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No Age – An Object

No Age – An Object

No Age’s An Object is almost guaranteed to frustrate. As soon as the bass riff begins on “No Ground,” you expect an onslaught of snare and cymbal. You expect to hear a punk song. Instead, No Age doesn’t deliver on anything close to this until the third song, “C’mon, Stimmung.” On the fourth track, “Defector/Ed,” […]

Obits – Bed & Bugs

Obits – Bed & Bugs

A fuzzed guitar chord in one ear, then an echoing and slightly off-putting laugh chased by drums that come in on the same stutter as the laugh. The first seconds of “Taste the Diff,” the opener on Obits’ new album Bed & Bugs, could hardly be more fitting. Most every band singer/guitarist Rick Froberg has […]

Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies

Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies

These Changing Skies, the third full length album from the Nederland, Colorado quintet Elephant Revival is a musical gambler stretching his fingers around the Folk and Americana of the past ten years saying, with a half-smirk and goading eyes, “I’ll take that, thank you,” only to bet it all again the next hand. It is […]

Last Good Tooth – Not Without Work and Rest

Last Good Tooth – Not Without Work and Rest

I love how people hate Conor Oberst. He’s become very successful making legitimate DIY independent music, bringing the entire city of Omaha along for the ride no less. Let’s face it, you would have never heard of Cursive or Neva Dinova without Bright Eyes’ influence on aughties culture. Many people’s envy turns to distaste when […]

Jars of Clay – Inland

Jars of Clay – Inland

Jars of Clay has been putting out records for almost 20 years and they’ve managed to do something that few other bands with such longevity have: to still sound like themselves. That’s not to say that they’ve stayed the same. Far from it. Rather as the pop music zeitgeist has changed, and fads have come […]

Sigur Rós – Kveikur

Sigur Rós – Kveikur

The question “Do you like Sigur Rós?” can hardly be answered with an unqualified yes or no. Radiohead fans know this problem well. More often than not, Radiohead fans make reference to an album in order to qualify their tastes. For example, one might hear: “I love The Bends, but I could care less for […]

Lee Koch – Whole Heart

Lee Koch – Whole Heart

In an album that is filled mostly with hits rather than misses, about the only thing wrong with Lee Koch’s Whole Heart is the way the songs are ordered, so it’s safe to say that if this is the biggest problem then it’s a pretty good record. It features a variety of earthy musical genres, […]

Stereophonics – Graffiti on the Train

Stereophonics – Graffiti on the Train

Stereophonics’ raspy vocalist, Kelly Jones, has one of those distinctive, character rich voices, perfectly suited for storytelling, and he doesn’t let that nuanced natural instrument go to waste on Graffiti on the Train, a varied and special new album. Stereophonics smartly titles its latest after the album’s best song; it’s a lyric that tells a […]

The Dodos – Carrier

The Dodos – Carrier

The promise and the problem with the latest album from The Dodos, Carrier, is that it believes you cannot have too much of a good thing. While there is a dreamy, often mellow undercurrent which guides you through this album’s eleven tracks a lot of the songs wind into each other a little too comfortably to […]

Crash of Rhinos – Knots

Crash of Rhinos – Knots

Crash of Rhinos is an emo band, or an indie band, or maybe a post-hardcore band. If you’re still with me, you probably know that these labels often sell a band short. For many, “emo” is more or less a euphemism for whining. “Indie” is basically a catch all category for anything that reeks of […]