Feb 19, 2019
48
In their quest to shake up their sound, MisterWives sounds both better and worse than on their debut. There's a handful of tracks that I somewhat like, but there's also way too many obnoxious and irritating songs to drag my overall enjoyment down. The good parts aren't even that much better than the good parts on the debut, and the worst parts are far worse.
Feb 19, 2019
83
Autechre proves early on that they're experts within their field. Incunabula may be far from the twisted, algorithmic glitch music they make today, but it still has some of the core building blocks Autechre has carried on through their career. The linear, dark and robotic techno tracks slowly warp and build into these claustrophobic (though danceable) grooves. This album uses repetition to its advantage, exploring different ways to layer and evolve the tracks. Give them some time to really ... read more
Feb 15, 2019
62
Judging the songs individually, I like a lot of what's going on here. The booming choruses and the varied instrumentation separates MisterWives from their indie pop contemporaries.
But it's in the contexts of the album that the choruses in particular looses their charm. They're all so huge, and important. And for every song the impact of these giant hooks becomes dull. Not only because if they're all huge, none of them are huge, but also because they all sound so darn similar. I honestly can't ... read more
Feb 14, 2019
81
So it seems like Black Elk are a lot harsher in a live setting. The live recording here, while still staying true to the groups definitive sound, is a lot more jagged and noisy. They border a lot closer to the experimental, morbid sampling of OPN's Replica here, and I really like it.
Feb 14, 2019
79
Of equal quality to Sketches III. All the same components show up here, done just as well.
Feb 13, 2019
79
Yeah this is the best part of the Sketches series so far. Everything sounds overall better than the two pervious lps. Gorgeous and sparse piano and string sections with subtle ambience create a vast and comforting soundscape.
Feb 13, 2019
76
Blending the full piano chords of Sparks with the sparse, minimal strings of Sketches I, Sketches II is an overall pleasant experience. There's still something missing, of course. The songs here are, after all, sketches, so I'd expect there to be some elements missing. But without the vast ambient backdrop of that Sparks had, this album is lacking, although pretty.
Feb 12, 2019
85
29 minutes of clean, crisp and fun as hell bubblegum grunge. Guppy is as good of a loveletter to the 90s you can get these days. And while the garagey, fuzz covered instrumentals are top tier, the real star of this show is Eva Hendricks. Her nasal, almost cartoonish voice makes Guppy sound like a sugar rush. She's the sprinkles on top of the cake, and what that cake would be without them I can't say.
With the tight packaging this album avoids sounding tired or too one note as well.
It's a ... read more
Feb 12, 2019
73
Flipping the piano out for strings, Sketches I is a pretty good collection of outtakes that dosen't quite match the brilliance of Sparks. You're in for a pretty similar afair here, but overall I find this album a bit tedious because of how bare it can be.
Feb 11, 2019
83
I think the piano is a hugely overrated instrument, and have never really found that much enjoyment in pure piano compositions. Sure it's a fine instrument, but it needs something else to carry it for me. So the electroacoustic flavouring of Black Elk makes Sparks a highly enjoyable record for me. The subtle ambient noise and glitches below the soft piano melodies gives this album so much delicious texture. It kinda reminds me of Aphex Twin's piano songs, so if you're a fan of that, check this ... read more
Feb 11, 2019
84
After a long break Grizzly Bear returns with a vibrant and beautiful-as-always set of songs. And while Painted Ruins is a great record, I can't help feeling like something's missing. I think it might be the larger sonic palette, making the record sound too little like Grizzly Bear at times. The fuzzy, glistening new-wave guitars and Alt-J-esque beats are well done, but wasn't really what I expected or wanted at first. But like all GB records, after a couple of listens the new elements blend ... read more
Feb 10, 2019
90
Grizzly Bear has decided to stirr up their sound, making Shields a somewhat more progressive and intimate album than Veckatimest. It was a real grower for me, as certain aspects of this record just didn't hit me as hard as I would have liked. But for every listen I grew to appreciate the extremely rich and detailed song structures more. I still somehow prefer the two albums prior, but at the same time Shields might as well be their best record.
Feb 6, 2019
94
I really can't decide if I prefer this to Yellow House or not. I guess that speaks to the quality of Veckatimest, as that album is one of my faviourite releases of 2006. For Grizzly Bear to follow up with an album that's just as good, yet very different is honestly astounding. Veckatimest is the band at their most poppy, but that's by no means a downgrade. This album is just as lively, bombastic and comforting as their prior releases. The songwriting is the strongest we've seen to date, ... read more
Feb 5, 2019
74
Seems like The Regrettes workes a lot better in smaller packages. Attention Seeker is not only more punchy and thorough than their debut lp, but it ends before ever getting tiresome. Tight, compact and wild as can be, Attention Seeker is an overall improvement on the sound these gals present. And the acoustic versions adds a surprising amount of variety to this thing.
Feb 5, 2019
68
With energy like a match, burning bright but fading quickly, The Regrettes break onto the scene with their debut album. There's a lot of power, energy and confidence in this thing, and if you're feeling like some good old fashioned grrrl power, then give this a shot. My main issue with it personally is, again, how quickly my interest fade. They definitly got some good ideas, and I think they managed to find a unique and fun blend of poppy garage punk, but god damn do they get old really fast. ... read more
Feb 4, 2019
79
Friend is a great collection of bonus matereal from the Yellow House sessions. If you're a fan of that record, defnitly check this one out too. The cover of Plans by Band of Horses is great. The choir version of Alligator breaths new life into that track, really good. Deep Blue Sea is a fantastic cut, probably the best song on this thing. Friend stands as a sweet little followup to the wonderful Yellow House, able to be appreciated by long time fans and newcomers alike.
Feb 4, 2019
95
"My love's another kind" sings Ed Drose, his words surrounded by pounding drum hits, crashing cymbals and heavy, bass. He seems content with it all, inbetween the chaos he's found a small hearth to call home. And his words could not be more true either.
Yellow House is a feeling. It's a home. It's a childhood all in its own right. A memory you hold dear. It's as powerful as it is sparse, immense yet small. It's a kind of love you cannot explain right away. A kind of love that ... read more
Jan 31, 2019
73
Experimenting with more sonic palettes, Sorry for the Delay is somewhat unfocused, and lackluster compared to Grizzly Bear's debut. Still, it's a good ep in it's own right. With sprawling, lo-fi harmonies and bright, glistening guitars this ep still carries the blood and flesh of Grizzly Bear, just in a slightly different way.
Jan 31, 2019
80
This album is so comforting, almost nursing me to sleep sometimes.
Horn of Plenty may not have a lot of particular highlights throughout, but I love the overall sound and atmosphere the album encompasses. The gentle guitar and string melodies laid over soft sung lyrics paint a picture of a small hearth in the middle of a shady forest. The slightly lo-fi recording only adds to this feeling, and makes the album almost a little eerie.
Horn a Plenty is a great debut from the band, leaving room ... read more
Jan 30, 2019
40
I don't know what happened to the vocalist, but I do not like his voice at all here. Tidal Wave sounds way too radio friendly and bland to be properly enjoyable. This isn't TBS's anymore, it's just another boring rock band.
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