Latest Features

Bandcamping #9: Obedient Wives Club, R.L. Kelly

By Ryan Stanley; February 27, 2013 at 10:00 AM 

We’re all big fans of the more established acts out there, but some of the most exciting music being made today is produced by DIY artists and offered up for free listening on distant corners of the internet. In Bandcamping, we dig up a couple of gems, old or new, released and streaming for free on the online platform.


Obedient Wives Club – Murder Kill Baby

obedient-wives-club-murder-kill-baby

Artist: Obedient Wives Club
Album: Murder Kill Baby
Released: February 2013
Free To Download?: No
Style: lo-fi surf pop, spectorgaze
For Fans Of: Dum Dum Girls, The Raveonettes

With its reverb-drenched production and dreamy, poster girl vocals, listening to Obedient Wives Club is like taking a step back in time to when diners were a-plenty and everyone’s hair was greased back. The band style themselves as “Spectorgaze” — after legendary producer Phil Spector — and their music does sound very much suited to the girl pop bands of the 60’s. Their earlier stuff is markedly lo-fi, with fuzzed out guitars and vocals that filter through as if from another room. Their latest EP takes advantage of superior production to add more layers to their sound. The doo-wop style backing vocals on ‘Murder Kill Baby’ for example, would be lost in noise in a more lo-fi setting. The lead single which shares its title with the EP is definitely the highlight of the 5 songs featured. Drawing heavily from the same sources as stuff like The Raveonettes and Dum Dum Girls with its instantly catchy melody and simplistic lyrics, the song showcases everything the band has to offer. The satirical name or sinister sounding song titles are a bit misleading considering these songs are a lot less Riot grrrl a lot more twee. ‘Requiem for a Lover’ is a typical song about lost lovers that “Will meet again when the planets align”, and ‘Thousand Tears/Broken Heart’ tugs on heartstrings with its emotive ‘aahhhhhhs’ set against soaring chords. But ignoring subject matter, these songs have that special ability to deal with gloomy themes without sounding particularly gloomy themselves. Obedient Wives Club are still pretty early on in their journey, the 3 EP’s released so far all average just under 20 minutes, which works in their favor, keeping listeners intrigued throughout the short running time. But it’ll be interesting to see how well a full debut pans out.

Choice Cuts: “Murder Kill Baby”, “Requiem for A Lover”

–Leslie Fernandez


R.L. Kelly – Life’s A Bummer

r.l.-kelly-lifes-a-bummer

Artist: R.L. Kelly
Album: Life’s A Bummer
Released: February 2013
Free To Download?: Yes
Style: Downer indie rock
For Fans Of: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, Coma Cinema, Julie Doiron

While Rachel Levy’s previous work as part of Kiss Kiss Fantastic and Teen Porn has been compelling in its own right for its often outre constructions, her newest endeavor finds its strengths in its directness and simplicity. Ditching the swaths of reverb that marked her earlier work in favor of sparse guitarwork and emotive, often personal lyricism. Her cover of Alex G’s nostalgic “Change” is most evident of her sonic shift, delivering layered acoustic guitars and a soft, but distinct, murmur instead of her often hazy, long-syllable-favoring delivery of years past. The nursery rhyme-esque, organ driven “Familiar Haunt” showcases Levy in her songwriting mode, offering a thoughtful, self-deprecating chanty, the lyrics of which defy transcription. That’s really what makes this debut release, featuring 6 tracks at a slight 16 minutes, stand out amongst a legion of confessional songwriters. Levy’s lyrics are simple, but her delivery is so intensely personal that it manages to fly in the face of the simplicity, lending a gravitas far beyond the words as written on the page. Not bad for a first foray into the realm of legible lyricism.

Choice Cuts: “Life’s A Bummer,” “Change (Alex G cover)

–Colin Joyce


Previous installments of Bandcamping:
Bandcamping #8: Alex G, Hella Better Dancer
Bandcamping #7: Weatherbox, Mutual Benefit
Bandcamping #6: Carbon Records
Bandcamping #5: The Tuts, Soda Bomb
Bandcamping #4: Niechec, Infinity Crush

Bandcamping #3: XXYYXX, Quiet Evenings
Bandcamping #2: Big Wave, Pill Friends
Bandcamping #1: Attic Abasement, Michael Parallax

Bandcamping #8: Alex G, Hella Better Dancer

By Staff; January 16, 2013 at 1:10 PM 

We’re all big fans of the more established acts out there, but some of the most exciting music being made today is produced by DIY artists and offered up for free listening on distant corners of the internet. In Bandcamping, we dig up a couple of gems, old or new, released and streaming for free on the online platform.


Alex G – TRICK

Alex G - TRICK

Artist: Alex G
Album: TRICK
Released: November 2012
Free To Download?: Yes
Style: Downer Indie Rock
For Fans Of: Built To Spill, Coma Cinema, Pinback

For going on three years now, Alex Giannascoli has used his Bandcamp page as a forum to dish out tortured pop songs. And that’s about it. There’s no cabins, no cults, just a kid from suburban Philadelphia and a handful of run-of-the-mill rock and roll instruments. Recorded under his first name and last initial, Giannascoli’s work skews toward the sprawling and malleable arrangements of bands like Built to Spill and Pinback, but his latest effort Trick makes clear his already developed songwriting voice. He opens “Advice” with a reminder not to get “hung up on petty things” before descending into lyrical abstractions that nevertheless recall vivid imagery. He has this way of eschewing structural meaning in favor of emotional truth. Such impressionism is often attempted by songwriters without much to say, but Giannascoli manages much in the way of Lockett Pundt or a more self-serious Stephen Malkmus. Album opener “Memory” pairs Giannascoli’s upper register whine with the droning acoustic guitars and tales of picking up things in baggies from “a buddy he grew up with.” Explicit enough, but that’s about as clear as he gets through the course of the album. He’s the consummate musician, taking these often vague phrases and imbuing with emotional specificity through the dizzying contrast of his tinny vocals and ride-cymbal induced openness of the instrumental parts. Trick’s best moments call to mind the similarly precocious constructions of Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg’s Sub Pop debut as Avi Buffalo. Alex G has that similar knack for instantly memorable melodies and evocative lyrics, but Giannascoli never falls into the overwrought gooeyness that sometimes dragged that record down. With Trick, Giannascoli continues his streak of albums chock full of point-of-the-needle downer indie rock. We can only hope that everyone starts paying attention.

Choice Cuts: “Memory,” “Advice,” “Kute”

–Colin Joyce


Hella Better Dancer – Living Room

Hella Better Dancer - Living Room

Artist: Hella Better Dancer
Album: Living Room
Released: February 2012
Free To Download?: Yes
Style: Space Folk, Lo-fi Dream Pop
For Fans Of: Late-period Slowdive, Memoryhouse

“Containing four tracks, collectively clocking in at just over ten minutes,” reads Living Room‘s brief description on Hella Better Dancer’s bandcamp, “Living Room was home-recorded and self-produced through a laptop’s internal mic without any studio equipment.” It’s hard to tell at first whether a self-description like that is meant as a point of pride or a half-shrugged write-off, as if to sheepishly explain to the prospective listener that, well, we did the best we could under the circumstances. Sure, it isn’t one of your fancy, big-budget, studio polished indie rock records, but gosh darn it we made this with nothing but our blood, sweat, tears, and our laptop’s internal mic! Doesn’t that count for something?!

But, while Living Room is accurately described as a reverb-soaked dream pop EP — hardly the most remarkable profile for a Bandcamp EP released in 2012 — it can readily stand on its own two feet without making excuses for itself. While their palette on Living Room is primarily restricted to clean (acoustic?) guitars, girly vocals, and vast swaths of digital reverb, Hella Better Dancer manages to end up with something vivid by painting with each of these elements in broad, thick strokes. The results are often surprising — take “Brother” for example, which carries its modest melody into a big climax with nothing but stacked-up vocal layers and an enormous reverb tail in a cool minute and a half. Here and throughout the rest of the tracks, there’s an unexpected chunkiness to the guitars that helps to fill out the low-end in a way that you normally wouldn’t hear in music of this kind. The patient, atmospheric leads on “After School” and “Last Song”, meanwhile, remind heavily of Slowdive’s underappreciated Pygmalion and space the listener out enough to be pleasantly surprised by the gradual introduction of percussive low-end elements — these guys know how to make a lot from a little. If Living Room‘s homespun quality is a point of pride — and, believe me, I’m sure it is — then Hella Better Dancer have a good deal to be proud of.

Choice Cuts: “Brother”, “Last Song”

(P.S.: Listen to Hella Better Dancer’s also-great, unavailable-on-Bandcamp Swimming EP via Spotify by clicking here.)

–Ryan Stanley


Previous installments of Bandcamping:
Bandcamping #7: Weatherbox, Mutual Benefit
Bandcamping #6: Carbon Records
Bandcamping #5: The Tuts, Soda Bomb
Bandcamping #4: Niechec, Infinity Crush

Bandcamping #3: XXYYXX, Quiet Evenings
Bandcamping #2: Big Wave, Pill Friends
Bandcamping #1: Attic Abasement, Michael Parallax

Bandcamping #7: Weatherbox, Mutual Benefit

By Colin Joyce; December 5, 2012 at 1:48 PM 

We’re all big fans of the more established acts out there, but some of the most exciting music being made today is produced by DIY artists and offered up for free listening on distant corners of the internet. In Bandcamping, we dig up a couple of gems, old or new, released and streaming for free on the online platform.


Weatherbox – Follow the Rattle of the Afghan Guitar

Artist: Weatherbox
Album: Follow the Rattle of the Afghan Guitar
Released: October 2011
Free To Download?: No
Style: Emo, Indie Rock
For Fans Of: Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbreaker

Brian Warren, the guitarist and singer at the center of San Diego’s Weatherbox, jokingly describes his band as “5th wave emo with 2nd wave emo tendencies.” But you might be hard pressed to grab onto that wry sense of humor in Weatherbox’s often dour and druggy facade. After being dropped from their former pop-punk home on Doghouse Records following the spacey melodrama of their sophomore release, Bran Warren drove back to basic for last year’s Follow The Rattle of The Afghan Guitar EP. He married his incisive lyrics to crumbling guitar lines–equal parts Cap’n Jazz and Jawbreaker — hot coils of unfurling noise underneath the ragged whine of a man too wise for his years. It’s a bit, well, weightier than your average 2011 emo record and it’s a wonder that it slipped under the radar as much as it did.

Choice Cuts: “Broken Glowsticks”, “My Head”

–Colin Joyce


Mutual Benefit – The Cowboy’s Prayer

Artist: Mutual Benefit
Album: The Cowboy’s Prayer
Released: December 2011
Free To Download?: Yes
Style: Bedroom Pop
For Fans Of: Atlas Sound, Foxes In Fiction

The bedroom folk purveyed by Massachusetts Jordan Lee certainly knows its peers. Taking a sample based approach to Atlas Sound-inflected underwater melodies, Lee deals less in nostalgia and more in heartwarming earnestness. Piano samples may be drenched in reverb, but its just as easy to imagine Lee delivering “Auburn Epitaph” from the floor of his living room surrounded by friends as it is to picture him behind the bank of electronics likely required to produce it. His heart is on his sleeves, and that’’s this EPs greatest asset. No matter the construction, he manages to make The Cowboy’s Prayer personable and homely–no small feat for a man trading in the same sonic palette of many a bedroom musician. Mutual Benefit is your friend – even from a cursory listen, that much is clear.

