Review: It's always a pleasure to find another release from those well-dressed men: Interpol. That great New York band that defined an era and a sound of their own with a stretch of LPs across the 2000s; from Turn On The Bright Lights all the way to 2010's self-titled triumph. With the release of "A Fine Mess" there's seems to be a new influx of energy dedicated to their 2019 world tour, laced with the group's unique tonic of melancholia, of course. This is undeniably heard on opener "Fine Mess", and at five tracks long it's something of a mini album. Recorded during their time spent in upstate New York with acclaimed producer Dave Fridmann (think Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips and Mogwai), the resulting collection of tracks delivers something of a fiery compliment to the deep and visceral energy heard on their sixth studio album "Marauder". Long live Interpol.
Review: Fiercely righteous, intensely passionate and politically driven, the Atlanta-birthed Algiers are carving out a unique niche for themselves with a brand of gospel-punk that is as experimental as it in incandescent. Noiserock shapes, electro grooves share space with startlingly rich and powerful vocals from Franklin James Fisher. Emotionally charged ditties like 'Blood' and 'Black Eunuch are as influenced by Nina Simone as industrial hip-hop troupe dalek, and the resulting record makes Algiers a powerful argument against anyone who claims that modern music is apolitical and the art of the protest song is dead.
The Cycle/The Spiral: Time To Go Down Slowly (5:41)
Review: Anyone bemoaning the lack of ire-igniting political invective and potent protest records amidst the tension and uncertainty of 2017 should look no further than Algiers, whose follow-up to their blue-touchpaper igniting debut is a thing of floor-shaking intensity and cerebrally stimulating potency. A electrifying and diverse musical palette that extends from post-punk and gritty Gun Club-esque rock 'n' roll to soul, hip hop and even John Carpenter style soundtrack stylings acts as a backdrop to the feverish diatribes against oppression and injustice of vocalist Franklin James Fisher. Defying expectation to stand proud as a genre-elusive and fiercely uncompromising call to arms, 'The Underside Of Power' is a forward-thinking work of maverick malevolence and thrilling intensity.
Review: Julien Baker's debut 'Sprained Ankle' garnered critical acclaim on its release last year for its impressive writing. Considering Baker's age, at only 22 years old she's already creating worlds of stunning dream-pop with a craftsmanship that could stir envy in more experienced songwriters. 'Turn Out The Lights' showcases her talent even further, exploring a melancholy world against a backdrop of sparse echoing instrumentation. The moments of subtle intensity are striking, such as the album's cinematic opening 'Over', whose stirring strings and sparse piano pour seamlessly into the next track 'Appointments. Baker's voice is controlled and her harmonies are arresting, and she uses expansive vocal layering to build intensity, pulling back just before it overbears the listener. This impressive second milestone in Baker's work is heartfelt, cathartic and more than impressive.
(Joe Gets Kicked Out Of School For Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn't A Problem) (5:35)
Not What I Needed (4:32)
Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales (6:10)
1937 State Park (4:00)
Unforgiving Girl (She's Not An) (5:16)
Cosmic Hero (8:31)
The Ballad Of The Costa Concordia (11:34)
Connect The Dots (The Saga Of Frank Sinatra) (5:58)
Joe Goes To School (1:11)
Review: Will Toledo has quickly made his presence felt as a witty, playful yet poignant chronicler of the disenfranchised, and this first full-lengther for Matador - following the earlier re-released 'Teens Of Style' - displays a rare ability to combine indelible songwriting chops with ornery attitude and a pleasing sense of the ridiculousness of one's youth. This is a fitting label for him to be on, given the influence that the gentle melancholia of Yo La Tengo and the salty guitar-rock sarcasm of Pavement have clearly had on this oeuvre, yet 'Teens Of Denial' remains evidence of a brand new and engaging talent in full flight.
Review: Back in 2011, Nicolas Jaar joined forces with fellow Clown & Sunset contributor Dave Harrington for the Darkside EP, an impressive trio of untitled tracks that pitted the formers scratchy, near-paranoid production style against the latter's penchant for lo-fi indie-rock inspired fuzziness. Here, the duo dusts down the Darkside alias once more for a first collaborative album. Predictably, it's an impressive set, offering a collection of downtempo tracks that shuffle between crackly, out-there atmospherics ("Sitra", reminiscent of much of Jaar's Space is Only Noise album), echo-laden alt-rock experimentalism ("Heart") and heart-aching fragility (the James Blake-ish "Greek Light").