Back in May 2011, as St. Vincent, Annie Clark turned heads with a devastating cover of Big Black’s “Kerosene”. Later that year, she released her third album and most experimental album yet, Strange Mercy, BPM’s #1 album of 2011. Which is to say, when it comes to St. Vincent, one should expect the unexpected. Somehow, though, St. Vincent’s Record Store Day single “KROKODIL” still surprises. On Strange Mercy, guitar contortions fought layers of synth for a thrillingly sinisister album. “KROKODIL” drops the latter half of that equation, scanning as pure punk rock. For two and a half minutes, fuzzed-out guitars blare away at full blast, and Clark’s normally angelic vocal stylings scream with riot grrrl ferocity just to stay afloat. But don’t mistake of labeling “KROKODIL” merely as ‘St Vincent going punk.’ What’s Clark is doing is boiling everything about that genre down, twisting it into yet another tool at her immaculate disposal. “KROKODIL” is proof that Annie Clark truly does it all, and usually does it better.
Plugging away since 1999, The National finally hit mainstream success with the release of their 2010 album High Violet. Of course, this entailed their first world tour, but in the new documentary Mistaken For Strangers, it’s only the backdrop for the relationship between lead singer Matt Berninger and his younger brother Tom, who had no idea that these short videos he was shooting would turn into a public document of their troubled, if still loving brotherhood.
We talk with Israeli rockers Vaadat Charigim about some of their favorite records.
We talk with Yvonne Ambree and Jesse Barnes of Take Berlin about some of the records which influenced the recording of their debut EP, Lionize.
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