by: Sam Farzin, KUCI Music Director
Spokes - People Like People Like You [Counter]
Inevitably comparable to Broken Social Scene, Mogwai, and the Arcade Fire. Instrumental and epic, yeah?
The Bicycles - Oh No, It's Love [Fuzzy Logic]
Cute and appealing with lots of unexpected tones and silly instrumentation. Nothing to vehemently dislike here!
Cryptacize - Mythomania [Asthmatic Kitty]
This band features ex-Deerhoof guitarist Chris Cohen. Cryptacize manage, like that band, to make taut pop discordant. Like, winding up a spring made of silly putty and then snapping it as if it were going to release all of its potential energy but since it is made of silly putty it lazily loses form. I swear that metaphor meant something accurate and positive but I think I lost it. This band is really excellent, that is all.
Experimental Dental School - Forest Field [Self-Released]
Let me be tacky and start a second blurb by associating the artist with Deerhoof. Just kidding! But not. They used to be called Meyow. They are sort of like The Kills and Deerhoof put together. No? What's that you say? Lazy journalism? Again, this is good and now as you have a vague idea of what it sounds like you should investigate further on your own time. It doesn't really sound like The Kills per se but there is a level of music-attitude that I can feel converging between the two bands. Plus they are giving this album away for free. Free music is a winner.
Valina - A Tempo! A Tempo! [Joyful Noise]
The sticker on the record says that it is among the bassiest records that Steve Albini has ever recorded. Too often a record comes in, expecting to sail on into our library simply because the bespectacled studio wizard placed the microphones on it. Here, though, these Austrian dudes lay it down heavy and arguably, "pummeling" but with a lot of charisma and vocals that totally call back to stuff like Shellac.
BrakesBrakesBrakes - Touchdown [FatCat]
Big and mighty British rock and roll with a healthy does of fun. That makes it sound sort of lame. I'm sorry. It's not, it's on FatCat. FatCat is good, fact.
Americans In France - Pretzelvania [Odessa]
This band is like post-punk and indie-pop blended together really messily, like without that top part of the blender that stops the blended material from flying out of the blender, so that the resulting product is sprayed all over the walls. But in a good way.
Big Whup - Big Whup [Self-Released]
Members of several LA bands, notably Pizza! and The Studiofix. This is some catchy, quirky, incredible music. It is ostensibly indie-pop-rock, but most stuff that falls under that incredibly broad "genre" is hardly this inventive and genre-squashing. Play itttt.
Warsaw Village Band - Infinity [Barbes]
This rules. This is a Polish band who has taken it upon themselves to continue to fly the flag of Polish traditional music, but not without some recontextualization into modern society. The result is incredibly vivacious and exciting Eastern European music overflowing with energy and skill.