Tag Archives: review

GRID’s second album, Decomposing Force, will give your ears a workout

Photo Courtesy of NNA Tapes

Decomposing Force, the latest LP by New York noise-jazz trio GRID, plays out like a guided workout session for the ears.

Composed of four tracks that span 42 minutes, the band’s sophomore album will heighten listeners’ heart rates with blaring saxophone wails, frantic bass fretting and disjointed drumming before easing them into a cooldown during its slow-burning back half. But, like a real workout, every part won’t exactly be enjoyable. Continue reading GRID’s second album, Decomposing Force, will give your ears a workout

On his new piano-heavy solo album, All The Best, Isaac Hayes, Mark Kozelek has never sounded so unfiltered

Photo Courtesy of Caldo Verde Record

Early on his new album, singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek mentions he’s reading Henry Miller’s novel Black Spring and says, “I may be a hundred pages into it so far and it’s like reading a long dream.” That lyric from the song “Vancouver” can also sum up All The Best, Isaac Hayes, Kozelek’s latest travelogue written during his 2019 tour of Canada and the East Coast. Continue reading On his new piano-heavy solo album, All The Best, Isaac Hayes, Mark Kozelek has never sounded so unfiltered

Midwife mirrors the process of overcoming profound loss on Forever

Photo Courtesy of The Flenser

On her Flenser-released followup to 2017’s Like Author, Like Daughter, Madeline Johnston, who has crafted music under the name Midwife since 2015, puts forth a masterful, dark dream pop record that’s primarily informed by loss. Forever, a sonic memorial of sorts, mourns both the loss of a close friend and the end of a community. Continue reading Midwife mirrors the process of overcoming profound loss on Forever

The Necks ponders its identity and legacy on Three, a personal album that’s as accessible as it is challenging

Photo Courtesy of Northern Spy Records

The bustling, unrestrained soundscapes created by The Necks are unmistakable. Since the late 80s, the Australian trio has blended jazz, ambient and experimental music to form lengthy, hypnotic pieces. And by developing an instrumental formula of piano, drums and bass — with the occasional organ and guitar — the band has won a dedicated following that seems to grow with every new album. Continue reading The Necks ponders its identity and legacy on Three, a personal album that’s as accessible as it is challenging

Huntsmen builds a hostile desert world on epic sophomore LP, Mandala of Fear

Photo Courtesy of Prosthetic Records

Two years after its full-length debut American Scrap, Chicago metal outfit Huntsmen have returned with a bluesy concept album more than twice the length of its predecessor. Mandala of Fear, the band’s 85 minute sophomore effort, immerses listeners in a hostile desert world to which even God has turned a blind eye. Continue reading Huntsmen builds a hostile desert world on epic sophomore LP, Mandala of Fear

The Men returns to its country rock dabblings on ambitious new album, Mercy

Photo Courtesy of Sacred Bones Records

Comprehensive statements have never been the main takeaway from albums by The Men, and none of the Brooklyn rock band’s past seven releases would even come close to being considered “conceptual.”

But, instead of using extended narratives to hold records together, the band has developed a tendency to cluster songs that build upon each other to elevate stretches of its albums. And on the band’s eighth full-length, Mercy, The Men employs its clustering technique to masterful effect. Continue reading The Men returns to its country rock dabblings on ambitious new album, Mercy

Apocalyptica confronts the unknown equipped only with instruments and song names on new full-length, Cell-0

Photo from Silver Lining Music

Starting with its first LP in 1996, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, the Finnish band Apocalyptica has spent its career reimagining metal music from a neoclassical standpoint, a perspective responsible for the group’s one-of-kind sound. Now, nearly a quarter century removed from its initial Metallica tribute, the band’s latest effort, Cell-0, marks a notable return to origins for the quartet, which consists of three unconventional cellists and a heavy metal drummer. Continue reading Apocalyptica confronts the unknown equipped only with instruments and song names on new full-length, Cell-0