Sunday, August 27, 2017


Brand NewScience Fiction

There are a select batch of artists that turn the release of a record into an event – Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce, Jay Z, Kanye West, and Long Island emo survivors Brand New. The quartet have been cryptic with fans about the release of what is said to be their final record for years and earlier this month, they surprised everyone with Science Fiction. The record, peppered in personal and powerful undertones of surviving a scene, getting old, figuring out your life and wanting to leave a legacy behind has been rolled up into Science Fiction. Eight years after they released Daisy, Brand New have once again reinvented their sound with a less aggressive and more mature style that shows how full circle their progress has come since their 2001 debut, the essential pop-punk listening of Your Favorite Weapon. Science Fiction is a band trying to destroy the identity of the band they once were by becoming something they always wanted – an art rock band.

Queens of the Stone Age  - Villains

The world’s favorite stoner rockers return with record chock-full-of groovy rhythms, slick rock and roll, and catchy tunes. With Mark Ronson behind the decks as the sole producer of Villains, the British DJ and artist helps bring the uptown funk to the California dessert as he and Queens keep their fingerprint on a whole new sound. While it isn’t a total 180, they remain true to themselves while daring to take a bold new step that works perfectly.

Nine Inch Nails Add Violence EP

The second of three planned EPs for 2017, Trent Renzor releases what might be the more aggressive of the three and throws back a punch that has not been heard since With Teeth-era NIN.

Tyler, The CreatorFlower Boy

The former Odd Future ringleader returns with his most personal, private, and autobiographical record to date. Since the release of his outstanding Goblin, in 2011, Tyler, has been slowly revealing who he is to the world, now, with Flower Boy, it fully blossoms. He confronts himself about his sexuality, who he is as an artist, and how it is time to grow up.

Grizzly Bear Painted Ruins

The low-fi indie rock favorites with a record that has more of a pulse than some of their previous efforts and that is thanks to part to some actual upbeat songs and not just an album filled with moody harmonies and dark undertones.

Gogol BordelloSeekers and Finders

In the age of Donald Trump and Theresa May, where anyone who was not born in their respective countries needs to get out – here comes Gogol Bordello to once again remind us the importance of immigrants, other cultures, and creeds. The gypsy punks have just put out what could be their most important record and a weapon in the fight against ugly nationalism while still sounding as if they are having the time of their lives. Like other releases from the band, it is a party and learning experience.

EMAExile in the Outer Ring

On her third record, EMA, pushes herself and the sounds she has crafted on her own to find herself going into a deep, mysterious, unknown rabbit hole of creativity and curiosity.

GhostpoetDark Days and Canapés

The tender and timid British electro singer releases what we like to call an “end of the night” record for the summer. After coming home from a night out, this is one that you want to put on and unwind to while having a nightcap. The soulful and blip-filled disc continues to make Ghostpoet one of the more interesting and underrated artists out there today.

UnkleThe Road

After seven years away, the mysterious and intense electronic group are back with help from Primal Scream’s Andrew Innes, Queen of the Stone Age’s Troy Van Leeuwan, Dhani Harrison, Mark Lanegan, ESKA, Keaton Henson, and the Duke Spirit’s Liela Moss. The Road is a journey through space and time and our captains are Unkle.

Dead Cross

The self-titled debut album from the supergroup containing Mike Patton, Dave Lombardo, and Retox’s Justin Pearson, Michael Crain, is a as straight forward as it gets for someone like the Faith No More front man. However, adding the other monsters to the mix makes the record worth listening to.

Iron and Wine Beast Epic

The singer / songwriter is back with a new collection of songs that just extends his vast and solid catalogue.

Rainer Maria

The self-titled reunion record from the indie heroes is a safe return to form and will certainly make old fans happy to hear new tracks.

Guided By Voices How Do You Spell Heaven

The second release of 2017 from the indie rock titans at first came out as a surprise since earlier this year they put out the very good and very long double album, August by Cake. Now, the quick follow-up is How Do You Spell Heaven, which continues the legacy of this band that does not want to stop but it might just be too much music for one year.

Washed Out- Mister Mellow

The shoegaze artist is back with a record that is perfect for the last days of summer. As anxiety about school, work, and the fall, heats up, this is an album that will help you mellow out.

Big BoiBoomiverse

The Outkast rapper returns with a new solo record that is a solid effort and a bit middle of the road. Boomiverse has decent beats and rhymes from the hip-hop icon as well as special guests Killer Mike, Gucci Maine, Adam Levine and production from Organized Noise and Scott Storch, it falls flat in the age of young guns like Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, and Vince Staples.


The long-awaited new album from the R&B group has finally arrived and it is not very memorable. It contains the spirit of the band but lacks the unity without the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez and it might have been too long away from the scene for T-Boz and Chili to fully pull out their potential.

Action BronsonBlue Chips 7000

The Blue Chips series for Action Bronson has been some of his best material after Well Done and Bon Appetite.. Bitch, yet, since the Queens rapper has gone mainstream with his various Vice shows, hanging with Mario Batalli, and inking a major label deal, rap has been his backup plan. On his second record for Atlantic Records, following the abysmal Mr. Wonderful, Blue Chips 7000 doesn’t even deserve to be named after the stellar series it comes from. The record lacks focus and creativity. If Bronson wasn’t too busy with everything else in his life, including a new cook book arriving next month, and focused on his music, what he should be turning into Atlantic are classics not middle of the road and uninspiring records.

ColdplayKaleidoscope EP

In the past, it was always easy to take aim at Coldplay for their sensitive and tender sound but they took it on the chin and released great records like Parachutes, A Rush of Blood to the Head, Viva La Vida, and even X&Y. They were creative artists that were paving their own way, they 2011 happened and since the unlistenable Mylo Xyloto, they are just a pop band that tries really hard, a little too hard at making radio friendly pop songs. With the exception of the somber Ghost Stories, nearly everything the British band has put out in six years has been manufactured crap and their latest EP is another victim of that. Why bother at this point releasing anything? Why bother trying to please anyone if all you want to do is be on the radio and not fulfill a creative hole? If that is what the band wants, fine, do it, just don’t expect it to be good.