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TORCHES – Endlessly Repeating EP

July 4th, 2014
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Light’em Up

Sometimes Los Angeles is able to surprise us with an act that’s… well… pretty obvious. You’ll get bands that, for the most part, look and sound like they’ve been jamming out sensitive indie pop tracks over and over again, and it just WORKS. TORCHES is that band. Two dudes, Azad Cheikosman and Erik Fabbro seem like your typical young 20-somethings navigating through the odd and trivial beast that is the LA music scene, but their latest EP, Endlessly Repeating proves they know what they’re doing, they know what they want and there’s no question they’ll get it. Read more…

By Terence Calacsan Posted in Reviews

Tom Vek – Luck

June 22nd, 2014
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A Little More Than Luck

Please don’t be embarrassed when you recognize this musician from an episode of The O.C. Yes, Tom Vek was in the Bait Shop performing for a pre-death Marissa Cooper in Season 3. For those of you too young to remember, The OC was a teen drama based around the lives of 26-year-olds, but that’s besides the point. If you’re not familiar with Vek’s work, then you’re most likely in for a treat. It’s a little experimental, a little weird, but not that hard to digest. His latest release, Luck, is just as unpredictable as his TV days. Read more…

By Terence Calacsan Posted in Reviews

Trans Am – Volume X

June 7th, 2014
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Pump Up the Volume

When you think of post-rock, you picture dew-filled forests, lush landscapes and Icelandic lakes. Sure, Trans Am has been called a post-rock group, but mostly in the “old school” sense like Talk Talk and Tortoise has been. For the past 24 years, the group has had a somewhat steady stream of releases, while heavily gigging with Tool. You know, that band your older sister really likes, but you don’t. Or at least, you pretend you don’t. Trans Am’s latest release, Volume X, is an colorful mess of electro pop, acid house, industrial dance, and robot voices. Yeah, let’s call it that.

By Terence Calacsan Posted in Reviews

BOYTOY – BOYTOY

June 7th, 2014
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My So-Called Life Original Television Soundtrack

It’s fair to say the ’90s have made a big and aggressive comeback, with alt-rock and shoegaze’s finest returning from hibernation and their modern counterparts trying to keep up. Brooklynite guitarists Saara Untracht-Oakner and Glenn Van Dyke wanted their piece of the pie and started BOYTOY, a loud, fuzzy burst of plaid and teen angst. Their self-titled EP, released through PaperCup Music, is reminiscent of the kind of acts that made Creation Records and 4AD a household name… at least if you lived in a punk house.

By Terence Calacsan Posted in Reviews

Wooden Wand – Farmer’s Corner

May 18th, 2014
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Simply Americana

James Jackson Toth is one of the brave souls to be a singer-songwriter in this day and age, a time when bands are getting louder, vocals are obscured by walls of sound and good ol’ country is misjudged due to preconceptions. Toth’s brand of “American weird” is basically just good folk music. His latest release, Farmer’s Corner, is a solid tribute to Americana. Read more…

By Terence Calacsan Posted in Reviews

Eels – The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett

May 7th, 2014
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Feels

Eels need no introduction, with frontman Mark Oliver Everett aka “E,” inserting his name into the very title of their latest release, The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett. L.A. indie veterans Eels have an extensive catalog spanning two labels: Dreamworks and Vagrant. Their music is the epitome of the aged and refined pop you’d find in an an early episode of Scrubs. Hell, did you know Eels was mentioned in the very last few seconds of the last episode of Scrubs? Did you, Dad? Anyway, Tales is basically Everett’s Rockin’ the Suburbs. It’s sad and sounds like stuff your parents listened to. Read more…

By Terence Calacsan Posted in Reviews

Boozoo Bajou – 4

May 4th, 2014
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More Than a Number

It’s a good time to get into electronic music. Not only do you have a ton of different sub and micro genres knocking on everyone’s door, but there isn’t anything necessarily “bad.” It’s a matter of preference these days. Some prefer the in-your-face “bro” anthems penned by Las Vegas’ EDM elite, or you can let your hair down and get emotional to Scotland’s Chvrches. If there’s a synth, there’s a way. James Blake paved the way for minimalistic dub music, granted dubstep was already a popular party-starter in 2009. German duo, Boozoo Bajou, is known for chilled out dub; it is basically reggae steeped in even more THC. Their latest release, simply titled 4, is a collection of soundscapes and ideas, strewn together in a unique mix. Read more…

By Terence Calacsan Posted in Reviews

Inventions – Inventions

April 20th, 2014
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Hiking Jams ‘14

Today’s instrumental and ambient music scene is comprised of people you probably would never see in boxing documentaries, football-themed dramas, trailers for horror films or car commercials, but you’d most likely hear them. They get around. Two names remain a constant driving force in the world of ambient and post-rock: Explosions in the Sky and Eluvium. Luckily for us, we’re treated to a superduo of some sort. Mark Smith of Explosions in the Sky teamed up with Matthew Cooper (Eluvium), calling themselves Inventions. Their self-titled album should be the soundtrack to everything and anything this spring. Read more…

By Terence Calacsan Posted in Reviews

The Coathangers – Suck My Shirt

March 22nd, 2014
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The-Coathangers-Suck-My-Shirt

Yes, Eat All Of Our Shirts!

Punk rock has seen a transformation in the past couple of years. It’s been emerging as something, apparently, “marketable” (as if it wasn’t before), but in a much more casual sense. The thought of someone consciously walking around in bondage and Manic Panic hair dye is such an early 2000s fantasy, people completely forgot the ’90s. Bands like FIDLAR, Joyce Manor, Jay Reatard (RIP) and Wavvves are proof that playing loud, energetic music is something everyone can dig. Just like the ’90s, the punk spirit of being yourself without having to be forced into a subcultural mold is definitely making a comeback. All-female punk act The Coathangers is playing rock n’ roll at the right time. Their latest release, Suck My Shirt, features cover art of the band caught in mid hairflip — the perfect imagery when listening to the album. Read more…

By Terence Calacsan Posted in Reviews

Trust – Joyland

March 12th, 2014
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TRUST-Joyland

Trustworthy

Robert Alfons makes music that your 21-year-old self wants to do everything to. He goes by Trust, and unlike fellow Canadians Crystal Castles, Alfons’ music is, like his latest album insists, filled with joy. Not since Passion Pit’s Manners album have we witnessed such a hopeful synthpop record like Joyland. It hearkens back to when these current late 20-somethings were first discovering love, sex, dancing, drugs and how to be a functional alcoholic. Read more…

By Terence Calacsan Posted in Reviews