REVIEWS

Reviews are long form reviews of full albums from experimental artists from around the world.

HAMMER OF HATHOR – VROOM-PSYCHO (FIELD HYMNS, 2010)

Portland’s blues/free-jazz deconstructionist duo’s sixth album, Vroom-Psycho, consists of two solid-gold minimalist burners amidst three delightful forays into improvised studio madness. Everything on this album seethes with a sense of a philosophical conservatism that forces creativity out of the most unlikely places necessitated by a limited tool-set. Minimal instruments (guitar, drums, brass, tape manipulation). Minimal membership …

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CHRIS SCHLARB – PSYCHIC TEMPLE (ASTHMATIC KITTY, 2010)

For spending over 1000 hours working on it, for enlisting a ridiculously high-profile 29-member ensemble to produce it, and for as lofty a title as “Psychic Temple” might suggest for what’s contained within these 33 minutes musical bliss, Psychic Temple is anything but huge. It’s tiny, even. Microscopic. Its nuances are so delicate, so slight, sometimes it …

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J. IRVIN DALLY – DESPISTADO (SELF-RELEASED, 2010)

J. Irvin Dally’s golden-throated croon is both impractical and necessary – and is therefore revolutionary.  It is impractical that such a young man can channel so much world weary sadness and emotional weight through a voice, a guitar and some hand-me down electronic tinkering. Impractical in the sense that on walks to work through cut-hole …

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THE MANXX – WANT SOME WEIRD (SELF-RELEASED, 2010)

Well, here’s a post that’s long overdue. Perhaps you remember, perhaps you don’t, but The Manxx is the girl-group punk extravaganza masterminded by Dan-o and Sara, who happen to be super-buddies (besties even?) and part of the excellent, attentive staff at Gabor’s Bar, a personal favorite watering hole in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver. The very same personal favorite watering …

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VA: ACT SO BIG FOREST COMPILATION VOL. 1: TRITON

“We tried to do this without you/but all we found is that we’re alone”. You know the saying, “a rising tide lifts all ships?” This sentiment seems to be the driving force behind the first compilation of from the Fort Collins collective Act So Big Forest. While blog favorites Candy Claws have been the family/collective’s most notable …

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SPOOK HOUSES – REAL GHOSTS / PRETEND GHOSTS (SELF-RELEASED, 2010)

Spook Houses. Haunted Houses. Hell Houses. Depressing places. Never quite live up to your expectations do they? I remember being terrified of the man with the Jason mask who chased you through the junkyard with a chainsaw. Then one of my friends told me the chainsaw didn’t really have a chain on it and so it …

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ENVY – RECITATION (TEMPORARY RESIDENCE, 2010)

Let’s just pretend the rumors are true. Let’s pretend that Envy is hanging their hats after this epic swan song of an album. If we suppose this is true then we should probably read Recitation as both an autobiography and a last will and testament. Recitation should then be seen as a document encapsulating the Japanese hardcore band’s evolution …

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