Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Shocked Minds - Shocked Minds (Hozac, 2013)

Shocked Minds
Shocked Minds

Rating: 7.5 cork boats out of 10

I'm a little surprised this Shocked Minds record is out on Hozac - I always think of that label as being a little more out there and adventurous, but this sounds like some pretty straight forward pop punk like you find on Dirtnap.  Don't read that as a complaint though, I love a lot of Dirtnap records and I'm really taken with this Shocked Minds release.  Turns out there are some members with connections to Carbonas, Gentlemen Jesse & His Men and Beat Beat Beat, so their sound shouldn't come as a surprise.  "Drug Song" and "Confusion" are instant classics, sounding like long lost hits from the punk wave of 1978.  If you were told this band shared a bill with Johnny Thunders 35 years ago, it would be completely believable if you had no idea who they were.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sigur Rós - Kveikur (XL, 2013)

Sigur Rós

Rating: 7 empty coffee cups out of 10

This new Sigur Rós album sounds basically like any other Sigur Rós album, to no one's surprise.  Maybe a little more rock-based and a little less atmospheric, but not drastically so.  I'm not sure I have any particular insight other than that to be honest.  Good record, I'll listen to it a few times, but I'm guessing if I'm really itching to listen to Sigur Rós I'll just put in their masterpiece "Ágætis Byrjun."

It's also entirely possible I've said basically this same review in reference to past
Sigur Rós albums.  So be it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bill Janovitz - Walt Whitman Mall (Self-Released, 2013)

Bill Janovitz
Walt Whitman Mall

Rating: 7 king sized candy bars out of 10

I grabbed this Bill Janovitz album on a whim - I'd loved his band Buffalo Tom since I was in high school, even saw them live right around 1992 (and still have the t-shirt from the show!), even if I hadn't listened to them much lately.  I had next to no expectations but this is a solid, well-written pop record.  He didn't do anything new and exciting, but he did a whole record's worth of songs that are well crafted and worth hearing.  It's a record by and probably for the older set like me, mature pop songs with just a tinge of roots/folk/alt-country...honestly, if you called it a Buffalo Tom record instead of a solo Janovitz record I doubt anyone would even notice.  And now I'm feeling a strong urge to bust out my copy of "Let Me Come Over"...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Big Boi - Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors (Def Jam, 2013)

Big Boi
Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors
Def Jam

Rating: 8 slices of cheese out of 10

Here's my review of the new Big Boi record "Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors": it's fuckin' awesome.  Big Boi does his Big Boi thing like he's done for years, there's a metric shit ton of guest rappers/singers, and any long time fan who isn't happy after listening to this is dead inside. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Superchunk - Me & You & Jackie Mittoo 7'' (Merge, 2013)

Me & You & Jackie Mittoo 7''

Rating: 7 shaggy wigs out of 10

The first single off the most recent Superchunk full-length record "I Hate Music."  The title track is fantastic but also on "I Hate Music", so nothing new gained there on this short player.  They say it's an alternate version, but it's basically the same.  the b-side "Sunset Arcade" is an unreleased track though. and a real gem even on first listen.  It would fit extremely well on the new album and is frankly good enough to be a single all by itself, but that can be said of most o their songs.  So if you're digging "I Hate Music" at the very least hunt out this song even if you don't buy the whole seven inch, it's worth the trouble. 

Warm Soda - Tell Me in a Whisper 7'' (Goodbye Boozy, 2013)

Warm Soda
Tell Me in a Whisper 7''
Goodbye Boozy

Rating: 6.5 bottles of strychnine out of 10

I already mentioned this with my review of their excellent full-length, but Warm Soda are the new band featuring some former members of the the great Bare Wires.  the personnel might have changed but the music is still in the same wheelhouse - glam pop that gets a little scuzzy now and again, like T-Rex and the Strokes shacked up in the same sleeping bag together.  Both songs are pretty good but I actually prefer the b-side "This Changes Everything," it's a little more upbeat and catchy.  And I prefer the full-length to both songs, but these are still pretty good.  Definitely one of my favorite new bands this year.