Reviews


Built to Spill – There’s Nothing Wrong with Love

Thursday, May 13th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Built to Spill, the indie-rock band hailing from Boise, Idaho, has one of the deepest and most accomplished discographies you can find in the genre. Yes, I said it.

The name Doug Martsch may not conjure the same thoughts that a mention of Elliott Smith does, and someone bringing up a song from Keep it Like a Secret may be less common than someone mentioning a song from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. That being said, this band is definitely a classic in their genre. The successive albums Keep it Like a Secret, which contains a laid-back summer twang, and Perfect From Now On, Martsch ventures a few tiny steps into progressive territory, are absolute masterpieces. But I digress… I’m here to explain the beauty of the prelude to these, There’s Nothing Wrong With Love. (more…)



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Castevet – Summer Fences

Thursday, May 13th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Open your ears and let that beautiful, simplistic melody flood your brain with ideas of happiness and contentment. As the song progresses, you can feel the emotion begin to well up as the instrumentation becomes more and more complex. You can’t remember the last time you felt this relaxed as you tilt your head back and feel your eyelids shut – but only halfway. And just as the vocals come in, so smoothly and fluidly, from the most mellifluous vo- WAIT! (more…)



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Chuck Ragan – Gold Country

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Summary: Chuck Ragan made me think twice about my hatred towards country music…incredibly consistent and well-structured, Gold Country is not one to miss this year.

Punk and country music don’t have a whole lot in common, right? Chuck Ragan sets to prove that wrong with Gold Country and does a pretty damn good job of it. Former frontman of punk band Hot Water Music, Ragan didn’t have a whole lot to prove. He was already pretty acclaimed in the punk scene. So, when he decided to swap Hot Water Music for a solo country-Western album, I was a little surprised. His first solo album, Feast or Famine, was a bare-bones album that managed to showcase Ragan”s versatility. His follow-up incorporates that same simplicity, but Ragan manages to add a little extra here and there. (more…)



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End Transmission – Devour

Sunday, May 9th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Just because your little sister likes it doesn’t mean it’s bad, right? I mean c’mon, Fall Out Boy may not have the same reputation as Circle Takes the Square, but who isn’t up for some upbeat power-pop every now and then, excluding metal heads, that is. Some people call the pop-punk and power-pop genres worthless and without merit. I strongly disagree. True, Bad Astronaut and Say Anything don’t have the same, deep musical compositions or technical prowess of say, progressive music or post-rock. That’s not the goal of these shallow, simplistic bands. They provide immediately gratifying, pleasurable music. This is where power-pop band End Transmission comes into play. Devour is by no means a musical masterpiece. End Transmission’s debut album is not entirely original, and I would call it a bit shallow or superficial. Now that that’s out of the way, I really liked this album. It serves the purpose nicely. Devour is chock- full with 11 enjoyable songs.  (more…)



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Headlights – Wildlife

Friday, May 7th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Contrast and contradiction plague Wildlife, in a good way. Recorded in their home, located in Champaign, Illinois, the angst and confusion shows through on their latest record. Created in a short period of time and marked by band break-ups during the process, Wildlife combines beautiful, lush indie-pop with a welcome sense of variety that is so often lacking in similar sounding music. Indie-pop often falls victim to monotony and flatness, but Headlights keep things fresh. (more…)



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Joel Plaskett – Three

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Joel Plaskett, at 33.3 years old, entitled 3 songs on his new release with 3 repeating words, “Rolling, Rolling, Rolling,” “Rewind, Rewind, Rewind,” and “Gone, Gone, Gone.” At this point, he couldn’t stop the trend. He decided to record a triple CD release, entitled Three, with 9 songs apiece, all with their own independent styles and concepts. He may have gone a bit too far, far, far, as the last mentioned song suggests, but it’s an interesting concept, at least, even if it is borderline gimmicky. Relaxing folk ballads blended with some soft rock are at the crux of Three, but ultimately it’s Plaskett’s ability to hide “3’s” all over this record that overshadow the actual music. (more…)



