7 Oct 2009, 10:44
2009 Record Reviews
I will gradually review all the records that I have bought that were released in the 2009. I will update it as I review each record, and eventually make a top ten list.
1. The Loved Ones- Distractions. (Gritty Pop Punk, with rock Influence)
1. Distracted- 7/10
2. Last Call- 7/10
3. Spy Diddley- 8/10
4. Johnny 99- 5/10
5. Lovers Town Revisited- 6/10
6. Coma Girl- 4/10
With each release The Loved Ones have lowered the bar. Their Demo and First EP were great. They were raw and showed quite a bit of promise. Their follow up full length Keep Your Heart was a bit heavy on the production side, and needlessly rerecorded songs from the Demo and first EP, but was still solid. And the last Full Length Build and Burn well let’s just say I didn’t like it. Let’s start with the first track, Distracted. It’s a solid opening track. I could do without the organ, but Dave Hause has been taking this band in the direction of Billy Bragg and Bruce Springsteen. The second track Last Call starts out with a lot of energy, but again is held back by the use of a piano and a keyboard. Around the 2 minute mark there is a 15 second keyboard break that is totally pointless that is followed by a great chord progression. This song had some serious promise. The third track Spy Diddley is easily the best song on the CD. It has a good chord progression, which is reminiscent of the Keep Your Heart LP. The fourth track Johnny 99 is either a blatant rip off or Homage to Bruce Springsteen and Billy Bragg. It depends on your point of view. Either way it just doesn’t work. The fifth track Lovers Town Revisited feels uninspired. It’s barely better than average. The final track Coma Girl is the token uninspired end of the record acoustic song. So many bands fall into this rut. The first half of this EP was solid, but the backend just kills it. If you rate the album on a song by song basis it gets a 62%. If you factor in the intangibles like song order, flow, and how the back half of the album falls into the ocean the album loses points. I would give it a 57%
2. We Were Promised Jetpacks- These Four Walls (Post-Rock/Post-Punk)
1. It’s Thunder and It’s Lightening- 9/10
2. Ships with Holes will Sink- 8/10
3. Roll up Your Sleeves- 7.5/10
4. Conductor- 7/10
5. A Half Built House- (5/10…not a real song)
6. This is My House, This is My Home- 8/10
7. Quiet Little Voices- 8/10
8. Moving Clocks Run Slow- 7/10
9. Short Bursts- 7/10
10. Keeping Warm- 8/10
11. An Almighty Thud- 9/10
We Were Promised Jetpacks are a band from Edinburgh, Scotland. When I hear that a band is from the UK I think of two things: Post-Punk and Post Rock. I think it’s obvious why…that’s where those genres are done best. WWPJ have a sound that is very similar to a lot of the bands that come from their homeland: Post-Punk/Post Rock with Spacey indie rock and Shoegaze leanings. One aspect of UK bands that sets WWPJ away from their fellow UK bands is that their vocals sound very Scottish. The Vocalist does not try to hide his accent. There are a lot soft loud dynamics, Post-punk bass lines and beats, and lots of guitar effects at work on These Four Walls.
Track one, It’s Thunder and It’s Lightening, Follows the dynamics of most of the current post-rock bands. It builds up and explodes into a wall of guitar effects. It reminds me of a mix of Mogwai and U2. The distorted bass really helps the song, and the Soaring chorus compliments the verses quite nicely. Track two, Ships with Holes will Sink, has a jangley sound very reminiscent of U2. It has more of a post-punk sound to it. You can hear it in the drums. Track three, Roll up Your Sleeves, has a very post punk beginning, but not as blatantly as The Futureheads first album. Track four, Conductor, has more of a post-rock feel, with a heavy Mogwai influence to it. Track five, A Half Built House, is Radioheadesque in concept but in no other fashion. It’s not a song, just some music with spoken word in the background. It seems pointless to me. Track six, This is My House, This is My Home, is very Post-Rock with a touch of Post-Punk for good measure. Track seven, Quiet Little Voices, shows some pop elements that could have made this song a single off the album. I like how it mixes post-rock, post-punk, and pop together so seamlessly. Track eight, Moving Clocks Run Slow, starts of with a great little riff that is complemented with the lead and a slight change. However the chorus takes some of the luster out of the song. It almost sounds silly. Track nine, Short Bursts, is built around several bursts of guitar effects that are a wall of sound. The song works, but could have been better if more time was spent developing the rest of the song. Track ten, Keeping Warm (which is over 8 minutes long) starts out with about 4 minutes and 20 seconds of instrumental post-rock before getting to the meat of the song. Don’t get me wrong the instrumental work sounds good, but it could easily be cut in half. Lucky for the band the last 3 minutes plus of the song makes up for it. Track eleven, An Almighty Thud, is the token acoustic track, and of course it’s the last song. But there is some sort of appeal to it that makes it fit in with the rest of the album which is far from stripped down. Maybe it’s the contrast of this song compared to the rest of the CD, or maybe it’s just at great song. It’s the best way that These Four Walls could have ended.
Overall These Four Walls gets a 76% as an album. The song by song review of it gets a 79%.. I would recommend this album to fans of the Post-Rock/Post-Punk sound of the UK. If you are looking to start your journey into Post-Punk and Post Rock pick up the latest Mogwai album and Entertainment by Gang of Four.
Similar artists/influences: U2, Bloc Party, Twilight Sad, Glasvegas, Mogwai, The Futureheads, Radiohead, Radio Four, 65daysofstatic, God is an Astronaut
3. Mono- Hymn to the Immortal World (Orchestral, Ambient, Post-Rock)
1. Ashes in the Snow- 7/10
2. Burial at Sea- 10/10
3. Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn- 10/10
4. Pure as Snow (Trails of the Winter Storm)- 5/10
5. Follow the Map- 6/10
6. The Battle to Heaven- 7/10
7. Everlasting Light- 9/10
CDs like Hymn to the Immortal World by Mono are always difficult for me to review. I do not review a lot of songs that are between 10-12 minutes long, so I have a hard time breaking the songs down. I have probably listened to Hymn to the Immortal World at least 10 times for this review. I tried taking notes on each song. After several listens I realized this was going to work. So I put the pen down and just listened over and over. Albums like HTTIW work based on flow and proper song structure. If a 12 minute song is not put together the correct way it’s just not going to work. And if the CD does not flow together properly then it’s just a collection of songs. A collection of 10 minute plus songs would be a very dense listen, and a poorly put together record.
The problem with Hymn to the Immortal World is inconsistency. Some songs flow together quite nicely, but others seem to serve no purpose on the CD whatsoever. In my opinion Burial at Sea and Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn should have been tracks five and six with Everlasting Light closing out the CD. The flow of the CD stalls with those two as tracks 2 and 3. When the best two songs on the CD are followed by the two worst songs on the CD the listener grows bored. It was difficult for me to get through tracks 4, 5, and 6 but once I did I was rewarded with Everlasting Light. The song by song review of Hymn to the Immortal World is 77% And I feel comfortable with that being the overall rating. The CD is just too inconsistent to gain points, but is just consistent enough to not lose any.
Similar artists/Influences: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Envy, Red Sparowes, Pelican, A Silver Mr. Zion, 65daysofstatic, God is an Astronaut
4. The Sleepover Disaster- Hover (Shoegaze, 80s Indie Rock, Brit-Pop)
1. Friend 9/10
2. Code Breaker 9/10
3. Funnel Cloud 8.5/10
4. Dark Star 8.5/10
5. Tremble 7/10
6. On a Sunday 7/10
7. Make You Sing 7/10
8. Edward Said 9/10
9. Songwriting for Dummies 10/10
The Sleepover Disaster are a throwback. They play old school Shoegaze mixed with 80s indie rock, and Brit Pop. The Shoegaze style hits you over the head. You can easily hear elements of Slowdive, Ride, and Chapterhouse. But at times you can hear the experimentalism of My Bloody Valentine and the more rock oriented Swervedrive. The 80s Indie Rock/Brit Pop influence is a little harder to hear. What I hear is reminiscent of The Wedding Present, The Cure, Jesus and the Mary Chain, Radiohead, and Adorable. Hover has that swirling guitar sound that is reminiscent of Shoegaze and 80s indie rock/pop.
If nothing else Hover is consistent all the way through. It starts out with two great songs in Friend and Code Breaker. They set the tone and leave no doubts that The Sleepover Disaster are a Shoegaze band. Funnel Cloud adds a little 80s indie rock to their sound and elements of Swervedriver, Adorable, and The Wedding Present come out. Dark Star settles back into the Shoegaze sound with some Cure Undertones, both pre-pop and pop era. During the Chorus you can hear the swirling guitar sound that made My Bloody Valentine Legends. Tremble, On a Sunday, and Make You Sing are not lolls in the album. They just can’t live up to the songwriting level of the first four tracks. Edward Said makes great use of guitar effects, revisiting My Bloody Valentine Territory. The Final Track, Songwriting for Dummies, is an 80s indie rock/ Brit pop oriented song that calls to mind The Bends era Radiohead. With about 3 minutes left in the song the distortion and guitar effects kick in, the drums start to really go, and the song takes off. It becomes perfection.
Hover is a great mood album. Have a few drinks, mellow out, lay back and relax. You are going to get your moneys worth. I would highly recommend this album for fans of the genre, anyone who enjoys ambient music, or is willing to take a on something a little different. The song by Song Review is 83%, but with all the intangibles, especially the flow of the album I would rate Hover at 87%.
