REVIEWS

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

DEAD DRUMS – CAROUSIN’ USA (SELF-RELEASED, 2010)

Here’s a quickie but a goodie. Baltimore’s Dead Drums and its new single “Carousin’ USA” sounds like what our generation’s front porch rocking chair music will be when we’re all old and fat and lazy (can’t wait). Slow, easy-going, delicate, and beautiful. It’s damn-near the simplest song I’ve heard all year—two bass notes, mild-pop groove …

DEAD DRUMS – CAROUSIN’ USA (SELF-RELEASED, 2010) Read More »

M. OSTERMEIER – CHANCE RECONSTRUCTION (TENCH, 2010)

Punk, inherent in its form, is manifesto driven. With every molecule of available sound-space taken up it leaves no room for dialogue. A closed form. Aggressively ideologically driven, wielding a treatise like a meat cleaver. This sort of monolithic propulsion of sound, however, has no place in M. Ostermeier’s exploratory ambient-classical compositions. Ostermeier weights and …

M. OSTERMEIER – CHANCE RECONSTRUCTION (TENCH, 2010) Read More »

COMA CINEMA – STONED ALONE (SELF-RELEASED, 2010)

I haven’t met Mat Cothran personally, but listening to his band Coma Cinema’s latest release (via cassette) makes me feel as though we’d known each other our whole lives. Like we’re… soul mates. Yeah, that all sounds a little homo-erotic and emo and everything, but damnit, Stoned Alone feels like our breakup record. Mat, are we breaking …

COMA CINEMA – STONED ALONE (SELF-RELEASED, 2010) Read More »

LOTTE KESTNER – CHINA MOUNTAIN (SILBER, 2010)

China Mountain can be found on a map. Right…There. Lotte Kestner’s musical influences are traceable as well. On China Mountain we hear echoes of early nineties slowcore bands like Idaho and Hayden, we get the sense of the strong female singer-songwriter signed to Sub-Pop, K, and Kill Rockstars record labels, as well as flashes of the faraway hazinesss of Laura Gibson’s latest ambient/improvised project with Ethan Rose. China …

LOTTE KESTNER – CHINA MOUNTAIN (SILBER, 2010) Read More »

SUN KIL MOON – ADMIRAL FELL PROMISES (CALDO VERDE, 2010)

There is something approaching perfection in Mark Kozelek’s voice. Cutting through the obvious effects (reverb, multi-tracking) there is something like crystalized sadness at the core of it. Kozelek transcends the hubris of the over-indulgent schlockiness of the perennial sad-sack singer-songwriter in a couple of important ways on his latest Sun Kil Moon vehicle Admiral Fell Promises. …

SUN KIL MOON – ADMIRAL FELL PROMISES (CALDO VERDE, 2010) Read More »

2MUCHACHOS – SUMMER VACATION EP (SELF-RELEASED, 2010)

In my own personal summer-state experience even as we speak, it has thankfully cooled down for the last couple of days here in Colorado. We had a solid two-week stretch of scorching weather, and I was stuck in the house (don’t ask) over a long weekend when 2muchachos sent me the follow up to April’s positively lovely Prespring …

2MUCHACHOS – SUMMER VACATION EP (SELF-RELEASED, 2010) Read More »

ALCEST – ÉCAILLES DE LUNE (PROPHECY, 2010)

Ecailles de Lune, by the french shoegaze/black metal duo Alcest, works so well because it offers so many points of access. Alcest pen huge, sprawling tracks that move from multi-layered, major chord nu-shoegaze of A Place to Bury Strangers and Jesu, to post-rock influenced hardcore breakdowns a la Envy and Rosetta, to the soul-cleansing blast-beats and tremelo picked heaviness reminiscent of Wolves …

ALCEST – ÉCAILLES DE LUNE (PROPHECY, 2010) Read More »

BOXHARP – THE GREEN (HIDDEN SHOAL, 2010)

Boxharp is the band of one Scott Solter, a man who’s tagged himself producer of such artists as John Vanderslice, Superchunk and the Mountain Goats. But Boxharp, his project with singer Wendy Allen, sounds nothing like any of these. In fact, it’s difficult to put any one finger on the prismatic set of influences that add up to the band’s expansive …

BOXHARP – THE GREEN (HIDDEN SHOAL, 2010) Read More »