Choice Cuts: “Auburn Epitaphs”

–Colin Joyce


Previous installments of Bandcamping:
Bandcamping #6: Carbon Records
Bandcamping #5: The Tuts, Soda Bomb
Bandcamping #4: Niechec, Infinity Crush

Bandcamping #3: XXYYXX, Quiet Evenings
Bandcamping #2: Big Wave, Pill Friends
Bandcamping #1: Attic Abasement, Michael Parallax

Bandcamping #6: Carbon Records

By Staff; November 26, 2012 at 11:45 AM 

We’re all big fans of the more established acts out there, but some of the most exciting music being made today is produced by DIY artists and offered up for free listening on distant corners of the internet. In Bandcamping, we dig up a couple of gems, old or new, released and streaming for free on the online platform.


Various Artists – CR200 (Carbon Records)

Artist: Various Artists
Album: CR200
Released: October 2012
Free To Download?: No
Style: Noise, Drone, Psych, Indie Pop
For Fans Of: Oneida, Black Dice, Six Organs of Admittance

Rochester seems a weird place, if Carbon Records is any indication. This local noise label, started in 1994, has long specialized in bringing the best leftfield tunes that the upstate NY town has to offer, and with CR200 they’ve released a massive compilation of bands their mining has dredged up over the years. Kicking off with some Phil-Elverum-goes-black-metal instrumentation (courtesy of Chris Reeg) and spanning more traditional noise in addition ambling acoustic guitar experimentation, fractured yelps of pop songs, and doomy drones, this compilation represents a wealth of diversity in the label’s stable. Whether it’s the kraut-noise stomp of “Free To Starve”, Crush The Entente’s contribution, or Autumn In Halifax’s austere, bluesy spiritual “David O David”, there’s incredible tracks throughout. If this is the work of a great curator, then, well, good on Joe Tunis for bringing these tracks together and celebrating the best the region had to offer. But if the general darkness of these tracks is inherent to the Rochester experience, we might be worried about the emotional state of that city’s inhabitants. Above I list several noise and psych bands in the “For fans of”, but this time you shouldn’t necessarily take those as guidelines so much as benchmarks: by and large the tunes on CR200 take a similar sort of intellectual preparation. These are tracks that, while endlessly intriguing, present a pervading heaviness that even in the most accessible moments can be a bit off-putting. That all being said, if you’re willing to give it the time it demands, it’s a compelling cross section of a widely under-examined scene. It’s like wandering into your city’s weirdest art gallery – in the dingiest warehouse space – and allowing yourself to be bombarded with what the underground has to offer.

Choice Cuts: Autumn in Halifax – “David O David”, Joe Sorriero – “Electricity’s Out!”, Crush the Entente – “Free to Starve”

–Colin Joyce


Previous installments of Bandcamping:
Bandcamping #5: The Tuts, Soda Bomb
Bandcamping #4: Niechec, Infinity Crush
Bandcamping #3: XXYYXX, Quiet Evenings
Bandcamping #2: Big Wave, Pill Friends
Bandcamping #1: Attic Abasement, Michael Parallax

Bandcamping #5: The Tuts, Soda Bomb

By Staff; November 8, 2012 at 1:35 PM 

We’re all big fans of the more established acts out there, but some of the most exciting music being made today is produced by DIY artists and offered up for free listening on distant corners of the internet. In Bandcamping, we dig up a couple of gems, old or new, released and streaming for free on the online platform.


The Tuts – The Tuts EP

 
Artist: The Tuts
Album: The Tuts EP
Released: July 2012
Free To Download?: No
Style: Twee punk, garage rock revival revival
For Fans Of: The Libertines, The Long Blondes, Tiger Trap

The Tuts are a twee pop band who’ve got their reference points all wrong – beneath the cutesy veneer and fast-paced tempos, this is pop that’s less reminiscent of mid-90s Chickfactor compilation contributors than it is of mid-00s post-Libertines lad rock. Still, when it’s all said and done, the Tuts come out sounding closer to Talulah Gosh and Tiger Trap than bands that are trying to tend to, and the elements they pull from 00’s garage rock give their guitar pop just enough of a spin to keep things interesting. The crunchy, melodic guitars that open “All Too Late” are ripped straight from some long-lost Up The Bracket single, and the cries for young, feminine independence on “Beverley” – “she’s young, she’s free: she don’t want a man!” – nicely recall of one of the  last decade’s better indie rock moments. But, unsurprisingly, the success of the whole thing really hinges on one enormous pop choon: the undeniable “I Call You Up,” whose copious melodies worm into one’s brain with a frightening efficiency.