Similar Artists/Influences: Slowdive, Ride, Chapterhouse, Swervedriver, My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and the Mary Chain, All Natural Lemon and Lime Flavoring, Silversun Pickups, Daydream Nation, Adorable, The Wedding Present, The Cure
5. Deep Sleep- Three Things at Once (Old school pop punk/hardcore)
1. On a Slab- 10/10
2. Out of Time- 8/10
3. Static Void- 10/10
4. Need to Kill- 7/10
5. Face Down Dead- 6/10
6. Into My Brain- 7/10
7. I’m on Top- 8/10
8. Curbside Breakdown- 6/10
9. Textbook Timebomb- 9/10
10. Nothing Left- 7/10
11. Not Coming Back- 7/10
12. Manic Euphoria- 7/10
13. Fast Forward- 7/10
14. Let Go- 9/10
15. Lost in Space- 6/10
16. Alone with You- 7/10
17. Real Time Blackout- 8/10
18. Screwed- 7/10
19. Another Day- 8/10
20. Checkout- 8/10
21. Sick Sick Boredom- 7/10
I had been debating whether or not to get Deep Sleep’s CD Three Things at Once over the summer. I had never heard any of their songs, but I had heard so many great things about them. I got a chance to see them live at the Insubordination Fest and I enjoyed their set. So I went over to their merch table and bought their CD Three Things at Once.
I figured Three Things at Once was a compilation of past material based on the name of the album and the cover. But I had no idea it was an homage to the Descendents release Two Things at once until I popped the disc in my CD player. It took about three songs for me to figure that out. The album is 24 minutes long and has 21 songs on it. Deep Sleep are definitely old school in their approach to punk rock. Their songs are hard, fast, and short. The best songs on the CD were actually two of their longer songs; On a Slab and Static Void. They rely on leads in the style of the Descendents/All and/or arpeggio work in the vein of Dag Nasty or Lifetime. The problem is for every song that utilizes that approach there is a song that relies on fast power chords with little to no lead. Unfortunately Deep Sleep do not rely enough on the best aspect of their song writing. This album could have been album of the year.
I like Three Things at Once, but I don’t love it. If you are a die hard Descendents/All fan you will probably dig this release. If not then I would say burn the disc from on of your friends. If you get a chance go see them live, they put on a good show. Overall I would give Three Things at Once a 76%. Since it’s a compilation of the bands past material it cannot gain or lose points for intangibles.
Similar Artists/Influences: Dag Nasty, Descendents, All, Ergs!, Psyched to Die, Verbal Assault, Government Warning, Dustheads, Lifetime, Violent Society, Minor Threat, Adolescents
6. Broken Spindles- Kiss/Kick (Experimental, Electronica, Post Punk)
1. I’ve Never Been This Afraid- 6/10
2. Introvert- 7/10
3. No Mind Knows Mine- 7/10
4. The Moist Red Mess- 9/10
5. A Beat Down Break Up- 6/10
6. We All Want to Fit in- 9/10
7. In the Dark- 6/10
8. Figure Face Pretty Boy- 7/10
9. You’re Happy but not for Long- 6/10
10. The Talk- 5/10
Joel Peterson plays bass in The Faint and Beep Beep. Broken Spindles started out as his side project, but has now become his solo vehicle. He combines elements of Indie Rock, Post-Punk, Techno, and Electronica to form a sound that is truly its own. It takes several listens to even begin to digest a Broken Spindles CD, because it’s so odd. I have taken my time with this review. I have listened to this album over and over so I can wrap myself around it. I wanted this review to be as fair as possible.
What makes or breaks a Broken Spindles album is its quirkiness. Sometimes Joel Peterson’s knack for “off the beaten track” musical compositions can backfire. Whether or not his album backfires or succeeds you know that he is making honest music. Making honest music makes a musician respectable, whether you like the music or not. On his previous two albums (Fulfilled/Complete and Inside/Absent) his musical risk taking yielded great results. Sure the music was quirky, but it was honest. It was not quirky for the sake of quirky. On this album I do not feel a sense of honesty. Most of the songs neither backfire nor succeed. They just are. Sure most of the songs are rated in the average-good range, but they’re hollow. Two songs on the album feel honest: The Moist Red Mess and We All Want to Fit In. They have the honest feeling that was on Fulfilled/Complete and Inside/Absent. This album should have been a seven inch (Side one: The Moist Red Mess/ Side Two: We All Want to Fit In).
The song by song rating of this album is 68%, but the lack of honesty drops this one down to 59%. If not for The Moist Red Mess and We All Want to Fit In it would have easily been under 50%.
7. Castevet- Summer Fences (90s Emo Rivial, Post-Rock)
1. Between Berwyn and Bryn Mawr 9/10
2. Beating High Schoolers At Arcade Games 9/10
3. Plays One On TV 10/10
4. I Know What a Lion Is 8/10
5. Stranger, You Know 8/10
6. Space Jam: The Return 8/10
7. Evil Robots With Swords for Hands 8/10
8. When a Movie Is Made In France, It's Called Cinemas 8/10
On Summer Fences Castevet does something that a growing number of bands are doing. They play an updated/modified version of 90s Emo. They mix the Emo sounds American Football, The Appleseed Cast, Mineral, Small Brown Bike and The Get Up Kids with the Post-Rock sounds of Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky. They are able to seamlessly meld Post Rock with Emo in the same way The Appleseed Cast once did. Most of their songs are broken up into parts. They move back and forth between moderately/fast paced jangely guitar work and slow Post- Rock spaceyness. The formula works great because nothing feels forced. Every song flows near perfectly within and to the next. The vocals are gruff very much in the vein of Small Brown Bike, but not as harsh as Leatherface. The vocals are sparse, and the songs are mostly instrumental. All but one song runs between 5 and 7 ½ minutes.
There isn’t a bad song on Summer Fences. In fact there isn’t even a good song on the CD. Everything is very good to great. The best tracks on the CD are the first three. Between Berwyn and Bryn Mawr moves back and forth between guitar work in the vein of Mineral and American Football and the spacey Post-Rock slowness of later Appleseed Cast, Mogwai, and Explosions in the Sky. The vocals are sparse. The music takes center stage. Beating High Schoolers At Arcade Games follows the same formula, and the song works almost as well as the first. My favorite song on the CD is Plays One On TV. It is the shortest song, clocking in at just over 3 ½ minutes, and it’s the most aggressive. It only has one short Post Rock break that ends up moving into a Mineral/ American Football style sound. that builds up to an aggressive ending with some distortion.
The song By song review gives Summer Fences a lusty 86%, . When you look at the CD as a whole and include its flow and other intangibles it ends up with a 90%, . This CD is highly recommended to anyone that listens to this vein of Emo, or any kind of Post-Rock.
Similar Bands/Influences: Mineral, Penfold, American Football, The Appleseed Cast, Cap'N Jazz, Get Up Kids, Christie Front Drive, Cross My Heart, The Promise Ring, Benton Falls, Pop Unknown, Jejune, Empire !Empire!, Colossal, Street Smart Cyclist, My Heart to joy, Algernon Cadwallader , Kickball, Mogwai, and Expolsions in the Sky, Joie De Vivre
8. Modest Mouse- No One’s First, and You’re Next (Quirky Indie Rock)
1. Satellite Skin- 8/10
2. Guilty Cocker Spaniels- 8/10
3. Autumn Beds- 8/10
4. The Whale Song- 9/10
5. Perpetual Motion Machine- 6/10
6. History Sticks to Your Feet- 6/10
7. King Rat- 6/10
8. I’ve Got it All- 6/10
No One’s First, and You’re Next is a collection of B-sides from “We Were Dead before the Ship even Sank” and “Good News for People Who Love Bad News” sessions. “Good News for People Who Love Bad News” was an amazing album. It was the perfect synthesis of the quirky Indie Rock and Pop Music. Unfortunately “We Were Dead before the Ship even Sank” was a disaster. The addition of Johnny Marr did not help the band despite his extremely impressive credentials. I don’t know what the extent of his influence was on the band, but in my opinion it was a needless addition.
The album is interesting, because the first half of the album is easily better than the second half. The first 4 songs are all very good, with The Whale Song being the best. My assumption is that the first 3 songs were outtakes from “Good News for People Who Love Bad News” based on their sound. The fourth song, The Whale Song…It’s tough to tell when that was written. It doesn’t sound like it’s from either album. The second half of the album sounds more like “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank”, but its possible that some of those songs could have come from “Good News for People Who Love Bad News”. Either way it’s quite a drop off from the first half of the album.
The song by song review gives the album a 71%, but the album feels lower than that. It’s a compilation album, so there is no flow. It’s suppose to be an EP, but it runs longer than 33 minutes, and the back end falls off so much that I can’t help but rate it lower. I would rate the album at 67%.
9. Age Sixteen- Open Up Finders, Please (Screamo, Emotive Hardcore)
1. Peter Pan Complex- 9/10
2. As Personal as a Greeting Card- 9/10
3. Everything is a Tide- 10/10
4. Fabric- 9/10
5. Two Seconds- 8/10
6. Dear Judas- 10/10
7. Empty Nest- 10/10
8. Seasick- 10/10
9. The Lion and the Gazelle- 8/10
I can’t think of an active band that expresses emotional intensity with the authenticity of Age Sixteen. The music sounds like controlled chaos. Vocals seem to come from everywhere, just barely buried underneath a beautiful wall of sound. The music is fast. The guitars are mostly clean, with the occasional use of some sort of distortion, delay, and reverb. They alternate between extremely fast Jangley Emo, Post-Rock, and Dissonance. They utilize multiple vocalists, but there is a distinctive lead singer. There are 4 perfect songs on Open Up Finders, Please: Everything is a Tide, Dear Judas, Empty Nest, and Seasick. Open Up Finders, Please should be used as a blueprint for Screamo bands, but do not try to copy this. You will fail. Be authentic, express yourself, use your own style, and you will have produced something worthwhile. .
The Song By Song review is 92%, , but with all the intangibles I would give this album a 97%.
