Reviews

Gorillaz | D-Sides (Virgin)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Saturday, 10 November 2007 09:24

cd_gorillaz.jpgD-Sides caters almost perfectly to hardcore Gorillaz fans. The kinds who follow the cartoon mythology and buy the collectibles, or those who are drawn to pick up a Roland or Casio after hearing "Dirty Harry" on the radio.

 

 

Soulsavers | It's Not How Far You Fall, It's How You Land (Red Ink)

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Written by Glen Elkins Saturday, 10 November 2007 09:15

cd_soulsavers.jpgThe disc avoids this trite compost heap by blending unique swathes from the musical palettes of Machin and Glover, creating a tapestry of sonic possibilities.

 

   

Club 8 | The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming (Labrador)

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Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 07 November 2007 09:40

cd_club8.jpgHer songs are swathed in romantic heartache—both the "yearning for you" and "I'm disillusioned by you" varieties.

 

 

Akron/Family | Love Is Simple (Young God)

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Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 05 November 2007 13:01

cd_akron.jpgThere's a fierce imagination at work on Love Is Simple, but it's not inaccessible or overly heady; instead, the rapid changes within the music take you on a breathtaking ride through not-fully-charted territory.

 

   

The Silver Seas | High Society (Cheap Lullaby)

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Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 05 November 2007 12:59

cd_silverseas.jpg"We'll Go Walking" is a shiver-inducing bit of romantic reverie that's laced with gorgeous harmonies.

 

 

Carla Bruni | No Promises (Naïve)

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Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 05 November 2007 09:20

cd_bruni.jpgAnd now, international supermodel Carla Bruni has released her debut, which also takes the works of great poets and sets them to music.

 

   

Clock Hands Strangle | Redshift/Blueshift (Team Grizzly)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Friday, 02 November 2007 09:32

cd_clockhands.jpgEven in its sparsest moments, when there's just a voice and a guitar, the rhythm is evident.

 

 

Mobius Band | Heaven (Misra)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Friday, 02 November 2007 09:29

cd_mobius.jpgMobius Band's dedication to different styles within the same subgenre keeps Heaven interesting, but there's not enough innovation here to make it a truly great album. It's still enjoyable, but not because it's familiar. The unexpected bits make Heaven worth hearing.

 

   

James Blunt | All the Lost Souls (Atlantic)

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Written by Amanda Pelle Friday, 02 November 2007 09:27

cd_blunt.jpgAll The Lost Souls further explores the consequences of time as related to fame, and the perceived importance of fame.

 

 

Dashboard Confessional | The Shade of Poison Trees (Vagrant)

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Written by Todd Sarvies Friday, 02 November 2007 09:16

cd_dashboard.jpgLyrically, the songs are overly straightforward and descriptive, lacking the poetic symbolism found in previous favorites and, in turn, sounding more like words written by Ben Folds than what we've grown to expect from Carrabba.

 

   

Sea Wolf | Leaves in the River (Dangerbird)

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Written by Carl Hines Friday, 02 November 2007 08:52

cd_seawolf.jpgAlex Church, lead singer and sole writer of the album, does well to blend organic instruments like acoustic guitar, organ, and cello with various electronic blips and bleeps.

 

 

Jim Ward | Quiet EP (Civil Defense League)

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Written by Mandy Jordan Wednesday, 31 October 2007 02:39

cd_jimward.jpg"On My Way Back Home" is a traveling song, complete with rhythmic guitar and a harmonica that makes you feel like you're just an overfilled backpack and bus ticket away from some fantastic journey or its fantastic end.

 

   

The A-Sides | Silver Storms (Vagrant)

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Written by Jason Neubauer Wednesday, 31 October 2007 02:27

cd_a-sides.jpgIn a conscious effort to break free of the 1960s pop sounds from their debut full length Hello, Hello, The A-Sides have developed a new sound for themselves that is surprisingly as original as one can really achieve in today's scene.

 

 

Stars | In Our Bedroom After the War (Arts & Crafts)

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Written by Leah Martin Tuesday, 30 October 2007 14:53

cd_stars.jpgSongs like "Barricade" are what redeem Stars for their flagrant cheesiness.

 

   

Sergeant | Midnight to Midnight (s/r)

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Written by Jason Neubauer Tuesday, 30 October 2007 14:49

cd_sergeant.jpgYet another four piece steps out of San Francisco to express disappointment with love and life.  In lieu of diversity of theme, Sergeant has released a CD that seems to give variations of two or three songs several times over.

 

 

The October | Lost Since Graduation EP (s/r)

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Written by Jason Green Tuesday, 30 October 2007 14:46

cd_octobert.jpgAnyone foolish enough to accuse this great new band of simply aping their influences' styles wholesale would be misguided fools.

 

   

STL Local Roundup

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Written by Laura Hamlett Saturday, 27 October 2007 10:37

kingthief.jpgCapsule reviews of some recent (and not-so-recent) releases by St. Louis acts: Red Water Revival, King Thief, Jon Hardy & the Public, Go Van Gogh, Brain Regiment

 

Blanche | Little Amber Bottles (Original Signal)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 22 October 2007 14:10

cd_blanche.jpgThe dabbles in sin, sex and salvation seep through the whole album, giving Little Amber Bottles an even stronger sense of southern gothic creepiness than the one hinted at on the group's first album.

 

 

 

 

   

Dutch Henry | All That Space (s/r)

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Written by Eammon Azizi Monday, 22 October 2007 13:59

cd_dutchhenry.jpgAll in all, Dutch Henry is made up of four talented musicians who obviously have a passion for songwriting, and they do it well.

 

 

 

 

The Honorary Title | Scream and Light Up the Sky (Doghouse)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Monday, 22 October 2007 13:21

cd_honorary.jpgA line from "Only One Week" rather sums up the album for me, as Gorbel sings, "Communication is not what it used to be."

 

 

 

 

   

Mariee Sioux | Faces in the Rocks (Grass Roots Record Co.)

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Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 13 October 2007 12:49

cd_sioux.jpgMariee Sioux's debut full-length is a spine-tingling showcase of her nimble finger-picking, sweetly feminine voice and lyrically eloquent narratives.

 

 

 

 

The Payola Reserve | 200 Years (s/r)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 08 October 2007 02:43

cd_payola.jpgThe Payola Reserve has made The Delivery Man at a time when they could have made My Aim Is True.

 

 

 

 

   

Firefall | Colorado to Liverpool: A Tribute to The Beatles (Winged Horse)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Monday, 08 October 2007 02:40

cd_firefall.jpgPutting emotion in your vocals is great, but do you think that by closing your eyes and belting out the words to "Girl," you'll do any justice to Paul's original, youthful melancholy?

 

 

 

 

 

The Bohemians | A Bon Soir at the Cabaret Bob (s/r)

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Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 08 October 2007 02:11

cd_bohemians.jpgIn many ways, this whole record is meant to facilitate personal sharing and evolving romance.

 

 

 

 

   

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.

 

 

 

 

   

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