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Staff reviews this month

Good or bad, here's what we think of this month's crop of new releases.

Please note: All views expressed are those of individual staff and not Norman Records as a whole.

Melvins
Pinkus Abortion Technician

Being a Melvins fan for well over half of my life on this planet, despite the fact that recent albums have less than blown me away, I always check what they’re up to. Having done the two drummers thing, this time around they have two bass players on this record. Steven McDonald (Redd Kross, ...view item »

Sterile Hand (Silent Servant)
Sterile Hand

Los Angeles techno producer Juan Mendez (Sandwell District, Jealous God) aka Silent Servant delves even further into his recent foray into EBM, teaming up with Ori Ofir on vocal duties for some ice cold Electronic Body Music. The Sterile Hand sound is part homage to 80s influences but still has Mendez’s sound stamped all over it. T...view item »

Thembi Soddell
Love Songs

Oh my goodness, what have I done? Hitting play on this album has been something akin to opening Pandora's box and unleashing a dark force into my home. I think I had better go hide the children under the bed before some bad dudes from the Black Lodge show up… hang on.. They’re already here…. Arghhh! I jest of course, ...view item »

Ssaliva
WYIN

Gorgeous mini album of elegiac, crystalline ambient electronics from Ssaliva aka Belgian producer François Boulanger - previously spotted on Ekster, Leaving Records, Vlek, Purple Tape Pedigree etc. Thematically, the record laments on socio-political concerns and it's a proper weeper. Immaculately produced, it conjures images of a broken f...view item »

Hoof Glove
Hoof Glove

The don’t drone label wang a total curveball from their previous run of ambient/drone leaning tapes. They’ve gone in the polar opposite direction with this magnificently delirious cassette from Hoof Glove. If you’d have told me this was out on Ipecac, I’d totally believe you. This Leeds band is comprised of member...view item »

154
Wherever You Go, I Will Follow

Jochem Peteri aka Newworldaquarium revisits his 154 alias for the first time in donkeys for two lush, fuzzy, emotive tinglers. Well, actually it’s a single 22-minute track originally conceived for an installation and has been edited into two parts and spread across two sides of wax cut at 45 rpm. When it initially gets going it sit...view item »

Flame 1 (Burial & The Bug)
Fog / Shrine

If you’ve been living on another planet for the past month or so, it’s probably worth telling you that Flame 1 is a collaboration between Kevin Martin aka The Bug and Will Bevan aka Burial. This record is the first release on Martin’s newly minted label Pressure. ...view item »

Turbo Teeth
Yellow Equals One

Turbo Teeth is a handle of Athens artist Giorgos Axiotis aka Wall To Wall Carpeting, Xeerow and member of Balinese Beast, Bruised Lee, Free Piece Of Tape, Holefold Diver and Tom Cruisin'. So a pretty active guy within the Greek underground. ‘Yellow Equals One’ is a 5-track 12" EP pressed in a limited edition of 300 numbered c...view item »

XOR Gate
Conic Sections

XOR Gate is a new alias of Gerald Donald. If I have to tell you who this man is, then quite frankly, your existence thus far has been a monumental failure. If you’re looking for some sort of credible, valuable critique of this record, then you’ve so come to the wrong place. If someone as much as mumbles the words Dopplereffekt or Dre...view item »

Rival Consoles
Persona

It isn't very often that a record gets TWO whole reviews, but when I saw the opportunity to whack my opinions down on (electronic) paper for Persona, I took it. Rival Consoles are a pretty new sound in my arsenal of music, but I think that it'll be dominating the soundscape of my mind for a while. Especially with t...view item »

Still Circles
27:36

Let's talk about Bradford for a minute. It's really good. Honest. It has the Record Cafe, the Triangle, Sunbridge Wells, the Curry Beck and it was recently voted the Wonga Cheapest Night Out in Britain. Also look up at the buildings and it's gorgeous. One other thing is that Still Circles are from Bradford and have here teamed up with 'super' pr...view item »

The Longcut
Arrows

It must be difficult to de- Cure yourself.  The Longcut were once a rather dour collective of Robert Smith aficionados from Manchester but over the years they have detangled their hair, added some bouncing synths and beats and start making a music that is a kind of indie/electronica cross over. 'Punches' sounds mo...view item »

Minami Deutsch
With Dim Light

Minami Deutsch is the kind of name of band that ensures I studiously ignore their output. This is probably the little Englander in me coming out. I don't know what it means and I can't say it all that well. Now if they were called Sausages then I might take a bigger interest.  The press blurb suggests that these are psych freaks who...view item »

Drowse
Cold Air

Oh what has happened now? Almost every record released these days seems to be on the back of a breakdown, a relationship catastrophe or some kind of hardship. It's terrible. People have it bad  - especially musicians.  All this happened to Kyle Bates during the making of this record: -  a nose broken while blackout drunk, ...view item »

Mouse On Mars
Dimensional People

It does look somewhat like Mouse on Mars skimmed through the Pitchfork Book of Indie Cool to choose their guests for this opus. For Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) Aaron & Bryce Dessner (the National) and Zach Condon (Beirut) feature alongside 40 other guests. Impressive though their l...view item »

Sufjan Stevens
Tonya Harding

Someone doesn't like Sufjan Stevens and it's a shame that it happens to be Tonya Harding who hates the song. Oh and the people who made the documentary about her who rejected it as part of the soundtrack. But it's ok, Sufjan. We still like you.   Strange format this. 7" makes sense but cassingle? Well it's a nice collectors thi...view item »

Alexis Taylor
Beautiful Thing

You really have to hand it to him. Alexis Taylor really has some chutzpah. His last album was a disc of him singing solo piano songs endlessly whilst he managed to ingratiate himself with Charles Hayward resulting in the About Group's blot on the latter's otherwise ...view item »

Yung Wu
Shore Leave

A time long ago I was young and carefree when my only worry in life was completing my collection of the Feelies side projects.  The day I found the Yung Wu record was a special one. I had no idea what to expect. I mean...Yung Wu... I thought it would be experimental...or Japanese...or both.  I ...view item »

Disco Inferno
Technicolour

By the time 1995 rolled round Disco Inferno had probably had enough. Not only had their stunning run of forward thinking records been ignored by all but the most discerning music listener but they'd had all their gear nicked resulting in most of an album having to be thrown in the bin and they'd been hawked round on ill considered support slots ...view item »

Shudder To Think
Ten Spot

Let's hope this re-issue of Shudder to Think's debut album has been re-mastered. Their original albums though musically exceptional suffer from the kind of quiet '90s mastering that suggests the record was played out of some speakers and recorded onto a tape recorder. Drums high enough in the mix to make you feel you are listening to the band ou...view item »

A Hawk and A Hacksaw
Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing is a form of healing by basically hanging out in a forest. Nice. Can't see a forest out the window but next time I'm in one I'll bath in it and see if it sorts out my problems. A Hawk and a Hacksaw have long found inspiration through travel and this is no different on this their 7th LP. They seem to take bits and bats of inspirati...view item »

D.A. Stern
Aloha Hola

DA Stern once worked at Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's studio and obviously spent his time there working out how the whole thing works ready for when he released his debut LP of supremely melodic soft pop. It's nice and warm and wouldn't harm a flea. He looks a happy little chap from the picture on the back and he's v...view item »

Hinds
I Don't Run

I know I'm not the target audience for a band like Hinds but with all the notices I was seeing about 'I Don't Run' I was under the impression that they'd created something special here. However really it's just more tuneful, kinda consequential indie pop produced in that manner that sees distortion added to everything particularly the vocals so ...view item »

Rival Consoles
Persona

Have you ever been followed down a dark alley by someone wielding an axe? Well If you have and don't want that part of your life soundtracked then best not listen to Rival Consoles new opus.  These are dramatic flourishes of pulsating and cinematic electronica that takes influence from Ingmar Bergman's psychological thriller but has...view item »

Firestations
The Year Dot

Firestations reckon they write nice songs then mess them up but on opener 'Build a Building' I can't hear much messing up. In fact it's a rather lovely slice of harmonic kraut pop which reminds me of Astronauts or Teleman.  In fact 'Make Your Mind Up' is even more like ...view item »

A Place To Bury Strangers
Pinned

They may well be ahem...'borrowing' the bassline from Joy Division's 'Transmission' on 'Never Coming Back' but A Place To Bury Strangers make a right old racket that certainly blows any cobwebs away. They have screeching guitars, eerie male/female vocals that sound like they want to kill you and propulsive drum...view item »

Triptides
Visitors

Six albums in now for LA psychedelic pop people Triptides and it seems like only yesterday they were unleashing the fifth of those 'Afterglow' and there are parts of this new album when I'm wondering if they should slow down a bit and sharpen their songwriting to the levels they reached during 'Sun Pavillion' and 'Azur' their two best albums in ...view item »

Island
Feels Like Air

Island have presumably spent their lifetime waiting to deliver this their debut album and the singer decides that the first few seconds is the exact right time in their career to sound exactly like the singer from the Stereophonics. But despite him coughing up a hairball the music is actually rather enjoyable. It's chiming, evocative r...view item »

Goat Girl
Goat Girl

Before listening to this album I couldn't get my head around who Goat Girl were and how they sounded and where to put them in the lazily compiled compartment in my head. Perhaps the reason is that with 19 songs in 40 minutes, it's hard to get a handle on Goat Girl without listening to a number of their tunes. They play dark and spindly p...view item »

The Amazing
In Transit

Being a glass half full kind of guy I'm going straight for the jugular in stating that the Amazing have made one of this years best albums and interrupted it with one of this year's most horrible tracks. After a near perfect example after near perfect example of their lovely atmospheric shoegaze rock they decide to break things up a bit with a s...view item »

Daniel Avery
Song For Alpha

I know it's hard to believe because I work in a record shop but I have absolutely no idea who Daniel Avery is. Probably because his breakthrough record 'Drone Logic' was released five years ago and I don't even remember what I had for tea yesterday. So although you might mock, at least I came into listening to this record with zero expectations....view item »

Cosmo Sheldrake
The Much Much How How and I

I'm pretty obsessed with this one track on the debut album from this Very Clever Man. It's called 'Wriggle' and it's a singalong sea shanty which starts off all  Moondog before bursting into one of those choruses that whilst catchy keeps reminding me of Spitting Image's 'The...view item »

Acid Bowie
Acid Bowie

How to release a record in today's fast-paced faddish society is something we and a lot of the people we deal with struggle with to the point of hair being tien out of heads. One way is to go down the 'mystery artist' route. It *could* be Aphex Twin.....or perhaps it's Four Tet ...view item »

Terry Vs Tori
BBR#30

Remarkably Box bedroom Rebels do it again? Where do they keep finding these gems?  The Spanish group Terri vs Tori play a lovely brand of indie pop that sounds something like Soccer Mommy being backed by Real Estate.  Lovely summery guitar melodies with all those C86 ...view item »

Cindy Lee
Act of Tenderness

Imagine if you could match Pat Flegel's songwriting ability with the band of brother Matt's dynamic ability? Nah. It would just be too good.  Pat Flegel (here Cindy Lee) was instrumental in the alarmingly good band Women but while other members went on to goth rock success, Cindy Lee has forged pretty muc...view item »

Daphne & Celeste
Daphne & Celeste Save The World

When Ben Jacobs (aka Max Tundra) tweeted former teen popsters Daphne & Celeste with an offer to produce a song for them it was one of those comical moments that looks fun on Twitter for about five seconds. In hindsight they shouldn't have been encouraged because now we have an album of their stuff. Now in the...view item »

Dubkasm & Rider Shafique
Enter The Gates

We were listening to this in the office yesterday and immediately the whole place became more relaxed, more chilled and somehow the room became smokier. You should hear the bassline on this  - imagine this pumping out of Potternewton Park on an August Bank Holiday? Well I can, it's classy stuff  - beautifully laid back with the silky t...view item »

Alfa 9
My Sweet Movida

As anyone who reads these ramblings regularly will know, I'm a massive fan of Alfa Romeos especially the 'sud'.... to a point where I stopped a man in a petrol recently to talk about his perfectly maintained model. Therefore I thought I'd give this album by Newcastle-Under-Lyme quartet Alfa a go. You never know  - it might make good driving...view item »

Major Murphy
No. 1

I can't ever imagine Big Star using a buzzing synth but it's that very instrument which barges its way into otherwise the Beatles 'esque opener 'No1'. Actually the Beatles bit comes solely because one of the chord changes sounds like 'Dear Prudence’ but what it doe...view item »

The Altered Hours
On My Tongue

I had a polyp on my tongue once. It drove me totally mad. Almost felt like it was pierced and had a stud in it. Anyway the doctor soon got rid of it. So someone has put something on the Altered Hours tongue. A drug perhaps? A midget gem? Anyway whatever it was they make a right old indie racket telling us about it. They have that ace 90s...view item »

Green Seagull
Scarlet Fever

We were listening to this in the office yesterday (at my request I have to admit) and to be honest it was doing my head in. The band have all the right influences to ensure that it's something my ears might enjoy but the execution of it leaves something to be desired.  They are blatantly in the thrall to the whimsy of the late '60s&...view item »

Frankie Cosmos
Vessel

The main problem I'm having with this third album of fruity indie pop from Greta Kline is the pitch of her voice. Higher than helium. She's released 52 records so far which impressive until you try to work out how many of them are actually any good. What we have here is a kind of cross between Kimya Dawson...view item »

Belong
October Language

Back in 2006, New Orleans’ Belong released their debut album ‘October Language’. Though well received at the time, it deserves so much more. Then it was compared to the shoegaze greats, a much deserved comparison, but I think the spirit of ‘October Language’ has more in common with the bittersweet heft of ...view item »

Black Milk
FEVER

Psychedelic rock is having something of a moment right now. Or maybe it never stopped having one. Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra are among the most popular bands in the world of rock. But it’s all a bit… lightweight? I like psych-rock ...view item »

Aquarius
Soulquencies

Glasgow via Tokyo, dub via classical, producer Aquarius is nothing if not a traveller. Moving around, whether that’s physically or otherwise, can give you a sense of perspective - a bird’s eye view if you will. From where Aquarius is standing things must looking pretty bad. Soulquencies has been in the works for years. In tha...view item »

mmph
Dear God

Hello. So, this mmph seems like an intense, deep and reflective chap. Seoul-born, Boston resident Sae Heum Han was classically trained as a child and as a cellist went on to study music performance at world-renowned Berklee College. He’s now using electronics to express himself, and this work -- Dear God...view item »

Goldmund
Occasus

Hello! It’s Jamie here, again. Time for my Top 5 Nouveau Classical Records of the Week rundown. Only joking, it’s really time for my review of ‘Occasus’ by Goldmund. Goldmund, or Keith Kenniff for it is he; he who is on occasion also ...view item »

µ-Ziq
Challenge Me Foolish

Michael ‘Robert’ Paradinas (thank you discogs; so formal, so polite) releases some of his µ-Ziq material previously untouched by mortal hand, collects it and titles it ‘Challenge Me Foolish’ -- on this here CD / double LP for his own Planet Mu, of course. It&r...view item »

The Caretaker
Everywhere At The End Of Time - Stage 4

Feeling dizzy and confused? Disorientated and discombobulated? No, well you clearly haven’t navigated a Leeds dual carriageway in today’s torrents and flooding but that’s OK because The Caretaker is here and he’s going to make sure you feel all these things and more, via his now-infamou...view item »

Oly Ralfe
Notes From Another Sea

Oly Ralfe (of Ralfe Band) is truly showing himself off in a bright light here, on his debut solo album. That light is reflected and refracted in the clear composition and crystalline piano played by Ralfe throughout ‘Notes From Another Sea’. Yes, it’s a solo piano album. But it’s ...view item »

Byron Westbrook
Confluence Patterns

Somehow, only a few short months ago in fact, Byron Westbrook’s electro-sonic abstractions (on his LP ‘Body Consonance’) got out in the open and in the process managed to freak out our reviewer Ant’s pet cat. You’ll be relieved to learn we’ve taken precautions this time and these (very lively indeed) sounds --...view item »

David August
DCXXXIX A.C.

David August apparently took a year-long hiatus from making music, in order to unplug from the noise of the world and take time to reflect; but also to reconnect with his Italian home and draw inspiration from the culture and landscape of his roots. An experience that was clearly worthwhile and regenerative, as his new LP -- which embraces world...view item »

Zinovia Arvanitidi
Ivory

Now, here’s melody… Lots of melody. Those melodies for the most part emanate from the piano of composer-pianist Zinovia Arvanitidi, and her minimal orchestrations serve her well for the duration of her new solo record, Ivory -- sometimes introducing violin, cello and a rare sotto metallophone; even Zinovia’s own gentle, hushed...view item »