Age Sixteen is a Screamo band from Baltimore, MD. Members of Age Sixteen are in or have been in Sawhorse, Surf-Nazis on Ecstacy, and Lilu Dallas.
Simliar Artists/Influences: The Lovesick, Bear Vs. Shark, Saetia, Suis La Lune, Daitro, ENVY, You and I, Snowing, Loma Preita, Pianos become the Teeth
10. North Lincoln- Midwestern Blood (Gruff Post-Hardcore/Punk, "Gainesville")
1. My Summer Spent Indoors 8/10
2. Spy 10/10
3. Seasons 8/10
4. Remember 8/10
5. Bridge Jumpers 9/10
6. All This Time 9/10
7. Morals 10/10
8. Leveling 8/10
9. Weight of the World 9/10
10. No Turning Back 8/10
11. Siblings 9/10
North Lincoln is a Post-Hardcore/Punk band from Grand Rapids, Michigan that sounds like they are from Gainesville, Florida. They wouldn’t be the first band from Michigan to have the “Gainesville” sound. Small Brown Bike are from Michigan as well. So it would only make sense that they are on the Gainesville label No Idea. They fit in well with a roster that boasts bands that have a similar Post-Hardcore/Punk sound.
Midwestern Blood is dripping with sweat, blood, and raw emotion like most bands of their sound. Imagine this. A band that takes the bass style of Hot Water Music, the guitar work of Gunmoll and Small Brown Bike, the vocal style of Gunmoll, and drumming that combines elements of Punk and Post-Hardcore, and you have North Lincoln. Midwestern Blood is solid throughout, but the two standout tracks are Spy and Morals. They are able to squeeze out just a bit more emotion and power than the rest of the songs on the CD. Spy is a song that you know you are going to love from the beginning. From the first note, the first vocal line you know its going to be perfect. Morals takes some time to unfold. It’s not until the end of the song that you realize how great it is. In fact it takes a few listens to get the feel for it. Midwestern Blood raises the bar for North Lincoln. The CD now puts them in serious contention for best “Gainesville” style band, although personally I still think Gunmoll is the best “Gainesville” band.
The Song by song rating for Midwestern Blood is 87%. However with the intangibles factored in I would rate it at 92%.
Similar Artists/Influences: Small Brown Bike, Gunmoll, Hot Water Music, In the Red, J. Page, Bridge and Tunnel, Clairmel, Dear Landlord, Fiya, I Hate Myself, Latterman, Planes Mistaken for Stars, Radon, The Casket Lottery, The Loved Ones (early material), Off With Their Heads
11. Joie De Vivre- Summer Months (90s Emo Revival)
1. Magnet 9/10
2. Local Local 8/10
3. Sundays 9/10
4. Handshakes 10/10
5. It’s Fiction 10/10
6. That’s the Hot Part 8/10
7. This Ship has Sailed 9/10
Joie De Vivre are a 90s Emo revival band from Illinois. They’re on Count Your Lucky Stars Records, the new Emo label. In fact over the last two years CYLS Records has been pretty busy. They have 13 releases, most notably CDs by Empire! Empire!, Joie De Vivre, and Castevet. I have not gotten a chance to listen to the other bands on their label, but CYLS is shaping up to be the Crank! Or Caulfield Records of the 2000s.
Joie De Vivre sound like they have been listening to Mineral, American Football, and Christie Front Drive on repeat for years. Every aspect of this band screams 90s Emo. There’s no post rock influence on this release, just sweet sweet heartfelt 90s Emo. This release would bring a tear to Eric Richter’s (Lead Singer for Christie Front Drive) eye. The Stand out Tracks On Summer Months are Handshakes and It’s Fiction. Both tracks utilize the tried and true build up dynamics of Emo. Handshakes shows off lead singer Brandon Lutmer’s vocal range and willingness to stretch past it. It’s Fiction is my personal favorite track on the CD. I have been playing it for anyone who will listen. It spends it’s time slowly building up to its Emo climax, fooling us with a few false transitions. Finally with less than two minutes left in the song it hits its climax and Brandon Lutmer releases his best Mineral inspired vocal explosion stretching his range as far as it can go and beyond.
The Song By Song review comes to90%, but with the intangibles factored in I would rate this album at a 95%
Similar Bands/Influences: Mineral, Penfold, American Football, Cap'n Jazz, Christie Front Drive, Cross My Heart, The Promise Ring, Benton Falls, Pop Unknown, Jejune, Empire !Empire!, Colossal, Street Smart Cyclist, Algernon Cadwallader , Kickball, Castevet, Sunny Day Real Estate, Kickball
12. Hermit Thrushes- Slight Fountain (Avant Garde Indie Rock)
1. An Oil Fruit (not a real song)- 8/10
2. Snowflake Heart- 10/10
3. Ceci- 8/10
4. Push- 8/10
5. Golden Wounds- 8/10
6. Broken Adze- 8/10
7. Song From Boat- 10/10
8. Black Cat- 8/10
9. Older Trees- 8/10
10 Headless- 10/10
11. Found House- 8/10
12. Gooseneck- 8/10
13. Perla- 9/10
14. A Good Dream- 8/10
Hermit Thrushes are an Experimental/Math Rock/Indie Rock/Folk/ Psychedelic band from Philadelphia, PA. When you hear so many genres of music crammed into a description my immediate thought is “This is going to be pretentious garbage.” I have images of some Pitchfork scenster drooling all over this album and proclaiming them the band of right this minute. That is until he/she latches on to the next trend. The fact is this is not one of “those” bands. Hermit Thrushes will more than likely go unnoticed, which is a shame, because they are extremely talented.
Upon my first listen, Slight Fountain caught me off guard. I just couldn’t process it. I listened to it several more times, and each time I listened I liked it more. But I wasn’t sure what it was about the album that was drawing me. The music is odd. Mellow vocals are mixed with math rock style guitars and horns. The music is sometimes melodic, sometimes noise, and occasionally pop. The structure of the songs reminded me of Joan of Arc, but the music sounded little like Joan of Arc. I could hear many different influences (Joan of Arc, Hum, Elliott Smith, Neil Young, (Early) Modest Mouse, June of 44, Shipping News, Slint…), but those influences were not consistent throughout the album. One song would remind me of Hum, but the next would remind me of Elliott Smith. Each time I listened I would “Get It” more. The CD itself was a work of art. The songs themselves could stand on their own, but to truly appreciate Slight Fountain you had to listen to it straight through. Slight Fountain is a musical investment. It most likely will not payoff on the first listen, but continued listens will payoff.
The Song by Song Review comes to85%, but with all the intangibles I would rate this album a 93%. I do not count the first track as a song because it is an intro that leads directly into the second track. I count it as part of the second track.
Similar Artists/Influences: Joan of Arc, Crystal Antlers, June of 44, Shipping News, (early) Modest Mouse, Elliott Smith, Hum, Neil Young, Slint, Tom Waits
13. Coalesce- Ox (Hardcore, Metal, Metalcore)
1. The Plot Against My Love 9/10
2. The Comedian in Question 4/10
3. Wild Ox Moan 7/10
4. Designed to Break a Man 8/10
5. Where Satires Soar 5/10
6. The Villain We Won’t Deny 9/10
7. The Purveyor of Novelty and Nonsense 7/10
8. In My Wake, For My Own 5/10
9. New Voids in One’s Resolve 8/10
10. We have Lost Our Will 3/10
11. Questions to Root Out Fools 9/10
12. By What We Refuse 9/10
13. Dead is Dead 6/10
14. There is a Word Hidden in the Ground 6/10
Coalesce is a hardcore band from Kansas City, Mo. They were part of an explosion of great Hardcore/Metal (sometimes known as metalcore) bands in the early to mid-90s that revolutionized hardcore and metal. Coalesce along with Converge, Botch, and Dillinger Escape Plan put out hardcore/metal that defied time signatures, and stretched the limits of heaviness. Their album Give Them Rope, which was released in 1997, is considered one of the greatest hardcore albums of all time. Band after band have tried to imitate it, but no one has come close. Coalesce have broken/gone on hiatus several times, but they are now back together writing music and touring.
Ox is an extremely uneven album. Some of the songs are great. They sound like the Coalesce we have all grown to love. But there are several songs that are so out of place they baffle the mind. They completely kill the flow of the album. It sounds like Coalesce wanted to add a bit of old time folk blues to their sound, but had no idea how to make it work with the rest of their music. So they just dropped it randomly into the album. The Comedian in Question sounds great until the Screaming turns to bad singing and the heavy riff turns into Nu Metal, and Where Satires Soar isn’t a bad song. It’s a quick instrumental that has no point or place on the album. The experimentation on those songs and others sounds awkward at best. However all is not bad. There are some amazing songs spread out throughout the album. The Plot Against My Love, The Villain We Won’t Deny, Questions to Root out Fools, and By What We Refuse show that Coalesce still has the ability to write brutal hardcore that can compete with anyone. The question is, What were they trying to accomplish on this album?
The song by song review comes to[ b]68%. However when you factor in the lack of flow and other intangibles the album comes to a 60% .
Similar Artists/Influences: Botch, Deadguy, Converge, Norma Jean, Cursed, Crowpath, Dillinger Escape Plan, The Red Chord, Breach
14. Golden City- S/T (Emo, Indie Rock, Pop)
1. Gray- 8/10
2. Diamond Suits- 10/10
3. Cars in Space- 8/10
4. Ragdoll- 9/10
5. Big Country- 8/10
6. Cavalry- 9/10
7. Stars- 9/10
8. Hit the Ground- 8/10
Golden City is the newest project by former Christie Front Drive front man Eric Richter. Golden City picks up right where The 101 (his last band) left off. In fact Golden City has one of the members of The 101. Golden City’s sound is very similar to The 101. I would call it a logical progression of the band. Golden City was formed right around the Christie Front Drive reunion show for Denver Fest, and this makes sense. Golden City incorporates more of the Emo sound of Christie Front Drive, but keeps the solid Indie Rock base that The 101 was deeply rooted in.
