Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Nightlands - Oak Island

Nightlands - Oak Island
Secretly Canadian

This is some dreamy music. Singer and composer Dave Hartley has made something masterful here by combining elements of chillwave and shoegaze pop into an absolute delight of sounds. There are even R&B and IDM influences thrown into the mix, as the tracks seem to vary widely yet somehow coalesce through a signature sound that is constant throughout the playlist.

If you're looking for something that is both refreshingly relaxing and inspiring, this album will deliver in a surprising way; sounding vintage at times and contemporary at other times, each song is a real treat to hear. Many of the moments sound influenced by Brian Wilson which might sound daunting to the experienced listener, but proves immediately satisfactory from the first listen.

Some of my favourite parts are when funkier dance beats come into play, and the ethereal crescendos delve into darker expulsions of primal energy. This album is enjoyable from beginning to end, suitable for many occasions and will definitely present a promising experience to the listener.

Pharis & Jason Romero - Long Gone Out West Blues

Pharis & Jason Romero - Long Gone Out West Blues

If you're looking for some authentic country banjo bluegrass, this act out of British Columbia may just be your saving grace. The thirteen tracks on this album include songs of heartfelt and honest introspection of life's troubles, lightly plucked instrumentals and even some of the rambunctious clamourings of musical fervor that many look for in banjo music.

The album lays on the sentimental side for the most part, especially when Pharis is singing. At times her voice carries softly over the acoustic guitar she plays, but at other times it soars with the emotional intensity that this music is born out of. Jason's vocals are equally impressive with his relaxed and natural drawl that will draw you into the heart of stories he sings. Combined, their harmony is sweet to the ears and ever so appreciatively invigorating.

Most of the songs have a classic sound, but do not tread too close to anything specifically familiar. For those in need of some genuine comfort music for the soul, this group will get the job done in no time.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Evangelista - In Animal Tongue

Evangelista - In Animal Tongue

New York City-born and Los Angeles-based vocalist Carla Bozulich's project's newest release, In Animal Tongue, came across as a bit spooky at first listen, but for me that's a good thing. The opening track, "Artificial Lamb," strides along with a simplistic guitar riff that is greeted with Bozulich's emotionally crushing, yet enchantingly strained lyrical laments. Soon after, coupled with a slow and steady bass line, atmospheric experimentation comes into play via electronic sounds.

Much of the rest of the album follows a similar style with Bozulich's singing as the focal point. From time to time other instruments like violins will make an appearance, usually providing an avant-garde backdrop to the band's minimalistic tone.

My favourite track is "Die Alone," which starts off with an echoing chant and is followed by hypnotically sporadic bell chimes. In this song, Bozulich's howling comes out a bit more soulfully, and softly clamours through the verses that interlude between moments of a low, dark and almost industrial beat.

The last track, "Hatching," finishes off the album nicely with a more uptempo hippie voodoo jam with plenty of electronic splattering thrown in the mix. If you're a fan of Michael Gira, you will probably dig this.

In Animal Tongue - EVANGELISTA by Constellation Records

Thursday, December 15, 2011

SubRosa - No Help For the Mighty Ones

Subrosa - No Help for the Mighty Ones
Profound Lore

Emerging from the unlikely town of Salt Lake City, Utah, SubRosa come to the table with a whole other flavor of doom metal. Using violins with the classic guitar/bass/drums band line up, the group executes haunting and ethereal doom songs. There is no shortage of deep, heavy rumbling going on here, but coupled with the violins and the vocals of not one, but two ladies, Rebecca Vernon and Sarah Pendleton, SubRosa create a harrowing yet meditative experience on No Help For the Mighty Ones.

SubRosa keep things interesting with elements of blues-based rock, sludge and stoner rock, but rarely do I get to hear a doom album that I would consider to be as beautiful as it is desolate. Those who love their doom/sludge/stoner sounds but are looking for something refreshing need look no further.

Recommended for fans of Witch Mountain, 40 Watt Sun and Dark Castle.


Robocop - Robocop II

Robocop - Robocop II
Grind core Karaoke

Robocop were from Orono, Maine but unfortunately they recently called it quits. I guess you could call Robocop a grindcore band, and you wouldn't be wrong, especially since their latest release, Robocop II, was released by Grindcore Karaoke, a label Daryl recently jocked on here with other greats like Kunt Puncher, Inerds, Cloud Rat and Wadge. The thing is, Robocop wasn't content to be just a grindcore band, and this album thoroughly puts grind in the blender with power violence, thrash, noise and even sludge.

The results are a cacophonous, blast of ear-bleeding goodness, along with audio clips from the movie... you guessed it: Robocop 2! People who like their music putrid and unsociable are invited, all others must fuck off and die.

Recommended for fans of Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck, Wadge and Bastard Noise.