Ultra, 2012 [rating:6/10] "Pop music is a platform to say something. You don't have to only talk about parties." Interesting quote from ex-noise artist now shiny electropop-idol-in-waiting, Amanda Warner. Pop music has always been a platform to say something, but this shouldn't make you believe that Warner is positing herself as Lady Bono or worse, Lady
Merge, 2012 [rating:8.5/10] The concept of the ‘supergroup’ is relative and often abused. The formation itself is prone to suspicion, akin to selling out your bandmates in favour of some fresh thrills. Often it's the point in a band's career when the chief songwriter hits a stalemate or a stale state -- ie: the last
Matador, 2012 [rating:7/10] Time and distance, be it geographical or emotional, have always been great assets to a songwriter. The ability to cease all activity, to step off the treadmill and get his/her shit straight, to let real life take precedence. In a career that's had its share of ups and downs, Chan Marshall has
Bella Union, 2012 [rating:6.5/10] Jack Tatum thought he must've hit a goldmine when his 2010 debut album as Wild Nothing was so rapturously received with little to no preceding fanfare. This North Virginian native, and his album, Gemini, proved to be a beguiling release, a wistful summer-sounding, 80's referencing aside to the music of Tatum's youth. Full
Bella Union, 2012 [rating:8/10] 2012 marks the 15th anniversary of the birth of Bella Union, a record label started by Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins that was created, initially, to release their own recordings with no obvious aspiration to challenge the big UK independents of the day, yet somehow wound up acquiring a
Merge, 2012 [rating:8/10] Alterna-rock statesman hot from bringing a little 90's Sugar to the 10's masses returns with shit-hot album. If that's all the convincing you need, you might as well stop reading now and give the man your money. But if you need a little more, here goes... Given that Mould has spent the
Young & Lost Club, 2012 [rating:6.5/10] When it came to making the kind of sweet and effervescent guitar pop that would chime and ring at your feet, London’s Exlovers were one of a handful of bands who left tantalizing clues in the form of a smattering of singles and EP's that dated as far back as
Bella Union, 2012 [rating:8/10] From the outset, The Walkmen's seventh album Heaven ('seventh heaven' geddit?) does much to reignite interest in a band, who to be completely honest, have regularly under-performed on record (critically, backslaps all round, but commercially, nada) to the point where wives/girlfriends, etc, are sure to have said "when are you going to
Bella Union, 2012 [rating:5/10] Since their self-titled debut in 2006, Portland duo Beach House have become a band synonymous with the 'dream-pop' side of contemporary music, a tag that suitably sums up Beach House's immaculate sound. Their debut and follow-up Devotion were snapshots of a band evolving, both primitive and delicate in instrumentation and style. It
Beat The World, 2012 [rating:7.5/10] At this stage in their career, The Dandy Warhols stand as an infinitely renewable resource. With the major label shackles thrown and now releasing their own records, the only standards Courtney & Co have to meet is their own. This is often the point where casual fan and band shrug
Homeless Records, 2011 [rating:5.5/10] To call Layabouts chest-beating/car-loving/girl-banging rock n' roll as being derivative is to say rock n’ roll is derivative of rock n’ roll. If you stay true to the message, the music you make is un-fuck-with-able. Spain’s Layabouts make the kind of music that only Europeans are capable of -- the totally
London, Paris, Condale, Munich. Everybody's talking about Summer Camp's pop music. Well, not everybody. But they should.
Sizzling psyche-pop debut from San Francisco three-piece Wet Illustrated. A little Feelies, a little Sonic Youth.
It's October. Why are we reviewing Christmas albums in October? Why She & Him? Why?
Wilco -- "They’ve solidified themselves as the greatest American band playing today, possibly of all time".
Work (Work, Work) is the sound of HTRK collecting themselves after tragedy and loss. A difficult time creates a difficult album.
Sweet jangle pop outta New Jersey and more than likely the only Real Estate we'll ever purchase... (sad but true).