The Album, which is a self-titled EP, (although it runs almost 25 minutes), is more than solid throughout. Some songs have more of a Christie Front Drive sound than others. Diamond Suits and Cavalry are prime examples. They have the Poppy Indie Rock base of The 101, but add sprinkles of years of Emo past. I would be curious to hear the follow up to this album. If the progression continues I wouldn’t be surprised if the band ends up splitting evenly between Poppy Indie Rock and Emo. I believe great things are still to come from Golden City.
The Song by Song rating is [ b]86%. I feel comfortable with that number because I do not feel like the flow of the album adds anything. I would highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys any of Eric Richter’s work, mid-90s Midwestern Emo, and Indie Rock.
Similar Artists/Influences: Christie Front Drive, The 101, Antarctica, Empire! Empire! (I was a Lonely Estate), Jejune, Crosstide
15. O Pioneers!!!- Neon Creeps (Post-Hardcore, Alt-Country, Punk, Math Rock)
1. Saved By the Bell was a Super Cool Show- 9/10
2. The Architect of Disney World- 8/10
3. Dead City Sound- 8/10
4. 9 A.M. Everyday- 8/10
5. My Life as a Morrissey Song- 9/10
6. Stressing the Fuck Out- 8/10
7. I have Major Weight Lifting Problems- 8/10
8. Chris Ryan added Me on Face Book- 10/10
9. I So Told You So- 8/10
10. Cool Kid City- 8/10
O Pioneers are a Post-hardcore/Punk/Alt- Country/Pop/Math Rock band from Houston Texas. They are one of many bands that have adopted the No Idea Records/Gainesville sound. You can hear heavy Against Me!, Hot Water Music, and (Young Pioneers) influence along with many other bands that fit under the Gainesville sound label.
Neon Creeps is nothing if it’s not Consistent. The vocals are spoken word mixed with yelling/screaming. The guitars alternate between clean and slightly distorted, and the bass and drums provide a solid foundation. Saved By the Bell was a Super Cool Show, My Life as a Morrissey Song, and Chris Ryan Added Me on Face book are the best songs on the CD. The songs do not feature any special additives, they just happen to be the best written songs on the CD. Like I said, the CD is consistent throughout. Once you hear the first song you know what the rest of the CD is going to sound like. If you are a fan of the Gainesville sound (like I am), then you will enjoy it
The song by song review is 84%. I feel pretty comfortable with that rating. I do not feel like the flow of the CD adds or takes anything away. I would recommend this CD to anyone that is a fan of the Gainesville sound or the Dillinger Four punk rock sound.
Similar Artists/Influences: Hot Water Music, Gunmoll, Born Against, Fake Problems, Against Me!, Off With Their Heads, Nothington, Sick Sick Birds, (Young) Pioneers, Dear Landlord, Dead Mechanical, The Gateway District, North Lincoln, Small Brown Bike
16. Loma Prieta- Dark Mountain (Emotive Hardcore, Screamo, Shoegaze)
1. Exit Here- 8/10
2. Vermillion River- 8/10
3. King Xing- 9/10
4. Carelessnessness- 9/10
5. Ghost Shadow- 8/10
6. Punxx’nup- 8/10
7. Arc- 8/10
8. Surrounding- 8/10
Loma Prieta are a Screamo band from San Francisco, CA. Their sound combines the elements of fellow Californians Funeral Diner, European Screamo, and Japanese Screamo giants ENVY. There are currently rumors circulating that Loma Prieta will be breaking up.
Dark Mountain is the second Screamo album I have reviewed this year, and much like the first (Open Up Finders, Please by Age Sixteen), it has tremendous guitar tones. They have managed to use a combination of their influences to create a unique sound. The vocals are well layered with a bit of reverb, and the guitars also use reverb, delay, and distortion to create a haunting sound that sticks with me and keeps me coming back for more. Dark Mountain clocks in just barely over 15 minutes, which is my minimum to be considered for album of the year.
The song by song review is 83%. If the album was a little longer I could justify adding some points for flow, but because its only 15 minutes I can’t.
Similar Artists/Influences: Suis la Lune, Daitro, La Quiete, Raein, Cease Upon the Capitol, Funeral Diner, Envy, L'antietam, Heaven in Her Arms
17. The Oranges Band- Are Invisible (Power-Pop, Punk, Pop, Rock and Roll)
1. Ottobar Afterhours- 9/10
2. One More Dog- 8/10
3. I Wouldn’t Worry about it- 7/10
4. Do You Remember Memory Lane?- 8/10
5. Gordon’s Nightclub- 7/10
6. When Your Mask is Your Revealing Feature-5/10
7. Artstar- 8/10
8. Absolutely Instru(Mental)- 6/10
9. Toulouse-Lautrec- 8/10
The Oranges band are a Indie Rock band from Baltimore, MD that combine elements of Rock, Punk, and Pop to create a sound that is not unlike Power-Pop. The Oranges Band has been around since the beginning of the decade, and have released several EPs and three full length records. The Oranges Band are known for more than their Power-Pop sound, a revolving door of band members. The Oranges Band are a four piece band with 9 former members, that’s a lot of change.
Are Invisible has a stronger Rock and Roll sound than any of their previous records, especially their last album (The World and Everything in It). It also is less “bubble gum pop” than any of their previous albums. On Are Invisible you can hear The Oranges Band evolving into a more serious rock band. This evolution is not without its hiccups. Although none of the songs are bad “When Your Mask is Your Revealing Feature” is a poor attempt at a Clash tribute, and “Absolutely Instu(Mental)” runs on too long. Are Invisible is at its best when the band is playing straight ahead Power-Pop Rock songs with Post-Punk attitude. “Ottobar Afterhours” is the best song on the CD and is a great opener. “One More Dog” and “Artstar are great rockers as well. Are Invisible shows great potential. I feel like The next Oranges Band CD will be a killer Rock and Roll record.
The Song by song review is 73%, but I feel that the album deserves a 75% with all the intangibles factored in.
Similar Artists/Influences- Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Chisel, Communiqué, Superchunk, Superdrag, The New Trust, Reigning Sound, The Beach Boys, The Velvet Teen, Ramones
18. Shook Ones- The Unquotable A. M. H. (hardcore, punk, pop-punk)
1. Middle Name: Justice- 6/10 (intro)
2. For Collards- 8/10
3. Bird on Ice- 8/10
4. Silverfish- 8/10
5. Equal Opportunity Insults- 9/10
6. For Flannels- 8/10
7. Who Told Omar?- 8/10
8. Double Knot That- 9/10
9. T Monk- 9/10
10. They’re Very “Yes”- 7/10
11. Tip the Weatherman- 8/10
The Shook Ones are a Hardcore/Punk Rock band from Washington State. Their sound is very similar, in fact exactly like the Philadelphia hardcore punk sound of Kid Dynamite, Lifetime, Paint It Black, The Loved Ones, The Curse, and Knives Out. The Unquotable A. M. H. is their third full length release.
The Unquotable A. M. H. is a step in a different direction for The Shook Ones. Although it is still a Hardcore album the music is slower, poppier, and less complicated than their previous two full lengths (Sixteen and Facetious Folly Feat). The Unquotable A. M. H. relies less on stop and start dynamics, complicated arpeggio leads, and minor harmony use. Some would consider this directional change to be a muscial step back, and in fact at first I thought it was as well, but upon subsequent listens I realized that the music is almost as good. It will be tough for The Shook Ones to ever top their first album and masterpiece Sixteen, but I don’t know if they are ever going to move back into that complicated fast hardcore meets Husker Du direction. I think they will continue to progress into a pop punk meets hardcore with a dash of Lifetime/Husker Du dynamics. There are still songs that implement the sound of Sixteen. “Bird on Ice” and “Double Knot That” are closer to their older material than most of the other songs on the CD. They use arpeggio leads and/or minor dynamics that were prominent on Sixteen. Overall you get a more marketable sound on The Unquotable A. M. H., but not in a negative way. The music just incorporates more of the punk/hardcore sound landscape than their previous full lengths.
The song by song review is 82%. With the all the intangibles factored in, including album flow and the incorporation of new sounds and dynamics to the music without compromising the music I would give The Unquotable A. M. H. an 85%.
Similar Artists/Influences- Kid Dynamite, Lifetime, Paint it Black, The Loved Ones, Knives Out, Crime in Stereo, None more Black, The Curse, Husker Du
19. Self-Evident- Endings (Post Everything, Math Rock)
1. Everything All At Once- 9/10
2. Holding On- 10/10
3. Nonlocality- 10/10
4. Before the Beginning- 9/10
5. Temporary, Confused- 10/10
6. The Future- 9/10
7. At Last- 10/10
8. Players- 10/10
9. Streamlining- 9/10
10. Apprentices- 10/10
11. The Past- 10/10
Self-Evident is a Post-Everything band from Minneapolis, MN. Self-Evident mix elements of Math Rock, Post-Hardcore, Post-Emo, Avant Garde, Jazz, Indie Rock, Post-Punk, and Mid-West Style Emo to create a unique sound. They’ve been making music for over ten years now. The band formed in 1997 and put out their first EP in 1999 and their first full length in 2000. They have quietly been putting out exceptional records for awhile, but because of their location they have been a well hidden secret, popular in their locale but unknown to most of the underground community. Including their new record, Endings, Self- Evident has 3 EPs and 5 LPs. It’s quite an impressive résumé for any band.
