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The Reviews Matrix - 2005

This page that will essentially be a way for bands and labels to keep up with the review process, from CD arrival/check-in to I-pod transfer, to initial reaction, to full review, to review publication in The Reader -- sorta like tracking a FedEx package. Because of the volume of CDs received at Lazy-i, not all get reviewed, but all get listened to and carefully considered. This will be a way to at least get some feedback and reaction on those recordings that don't make the cut of getting the full review treatment. The matrix will be updated every day a new CD is received, reviewed, etc. Reviews with are the most recent.

Updated July 26, 2006.

Artist Title Label Received
Date
I-pod Download/
listened to
Reviewed
Comments
Rating
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins Rabbit Fur Coat Team Love 12/28/05 12/28/05 see Jenny Vs. Chan Recorded with The Watson Twins, this is easily the best thing Lewis has produced since The Execution of All Things back in '02. The focus has been on the CD's more-rural tracks, like the twangy "The Big Guns" and the intro "Run Devil Run" that seem to channel June Carter Cash. Fact is, once you get past those two tracks, the CD turns into an Azure Ray-style indie outing with plenty of uptempo numbers and the distinctive Mogis touch (on the numbers he helped produce). (1/24/06)
Yes
The Meadows self titled Single 12/28/05        
Simon Joyner Beautiful Losers Jagjaguwar 12/28/05 12/28/05 April 6, 2006 column This B-sides and singles collection is an excellent introduction to Joyner's early work (though nothing beats his masterpiece, The Cowardly Traveler Pays His Toll, which remains out of print).
Yes
Whitestarr 4-song demo Contango 12/28/05        
The Shirock Sputnik Singles self release 12/28/05        
Cowboy Mouth Voodoo Shoppe Eleven Thirty 12/28/05 1/06/06    
No
Cindy Woolf Simple and Few May Apple 12/28/05        
Mark Bilyeu First One Free May Apple 12/28/05        
various It's All About Dancing DVD Penalty 12/9/05        
X Ray OK Like Life self release 12/9/05        
Green Carnation Acoustic Verses The End 12/9/05        
Pistol for a Paycheck Cult Culture self release 12/9/05        
Stephen Yerkey metaneo
natureboy
Echo 12/3/05 1/26/06      
The Pomes At the Adelphi self release 12/3/05        
Always the Runner An August Golf Velora 12/3/05        
Hotspur EP Earcandy 12/3/05        
Urban Sun Guilty of Dreaming self release 12/3/05        
Miss Autopsy Sweet Killers Comatose 12/3/05 12/3/05      
Rande Vyn Soltrain Solville 12/3/05        
The Rain Design Massacre in an Affluent Suburb Dolichocephalic 12/3/05        
Vincent Black Shadow demo self release 12/3/05        
Great Big Dreams Tap Solo Just Kidding self release 11/25/05        
Big Star In Space Ryko 11/23/05 11/23/05      
Ladytron Witching Hour Ryko 11/23/05 12/9/05    
Yes
Electrocute Troublesome Bubblegum Ryko 11/23/05        
various artists Music from Weeds Ryko 11/23/05        
Keith Pyle Peace and Quiet self release 11/22/05        
Head of Femur Hysterical Stars SpinART 11/22/05 11/22/05   More of the same from these proggy Chicagoans. This seems a bit more mainstream to me. Are they becoming hippies?
Yes
Liz Phair Somebody's Miracle Capitol 11/21/05 11/24/05   See Dec. 9 Live Review.
No
The Motion Sick Her Brilliant Fifteen Digital Bear 11/14/05        
Wheatus Too Soon Monsoon Montauk Mantis 11/14/05        
JJ Appleton Uphill to Purgatory self release 11/14/05        
Lying in States Wildfire on the Lake Flameshovel 11/14/05        
The Pulse Come Party with the Pulse DMR 11/14/05        
Mercury Radio Theater The Blue Eyed Model Friction 11/14/05        
Hanson The Best of... Live and Electric 3CG 11/14/05        
Divorcee Music for Cleanup Men, Breakdown and Inbetweeners Princess 11/14/05        
Vaz The Lie that Matches the Furniture Narnack 11/1/05        
Guitar Wolf Golden Black Narnack 11/1/05        
Pintetop Seven The Night's Bloom Barbary Coast 10/29/05 10/29/05      
The Rachel's Systems/Layers Southern 10/29/05 10/29/05    
No
Tristeza Bromas Better Looking 10/29/05 10/29/05   Your ship has left the shore... about 6 years ago.
No
The Standard Albatross Yep Rock 10/29/05 10/29/05   See Oct. 29 Live Review.
Yes
Broken MC Spillin' My Guts self release 10/29/05        
Early Man Closing In Matador 10/29/05 10/29/05 10/26/05 I profess to rarely listening to metal of any stripe these days. Sure, I dug Queensryche and Iron Maiden as much as the next guy, but that was back in my younger, stupider days (he said with a sniff). Then along comes Early Man, and suddenly I feel like a 17-year-old again, riding around in my brother's El Camino cruising for chicks and booze. Fist shaking. Bloody nose. Angry for no reason. Angry because it rocks! Sure, it sounds like the riffs were lifted directly from 1) Black Sabbath, 2) Judas Priest, and 3) Metallica (not necessarily in that order), but there's no denying the pure head-bangin' extravagance of rippers like "Death Is the Answer," complete with Bobby Beers a.k.a. Steel Dragon falsetto intro. Could they single-handedly bring metal back from the dead? If it all sounds like this, I sure hope so. (10/26/05)
Yes
Dead Influence 4-song demo self release 10/29/05        
The Orphan Project self titled self release 10/29/05        
Covington Devised without a Plan Tiberius 10/29/05        
The Deadly Snakes Porcella In the Red 10/29/05        
Michael Joy River of Days self release 10/29/05        
Dios Malos Dios (Malos) Star Time International 10/29/05 10/29/05   See Oct. 23 Live Review
Yes
Various Artists 20 Nights of Wine and Song Greyday 10/29/05        
The Trembling Art for the Masses Boy Arm 10/29/05        
Alwaystherunner / Snowbeast Framed Status Quo 10/29/05        
Sam Champion Slow Rewind Razor & Tie 10/29/05 10/29/05   Starts off as country by way of Johnny Cash (without the ornaments) and shifts into grind rockers with the snarly Cash drawl. Meanwhile, track 3, is a stone-cold Pavement rip. So yeah, I guess you could say they're all over the place. In the end, the Wowee Zowee-era Pavement wins out -- which is an easy way of saying this is slacker indie rock. It's not bad, but it's been done before, and better. (10/29/05)
No
Billy Brush Lair self release 10/29/05        
Ex Models Chrome Panthers Troubleman Unlimited 10/29/05 10/29/05   See 10/26/05 Feature/profile
No
Robyn G. Shiels A Lifetime of Midnight No Dancing 10/8/05 12/9/05      
Kidd Dynamo I Am a Landslide 7-inch No Dancing 10/8/05        
Guided* Pistols Drawn for Heartbreak at Dawn 7-inch No Dancing 10/8/05        
Kidd Dynamo New Space b/w What's Yours is Never Mine 7-inch No Dancing 10/8/05        
Robyn G. Shiels / Desert Hearts split 7-inch No Dancing 10/8/05        
Corrigan Can Out Front b/w Medicine Stick 7-inch No Dancing 10/8/05        
Lethal Lipgloss Mississippi Hott Dog 7-inch No Dancing 10/8/05        
The Joggers With a Cape and a Cane Startime International 10/8/05 11/9/05    
No
The Westpoint Sunrise Sessions self-titled Diablo Dulce 10/7/05        
Harris The Light Seeping Through the Cracks self-release 10/3/05        
Will Crum Workhorse self-release 10/3/05 10/30/05    
No
Kiss Kiss self-titled Eyeball 10/2/05        
Eagle*Seagull self-titled Paper Garden 10/2/05 10/2/05

