by: Paul McEldowney
Chromatics - Kill For Love – (Italians Do It Better)
Ultra-violent, sadistic, and decadent Caligulatic everyday=youth blissed out and perfected synth-pop that is 'banned in over seven countries worldwide', documenting what attracts an audience to the aesthetics of 'coolness' as inherently dangerous, weighty, nondescript, and minimal. While most of the 80s revival fall short of being interesting and self-sustaining, Kill For Love is consumes you via its self-aware and interesting recycling of 80s new wave tropes in such a way that does not allow for criticism, or calls out the self-defeating nature of criticism and its presupposed vantage points. Every song sounds like its own sublimative and exploratory narrative, achieving something that most of their contemporaries have not been able to achieve--a focus on a larger thematic/aesthetic arc and subtle cohesion, resulting in an album that actually sounds like an album instead of being just a collection of songs. It's the difference between a novel and scrapbook.
Grass Widow - Internal Logic – (HLR)
Grass Widow's 2010 album Past Time was challenging and rewarding in its surprises--featuring countless dialectical contradictions. Just like Hegel's Master-Slave, Past Time resulted in a beautiful synthesis of angular alien guitar-bass-drum combinatorics on the verge of falling part guided by familiar melodies and self-entangling three-part-harmony explicitness. Internal Logic refocuses your attention away from their apparent tensions, highlighting the familiar and forward pop skeleton that tied everything so well on previous albums. By doing so, it's hard to say what the contradictions were in the first place.
King Tuff - King Tuff – (Sub Pop)
King Tuff is the stuff. Glitter-dumpster diving potty-mouth post-10pm sassy punk pop that makes you want to drop out of school or quit your job, and do bad things like lie to your parents or jaywalk. It's unrestrained, polished and sights on the stars top-of-the-world karaoke party.
The Late Show - Portable Pop – (Trashy Creatures)
Cool reissue of 80s impossible-to-find minor classic anthemic power pop album that is probably causally responsible for everything added this week especially the new King Tuff. Sadly they might also probably be responsible for Cheap Trick, who are responsible for providing the music for the worst television commercials of all time.
Young Man - Vol. 1 – (French Kiss)
Now that's what I call expansive anti-old-man-by-Neil-Young morning mountain dew dreamy folk pop with plenty of smooth easy listening ornate orchestral arrangements that'll make you swoon. As a side note, the company that makes the 'Now that's what I call Music' comps actually releases comps for a variety of countries outside of the US featuring the most popular hits within a given country, waning my subconscious ethnocentrism.
Hellshovel - Hated By The Sun – (Slovenly)
Neha showed me an article today about how a fruit packaging company enlisted the help of the Hell's Angel's to do their dirty debt collecting for them, taking a misinterpretation of grapes of wrath to a whole new level. My first band of life was called the 'fruits of wrath' and we formed in elementary school. We always planned on making music but we would just go to the beach instead and talk about this potentially actualized ideal thing. Fulfilling both my childhood dreams and providing a musical backdrop to a fruit packaging company's successful attempt at intimidation, Hellshovel clears your driveways no matter how icy they may be.
The Psyched - The Psyched – (Slovenly)
So you dropped out of school or you quit your job, taking the advice of King Tuff. And guess what. Everyone did the same and now society is crippled, all but a remnant of a forgotten past. What can you do. There's no more medicine, internet, and life's kind of boring. Anarchy is getting kind of weird, and it is less chaotic, as Hobbes thought it would. But guess what, due to divine providence, The Psyched have something for us to be psyched about--sludgy, self-destructive, anthemic, catchy spacin' out and spazin' out garage punk. Post or pre-apocalyptic, this album is pretty awesome.
Violens - True – (Slumberland)
Slumber party aimless and delirious blanket fort dream pop. It's under the covers secret sharing music on the verge of cat nap time. Instead of feeling lethargic and dehydrated, it's the type of nap you wake up from and feel like a million bucks. The inside cover features a dude poking a girl's boob. It's kind of funny and cute, and she doesn't seem to notice it.
JBM - Stray Ashes – (Western Vinyl)
Patient somber cinematic antarctic textured folk with equal parts Milton and mood-lighting, and a voice that is oh so suave.
Heavy Cream - Super Treatment – (Infinite Cat)
Smashed and blown and ripped and massive Rammstein-in-spirit heavy garage primordial goop that is anything but lactose intolerant friendly.
Fidlar - Fidlar – (Mom + Pop)
New solid 4 song EP from local sassy garage gang babes.