Album Review: mewithoutYou, “Pale Horses”

mewithoutYou Pale Horses
(Run for Cover Records – June 16, 2015)
(Alternative, Rock)
Review by Justin Cooper

I have a pretty pathetically serious soft spot for mewithoutYou: I’ve been seeing them live since i was 15, I’ve gotten Rickey Mazzotta drunk in a sad venue when he was filling in on drums for Buried Beds, I’ve shit art on a guitar pedal for Mike Weiss. This was all (several, at this point) years ago. So it’s all useless, according to mewithoutYou.

But the past is important, especially when it pertains to the career of musicians.  Continue reading

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Album Review: Tuxedo, ‘Tuxedo’

Tuxedo Tuxedo
(Stones Throw Records – March 3, 2015)
(R&B, Soul, Electronic)
Review by Brandon Foster

It took a minute to get to this point in time where Tuxedo could release their self-titled debut album in this musical realm. By the middle of the 2000s, funk in contemporary music had faded. Dr. Dre focusing on headphones, D’Angelo’s drifting into oblivion for nearly 15 years, and OutKast pretty much being done; there were no torch bearers to carry the funk to the future. Over the years, we have drifted more into standard pop melodies with electro infusions. But since 2013, the funk is making a comeback. Most notabley, Tuxedo’s Stones Throw contemporary Dam-Funk. His joint album with Snoop Dogg “7 Days of Funk,” to say nothing of his extensive solo material, was a definite highlight of 2013. In the same year, electronica revolutionaries Daft Punk took their futuristic sound and put it in a disco and funk time capsule with “Random Access Memories”. After the release of these two albums, there is a gradual incline. The funky prodigal son D’Angelo came back in our consciousness late last year and dropped a damn near long lost Parliament/Funkadelic, Prince, and Sly and The Family Stone album in “Black Messiah”. The momentum of D’Angelo’s album carried us into this year with two more releases dripping in funk influences with Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Special” and the most polarizing album of the year so far “To Pimp a Butterfly” by Kendrick Lamar. Continue reading

Album Review: Elvis Depressedly, ‘New Alhambra’

Elvis Depressedly New Alhambra
(Run for Cover Records – May 12, 2015)
(Alternative, Indie, Lo-Fi)
Review by Rob Bockman
Photo credit to Sam Ray

It’s been a banner year for Elvis Depressedly—recently signed to Boston’s Run for Cover Records, the duo of Mat Cothran and Delaney Mills have performed at SXSW 2015, relocated to our northern neighbor, and picked up national press. Likewise, it’s been a banner year for wrestling-influenced records, with New Alhambra packing a hell of a one-two punch with The Mountain Goats’ Beat the Champ. But where Champ was strident and celebratory, ripping off masks and crushing the pop, New Alhambra is more impressionistic, chopping and screwing old samples from wrestling matches, pitch-shifting and warping them until they match the drifting vibe of the album. It’s an album of impressions rather than victories, and all the more resonant for it. Continue reading

Album Review: Turbo Fruits, ‘No Control’

TF-No-Control-Art-lo-res4

Turbo Fruits No Control
(Melvin Records – April 21, 2015)
(Alternative, Indie, Rock)
Review by Luke Amick

Grab your favorite swim suit and most expensive pair of Ray-Bans, Turbo Fruits, No Control is the perfect soundtrack for your inevitable beach exodus in the coming weeks. To keep the beach motif going, I would like to take this time to make a comparison the likes of criticism has yet to see: No Control is the complete opposite of the morbidly obese, balding man lotioning himself with sunscreen in front of your children. In other words, No Control is nothing but pleasant. Continue reading

Album Review: Phil Yates & The Affiliates, ‘No Need to Beg’

Phil Yates & The Affiliates No Need to Beg
(Philip A. Yates- April 14, 2015)
(Power Pop, Indie)
Review by Stig Rasmussen

I remember listening to the radio with my dad as kid to bands from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s that are generally considered “Classic Rock.” This was in the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s, and now as an adult, I realize when I heard those bands, they weren’t actually that old. Nowadays, the Alternative Rock (whatever that was) morphed into Indie Rock, and Indie Rock is an almost useless signifier as it has splintered into a multitude of micro-genres. And yet, there is a sound that, to me, I identify as Classic Indie Rock. It’s really just a talented 3- or 4-piece band, guitar-bass-drums-singer, whose musicians are talented and whose songwriter knows his or her way around a turn of phrase. Think of early Spoon, or Yates’s favorite rocker Elvis Costello – bands that can play, don’t go dark or heavy or use synthesizers, and are often adored. Phil Yates and the Affiliates latest LP, No Need to Beg, nails the classic indie rock sound I’m talking about, and I couldn’t be happier. Continue reading

Album Review: Reptar, ‘Lurid Glow’

Reptar Lurid Glow
(Joyful Noise Recordings – March 31, 2015)
(Alternative, Indie, Pop)
Review by Rob Leonard

Reptar will go down in mythical adulation from those who truly experience their music. Each release since and including 2011’s Oblangle Fizz Y’all are comprised of dense single driven tracks, pulling from notable influences including the Talking Heads to the more recent Bombay Bicycle Club. This potluck of musical oddities is precisely why Reptar continues to grow as a mainstay in the SouthEast tour circuit. They are consistent (damn consistent) and unabashedly relevant. Continue reading