10/26/05

See 11/16/05 Feature/profile

I've already proclaimed that these swinging Lincolnites as being Nebraska's version of red-hot Canadian "It" band The Arcade Fire. Why? Could be because Eli Mardock's breathy moan resembles AF's Win Butler's, or that both bands have a penchant for jaunty non-traditional arrangements on a grand scale ("Your Beauty is a Knife I Turn on My Throat" sounds like it came straight off Funeral). Still, the comparison ain't fair. Too often E*S's debut veers headily away from AF's Bowie worship, especially on tracks like the momentous "Lock and Key," with its late-song waltz that creates a majesty uniquely its own. Ambitious, and good too. (10/26/05)
Yes
The Heavenly States Black Comet Baria 10/2/05 10/2/05    
Yes
The Cops Get Good or Stay Bad Mt. Fuji 9/29/05 10/2/05

April 6, 2006 column

also

Mt. Fuji interview (3/30/06)

Mike Jaworski's bands have always been derivative, but they've never been this good. This time he combines The Clash, Rocket from the Crypt and a black-leather New York garage punk band. Heartfelt. (4/6/06)
Yes
David Gray Life in Slow Motion RCA 9/29/05        
Okkervil River Black Sheep Boy Appendix Jagjaguwar 9/29/05 10/25/05   I assume these are the tracks that didn't make it onto their amazing full length. Three of the seven tracks are keepers, though, the rest are dour or found-sound collages, but those three (titled "No Key, No Plan," "Another Radio Song" and "Last Love Song for Now" are as good as anything they've done before. (11/3/05)
Yes
SOS A Guide to Better Livign self release 9/29/05        
Bouncing Souls Live Chunksaah 9/29/05        
Burning Star Core The Very Heart of the World Thin Wrist 9/29/05        
Flying demo self release 9/29/05        
Mark Mallman Seven Years self-release 9/29/05 10/3/05   See live review for more comments. This is, essentially, a compilation CD developed by Mallman to distribute on tour. It's an enticing combination of Ben Folds, ELO and T. Rex sung in Mallman's Midwest-via-Minneapolis nasal voice. His sound is relentlessly throwback, sort of a tribute to '70s glam and so absolutely embraceable that I'm shocked he hasn't broken through the real-but-invisible radio barriers that keep indie down. (10/7/05)
Yes
William Elliott Whitmore Ashes to Dust Southern 9/29/05 10/6/05      
Justin Beckler Wake Up Process self release 9/29/05        
Swords Metropolis Arena Rock 9/29/05 10/2/05   See Oct. 23 Live Review
No
Invisible self titled self release 9/29/05        
Rahbras Whohm Lovitt 9/29/05        
Josh Funk A Jukebox Envy self release 9/29/05        
Brimstone Butterfly Nomality Killed the Cat self release 9/29/05        
Metric Live It Out Last Gang 9/29/05 9/29/05   See 10/26/05 Feature/profile. See Oct. 22 Live Review.
Yes
Stellastarr Harmonies for the Haunted RCA 9/29/05        
Viva K self titled Stinky 9/29/05        
Dungen ta det lugnt Kemado 9/29/05 10/29/05   Psychedelic sung in a language completely alien to me. I think it's Swedish. Look, I've been to enough rock shows to be of the opinion that it rarely matters what language the band is singing in cuz you can't understand a word they're singing anyway. That said, this is trippy rock stuff that'll turn on anyone into Brian Jonestown or The Warlocks. Shimmering guitars, chiming keys, the usual stuff, all brought together by an exuberant rhythm section and recorded old style. I'd love to tell you what they're singing, but I'm just another dumb American too lazy to learn another language. Let's hope it's something nice. (10/29/05)
Yes
Oranger New Comes and Goes Eenie Meenie 9/29/05        
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Howl RCA 9/29/05        
The Bellakun Bendicion Maldita Has Anyone Ever Told You 9/29/05        
Nada Surf The Weight is a Gift Barsuk 9/29/05 10/3/05   See Feb. 22 profile/interview.
Yes
Sufjan Stevens Come On Feel the Illinoise Asthmatic Kitty 9/21/05   10/26/05 Like listening to a choir of indie slackers led by a Little Prince in a Cubs hat whose voice is a morph of Art Garfunkel and Ben Gibbard singing lullabies to Jacksonville, Decatur and Chicago. Fans of Greetings from Michigan will find it all too familiar (In fact, if you weren't paying attention, you'd be hard-pressed to differentiate between the two). Can there be too much of a good thing? I don't think so. On the other hand, it could get pretty tired if he repeats it over the next 48 states. Also, see Sept. 21 Live Review.
Yes
Double Loose in the Air Matador 9/10/05 9/10/05   See Oct. 7 Live Review.
No
Craig Wedren Lapland Team Love 9/10/05 10/2/05      
Bound Stems The Logic of Building the Body Plan Flameshovel 9/10/05        
Mad Happy Renegade Geeks Mutiny Zoo 9/10/05 12/9/05   Mike iLL and Rivka are the Pat and Barbara K. McDonald of hip-hop, at least they are to me. They have the same subversive vibe as Timbuk 3, a couple that I could always imagine standing side-by-side at home making peanut butter sandwiches together. Mad Happy sports the T3 bounce (even if T3 rarely rapped), though their music is more electronic than organic, and slightly more in your face (but only slightly). Hot properties include the acerbic "Loaded Up," "Paint it Pink" and the title track, a pseudo anthem to underground life bearing a sneer that resembles punk (if it only didn't sound so much like Fresh Prince-era Will Smith). Includes six instrumental versions of included songs so you can make your own raps if you wanna. (1/21/06)
Yes
Dave Dondero South of the South Team Love 9/10/05 9/10/05 April 6, 2006 column Hear once and for all where Conor Oberst got his bray. Smart songwriting.(4/6/06)
Yes
The Most Serene Republic Underwater Cinematographer Sunday League 9/10/05        
Dear and the Headlights demo self release 9/10/05 10/30/05   Because of their unfortunate name, I expected nothing but cheese and was pleasantly surprised by a band influenced by jangular acts like Cursive, at least on the opening track, "Sweet Talk," which is not only the best song, but the shortest of the three. Unfortunately, they swing dangerously close to cloying radio-friendly emo on "Daysleeper" and "Run in the Front," the first of which gets pretty bogged down by the time it closes in on the six-minute mark. The last one sounds a lot like a Dashboard retread, with lines like "I'll be missing you / I'm missing you/ I don't want to." I'll take short and sweet over big drama every time. (10/30/05)
