Archive for the ‘High Fidelity’ Category

Yo La Tengo – Extra Painful

December 18th, 2014
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Wipe Off The Dust

Although Yo La Tengo’s latest release, Extra Painful, is a reissue of an album they made twenty years ago (Painful), it still feels like a new batch of songs. It partly is -  they’ve added a bonus disc with ten new tracks of demos, instrumentals and live recordings that act as little toys at the bottom of the cereal box. But Extra Painful seems new because the trio has made so much music that their earlier records can get lost in the stacks, collecting digital dust in the archives and libraries until they’re forgotten. Which is why classics like Painful need to be resurfaced for a reminder: not just of their long, impressive discography, but of their influence on three decades-worth of music making. Extra Painful is that smiling shuttle on its way back to 1993. Read more…

By Jeremy Rellosa Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews

Silk Rhodes – Silk Rhodes

December 11th, 2014
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Rebirth of the Cool

With his latest undertaking, Michael Collins has once again managed to resurrect a long-dead genre. In the past the Baltimore native found success under the influence of another drug-laced allusion, Salvia Plath. On The Bardo Story, the only release put out under the Salvia Plath moniker, Collins took on 60s Beach Boys styled pop psychedelia like a Rhodes Scholar. Collins’ latest effort with vocalist Sasha Desree, Silk Rhodes, derives its drug-addled innuendo from a former underground black market internet site that sold illegal drugs, though the name was originally lifted from the name of ancient trade routes through China and India to the Mediterranean begun during the Han Dynasty. And rightly so should the name be steeped in history, as Collins knows how to study the past. Read more…

By Jamie Robash Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews , ,

Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes

December 8th, 2014
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Sounds Like Anything But

In 1967 Bob Dylan churned out a series of lyrics that sat orphaned for decades until this year, when Dylan – supposedly prodded by his publisher – officially approved the songs to be recorded by a T Bone Burnett assembled ensemble. The band, rounded out by Elvis Costello, Jim James, Taylor Goldsmith, Marcus Mumford, Rhiannon Giddens and (surprisingly) Johnny Depp, has subsequently released Lost on The River: The New Basement Tapes, in close step to Dylan’s own November release of Basement Tapes Complete. The two records focus on material from the same era in Dylan’s career, except only one album actually features Zimmy. Lost on The River therefore becomes a Dylan album by default, sounding well polished but little like the artist it seeks to commemorate. Read more…

By Elliot Greiner Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews , , , , ,

Mr. Gnome – The Heart Of A Dark Star

December 2nd, 2014
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Exuberant Psych-Pop

When listening to Mr. Gnomes’ new album, The Heart of a Dark Star, one is immediately struck by how much sound they’re able to generate. The album is loud, both because of the sheer volume of the thing, but also because of the vast amount of layers the band tacks on to every track. What’s remarkable is that the band is only comprised of two people – lead singer/guitarist Nicole Barille and drummer/pianist Sam Meister. The two clearly have a good rapport because, in addition to creating great, carefully crafted music, they sound like they’re having a ton of fun doing it. Read more…

By Jake Romm Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews ,

September Girls – Veneer

November 30th, 2014
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I wish they all could be California Girls

Though September Girls’ principal sound is predicated on the warm, enveloping brand of guitar-comprised heaviness that Kevin Shields trademarked with Loveless and Billy Corgan popularized with Siamese Dream, it would be an ironic miss to slap a cushy label like “dream pop” across the face of a band with such a concrete, aggressive punk edge. If the music of Veneer, the group’s latest EP, is any sort of indicator, there isn’t a single member of this all-girl Irish quintet that would be caught dead gazing at their shoes during a performance. Due in large part to their driving rhythm section and singer Camoimhe’s charismatic snarl, September Girls pull off the affectless, echoey experimentation of their alternative forefathers with an unprecedented bravado that will leave listeners itching for more. Read more…

By Conor Fagan Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews

Antemasque – Antemasque

November 14th, 2014
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A Cornucopia of Experimentation

On paper Antemasque’s self-titled debut demands high expectations. The new band is made up of former members of At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea on bass and frequent Volta collaborator Dave Elitch on drums, which seems to lend itself to a cornucopia of nimble and ecstatic experimentation. Read more…

By Aaron Vehling Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews , , ,

Guano Padano – Americana

November 11th, 2014
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Italian Americana

Guano Padano is a dynamic force of Italian experimental prowess. Achieving the Mike Patton rubber stamp of approval through the release of both their 2012 release of 2 and their recent release Americana, this band has proven time again that they are masters of psychedelic weirdness that will serve as the background tunes to many of life’s important moments. Americana is a grand master styling and experimental modernization of the traditional Americana and Western music and would cause even the most serious cowboy to tip his hat. Read more…

By Colin Moore Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews

Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2

November 6th, 2014
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Hip Hop at it’s Finest

After last year’s successful self titled album, Killer Mike and EL-P continue onward with Run The Jewels 2. Over the course of a year these two’s bond has grown more tightly knit and it definitely shows. Whether live onstage or in an interview at a studio the chemistry between these two is undeniable. The way they talk and vibe off of one another you can tell they truly like and enjoy the other’s company. On RTJ2 EL-P plays duel roles as both producer and MC and juggles each job with ease, but it’s Killer Mike who shows the most improvement since their last get together. Killer Mike was never weak on the mic but on RTJ2 he stepped up his game and it is phenomenal. Read more…

By William Hannan Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews

Mariachi El Bronx – Mariachi El Bronx (III)

November 4th, 2014
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A Great “New Beat”

In 2007, hard rock band the Bronx announced that they would be releasing a mariachi record El Bronx alongside their standard punk record, The Bronx. After the success of their first mariachi record, they decided to keep the trend going by releasing Mariachi El Bronx in 2011, confirming that their shift in sound was no novelty, but something they planned on expanding upon. And expand upon it they have, with their newest release Mariachi El Bronx (III) which they’ve released under the artist name Mariachi El Bronx. This change in style is no joke, and no fleeting fad, these guys have really nailed the mariachi and hard rock blend. Read more…

By Laura Ansill Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews

Bonobo – The North Borders Tour. – Live

November 3rd, 2014
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King of the North

In the past 50 years, there have been but a handful of seminal live albums released. Among the best perhaps are Queen at Wembley, The Who’s Live at Leeds, Simon & Garfunkel’s The Concert in Central Park, and Johnny Cash’s At Folsom Prison. What made these albums so monumental was that these artists were not simply great musicians, but that they were entertainers in the rawest sense, that they put on a performance, something to see as much as to hear. Although this tradition may be something largely lost to many today, it is precisely the reason one of England’s most audacious electronic music impresarios, Simon Green – better known by his stage name Bonobo – chose to release his very own live album, The North Borders Tour. — Live. In these digitally flush times, virtually anyone can make a studio-quality album steeped in high production value sound with very little money. However, taking the show on the road still requires raw talent. Read more…

By Jamie Robash Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews ,