Reviews

The Mabuses | Mabused (Magpie)

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Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 08 October 2007 02:03

cd_mabuses.jpgThis thing is meant to be listened to, to thoroughly immerse yourself in like classic rock albums of yesteryear compelled you to.

 

 

 

 

 

Biffy Clyro | Puzzle (Roadrunner/14th Floor)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 08 October 2007 02:00

cd_biffy.jpgThe difference between Biffy Clyro and bands like QOTSA and RATM is inventiveness. Instead of pioneering, the Scottish trio retreads, further clarifying the line between talented musicians and talented songwriters and performers.

 

 

 

   

Beirut | The Flying Club Cup (Ba Da Bing)

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Written by Pete Wissinger Monday, 08 October 2007 01:57

cd_beirut.jpgThe Flying Club Cup sees Beirut's Zach Condon combining his Eastern European roots with a tinge of French pop crooning.

 

 

 

 

 

White Chalk | PJ Harvey (Island)

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Wednesday, 03 October 2007 09:30

wc_cover.jpgWhite Chalk is a deceivingly stripped-down album which finds Harvey painting chilling stories that settle uncomfortably in the head, often coming back to haunt the listener long after the disc has stopped revolving.

   

The Weakerthans | Reunion Tour (Anti)

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Written by David Lichius Tuesday, 02 October 2007 16:15

cd_weakerthans.jpgAny expectations of an upbeat nerd-pop record are quickly squashed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overkill | Immortalis (Bodog Music)

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Written by Eammon Azizi Tuesday, 02 October 2007 16:10

cd_overkill.jpgOverkill are true heroes and veterans of their genre, proving once again they know exactly what their fans want.

 

 

 

 

   

Northern State | Can I Keep This Pen? (Ipecac)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Tuesday, 02 October 2007 16:06

cd_northernstate.jpgYou're actually just what Luscious Jackson fans like me should really dig.

 

 

 

 

 

Liars | Liars (Mute)

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Written by Kevin Renick Tuesday, 02 October 2007 15:58

cd_liars.jpgLiars is just as freaky and formula-defying as before—it's just that there isn't a theme or concept this time per se, unless the concept is Liars simply trying to make music without a fictional backdrop.

 

 

 

 

   

Les Savy Fav | Let's Stay Friends (French Kiss)

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Written by David Lichius Tuesday, 02 October 2007 15:53

cd_lessavyfav.jpgTo phrase it quite simply, Les Savy Fav is an incredible rock band. And whether it is frowned upon or not, LSF do have a "party" quality to them.

 

 

 

 

VHS or Beta | Bring on the Comets (Astralwerks)

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Written by Jim Ousley Tuesday, 02 October 2007 15:49

cd_vhsorbeta.jpgVHS or Beta are reinventing themselves by aiming for the radio as well as the clubs; the hooks on Bring on the Comets come as fast and furious as the beats.

 

 

 

 

   

Donny Hue and the Colors | Folkmote (The Kora)

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Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 26 September 2007 01:28

cd_donnyhue.jpgThis album is all about feel, and you can't manufacture that. Feel has to be an organic thing, kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simian Mobile Disco | Attack Decay Sustain Release (Interscope)

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Written by Leah Martin Tuesday, 25 September 2007 14:11

cd_simian.jpgI actually had the urge to do the robot in my chair, from this track on for the full 37 minutes of the album.

 

 

 

 

   

The Cave Singers | Invitation Songs (Matador)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Tuesday, 25 September 2007 14:02

cd_cavesinger.jpgThe three claim they didn't set out to be a folk group, or to make a folk record. They've failed. Invitation Songs is the best folk albums in years.

 

 

 

 

 

The Hail Marys | Faith, Forgiveness, Sweet Revenge (S/R)

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Written by Eammon Azizi Tuesday, 25 September 2007 13:55

Overall, it's a seriously upbeat, rockin' 28-minute listen that offers nothing even close to a ballad.

   

Dethklok | The Dethalbum (Williams Street/Roadrunner)

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Written by Jason Green Monday, 24 September 2007 07:22

cd_dethalbum.jpgNorway's greatest fictional metal band comes alive on this soundtrack from the the Cartoon Network/[adult swim] smash hit series Metalocalypse, just in time for the premiere of the show's second season.

 

 

AdriAnne Lenker | Live at the Southern (s/r)

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Written by Amanda Pelle Thursday, 20 September 2007 02:14

cd_adrianne.jpgStanding barefoot on the stage of a crowded room, Lenker addresses the audience with a demure yet unapologetic pout on her lips.

 

 

 

 

   

Black Lips | Good, Bad, Not Evil (Vice)

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Written by Leah Martin Thursday, 20 September 2007 02:03

cd_blacklips.jpgThey consider themselves "flower punk," the meaning of which is unclear—perhaps a reference to a Frank Zappa song—and for a punk band, they certainly attempt to convey a varied message.

 

 

 

 

 

Amiina | Kurr (Ever)

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Written by Kevin Renick Sunday, 16 September 2007 13:51

cd_amiinaThere is always a sense of forward motion in their music: a unique flow, an aesthetic that seems to almost survey the details of the beauty and vastness all around them.

 

 

 

 

   

LCD Soundsytem | A Bunch of Stuff EP (DFA/Capitol)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Sunday, 16 September 2007 13:35

While 45:33 was supposedly made for joggers to listen to while working out, A Bunch of Stuff seems destined for club DJs and people who aspire to be club DJs.

 

 

Rilo Kiley | Under the Blacklight (Warner Bros.)

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Written by Kevin Renick Sunday, 09 September 2007 09:32

cd_rilo-kileyRilo Kiley have made a perfectly delightful, tightly arranged record, a lean, fat-free collection of 11 tunes that broadens the sonic palette a little bit.

 

 

 

 

   

Dandi Wind | Concrete Igloo (Summer Lovers Unltd.)

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Written by Kevin Renick Thursday, 06 September 2007 14:23

cd_dandiwindBut the meat of the album comes with tougher tracks like "Balloon Factory," which goes on about the virgin mother being seen on the face of a balloon, while distorted, exuberantly weird vocals breathe fire and deliver a ripping chorus of "Whang-diddly dang dang."

 

 

 

 

Brown Shoe | Vanity (s/r)

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Written by James Nokes Thursday, 06 September 2007 14:19

cd_brownshoeWhat began in a Folsom, Calif., garage has taken these three brothers and friend on a journey of textural rhythms that verge on what the band calls ethereal rock 'n' roll.

 

 

 

 

   

Benzos | Branches (Stinky)

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Written by James Nokes Thursday, 06 September 2007 14:15

cd_benzosBenzos' sophomore album, Branches, attempts to seamlessly blend the ambience and rhythm of early underground dance and experimental electronic music with lush, rock-based guitars and soaring vocals.

 

 

 

 

Alina Simone | Placelesness (54 40 or Fight)

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Written by James Nokes Thursday, 06 September 2007 14:10

cd_alinaAlina Simone's sophomore release, Placelessness, expands upon the minimalism of her debut EP, Prettier in the Dark, this time with a stronger sensitivity and the addition of sandpaper and a filing cabinet.

 

 

 

   

Silverchair | Young Modern (Eleven)

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Written by Nickolas Blazina Thursday, 06 September 2007 14:02

cd_silverchairThe band has grown far past the precocious teens of the mid-'90s dubbed "Nirvana in Pajamas" by the mainstream U.S. press.

 

 

 

 

 

They Might Be Giants | The Else (Idlewild/Zoe/Universal)

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Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Monday, 03 September 2007 13:58

cd_tmbgThe biggest detriment to The Else is that it merely settles for being clever, instead of aspiring for that heady ingenuity that has kept TMBG relevant for so long.

 

 

 

 

   

Fjord Rowboat | Saved the Compliments for Morning (s/r)

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Written by Glen Elkins Thursday, 30 August 2007 14:18

cd_fjordFjord Rowboat package a strong, vibrant sound into a collection of indie-rock tunes more along the lines of Doves or Interpol. And they do so impressively.

 

 

 

 

 

The Panic Division | Songs From the Glasshouse (The Militia Group)

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Written by Tracie Tomlinson Thursday, 30 August 2007 14:07

cd_panicdivColton Holliday sings with such passion and conviction that it's hard not to believe every word he sings. No matter the tone of the song or the subject of the lyrics, he is able to convey its idea.

 

 

 

 

   

RadioRadio | Watch 'Em All Come Running (s/r)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:54

cd_radioradioI'm struck instantly of the amazing power of music. This song makes me want to cry: that's how deeply the voice and the notes combine, drawing a swell of emotions, of experiences, of memories and living life and feeling completely connected to all that surrounds me.

 

 

 

 

The Good Life | Help Wanted Nights (Saddle Creek)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:50

cd_goodlifeThe songs touch heavily on themes of heartbreak, infidelity and failure to commit; compositionally, they range from sparse and simple to fully orchestrated and swelling.

 

 

 

   

Eastern Conference Champions | Ameritown (Suretone/Fontana)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:47

cd_easternconfThis is truly an aural pleasure, a distinct and engaging listening experience more than a lyrical discovery.

 

 

 

 

Matt Nathanson | Some Mad Hope (Vanguard)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Thursday, 30 August 2007 13:44

cd_nathansonI hate to think that contentment kills creativity—really, must all artists be tortured and miserable?—but numerous listens to Some Mad Hope have left me uninspired.

 

 

 

   

The Pietasters | All Day (Indication)

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Written by Jason Neubauer Monday, 20 August 2007 14:47

cd_pietastersIn their 17 years together, they have seen and done just about everything a late-breaking musician would name as an aspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

Kaz Murphy | Home for Misfits (s/r)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 20 August 2007 14:43

cd_kazThe songs here aren't retro, they're timeless—but not in a classic way. This album will never be irrelevant, but it won't ever really fit, either.

 

 

 

 

   

Numero 016 | Kid Soul: The ABC's of Kid Soul (The Numero Group)

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Written by Sam Levy Monday, 20 August 2007 14:39

cd_numero16The Numero Group is brilliant at capturing stories that share a common, forgotten-by-time legacy. Michael Jackson is the only surviving member of Kid Soul, a genre that exploded, and imploded soon after.

 

 

 

 

Black Before Red | Belgrave to Kings Circle (I Eat Records)

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Written by Raymee Holshauser Monday, 20 August 2007 14:34

I love the various textures of the male voice and Mark Ferrino's is pure and interesting. He adds emotion and creates a radiant pop/rock vibe.

 

   

Arks | The International (Highwheel)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 20 August 2007 14:30

The International is guitar-driven, jagged and danceable, right from the declarative first track. I started singing along right away, always a good sign.

 

 

Anna Wilson | Time Changes Everything (Transfer)

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Written by Amanda Pelle Monday, 20 August 2007 14:24

cd_anna-wilsonThe album opens with "That's What Lovers Do," evoking the image of a passionate couple making love by the fire, snowflakes drifting outside the window and shadows dancing on the walls.

 

 

 

 

   

The Rentals | Last Little Life EP (Boompa)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 20 August 2007 14:20

cd_rentalsThe band used to quote Gary Numan when referencing relationships; now they sing about listening to Nat King Cole. The irreverence is there, but the attitude isn't.

 

 

 

 

 

The Lovemakers | Misery Loves Company (Fuzz)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 20 August 2007 14:18

cd_lovemakersTheir bandmates didn't appreciate Light and Blonde's makeout sessions during practice, so the duo became The Lovemakers, and built itself a following from Oakland to San Francisco.

 

 

 

   

The Foundry Field Recordings | Fallout Stations EP (Emergency Umbrella)

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Written by Alex Hodschayan Friday, 10 August 2007 08:24

cd_foundryMore energetic then most of their material, "Transistor Kids" has something for everyone, with a resonance to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside while the drums in the background rage on like battle drums.

 

 

 

 

The Cape May | Glass Mountain Road (Flemish Eye)

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Written by Mike Tangaro Tuesday, 31 July 2007 13:54

cd_capemayCalgary's The Cape May's sophomore album, Glass Mountain Roads, has a lot in common with a fresh box of warm, soft donuts.

 

 

 

 

   

Man in Gray | I Can't Sleep Unless I Hear You Breathing (Serious Business)

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Written by James Nokes Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:05

Man in Gray, boasting high-volume, pop-structured sounds encased in a crunchy shell of volume and confusion debuts with I Can't Sleep Unless I Hear You Breathing, a polyamorous union of soul, British folk, and hardcore punk.

 

 

Romantica | America (2024)

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Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:03

cd_romanticaSuch a record better at least evoke the search for the American dream, love and loss in the heartland, the feel of traveling on vast, open stretches of highway, the hope of an immigrant searching for a better life, etc.

 

 

 

   

The Rats and People | City of Passersby (s/r)

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Written by Brian Potts Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:01

Sayles and Co. have obviously never heard of the phrase "verse, chorus, verse, chorus." Rarely in their songs do parts repeat more than once.

 

 

The Go | Howl on the Haunted Beat You Ride (Cass)

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Written by Joseph O'Fallon Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:59

cd_goThe Go should be recognized as more than the band Jack White played with in the '90s.

 

 

 

 

   

Two Loons for Tea | Nine Lucid Dreams (Sarathan)

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Written by Glen Elkins Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:53

cd_twoloonsNine Lucid Dreams, sounds like it escaped 1997 and somehow found its way into this century.

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Voegele | Don't Look Away (MySpace)

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Written by Katie Herring Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:50

cd_voegeleShe is oozing with potential and my prediction is that her next album is going to kick Don't Look Away's ass, after she gets a little bit more life experience and a little bit more love and loss under her belt.

 

 

 

   

Bat for Lashes | Fur and Gold (The Echo Label)

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Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:44

cd_batforlashesAs you draw closer to the source, you hear that it's some kind of lush, strange music with a female singer. You're captivated, even at this distance.

 

 

 

Angel and the Love Mongers | The Humanist Queen (Disgraceland)

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Written by James Nokes Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:40

lovemongerStrange and surprising, the sophomore release from Angel and the Love Mongers, The Humanist Queen, despite its peculiar titling manages to capture a catchy mish-mash of Depche Mode-like vocals and a sound reminiscent of The Cure, Morrissey, and Pulp.

 

 

   

Bodies of Water | Eyes Will Pop & Ears Will Blink (Thousand Tongues)

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Written by Mike Tangaro Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:38

cd_bodiesEach song changes direction without notice. Vocals flutter in and out of the mix, trumpets flare and then disappear into quiet, and drums pounce vibrantly before settling into a soothing beat.

 

 

 

 

The Gang Font feat. Interloper (Thirsty Ear)

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Written by Jason Green Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:35

cd_gang-fontThis is heavily intricate, wildly experimental instrumental jazz that rocks with punk-like abandon.

 

 

 

 

   

Butane Variations (Achord Recordings)

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Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:27

cd_butaneThis six-piece psych-tinged Americana ensemble, headed by songwriters Phil Weinrobe and John-Paul Norpoth, just seems to know something other bands don't. Or maybe they care more.

 

 

 

 

Chris and Thomas | Land of Sea (Defend Music Inc.)

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Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:19

cd_christhomasThey sing as one, allowing for a constant, delicate interplay between the two. The result is often folk music at its most enchanting.

 

 

 

   

Fionn Regan | The End of History (Lost Highway)

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Written by Glen Elkins Thursday, 19 July 2007 07:07

cd_fionnreganIn "Be Good or Be Gone," Regan embraces the best things about the singer/songwriter genre, creating a sincere, honest depiction of a man and his songs.

 

 

 

 

 

Jefferson Airplane | Sweeping Up the Spotlight, Live at the Fillmore East, 1969 (Legacy)

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Written by Amy Burger Wednesday, 18 July 2007 08:25

jefferson-airplaneThe album is a celebration of one of the greatest American rock bands playing at one of the greatest venues in America.

   

Driver Side Impact | The Very Air We Breathe (Victory)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Tuesday, 17 July 2007 09:03

cd_driverGirls and boys, your prayers for yet another emo-goth-punk band of black-haired, pierced-lipped lads to feverishly adore and befriend on MySpace have been answered.

 

 

 

 

Tesla | Real to Reel (Tesla Electric Co. Rec.)

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Written by Jim Campbell Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:28

teslaNot only is the energy notably lacking on each track, the production quality of the entire album falls flat. It fails to pop, sizzle, or even appear interesting.

 

   

Jeff Buckley | So Real: Songs From Jeff Buckley (Sony)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:25

sorealbuckleyFor a "greatest hits" of sorts, it doesn't showcase Buckley's talents. Instead, it goes for the obvious appeal. The tracks chosen for this collection show Buckley's most commercial and instantly appealing side, the side that I grew to dislike over the years.

 

Circus Diablo | Circus Diablo (Koch)

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Written by Jim Campbell Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:23

circusdiabloI was hoping "Commercial Break" would be interesting, full of eerie rhythms and non-sequitur lyrics, but once again the song seemed to ramble on with no point or meaning.

 

   

Great Lakes Myth Society | Compass Rose Bouquet (Quack!Media)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:20

greatlakesmythThat afternoon, I ejected the CD I intended to review first and popped in the sophomore effort from Great Lakes Myth Society. "OK, indie band I've never heard of," I thought to myself, "wow me."

 

 

Spoon | Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:19

gagagagagaAmong indie bands, Spoon's CD structure often feels the most like Top 40 bands, insofar as their CDs tend to have two or three really good songs, and then a lot of filler.

 

   

The Teeth | You're My Lover Now (Park the Van)

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Written by Mike Tangaro Monday, 09 July 2007 15:06

cd_teethIf imitation is the best form of flattery, consider The Kinks flattered after a spin of You're My Lover Now.

 

 

 

 

 

The Blue Method | Kill the Music Vol. II

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Written by Amy Burger Monday, 09 July 2007 14:07

 

 

tbmcdcoverIf you're not a fan of horns, this album may not be for you, as it is saturated with them. If you are a fan of them, as I am, it will quite literally blow you away.

 

 

 

 

   

Rasputina | Oh Perilous World (Filthy Bonnet)

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Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 02 July 2007 09:17

cd_rasputinaLike the White Stripes' Icky Thump, Oh Perilous World finds Rasputina staying true to its fans and prior work, with fewer turnoffs to the less experimental fan.

 

 

 

 

 

Rocky Volotato | The Brag and Cuss (Barsuk)

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Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 02 July 2007 09:13

cd_votolatoWhen I got my hands on The Brag and Cuss, I was looking for the new rock song, and I can safely say there isn't one.

 

 

 

 

   

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