No
A Day in Black and White Notes Level-Plane 9/10/05        
Unknown Volume II Double Blind 9/10/05        
Stellastarr Harmonies for the Haunted RCA 9/10/05 10/2/05      
Shyko self-titled Grand Master 9/10/05        
Frustrations Nerves Are Fried 7-inch X! 9/10/05        
J.Mann Too Much Theater Middle of the Road 8/27/05 8/29/05      
The Kingsbury Manx The Fast Rise and Fall of the South Yep Roc 8/27/05 8/29/05    
Yes
Liz Durrett Husk Warm 8/27/05 8/29/05      
Kite Pilot Mercy Will Close Its Doors   8/27/05 8/29/05   Not as poppy as their EP debut, and as a result, more heady and grown-up and maybe a bit too serious. I'll never get used to Austin Britton's screaming, but I'm probably not supposed to. One of the most ambitious bands from Omaha's ambitious music scene. (4/7/06)
Yes
Poop Yer Pants self titled Weasel Land 8/27/05        
Anonymous American/Matt Whipkey Lonely Town self release 8/23/05 8/23/05 9/7/2005 See Sept. 7 interview/feature.
Yes
Thao Nguyen Like the Linen Trust Me 8/23/05        
Teenage Fanclub Man-Made Merge 8/23/05 8/23/05   Ended up being one of my favorites from '05. It made the comp cut.
Yes
Fromanhole Untitled self release 8/23/05 8/29/05      
Frantic Mantis Data Is Not Information Lujo 8/23/05        
For Against December Words on Music 8/23/05 8/29/05      
The Black Halos Alive Without Control Liquor and Poker 8/23/05 8/29/05      
The Very Foundation Small Reserves Velvatonic 8/23/05        
Surreal Surreal the MC EP Lunch Break 8/23/05        
Pong Bubble City Realistic 8/23/05        
Eux Autres Hell is Eux Autres Bons Mots 8/23/05 8/23/05 8/31/05 See Aug. 31 interview/feature. See also Sept. 2 Live Review.
Yes
Rosie Thomas If Songs Could be Held Sub Pop 8/23/05 8/23/05      
Fizzle Like a Flood The Love LP demo 8/23/05 9/30/05      
Cerulean No Sense in Waiting Spinwheel 8/23/05        
Ester Drang Rocinate Jade Tree 8/23/05 8/23/05 10/26/05 Think Avalon-era Roxy Music with a touch of The Sea and Cake and Flaming Lips and you're halfway to this Oklahoma band's summer-breeze vibe. Tracks like "Hooker with a Heart of Gold" and "Great Expectations" sport a cushion of lush strings, brass and piano that would make Burt Bacharach blush with admiration. Jazzy and carefree, it's hard to believe this was released on post-punk label Jade Tree, home to such angst brutes as Girls Against Boys and Onelinedrawing, and Omaha's own Statistics. (10/26/05)
Yes
The Fall Hex Enduction Hour Castle Music 8/23/05 8/23/05 April 6, 2006 column Indie's last wave was all about rediscovering the desolate funk of Gang of Four; the next will be about rediscovering the arrogance of The Fall. (4/6/06)
Yes
She Wants Revenge self-titled Perfect Kiss 8/23/05        
Inquisition Revolution A-F 8/23/05        
Jeff Miller Trying to be Cool Someone Else's Records 8/23/05        
American Princes Little Spaces Yep Roc 8/23/05        
Sinead O'Connor Throw Down Your Arms   8/23/05 8/23/05      
My Morning Jacket Z ATO/RCA 8/23/05 8/23/05 10/26/05 Am I the only one who thinks that the CD's first single, "Off the Record," with its Hawaii Five-O guitar riff and trippy reggae beat, sounds like a laid-back Who track circa Who's Next? Maybe it's because of how they've made Jim James sound like Robert Daltrey or the fact that there's so much reverb throughout the album that it feels like it was recorded from the bowels of whale... or the back of a smoky arena circa 1972 haunted by the memories of Neil Young, Alex Chilton and Joe Walsh. (10/25/05)
Yes
Chad Vangaalen Infiniheart Sub Pop 8/23/05 8/23/05 April 6, 2006 column Simple one-man band production is dark, haunting, cool shit. A singer-songwriter creep show. (4/6/06)
Yes
Imogene self titled Intrepid Sound 8/23/05        
Fizzle Like a Flood Golden Sand and the Grandstand Earnest Jenning 8/23/05        
3 Pill Morning Clarity self release 8/23/05        
David Mead Wherever You Are Eleven Thirty 8/23/05        
Great Lake Swimmers Bodies and Minds Misra 8/23/05        
Cursive The Difference Between Houses and Homes Saddle Creek 7/28/05 8/29/05      
Mohave Clear Blue Trickling self release 7/28/05        
John Ludi Rise Above or Fall Below self release 7/28/05        
Jim Jacobi Solo You Can't Hear It self-release 7/27/05        
The Pope Jazzman Cometh Wantage USA 7/23/05        
Syd Matters Someday We Will Foresee Obstacles V2 7/22/05     Acoustic multi-track ballads with rich, deep arrangements sung by a guy whose slightly grainy voice is only complimented by the strings and bells and the whatever's lying around. Once you get past the noise pastiche that makes up the first half of "Passe Muraille" you're rewarded with a lush layered waltz that borders on psychedelic except for that moaning violin. Meanwhile, few songs I've heard this year are as beautiful as "Lost Bird," with the line "I'm a lost bird in a clear sky." Sure, the cynics can say 'Nick Drake did this all before' but they'd be missing the point. Syd's doing it now. (12/3/05)
Yes
Syd Matters A Whisper and a Sigh V2 7/22/05        
Madness The Dangermen Sessions Vol. 1 V2 7/22/05        
Baumer Come On, Feel It Astro Magnetics 7/21/05        
Channing Cope Sugar in Our Blood 54 40 or Fight 7/21/05        
Salt for Amy No Niche self release 7/20/05        
Animal Parade self titled Montreal Recording Co. 7/18/05        
Acid House Kings Sing Along with... Twentyseven 7/18/05 8/29/05 10/26/05 Like the last Kings of Convenience album, Sing Along... sports a falling leaves / Simon and Garfunkel texture thanks to its gliding strings, chiming acoustic guitars and twee vocals. Add more reverb to the guitars, hand claps and some sweet West Coast harmonies and you've got a modern-day version of The Association. Elevator music for a new generation. (10/26/05)
Yes
The Payola Reserve Lay in Wait self release 7/18/05        
Pio Mazzotti Teenie Fantastic self release 7/18/05        
Cordova Lie Until It Becomes the Truth Limekiln 7/18/05        
Gabriel James In the Hands of Fools Grass Roots 7/18/05        
The Ebb and Flow Time to Echolocate Three Ring 7/14/05 7/14/05      
Hollopaw Quit +/or Fight Sub Pop 7/14/05 7/14/05      
Holden Richards What I Gave Away New Math 7/14/05        
Asthmo. They're Coming for You (Red Eyes) self release 7/14/05        
Ladyfinger self titled self release 7/14/05 7/14/05