Self-Evident is a unique band. Most bands that mix so many different types of music (Math Rock, Post-Hardcore, Post-Emo, Avant Garde, Jazz, Indie Rock, Post-Punk, and Mid-West Style Emo) have a tendency to make music that sounds forced, and well…terrible. Self-Evident’s music flows so well, nothing they write sounds forced. They have been gradually getting better with each full length release, which leads us to the record at hand, Endings. Endings is perfect in every way. Everything is in its right place. The guitar, bass, and drum work and tones are amazing. The vocals, they sound equally as good. Every aspect of this record works so well together that it just amazes me. Very few records blow me away the first time I hear them. Endings blew me on the first listen and continues to get better. I have not completed my reviews of all the CDs I purchased from 2009, but I can say with almost 100% certainty that Endings will be my CD of the year. Self-Evident have been working, crafting their song writing for over ten years, and they have come up with a masterpiece. I haven’t heard a record this good in years. Endings is one of the best records of the decade.
The Song by Song review is 96%, but with all the intangibles Endings is easily a 100%. I cannot say enough positive things about this record.
Similar Artists/Influences: Traindodge, Giants Chair, Faraquet, The Medications, Ring Cicada, The Stella Link, Bear Claw, Caesura, Jawbox, Someday I, Shiner, Burning Airlines, Riddle of Steel, Colossal, Engine Kid, Engine Down
20. Dear Landlord- Dream Homes (Gritty Pop Punk)
1. I live in Hell- 7/10
2. Rosa- 7/10
3. High Fives- 7/10
4. Lake Ontario- 7/10
5. Landlocked- 7/10
6. Doormat- 7/10
7. Three to the Beach- 7/10
8. Park Bench- 8/10
9. Goodbye to Oakland- 8/10
10. Last Time I Checked- 7/10
11. Whiskey and Records- 7/10
12. Lost Cause- 7/10
13. Begging for Tips-7/10
14. A World that We Never Made- 7/10
Dear Landlord is a modern Punk Rock Super Group with members of the Copyrights, Rivethead, Off With Their Heads. Their sound is extremely similar to The Copyrights. They are from Carbondale, Illinois.
Dear Landlord’s Dream Homes has been a long time coming. They released split seven inch records with Off With Their Heads and Chinese Telephones and created quite a buzz for themselves. Dear Landlord are a Punk Rock “Super Group” with members of The Copyrights, Off With Their Heads, and Rivethead (who have reached cult status among Pop Punkers). Unfortunately like most “Super Groups” they fail to live up to the hype. Two of the four members of Dear Landlord are members of The Copyrights, and that is what Dream Homes sounds like…a Copyrights album. If you were to present Dream Homes to me as a Copyrights album I wouldn’t question you. For the most part Dream Homes is a slightly, and I mean SLIGHTLY, different version of The Copyrights (think of a faster version). I can also hear a dash of Screeching Weasel and a dash of Off With Their Heads. If you love The Copyrights and their style of Pop Punk then you will love this album. If you are like me and you think The Copyrights are a decent band but nothing more you will probably be disappointed.
The Song by Song Review is 71%, but the overall review is a 73% because the album is consistent throughout…if nothing else.
Similar Artists/Influences: The Copyrights, Banner Pilot, Off With Their Head, Rivethead, The Methadones, Chinese Telephones, Teenage Bottlerocket
21. No Friends- S/T (Old School Hardcore)
1. Intro- (not a song)
2. Set in Your Ways- 7/10
3. Never Ending Fight- 7/10
4. Broken Windows- 9/10
5. Have You ever heard of Aspirations?- 9/10
6. We’va got No Friends- 8/10
7. Sans Opinions- 8/10
8. Black Hearse- 8/10
9. Material Addiction- 8/10
10. Clean Up Crew- 8/10
11. Loaded Question- 10/10
12. Outro- (Not a Song)
No Friends are an Old School Hardcore Super Group with members of Municipal Waste and New Mexican Disaster Squad. They have a sound that is similar to a combination of Gorilla Biscuits, Minor Threat, Paint It Black, Dag Nasty, and Descendents. They are from Richmond, Virginia…I think.
No Friends S/T CD is Old School hardcore very much in the vein of Gorilla Biscuits, Minor Threat, and Paint It Black. But they are not just limited to that sound; you can hear elements of bands like Dag Nasty, and Descendents. Their songs feature arpeggio, Descendents/All leads, and solid breakdowns. Old School hardcore/Punk Rock fans will love this record. I do not usually like Old School Hardcore albums that much, but there is something about aspects of this record that really catch my ear. I bet you No Friends put on a good live show.
The song by song review is an 82%, but with the intangibles factored in the overall review is an 85%.
Similar Artists- Paint it Black, Kid Dynamite, Lifetime, Bouncing Souls, NOFX, Gorilla Biscuits, Descendents, Dag Nasty, Minor Threat, Faith, Void, All, Deep Sleep, Psyched to Die, Career Suicide, New Mexican Disaster Squad, Verbal Assault, Negative Approach, Minor Threat, All
22. Here Holy Spain- Manic (Post-Grunge, Poppy Post-Punk, Rock)
1. Trouble Is- 7/10
2. Same Vein- 7/10
3. This Tension- 7/10
4. Manic- 7/10
5. Chasing the Chaser- 7/10
7. Fix Me- 8/10
8. The Devil is Alive and Well- 7/10
9. Wolves in the Wall- 8/10
10. Cut Your Teeth- 7/10
Here Holy Spain are a Post-Grunge, Pop Post-Punk, Rock and Roll band from Dallas Texas.
Here Holy Spain have a confused sound on Manic, which is funny considering the name of the CD. At Times they are clearly influenced by grunge. At times you can hear elements of Post-Punk, but it’s too poppy to be considered pure post punk. And of course there is the overall Rock and Roll/Punk feel to the album. But, they fail to fuse those styles together effectively, each sound seems to stand on its on within the CD. There is no doubt to the emotion and angst of the music, but the sound doesn’t gel together. I feel like musical confusion is holding back the band, like some of it is forced. The Emotion is there, there is conviction, but they are taking the safe route musically. I feel like Here Holy Spain is on the cusp of being a really good band, but they just need to define their sound and take some risks. Manic certainly is not a bad CD, but it’s not very memorable.
The song by song review is a 72%, but the inconsistency of the music drives the overall review down to a 66%.
Similar Bands/Influences: Nirvana, The Toadies, Alkaline Trio, Cardinal Sin, Foo Fighters (First CD), The Jesus Lizard, Hoover, Helmet
23. Football, Etc.- First Down (Mid-90s Emo Revival)
1. Dream Big- 10/10
2. Touchdown (Dance)- 8/10
3. Catch the Spirit- 8/10
4. First Down- 9/10
Football, Etc. are a Female fronted Mid-90s Emo revival band from Houston, TX. They differ from most of the Mid-90s Emo revival bands because they do not draw as much influence from Kinsella fronted bands and Mineral. You can hear the Kansas City, MO/ Lincon, NE Mid-90s sound in their music along with heavy influence from Rainer Maria. The vocals are drawn out in the style of Mineral or Sunny Day Real Estate, but her voice sounds like Caithlin De Marrais of Rainer Maria.
Although First Down is a damn good release, it is only four songs. It just barely makes it to the bare minimum, at least 15 minutes and four songs, for a release to be considered for album of the year. The Song by Song review is 88%, but in the overall review is an 85%. It’s just too short for such a high rating. I am looking forward to a full length...hopefully soon.
Similar Artists/Influences- Empire! Empire!, Rainer Maria, Christie Front Drive, Castevet, Giants Chair, Boys Life, Farewell Bend, Joie De Vivre, Mineral, Sunny Day Real Estate, Luck of Aleia , Midwest Pen Pals
24. The Life and Times- Tragic Boogie (Post-Hardcore/Shoegaze/Post-Rock)
1. Que Sera Sera- 7/10
2. Fall of the Angry Clowns- 8/10
3. Let It Eat- 8/10
4. Old Souls- 9/10
5. Dull Knives- 8/10
6. Pain Don’t Hurt-8.5/10
7. Confetti- 9/10
8. The Lucid Dream- 8/10
9. Tragic Boogie- 7.5/10
10. The Politics of Driving- 10/10
11. Catching Crumbs- 8/10
12. Little 4Notes- 8.5/10
The Life and Times are the Post-Shiner project of Allen Epley. Overall The Life and Times sounds like a combination of Early Shiner and Later Shiner. The first two Shiner albums were firmly rooted in early/Mid-90s Midwestern Post-hardcore along the lines of Season to Risk, Molly McGuire, and Giant’s Chair. The final two Shiner albums keep that Midwestern Post-Hardcore sound as a base and added a bit of Shoegaze, Pyschadelica, Math-Rock, and even a little Post-Rock. Shiner Peeked with their final and most experimental release The Egg. The Life and Times took the best elements of their first two albums (Splay and Lula Divinia) and the best elements of their final album (The Egg) and combined them. They have been building on that sound with each release.
With Tragic Boogie The Life and Times continue to move away from the post-hardcore Midwestern-Emo sound in the direction of a more Progressive Experimental Style. On Tragic Boogie you can hear elements of Shoegaze, Pyschadelica, Math-Rock, Mid-90s style Mid-Western Emo, and Post-Rock. The music is effects driven. It’s swirling, ambient, and at times driving. The vocals use heavy reverb. Although the vocal style fits the music it confuses me, because Allen Epley has such a good voice. Tragic Boogie is not an easily accessible album. But like any Allen Epley album if you are patient with it you will be rewarded.
The song by song review is 83%, but the album flows well so it receives an 86% overall.