Kohl
Learned Ethics / Imposed Ethics

It’s time, readers, for the second of today’s influx of new and novel delights from ‘Hand-numbered-120-copies-on-cassette-only-please’ Umor Rex and as ever, it’s Pro-Dubbed Chrome Plus. (But don’t worry, of course there’s a download card included). This one’s from Kohl, and it’s as warm and f...view item »

Erik K Skodvin & Rauelsson
A Score for Darling

So here's 'A Score for Darling', which is -- spoiler -- a scored soundtrack to a film called Darling, an apparently emotionally raw tale about the life of a dancer. It's on the ever-reliable Sonic Pieces who love these slightly austere, reverential semi-orchestral soundbites; they've certainly pulled out the usual stops presentation-wise: check ...view item »

Noon
Disquiet

Well, the signs were there but in my haste to complete my reviews I paid no heed: 'Disquiet' does not start quietly. It's the very antithesis of quiet, as it happens. Who knew? Plainly not me, as these thunderous sounds blasting out of my headphones nearly blew my head off. I was lulled I tell you, by the gentle stream of neoclassical flourishes...view item »

PYRIT
Control

Pyrit has lovingly compared this creation ‘Control’ to both maze and prison, and I’m inclined to give him a reluctant co-sign: his work is heavy on the queasy and long on horror house fiction, a kind of Blanck Mass meets It creation of looming dread. Except when he sings: then, all spells are b...view item »

The Coke Dares
Fake Lake

To Jason Molina they were known as the Magnolia Electric Co; to themselves, they were and are the Coke Dares, the same band with an entirely different sound. Molina used them to create terrestrial, earth-shattering Americana, and while you can see the weight and the crunch the band used for his twang songs here, their sound couldn’t be fur...view item »

Caudal
Fight, Cry, Fight

Post-rock in the extremes of low-key, Caudal will lead you to believe they’re about to do something propulsive and off-the-charts before just keeping on with what they were essentially doing already. Therefore: tension, but also comfort. ‘Fight, Cry, Fight’ is the sound of a band looping some ideas around in a jam and seeing wh...view item »

Stars Of The Lid
Gravitational Pull vs The Desire for an Aquatic Life

Before it was beautiful it was dark, like dusk, and there was fog. Stars of the Lid went on to make two gorgeous, sunshined drone classics in ‘Refinement’ and ‘Tired Sounds’ -- both so hopeful and lovely that they often got compared to the narrative driven music of post-rock -- but once there was disquiet. Their second re...view item »

DRINKS
Hippo Lite

There’s odd pop and there’s bad pop. Please go figure. Our newest member of staff, Daoud, listened to this record and remarked: “there’s that song bands put on their albums that’s like, intentionally annoying and bad. This band are like that... but with the entire album”. It’s true, and dare I say that o...view item »

Christina Vantzou
No. 4

Thank you, hell. Having booted us out of the soul-sucking eternity that was ‘No. 3’, Christina Vantzou returns with another startling record in her ambient classical series, offering a more focused meditation performed by herself and collaborators Angel Deradoorian, ...view item »

Psychological Strategy Board
Penny Slinger: Out Of The Shadows

I dream of the day I start my musical career and skip releasing an actual debut record and go straight to the soundtrack phase. Psychological Strategy Band daren’t dream, activating score season in their lives with this weird and disturbing OST for ‘Penny Slinger: Out of the Shadows’, a documentary about Slinger’s avant-g...view item »

The Great Electric
The Great Electric

I needed this. I needed the version of old-days homaging krautrock and kosmische that is, in fact, really goofy, living with a song in its heart, the trees swaying over it like a kindly guardian. The shiny, unabashedly silly sound of the Great Electric makes their rather well-worn aesthetic newly blissful, the melodies playing out with new, simp...view item »

Henry Blacker
The Making Of Junior Bonner

Sludge is sometimes dressed up hard rock. This is one of those times but in a good way; Henry Blacker, a regional offshoot of Hey Colossus, initially started as a way of exorcising some of their doom demons away from home (stuck in Somerset, not London -- you know the drill), and now have their third record of ...view item »

King Tuff
The Other

King Tuff is the guy who can’t quite stop himself from dabbling in psych rawk pomp due to his part in Ty Segall’s old backing band the Muggers, and, maybe, I don’t know, some other things. His new record, ‘The Other’, starts simply enough, but soon it’s decorated in bombast, a s...view item »

