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Reviews: Rock / Indie


Review: Parlour Googler

Label: Temporary Residence

What Kentucky natives Parlour (featuring ex-members of Aerial M and The For Carnation) offer in Googler is a hypnotic glimpse of what post-rock is best capable of. Songs like "Jololinine" and "Regulkfro Reel" glide down the same night-fallen freeway that Jonathan Richman and Neu! Read more » 

Review: Windy & Carl Introspection

Label: Blue Flea

"Transcendental" might be the best way to describe the experience of listening to the music of space-rock duo Windy & Carl. For those not familiar, the Dearborn, MI couple have been recording blissed-out paeans to distortion and delay for nearly a decade now. This particular triple-disc retrospective amasses nearly all of their non-album output released to date. Early handpainted 7" singles showcased on the first disc favor conventional song structures and lyrics, while the material on discs two and three leans toward endlessly spooling vistas of feedback and glorious noise. Read more » 

Review: The Postal Service Give Up

Label: Sub Pop

Jimmy Tamborello and Death Cab for Cutie's Benjamin Gibbard-collaborators on Tamborello's 2001 Dntel full-length-crafted Give Up by mail, hence the project name. Accordingly, Give Up evokes the wistfulness of long-distance yearnings, yet maintains winsome, intimate direct presence. Gibbard's fey vocals, complemented by Jen Wood and Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis, float like pillow talk through Tamborello's rubbery, retro-tinged daydreams, less wafting than Dntel. Read more » 

Review: Califone Quicksand and Cradlesnakes

Label: Thrill Jockey

Califone's second full-length inhales sun-baked dust and exhales pure shimmer. Combining desert mirages, slow motion tumbleweed sweeps, and shards of glitch, Ben Massarella and Tim Rutili get inventive, unafraid to mix startling tech textures into their alt-country palette. Deftly manipulated feedback and under-the-radar effects make for an album at once simply present and elegantly prescient. Gorgeously elliptical lyrics give way to subtle tool shed jam sessions that are anything but hokey. Think you hate country? Read more » 

Review: Nobukaza Takemura 10th

Label: Thrill Jockey

Throughout his prolific career, Takemura has dexterously juggled the experimental and the accessible. The tension he's wrought between coolly calculated DSP chaos and melodious songcraft has usually resulted in rewarding, if bipolar albums like 1999's Scope and 2001's Hoshi No Koe. Heretofore, Takemura's childlike melodies flirted with cuteness without causing nausea. On 10th, however, he over-sugars his aural pastries. Blame his reliance on speech-synthe, a vocoder-like device that helps the disabled to speak to their caregivers. Read more » 

Review: Guitar Sunkissed

Label: Morr Music

You're right: Sunkissed, the debut album from Digital Jockey and a handful of collaborators (Ayako Akashiba, Regina Janssen, G?nther Janssen) sounds uncannily-some might say almost inexcusably-like My Bloody Valentine. But as it turns out, we need more of this blissed-out, shoegazing, stars-in-our-eyes dreampop; the ending of every one of Guitar's breathless, swirlybird pop gems leaves a desperate taste in your mouth, the comedown as bruising as the rush was heady. Read more » 

Review: Masami Akita & Russell Haswell Satanstornade

Label: Warp

Putting aside its catalog number of 666, this record is still the closest any living person has ever come to hell. But it's a far screech from noise and pays heed to neither the physical, improvised style of the '80s nor the late-'90s digital mash-up. Rather, Satanstornade is more a complete understanding of texture and sound than anything else. Read more » 

Review: Big Two Hundred Your Personal Filth

Label: DC

You might know Andy Meecham and Dean Meredith from the tasty Chicken Lips, but this side project is an even more stoned-out, dub-dripping dance album. Big Two Hundred's debut clearly hails from the Land of Blood Pudding, as several bass-driven songs with punk attitude hark to the Clash, and much more blatantly, in one song an ambivalent voice and skeletal drum machine beats scream of David Bowie. Besides composing these elongated punk/disco/new wave songs as a sort of tribute to the early '80s, a dated sound sneaks in from having recorded onto pre-disco era tape through vintage equipment. Read more » 

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