Choice Cuts: “I Call You Up”, “All Too Late”

–Ryan Stanley


Soda Bomb – Hooligan

 
Artist: Soda Bomb
Album: Hooligan
Released: May 2012
Free To Download?: Yes
Style: Noisy Pop-Punk
For Fans Of: Early Wavves, Japandroids

Y’know Soda Bomb gave up pretty early. I mean, the first song of (what appears to be) the Long Island duo’s debut release is called “Nobody Likes My Band.” Aside from the inherent defeatism, it’s an even more puzzling move given just how damn likable they’ve made their brand of scuzzy noise punk. Melding the off-the-rails enthusiasm of Japandroids to the bargain bin fuzz of early Wavves tunes, Hooligan’s hooky punch represents a oft-tread style done incredibly well. There’s Blink 182 indebted melodies to be had on “I Wanna Die” and a downcast lyrical focus throughout that’s similarly reminiscent of Nathan Williams’ earliest efforts. It’s short, it’s punchy, a bit lacking in its focus, but if the followup mini-EP, Booger is any indication, Soda Bomb’s just getting better. Give them time to marinate, and it seems reasonable enough that these dudes could one day be inspiring crowds to kick up dust at FYF fest.

Choice Cuts: “Nobody Likes My Band”, “I Wanna Die”

–Colin Joyce


Previous installments of Bandcamping:
Bandcamping #4: Niechec, Infinity Crush
Bandcamping #3: XXYYXX, Quiet Evenings
Bandcamping #2: Big Wave, Pill Friends
Bandcamping #1: Attic Abasement, Michael Parallax

Bandcamping #4: Niechec, Infinity Crush

By Staff; October 26, 2012 at 9:53 AM 

We’re all big fans of the more established acts out there, but some of the most exciting music being made today is produced by DIY artists and offered up for free listening on distant corners of the internet. On Bandcamping, we dig up a couple of gems, old or new, released and streaming for free on the online platform.


 

Niechec – Smierc w Miekkim Futerku

Artist: Niechęć
Album: Śmierć w Miękkim Futerku
Released: April 2012
Free To Download?: No
Style: Heavy Jazz, Sax Freakouts
For Fans Of: Colin Stetson, Flying Lotus, Boredoms

The first thing you’ll probably notice about Polish jazz outfit Niechęć’s debut, Śmierć w Miękkim Futerku (Death in a Soft Fur Coat,) is the eye-catching cover photo of an elderly, fur-clad woman smoking a cigar. Her intense stare pierces the smoke, eyeing the viewer quizzically, sizing him or her up like a hunter does with her quarry. Her face is marked with a deathly pallor, so much so that perhaps she is Death herself, wondering whether or not to take you with her.

The band’s name translates to “Reluctance,” but they seem anything but reluctant on Śmierć w Miękkim Futerku. Opener “After You” draws open the curtains on the album with an overture of cacophonic saxophone explosions, underscored by foreboding synth drones. This is followed by the jaunty but haunting “Taksowkarz,” which chugs along with frenetic urgency, as if trying to escape from something. Yet no matter where the album goes, the foreboding follows; Lady Death still stares at you from the cover. Even in the album’s down-tempo midsection it is impossible to escape. On the FlyLo-esque “Relaks Dub,” drums echo like distant gunfire, and synths growl up from the sonic abyss like slumbering demons, while “Prozak” lays dissonant saxophone improvisation over a lounge piano groove.

