Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The VaccinesWhat Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
Did The Strokes release an album this year? Of course they did and it was two months ago, its ok if you have forgotten it by now, it was nothing worth remembering. The reason I bring The Strokes up is that if youwere looking for the best record that band has not made – then look no further with London’s The Vaccines. This is a band we have been talking about non-stop. The have the garage and ethos vibe of The Strokes combined with the idea of what if Morrissey fronted The Ramones?Well, thatwould be the recipe and formula for The Vaccines. Their debut, is one of the years 10 best, easily. It is a raucous rock and roll record from start to finish and while the band is very serious about their music, it is a fun frolic of a record to indulge because the band are not taking themselves too serious. This is the record The Strokes wish they made and this is the band that everyone wishes they were in. Believe the hype, this is what you expected from The Vaccines.

Beastie BoysHot Sauce Committee Part 2
Cancer, age, and label issues – nothing is going to stop the legendary Beastie Boys from making great music. The band has been sidelined since 2009 with Adam “MCA” Yauch battling a form of throat cancer and causing the delay of Hot Sauce Committee Part 1, but that still does not mean the band would not take to the record waves once again. On the band’s latest release, though the sequel (part 1 has not come out yet, we know, confusing) it finds Brooklyn’s hip-hop trio discussing hip-hops current form (see “Too Many Rappers” with Nas), their age (see “Make Some Noise”) and still show a cheeky side of fun to it all. The Beasties do not feature any premier DJ’s on this album but mix it up with the band playing instruments and sampling at the same time, it is a combination of sound and fury from a band that have pioneered so much they can retire, but we are glad they are not.

Atari Teenage RiotIs This Hyperreal?
The Digital Hardcore pioneers and inventors return with their first album in a decade. Is This Hyperreal? see’s Alec Empire fronting a totally different Atari Teenage Riot than we have seen before, along with Nic Endo and new addition CX Kidtronik, ATR are back to tackle on the mainstream, politics and media. They hold nothing back and for that we thank them and for that we need them now. Is This Hyperreal? is a sonic punch in the bureaucratic faces of those who have diminished the middle class, lowered our standard of living and forced the world to flip upside down. This is the soundtrack to the modern age of revolution and a musical call to arms for the Google age. With songs clocking in at over 120 bpm’s and driving a force into your chest, Is This Hyperreal? is a full on sonic assault to all senses and fires on every cylinder.

Tyler, The CreatorGoblin
Face it, there is clearly no escaping Tyler, The Creator and the members of Odd Future. Though, collectively Odd Future seems to be as ironic and lewd as Dipset, Tyler, The Creator still has that bawdy persona but is more RZA than Cam’Ron. However, instead of the comparisons, Tyler shows off why heis the future of hip-hop. Goblin, the direct sequel to his much praised debut, Bastard, has him going off the rails and looking to just be himself and find himself at the same time. The record plays out more like a therapy session than a hip-hop album, starting off saying “I am not a fucking role model,” then later were hear him say “I am a fucking walking paradox” in his much loved single “Yonkers.” Tyler is clearly trying to shed his boyhood self and find himself in a business where it is very easy to lose himself. With all of the buzz, praise, controversy and backlash over Goblin, one thing is clear, the man knows how to get his point across. His lyrics and stories unfold with the autobiography of his life in the ghetto, love of skateboarding and being unforgiving to the father that left him behind. Phsycologists all around the world will classify Tyler as a depressed and confused soul, but when he puts his mic in hand and beats under his fingers, the boy becomes a man right before our eyes. A must listen, though clocking in at an hour and 14 minutes, it is a ton to injest.

UNKLEOnly the Lonely EP
The dark and moody electronic music staples return with an EP of just a taste of brand new music with help from Nick Cave, Gavin Clark, Rachel Fannan and Liela Moss of The Duke Spirit. It is only five songs but gives you the sampling that they are cooking something up big for us down the line.

Smith WesternsDye it Blonde
The Chicago rock band that mixes lo-fi, art rock and heavy riffing returns with their latest Fat Possum release. Dye it Blonde from Smith Westerns is a smart rock and roll album with a sometimes crisp and sometimes ultra fuzzy sound that is reason to believe the buzz around them.

Federico Aubele Berlin 13
Beautiful, romantic, charming and most of all sexy as hell; this is the best way to describe Argentine singer/songwriter Federico Aubele’s latest release. After spending much time in Berlin, Federico was inspired by the city and world around him, he created a record that is as intriguing as the city but still stays seductive to his South American roots. Combining flamenco guitars, electronic beats, hints of dubstep and jazz, Berlin 13 is the record you should find in every bedroom and café from Berlin to Buenos Aires.

Asteroids Galaxy TourThe Golden Age EP
Like Unkle, the Denmark dolls in Asteroid’s Galaxy Tour give us just a taste as to what they are truly cooking up. The Golden Age EP is a three song delight that really only leaves you wanting more. If you are a massive fan of the band, go out and get it to complete the collection, if not, hold off for a full length.

Company of Thieves - Running From A Gamble
The Chicago indie rock outfit returns and hope to create a bigger buzz and capitalize what they set forth in 2009 thanks in part to their great single “Oscar Wilde.” With Running From a Gamble, they can certainly do that and reach for the sky. It is a swelling and very big sounding album that pulls the listener in every direction possible. Singer Genevieve Schatz is a powerful voice to be heard and she shows off some muscle in the old boys game.

Art Brut Brilliant! Tragic!
The comical and clever English rockers return with their latest record, Brilliant! Tragic! The comic book loving and pun friendly Eddie Argos outdoes himself again with his smart lyrics and catchy hooks and the band is a stronghold to back the singer.

The Gift Explode
The latest endeavor from the Portuguese psychedelic DIY band see’s them fitting into today’s age of music now more than ever. They have been all the rage in Europe for over a decade and are new to some, but The Gift are something to treasure. This is a record for fans of Flaming Lips, Portugal. The Man and even has elements of Yeasayer and Phoenix in it. Though to old fans it will be a solid effort for new fans, it will be a worthwhile listen.

Cat’s Eyes
Farris Badwin of The Horrors teams up with opera singer and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira to create a record that sounds far from his main band but still sticks to Farris’ persona. That would be the point, right? Cat’s Eye's is a mysterious, dark, stark and surprisingly incredibly vibrant listen and though cannot replace what he has done in the Horrors, Farris does show off he can do it alone. For a one off solo project, it is worth checking out.

Architecture in HelsinkiMoment Bends
The indie favorites return with Moment Bends but seems to fall flat, the band seems to be abandoning the raw roots that have gotten them so popular through the years and going for a more clean cut, polished sound. Nothing exciting, nothing very