The Mountain Goats - Dark in Here
Got my vinyl early and I gotta say this might be their best one since Beat the Champ. If you weren’t feeling the last couple, then this might be the one to get you back on board. Feels like the one they were really wanting to put out before a pandemic put it on hold. I’m a sucker for a song for David Berman too! Can’t wait to dig in some more.
Samiam - Astray
Just one of those albums where if you know you know. Should be revered as a classic. Second wave emo with tons of crossover appeal for alternative radio. Jason Beebout has the most powerful voice I’ve ever heard from someone who’s nasally.
Ryley Walker & Kikagaku Moyo - Deep Fried Grandeur
There is no way a project in which two artists who have never worked together should randomly collaborate at a festival and in only one afternoon of practice take the stage to perform such effortlessly flowing psychedelic improv for nearly forty minutes like this. You can hardly tell where one artists' input ends and the other begins. If I had been there when this was perfomed and didn't know better, I'd assume they had been together for years. Well done, gentlemen.
Millencolin - Pennybridge Pioneers
So I had a huge skate punk phase in my teens and seem to have redeveloped a bit of a soft spot for it. This is most likely my favorite album the genre produced during its peak. Real energetic and melodic stuff that more than makes up for any lyrical shortcomings you might find. A lot of the awkward phrasing is probably due to them not being native English speakers. I cannot recall a band from the scene putting out as many positive vibes as Millencolin were though. It’s a nice contrast to ... read more
The Veils - Total Depravity
Can’t believe it took me so long to listen to an El-P produced, Nick Cave inspired, David Lynch approved album. Couple of tracks he’s a dead ringer for Spencer Krug. Pretty into it now for sure.
Animal Collective - Keep + Animal Collective
Deakin and Panda really carrying the EP here. Geologist track sounds like an interlude and Avey’s is missing his signature charm.
The Chameleons - Script of the Bridge
Somewhere in between being the catchiest post-punk or the messiest new wave of its time.
The Neverly Boys - Dark Side of Everything
As much as I'm always looking for a chance to love a new TVOTR side project, this one just leaves quite a bit to be desired. Dave Sitek's production isn't as clean or interesting as it typically is here, and Daniel is bringing nothing vocally or lyrically to make up for it. The first couple of tracks are fairly promising as it kicks off with sort of a trailer park hip-hop vibe, but it deludes into lifeless, manufactured alt-country for much of the rest of the way.
Moses Sumney - græ
If he could significantly cut down the use of his falsetto, I think he'd one of my favorite artists. The singles really got me to thinking this would be a masterpiece. It's a bit bloated. Don't see the need for a double album. Disc one seems to be thematically tied to multiplicity or gender dysphoria, but the second disc felt lyrically scattershot. Could've been separate projects and then maybe the album rollout wouldn't have killed the buzz for me. I will say, that if you're interested, the ... read more
King Krule - Man Alive!
I appreciate that it's more direct, which was a problem with The Ooz (maybe the most an album grew off me last decade). After the first few tracks open up relatively strong, I had a difficult time grabbing onto anything after that.
Baxter Dury - The Night Chancers
The production is really slick and captures the nocturnal vibes I feel he was aiming for. I don't think I've heard an album in this vein carried so much by choral arrangements though. Baxter kind of drunkenly weaves in and out at will with gravelly spoken word. I needed a little more substance, but it feels like it was on the right track to be special for me.
Stephen Malkmus - Traditional Techniques
Hell of a lot better than Groove Denied from last year, as these forays into folk and psychedelia play much more to his strengths and odd lyrics than that clunky instrumentation did. A lot of really enjoyable, but maybe unspectacular, moments that any Malkmus completionist would be glad to hear. ACC Kirtan kicks things off by letting him get all the jam band vibes out of his system up front. Flowin' Robes is the most Pavement-esque song he's written for us in quite a while. Shadowbanned and ... read more
The Mountain Goats - Songs For Pierre Chuvin
All hail the mysterious gap!

This will feel like the album that represents the quarantine the most, at least in regards to its production. Darnielle getting back to his boombox roots for his first truly lo-fi experience since 2002's All Hail West Texas. The Goats since that time have been one of my absolute favorite bands, but I don't mind the detour. I'm probably not locked into this one enough to break down the paganistic elements to the lyrics, but it's short and sweet enough to make for ... read more

