Reviews

Numero 013: Twinight’s Lunar Rotation (The Numero Group)

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Written by Sam Levy Wednesday, 11 April 2007 14:10

cd_numero13For every Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin there are a hundred Syl Johnsons, a big name if you know soul, a "No, I don't think I ever heard of him," if you don't.

 

 

 

 

 

Lovewhip | Virtual Booty Machine (Juicy Juju)

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Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:42

cd_lovewhipA blend of live DJ sets, band performance, and cabaret in an irresistible show of dance beats and theatricality

 

 

 

 

   

Jatun (Other Electricities)

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Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:33

cd_jatunAuroras don't come with soundtracks, but if listeners could imagine themselves in Alaska staring at an iridescent sky, this would be the music playing in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Mehling | How Do I Make You Lonesome? (Sacred Heart Studios)

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Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:28

cd_mehling20-year-old Dave Mehling takes on the indie circuit with the help of his late uncle's battered Gibson guitar

 

 

 

 

 

   

Cletus Black | Bloodlines to the Heart (Little Fish)

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Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:24

cd_cletusNot far off, but not quite there yet, a look at another for Cave and Cohency

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barr | Summary (5 Rue Christine)

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Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:18

cd_barrWhat listeners have with Summary is a raw, uncensored cut of what could certainly use some severe translation

 

 

 

 

   

Swati | Small Gods (Bluhammock Music, LLC)

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Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:14

cd_swatiA satisfying mix of discordant sounds, slurry lyricism, and frenetic chords

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Young Pony Club | s/t EP (Modular)

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Written by James Nokes Monday, 09 April 2007 15:08

cd_ponyclubJerk-funk candy fantasias with a dollop of homoeroticism

 

 

 

 

 

   

Other Men | Wake Up Swimming (Robcore)

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Written by David Lichius Monday, 09 April 2007 14:56

cd_othermenWith ex-HV comrades Manolo Turner on drums and Travis Nelson handling the guitar duties, Other Men have turned away from the fractured and discordant heaviness of HV in favor of a decidedly more poppy and compact style.

 

 

 

 

 

Minibar | Desert After Rain (s/r)

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Written by Jason Green Monday, 09 April 2007 14:50

cd_minibarThe band's self-produced, self-released third album makes it clear that Minibar never needed a big label in the first place.

 

 

 

 

   

Kings of Leon | Because of the Times (RCA)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Monday, 09 April 2007 14:42

cd_kingsKings of Leon still sound like no one else, mostly due to Caleb's literally instrumental vocals, but this is their first effort to see such decided growth.

 

 

 

 

 

Todd Carey | Watching Waiting (Inspiration Factory)

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Written by Amanda Pelle Sunday, 08 April 2007 10:13

Carey's radio-ready persona projects more than just a voice that could melt Antarctica; his boy-next-door baby face will surely win the hearts of a captivated audience in this eye-candy infatuated musical era.

 

   

Serengeti | Noticeably Negro (Audio 8)

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Written by Bob McMahon Sunday, 01 April 2007 14:19

As on past releases, Serengeti is alternately political, abstract, hilarious, and goofy. He sounds equally convincing rapping cynical critiques as he does silly witticisms.

 

 

Let's Go Sailing | The Chaos In Order (Yardley Pop)

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Written by Pete Wissinger Wednesday, 28 March 2007 14:54

cd_sailingLevy has taken the atmosphere of Belle and Sebastian's If You're Felling Sinister and combined it with the feelings of the kid who got picked last for kickball.

 

 

 

 

   

Kate Havnevik | Melankton (Continentica/Universal)

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Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 28 March 2007 14:52

cd_havrenikHavnevik has the touch, apparently, but knowing the little details about her past hardly prepares you for the vibrant, gorgeous sound of her debut.

 

 

 

 

 

John Taglieri | Wide Awake & Dreaming (s/r)

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Written by Amanda Pelle Wednesday, 28 March 2007 14:29

cd_taglieriAt best, Taglieri's musical abilities, especially those portrayed in "Wide Awake & Dreaming," the album's namesake, might be suitable for a modern church choir.

 

 

 

 

   

Vandaveer | Grace & Speed (Gypsy Eyes)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Wednesday, 28 March 2007 14:23

cd_vandaveer_0327One only needs to look to the masterful construction of "However Many Takes It Takes" to see that Heidinger feels the genre in his bones, as his learned tone confidently suggests that Vandaveer is worth a listen, that his stories are worth being heard.

 

 

 

 

 

The Ghost of Sly Stone

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Tuesday, 27 March 2007 13:37

sly2 In celebration of the group's 40th anniversary, Epic/Legacy Records has deemed it the right time to reissue Sly & The Family Stone's seven LPs, with the usual digital re-mastering, revised liner notes, and bonus tracks included. These new CD packages provide a thorough look at the birth and death of Sly Stone's American dream.

