Wednesday, July 27, 2011

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Aficionado - "Falsified Inspiration" (Taken from their self-titled debut album out now on No Sleep Records, which deftly blends punk, indie rock and everything in-between with a flair for experimentation and male/female vocals for a sound that touches on their current tour partner Tim Kasher's band, Cursive.)


2. The Features - "Content" (The shuffling, psychedelic and poppy first single from Wilderness, their third album and second for the Kings of Leon's label, Serpents and Snakes. The Nashville-based band incorporates prog and classic rock motives with Southern boogie into their brand of indie rock for an appealing sound all their own.)


3. The Pursesnatchers - "Wet Cement" (New single from A Pattern Language, the debut album by the husband and wife team of Doug Marvin, formerly of shoegaze-poppers Dirty on Purpose and Annie Hart of the dreamy, synth-pop band Au Revoir Simone. Their new sound marries the hazy, beauty of Hart's former band with the fuzzed out frenzy of Marvin's for a match made in Heaven! Out now on Uninhabitable Mansions.)


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Portugal. The Man - "In The Mountain In the Cloud"

Last week Portugal. The Man released In The Mountain In The Cloud, their sixth album in as many years and Atlantic Records debut. The new album produced by John Hill (Santigold) and co-produced by frontman John Baldwin Gourley and longtime collaborator Casey Bates is their most concise and focused effort yet, adding touches of glam-rock to their highly melodic brand of psych pop.

“So American” opens the album with subtle political jabs against a dreamy backdrop of strings and twinkling steel drums. Both “Floating (Time Isn’t Working My Side)” and Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now)” feature a spacey Bowie-inspired glam rock influence, with a light, soaring chorus of “Oh, Oh, Oh’s” on “Floating”, which works well with Gourley’s falsetto croon. The funky, bouncy and soulful “Senseless” stands out with stabbing keys and a choir of voices on the huge chorus. “Head Is A Flame (Cool With It)” features twangy guitar and swaths of paranoia-inducing psychedelics. “You Carried Us (Share With Me The Sun)” is loaded with spacious reverb, echo and reversed guitars on the poppy, sing-along track. “Everything You See (Kids Count Hallelujahs)” stands out with horns that mimic the melody of the chorus. The Gospel-inflected psych-pop of “All Your Light (Times Like These)” also stands out with a blown-out beat at the beginning and an unhinged guitar solo. “Once Was One” goes from a laid-back Country-esque tune with sweeping melodies to a swirling freak-out and back again. The album closes with the upbeat, piano-led 60’s pop of “Share With Me The Sun” and the epic “Sleep Forever” which builds slowly with rafters-reaching melodies and swelling vintage organs into a crazed ending with an anthemic chorus of voices.

With In The Mountain In The Cloud, their most cohesive album yet, Portugal. The Man seems to have finally found their sound while continuing to blur the lines of classification, setting them apart once again.

For more info click here: and

Friday, July 22, 2011

Free Friday: The Reveling - "Tributaries"

EDIT: This is no longer offered as a free download but it is worth paying for!

Brooklyn four-piece The Reveling create some incredibly anthemic and highly melodic punk rock that harkens back to the early to mid-90's sound created by Face To Face, Jawbreaker, and Green Day, with a workingman's grit reminiscent of The Gaslight Anthem and The Loved Ones. Their infectious debut album Tributaries was released late last month on Black Numbers Records as a free download on their Bandcamp page. You can also get a physical copy from the Black Records site.

Stand out single, "Left At Forkright" and the opening track, "Revivial" both feature gang vocals, a soaring chorus and a non-stop palpable energy that sets the tone for the rest of the must hear album.

Download Tributaries here:

For more info click here: and

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Roadside Graves - "Double Feature" (NJ-based country-rockers released their new album We Can Take Care Of Ourselves this week on Autumn Tone Records. It is a concept album of sorts about the classic novel The Outsiders that perfectly captures the youthful angst and emotion from the book.)


2. Tomorrows Tulips - "Eternally Teenage" (Cagey and psychedelic 60's surf-pop from the duo of Alex Knost formerly of The Japanese Motors and his girlfriend Christina Keyes. Their eternally catchy debut album Eternally Teenage was produced by Mike McHugh (Vivian Girls, The Black Lips) and is out now on Galaxia Records.)


3. Soft Metals - "Psychic Driving" (Portland couple Ian Hicks and Patricia Hall issue the first single from their self-titled debut album out now on Captured Tracks. Their sound features nuanced and ambient textures but with driving beats and vintage Kraftwerk-like synths and Hall's soaring vocals, building on last year's EP for an excellent debut.)


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Scream The Prayer Tour 2011

There will be no album review today because I will be attending the Scream The Prayer Tour today. I will worship my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ while listening to some spirit-filled hardcore from Sleeping Giant, Close Your Eyes, Texas In July and The Chariot and the double-pedal Jesus Metal of War Of Ages! Norma Jean, I The Breather, The Great Commission, As Hell Retreats and Sovereign Strength round out the excellent lineup for the all day fest!

The Top 5 Songs I hope to hear today are:

1. Sleeping Giant - "Eyes Wide Open"

2. Close Your Eyes - "Song For The Broken"

3. The Chariot - "Daggers"

4. Texas In July - "One Reality"

5. War Of Ages - "The Fallen"

Check out for tour dates in your area.

Download Texas In July - "Magnolia" here:

Download Close Your Eyes - "17:20" here:

For more info click here:,,,,,, and

Friday, July 15, 2011

Free Friday: Generationals - "Medium Rarities" EP

To coincide with their July tour, New Orleans duo Generationals have released the Medium Rarites EP as a free download through Park The Van Records.