June 30, 2005
Sept. 10, 2005

 
Yes
Gabriel James In the Hands of Fools Grass Root 7/14/05        
Scout Niblett Kidnapped by Neptune Too Pure/Beggars 7/14/05        
Spanish for 100 Metric self release 7/10/05 8/29/05 1/18/06 A friend of mine has a band that he vehemently denies is alt country even though their twang is undeniable. I bet Spanish for 100 holds that same denial. Though their rhythms are straightforward, mid-tempo fare, the vocals are Wilco-esque and the guitar roar is only missing a pedal steel. In fact, the guitar work here is the most riveting part of the recording. On any given song, the guitar counters the vocals in a preordained sloppy approach, just banging into whatever feels right, off the beat or just behind it. There are a couple songs where the guitars seem to wander off in their own strange angles, pulled (eventually) back into the fold by the rhythm section. The final result is that Spanish has a tightfisted jam band essence about it, especially on "See Now (Live at the Crocodile)" that pulls together all the elements into a crowd-pleasing roar. Go ahead and clap. Produced by the Phil Ek. (1/18/06)
Yes
Atomic Swindlers Coming Out Electric self release 7/10/05        
The Willowz Talk in Circles Sympathy for the Record Industry 7/10/05 7/10/05 8/10/05 See Aug. 10 feature/interview. See also Aug. 14 Live Review.
Yes
Anousheh Khalili Let the Ground Know Who's Standing on Him Triple Stamp 7/10/05        
David Shultz self titled Triple Stamp 7/10/05 7/10/05      
Fruit Bats Spelled in Bones Sub Pop 7/10/05 7/10/05   More than a mere Elephant 6 retro rehash but still in the same category of Sub Pop soothers as The Shins. Sub Pop is riding this psychedelic throwback rock craze for all it's worth. The Fruit Bats fit the bill. It's trippy stuff with '60s keys and a style that reminds me of Cat Stevens ("Traveler's Song") but without Cat's wrenching personal take. I like it, though I think the arrangements are a bit too heavy handed at times. I would have preferred a more stripped-down approach, but that ain't their style. (9/6/05)
Yes
Kinski Alpine Static Sub Pop 7/10/05 7/10/05      
Wilderness self titled Jagjaguwar 7/10/05 7/10/05   See July 5 Live Review.
Yes
Matt Martin Piechest Paradeco 7/10/05        
Dezeray's Hammer The Past That Decorates Me Rock Ridge 7/10/05        
Chris Harrington You the Provider self release 7/10/05        
Matt Sery A More Perfect Union Riff Raff 7/10/05        
Alan Morphew self titled Grey Cat 7/10/05        
Jim White Presents... various artists Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus Luaka Bop/V2 7/10/05        
Stina Nordenstam The World is Saved V2 7/10/05        
Life Before This self titled Rise 7/10/05        
Marianas Summering EP self release 7/10/05 7/10/05      
Citizen's Band The Signal to Noise Ratio Jetpack 7/10/05        
Sono Oto I'm in August till July self release 7/10/05        
Tim Miller Out of the Box self release 7/10/05        
Cricket Motel Magazine self release 7/10/05        
Carter Tanton Birds & Rain Park the Van 7/10/05        
The Teeth Carry the Wood Park the Van 7/10/05        
Sonata Form Harmony, Courage, Joy and I.Q. self release 7/10/05 7/10/05      
Koufax Hard Times Are in Fashion Doghouse 7/10/05        
Dead Language self titled self release 7/10/05        
Wolf Parade self titled Sub Pop 7/10/05 7/10/05   If Gang of Four was the big influence of the last cast of post-punk bands that made the rounds, Bowie is surely the next one. First with Arcade Fire, now with these guys who embrace Scary-Monster-era Bowie with rhythm, swing and cool guitars. Not to mention the ocassional falsetto (which Bowie never did). It's impossible not to think of Arcade Fire, even though this has bigger, dancier beats and more earnest vocals. This 4-song Ep could be your future. Can they pull off a full-length? (12/3/05)
Yes
The Old Scratch Revival Singers Oh, Didn't He Ramble LP Records of the Damned 7/10/05        
People People Eel Records of the Damned 7/10/05        
Mummy the Peepshow School Girl Pop Records of the Damned 7/10/05        
YCMK Family Music Records of the Damned 7/10/05        
Pistol Star Crawl Wax Orchard 7/10/05 8/29/05      
Rademachor self titled self release 7/10/05        
Javelins No Plants, Just Animals Suburban Sprawl 7/10/05        
Detergency Typhoon Ferri Wishbone 6/11/05        
The Cubby Creatures After the Deprogramming Rodent 6/11/05        
Flotation Toy Warning Bluffers Guide to the Flightdeck Misra 6/11/05        
Nine Inch Nails With Teeth I Nothing 6/11/05 6/11/05      