Similar Artists: Season to Risk, Shiner, Giant’s Chair, Riddle of Steel, Traindodge, My Bloddy Valentine, National Skyline, Molly Mcguire, Sideshow, Slowdive, Ride, Chapterhouse, Year of the Rabbit, Failure, Pink Floyd
25. My Heart to Joy- Season in Verse
1. Time Spent Driving 8/10 (intro song)
2. Empty Homes 9/10
3. Seasons in Verse 8/10
4. All of Life is Coming Home 8/10
5. Worn Out Weather 9/10
6. Giving My Hands Away 10/10
7. Serpent Bearer 9/10
8. Old Capitals 9/10
9. Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory 8/10
10. Thirstly Corner of the Forest 9/10
11. Watch Me Live 9/10
My Heart to Joy is a Post-Hardcore/Post-Rock/90s Emo Rivival band from Kensington, Connecticut. Their sound is a mix of many 90s Emo bands including but not limited to: The Appleseed Cast, Casket Lottery, Benton Falls, and Red Animal War. Their previous name was My Heart to Joy at the Same Tone, but they decided to change their name…which I think was a fantastic idea.
The first time I listened to Seasons in Verse I thought it was mediocre at best. I just didn’t hear anything that appealed to me. I thought My Heart to Joy was just another mediocre Emo Revival band, but the more I listened to it the more I realized there was a lot going on that I didn’t initially notice. On Seasons in Verse there are a variety of influences working together. My Heart to Joy can be compared to their contemporaries like High Tide Hotel, Snowing, Castevet, Kid Crash…but their music is influenced by a more diverse group of bands than those previously mentioned. Like their contemporaries they mix Gruff vocals, post rock, Mid-90s Emo, and a strong love for The Appleseed Cast. But there is so much MORE here. At different times I can hear strong Casket Lottery, Benton Falls, Texas is the Reason, Red Animal War, and Ethel Meserve influence, and bits of Small Brown Bike, End of a Year, The Van Pelt, Native Nod, Christie Front Drive, Saetia, You and I, Thursday, and Rites of Spring. When you hear so many influences you can tell that a band is not going for a specific sound, but just writing music. The bands that influenced them are imbedded in their brain, only able to come out through musical expression. Seasons in Verse is a hidden jewel. You will be unable to fully appreciate it upon first listen. After you listen to Season in Verse for the first time go back and listen to the bands I mentioned as influences. You will be surprised you missed them.
The Song by Song review comes to 87%, but when you factor in the intangibles the final review comes to a 91%.
Similar Artists/Influences: The Appleseed Cast, Snowing, Castevet, Benton Falls, Grown-Ups, Hightide Hotel, Kid Crash, Small Brown Bike, Casket Lottery, End of a Year, The Van Pelt, Native Nod, Christie Front Drive, Texas is the Reason, Waxwing, Red Animal War, Ethel Meserve, Saetia, You and I, Thursday, Rites of Spring
26. Cheap Girls- My Roaring 20s
1. Sunnyside- 9/10
2. Ft. Lauderdale- 9/10
3. Hey Hey, I’m Worn Out-8.5/10
4. I had a Motorcycle- 9/10
5. Sleeping Weather- 8/10
6. Something That I Need- 9/10
7. Modern Faces- 8.5/10
8. Lab Technicians- 9/10
9. All My Clean Friends- 9/10
10. One & Four- 9/10
Cheap Girls- My Roaring 20s was another album that upon first listen I just didn’t “Get”. In fact I was furious the first time I listened to this album because I paid ten bucks for it, but with every listen I pulled more from the album. Now I love it. Cheap Girls wear their influences on their sleeve. They obviously have a strong love for Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, R.E.M., The Replacements, Superdrag, and Neil Young. I even hear a little hear a little Harvey Danger, Weezer, and Gin Blossoms in there. I really enjoy My Roaring 20s, but there was a time (when I went through my Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr., Superdrag phase) that I probably would have rated all these songs 10/10.
The Song by Song review comes to 88%, but when you factor in the intangibles the final review comes to a 91%.
Similar Artists/Influences: REM, Neil Young, Weezer, Tin Armor, Harvey Danger, Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, The Weakerthans, The Replacements, Superdrag, Neil Young, Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr., Gin Blossoms
27. UUVVWWZ- S/T
1. Berry Can 7/10
2. Shark Suit 6/10
3. Jap Dad 5/10
4. Neolaño 5/10
5. Castle 4/10
6. Green Starred Sleeve 3/10
7. Trapezeus 4/10
8. The Sun 4/10
9. Hum Jam 6/10
UUVVWWZ are an Experimental, Female Fronted, Post-Punk band that at times can sound Jazzy, bluesy, or generally unclassifiable. They are from Lincoln, NE.
I like to listen to a release at least three times before I post it as a review. Some releases take more than 3 listens to fully digest, and some are so good that I end up listening to them more because I just do not get a chance to review the CD quickly enough. Every now and again you come across a CD that it is a challenge to listen three times. UUVVWWZ’s S/T CD is one of those CDs. It starts out pretty solid. Berry Can is a good song. Shark Suit is above average, but once you reach Jap Dad you notice that UUVVWWZ has Spastic even annoying tendencies. The CD begins to go down hill fast. Neolaño is pointlessly long, and resembles a poor imitation of The Doors meets early Zeppelin. Castle is annoying and too long. Green Starred Sleeve is the worst song on the CD. The guitar work seems to be purposefully irritating and the vocals sound like meandering pretentiousness. Trapezeus is an attempt at rock and roll, but again the vocals KILL anything that might be considered redeeming. Finally, The Sun is irritating and Hum Jam shows that the band is capable of better work than they put forth on the rest of the CD.
The Major problem with UUVVWWZ is the vocals. Teal Gardner, the lead singer, refuses to control her voice. She needs to understand her vocal limitations and work within them. Unlike some artists, that she most probably idolizes, when she pushes herself beyond them the results are not appealing. If this band could reel themselves in they could probably put together a solid rock CD.
The song by song review is 49%, but when you factor in how inconsistent and annoying the CD is overall the review comes to 41%..
Similar Artists/Influences- Sonic Youth, Portugal The Man, Beep Beep, Broken Spindles, Pylon, Deerhoof, Opium Taylor, The Lepers, The Birthday Party, Captain Beefheart, Make Believe, Friend/Enemy, Blatz, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane
28. The Gateway District- Somedays You get the Thunder
1. Keeps Track of the Time- 9.5/10
2. Bad Idea- 8.5/10
3. River Trash-8.5/10
4. Some Days You get the Thunder- 8/10
5. Song for Sue- 8.5/10
6. This Guitar- 9/10
7. United Crushers- 8/10
8. Odd Pauses- 9/10
9. Highway Song- 8/10
10.Lake Street is for Suckers- 9/10
11.Falling Down and Leaving Town- 5/10
13.Run to Me- 5/10
The Gateway District are a Punk Rock Super Group featuring members of The Soviettes, Rivethead, Banner Pilot, The Self Polluters, Supermanure, The Salteens, Off With Their Heads, and Pyongyang Metro. They play a type of crossover punk rock that incorporates Alt-Country, Folk, and Post-Hardcore that is known as Orgcore (one of those genres that people describe by saying “you know when you hear it”)
The Gateway District features Nate Gangelhoff from Off With Their Heads, Banner Pilot, Pyongyang Metro, and Rivethead. He seems to be in every punk band now, and is also an author. The Gateway District has that Dillinger Four/Off With Their Heads/Against Me! influence that so many bands have been copying over the last few years. They also have a heavy Screeching Weasel influence (but doesn’t every legit Pop Punk band). The vocals sound great; they’re gruff, Yelled at times, have a Country tint at times… think if Ryan Young, Off With Their Heads Lead Singer, was a woman. The music is typical of the newly coined genre “Orgcore”(bands like Off With Their Heads, Hot Water Music, Dillinger Four, Against Me! Dear Landlord, O Pioneers!!!, The Lawrence Arms...). For the most part the CD is extremely consistent, however Some Days You get the Thunder does not end well. Two of the last three songs are pure Alt-Country and they seem out of place. I guess that makes it easy to just turn it off for the last three songs rather than having to skip the songs, but it does hurt the overall flow.
The Song by song rating is 80%. I do not think this is an accurate depiction of the CD however the flow is greatly hurt by the two bad songs at the end of the CD. Factoring all that in the overall rating is 84%.
Similar Artists/Influences: Off With Their Heads, Banner Pilot, The Soviettes, Dear Landlord, Full of Fancy, Dillinger Four, Monikers, Rivethead, Riverdales, Ramones, The Oranges Band, Against Me!, Drag the River, Screeching Weasel, Lucero, Son Volt
29. The Reptilian- Boy’s Life
1. I'll Ram My Ovopositor Down Your Throat And Lay My Eggs In Your Chest But I'm Not An Alien!- 9/10
2. So…What are My Torso’s Options- 9/10
3. Wallkicks will Work- 7.5/10
4. I Can’t Drink This. It’s Warm!- 8.5/10
The Reptilian are a Math Rock/Indie Rock/Emo band from Kalamazoo Michigan. They have released two EPs on Count Your Lucky Stars Records and a four way split with Lautrec, Boy Problems, and Osceola. They mix the sounds of Jangley Emo, Math Rock, Spacey Post Rock, and Dancey Spastic Indie Rock creating a sound all its own. There are elements of many different bands in both the music and the vocals (See the Similar Artists/Influences section) that give the music a quirky sound. They jump on the guitar noodling and Odd time signature bandwagon in the vein of American Football, Colossal, The Owls, Minus the Bear, Make Believe, Jazz June, and Cap’n Jazz. But they also add flength would sound like. They have cut their teeth on two EPs and a split, and have developed their sound. I think it’s time to take the next step and make that full length.
