noise rock

Artist: 
Preoccupations
Label: 
Jagjaguwar

Preoccupations is the band formerly known as Viet Cong, so if you know them or their previous band Women then you've already got a ballpark approximation of Preoccupations' sound in your head. Alternately feedbacky or shimmery guitar, blown out synth, distorted bass, pounding drums, etc and there's a similar focus on incorporating ambient passages between sections of more traditional songwriting.

Sounds Like: 
Viet Cong
Sounds Like: 
Women
Sounds Like: 
Joy Division
Sounds Like: 
Future Islands
Name: 
Andrew Boring
Date Reviewed: 
09/14/2016
Artist: 
AJJ
Label: 
SideOneDummy Records

Whether you have been a fan of AJJ since the days of their full name or you are just hearing about them by picking up this CD, (and have any sensible taste in alt/folk-punk music), you will absolutely love this album. I have never heard such a dynamically eerie, yet upbeat album. I have a feeling you'll pop in this album and want to dance, and then call your mom for the first time in a while. Lyrically, the album keeps up those exceptionally existential themes and unique imagery that seem to gracefully crumble out of lead singer, Sean Bonnette's, mouth.

Sounds Like: 
Ramshackle Glory
Sounds Like: 
The Front Bottoms (if they whined instead of sang, and only played loud acoustic guitars)
Sounds Like: 
Bright Eyes (when conor oberst rocks out super hard)
Name: 
Kira Baum
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2016
Artist: 
Mary Christ
Label: 
Blacksmith's Blood Inc.

Spells, Curses and Incantations is the debut EP of Tempe based band Mary Christ.

Sounds Like: 
The Birthday Party
Sounds Like: 
Bauhaus
Sounds Like: 
Joy Division
Name: 
Calvin Wolfe
Date Reviewed: 
08/29/2016
Artist: 
No Age
Label: 
Self-Released

I didn't have a great idea of what to expect when I heard about this single, and after listening to it, I'm still not 100% sure on it. No Age is a popular modern noise rock band, and this single fits well within that niche. Personally, I think it sounds exactly like the genre seems it would. It's noisy, there's not a lot of variation in the chords, and unless you're an avid fan of noise rock, I'd say skip on this one. For the uninitiated, the most well-known comparison I can provide is Butthole Surfers, in that the sound is thick and uncoordinated.

Sounds Like: 
Butthole Surfers
Sounds Like: 
Japanther
Name: 
Jacqueline Kientzler
Date Reviewed: 
08/24/2016
Artist: 
Nothing
Label: 
Relapse Recors Inc.

Tired of Tomorrow is Philly shoegaze trio Nothing's sophomore album. If you like Loveless, then definitely listen to this, just don't expect it to match its greatness. Despite Nothing's ability to compete with certain shoegaze legends' discographies, though, they still put out a very good album that's quite enjoyable to listen to.

Sounds Like: 
3: "Vertigo Flowers": one of the faster songs on the album, good combo of noise rock & shoegaze
Sounds Like: 
5: "Nineteen Ninety Heaven": dreamlike tune that's super relaxing to listen to, also has a dope name
Name: 
Emily Beiser
Date Reviewed: 
05/04/2016
Artist: 
Greys
Label: 
Carpark

Greys are a band. A very loud band. When they kick it into high gear they really kick it into high gear. While the sonic comparisons to current post punk staples (Parquet Courts, Big Ups, Pissed Jeans) are not all that true, the level of noise in the music in fact is. Choosing to open up with one of the quietest tracks on the album was an interesting choice. It did not prepare me for the intense ear fatigue I attained after listening to this album at a middle volume level. The second song "No Star" is probably the best song on the album.

Sounds Like: 
Meat Wave
Sounds Like: 
The Dirty Nil
Sounds Like: 
METZ
Name: 
Colin Bauer
Date Reviewed: 
04/27/2016

Neo

Artist: 
So Pitted
Label: 
Sub Pop

This album feels very at home with its label Sub Pop. Neo continues the tradition of nasty sounding rock that Sub Pop is known for. The album is fairly noisy considering the band only has three members. The guitars have a no wave sound to them for a large amount of the record. The production can feel overwhelming at times. The snare is jarring to say the least and the other instruments are no different. Overall, this is a sweet punk record with a noisy twist. 

Sounds Like: 
Abe Vigoda
Sounds Like: 
Mudhoney
Name: 
Colin Bauer
Date Reviewed: 
02/17/2016
Artist: 
Guerilla Toss
Label: 
DFA Records

Before listening to Flood Dosed I wasn't familiar with Guerilla Toss' music at all. However, I came away from this short project pleasantly surprised and excited to hear what else they have in store for us. Their sound reminds me of Deerhoof in that there are like a million things going on but somehow it all comes together to sound really good. I was also getting some hints of a more melodic Kim and the Created at times during this project; it has that kind of in your face style, albeit with less screaming. 

Sounds Like: 
Deerhoof
Sounds Like: 
Kim and the Created
Name: 
André Pettman
Date Reviewed: 
11/10/2015
Artist: 
Shadow In the Cracks
Label: 
Goner

This is a side project of the band the Blind Shake. It’s their self titled debut album. It’s much more dark and psychedelic than their previous material. The baritone vocals and guitars create this post-punk/psych rock dark vibe. This record has a lot of reverb and distortion. It’s a good moody album to turn on really loud. Definitely worth a listen.

Sounds Like: 
The Blind Shake
Sounds Like: 
Acid Baby Jesus
Name: 
Daniel Clark
Date Reviewed: 
10/23/2015
Artist: 
Algae & Tentacles
Label: 
Lightning Records

Algae & Tentacles is the recording alias of the University of Arizona's own John Melillo. While he's been releasing music independently for about five years, this self-titled album is his first full-length solo release, and it's very clearly a fully-realized record. The first thing that jumped out to me about Algae & Tentacles is how great the distortion sounds throughout the album. This is undeniably a noise rock record, but it's a remarkably pleasant-sounding one.

Sounds Lik