Category Archives: 7

Review: Dead Leaf Echo – Pale Fire

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Label: self-released Released: 2008 Dead Leaf Echo offers up layers of heavy reverb, subtle, fluid rhythms and ambling, mopey vocals in the true shoegazing tradition. At times, they find interesting ways to get the vocals to work in concert with the rhythms and it’s strikingly good. They don’t get there consistently, but when they do, they really shine. The fuzzy… Read more »

Review: Shin Jin Rui – Zutiqua

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Label: Ex Libris Records Released: April 14, 2008 With a lot of bands, it’s fairly easy to discern their influences and use those influences to describe the band’s sound. I could try that with Shin Jin Rui. At times I hear Gang of Four and at others the Stooges. Sometimes the Fall, Syd-era Pink Floyd, the Velvet Underground, Ziggy-era Bowie…. Read more »

Review: The Briggs – Come All You Madmen

Label: SideOneDummy Records Released: June 17, 2008 When British punk got into the hands of working class kids in the late 70s who married its anger to pub singalongs and soccer chants, Oi was born. It is a thoroughly British (okay, the Irish can pull it off also) phenomenon that American bands have had a hard time copying. Being able… Read more »

Review: Left Lane Cruiser – Bring Yo Ass to the Table

Label: Alive Naturalsound Released: January 8, 2008 “Billy Gibbons, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” That’s likely what goes through Left Lane Cruiser guitarist Freddy J IV’s head as he pines away for his guitar hero. Gibbons’ influence on Freddy’s playing is unmistakable and perhaps wearing his influences on his sleeve like that should count against… Read more »

Review: Title Fight – Kingston

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Label: Flightplan Records Released: January 29, 2008 Some time in the 90s, pop punk generally began placing the pop over the punk in its approach to the point that it might be difficult to tell the difference between A New Found Glory and Avril Lavigne. That’s sad, because punk has a long pop tradition that dates back at least to… Read more »

Review: Moving Mountains – Pneuma

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Label: Deep Elm Records Released: May 13, 2008 Pneuma is an album that works more in noise than structure. Ambient layers and ambling indie rock rhythms are grounded by a more common vocal approach that alternates between whining and screeching and screaming. There is nothing pretentious about Moving Mountains’ deconstruction of rock though. It is experimental, but not simply for… Read more »

Review: Pomegranates – Everything Is Alive

Label: Lujo Records Released: May 13, 2008 The liner notes of Everything Is Alive sent me into a wonderful daydream. As the opening drum loop circled through my ears, I read the line, “We experienced the hospitality of strangers letting us spend the night on their couches or their floors.” I was immediately taken to a pleasant picture of the… Read more »

Review: Brass – Set & Drift

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Label: self-released Released: January 25, 2008 I seem to be using the word “angular” an awful lot these days and while that usually means I’m listening to something I enjoy, the post-punk influence is becoming so commonplace that it also begs the question, “What’s special about this one?” With Brass, the answer is that they take their mathy angles and… Read more »

Review: History – Ghosts in the City

Label: 24 Hour Service Station Released: December 7, 2007 What happens when Fugazi meets Black Sabbath? History. Okay, so time will tell if History the band actually makes history, but there’s no denying that the potential is there. Their album, Ghosts in the City, isn’t just the result of these influences slapped together in some random fashion, but a natural… Read more »

Review: Trever Keith – Melancholics Anonymous

Label: self-released (digital only) Released: February 2008 In the mid-90s, Trever Keith’s band Face to Face was releasing some of the best pop punk around. Big Choice still finds itself in at least my semi-regular rotation. However, they lost me with Ignorance is Bliss at the end of the decade and I never really came back. Now I find myself… Read more »