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Imelda May – Tribal

September 29th, 2014
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Show, Don’t Tell

Imelda May’s Tribal can be divided into two different albums: rockabilly and not rockabilly. Or perhaps this is a better formulation: bad, and not so bad. Before even listening to the album, the cover art, with its aggressive red font and the smoldering photo of Imelda May, says “I’m tough.” You expect to hear a snarling punk-rock barnburner, but instead you get watered down rockabilly complete with canned drums, plastic sounding guitars and some painted on grit. Read more…

By Jake Romm Posted in Reviews

Sepultura and Les Tambours du Bronx – Metal Veins: Alive at Rock en Rio

September 29th, 2014
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Thirty Years of Metal Plus Fourteen Drums Equals Gold

Sepultura is a heavy metal insititution. You can make an argument that modern metal, as a genre, was heavily assisted by their skull-crushing “Chaos AD” release. To this day, that record still gets name-dropped regularly even 20-plus years since its initial release.  They have influenced a generation of heavy metal fans and have inspired those in their home country of Brazil to continue to create heavy music. Read more…

By Brian Adler Posted in Reviews ,

Iron Reagan – Tyranny of Will

September 29th, 2014
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Triumph of the Will

Iron Reagan, the thrash/’80s hardcore side project from Richmond, Virginia and featuring members of Municipal Waste, Cannabis Corpse and Darkest Hour, has released their second album The Tyranny of Will on Relapse and it’s nothing short of incredible. Albums like this are few and far between these days. The old school hardcore sound that you grew up on, which is seemingly always making a comeback, is done really well here.  You would expect nothing less from the various projects represented. Each member knows exactly how to write the perfect hardcore song and as a collective they do not disappoint. Each one of the 24 tracks, totaling at just over 40 mins, is as interesting and aggressive as the last. Read more…

By Brian Adler Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews

Leave it All on the Table – The Pixies, Gogol Bordello and Cat Power Live at the Hollywood Bowl

September 29th, 2014
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It’s hard to believe, but alt rock titans The Pixies have been reunited now for more than a decade. That’s almost as long as they were broken up, and yet somehow, it still feels like they’ve just gotten back together. That’s a hell of a victory lap, and one of the few times that a “reunion” actually carried the gravitas it was reported to have. That means that most of this last decade featured them playing entirely the material that made them famous. Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

Information Society – Hello World

September 28th, 2014
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Please Recycle

On a first listen of Information Society’s Hello World, you might find yourself so deep in the over-the-top theatricality of this kind of kitschy 80’s dance-pop that you’re expecting “You Spin Me Round” to come through the speakers at any moment. The sound has been updated ever so slightly. Here, you’ll find cleaner synth lines, more high-definition sound effects and the tendency toward a glitchy percussion style, as if boiled down from modern EDM and dumped into a sloshing vat of hairspray. Read more…

By Sean Taras Posted in Reviews

Perfume Genius – Too Bright

September 28th, 2014
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Gold-Encrusted Chaos

Every two years, Mike Hadreas releases an album that’s met warmly by the critics: Learning (2010), Put Your Back N 2 It (2012), and now his latest release, Too Bright (2014). This album is an x-ray of Hadreas: on the outside we see a fragile figure with delicate melodies to accompany it with a sense of stability and comfort found within. Read more…

By Jeremy Rellosa Posted in Reviews

Markéta Irglová – Muna

September 28th, 2014
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Meditations on the Cosmic Tundra

Is it the sound of somebody moving on? Could it even be the sound of somebody formulating a worldview or sense of spirituality? The new album Muna from Markéta Irglová of Once fame seems to be all of these things in the context of an Icelandic awakening of sorts. Iceland seems to be on a lot of people’s minds these days with the advent of the band Of Monsters and Men and their prominent place on the soundtrack to the The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a film infused with sumptuous images of Iceland’s tundra landscape. And Iceland, the island country Irglová now calls home, is certainly on her mind. Read more…

By Jared Schultz Posted in Reviews

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Singer’s Grave A Sea Of Tongues

September 27th, 2014
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Singer’s Grave

Singer, songwriter and occasional actor Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (stage name borrowed from several combined sources of inspiration) has put out a record just about once every two years since 1993. Perhaps it’s the grind of generating so much material in such a short amount of time, but Americana inspired Singer’s Grave A Sea of Tongues, while not offensive to the ear, doesn’t add anything notable to the musical canon, country or otherwise. Read more…

By Renee Fabian Posted in Reviews

Whirr – Sway

September 27th, 2014
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A Disappointing Album

Whirr’s newest album, Sway, is boring. It’s an eight-song album that you will easily forget about if you’re doing something else while listening to it. The album has some punk undertones, but packs no punch. Rather, for the most part, the album is soft and slow, and like the second track’s title is just a lot of “Mumble(ing).” The album is just really flat, and the names of the tracks are good reflection of this. Read more…

By Sophia Wolbrom Posted in Reviews

The Drums – Encyclopedia

September 26th, 2014
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Making the Personal Universal

There are plenty of acts out there that have made gentle, wearing-their-hearts-on-their-sleeves-with-wide-eyed-innocence part of their aesthetic. Sometimes it comes off as merely a twee affectation. Others, it reads as a calculated way for skeezy misogynists to scam girls. But then there are those rare times when that innocence (whether innate, intentional, or otherwise), shines through and feels genuine. Encyclopedia, the latest album from The Drums, is one of those rare times. Read more…

By Chris Ernt Posted in Reviews