The Magnetic Fields - Quickies
Despite being short by their standards, it still feels too long. Not nearly enough variety in the musical ideas. It's easier to get through than 50 Song Memoir was thanks to shared vocal duties, but is much less ambitious and substantive. A lot of the songs are quirky, cute, and good for a chuckle, but I feel this project will have zero staying power.
The Strokes - The New Abnormal
Feels good to definitely say The Strokes have a third best album now despite lifting some familiar melodies. They love their synths now. I'm guessing Julian had an influence on that. Speaking of whom, I think that twenty years into his career he has now reached peak falsetto for him. No bad tracks, but Not the Same Anymore is the lone one that failed to leave any sort of impression on me, good or bad. I feel like I shouldn't, but I dig the corny vocal shifts on Eternal Summer. These are really ... read more
KA - Descendants of Cain
Doesn't matter how good the pen is if the production is going to be low key and subtle to the point of sleep-inducing. There are virtually no flows or melodies to be found. I don't get the praise for this. Clearly his weakest effort to my ears.
Quelle Chris & Chris Keys - Innocent Country 2
As someone who has really enjoyed his last three projects, I'm just not sure what I'm not hearing here that everyone else seems to be. Chill production, spotty features, and Chris is all over the place. This is the most annoying his performances have been to my ears. Feels like a more of a side venture to me, so I look forward to his next album to bring me back on board.
Paul Baribeau - Grand Ledge
Energetic folk punk songs about heartbreak played almost without Paul taking a breath for eighteen minutes. The lyrics are relatable and nothing you really have to unravel, but they're earnest as hell. Sounds like he retreated to a cabin in the woods after a bad breakup with his guitar. What I'm saying is that this is kind of like For Emma, Forever Ago if Justin Vernon just got straight to the point.
John Cale - Paris 1919
It sounds like the cover, as if John is a European noble performing his trade in front of high society to provide distraction from the fear brought upon by WWI. The title track is simply gorgeous and majestic and would be one of my highest recommendations for a song you have to hear before you die.
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On biglasagnayeet's review of Stella Donnelly - Beware of the Dogs
"I finally tried this out about six months ago after putting it off for so long, and I have to agree with quite a bit here. I was disappointed with how lackluster the instrumentals were. The lyrics are the only saving grace really."
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On dearsongs's review of Angelo Badalamenti - Soundtrack from Twin Peaks
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"Animated Violence Mild and World Eater were both top 10 electronic projects last decade and are waaaaayyy more immediate than this album, which was quite a departure. "
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On pizzagrande's review of Lianne La Havas - Lianne La Havas
"Yeah she's great, but I fail to find any interesting ideas to latch on to for the entire run time. "
On Z.Younk's review of Cloud Nothings - The Black Hole Understands
"Is this a physical only release?"
On dearsongs's review of Father John Misty - Anthem +3
"I miss him dearly. I''l wait if it means ILYH or PC quality though. Can't imagine what biting commentary he would have about 2020. "
On Doofy's review of Yves Tumor - Heaven To A Tortured Mind
"The opening track is a dead ringer for TVOTR. Almost like if you combined Tunde and Kyp's voices into one. "
On JayCrackers's review of Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
"Copyright infringement issues. DC let them sell the ones already printed, but the label went ahead and covered Superman with a balloon sticker. If you see an OG vinyl with Superman on it, it is worth a lot of money. "
On zachthesnack's review of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus
"I'm still not over how great the front half is. "
On DoubleZ's review of Greg Dulli - Random Desire
"@DoubleZ you're right on Black Love. Love Blackberry Belle, 1965, Congregation, and the Gutter Twins collab too. I need to sit with it a bit more. Lot of releases right now and I'm still on Zappa and Callahan kicks. Think it'll probably end up in the 7/10 range. "
On Man Man - Six Demon Bag
"@MasterCrackfox you know it! They were a personal favorite of mine for a while. Very excited to see them making a return!"
On DoubleZ's review of Greg Dulli - Random Desire
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On Algiers - There Is No Year
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On JeremiahMurphy's review of Destroyer - Have We Met
"Listen to Kaputt immediately. Then Rubies and Streethawk from there. You will not be disappointed. "
On Z.Younk's review of Anti-Flag - For Blood and Empire
"I used to absolutely adore this band, but this album was the last time I've heard anything they've done. Been thinking about going back and seeing how much they still hold up for me. "
On Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary
"After hearing the one yesterday, I was convinced to go preorder the vinyl. After being a bit let down by the last Moonface album, I'm looking forward to getting some peak Spencer again!"
On Avey Tare & Kría Brekkan - Pullhair Rubeye
"Must've been those darn rabbits!"
On Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
"This is one of my favorite albums oat, but I cringe every time I hear that whistle. "
On William Doyle - Your Wilderness Revisited
"As of the time of my review, there were only three songs with lyrics posted ok Genius. I have them all available to me now and will probably revise this review soon. Umm...I factor in all aspects of crafting music. Sounds like you want to be more of a literary critic. "
On Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
"@thomasny18 keep talking that crap about this masterpiece and I'll give you a 1-2 punch alright!"

May Playlist