Beck – Morning Phase
Beck Morning Phase Beck Hansen’s 2002 psychedelic folk journey Sea Change is one of his finest albums. After years of kitchen-sink beats, tropicalia, funk and impersonating Hollywood freaks, he decided to bare his sensitive side. Amid acoustic picking recalling Nick Drake and grand orchestral gestures found on old Serge Gainsbourg records, Beck sounded forlorn, beaten and raw. Now, ...
Metz – Metz
Metz Metz Imagine a parallel universe where Blur’s roaring “Song 2” is the wimpiest thing the band ever created, and you get a sense of the tooth-chipping potential of Toronto art-punk trio METZ. With ten songs slugged out in less than 30 minutes, their self-titled debut packs quick bursts of Alex Edkins’ full-throated howling and beating his fretboard into submission. Two things set them ap ...
Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
Divine Fits A Thing Called Divine Fits It’s unsurprising that two scratchy-voiced dudes like Britt Daniel and Dan Boeckner, who both like fussing with effects pedals and emotional tension, can coexist. But listening to Divine Fits debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits, seems like exactly the sum of the abilities of the frontmen for indie-with-a-scoop-of-soul rockers Spoon and recently broken u
The Walkmen – Heaven
The Walkmen Heaven 	After their early years as a buzzy New York City (via Washington, D.C.) outfit filed just below other area acts like the Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Interpol in terms of popularity, the Walkmen are the ones who can best sing a harmony-rich “We Can’t Be Beat” at this stage. If a regal and c ...
The Antlers – (together) EP
The Antlers (together) EP The most distinguishing quality of the Antlers has consistently been frontman Peter Silberman’s falsetto. Like the vocal performances of Antony, Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke (Silberman’s most obvious influence), his singing breaks, aches and reverberates consistently and steers where the rest of the Antlers should go next. One of the biggest fai ..
The Drums – Portamento
The Drums Portamento 	A warning to all potential significant others: Break the Drums’ singer Jonathan Pierce’s heart, and risk an icy shower of emotion written into song in your honor. Although the Brooklyn indie rockers never name names, their energetic, three-minute pop structures don’t hold back on conveying Pierce’s ever-dampening mood. What were surf-guitar ...
Man Man – Life Fantastic
Man Man Life Fantastic Philadelphia sideshow punks Man Man have reached a newfound crispness with the production guidance of Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis on their fourth album, Life Fantastic. All over the release, the band’s unique formula of organ, dusty brass, xylophone and singer Honus Honus’ one-of-a-kind rasp has been bolstered by the synthesizer trickery that appeared on 2008’s Rabbit Habi
Title Tracks – In Blank
Title Tracks In Blank As awesome as Q And Not U were, it’s easy to miss the Washington, D.C., post-hardcore specialists a lot less when listening to ex-drummer John Davis’ solo project, Title Tracks. With his second record under the moniker (he also made up half of indie duo Georgie James for a bit), Davis has come into riches of catchy melodies he decorates with harmonies recalling British tune
Simian Mobile Disco – Delicacies
Simian Mobile Disco Delicacies During the past five-plus years, British production duo Simian Mobile Disco have earned a rep for serving up schizoid combinations of pop and dance music considered delicacies of each genre. With 2007’s Attack Decay Sustain Release and last year’s Temporary Pleasure, plaudits rained down for the wide-ranging approaches to sampling, collaborations (Gossip’s Beth
Sleigh Bells – Treats
Treats Everyone hears something different in Sleigh Bells' bombastic art-rock collages, from power tools to motorcycle engines to electro-thrashers Atari Teenage Riot to hip-hop bruiser Swizz Beats, and no one is wrong. But let's not forget the axe--nay, jackhammer--lineage of guitarist/producer Derek Miller, who used to shred with South Florida post-hardcore pioneers Poison The Well. Alt... Read
The Most Serene Republic – …And The Ever Expanding Universe
...And The Ever Expanding Universe The Most Serene Republic play it incredibly safe while maintaining their baroque-rock rep on full-length No. 3, ...And The Ever Expanding Universe. Arranging pop nuggets with brass and strings as proficiently as labelmates Broken Social Scene and Stars was never a problem for the Ontario septet before, so hiring BSS regular David Newfeld to produce this time do