Broken Spindles Inside/Absent Saddle Creek 6/11/05 6/11/05 Mr. Lexus commercial himself starts his new one sounding like that same Lexus commercial -- all noodling-keyboard-spider-web-tinkling spook -- before floating into the thump-thump-thump electronic pulse of "This Is an Introduction" -- a track that proves Joel Petersen's atonal vocals are no longer mere novelty. In fact, they're a necessity, adding Depeche-Mode drama to dance-floor poser "Please Don't Remember This" and Faint-outcasts "The Distance is Nearsighted" and "Painted Boy Face." For contrast, Petersen returns to the creepy Lexus-tinkling a few times too many, but not enough to bring down the disc. Too laid-back for the runway, Inside/Absent confirms that Broken Spindles is more than a Faint side project. (7/14/05)
Yes
Mercury Rev The Secret Migration V2 6/11/05 6/11/05      
Wiretree self titled self release 6/11/05        
Antony and the Johnson I Am a Bird Now Secretly Canadian 6/11/05 6/11/05      
Stephen Markmus Face the Truth Matador 6/11/05 6/11/05      
Careen Crash Couture self release 6/11/05        
Agape self titled self released 6/11/05        
A.J. Rosales Resistor Novelty 6/7/05        
Kite Operations Dandelion Day K.O.A. 6/7/05        
Tall Grass Captains She Moved Through Ubique 6/7/05        
David Aaron From Brooklyn self-release 6/7/05        
The Sharp Things Foxes and Hounds Bar None 6/4/05 6/4/05      
Bishop Rock On self release 6/4/05        
Make Believe Shock of Being Flameshovel 6/4/05        
Chin Up Chin Up S/T Flameshovel 6/4/05 6/4/05      
Stella pilot Comedy Central 6/4/05        
The Santiago Steps Points & Corners Dorcal-Monster 6/4/05        
Blei In Day as Dark Eternal 6/4/05        
Mayday Bushido Karaoke Saddle Creek 6/4/05 6/4/05 Is it me or is this the most upbeat thing Ted Stevens has recorded under the Mayday moniker? Damn right it is. I wouldn't call it rock, as much as honky-tonk or blue-grass or just plain fun. "Continental Grift" is as funky as these white guys get. "Old World New World" is a banjo-pluckin' skipper, while "Father Time" recalls a dusty Ennio Morricone soundtrack sung by rednecks. It's probably no coincidence that Stevens' voice resembles David Byrne's since his songs do as well (albeit with a twang). Yee-haw. (7/14/05)
Yes
Earthborn On Deaf Ears self release 6/4/05        
various artists Until the Shaking Stops: A Salute to Jawbox Two Sheds 6/4/05 6/4/05      
The Jim Yoshi Pile-Up Picks Us Apart Absolutely Kosher 5/27/05 5/27/05   Musically it sports the same bass, guitar, rhythms and textures as New Order, downbeat Smiths and early Cure, laced with Paul Gonzenbach's nice-guy vox. But the story of Gonzenbach's struggle with depression in all its forms is a tough sell. Rarely do these types of concept albums come together cohesively. And though there are moments or rise-above and exultation, ultimately you're left with a rather languid pop record that, taken in parts and snippets can be moving, but taken as a whole is less than appealing (and considering the message, shouldn't come as a surprise). Gonzenbach doesn't care. He did this one for himself. (7/21/05)
No
Get Him Eat Him Geography Cones Absolutely Kosher 5/27/05 5/27/05      
Orenda Fink Invisible Ones Saddle Creek 5/26/05 5/26/05 The other half of Azure Ray takes her shot at a solo project with better results. While both Fink's and co-hort Maria Taylor's CDs are more upbeat and interesting than anything they put out together, Invisible Ones raises the bar even further. "Bloodline" is hot ambient rock, like a laid-back Faint track, maybe because Mr. Fink (the former Mr. Baechle) plays guitar and keyboards on it. "Les Invisibles," with its mock choir, jazz flute and Fink's droning melody, sports the same dreaded undertone as Tricky's "Christiansands" with Fink playing the Bjork role. "Animal" is downright tribal, while the "Dirty South" is downright filthy. They aren't all departures. The mewing "Miracle Wonder" and "Easter Island" could have come off the last Azure Ray CD along with "Blind Asylum," in spite of its cello-plucking accompaniment. So which is the better of the two? I'm not saying. (7/14/05)
Yes
Bob Mould Body of Song Yep Rock 5/26/05 5/26/05 7/18/05  
Yes
Name-Droppers The German Art Students Autobahn 5/26/05        
Daryl Waits The Rustler Paradeco 5/26/05        
The Clumsy Lovers Smart Kid Nettwerk 5/26/05        
Killola We Work Really Hard self release 5/26/05        
Griddle Turning Violet Your Permanent 5/26/05        
The Floating City Entering a Contest First Flight 5/26/05 7/16/05      
In Memory In So Many Words Doughman 5/26/05        
The Vixen Red Sunrise and Nightfall in the Equestrian Sea self release 5/26/05        
Bacon & Egg ... Are Fanduvo Wantage 5/26/05        
Shame Train She Knows the Score Mudfence 5/26/05        
Roger Alan Wade All Likkered Up Oglio 5/26/05        
Elevado Dedicated to the Memory Lightning Rod 5/26/05        
Criteria When We Break Saddle Creek 5/12/05 5/12/05 See Feature/profile
Review: 7/14/05

