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Monday, August 15 2011 00:00

VICTORIAN HALLS - CHARLATAN (Album Review)

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victorianhallscoverThere's something slightly evil brewing just beneath the surface of CHARLATAN, the Victory Records debut from Chicago's VICTORIAN HALLS. Stealthily working it's way underneath the danceable pop-rock hooks is a twisted new-wave groove of electronic adrenaline that fuels the album to unexpected heights. In fact, not since THE FAINT released DANSE MACABRE in 2001 has a band in this sonic corner gotten the mix this right.

IM Cover125As I noted when I first posted news of IMAGINARY MONSTERS, the new EP from THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE - their 2010 full-length PINS & NEEDLES has not left my playlist since it's release almost a year ago. Rated a in my official review, I should've given in a flat 5 - as it's staying power has been immense. As more artists revisit the EP format to bridge gaps between albums, the prospect of new music from TBM quickly became an object of anticipation.

fownewAdding a new layer of jangling acoustic guitars to their signature sound, master power-pop rockers FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE have delivered their fifth studio album, and best since 2003's WELCOME INTERSTATE MANAGERS.

Tuesday, August 02 2011 00:00

GUSTER - ON THE OCEAN (EP Review)

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gusterepKeeping their established fanbase engaged with a collection of songs left-over from the sessions that became 2010's EASY WONDERFUL, Boston's GUSTER have issued the ON THE OCEAN EP.

iwabonesI was pretty sure that I was approaching a boss in some long-lost SNES game upon pressing the play button to start virtual rotation of RUINING IT FOR EVERYBODY, the second full-length album from genre-bending audio hooligans IWRESTLEDABEARONCE. True to IWABO form, that vibe was destroyed a mere six seconds into Next Visible Delicious and the sonic spectrum was bent completely.

Indeed, true believers - IWABO is back, and if you hated 'em before, get ready... there's a lot more to hate this time around.

Monday, July 25 2011 00:00

RIVAL SONS - PRESSURE & TIME (Album Review)

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rivalsonscoverFor the past few months, I've been getting Los Angeles rockers RIVAL SONS tossed in front of me constantly. It seems every few years we get someone that's going to usher in a new era of 60's/70's rock stylings (WOLFMOTHER, anyone?) and it just never seems to happen. There's some bands that are great at what they do, but the movement just isn't there. While I still don't see a massive revival coming any time soon, RIVAL SONS have created a hell of an album with the release of PRESSURE & TIME.

newermindOn the eve of the 20th Anniversary of NIRVANA's landmark NEVERMIND, the folks over at SPIN have put together NEWERMIND: A TRIBUTE TO NIRVANA. Offered as a FREE DOWNLOAD to visitors to the SPIN website and Facebook page, this collection re-imagines the 1991 classic to results that are beautiful, bizaare, and blasphemous.

188032 222349634448294 5639089 nNo story about THE RUNAWAYS would be complete without a little (or a lot) of behind-the-scenes drama, and TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT - A TRIBUTE TO THE QUEENS OF NOISE: THE RUNAWAYS (out today on Main Man Records) is no exception. The expansive, two-disc collection of cover songs recently made headlines when two of THE RUNAWAYS - Joan Jett and Cherie Currie - allegedly plotted an attempt to stop the release of the album; a plan that failed as pre-orders for the album have shipped and it's made it's way onto iTunes.

VR636 TheBunnyTheBearIt only happens a couple of times a year (if that), but I absolutely love it when an album like this comes along. You see, if you don't count albums by musically schizophrenic artists such as MR. BUNGLE, DOG FASHION DISCO, TUB RING, IWRESTLEDABEARONCE, DR. ACULA, or MINDLESS SELF INDULGENCE among the cherished titles within your collection of recorded audio, there's a good chance that you'll absolutely despise IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, the Victory Records debut from Buffalo, NY's THE BUNNY THE BEAR.

Sunday, June 26 2011 00:00

TURBID NORTH - OROGENY (Archive Album Review)

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61G9yIIbIjL. SL160 AA160 Until last week, I'd never heard of TURBID NORTH. If not for a well-placed press release that landed in my email with just enough info to grab my attention, I may still be saying 'Turbid who?' Instead, I requested a copy of the Texas-based Alaskan metallers debut album.

ltjsurpriseIt came as a shock to everyone last week when LESS THAN JAKE turned off their cloaking device to reveal a brand-new EP, completed and released to the unsuspecting masses. Like a postcard from thin air, GREETINGS FROM... is said to be the Gainesville ska-punkers 287th release, and hardly sounds like something from a band with a full 286 records before it.

wonderyearsThere's some anonymous internet commenter that gets mad at me every time I mention Philadelphia's THE WONDER YEARS on this site. Specifically, they take issue with my comments regarding a fictional character from the late television series from which the band borrowed it's name, and to the furry on the cover artwork on SUBURBIA I'VE GIVEN YOU ALL AND NOW I'M NOTHING. I usually get either a comment on the article, or an email sent through some anonymous email proxy. Weirdness aside, SUBURBIA (out now on Hopeless Records) is a pretty smart slice of pop punk goodness.

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