pressrg -
95
And you thought "slowcore" started in the 90s...
pressrg -
76
There comes a point at which our supposedly "secular" late-capitalism reproduces its own despotic onto-theology—in the face of which, I think, only authentic belief—belief in the impossible 'itself', the spacing of space in which such ipseity withdraws—opens up the possibility of resistance, of community, of friendship.
pressrg -
97
I'm floored, in a way I thought was consigned to my younger days... Sweet Lo Magellan unearths an intimacy of form that nevertheless traverses an even wider array of sonic touchstones than any of the Projectors' past work, even considering the ceaseless melodic folds of 2009's Bitte Orca. Still, it's the compositional innovation, particularly with respect to the percussion, that subtends the hymnal grace of these tracks; its embellishments are poised, its atmosphere fragile, yet miraculously ... read more
pressrg -
81
Drag City Project #6 — B'P'B & Mat Sweeney

Sixteen years on, Will and Matt's follow-up to Superwolf is the most glimmering, subtle, and altogether affecting album either has released in quite some time. Deft obvolutions along the guitar betrays a complex attunement of these two anything-but-new partners, these two apposite wayfarers, recorded with the careful atmospheric sweep of their cosmic passage. Moving performances and melodic precision make this a songwriting triumph, one of ... read more
pressrg -
82
Singular in sound and purpose, characterized by its gentle rhythmic roving, Lambchop's second album tends towards an insularity remarkable precisely for its deeply-attuned fidelity. I don't mind that the opening riff of "For Which We Are Truly Thankful" and "We Never Argue" is the exact same four-note scale; they each caress me, graceful slide guitar and all, and their familiarity is comforting. Elsewhere, the record is more sinister, even brooding, particularly on the ... read more
pressrg -
81
Its tepid middle section (the stretch from "Don't You Evah" to "Eddie's Raga") can't bring down the joyous immediacy of the songwriting elsewhere. "Don't Make Me a Target" and "The Underdog" are especially anthemic, despite a radically different approach in their dynamic attacks. "Finer Feelings" features the most jaw-dropping melodic turns, a sing-along chorus, and affecting delivery. Then there's the elephant in the room: "The Ghost of ... read more
pressrg -
77
Drag City Project #5 — Cory Hanson

Cosmic psychedelia's not a bad appellation for this "golden hour", this gentle caress, smeared in red paint, and leaping from boulder to boulder. First suite of three songs are classics, each.
pressrg -
82
I knew from the first hollow knock against walnut—I imagine Buck's guitar has a walnut body, don't ask me why—that this would be something to cherish.

Took it up north on a date to Dry Creek. Got dark, we walked home 6 dusty, dusky miles. Chilly.

Let it drive you around the sequoias. You know the feeling.

Sure, it's almost a yodel, but damn me if that's not the mark of a world-class crooner.

On the way home, we caught two meteors on hook and line, then let them slip through our ... read more
pressrg -
82
Forbausende og oppfinnsom, Stiklinger snubler gjennom pastoralen.

At times, it seems light and airy—but then it surprises you, unleashing a whirling cacophony: and Karoline's voice somehow floats above it all, withdrawn without being disengaged. Its form is improvisational and unfettered, slipping between the eerily brooding ("Et der nødigt") and the full-blooded vertiginous ("Tri loopår"). Best of all is "Rosehus", with gusts of piano-clusters ... read more
pressrg -
85
On Star, Tanya sounded more withdrawn, her declarations swathed in reverb, cold, ominous—but no longer, for she's the King now, or, at the very least, a Muse so powerful so to summon—and depose—the King at her own capricious will. Her vox still moves between tones and timbres deftly, and its will to power is undeniable, it's at the center of the mix; from the moment we hear opener "Puberty" and its maelstrom of wails and piercing guitars, we realize these ... read more
pressrg -
86
An old professor of mine—an awesome guy, but rather intimidating—was obsessed with the Pixies to the point where my anxiety around that professor and his class became superimposed onto the band itself; I became terrified of the Pixies, avoided them like the plague for more than three years, and now here we are. I'm finally ready to break my taboo. Surfer Rosa has all the ferocity of hardcore but with that characteristic Steve Albini "live"-sounding production. Per usual, ... read more
pressrg -
88
"Pearl's Dream" might just be my favorite Mary Hansen vocal performance, ever. It's eerily stunning.
pressrg -
84
Drag City Project — #4 (Bill MacKay & Nathan Bowles)

Classical banjoist Nathan Bowles—one of my personal favorite contemporary avant-folk musicians (of particular note is 2016's Whole & Cloven)—meets experimental guitarist-composer-improviser Bill MacKay on this stirring, grounded, and spiritual LP for my favorite label, Drag City. Meditative, harmonic wanderings ("Idumea", "Dowsing") meet traditional folk balladry ("Late for Your Funeral ... read more
pressrg -
78
I have such a conflicted relationship with this record—I think it features some of Tanya's best songwriting, period, but its radio-ready, hit singles—Gepetto, Slow Dog, Feed the Tree, the latter of which would reach #1 on the alternative charts—really stick out like a sore thumb, undermine the eerie atmosphere so masterfully cultivated on standouts like the title track, "Some to Die For", "Witch", "Untogether", "Stay", etc. Those more ... read more
pressrg -
90
Gil Norton's production is muddy and dissonant, simultaneously compelling in how it emphasizes the Muses' early post-punk leanings but also this LP's most frustrating element, too often emphasizing the bass at the expense of the guitars and 'wet cardboard' percussion—because otherwise, the songwriting is absolutely fantastic, off-the-walls, multifaceted, thrilling, exhilarating, jumping from tempo to tempo, replete with provocative lyricism, complex, affective vocal harmonies, I could go ... read more
pressrg -
93
This is the kind of album you've always been waiting for, that sweeps you up off your feet, that leaves your utterly beguiled. Where the maximum volume on my headphones just isn't nearly loud enough. Sure, am I just in love with Kim Deal? Perhaps. But it also features Steve Albini's best work—he let the gritty, propulsive, slow core of Kim's songwriting really unfold on its own terms, without excess embellishment, particularly with that achingly bracing, up-front drum work. Kim's vocal ... read more
pressrg -
81
An abrasive, immersive, dissonant proto-dream-pop LP, originally released by Rough Trade in '88. It's a forgotten classic, bridging the gap between the Jesus and Mary Chain and MBV.
pressrg -
70
Rife with the usual Godspeed-isms, which, for me, is not really a good thing; I'm always suspicious of music that spirals towards melodic climax. Still plenty to love, especially the more halting drone pieces here, like "Our Side Has To Win"—and GY!BE will always get some extra points for their careful political situadedness, which really does feel more essential than ever.
pressrg -
86
Bleary-eyed, late night ambiance... Water echoes... Slipping or shuffling by like a softly intoned metaphor.

