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DIAMOND RINGS Special Affections CD/LP

To hear John O'Regan talk of his epiphany about intelligent dance music while listening to the disco version of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind," you'd think the guy had single handedly invented the IDM genre... well, not quite, but I wish to God that he had. Boasting a voice that could make […]

espers.iii

ESPERS III CD/LP

Drag City again delivers yet another stunning release, this time by the Philidelphia-based band, Espers. I was not previously familiar with this group, but was instantly bowled over by their spider-web delicacy and gorgeously textured folk-pop. Immediately reminiscent of late '60s /early '70s British folk outfits like Fairport Convention and Pentangle, Espers manage to deliver […]

vaselines.sexwithanx

THE VASELINES Sex With An X CD/LP

On one hand, the reunion of Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly allowed for a surprise of an appearance in the U.S.—they arrived in Los Angeles for the first time last year, two decades older but still with a playfully dirty sense of humor, more she than the dry he, and if anything, this new record […]

grinderman.2

GRINDERMAN 2 CD/LP

What's missing here? This is the new album from Nick Cave's Badder Seeds, including Warren Ellis (Dirty 3), Martyn Casey and NYC demigod Jim Sclavunos. Formidable presences all. The album should be good, it is good, it sounds good, it's impressive. It's not really that good. Maybe 2 is an overly tidy encapsulation of Cave's […]

theeohsees.warmslime

THEE OH SEES Warm Slime CD/LP

John Dwyer can’t sit still. He has been delivering one form of damage or another since his days in the San Francisco, CA duo Pink and Brown. But of all his projects, current and retired, nothing seems to have won over the masses like Thee Oh Sees. Dwyer rewards his faithful with generous helpings, check […]

shrinebulder

SHRINEBUILDER s/t CD/LP

Anyone remotely familiar with the underground metal scene, most notably doom/stoner/sludge/yadda, yadda, should, by now be familiar with this project. It has been critiqued, pined for, drooled on, and expected to be the best thing to happen to metal since the Nü sub-shit-genre disappeared. The reason for the hubbub? Any doom fan shits them self […]

woods.atecho

WOODS At Echo Lake CD/LP

Woods play loose and light with their fifth full-length of psychedelic Americana space jams—eleven songs that work just as well on back porches as they do at Bushwick loft parties. It’s one of those records that, on the surface, seems appropriate for Northern California mushroom gulpers, but it’s far too intriguing to let a bunch […]

markmallman.invincible

MARK MALLMAN Invincible Criminal CD

Track number four, "White Leather Days," is the sweet spot on Mark Mallman's sixth solo studio album. Its listing riffs break on a Lodger-worthy harmony over a crisp backbeat, with lyrics reflecting on unspent youth: All the restless summers / we felt our way in the dark / your little boom box pumpin' / 'Love […]

areweapons.darkerblue

A.R.E. WEAPONS Darker Blue CD/LP

A.R.E. Weapons has been a fallback listen for a year or two now, and I press on despite this current gaffe: Matching cover mugs a la Suicide Name-that-product, aping Rev-Vega cover art from Second Album to Half Alive. New York, with a few exceptions, doesn't generally rock like this; burring synths and whapping electric drums […]

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AMPHETAMINE REPTILE RECORDS 25 Year Anniversary Bash Recap

If anyone would have asked me more than twenty years ago if I ever thought I'd see the day where a large percentage of AmRep's roster would get together in Minneapolis and celebrate Amphetamine Reptile's 25th Anniversary—I would have probably said yes just based on the talent Hazelmyer had collected at that point. If you […]