Category Archives: Album Review

System and Station:: A Series of Screws

Portland by way of Boise trio System and Station returned a little while back with their newest full length, A Series of Screws. It all opens with “Pain Pills,” a shadowy acoustic number with a seesawing rhythm and tinted vocals that sometimes remind of Perry Farrell. Electric guitar sparks start to fly by the time second track, “Pardon Me”, rolls around with crunchy fire brimmed notes that swirl and cultivate a powder keg atmosphere. Throughout there is a sense of immediacy with the music owing much to the abundant attention holding melodies. It rocks and its catchy, what more do you need? A couple tracks are below to see what you think.

“Pain Pills” mp3
“Pardon Me” mp3

Waxeater:: Sleeper

Bloomington, Indiana trio Waxeater have a debut titled Sleeper which fits nicely alongside early to mid-nineties Touch and Go bands like Tar, Jesus Lizard, and friends. Dirty vocals, strychnine guitar pulses, and steady drums bring a strain of punk/hardcore that will have some remembering exactly what they never got from pop happy melodies and current buzzbands who brag about smoking weed (as if that’s rare). Get a sense with a couple of tunes here.

Fops:: Yeth Yeth Yeth

Fops is Chadwick Donald Bidwell of Ral Partha Vogelbacher and Dee Kesler of Thee More Shallows and their album, Yeth Yeth Yeth, stands as one of my favorite late season releases. The record opens with a driving pulse as if burrowing through some inner earth or strangely fantastic alternate aquatic world all done up in synth and atmospheric density. Throughout there’s a compelling draw of movement and ambiance along with a kosmische influence that shows itself in varying degrees.

“Solid Copper Huntress”
“Maple Mountain”

Yellow Jacket Corpse

Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez:: The New Bye & Bye: The Best of the Train Wreck Years 2002 – 2007

Talk of Delta Blues, love, Western Swing, whiskey, tequila blues, and Texas is just a little of what to expect from this new best of Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez collection. A rustic, dry, and dusty backdrop sets the stage for what some refer to as Americana, though more astute ears will discern this collection as higher shelf stuff. Along with four solid new tracks, The New Bye & Bye features Taylor hits – “Angel of the Morning” and “Wild Thing,” performed with Greg Leisz and guitarists Bill Frisell and Buddy Miller. Dive in and get a little dirty, this one will get you to feeling and thats really the only reason to listen.

listen to a few tracks

Chip Taylor + Carrie Rodriguez Fall Dates:
Nov. 19 – New York, NY @ The Living Room
Nov. 20 – New York, NY @ The Living Room
Nov. 21 – Turner Falls, MA @ The Shea Theater w/ Carrie Rodriguez
Dec. 1 – Austin, TX @ The Cactus Café
Dec. 2 – Austin, TX @ Cactus Café w/ Carrie Rodriguez
Dec. 3 – Houston, TX @ Mucky Duck w/ Carrie Rodriguez
Dec. 11 – Wellsville, NY @ Wellsville Creative Arts Center

Echo Orbiter:: Euphonicmontage

Fans of things like Flaming Lips, Syd Barrett, and the space between should find safe haven with Echo Orbiter’s latest album, Euphonicmontage. This work travels from the grounded kaleidoscopic to mind dripping psychedelic lines held up in wise fashion by slightly twisted pan-technicolor orchestrations.

“Mouth of an Incomplete Twin”
“This Worm In Rigor Mortis”!/echo_orbiter

No Age:: Everything In Between

L.A.’s No Age returned last month with more noisy ruminations and their latest album, Everything In Between. Whether buzzing, dreamlike, chugging punk, or a twist of each, the record’s simple back and forth, push and pull melodies, result in an air of consistency throughout. See how it makes you feel with a listen to “Glitter and “Fever Dreaming”.

Life Prowler!/noagela

The Vaselines:: Sex with an X

Last month The Vaselines returned with their long awaited second album, Sex with an X. While this time around there are no rockstars to carry their crown, Sex with an X is a solid listen and nice addition to their preexisting repertoire. The title track opens with a repetition of the line, “Feels so good it must be bad for me,” letting on that The Vaselines’ mentality remains in tact despite a long break. Elsewhere, there’s talk of having the devil inside, playing the fool, dead destructive relationships, and the passing of the day glo generation, which peculiarly enough has returned in full force. Altogether nice effort from a moniker that seemed lost until a few years back.

“Sex with an X” mp3
“I Hate the 80’s” mp3

Sex with an X

Tera Melos:: Patagonian Rats

Tera Melos released Patagonian Rats not too long ago, sounding a bit different than before while presenting a cavalcade of hard to pin down twists and turns. Anxious, engaged, subdued, and smoky jazz are just a few of the backdrops one may encounter on Rats, which utilizes often schizophrenic atonal transitions to manage it all. While I could say more, watch the videos below to formulate your own opinion. Salut.

Frozen Zoo

The Skin Surf

Junip:: Fields

Last month singer-songwriter José González returned with band and a new album, Fields. González brings so much atmosphere with his vocals and guitar that its easy to get caught up in his work if you’re susceptible at all. While Fields doesn’t have quite the potency of his solo work, the expected vibrant subdued folk is still in tact and should be enough to get fans through the winter.


Hurricane Bells:: Down Comes The Rain

Hurricane Bells have released a new EP, Down Comes The Rain, featuring a couple new tracks and three covers. It all opens on the high note of a fine take on East River Pipe’s “Make A Dead With The City,” followed by the brighter sun coming out acoustics of original, “The Waiting Song.” Elsewhere there are covers of “Into The Ocean” by Blue October, and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” by The Shirelles.  The EP the EP was written, played, recorded, and produced by Hurricane Bells’ main man Steve Schiltz.

The Waiting Song

Deerhunter:: Halcyon Digest

This Deerhunter album has been a special treat.  Like a love I wasn’t looking for, but found me anyway.


Leland Sundries:: The Apothecary EP

The metropolitan and rustic collude on The Apothecary EP and in keeping it short, it works quite well. Harmonicas, banjos, and strutting riffs split time with vocals and phrasing bringing to mine Lou Reed and a little Calvin Johnson.  Talk of friends dying, trains, eternal questions, travelling, and drinking with the result being music for the new saloon era.  Listen to “Elegy on their site.

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