The new digital EP features a new song, "Green Leaf Black Heart" and a jammy, dub-influenced alternate take on and older song, "You Got Me". As well as 2 remixes of Actor-Caster tracks; one of "Trust" by Bent Black and a sun-baked remix of the 60's pop-loving "When They Fight, They Fight" by 60's pop lover Richard Swift.

Download the Medium Rarities EP here for the price of an email address here:

Download the Trust EP version of the song "Trust" here:

For more info click here: and

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Grooms - "Prom" (By adding glitchy electronics to their fuzzy, squalling guitar workouts with a sharper focus on catchy melodies; the trio's sophomore album Prom out now on Kanine Records, is their best yet.)


2. Eleanor Friedberger - "My Mistakes" (Jaunty keyboards, saxophone and other quirky sounds abound on the infectious Summer-y first single from the first solo album from Eleanor of The Fiery Furnaces. The super-poppy Last Summer is out now on Merge.)


3. Hospital Ships - "Honey Please" (Hospital Ships is the alias Jordan Geiger of Minus Story and he has also been a member of Shearwater and the Appleseed Cast. He expertly melds those experiences with his high-pitched voice to create a joyous and off-kilter indie-pop on his second album, Lonely Twin, out now on Graveface Records.)


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Washed Out - "Within And Without"

Washed Out, the project of drowsy dance-pop connoisseur Ernest Greene makes his Sub Pop debut with the debut album Within And Without today. The new album produced and mixed by Ben H. Allen (Gnarls Barkley) features much more polished and tighter production than the previous two EPs and that was to be expected, but the almost-lost-in-the-mix vocals and blurry, amorphous synths and atmospherics still remain sounding like a blissfully hypnotic soundtrack to a daydream.

The album opens with “Eyes Be Closed”, retro-fit with 80’s-inspired synths and tumbling roto-toms along with a moaning, yearning vocal. The moody “Echoes” follows with washes of trance-inducing, warbling synths and clashing drums. The single, “Amor Fati” features effervescent synths and one of the album’s catchiest vocal melodies. And “Far Away” stands out with its haunting cello and scraping beat. Another standout, “Before”, features a trip-hop beat containing a sampled vocal and stuttering synths with Ernest’s liquid vocals. Caroline Polachek of Chairlift lent her vocal talents to the woozy “You And I” and also co-wrote the track. And “A Dedication” closes out the nine-track album with a fractured keyboard riff over top of glimmering synths and Green’s clearest vocals on the album.

Some fans may have a hard time adjusting to the cleaner production but Within And Without is filled with enough beauty and danceable grooves to satisfy fans new and old.

Download "Amor Fati" here:

For more info click here: and and

Friday, July 08, 2011

Free Friday: The Earth Is A Man - "Self-Titled"

The Earth Is A Man is an instrumental post-rock trio from Chicago. Their self-titled debut album was released earlier this year on their Bandcamp page. They create an extremely melodic and rhythmic mix with mathy guitar lines, prog-rock's expansive experimentalism and a classic video game soundtrack's winding interplay for an inventive album so engaging you won't even notice that there are no vocals!

Standout tracks include the clashing Southern Rock-style dual-guitars and off-kilter, jazzy rhythms of "You Are The Motor" and the beachy guitars and bobbing beat of first single, "Dymaxion".

Download the album here:

Download the single "Dymaxion" here:

For more info click here: and

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Disappears - "Superstition" (The 4-pc Chicago band features Brian Case of The Ponys and Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth, who joined after filling in for the band on tour last year. Their gripping, effects-heavy sound features touches of krautrock, punk, and even psychedlic gospel all in under 30-minutes. Check them out on tour all Summer, including a stop at Lollapalooza.)


2. Through The Sparks - "Chisel and Pick" (The Birmingham band's latest album, Almanac (MMX) Year of Beasts, is a collection of singles recorded and released digitally one per month last year. This track, originally released last October, features horns and upright bass and showcases the restriction-free recording process of a band at their creative peak!)


3. The Trophy Fire - "Chasing The Ghost" (San Francisco band conjures up the big choruses of Jimmy Eat World and the moodiness of Tears For Fears on their new EP Armor out now on Greyday Records, in anticipation for their sophomore album due this September.)


Friday, July 01, 2011

Free Friday: Kris N. - "Heart Scarf"

Kris N. the ever prolific lo-fi singer-songwriter returns with the release of his new album Heart Scarf, out this week on Dayton-based indie label Poptek. Actually, he had been working on another album Supine Sailor, but a divorce knocked him off course and as an outlet, Heart Scarf was written with a cathartic sense of urgency.

The title track, "Heart Scarf" sets the tone with a rhythmic acoustic guitar, a scaling vocal melody and stinging lyrics: "I loved once long ago and maybe I will love once more". "I'm A Lion (I'm Lying)" features whimsical guitar melodies and a close, open-room feel with background noise intact. Standout track "Note To Self" is the perfect pep-talk for when you are so deep in a funk that even mundane everyday tasks seem defeating. The short and sweet "Marlon Brando" features ambient layers of swaying guitars. The ringing, cyclical guitars and muffled vocals of "BDSM" lends itself well to the album's tone. Another standout track "Keyboards And All" features a steady, bobbing guitar line and a sweet, hummable melody. The cathartic "12 Gun Salute" closes out the album with banging guitar chords that sound like clanging church bells.

Heart Scarf is full of Kris's understated but catchy melodies with lyrics rooted in heartache, hope and healing for a deeply personal album that reaches the heart of the listener as well.

Download Heart Scarf here: or you can purchase it at iTunes, Amazon or directly from Poptek Records!

For more info click here: and