 

 

 

 

   

Ada Jane | Never Been Better (P.A.W.)

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Written by Jason Green Monday, 26 March 2007 13:45

cd_adajane"On Your Level," the second track on Never Been Better, has the underdog anthem qualities of classic Replacements, Matt Marka singing in a rough-throated howl over guitars that have the wild fury of Bob Stinson but the lo-fi buzz of Hüsker Dü-era Bob Mould.

 

 

 

 

 

Air | Pocket Symphony (Astralwerks)

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Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 26 March 2007 08:43

cd_airPocket Symphony is eminently listenable, as long as you're not expecting to rock out or looking for retreads of "Moon Safari."

 

 

 

 

   

Albert Hammond Jr. | Yours to Keep (New Line)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Monday, 26 March 2007 08:25

cd_albertHammond proves plenty capable, suggesting that it may be time for Casablancas to loosen the band's collaborative strings.

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Bird | Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Friday, 23 March 2007 03:48

armchairbirdWhile Bird's live performances serve as a landscape for rewriting his songs, as well as artistic experimentation, the 33-year-old Illinoisan has found stability in the studio, a place where his beauteous forms and melodies come to harbor.

 

   

Modest Mouse | We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (Epic)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Friday, 23 March 2007 03:37

weweredeadmouseOn "Parting of the Sensory," a sleepy acoustic is held up by rhythmic claps before jumping into a hoot-and-holler romp, and "We've Got Everything" employs Mercer's yelp to bring the album's most danceable song a little light-hearted charm.

 

 

Trans Am | Sex Change (Thrill Jockey)

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Wednesday, 21 March 2007 15:24

sexchangeAdmittedly they have dropped some rather forgetful releases in their history, but picking out which records are their worst (my vote goes for 2002's TA) is liable to stir up arguments voicing the exact opposite opinion. Also, simply describing the band without disagreements is a true rarity. Welcome to the world of the Trans Am fan.

 

 

   

Shaw/Blades | Influence (VH1 Classic)

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Wednesday, 21 March 2007 15:12

influencesThe pair have sold millions of records between them, Shaw as the singer/guitarist of Styx and the writer of all that band's best songs ("Renegade," for example) and Blades as the singer/bassist of hair band giants Night Ranger, but neither has had a hit since 1 B.C. (Before Cobain), making a grasp at recapturing their glory with a covers album pretty much an inevitability.

 

 

 

+ 44 | When Your Heart Stops Beating (Interscope)

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Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:58

44If his new band's debut album is any indication, Blink bassist Mark Hoppus didn't take the breakup all that well. "Please understand/ This isn't just goodbye/ This is I can't stand you" he wails on the dark "No, It Isn't."

 

 

   

The Greencards | Viridian (Dualtone)

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Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:43

viridianRefreshingly, the Greencards are neither hidebound by bluegrass traditions nor divorced from them. Combining Anglo and American, folk and popular, the separate influences upon their sound are apparent but never dominant.

 

 

 

 

The Noisettes | What's the Time Mr Wolf? (Universal)

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Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:36

mrwolfReleased much later than originally anticipated, the Noisette's first LP is a truly a priceless pearl embedded into a normal-looking oyster.

 

 

 

   

Mezzanine Owls | Slingshot Echoes (s/r)

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Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:31

mezzanineowlsTheir undeniable talent gives them accessibility to a plethora of musical opportunities.

 

 

 

 

Lovedrug | Everything Starts Where It Ends (The Militia Group)

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Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:25

lovedrugLead singer Michael Shepard confusingly ooohs and aaahs for about a minute, then returns to the chorus.

 

 

 

   

The Little Heroes | Cinematic Americana (Wednesday Records)

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Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:19

cinematicI like it in the way I like Green Day: it's OK to listen to once or twice, but after that, I get a little overwhelmed by the brutality of what might have otherwise been a perfectly soothing song.

 

 

 

LCD Soundsystem | Sound of Silver (DFA)

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Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:14

silverMany Sound of Silver songs have strong lyrical content, which is pretty impressive for a dance-punk album, and an improvement from the debut - though don't expect poetry.

 

 

 

 

   

The Feed (s/r)

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Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:09

The album starts off with its best song, "Glueman," a fantastic Fender Rhodes-driven number that bops along, getting progressively better as it goes. In this writer's opinion, this was one of the best singles of last year.

 

 

 

Grand Champeen | Dial "T" for This (In Music We Trust)

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Wednesday, 21 March 2007 14:04

grandchampIt's tasteful but not terribly innovative; sweet but never cloying; endearing and enjoyable.