Whether being fast and frightened, or slow and haunted, the only reluctance that Niechęć exhibits is the reluctance to give in to old lady Death. Even after the record closes with the gloomy, apocalyptic eight-minute title track, she remains there, still staring, still contemplating, still puffing away at that cigar: Death, in a soft fur coat.

Choice Cuts: “Taksowkarz,” “Relaks Dub,” “Prozak”

–Harrison Suits Baer


 

Infinity Crush – Imprints, Outpatients

Artist: Infinity Crush
Album: Imprints, Outpatients
Released: October 2012
Free To Download?: Yes
Style: Folk, Lo-Fi, Emo
For Fans Of: Julie Doiron, Jesse Lacey

Teen Suicide announced a couple of weeks ago that their longtime friend Caroline White was joining them to add viola and vocals to their brand of existential lo-fi emo, but they failed to mention that White’s solo project had just dropped its debut release. Channeling the warmth of Julie Doiron’s pastoral folkiness through Macbook clicks and grotesquely personal lyrics, Imprints, Outpatients subverts the girl-with-pretty-voice-and-acoustic-guitar trope to produce something both achingly beautiful and cringe-inducing. Her voice is a patient coo but with lyrics like “lock the door and eat me out” there’s a sort of inherent sexual recoil present throughout. No matter how sincerely White might have meant these tracks, they’re so bare that any sincerity is obliterated in sparsity, resulting in five disorienting and haunting tracks that bely their less than ten minute running time in emotional weight. These sound like demos, no doubt, but they’re rewarding far beyond their fidelity and track closing clicks.

Choice Cuts: “Love Sick,” “Jessica’s 19th Birthday Party”

–Colin Joyce

Bandcamping #3: XXYYXX, Quiet Evenings

By Staff; October 10, 2012 at 1:07 AM 

We’re all big fans of the more established acts out there, but some of the most exciting music being made today is produced by DIY artists and offered up for free listening on distant corners of the internet. On Bandcamping, we dig up a couple of gems, old or new, released and streaming for free on the online platform.


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Bandcamping #2: Big Wave, Pill Friends

By Staff; September 26, 2012 at 5:07 PM 

We’re all big fans of the more established acts out there, but some of the most exciting music being made today is produced by DIY artists and offered up for free listening on distant corners of the internet. On Bandcamping, we dig up a couple of gems, old or new, released and streaming for free on the online platform.


 

Big Wave – The Roots of Love (Come Tumbling Down)

Artist: Big Wave
Album: The Roots of Love (Come Tumbling Down)
Released: June 2012
Free to Download?: No
Style: Twee pop, Lo-fi, C86 revival, Indie pop
For Fans Of: Veronica Falls, Dum Dum Girls, Talulah Gosh

One of my favorite debut records of 2011 was Veronica Falls’ self-titled album. As a huge fan of 80s and 90s twee pop and C86, the thing that really struck me about it was just how sincerely devoted the band sounded to indie pop’s past. In the sea of lo-fi guitar pop bands, no other band was mining these sounds as effectively or as distinctly. When I first heard Big Wave’s The Roots of Love, it struck me in much the same way. Big Wave is a little more jangly, a little less rough – the Sarah Records to Veronica Falls’ Slumberland or K – but it comes from the same place. This isn’t just another take on the beach-bum lo-fi that’s been popularized by Wavves, Best Coast, and Tennis over the past couple of years. Even if it has a bit of the same upbeat, grainy quality, it aims for something more nostalgic, and perhaps timeless. I mean, I half expect to discover that Big Wave bonded over a Pastels badge. More than anything, the songs here have the perfect pop combination: the flash to catch your ear immediately and the substance to stick with you in the long-run. For any fans of this style, there are few 10-minute, 5 song nuggets that are as rewarding as this.