 

Easily the most commercial-flavored CD Creek has ever released, When We Break is pure FM-ready back-break indie rock in the vein of such scorchers as, say, The Jealous Sound, Jimmy Eat Word or (dare I say it) Cursive. The diff is in Stephen Pedersen's soaring bird-call melodies and the stutter-step, boot-on-your-neck, five-beat rhythms that have all the subtlety of a drunken waltz on meth. A.J. Mogis has emerged as Pedersen's Michael Anthony harmony-wise (though he more closely resembles a shaggy Walter Becker). Because the hooks are easier to find and less dissonant than Cursive's, more modern-sounding than The Faint's and more radio-ready than Conor's, this one could turn Creek's Big Three into The Big Four. (7/14/05)

Yes
Bridge and Tunnel Club Next Best Letdown self release 5/8/05        
Pistola Hold for Bliss Deseo 5/8/05 7/11/05      
The Clumsy Lovers Smart Kid Nettwerk 5/8/05        
Mary Timony Ex Hex Lookout 5/8/05 5/10/05   See Feature/profile
Yes
Jane Francis Skeletons for Tea Eskimo Kiss 5/7/05 5/8/05   From Saxapahaw, NC by way of Lucinda Williams. I haven't heard this kind of hippy folk since Cindy Lee Barryhill. Whatever happened to her? (7/20/05)
No
Minus the Bear Menos el Oso Suicide Squeeze 5/7/05 5/8/05      
Sleater-Kinney The Woods Sub Pop 5/7/05 5/7/05   Seems like I'm the only person in the continental United States that doesn't like this one. It's been lauded as one of the best records of the year in almost every indie/rock music publication. I think it sounds like they tried too hard to be hard, and sacrificed melodies for gronk to create a Zep-meets-grunge noisefest better suited for L7. Sorry, ladies. (10/12/05)
No
Still Division self titled self released 5/7/05        
Monkey Paw Honkey Kong 4 Alarm 5/7/05        
Turn Around self-titled self released 5/7/05        
Kasabian self-titled RCA 5/7/05 5/10/05   See Feature/profile
Yes
Mayaflyer All the Stars self released 5/7/05        
Tegan and Sara So Jealous Vapor 4/29/05 4/29/05   See May 5 blog entry.
Yes
The Keep Aways self-titled Chair Kickers 4/29/05     Like Belly or The Muffs meets Joan Jett, this screeching Duluth-based girl-powered punk has the tooth-numbing guitar work to make it rock, and rock it does. The blazing chop guitar is a syncopated wall of fuzzy noise. "Standards" starts fast and just goes faster. "Hey Song" is the Joan Jett anthem she never made, clocking in at under 2 minutes. In fact, none of these go far past 3, which is as it should be. (7/25/05).
Yes
The Brunettes Mars Loves Venus Lil Chief 4/29/05     Sweet-as-candy boy-and-girl indie pop songs by way of New Zealand that bear more than a slight resemblance to Tilly and the Wall or Tegan and Sarah (this generation's K Records/twee pop). These naive love songs with deceptively simple arrangements (don't be fooled) could be the soundtrack to your own personal Summer of Love... if you're 15. Brass, tinny guitars and a sweater full of la-la's provide that trendy, retro feel though there's more to it in a snarling '60s sort of way. Just enough garage to remind me of Elvis C's first album, and that's a good thing. (7/19/05)
Yes
The Charms Pussycat Red Car 4/29/05        
Chinaski Megaton Robotic Apple Pie self release 4/29/05        
The Vile Vile Vile Vile self release 4/29/05        
Singletary Live at the Foxx JCJR 4/29/05        
Defined by What We Steal The New Face of Freedom Dogbus Music 4/29/05        
Phosphorescent Aw Come Aw Wry Misra 4/29/05 4/29/05 7/23/05  
Yes
Slow Dazzle The View from the Floor Misra 4/29/05 4/29/05   What you'd get if Hope Sandoval and Bob Dylan had recorded an album together while strung out on pain killers. The Sandoval-esque songs, sung sensually by chanteuse Shannon McArdle, are better than the Dylan-eque ones, mainly because vocalist Tim Bracy stole only the worst parts of Dylan's nasal delivery. As a whole, Slow Dazzle resembles Mazzy Star in its languid, loping, lazy, twangy melodies. Laid-back and warm and always densely gorgeous. (7/28/05)
Yes
The Nein Wrath of Circuits Sonic Unyon 4/29/05        
Vinegar Rock Fetish Studio Brooklyn 4/29/05        
This Microwave World Red States Tight Spot 4/29/05 5/27/05   The latest entry in the Radio 4/Rapture NYC dance-rock sweepstakes. Recording is rather flat and something tells me doesn't capture this band's live performance energy. Regardless, you've heard this all before anyway. (12/3/05)
No
Constant Velocity self titled self release 4/29/05        
The Fast Computers SP Sleepsound 4/29/05        
Make Believe self titled Flameshovel 4/29/05 4/29/05   The latest by the Kinsella brothers (Tim and Nate). Intricate art-noise that rarely fails to grate. In all fairness, the keyboard-bass-driven "Temping as a Shaman," jammy "Witchcraft" and Karate-esque "Abracadabra - Thumbs!" are about as close as these Kinsellas have gotten to approachable (listenable) music in years, but it's still a reach-too-far toward the abstract. Better than Owls, but what isn't? Repeated listenings are rewarded with a tension headache. (7/22/05)
No
Gomez Out West ATO/Sony 4/29/05 5/27/05      
Deep Thinkers Necks Move Datura 4/29/05        
Eerie Von Bad Dream No. 13 Ghostly 4/29/05        
The Breeze Way The Red LP self release 4/29/05        
David Lean Stepping on My Hat self release 4/29/05        
Rosemary's Babies Talking to the Dead Ghastly 4/29/05        
Ambry Holding on by the Blindfolds We Hide Behind Death Scene 4/29/05        
33HZ self titled Outlook 4/29/05        
