after a scientific term for the mind’s capacity to form new connections. Neuroplasticity allows us to learn. While this might sound too uplifting for an album marked by tension and conflict, it may be a good fit. After all, this knowledge of neurons is being utilized by the scientific community to treat disorders of the mind. Read more…

By Carey Uhl Posted in Reviews

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