Élg
Vu Du Dôme

Heard you’re all in the mood for some sound poetry? Yeah, I heard right. This review is not the sound poem; it is the mere conduit for it, with me as the messenger-boy for a record of troublemaker music concrete. Gorgeous and unnerving, a blessing and an ailment, this is ‘Vu Du Dôme’, the latest record by weirdo producer ...view item »

Wrong
Feel Great

Relapse supergroup hour! At this point in history you kinda just have to accept that every noisy band is prepared to team up with another one to create the biggest, baddest churn, but I’m still over the moon about Wrong, which combines Torche, Capsule and Kylesa members together into one crusty championship of disdain. The hilariously name...view item »

Ashley Paul
Lost In Shadows

The much lauded Ashley Paul continues to make ghosts a tangible reality on ‘Lost In the Shadows’, her latest concoction of song and stress. A multi-instrumentalist known for divesting her tools of their traditions, she favours tonal angularity and horrifying discordance, creating sparse, spectral works that are still somehow heavy in...view item »

Makeness
Loud Patterns

This is a temper tantrum. It’s a gloopy dance record screaming that it wants to get off the floor right this instance. Layers of smooth, lilting pop music wrestle with dissonant scowls and chalkboard screeches, the whole thing unsure whether it’s bubbly or broken. You might wanna call Makeness in for a comparison to ...view item »

MIEN
MIEN

If you’re an old fan and know what happened to the Horrors, please write in and let me know. Who they are. For I have never listened to them. Sorry, but fourteen year-old me was still playing Starsailor albums on repeat. Regardless, a Horror has crept his way into psych rob...view item »

No Joy / Sonic Boom
No Joy / Sonic Boom

We’ll start with a proud affirmation of the biases that make me unfit to review this album. It involves Sonic Boom, who is the closest thing I have to a nemesis: he once phoned up Norman Records and yelled at me down the phone before realising he was working on misinformation and hung up. I am therefore una...view item »

Nest Egg
Nothingness Is Not A Curse

I actually almost can’t  bring myself to type “motorik” for the millionth time in my existence but phew, there you have it, I pulled it out of the bag. Psychlords, meet Nest Egg, a disciplined rock ‘n’ roll band very much worthy of your Fuzz Club squad. What if Fuzz Club was a football team, though? Would they ...view item »

Beta Blockers
Stiff Prescription

Extremely good noisy psych-punk by people who are both running away from you and running right for you. Thrashing at a distance, Beta Blockers make a racket real fast and without warning. Each bit of it is going to grate your ears into pieces and that’s all I really have to say about it. Also it rules. It’s no surprise a band...view item »

Field Report
Summertime Songs

It’s Big Music Wednesday! Indie rock heartthrobs through and through, it would be hard to describe Field Report as anything other than ‘earnest’, the kind of band whose screeching saccharine exists to lend you the feelings, and lend you them loudly. Rushing strings and piano twinkles are actually the quietest of things on this ...view item »

Wrekmeister Harmonies
The Alone Rush

At one point or another in the history of time, Wrekmeister Harmonies were a weird and sorta tasteful metal band serving up orchestration and drone like they were lurking demons in an earthly dimension of hell. In 2018, the project submits to a modern rule: if it can be made to sound pretty much exactly like Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds...view item »

Hop Along
Bark Your Head Off, Dog

We’re gonna call this one ‘Bark’ to avoid semantic complications. Heart-wrench royalty Frances Quinlan has been hammering her Hop Along band into the wall for a good while, now, though you might argue ‘Painted Shut’ was her watershed moment; her raw songwriting continues its melodic adjustments with ‘Bark&rsqu...view item »

C. Diab
Exit Rumination

All enthusiasm for our work has been sucked out of the Norman offices by some sort of music-breathing warlock, as evidenced by the fact a new C. Diab record came in and literally all of us neglected to give it a listen. Awful. We were all huge fans of his last emo drone mini-opus, ‘No Perfect Wave’, wherein his pop-oriented abstracti...view item »

LogarDecay
FRGL

If you like it cold you probably like it UMOR, too. In praise of synth workouts, the label readies its latest tape batch, which includes this chrome nightmare flick from LogarDecay. A mix of old-school electronica radiance, robot ghost drone and clinical sound effects, it’s another example of the label’s prime aesthetic of neutral di...view item »


