Artist: 
Brand New
Label: 
Procrastinate! Music Traitors

I'm going to try and be as unbiased as possible considering that Brand New is one of my favorite bands of all time. They have always been a cryptic band, especially when it comes to releasing new music. It's been 8 years since their last album Daisy, and speculation of a new album has been extremely high since then. After a long hiatus, sporadic festival appearances and headlining shows, and leaked demos and singles ("Mene" and "I Am a Nightmare"), Brand New have FINALLY released a... brand new album (pun intended).

Sounds Like: 
Taking Back Sunday
Sounds Like: 
Manchester Orchestra
Sounds Like: 
Thrice
Name: 
Roy Santa Cruz
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
Shabazz Palaces
Label: 
Sub Pop Records

    In the year 3008, as the cyborg giraffe people begin to uncover artifacts of the Trumpeozoic Era, they will come across this album and state, “Damn, this shit poppin”.

    This album is on some futuristic hip hop shit. It’s the companion album to Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star detailing the story of the space traveler Quazarz.

Sounds Like: 
JJ Doom
Sounds Like: 
Gonjasufi
Sounds Like: 
Gonjasufi
Sounds Like: 
Death Grips
Name: 
Amit Sen
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
alt-J
Label: 
Infectious Music Ltd.

Surprisingly more tropical and funk-based than most alt-J songs, "In Cold Blood" gives off "(c)ool summer, summer vibes." Nevertheless, this is probably the most refreshing single from alt-J in awhile. Rather than resort to the same style of song that inspired the viral video, "How to Make an Alt-J Song," the members have given us starving alt-J fans an exciting folktronica song that we can jam to. The song's keyboard is retro and the trumpets give the song a flavor of funk that I was genuinenly surprised to hear.

Sounds Like: 
Milky Chance - Similar style of vocals and bits of electronic added
Sounds Like: 
Two Door Cinema Club - Summery and positive sounds like TWDCC
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
Alex Napping
Label: 
Father/Daughter Records

Mise En Place by the Austin-based quartet, Alex Napping, includes songs that have a very old and folky vibe. This makes sense because Alex Napping sings the songs in this album to tell his story. The songs are likewise a little longer than the usual songs that are around 3 minutes. I found that all the songs sound a bit similar to each other but it takes a couple of listens to feel the groove of this song. "Living Room" is one of the exceptions -- this song is probably my favorite out of all the songs in the album with the nostalgic and sweet mixture.

Sounds Like: 
Sure Sure
Sounds Like: 
Great Good Fine Ok
Name: 
Joann Kohng
Date Reviewed: 
09/05/2017
Artist: 
Lafa Taylor
Label: 
Mixto Records

Lafa Taylor blends together that west coast electronic vibe with deep house beats for a very smooth and groovy sound on Feel, done in collaboration with Aabo. From the start this album keeps you boppin’ with its Disclosure-eque feel and up-tempo beat. The bio on his website talks about how he draws from his Coast Rican background to create pulsing beat loops which is showcased in tracks like “Already Found” (2) and “Raindrops & Red Wine” (4).

Sounds Like: 
Disclosure
Sounds Like: 
Kaytranada
Name: 
Payton Wells
Date Reviewed: 
09/05/2017
Artist: 
Astrojaxx
Label: 
Self-Released

Astrojaxx's promo single Back to You has an upbeat and a light clubbing feel to it. Listening to it the first time, it gave me a Skrillex vibe but a lighter touch to the EDM. Super addicting to listen to and looking forward to more of Astrojaxx's music!

Sounds Like: 
Skrillex
Name: 
Joann Kohng
Date Reviewed: 
09/05/2017
Artist: 
The War On Drugs
Label: 
Atlantic Recording Corporation

This is a very tight, sleek record. The instrumentation is perfectly crafted to where it crescendos into something greater than the sum of its parts. Overall, A Deeper Understanding is a fantastic record, and what we've come to expect from The War on Drugs. Frontman Adam Granduciel manages to perfectly integrate 80s influenced synth rock with a Springsteenish authenticity, and the result is a record full of anthemic, awesome rock songs.

Sounds Like: 
The Gaslight Anthem
Sounds Like: 
Kurt Vile
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
09/04/2017

Thundercat plays At HoCo Fest!!!

Acts: 
Thundercat
Acts: 
Lando Chill
Concert Date: 
Wed, 08/30/2017
Location: 
Hotel Congress Terrace Stage

We started off the night with rising Tucson star Lando Chill, who was accompanied by his backing band of Bassist Chris "Deep Greasy" B and synth/producer wonder kid Lasso Sonyx. Lando has been gaining a very steady following in the last year in tucson, an entire section of the crowd was dedicated to his cadre of female groupies who follow him around the town to different shows and parties. Lando is becoming a relatively famous personality on the streets of the 520, centrally due to his showmanship and stage presence, which were abundant tonight.

Reviewer: 
Mark Jimenez
Artist: 
Matt Cappy
Label: 
Ropeadope

Sounds like a fusion of fela kuti and Wynton Marsalis. Each track is stylistically unique but aesthetically similar, with fast moving tribal rhythms that fuse very cleanly with Cappy’s smooth and boisterous trumpet.

 

Sounds Like: 
Fela Kuti
Sounds Like: 
Wynton Martalis
Name: 
Mark Jiménez
Date Reviewed: 
08/29/2017

WHAT SO NOT @ The Pressroom

Acts: 
What So Not
Acts: 
Andrew Luce
Concert Date: 
Fri, 06/30/2017
Location: 
The Pressroom, Phoenix

The blistering summer heat means nothing to EDM fans in Arizona, which is why the best established and up-and-coming artists easily sell out a Phoenix venue. It's the only place I can imagine where an Aussie like What So Not wears swim trunks to perform and the venue pays its rent solely on water sales. But alas, we're addicted to the bass and the lights--and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Reviewer: 
Tatum Schranz