Artist: 
Benjamin Booker
Label: 
ATO Records

Muscle Shoals meets garage punk. Witness is a record that poignantly discusses contemporary race problems in America, written through the lens of a New Orleanian soul signer. He's angry, and his sense of righteous indignation blends beautifully with his signature sound. Booker's guitar playing is soulful and powerful, yet eclectic and playful at the same time. The sense of confusion and powerless that accompanies the lyrics expresses itself repeatedly throughout the album in Booker's guitar-god virtuosity.

Sounds Like: 
Mavis Staples
Sounds Like: 
The Alabama Shakes
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
Gregg Allman
Label: 
Rounder Records

What can be really said? Southern Blood is Gregg Allman's final album, released posthumously this month. You can tell he knows it is going to be his final records, and it celebrates the end of his long musical journey. Allman's voice is still fantastic, and his guitar playing shows his virtuosic guitar playing without betraying his blues rock sensibilities.

Sounds Like: 
Leon Russell
Sounds Like: 
Little Feat
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
Shabazz Palaces
Label: 
Sub-Pop

This album is strange, it is mesmerizing, it is trance-inducing, it is absolute, it is gorgeous and deliberate and I can’t believe this is going on in rap. This album is the equivalent of Peter Marino sending out a dude with two plaster flamingos  taped to his junk on the Paris runway. This album is the equivalent of Miles Davis stepping into a studio without any songs rehearsed and recording a purely improvised full-length.

Sounds Like: 
A tribe called quest
Sounds Like: 
Milo
Name: 
Mark Jimenez
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
Iron & Wine
Label: 
Sub Pop

On his most recent EP, Sam Beam returns to his more classic sound after foraying into the world of full band territorry. He's still got a small backing band with him, and there's minimal percussion, strings, banjo, etc. throughout the record, but this is a much more stripped-down affair than most of his previous work has been. I must confess that I do really love full-band mid era Iron & Wine and really enjoyed his sound when he added a bunch of extra band members, but Sam Beam's work is amazing in almost any context and that continues to be the case on this record.

Sounds Like: 
Sufjan Stevens
Sounds Like: 
Fleet Foxes
Name: 
Alex Siegel
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile
Label: 
Matador

I love this song. I love Courtney Barnett and I love Kurt Vile. When I first heard they were doing an album together I was cautiously optimistic because sometimes these collaborative albums don't end up being all that great. But after hearing this song, I can say wholeheartedly that I am #pumped #as #fuck for their upcoming EP, Lotta Sea Lice. This song kicks ass. It's really just a duet between Kurt and Courntney over some nice jangly guitars and a chill, kinda laid back backing track.

Sounds Like: 
Courtney Barnett
Sounds Like: 
Kurt Vile
Name: 
Alex Siegel
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
Moon Boots
Label: 
Anjunadeep

I love the album artwork, it represents the music well by having texture, futuristic visuals and color. It is very groovy, a bit jazzy at times.

Sounds Like: 
Disclosure
Sounds Like: 
Pat Look
Name: 
Javi Perez
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
Thy Art is Murder
Label: 
Nuclear Blast

Thy Art does not disappoint with this album. It's so heavy and just insane. All the songs, including the FCC warning songs are great. Even if you're just playing this for your show, listen to the whole album. This is amazing. No Absolution - the stand alone single that came out March 2017 was a great idea of what to expect with this album. The vocals are heavy, fast, and super rough - I can't get enough. The drumming is insanely beautiful like always and just blow my mind. The double bass of the album is so crazy and I cannot get enough.

Sounds Like: 
Black Tongue
Sounds Like: 
Infant Annihilator
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
Aerial School
Label: 
Self-released

Imagine you're having a mid-life crisis and you decide to buy a motorcycle: this is the episode for you. It's super cheesy hard rock that genuinely sounds like your father's garage band. I would say this is hard rock and nothing more. This honestly isn't a good album, and I feel bad for this band because they put so much heart and soul into this album. It almost ambient which adds a nice touch but it has super cheesy lyrics similar to raunchy 80s Hair Metal band. Check it out if you want, but I don't think I'll be playing it anytime soon.

Sounds Like: 
A dad's garage band
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017

few

Artist: 
He is Legend
Label: 
Spinefarm Records

Nothing to heavy or "scary" as some people would put it. It's more hard rock than metal and would be perfect for both Alt and Metal shows. This album is rather generic when it comes to hard rock. ITunes and the band itself calls "Few" punk but its really generic hard rock like Three Days Grace. There's nothing wrong with that and some people might gravitate to this because it'll be a good opener for their show. It has decent clean vocals and a fast paced beat. It's really enjoyable but it is really just radio metal.

Sounds Like: 
Between the Buried and Me
Sounds Like: 
Misery Signals
Name: 
Alexis Walker
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
ÆRA
Label: 
Self-released

Loud vocals and grungy guitar seems to be the selling point for  ÆRA, a newly formed bandcamp black metal band from Missouri. Only 3 tracks long, this EP is explosive and worth the listen. All the tracks are 5 minutes or longer but they all are really decent. This album is very ambient but is also super heavy so it's not for the faint of heart. I really enjoyed this album and cannot wait to see what these guys put out next. The vocals are super rough and grungy, with gutturals to loud screams. The guitars compliment each other but never take full stage.