 

 

 

 

   

Arcade Fire | Neon Bible (Merge)

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Written by Paul John Little Monday, 12 March 2007 03:02

cd_arcade

Neon Bible is to the '00s what Radiohead's OK Computer was to the '90s. Quite simply, it captures the zeitgeist as only a few pieces of popular music have ever managed to do.

 

 

 

 

 

Maria Taylor | Lynn Teeter Flower (Saddle Creek)

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Written by Kevin Renick Sunday, 11 March 2007 11:17

cd_taylorThe nice balance between the clean guitars and Zac Young's cool drumming on "No Stars" serves as a perfect setting for Taylor's soft, organically pure voice.

 

 

 

 

   

The View | Hats Off to the Buskers (1965)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Friday, 02 March 2007 09:08

Imagine if Oasis and the Libertines had a baby, and that baby didn't think he was the greatest thing in the world. That baby would probably like Hats Off to the Buskers.

 

 

The Fratellis | Costello Music (Universal Island)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Friday, 02 March 2007 09:02

costelloThe Fratellis embrace what most young bands try so hard to ignore: their hooky instincts.

 

 

 

 

   

Roddy Woomble | My Secret Is My Silence (Pure UK/import only)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Monday, 26 February 2007 14:17

cd_woomble"It makes me feel free to do anything," Woomble sings on "Every Line of a Long Moment," and I can't help but think, yes, that's what a good song will do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Son Volt | The Search (Transmit Sound/Legacy)

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Written by C. Saathoff Monday, 26 February 2007 14:13

cd_sonvolt...a guitar-rocker laced with social and political commentary that continues right where 2005's Okemah and the Melody of Riot left off.

 

 

 

 

 

   

Keller Williams | Dream (Sci Fidelity)

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Written by Amy Burger Monday, 26 February 2007 14:02

cd_kellerThe opening song, "Play This," is a real departure from Williams' generally laid-back, "jammy" sound, with a punk-inspired, hard guitar opening and funky, Flea-like bass riffs throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bang Gang | Something Wrong (From Nowhere)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Monday, 26 February 2007 13:41

The clearest candidate for a universal favorite lies in the Johannsson-sung "It's Alright," an acoustic-driven piece built around smooth, echoing vocals, harmonic expansion, and beautifully sincere lyrics.

 

   

Mighty Fairly | Perfectly Good Airplanes (s/r)

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Written by Amanda Pelle Monday, 26 February 2007 13:36

mighty"Faithful and blind/ You finish me off like a sentence."

 

 

 

 

 

The Dirty Novels | Pack Your Pistols (s/r)

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Written by Kaylen Hoffman Monday, 26 February 2007 13:32

pack "Audience Reaction" has the quaint thoughts of, "If you go down on me/ I'll go down on you." So not the cute lyrics I was expecting. At all.

 

   

Dr. Dog | We All Belong (Park the Van)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Saturday, 24 February 2007 09:34

cd_drdogThese five Pennsylvanian dudes are musically old souls, Cro-magnons in the midst of their psychedelic peers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hella | There's No 666 in Outer Space (Ipecac Records)

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Written by David Lichius Wednesday, 21 February 2007 03:32

cd_hellaWhile Hella's previous output of no-wave guitar/drum weirdness had enough elbow room for some well-placed chirping, having Aaron Ross on the microphone full time has resulted in a major shift in the band's song structure.

 

 

 

   

Finger Eleven | Them vs. You vs. Me (Wind-Up)

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Written by Aaron Brummet Wednesday, 21 February 2007 03:01

cd_finger11While there are no extreme departures from their bouncy modern rock norm, nearly every track shows hints of evolution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Ball | The Antique Barking Swirls of Dawn (Honeymoon Music)

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Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 21 February 2007 02:52

cd_goldenball8. Golden Ball won the Philadelphia City Paper 2005 Choice award for "Best Weird Band." I'm inclined to give them that same commendation right now.

 

 

 

 

 

   

Good Shoes | The Photos on My Wall (Brille)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Wednesday, 21 February 2007 02:44

cd_goodshoeswe play danceable, shed rehearsed guitar music. we like to dance, drink, draw, pretend to be on a mobile phone whilst we are not, write songs, dance.

 

 

[Labo Labs] Cristian Huepe | Blue Line (Loud Dust Recordings)

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Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 21 February 2007 02:37

Are "pounding drums" and "squiggly synth sounds" what come from long hours contemplating the hidden mysteries of space and particulate matter?