Blitzen Trapper brings to mind somebody hunting down reindeer. This has nothing to do with the music.
Ex-Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy returns with his first new solo album in 7 years, proving that there's still life in the old goth.
Minneapolis folk duo Peter Wolf Crier mix things up on their sophomore album with mixed results.
Reissue! Repackage! Warpaint's mesmerising debut gets a little dressing up as we wait for album #2.
Dum Dum Girls add an extra coat of polish and put on a brave garage-pop face for album number 2.
Energetic indie-rock from LA's Grouplove but watch out for "the boring half of the record". Whoops.
Obscurities he called it, but more like a forgotten treasure trove from all chapters of the Stephin Merritt songbook.
Cherry Red, 2011 [rating:5/10] While the other three members forged on with nary a breath to contemplate what lay behind them, it took the ex-Bauhaus frontman 3 long years to record his first solo album. Here Murphy’s path was a more cautious one, making tentative steps with ex-Japan bassist Mick Karn for their unspectacular avant
With our review dispensing superlatives like "timeless" and "classic", Beirut's The Rip Tide is one of the must-listen albums of 2011.
Very unsure about this album, the sixth from past Webcuts pet faves, Okkervil River. I Am Very Far from their best.
Epic post-rock from The Fierce & The Dead on their debut album. Seek it out, post-rock fans.
Pavement reunion done and dusted, Stephen Malkmus and Co. get back to making adult indie rock on album number five.
Canadian folk-sters Dark Mean deliver a "must-listen album with staying power, and one of the year’s best" on their self-released debut.
...says Wolf Parade's Spencer Krug of his solo off-shoot project Moonface. Not as good as we'd hoped, either.
Welcome to the lilting shoegaze world of Swedish duo I Break Horses, "more than just a nostalgic pastiche of an ethereal past".
Putting aside Lightspeed Champion, the chameleon musician/producer known as Dev Hynes unveils his latest project Blood Orange.
Concept albums, rock operas, the artistic chasm of failure widens as Fucked Up take the challenge and make the album of their career.
From the label that gave you The Libertines and The Strokes, here's another young and disaffected indie guitar band.
Chicago's Fruit Bats return to their familiar "effortless and sweet" indie folk ways on their fifth album, Tripper.
First solo release from Rogue Wave's Zach Rogue under his new moniker, Release The Sunbird. For those who like their rock wimpy.
Join Us finds They Might Be Giants at their "quirkiest, catchiest and most clever", which is simply music to our old-school fan ears.
Louisiana's Generationals Actor-Caster is a "treasure trove of indie pop rock songs". That's exactly the kind of booty we like around here.
Ex-New Zealander's Unnecessarily Long Band Name evoke retro 60's thrills on their self-titled debut.
Electro-dance-goth-opera by way of Canada, Austra's debut album Feel It Break is akin to a good night out in loud, dark room. Kinda fun, but where's the door?
One half of the hyper-productive quirk-pop outfit Fiery Furnaces takes her first solo steps on Last Summer.
Washed Out's debut album couldn't have arrived at a more perfect time. The water's just right for a little chillwave.
Album number six for these free-wheeling long-haired holdin' on to black metal giants of Southern Rock.
Can Bon Iver live up to expectation with his self-titled follow-up to the celebrated For Emma, Forever Ago?
There are some records that forever remain at the bottom of the review pile, and boy do Smith Westerns make us regret it.
Lyrically and musically, simply one of the best records you'll hear all year. Dan Bejar -- Genius. Kaputt -- Divine.
The best band to come out of Canada, ever, celebrate their 20th anniversary with The Double Cross. It's a Roman numeral thing, y'dig?
The only euphoric heartbreak here is all expectations of Glasvegas trumping their debut going out the window.
Can goth new-wavers Cold Cave come close to the lo-fi synth-brilliance of their debut Love Comes Close? Now, that's the question.