Alt

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: 
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: 
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: 
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: 
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
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