Monday, September 12, 2011


The Horrible CrowesElsie
Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem goes somber and sweet on his side-project with Gaslight tech, Ian Perkins. While the band was birthed out of the idea of taking the bands punk roots and bringing them to an acoustic level – think Springsteen, Cash and Dylan, they do achieve that, however, the main issue is that it sounds much like mild Gaslight Anthem tracks rather than something totally diverse. What it does nail is that Fallon is one of the best songwriters of his generation, though there may not be any anthems on this, it still cranks plenty of fire.

The Rapture In the Grace of Your Love
The bouncy electro Brooklyn punk return to their DFA home and bring the fury. The Rapture have been rather quiet the last few years on a bit of hiatus, however they are one of the most welcomed comebacks in years. In the Grace of Your Love is nothing too daring but a very safe return to the bands signature sound.

The WeekndThursday
The second of three mixtapes from Toronto’s latest sensations arrives with a big welcome. Shoe-gaze electro meets early 90’s R&B, The Weeknd are a throwback sound that are also pushing forward. Thursday may have only been released months after the debut, House of Balloons but it already evolves The Weeknd’s style and shows off why they are one of the most talked about acts in the indie world today.

The debut from Nashville’s latest rock and roll son’s packs a punch, Mona is a straight up rock and roll band that aim for the stars (or shooting the moon in the bands case). The bands go big or go home bravado is enhanced by singer Nick Brown’s massive ego, Brown, who has already compared himself to Joe Strummer, Johnny Cash and Bono is proving he was born to be a rock and roller. The bands thunderous hooks and catchy songs will have you hitting repeat for hours. Mona is here to stay and here to show you a very good time, so be prepared.

New York City rejoice, punk is very much alive and it’s thanks to Wyldlife who are vowing to get down, dirty and raw. The New York City via SUNY Purchase band have released their debut on Mike Dirt of the Bravery’s Merrifield Records label and are ready for the limelight. Thrashing guitars, unrefined emotion firing on all cylinders is what propels the band’s debut. A band to keep an eye out for, you will thank me later.

Caveman Coco Beware
The New York indie rockers roar on their debut and are ready to swallow you hole. The atomospheric and moody band have been gigging around New York City since their conception in early 2010, a little over a year later they give us Coco Beware. A dreamy and often clever clash of sounds, harmonies, styles and hooks, for fans of Explosions in the Sky or horror film scores, Caveman are the band for you.

The DrumsPortamento
The New York surf rockers return with their quick follow-up to their triumphant 2010 debut. Portamento is a reflective record about all that could have been between singer Jonathan Pierce and former guitarist and Pierce’s best friend, Adam Kessler who abruptly left the band last fall. While the band states that Portamento signifies or means going from one point to another, they are trying to do so but having struggles along the way. Lyrically Pierce goes to dark places for a fun sounding band, however, musically The Drums fall a bit flat on their latest release with many of the songs sounding too much alike.

Red Hot Chili PeppersI’m With You
The 10th album from the legendary California kings has them doing the same tricks but with a different guitarist. In 2009, longtime on again-off again guitarist John Fruscante left the band to work on his solo material, the Peppers replaced him with his guitar tech Josh Klinghoffer, who clearly is a good substitute but fails to drive the places Fruscante would have. A decent effort but not as strong as we would have hoped.

Grouplove - Never Trust a Happy Song
California’s new indie sensations arrive with their cornucopia of sound. The bands fiery sing-a-long-songs are reflective of youth, growing up and coming into your own. Never Trust a Happy Song is a testament as to how hard life can get but how you can pull yourself out of every situation. The album is a nice welcome for a band that know how to have a good time, but know how difficult it is to come across a good moment.

Warm GhostNarrows
Part shoe-gaze, part ambient, part dub-step – Warm Ghost are hear to haunt your headphones. The bands latest effort, Narrows, is a sonic cinematic adventure into a moving dark art world. Narrows is a record that needs to be listened to from start to finish as one long track in order to fully digest what it has to offer.

Jim WardQuiet in the Valley, On the Shores the End Begins
The former guitarist of At The Drive-in and singer for Sparta and Sleepercar goes solo for a lengthy debut record. Jim Ward is usually one to be backed by thrashing guitars, pounding tribal-like drums or low acoustic guitars. For his massive 18-song album, Quiet in the Valley, On the Shoes the End Begins, Ward dabbles in everything from rock to electronic to ambient and morphs into something very interesting. His music is still as vulnerable as ever, however, if this massive album was cut down to the length of a regular record, it would be much more honed in and exciting.