Western Vinyl Mixtape (#3) Stream & Download

This collection of instrumental offerings from Western Vinyl musicians shows just how many emotions can be captured without the utterance of a word.

MORE »

EARTH – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1 Album Review

Pretty much any band out there would kill for Earth’s success. Dylan Carson and his rag tag group of musicians pretty much created the drone metal sound, only to go on an extended hiatus, and follow-up with a re-tooled country/Americana sound that the band is now known for. It’s because of the second half sound that Earth have to practically address the sophomore slump again, almost twenty years later. So, pretty much any band would kill for Earth’s success, but most wouldn’t kill to have to design the follow-up to what many consider Earth’s finest achievement, 2008’s The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull. Carson may have realized this, and recruited cellist Lori Goldstein (Nirvana, David Byrne, Black Cat

MORE »

It Sound – Hard Pop For Blue Trees Album Review

The debut album from It Sound, Hard Pop For Blue Trees, is a rather visceral experience upon first listen, throwing the listener into a gauntlet of free-form guitar riffs and echoing vocals. It’s not that It Sound’s music is difficult to listen to — and as you work your way through the album it becomes rather rewarding — but the slightly offbeat rhythms make for a challenge upon first gaze. On tracks like “Oh, Machinery,” It Sound’s talents shine, revealing guitar-driven bop that finds a home somewhere between Fujiya & Miyagi and Atlas Sound. Although It Sound could certainly benefit from a true backing band, as his keyboard drums and tambourine work wear thin by the end of the album,

MORE »

INXS – Original Sin Album Review

It is my belief that to comment thoroughly on an album, it takes at least five full, uninterrupted listens within a 10-day period. Appropriately, I am sitting down to write my comments on Original Sin, the 2011 INXS reinvention/ tribute album, after my fifth complete listen. I read the press release, describing the making of this album, after I had listened to it multiple times. I had no idea that original INXS members were not just overseeing the production of each song but also playing on them! That suggests an extra level of commitment on one level and also poses a fragile need to balance and temper their influence on the guest musicians. And now, to separate the wows from

MORE »

Fujiya & Miyagi – Ventriloquizzing Album Review

Like so many one-time buzz bands, Fujiya & Miyagi has one trick, and it used to be able to do it well. The band’s brand of lo-fi funk mixed with elements of krautrock did have some high points. Tracks like “Sucker Punch” and “Collarbone” broke the ultra-snide monotony and landed them in a couple of high-profile TV commercials. When Fujiya & Miyagi adds some tangible energy and the right bassline to its songs, it can actually stand out and merit your attention. The problem with Ventriloquizzing is that the band really doesn’t mix it up at all, and the album really sounds like a rehashing of old releases. Listen to “Sixteen Shades Of Black And Blue” – DOWNLOAD MP3 Starting

MORE »

Caroline – Verdugo Hills Album Review

Verdugo Hills is somewhat renowned for its high school — in which numerous Hollywood movies have been filmed — and a hospital revered for its ties to the community. Verdugo Hills is also the title of Caroline’s new album, a wonderfully understated electronic journey of lessons learnt in life and love, and wounds remedied by self-realization. Her titles evoke the music of the songs they name. The disquieting brevity of opener “Balloon” takes you from the air to the water in the next track, “Swimmer.” In the latter, the artist’s submersion is also the listener’s, as waves of sound drench and hide the lyrics beneath: “In my room I’ve been swimming/ And your pond has been warming/ You bring out

MORE »