Choice cuts: “Circumstance”, “Leaver’s Party”

–Ryan Stanley


 

Pill Friends – it’s kyle’s birthday everyday

Artist: Pill Friends
Album: it’s kyle’s birthday everyday
Released: September 2012
Free to Download?: Yes
Style: Lo-fi bedroom rock, Orchestral folk, Emo
For Fans Of: Elliott Smith, Elvis Depressedly

Pill Friends deal in chemicals. It’s right there in the name, it’s in the misery of “Klonopin” and the narcotized bummer-rock rave-ups of “pillspillspills.” Everything’s downcast and a bit burned out, but there’s the stereotypical dichotomy between the feelings of the sound and the lyric. The “laughing into darkness” that Elvis Depressedly’s Mat Cothran sang of on “Waves of Bad Intention” is clearly represented here, in the sardonic dark comedy of the lyrics and the sprightly melodies. The cello that marks “Michael J Faker” lends a certain sorrow, but on the whole the musical sentiment is a lot brighter. It’s the sun-peeking-through-the-clouds romanticism of Elliott Smith paired with alone-and-stoned ramblings about stabbing yourself in the chest and picking up prescriptions of methadone. Heavy shit for sure: it’s pretty hard to believe that this is the first official work they’ve cast out into the world.

Choice cuts: “Klonopin”, “Michael J Faker”

–Colin Joyce

Bandcamping #1: Attic Abasement, Michael Parallax

By Staff; September 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM 

We’re all big fans of the more established acts out there, but some of the most exciting music being made today is produced by DIY artists and offered up for free listening on distant corners of the internet. On Bandcamping, we dig up a couple of gems, old or new, released and streaming for free on the online platform.


Attic Abasement – Dancing Is Depressing

Artist: Attic Abasement
Album: Dancing Is Depressing
Released: April 2010
Free to Download?: No
Style: Songwriter, Indie Pop, Acoustic, Lo-fi
For Fans Of: Silver Jews, Beat Happening, Bill Callahan

If it’s not apparent enough from our RIYL section of sorts directly preceding this here blurb, Michael Rheinheimer’s Attic Abasement project very clearly lies in a distinct family of bookish, gruff-voiced singer-songwriters. Though the instrumentation relies more heavily on spry weaving guitar lines than many of Rheinheimer’s storytelling compatriots, where Attic Abasement’s (and very clearly this record’s) massive success lies is in his messy, clever lyrical sentiments. Opening the record with a couplet as bold as “I can’t think with my dick/and my body ain’t no temple” may sound distinctly Hoppus-ian in it’s surface level sophomoric implications, but “Australia” quickly spirals into an existentialist meander. It’s as perverse and irreverent as The Vaselines and as profound and all-encompassing as Will Oldham. True brilliance encapsulated in a forum so often overlooked by the overwhelming majority of music fans.

Choice cuts: “Australia”, “Spread The Word”

–Colin Joyce


Michael Parallax – Vicious People EP

Artist: Michael Parallax
Album: Vicious People EP
Released: March 2011
Free to Download?: Yes
Style: Electronic, Psych-pop
For Fans Of: Animal Collective, MGMT, Dan Deacon

The real story of Florida electropop hero Michael Parallax is all about his live show: complete with showers of glitter, costumes, and a Dan Deacon-ish floor-level set-up, the communal hippie raves that this guy throws together are the work of a true DIY stalwart. Unfortunately, the energy Parallax brings to his shows haven’t always translated on record – in fact, most of his best live material draws from his 2009 release ha ha hallelujah!, a record marred by muddy production and obscured vocals. Last year’s Vicious People EP isn’t home to as many of Parallax’s live hits, but the improved production and wider stylistic range make it his best work to date. Fans of Animal Collective and Dan Deacon’s communal pop will find a lot to like, even if Parallax’s synth-drenched aesthetic is much less a Merriweather Post Pavilion wannabe than it is a noisy take on Oracular Spectacular.

Choice cuts: “Wolves”, “Vicious People”

–Ryan Stanley

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