The Song by song rating is 85%. I feel like this is an accurate depiction of the CD. Because it is an EP and the flow of the CD I do not feel like any points should be added.
Similar Artists/Influences: American Football, Koyla, Castevet, Perfect Future, Grown Ups, Midwest Pen Pals, Jazz June, Make Believe, Algernon Cadwallader, The Appleseed Cast, Colossal, Kickball, Owls, Minus the Bear, Modest Mouse, Compound Red , Native, Hightide Hotel, The Dismemberment Plan, Victor! Fix the Sun, Trenchmouth
30. Jeremy Enigk- OK Bear
1. Mind Idea- 9/10
2. Late of Camera- 8.5/10
3. April Storm- 7.5/10
4. Life’s Too Short- 9/10
5. Just a State of Mind- 8/10
6. Sandwich Time- 9/10
7. In a Look- 8/10
8. Same Side Imaginary- 7.5/10
9. Restart- 7.5/10
10. Make Believe- 9/10
11. Vale OSO- 8.5/10
12. Saint Feliu De Guixols- 9/10
No matter what Jeremy Enigk does he will forever be linked to Emo legends Sunny Day Real Estate (SDRE), and rightfully so. His hauntingly emotional voice helped carry the band to the top of the independent music scene. SDRE broke up over disputed circumstances, some say over Jeremy finding God (although the band denies this), and some say over musical reasons. They reformed with 3/4th of the original lineup and although their sound and Jeremy’s voice had changed they still put out great music. They broke up again and formed The Fire Theft, which did not live up to expectations, and Jeremy went back to writing his solo material. Unfortunately everyone likes to knock Jeremy Enigk’s solo material, because it’s not Sunny Day Real Estate. The truth is it’s pretty good. I have heard all of his solo material, but Return of the Frog Queen (which was released between SDRE stints) and OK Bear (the album I am currently reviewing) are the ones I am most familiar with.
OK Bear sounds like a mix of SDRE’s How It Feels to be Something On, his first solo album Return of the Frog Queen, and a dash of the Rising Tide. The vocal and musical arrangements are very similar to How It Feels to be Something On. You can hear on OK Bear that Jeremy is really embracing his SDRE days (This should have foreshadowed the reunion of Sunny Day Real Estate). OK Bear is a little more pop oriented than SDRE. Along with the obvious SDRE influence Jeremy Enigk mixes in the influences he draws from other great bands: The Beatles, Cat Stevens, Electric Light Orchestra, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young, and Nick Drake. On OK Bear Jeremy seems to be very comfortable with his song writing. The album is very fluid and songs flow into each other very nicely. I know everyone wants Jeremy’s solo stuff to be SDRE, but if you can get past that and take OK Bear for what it is you will find it quite rewarding.
The Song by Song rating is 84%. However with the maturity of the song writing, the ability of Jeremy to meld different styles of music together, and the great flow of the album I would give the overall rating a 90%.
Similar Artists/Influences- Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft, Band of Horses, The Beatles, Badly Drawn Boy, Nick Drake, Cat Stevens, Elliott, The Shins, Mock Orange (later stuff)
31. Alexander the Great- Faces Change
1. Home Alone in Central Park- 9/10
2. Don’t You Forget It- 8/10
3. Tree of Knowledge- 8/10
4. Dusk- 8/10
5. Postcard- 8/10
6. Invisible Ink- 8/10
7. Late Night Rockit’s- 10/10
8. Cold Feet- 9/10
9. Mapmaking Outlines- 7.5/10
10. Cabin Fever- 7/10
11. Arms- 9/10
12. Jet Setting Jets- 9/10
Alexander the Great starts out sounding like they could be on Count Your Lucky Stars Records. The first song Home Alone in Central Park has an upbeat 90s Emo sound that reminds me of Annabel and Into It. Over It.. Then they change directions on the second song Don’t You Forget It. On that track they sound like Nada Surf and the Campfire Girls. On the third track they change directions again and sound like The Appleseed Cast and American Football, and on the fourth track you can hear heavy …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead influence. You just can’t nail this band down to one style of music. Alexander the Great are all over the map with their influences. Besides the 90s Emo influence you can hear varying elements of Post Punk, Post Rock, Post Hardcore, LoFi, Pop, Progressive Rock, and Indie Rock. With so many different influences you start to wonder if Alexander the Great can produce a cohesive album. Well they manage to pull it off. Although they do have many different influences their prevailing sound is a mix of Annabel, Damiera, Into It. Over It., The Get Up Kids, Nada Surf, and Campfire Girls. Their core sound is Mid 90s Emo, but they are not afraid to experiment with other sounds. Alexander the Great is comfortable enough with their song writing to let it drift in different directions, and it makes for a solid album.
The Song by Song rating is 84%. When you factor in the intangibles like Alexander the Great’s ability to mix different genres of music so well and the flow of the CD the overall rating comes to 87%.
Similar Artists/Influences: Nada Surf, Mock Orange, Canterbury Effect, Brand New, Pedro the Lion, Metroplex, Jeremy Enigk, David Bazan (Solo), So Many Dynamos, The Appleseed Cast, American Football, Campfire Girls, …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Into It Over It, Damiera, Annabel, The Get Up Kids, Dinosaur Jr.
32. Empire! Empire! (I was a Lonely Estate)- What It Takes to Move Forward
1. How to Make Love Stay- 9.5/10
2. Keep What You have Built Up Here- 10/10
3. What Safe Means- 9/10
4. It Happened because You Left- 9/10
5. Rally the Troops! Poke Holes In Their Defenses! Line Our Coffers With Their Coffins!- 8.5/10
6. It’s a Plague and You’re Invited- 10/10
7. Everything Is Connected and Everything Matters (A Temporary Solution to a Permanent Problem)- 10/10
8. The Next Step to Regaining Control- 10/10
9. With Your Greatest Fears Realized, You Will Not Be Comforted- 10/10
10. I Am a Snail, and You Are a Pace I Cannot Match- 9/10
11. An Idea Is a Greater Monument Than a Cathedral- 10/10
In the 90s there was a movement of Emo that took the underground by storm. Bands like Christie Front Drive, Mineral, Cap’n Jazz, Texas is the Reason, The Get Up Kids, and many others gathered a small but loyal following that was different than the Emo we were use to. The music was more melodic, the vocals sung not screamed, and the music was softer, less intense but just as heartfelt. This new type of Emo grew in popularity and made it into the mainstream. It was copied and copied and copied until it was a shell of its former self. It was Emo in name alone, nothing more than Pop-Mess. Although every aspect of Emo took a hit because of its trip to the mainstream, this type of Emo (sometimes called Post-Emo) took the hardest hit. For several years few bands had the guts to call themselves Emo for fear that they would be lumped in with the filth that record companies and commercialism created. Just when it seemed like the radio killed Emo something special happened, the internet. People started converting their old vinyl records into MP3s. Old Emo like Lincoln, Rights Reserved, Embassy, Indian Summer, and Moss Icon was now readily available and FREE on the internet. The website Fourfa helped listeners make the connections between eras of Emo, and people started to buy and download all eras of Emo. None of this would have been possible if Old School Emo Kids weren’t willing to share their record collections that they spent their hard earned money on. Their actions spread the word that Emo is more than eyeliner and nail polish. As the different types of Emo started to spread so did the word that Emo actually meant something and was not a fashion statement. Eventually the kids that were downloading old school Emo like crazy started writing music, and now there are GENUINE EMO BANDS writing music again.
I consider Emipre! Empire! the leader in this New Emo Movement. They weren’t the first band to start writing worthwhile Emo music again, and they are not the most popular. But they have several things working for them that other bands do not. First of all the founding member (Keith) runs the record label Count Your Lucky Stars Records. Count Your Lucky Stars is like the new version of Crank! or Caulfield Records. They do not sign bands to sell records they sign bands that make quality music. They are the perfect poster band for this movement, just underground enough for fair-weather fans to miss and just popular enough for those in the know to have heard. You don’t have to live in their hometown (Fenton, Michigan) to have heard of them.
Their first full length, What It Takes to Move Forward, is not what I expected. But let’s take a step back a few years. Back in 2007 I bought their first EP and I enjoyed it. They were messaging people individually about it on Myspace. I normally ignore messages like that, but they were dropping names like Mineral and Christie Front Drive so I had to check it out. I liked the songs they had up and bought the record. I listened to it moved on and didn’t hear anything about the band for awhile. Then in the summer of 2009 I started to hear rumblings about the band on Lastfm. I got a hold of the record in the fall (later the import and double LP). The first time through I liked it, but I was surprised. Their sound had definitely progressed since their first EP. There was more use of distortion and the song structures were different, more mature. I needed time to digest it. Once I digested it I found a new favorite song every time I listened: First it was Keep What You have Built Up Here, then it was Everything Is Connected and Everything Matters (A Temporary Solution to a Permanent Problem), next With Your Greatest Fears Realized, You Will Not Be Comforted, and finally An Idea Is a Greater Monument Than a Cathedral. The album is a mix of sounds: Noodling reminiscent of American Football, Emo style arpeggio like Mineral, build ups like Mineral and Christie Front Drive, a dash of Post Rock like The Appleseed Cast, and guitar work that is similar to at least a dozen 90s Emo bands. They have also added their own signature musical sound to all their influences. It’s not something I can describe in words. It’s something you are going to have to hear for yourself. Not only that, but their throwback sound transcends the throwback sound of their contemporaries (Joie De Vivre, Castevet, Algernon Cadwallader, The Grown Ups, Snowing, Football, Etc…). For that they deserve to be called the leaders of this New Wave of Emo, or Post-Emo (whatever you want to call it). Whether they or their contemporaries know it or not this Wave of Emo will go the way of Empire! Empire! and their little record label.
