For those albums I’ve been too busy to get to in the first third of 2015, an accounting, or at the very least a terse quip.
Ghostpoet – Shedding Skin ★★★☆
A rather different and not altogether unsatisfying followup to 2013’s Some Say I So I Say Light
Jeff The Brotherhood – Wasted On The Dream ★☆
Weezer without the charm, early heavy metal without the bite, it just makes me miss Be Your Own Pet all that much more.
Lightning Bolt – Fantasy Empires ★★★★
Noise for people who need structure.
Twin Shadow – Eclipse ★
He was always a weenie. Now he’s a weenie with major label money.
Hey Rosetta! – Second Sight ★★☆
Much like a big bubble of pop, shiny on the surface but vanishes into air if you look at it the wrong way.
Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass ★★★
It’s pleasant enough but I don’t get the high praise and hoopla behind it. Maybe like Andrew Bird if Andrew Bird was an inoffensive little major label folkie.
Napalm Death – Apex Predator – Easy Meat ★★★☆
Evolved grindcore, which is to say it’s what I expect out of a Napalm Death album.
A Place To Bury Strangers – Transfixiation ★★
The former Loudest Band In New York just doesn’t seem as loud or as vital anymore.
Screaming Females – Rose Mountain ★★★
A progression but not a peak, the sound of a band trying to find its way forward.
The Pop Group – Citizen Zombie ★★
As I said weeks earlier, not every halfway-famous band from the 1980s needs to keep putting out records. Sometimes you should just let your legacy stand on its own.
Built To Spill – Untethered Moon ★★★☆
That dictum doesn’t apply to bands from the 90s, though, as many indie darlings of that time – Dinosaur Jr., Superchunk, Pinback, et al. – seem to have figured out the knack of being consistently great.
Dutch Uncles – O Shudder ★★☆
Nice enough pop rock, but the singer’s voice makes me want to gargle razor blades.
Echo Lake – Era ★★★☆
Moving, euphoric, and pretty much exactly like their first album.
Lady Lamb – After ★★★☆
Quirky indie rock with enough gain on the guitars to give it some heft. Surprisingly good.
Matthew E. White – Fresh Blood ★★★☆
Like Tobias Jesso, Jr, Matthew E White is a reborn Seventies piano man looking to channel heartbreak into soaring pop. Unlike Tobias Jesso, Jr, Mr. White can do more than just plunk rote chords on his chosen instrument.
Cannibal Ox – Blade Of The Ronin ★★
Fourteen years later, and this is what we get. I guess I know how Guns ‘n’ Roses fans feel.