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Massive Attack – Splitting the Atom EP

Monday, May 3rd, 2010 by Eric Loose

Trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack are back with a not so massive attack, a 4 song EP titled Splitting the Atom. Short and pithy, Splitting the Atom is a nice snack, just enough to remind the music community that Massive Attack are still in the kitchen and brewing something, delicious or possibly disastrous. It’s definitely not a full meal, but Splitting the Atom will have trip-hop fans and non-fans alike tongues dripping with anticipation due to the illustrious line-up of Martina Topley-Bird, Guy Garvey (Elbow), and Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio). Unfortunately, Splitting the Atom doesn’t turn out to be nearly as appetizing as it appears. (more…)



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Maths – Descent

Saturday, May 1st, 2010 by Eric Loose

You haven’t heard this before. You may have heard sprawling soundscapes carefully executed. You may have even had the pleasure of hearing a wave, no, a tsunami of furious guitar envelope songs until all that’s left is furious riffs of gargantuan noise. Calculated and technical screamo has been done before. Maths isn’t the first band to provide listeners with caustic riffs and shrill screams that will make your hair stand on end until the next breath of fresh air, in relaxing instrumental form, grants you relaxation.  Nor is this probably the first time you’ve heard hardcore that you find yourself hopelessly lost in, with enough dips and dives to leave you disoriented and dizzy. But let’s get one thing straight here: none of those other bands were Maths. Following a split with fellow English screamo outfit, Throats, Maths gathered enough praise to garner a “who’s who” of bands on the rise by a feature in NME. The natural stage of progression would be for Maths to start touring more regularly, reap more publicity, and basically move up in the business, right? Wrong. Maths drop their label in favor of honing their sound and recording a DIY record it themselves. The result is an enticing, and quite stunning output, Descent. (more…)



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My Heart to Joy – Seasons in Verse

Thursday, April 29th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Savor it. Soak it in, because like the crisp, golden rays of sun on a harsh wintry day, this is golden and warming. Seasons In Verse is a splendid mixture- one part emotional vocals, one part post-hardcore instrumentation. Sound interesting? Well, add that to the fact that Seasons In Verse was La Dispute’s (Michigan post-hardcore extraordinaires) favorite releases of the year. Unencumbered by long-running anthems and instead concentrating on a more refined and niche-focused grand design, My Heart To Joy’s full-length debut is a successful and uplifting testament to the up-and-coming band from Connecticut. And for what it lacks for in variation and originality it certainly makes up for with more aesthetic qualities like beauty and cohesiveness. (more…)



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Morningwood – Diamonds and Studs

Thursday, April 29th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Familiar with those cheesy VH1 help-me-find-‘love’-on-a-reality-TV-show-because-there’s-no-other-possible-way-for-me-to-find-it shows? These reality shows incorporate the washed-up stars whose 15 minutes of fame lasted 15 minutes too long, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy their unfulfilled need for constant attention: Flavor Flav, Bret Michaels, New York, Hulk Hogan, Scott Baio, the list goes on. While these mind-numbing forms of entertainment are absolutely tasteless and offensive, they do please a certain demographic – most likely 13 year old boys who tune in for a chance to see breasts or a catfight, guys sitting on the couch too blazed to change the channel, or people who love television yet have reception that only allows them to view VH1. You may be familiar with one of the latest shows, Daisy of Love, one of the many tasteless offshoots. Coincidentally, Morningwood provides the theme song, “Best of Me.” Sadly, the connections between these two uppermost forms of art do not end there. The previously mentioned demographics are presumably three of the top results that came up on the corporate board meeting drawing board where Morningwood’s latest, Diamonds and Studs, was conceived. Where else would a band with a hot singer, thinly laced sexual references, a witless mildly humorous band name, and talentless music find each other? (more…)



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