The Song by Song rating is 95%. When you factor in the intangibles like the fact that this album will surely go down as a classic Emo album you have to give it 100%.
Similar Artists/Influences- Christie Front Drive, Mineral, Penfold, Joie De Vivre, Castevet, American Football, Golden City, The 101, Algernon Cadwallader. Minus the Bear, Look Mexico, Snowing, Football Etc,
33. Daitro- Y
1. Part I- 9/10
2. Part II- 9.5/10
3. Part III- 10/10
4. Part IV- 9/10
5. Part V- 8/10
6. Part VI- 9/10
7. Part VII- 10/10
8. Part VIII- 8/10
9. Part IX- 8/10
10. Part X- 8.5/10
Y is not as chaotic or hard as Daitro’s earlier releases. They utilize Post-Rock more like so many of their Screamo contemporaries are doing, but they add an unexpected new influence: Mid-Western Style Post Hardcore (Giants Chair, Boys Life, Panel Donor, Molly McGuire). It seems that Daitro is evolving. As a general rule Screamo fans do not like evolution that takes away from heaviness and chaos. Now not every Screamo fan hates this type of evolution, but I know enough Screamo fans to say that it’s at least a viable stereotype. Like I said earlier Daitro shows considerable growth on Y. Upon first listen Y seems lackluster, because you are so use to their more chaotic sound. However this is only a temporary problem. The more you listen the more you notice how much more mature their musicianship is. Even though I do not understand French you can tell the album has a definite direction, a concept album (like the song names imply). Each song flows into the next with near perfection. Y really is quite an accomplishment. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if Daitro calls it quits. It’s going to be next to impossible to top Y. It may be the best thing for the band to do. If only someone would translate the lyrics so I knew what the concept of the album was.
The Song by Song rating is 89%. When you factor in the intangibles like the fantastic flow of the album and the growth and maturity the band shows on Y the final rating comes to 94%.
Similar Artists/Influences- Amanda Woodward, Heaven in Her Arms, La Quiete, Louis Cyphre, Loma Prieta, Suis La Lune, Raein, Sed Non Satiata, Aussitôt Mort, Funeral Diner, Envy, Giants Chair, Boys Life, Panel Donor
2009 Record Review Rankings
Self-Evident- Endings 100%
Empire! Empire! - What It takes to Move Forward 100%
Age Sixteen- Open Finders, Please 97%
Joie De Vivre- Summer Months 95%
Daitro- Y 94%
Hermit Thrushes- Slight Fountain 93%
North Lincoln- Midwestern Blood 92%
My Heart to Joy- Season in Verse 91%
Cheap Girls- My Roaring 20s 91%
Castevet - summer fences 90%
Jeremy Enigk- OK Bear 90%
The Sleepover Disaster- Hover 87%
Alexander the Great- Faces Change 87%
The Life and Times- Tragic Boogie 86%
Golden City- S/T 86%
Shook Ones- The Unquotable A. M. H. 85%
No Friends -No Friends 85%
Football, Etc.- First Down 85%
The Reptilian- Boy’s Life 85%
O Pioneers!!!- Neon Creeps 84%
The Gateway District- Some Days You Get the Thunder 84%
Loma Prieta- Dark Mountain 83%
Mono- Hymn To The Immortal Wind 77%
We Were Promise Jetpacks- These Four Walls 76%
Deep Sleep- Three Things at Once 76%
The Oranges Band- Are Invisible 75%
Dear Landlord- Dream Homes 73%
Modest Mouse- No One's First and Your Next 67%
Here Holy Spain- Manic 66%
Coalesce- OX 60%
Broken Spindles- Kiss/Kick 59%
The Loved Ones- Distractions 57%
UUVVWWZ- S/T 41%
Albums I have not finished reviews for:
Doves- Kingdom of Rust
The Thermals- Now We Can See
Canadian Invasion- Three Cheers for the Invisible Hand
Swan Lake- Enemy Mine
Pronto- All is Golden
Neil Young- Fork In The Road-3
Traindodge- I Am Forever
The Appleseed Cast- Sagamatha-1
Beep Beep- Enchanted Islands-3
Cursive- Mama, I'm Swollen
Golden City- S/T
Conor Oberst- Outer South
Green Day- 21st Century Breakdown
So Many Dynamos- The Loud Wars
Double Dagger- More
Jeremy Enigk- Ok Bear
Bat For Lashes- Two Suns-3
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead- The Century of Self
Silversun Pickups- Swoon
Audrye Sessions- Audrye Sessions-3
Millions- Gather Scatter
Cougar Den- Keepondrifter
M. Ward- Hold Time
Magnetic Morning- AM
Dredg- The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion-3
Marked Men- Ghosts
Sonic Youth- The Eternal
Meat Puppets- Sewn Together-3
Isis- Wavering Radiant-2
Leftovers- Eager to Please
Deerhunter- Rainwater Cassette Exchange
This Town Needs Guns- Animals
Future of the Left- Travels With Myself And Another
The Mars Volta- Octahedron
Dinosaur Jr.- Farm
Wilco- Wilco (The Album)-2
Psyched to Die- Year One-1
Son Volt- American Central Dust-3
The Seldon Plan- Lost and Found and Lost-3
Crystal Antlers- Tentacles-1
Hitch- Clair. Obscur-1
Push-Pull- Between Noise and the Indians
Pomegranates- Everybody, Come Outside!-3
Rancid- Let the Dominoes Fall-2
Riverdales- Invasion USA-1
Screaming Females- Power Move-3
In the Red- Vol. 2-2
Mike Hale- Lives Like Mine-3
Mi Ami- Watersports-1
Kevin Devine- Brother's Blood
Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavilion-1
Against Me!- The Original Cowboy-2
Ralpheene- Quiet Seems Asleep-2
Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix-1
Au Revoir Simone- Still Night, Still Light-3
Art Brut- Art Brut vs. Satan
Moving Mountains- Foreword-1
Banner Pilot- Collapser-1
Suicide Note- Empty Rooms
Marmoset- Tea Tornado
Municipal Waste- Massive Aggressive
Broadway Calls- Good Views, Bad Views-1
The Rural Alberta Advantage- Hometowns
Sea Wolf-White Water,White Bloom-2
Owen- New Leaves-1
Japandroids- Post Nothing-1
Joan of Arc- flowers-1
AIDS Wolf- Dusting off the Sphynk-2
Brain Banger- Yellow Belly-2
Polvo- In Prism-2
American Steel- Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts-3
David Bazan- Curse Your Branches-3
Yo La Tengo- Popular Songs-3
Monsters of Folk- S/T-1
Stereotyperider- Songs in the Key of F and U-3
Into It. Over It.- 52 Weeks
Tortoise- Beacons of Ancestorship-3
Mission of Burma- The Sound the Speed the Light-1
Cymbals Eat Guitar-Why There are Mountains
Skeletonwitch- Breathing the Fire-2
The Exelar- The Newburgh Conspiracy-2
Sick Sick Birds - Heavy Manners-1
Converge- Axe to Fall-1
The Red Chord- Fed Through the Teeth Machine
Towers- Full Circle-1
Pianos Become Teeth- Saltwater-1
There Will Be Fireworks- S/T-1
Fall of Troy- In the Unlikely Event-3
Slayer- World Painted Blood-1
Little Brazil- Son-3
The Twilight Sad- Forget the Night Ahead-3
Built to Spill- There Is No Enemy
Thursday- Common Existence-1
Superchunk- Leaves in the Gutter-1
These United States- Everything Touches Everything-3
Napalm Death- Time Waits for No Slave-1
Mika Miko- We Be Xuxa
P.S. Elliot- Introverted Romance In Our Troubled Minds
Black Dahlia Murder- Deflorate-3
Evile- infected nations-3
Woe of Tyrants- Kingtdom of Might-3
Devine Herasy- Bringer of Plagues-3
The Antlers- Hospice
Great Northern- Remind Me Where the Light Is
Fin Fang Foom –Monomyth-2
The Poles- Twelve Winds-2
Health- Get Color-1
Asphyx - Death...The Brutal Way-3
Cloak/Dagger -Lost Art
Atlas Sound- Logos-1
End Of A Year/Segwei –Split-2
Perfect Future- S/T-1
Annabel- Each and Everyone-1
Haymarket Riot- Endless Bummer-2
House Boat- Delaware Octopus
delay - plain language
Teenage Bottlerocket- They Came from the Shadows-1
Nothington- Roads, Bridges, and Ruins-1
Gaza- He is not Coming Back
Juvenescent Beat!- One Day We're going to Fall through the Roof
Reigning Sound- Love and Curses-2
Jay Reatard - Watch Me Fall
Pissed Jeans - King of Jeans-1
Baroness- Blue Record-3
Portugal the man- the satanic Satanist-3
Teenage Cool Kids- Foreign Land-1
Animal Collective- Fall Be Kind-1
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart- S/T-1
A Place to Bury Strangers- Exploding Head-2
Great Lake Swimmers- Lost Channels-3
Morrissey- Years Of Refusal-1
Oneida- Rated O-3
The Psyke Project- Dead Storm-3
Chinese Stars- Heaven on Speed Dial
Brand New- Daisy-2
Taking Back Sunday- New Again-2
Jetty Boys- Sheboygan
Kaospilot – Shadows
Sunset Rubdown- Dragonslayer- 2
Noise By Numbers- Yeah, Whatever…-2
Tombs- Winter hours-3
Jesu- Opiate Sun-1
Blackout Beach- Skin of Evil-2
La Dispute- Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair -1
Native- Wrestling Moves
Touche Amore- To the Beat of a Dead Horse
Elvis Costello- Secret, Profane and Sugarcane
Victor! Fix the Sun- Person Place or Thing- 1
1994!- Thank You Arms and Fingers