(Did I just use simile to talk about metaphor? Afraid so).
pressrg -
79
It's a great side-project from Ben, with its kitsch toy guitar and shining melodies. An old favorite of mine. Opener and closer are some of my all-time favorites from him.
Create an account to rate and review albums.
Advertisement
Recent Review Comments
On Natalie Bergman - Mercy
"Levinas: "the essence of discourse is prayer. What distinguishes thought aiming at an object from the tie with a person is that the latter is articulated in the vocative—the one who is named is at the same time the one who is called" (Is Ontology Fundamental? 126)."
On Cory Hanson - Pale Horse Rider
"I knew I had to share it with my two favorite users on the site ❤️"
On JohnLouisHoward's review of Cory Hanson - Pale Horse Rider
"A gorgeous fragment from "The Road"..."
On dearsongs's review of Cory Hanson - Pale Horse Rider
"Love you, dearsongs :) So glad you found something joyous here. --Rohan"
On JohnLouisHoward's review of Marissa Nadler - Instead of Dreaming
"This was one of my Bandcamp Friday purchases. It doesn't disappoint."
On JohnLouisHoward's review of Dry Cleaning - New Long Leg
"Gave this LP a shot because of this outstanding review... And I don't regret it one bit. Can't get enough."
On Belly - King
"Much love, John :)"
On aronmace's review of Red House Painters - Old Ramon
"Best review I've read all week! Thanks for that."
On JohnLouisHoward's review of Belly - DOVE
"I certainly will, not to fear :)"
On JohnLouisHoward's review of Belly - King
"Loving it precisely because it feels more self-aware, internally consistent—because it ditches the radio-ready moments of the debut, because of its integration of unusual key changes and rhythmic progressions, and because its production is quite balanced and full."
On JohnLouisHoward's review of Belly - King
"I'm loving this record, too; had no idea, though, that Gail sang on the closer. Woah."
On JohnLouisHoward's review of Belly - DOVE
"Haven't yet heard it (still wading my way through "King", which I do love quite a bit), but am sad to hear this, especially given that Kristin's late-career efforts have been so consistently high-quality. I was hoping it might be the same for Tanya, alas."
On Belly - Star
"The good news is that Glyn Johns would do a much better job on the production with "King", so there's something to look forward to..."
On Belly - Star
"I think you're right: 4AD wouldn't have allowed this to happen. And yes, with respect to production, be it Gil or Tracy: Tanya's songwriting really does deserve better treatment."
On JohnLouisHoward's review of Belly - Star
"I honestly do love the songwriting on this record, and know it's something that'll be a touchstone, a place to return to, to marvel at, to fall in love with, for the rest of my life."
On JohnLouisHoward's review of Belly - Star
"Also, you're so right about her vocal performances: they really are so deft, so versatile, and it all feels so effortless!"
On JohnLouisHoward's review of Belly - Star
"Untogether is so brilliant, but I've also overplayed it, so now I need to give it some careful room to breathe lest it lose its magic..."
On Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses
"Just found a copy online for $3, can't wait to read. Love your passion for the Muses, John, and glad we can share it."
On DoubleZ's review of Violeta Parra - Las últimas composiciones de Violeta Parra
"I stumbled across this release a few months ago and it made a deep impression on me, rich and inviting and deeply somber. Love your review, as always."
On The Breeders - Pod
"Oh, thanks for saying so DoubleZ! Always appreciate the love from you; I also think it's the Breeders' best."
On daFigz™'s review of Stevie Wonder - Innervisions
"Always love to see the solidarity :)"
On dearsongs's review of Godspeed You! Black Emperor - G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END!
"Remarkable writing—prompted, situated, grasping..."
On Lucmun's review of Destroyer - Your Blues
"I love how you seem to situate this record in a totally different artistic lineage than I would. For me, this has nothing do with Rubies: instead, it's a successor to This Night, insofar as it takes that record's grand, anthemic rock-isms and tightens them up with its unapologetic, cold MIDI instrumentation (utterly unlike the warmer, communal, folk-rock palette of Rubies). Though this is really an outlier, too, in Dan's catalog, cavernous and immaculate in a way no other LP (barring, maybe, Ken) has ever approached. Obviously love your review and respect the way you hear something so different in this than me (while still loving it, as I do!)."
On Lucmun's review of Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
"Lovely analogy. Lovely record."
On Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra - Promises
"@dearsongs You'll love it—it's a sustained exercise in humility and patience."
Advertisement

April 2021 Playlist
Forums