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Artist: 
The Buttertones
Label: 
Innovative Leisure

I love this album. A lot of it sounds just like old school surf rock from California in the '60s, but there are some more modern songwriting techniques and production sensibilities on this thing. The songs are all upbeat and have a bit of a punk edge, and the inclusion of a saxophone in the band sets it apart from pretty much anything else I've listened to. The whole thing is super fun and well-written.

Sounds Like: 
The SUrfaris
Sounds Like: 
Dick Dale
Name: 
Alex Siegel
Date Reviewed: 
05/03/2017
Artist: 
HEALTH
Label: 
Concord

This newest remix album from LA-based experimental electronic band HEALTH was something I was really excited for, as I have enjoyed releases from HEALTH for quite some time now, but I gotta say I am let down by this one. HEALTH's formula usually revolved around dissonant noise and electronics laid overtop some pounding and rhythmic dance beats, but they seem to have gotten rid of that formula on this release. Maybe it's the fault of the artists who are remixing these tracks, but there is seldom a dance beat to  be found on this album.

Sounds Like: 
Liars
Sounds Like: 
Cold Cave
Name: 
Alex Siegel
Date Reviewed: 
05/03/2017

II

Artist: 
The Courtneys
Label: 
Flying Nun Records

The Courtneys are a trio from Vancouver, and the first non-Kiwi band signed to New Zealand-based Flying Nun Records, famously home to The Clean and other bands of The Dunedin Sound. I'll get this out of the way: this is one of my favorite albums this year. It's an unassuming album, there isn't necessarily anything new that's being done on II that you haven't heard before, yet the album has a way of sinking it's hooks into you.

Sounds Like: 
Flying Nun Records
Sounds Like: 
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Sounds Like: 
The Clean
Name: 
Andrew Boring
Date Reviewed: 
04/26/2017
Artist: 
ho9909
Label: 
Toys Have Power / Deathkult LLC

 Ho9909's singles are hardcore and grimy. Loud, explosive, explicit and grungy.

On their single "City Rejects" Starts off with more of a hard rock vibe, and guitar rifts accentuate this. The beat is faced paced and this track is resembles punk garage rock more then hip hop but still has metal elements infused into it, the lyrics are almost inaudible, screamed over the beat and fast. This track is a head banger 

Sounds Like: 
Deathgrips
Sounds Like: 
Punk / Metal version of Talking Heads
Name: 
Ellery Page
Date Reviewed: 
04/24/2017
Artist: 
Diet Cig
Label: 
FrenchKiss Records

Diet Cig, a fun, energetic duo have just released their first full length album, Swear I’m Good at This.

Sounds Like: 
PWR BTTM
Sounds Like: 
The Front Bottoms
Sounds Like: 
Mitski
Name: 
Javi Perez
Date Reviewed: 
04/19/2017
Artist: 
Beach Fossils
Label: 
Bayonet

I've enjoyed much of the work that Beach Fossils have put out before, and this lead single from their upcoming album Somersault is no exception. The verse is pretty catchy and is laden with some nice jangly guitar chords and lowkey vocal delivery, however the shift in the drums on the chorus kind of lost me and I didn't enjoy it as much. Immediately after the first chorus is where the song really grabbed me though, a really lush string section kicks in after the chorus that compliments the rest of the arrangement nicely and is overall pretty awesome.

Sounds Like: 
Real Estate
Sounds Like: 
Surfer Blood
Name: 
Alex Siegel
Date Reviewed: 
04/19/2017
Artist: 
Beach Fossils
Label: 
Bayonet

I've enjoyed much of the work that Beach Fossils have put out before, and this lead single from their upcoming album Somersault is no exception. The verse is pretty catchy and is laden with some nice jangly guitar chords and lowkey vocal delivery, however the shift in the drums on the chorus kind of lost me and I didn't enjoy it as much. Immediately after the first chorus is where the song really grabbed me though, a really lush string section kicks in after the chorus that compliments the rest of the arrangement nicely and is overall pretty awesome.

Sounds Like: 
Real Estate
Sounds Like: 
Surfer Blood
Name: 
Ale
Date Reviewed: 
04/19/2017
Artist: 
Brandon Can't Dance
Label: 
Lucky Number Music Limited

Brandon Can’t Dance’s album, Graveyard of Good Times is characterized by a unique collection of melancholic and upbeat, catchy songs. The variation between tracks definitely contributed to my appreciation of the album. Sometimes alternative music in this style can become redundant and mundane; however, this record varied in tone and overall rhythmic style, keeping me interested and engaged. There was a combination of tracks with electro-pop sounding rhythms as well as some that were more punk or indie rock.

Sounds Like: 
Car Seat Headrest
Sounds Like: 
Alex G
Name: 
Sophia Courtney
Date Reviewed: 
04/18/2017
Artist: 
Ariel Pink & Weyes Blood
Label: 
Mexican Summer

Being a huge fan of both of these artists, I was excited to hear this collaboration. Weyes Blood has one of my favorite voices in music right now and has worked with Ariel Pink a little bit in the past. Weyes Blood really has a voice reminiscent of artists like Karen Carpenter and others folk artists from the 60s and 70s. In this record her voice even more haunting then normal. This short four track EP is a little more on the folk synth side, a similar sound to some 80s post punk bands. The first track "Tears on Fire" is definitely a standout from the EP with the best hook.

Sounds Like: 
Ariel Pink
Sounds Like: 
Weyes Blood
Name: 
Daniel Clark
Date Reviewed: 
04/16/2017
Artist: 
Conor Oberst
Label: 
Nonesuch Records Inc.

Last year Conor Oberst released the record Ruminations. This was one of my favorite records of 2016 and I think Conor's best record in a while. Conor really went back to the basics with this record. It is a pretty simple record with mainly piano, harmonica and vocals. It really has the feel of a folk record from the 60s. Having just good classic Conor Oberst depressing lyrics. This new record Salutations is pretty much just Ruminations only with a full band and a few extra tracks.