 

   

My Brightest Diamond | Tear It Down (Asthmatic Kitty)

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Written by Aaron Brummet Wednesday, 21 February 2007 02:34

cd_mbdShara Worden's voice could be put on top of Gilbert Gottfried and a pack of dying howler monkeys and still sound five steps past amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacob Miller | Who We Are (Dogleg)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 18 February 2007 06:51

cd_jacobmillerMiller's just a kid, really, and he's working with former Atlantic Records president Ron Shapiro, among others. And I like him anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

   

Bright Eyes | Four Winds EP (Saddle Creek)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 18 February 2007 06:03

cd_brighteyesWith Four Winds EP, Bright Eyes' first new release since the double infusion, the multifaceted Conor Oberst has chosen sides in a resolute way.

 

 

 

 

 

Owen | At Home With (Polyvinyl)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 18 February 2007 05:17

cd_owenOwen's latest CD is everything you've come to expect from Kinsella, and more. It's even more understated, if that's possible, with richly woven strings and chords backing Kinsella's frail yet competent vocals and revealing tales.

 

   

The Colour | Between the Earth and Sky (Rethink)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 18 February 2007 04:20

cd_colour"Save Yourself," aside from being catchy as all hell, features some of the sweetest vocals this side of Jeff Buckley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Asylum Street Spankers | Mommy Says No! (Yellow Dog)

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Written by Elizabeth Feldman Tuesday, 13 February 2007 04:49

cd_asylumFrom beginning to end, the record feels as though it is taking you on a ride where you stop at just about every musical genre available, leaving you dizzy as it lets you off, fumbling to find your footing.

 

 

 

 

 

   

Secret Mommy | Plays (Ache)

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Written by James McAnally Tuesday, 13 February 2007 04:43

plays Plays is a world of its own, where digital noise, cut-up collage, and accordion circles collide.

 

 

David Vandervelde | The Moonstation House Band (Secretly Canadian)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Tuesday, 13 February 2007 04:37

cd_vanderveldeHis free spirit, throwback sensibilities, and unspoken respect for those who made him are all promises of a nostalgic growth that is all too welcome in a generation of egoist talking heads.

 

 

 

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120 Days | s/t (Smalltown Supersound/Vice)

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Written by Kevin Renick Tuesday, 13 February 2007 04:30

cd_120days"In a trance, in a trance/ I could dance this night away," sings Meisfjord, and with texture-embedded beats like this, so could most listeners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Visitors | The Visitors (Eschatone)

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Written by Bob McMahon Tuesday, 06 February 2007 15:55

cd_visitorsCombining a knack for catchy melodies with a passionate performance and lyrics never too far removed from traditional rock subject, the Visitors should appeal to any garage rock enthusiast with their just-under-30-minutes, self-titled album.

 

 

 

 

   

The Upright Animals | Scams (s/r)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Tuesday, 06 February 2007 14:57

cd_uprightTouting their divergence from cut-and-paste radio rock, the Upright Animals form echoing, deeply cosmic ballads, anchored by suspended vocals and peppered with the subtly expansive merging of concise, space-rock guitar.

 

 

 

 

 

The Softlightes | Say No to Being Cool, Say Yes to Being Happy (Modular)

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Written by Kaylen Hoffman Tuesday, 06 February 2007 14:53

cd_softlightesAs I listened, I was instantly transported to a grassy park, sitting on a blanket with my three closest friends, eating fresh fruit and laughing lightly as the sun shined down on our bare shoulders.

 

 

 

 

 

   

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | Some Loud Thunder (s/r)

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Written by Andrew Scavotto Tuesday, 06 February 2007 14:41

cd_cyhsyAll of the 2006 hype has made Some Loud Thunder one of the most anticipated CDs of 2007, with critics and fans eager to see what singer/songwriter Alec Ounsworth will do with some exposure to fame and new resources. The result is a markedly more complicated, almost maniacal experiment in track layering and production.

 

 

 

 

Vega 4 | You and Others (Columbia)

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Written by Bradley Terebelo Thursday, 01 February 2007 03:18

cd_vega4Distorted vocals and guitar? Check. Repetitive bass notes? Check. Mood-moving lyrics? Check.

 

 

 

 

 

   

Johnny Action Figure | Asks the Room to Please Stop Spinning (DRP)

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Written by Jason Green Thursday, 01 February 2007 03:13

cd_jafThe biggest complaint to be lodged against this EP is that, at 24 minutes, it's far too short.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Inner Banks | The Inner Banks (DAG!)

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Written by Kevin Renick Thursday, 01 February 2007 03:09

cd_innerbanksDavid Gould, who previously played banjo for and led the Bootleg Remedy, must clearly be some sort of nonconformist genius, so gracefully does he buck trends and come up with his own version of life-affirming modern music.

 

 

 

 

   

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