Monday, June 3, 2013


Every artist making a second album needs to pay attention – this is how you do it! Brainfeeder bassist Thundercat goes into orbit to create one of the years best albums and show off his dynamic range more than before. Apocalypse is a vivid, colorful, jazz, funk, rock, prog, dance showcase that fuses genres so perfectly together. Think if Flying Lotus had Justin Timberlake in a studio with Miles DavisBitches Brew-era band and their style as JT’s backing band and was told to make a record with the spirit of early Michael Jackson, well, that is what Thundercat just did. I dare you, in fact, I double fucking dare you to try and sit still listening to this album or not attempt to be blown away by this perfect craftsmanship.
FINAL GRADE: A+           

Portugal. The Man Evil Friends
While Portugal. The Man have released a record every year from 2006-2011, many fans scratched their heads as to why a record never came out in 2012, yet, the band had an answer – they got a call from Danger Mouse and he wanted to work with the Portland via Alaska art rockers. Pushing back whatever would have came out last year, PTM started fresh with Mouse and managed to create one of the best albums of their career and really show off to fans that it was worth the wait. Evil Friends is the result of hive minded collaborators, artists, and raw musical talent hard at work. While Danger Mouse added his thumbprint to the bands signature psychedelic sound, he never took anything away from it, in fact he added more. Evil Friends hears elements of funk and jazz, and even slight touches of reggae in the mix. This is the record that should skyrocket the bands already massive fanbase and bring on a broader appeal to those living under a rock that have never paid attention before.

Queens of the Stone Age - …Like Clockwork
Josh Homme and co. return for an epic comeback and a fantastic display of pure rock and roll. Queens of the Stone Age pack all the punches with help from Dave Grohl on drums, production by Trent Reznor, and former bassist Nick Oliveri back on board to lend a hand, yet, more superstars like Elton John and Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner display their talents for what could be Queens’ best album since their 2002 breakthrough, Songs for the Deaf.

The tender debut from Canadia / Danish, LA based Rhye is a stunning achievement in R&B, proper dubstep, and trip-hop that could be played when the night is winding down or time for baby making music to be put on.

Dillinger Escape PlanOne of Us is the Killer
The mathcore titans return and never fail to deliver the goods. It is amazing that over a decade in this business and doing this, New Jersey’s Dillinger Escape Plan manage to make record after record that outdoes the last and find an astonishing way to get harder, faster and much more aggressive than before.

The DigTired Hearts EP
Following the release of last years beautiful and lush Midnight Flowers LP, The Dig return with an EP of new songs to hold fans over while a new album gets made. Taking the sci-fi rock elements that gained them attention in New York City and combining it with some of the atmospheric moods of Flowers, Tired Hearts hears a band progressing in beautiful ways, but, alas it is just a tease to what is to come.

Chapel ClubGood Together
Take everything you know about London’s Chapel Club and throw it out the window. After releasing their stellar debut, Palace in 2011, Chapel Club return with a fresh new sound that manages to still stick to the blueprint of the band but adds much more dynamics and colors. Combining cold wave and electronica together with singer Lewis Bowman’s poetic lyrics, their new direction seems to be good together.

AnamanaguchiEndless Fantasy
The band that helped Scott Pilgram take on the world is back with their latest studio LP and they are more fun than ever before. The chip-tune electronic band comes back with Endless Fantasy, a record that is sure to take you back to the days of playing old school Nintendo and Sega while making you want to throw a flash mob dance party wherever you are.                                                                                    

The Orb / Lee “Scratch” PerryMore Tales From The Observatory
After last years fantastic mash-up of electronic titans The Orb and reggae legend, Lee “Scratch” Perry, the mash-up continues with the same style of rhasta flow over blips and beeps.

Bad RabbitsAmerican Love
The Boston based rock / funk  band release their long awaited debut and have created a dance party that will get any back yard BBQ, trip to the beach, or house party rocking this summer. After a slew of acclaimed EP’s, American Love takes the energy of the bands popular live shows and showcases what they can do in the studio – still have as much fun as humanly possible while making good music.

The LA fun-in-the-sun duo return for more neo-new wave colorful vibes and the soundtrack to your summer.

Shouting Machines Grownass Man
The other project featuring Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon released their debut after an acclaimed set at Coachella earlier this year. The Shouting Machines much more energetic than anything quiet and shy Vernon has done before, the band takes folk, bluegrass, and delta blues and fuses it all together in a nice Americana style tribute.

TribesWish to Scream
After last years fantastic debut, Baby, England’s Tribes relocated to Los Angeles and got a bit strange and funky. For their second record the band dropped their slick Britrock sound and got heavy on the funk and psychedelic tunes of early 60’s American rock. Much like Chapel Club, Tribes have altered their sound so much they are now two different bands under the same title, not that there is anything wrong with that, it is musical evolution of course, but Wish to Scream lacks the chutzpah that we loved so much, but still manages to be somewhat of a solid record while sounding totally different. 

The So So Glos Blowout
The Brooklyn based pop-punk band that have been making waves since co-founding popular Brooklyn music venues like Glasslands and The Market Hotel have been well known throughout the five boroughs but Blowout will move them beyond New York City. A slick record of roaring guitars, polished vocals and pounding rhythms, Blowout is what will make So So Glos blow up in the months to come.

The FallRe-Mit
The 30th, yes, 30th album from Mark E. Smith and his latest incarnation of supporting cast members to post-punks The Fall is exactly what you expect – a cranky old man that knows more about the business, still pist after all these years and still cashing in. Smith is the last of the original punks and intends to stay that way, which is why we love him so.

Jimmy Eat WorldDamage
Linking up with Alan Johannes (Them Crooked Vultures, Sound City Players, Queens of the Stone Age) Arizona’s Jimmy Eat World deliver their eighth studio record. Damage is the sound of a band maturing past a scene (the emo, post-emo, mid 00’s era) and still crafting solid tunes and music while becoming family men, growing up, and still savoring their moment in the spotlight. Damage is a solid record from a band that has consistently given solid music their whole career, longtime fans will love this album.

Brazil’s once rising funk, samba-rock, new wave, rave-rock return with their fourth record, and marking their comeback they hired David Sitek of TV on the Radio to mand the controls of Planta. Production wise, the record rocks like it should thanks to Sitek’s vision, musically it lacks the punch for a big comeback and feels a bit redundant from what they have given us in the past.
FINAL GRADE: C+                                   

Face to Face Three Chords and Half a Truth
The legendary California punk / ska band return with their eighth record and bring a more “classic” punk sound to the mix. Three Chords and Half a Truth was produced by the bands longtime members Trevor Keith and Scott Shiflett, yet, it would have been a bit more beneficial to this iconic band to maybe work outside their own box and hear ideas from another producer, the record may be a throw back sound, but it is nothing that we have not heard before.
FINAL GRADE: C                       

Gucci ManeTrap House 3
Fresh out of his acting performance in Spring Breakers and his first album since being released from jail, southern rapper Gucci Mane sticks to the uninspiring southern rap basics of money, power, cars, drugs, and women as his cliché topics fall just as flat as his lyrics and flow.