The Silent Type Hot and Bothered Justaposition 4/29/05        
Now We Are Three self titled Lil' Chief 4/29/05        
The Show Is the Rainbow Radboyz Only! Tsk! Tsk! 4/29/05 4/29/05      
Maktub Say What You Mean Velour 4/29/05        
The Relief Effort Don't Panic St. Helena 4/29/05        
Whitman Anhedonia Falling Sonora 4/29/05        
Le Beat Tabula Rasa Rocketpark 4/12/05 4/12/05      
The Doxies Weight of Gold Emergency Umbrella 4/12/05        
The Pomonas Untitled E.P. self-release 4/12/05 4/12/05  
Yes
Arms of Kismet Cutting Room Rug self-release 4/12/05        
Adam Richman Patience and Science Or Music 4/12/05 5/27/05  
Yes
Benzos Morning Stanzas Stinky 4/12/05        
Statistics Often Lie Jade Tree 4/12/05 4/12/05      
thesistermaria Mister Sister & The Sister Family self-release 4/12/05        
thesistermaria Let Go of / Hold Onto the Gold self-release 4/12/05        
The Crystal Method Community Service II Ultra 4/1/05 4/1/05      
The Diplomats of Solid Sound Destination... Get Down! Estrus 4/1/05        
Love As Laughter Laughter's Fifth Sub Pop 4/1/05 4/1/05      
Dog Faced Gods Stoned Council Voodoo Nation/Pyramid 4/1/05        
Mr. Hand Simple Ways EP self-release 4/1/05        
Setting Sun Math and Magic Young Love 4/1/05        
Veda This Broken City Second Nature 4/1/05        
Power Movement Project Belief Upon Arrival self-release 4/1/05        
Drayton Michaels Low Stress in the Deep End self-release 4/1/05        
Loam Hollowing Costumes self-release 4/1/05        
Okkervil River Black Sheep Boy Jagjaguwar 4/1/05 4/1/05   See Feature/profile
Yes
The First Punic War Candle EP -- 7" Carthage Vs. Rome 3/26/05        
International Businessmen The Formula Rumble Gulley 3/25/05        
Pohgoh All Along New Granada 3/25/05        
The Charming Snakes Ammunition Dirtnap 3/25/05        
Undersea Explosion self-titled lsd25 3/25/05        
Dustin Plumb All Things Dead dp 3/25/05        
Verbal The Name We Sell Now Trust Me Corp. 3/25/05        
Sinch Clearing the Channel Rock Ridge 3/25/05        
Gatsbys American Dream Volcano Fearless 3/25/05 5/8/05      
Sam Permanent Waver Gush 3/25/05        
Lorenzo Goetz Jesus Elephant Innocent Words 3/25/05        
Us3 Questions self-release 3/25/05 5/8/05      
The Rosebuds The Rosebuds Unwind Merge 3/25/05        
Cash Mattock Sexy 21st Century Sleaze self-release 3/58/05        
Minmae I'd be Scared, We're You Still Burning Greyday 3/25/05        
Univac self-titled Glorious Potemkin 3/12/05        
Meander self-titled self-released 3/12/05        
The Loved Ones self-titled Jade Tree 3/12/05 3/12/05      
Maria Taylor 11:11 Saddle Creek 3/12/05 3/12/05
3/25/05
Along with Orenda Fink (or is it Fink-Baechle now?) Taylor makes up the duo Azure Ray -- a folksy, mousy and somewhat withdrawn project that's all about harmonies and broken hearts. Alone, though, Taylor takes on a new intensity with music that throbs and pounds and breathes with a beauty that pops more than wilts. Which is a fancy way of saying I like this better than the Azure Ray records, mostly because it prefers to quietly rock than quietly whimper. With a Fink solo CD coming out later this year on the same label, this creativity influx can only mean good things for Azure Ray fans. (3/25/05)
Yes
Temper Temper self-titled Revelations 3/12/05        
The Capstan Shafts Unconstructed Lo-fi Whore Ladder the Christmas Monkey 3/12/05        
Jacob Ray A Small Part of Something Beautiful self-release 3/12/05        
Hella Church Gone Wild/Chirpin Hard Suicide Squeeze 3/12/05 3/12/05   See April 25, 2005, blog entry
No
Memory So Many Words Doughman 3/12/05        
No-Fi Soul Rebellion Lambs to the Slaughter Wantage USA 3/12/05        
Last of the Juanitas In the Dirt Wantage USA 3/12/05        
Aframes Black Forest SubPop 3/12/05 3/12/05
3/25/05
The march-of-the-metal-soldiers intro foreshadows the angular, industrial nightmare that lies ahead, like listening to a million Gang of Four robots cut loose in Kraftwerk land. Consisting of former members of Cows, Butthole Surfers and Scratch Acid, Seattle's A Frames creates a stern-faced, thick-chorded racket that bludgeoned fans of The Fall will recognize immediately for its barren, Cold War sheen. Touch my monkey. Go ahead, touch it. (3/25/05)
Yes
Remedy Motel A Better Life Porch Rock 3/12/05        
Wax Cannon Valve Comart 511 3/12/05        
Jerry Colburn Smell the Love self-release 3/12/05        
Suzy Callahan Happier Than Everybody Else Scared Guy 3/12/05        
Dallas Orbiter Magnesium Fireflies Princess 3/12/05        
Feersum Ennjin self-titled Silent Uproar 2/21/05 5/8/05      
Blitzkrieg Bliss Every Day Is Marked self-release 2/21/05        
Consafos Tilting at Windmills Greyday 2/21/05 2/21/05      
Player Hater Picking You Up Just to Put You Down Kessel Run 2/21/05 2/21/05      
The Amber Estate self-titled self-released 2/21/05        
various artists Wilde Club EP No. 4 Wilde Club 2/21/05        
Peace in the Jones Manna & the Devils self-release 2/21/05        
The Nein self-titled Sonic Unyon 2/12/05 2/21/05   See March 13, 2005, blog entry.
Yes
The Shapes demo self-release 2/12/05        
United States of Electronica self-titled Sonic Boom 2/12/05 2/12/05   See Feature/profile
Yes
South San Gabriel The Carlton Chronicles Misra 2/12/05 2/21/05
3/25/05