I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats: All Hail West Texas

As an undying Mountain Goats fanboy I feel it imperative to review this record that exists simply because a podcast does. If you haven’t heard it, ‘I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats’ is a series of conversations between Night Vale Presents writer Joseph Fink and singer-songwriter John Darnielle, a singular mind and endlessly ...view item »

FACS
Negative Houses

Scattering the ashes of the moody Disappears contingent into a new band, FACS will of course use their dejected, mundane rock to quietly upset you. I’ll level with you: this goth boy band is pretty much just Disappears redux, minus one Damon Carruesco, who left the band and all the gloom endearing it behind. What you’re hearing in &l...view item »

Anthroprophh
Omegaville

Titans of idiocy Anthroprophh offer Paul Allen -- a serious psychedelic stalwart in the Heads -- the chance to make true on the most ludicrous of thoughts his brain is channeling energy for. ‘OMEGAVILLE’ is a wacky trip through a cosmos busy with banality, his usual brand of fuzz here entirely unfiltered as he growls, squeals and squ...view item »

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Sex & Food

They’ve done it, then: Unknown Mortal Orchestra have found their gear and they’re staying in it for the rest of their existence. Having wowed and united our entire office with the most unlikely of things -- a funky ode to polyamorous living in sonic homage to Prince called ‘Multi-Love’ -- they here offer more of the same,...view item »

Eels
The Deconstruction

Mark E Everett went to Susan’s house (sorry, went over to Susan’s house) and she was like, dude, it’s been four years… you haven’t released an album about how in retrospective life is actually beautiful if you look around and appreciate things in a long time. E was like, yes, sure, I’m back ...view item »

Wye Oak
The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs

It’s either been a while or forever since I listened to Wye Oak, the loud and proud panorama of an indie rock band whose implementation of squeaky synths only rolls them forward to greener pastures -- think, like, the Windows screensaver of a gorgeous green hill, and feel the scope of what they do. On the bracing and embracing ‘The L...view item »

Charlie Morrow
Toot! Too

No other label of the weird and wacky releases its music with quite the gusto Recital do. Administering each new LP and retrospective with leagues of information and a brand silliness that feels somewhere between hyper-aware and totally oblivious, Sean McCann’s label now operates in a world of its own. Thi...view item »

The Home Current
Another Way Of Falling Apart

Electronic tinkerer and trainee ornithologist Martin Jensen here releases the quintessence of Polytechnic Youth sound, offering a moody bit of old-school IDM with all of the synthy sparkle that makes this label so darn popular. If you like tiny, bit-by-bit melodies playing between light-industrial beats, then look no further than ‘Another ...view item »

Moon Gangs
Earth Loop

Moon Gangs is William Young’s project away from Beak> which is Geoff Barrow’s band away from Portishead, which is the end of the line all change please. Doing keyboards in the name of electronic rawk, he here takes the time to treasure his synths in their own right, approaching com...view item »

Cosmic Ground
Legacy / The Plague

An absolutely classic conundrum, here: Deep Distance like to put out 12”s and Cosmic Ground love to make albums longer than the diameter of the sun. This tension led to the compromise you’re seeing in front of you, a two track wax slab that contains the first and penultimate tracks of Cosmic Ground’s self-titled synth behemoth....view item »

Wet Tuna
Livin’ The Die

I’m gonna level with you, folks: this record’s front cover depicts an old-school truck riding out of the rising sun, and its blurb is a picture of two astronauts in space suits leaning on guitars. Is there anything left to talk about? Do you need me to spend the next two paragraphs throwing out genre slang, or can we quit and go home...view item »

Bruxa Maria / Casual Nun
Split

As our most annoying and pun-adjacent description writer Fred MG notes, Hominid Sounds absolutely slays. The label’s noisy gruel should, by rights, be selling more records than Jack White is live albums from his lounge; they’ve delivered us a Cattle LP, introduced ...view item »

Dead Meadow
The Nothing They Need

The nightmare that is listening to psych rock on an empty, decaf stomach is with us once again as I dare to take on Dead Meadow at the crack of dawn. Dead Meadow’s chunky and laborious approach to their genre usually gets ‘stoner’ assigned to it, but when I listen to it, I’m mostly reminded of Homer Simpson dragging that ...view item »