by: Brayan Magdaleno
Korperschwache - Eight Velvet Paintings for Helen Keller [Inam]
Distorted guitars and drums. There's so much over-drive on this album that I thought I had blown out my headphones. Then I realized that I was just listening to pure awesome. The albums starts out pretty simple, nothing too intense, but it gets really heavy around track #3. From then on it's heavy guitar drone, squelching feedback, crashing symbols and a bass drum that make your ears beg for mercy. It's not really fast paced, but it is in no way slow. I believe this is what you call Noise Rock.
Milton Cross - Light in the West [Digitalis]
This album sounds like a soundtrack to a modern western epic. The album is all violin (or something similar), guitar, drone, and sounds of nature. Lots of rain and wind and birds. The last track has a sample from what sounds like a Loon (I know this because I was given a toy stuffed loon as a gift a while back and this sounds exactly like it). This album never gets too crazy, but it never gets boring either. Every track on this album made my imagination soar and I couldn't help but close my eyes and picture the perfect scene to accompany each track. I was going to write out this long description of what I envisioned while listening to this album, but it ended up being ridiculously long.
Vopat - Lathe EP [Inam]
Vopat - Call to Them [Public Guilt]
I'm going to save time and space by describing both of these albums at the same time. Lathe leans more toward ambient and drone, while Call to Them is a little more heavy rock. Both albums are instrumental and I would probably classify them as post rock.
Side note: Both of these are 3" CD's, but I placed them in full size cases.
The Gubernatorial Candidates - No Remainder [self released]
I don't know how to accurately describe this album, somewhere between shoegaze and post rock with a glitchy twist? This album is really short. Only 3 songs and under 15 minutes. The first track (for which the album is named) is the powerhouse. Layers of guitar that build and swell and magically reverse themselves. Vocals that switch from soothing reverb to glitchy (which might not sound great, but just give it a try). I found it to be really catchy. The second track is instrumental and a little slower than the first, but still has the same feel. I think this is something even you indie rock kids will enjoy.
Wydell Hunt - Unit of Selection [Dragon's Eye]
Glitchy shoegaze. Lots of oscillating tones that span the spectrum from low and guttural to high and tinny. The album also has a lot of static and white noise. This kind of music usually isn't my cup-o-tea, but it really won me over. This album also seemed vaguely familiar, then I read it describe as 'evocative of the Blade Runner soundtrack'. That is a description I can get behind.
Manning / Novak - Pairings [Dragon's Eye]
Some more post rock / ambient for all you crazy kids out there. This is a joint effort of Yann Novak, who creates ambient / minimalist pieces with a computer, and Marc Manning who creates shoegaze with a guitar. The is exactly what you would expect from this... pairing (get it??? ;D ). The first track begins slow and quiet then it builds and builds. By around minute 5 it reaches a blaring crescendo. It begins to slow down a bit more after that. The rest of the album is pretty mellow, but they do keep things exciting. At times it does get glitchy, but the guitar is the driving force behind this release.