The side project by Centro-matic frontman Will Johnson sports the same dust-covered rural melodies as that band's best, minus the roar. Instead of muscular feedback, Johnson prefers a pretty pedal-steel or piano part, making this dimly lit afternoon music. Johnson's gravel-pit mewing is bound to make him the Eddie Vedder of our generation thanks to a pure distinctiveness that will be emulated by every bar-whore band in the Midwest if it ever gets discovered beyond the in-the-know indie crowd. (3/25/05)
Yes
Great Lake Swimmers self-titled Misra 2/12/05 2/21/05      
Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers self-titled Universal 2/12/05        
Contemplation demo self-release 2/12/05        
Armor for Sleep What to do When You Are Dead Equal Vision 2/12/05        
Seconds Before Further Destinations Lost Arts 2/12/05        
The Pomonas Demo self-release 2/11/05 2/12/05   See Feb. 12, 2005, blog entry. The CD is rough, but captures part of their charm. The best songs from their live set are not included. 2/13/05
Yes
The Holy Ghost Welcome to Ignore Us Clearly 2/12/05 3/21/05
3/25/05
Former Lincolnite Chris Heine (Urethra Franklin, Opium Taylor) and his gang of NYC devils vamp up their angular punk sound for the better. (3/25/05)
Yes
Kidda.kit demo self-release 2/12/05        
Erick Zwieg Dance of the Sugarpug self-release 2/12/05        
Uber Cool Kung Fu 3 Omega Point 2/12/05        
Dirtminers Meat and Electricity Animalville 2/12/05        
DesArk Loose Lips Sink Ships Bifocal Media 2/12/05        
Delcielo Us Vs Them Lovitt 2/12/05        
Peppers Ghost Shake the Hand That Shook the World Hybrid 2/12/05        
Mystechs symbols Omega Point 2/12/05        
Slater & Shellans Living in Absentia self-release 2/12/05        
Heavy Trash self-titled Yep Roc 2/12/05 2/21/05
3/25/05
Jon Spencer's latest is cooler and cleaner than anything that hepcat has done in years. (3/25/05)
Yes
Armored Frog Weasel on a Weathervane Sleepsound 2/12/05        
Two Turntables and a Saxophone self-titled Da Da Da 2/12/05        
Bella Lea 3-song demo self-release 2/12/05 2/21/05      
Bettie Serveert Attagirl Minty Fresh 2/4/05 2/4/05   See Feature/profile
Yes
Sparkwood Jalopy Pop self-release 1/27/05        
Maya Azucena Maya Who?! self-release 1/27/05        
Madras Dimestore Raves self-release 1/27/05        
19 Wheels Jawbreaker Standard 1/27/05        
Seemless self-titled Losing Face 1/27/05        
Mars Black Folks Music Team Love 1/22/05 1/27/05   See Feb. 5, 2005 blog entry.
No
Ringleader 4-song demo self-release 1/22/05        
Tammany Hall Machine self-titled self-released 1/22/05        
Brazilian Girls self-titled Verve Forecast 1/22/05 1/27/05   Highly lauded critical darlings for their electronic/bossa/reggae style I think of these New Yorkers as Air meets Sade with a slight island lilt. Terrific upon first exposure, but a little goes a long way. The best parts are the dance tracks ("Don't Stop," "Sirenes de la Fete") that make up a lot of it, but there's little here that I'd care to hear again. (7/27/05)
No
The Cricket Rumor Mill If Only Then Loose Thread 1/22/05 1/27/05   All instrumental ultra-clean smooth indie rock/jazz that conjures memories of Steely Dan at times ("When Eyedrops were Animals"), it lacks variety, daring, intensity of, say, a Tristeza (but even that style seems to have passed some time ago), and wanders too close to Weather Channel music too often. Standout track "Siamese William" is remarkable only because of a brief rap moment toward the end -- though not exactly groundbreaking they should have done more of it. 1/30/05
No
Forty Twenty Sober and Stupid Slackjaw 1/22/05        
Used Alien Mind Positive Mental Theme Zonked 1/22/05        
Shearwater Thieves Misra 1/15/05 1/15/05      
The Postal Service We Will Become Silhouettes SubPop 1/15/05 1/23/05      
Iron & Wine Woman King SubPop 1/15/05 1/23/05
3/28/05
Breathy folker Samuel Beam, a.k.a. Iron and Wine, already has been embraced by the same O.C. crowd that's been gobbling up copies of the Garden State soundtrack like they were coupons for free cell service. Don't be dissuaded by the cool-kid factor. From its rat-a-tat mantra-like title track to its urgent, harmony-tinged, finger-picking closer, any of the six songs on this EP would make perfect mix-tape fodder. An acoustic-powered gem. (3/23/05)
Yes
Jennifer Gentle Valende SubPop 1/15/05 1/15/05      
Low The Great Destroyer SubPop 1/15/05 1/15/05   See Feature/profile
Yes
The Academy Is 4-song demo self-release 1/15/05        
The Televangelist and the Architect The Mass Exodus from California Undetected Plagarism 1/15/05        
Curiosity The Forced Magician self-release 1/15/05        
50 Foot Wave Golden Ocean Throwing Music 1/15/05 1/27/05
3/23/05
The sweet-voiced, demure Kristen Hersh who emerged in the '90s with Throwing Muses and withdrew in the '00s with her fey solo projects on 4AD, has re-emerged once again. And this time she's pissed. No woman since (early) PJ Harvey or the late great Courtney Love has rocked so hard so well with so much intensity. As punk as it is anthemic, this is a brutal, bruising guitar rock record that burns with Hersh's throaty, snarling voice singing (screaming) lines like "I've never been afraid to die / I've never been afraid before." Guttural. (3/23/05)
Yes
Skittish From My Parents Basement self-release 1/15/05        
The Red Burn The Red 1/15/05     arrived destroyed.  
Vinni Blue More Than Anything Smelly Girl 1/15/05        

 

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Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.