Consumer Guide: January 25/2018

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TOY – Happy In The Hollow

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(January 25th Tough Love Records)

Low-tempo Krautrock with a seriously languid groove. If Faust was secretly a bunch of goddamn hippies they would sound like this.

Rat Boy – Internationally Unknown

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(January 25th on Parlophone Records)

It’s faux-scuzzy English punk fronting Lo Fi Allstars (or, lol, The Transplants) in the age of Death Grips, which is a long way toward saying that, despite the band’s good instincts and the production work of Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, it’s meaty beaty big and fuzzy without a clue as to how to write lyrics that don’t set your teeth on edge.

William Tyler – Goes West

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(January 25th on Merge Records)

Beautiful, tastefully understated guitar melodies in the framework of instrumental folk. Music to cook by, in a rare non-sarcastic use of that phrase.

Swervedriver – Future Ruins

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(January 25th on Dangerbird Records)

“In the future, everyone will have their own nostalgia-driven reunion tour.”

Like Swervedriver? This is a Swervedriver album. Same crunchy early-90s chording, same buttery melodies, same sense of dynamic chops. Very little has changed since 1991. Maybe that’s a problem?

Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis

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(January 25th on Merge Records)

Eva Moolchan’s longest album yet (at 29 minutes) is a collection of creative samples, seasick beats, and Moolchan’s own lilting deadpan monotone. It’s an ambitious record that should by all rights shudder apart under it’s internal contradictions but instead holds together beautifully.

Bring Me The Horizon – Amo

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(January 25th on RCA Records)

The perfect album for mouthbreathers who love The Chainsmokers and 21 Pilots but wish they were, like, edgier.

Blood Red Shoes – Get Tragic

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(January 25th on V2 Rocket Records)

Very loud and very bland. The Curse Of Jack White continues.

Mike Krol – Power Chords

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(January 25th on Merge Records)

Crashing garage rock formed out of, uh, power chords. The perfect album for fans of White Reaper, Wavves, Cloud Nothings, and Bass Drum Of Death.

Pavo Pavo – Mystery Hour

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(January 25th on Bella Union Records)

An outgrowth of neo-pyschedelia and chillwave sounds, Mystery Hour is pretty middle of the road modern indie pop. The only thing that sets it even slightly above the rest of the pack is that the album is written about the romantic breakup of the two band members.

White Fence – I Have To Feed Larry’s Hawk

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(January 25th on Drag City Records)

An album so indebted to Sixties English psychedelia that the Small Faces and the Kinks have joined together to hire a collections agencies to collect back royalties.

Rival Sons – Feral Roots

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(January 25th on Atlantic Records)

Urban Dictionary defines “hesher” as:

“Reebock-wearing, mulleted person in acid-washed jeans and a Judas Priest T-shirt who, at the age of 28, still lives in his/her parents’ basement and swears that he/she can really rock out on his/her Ibanez Stratocaster copy guitar and probably owns a Nova that hasn’t run in 5 years but you just wait, that fucker is gonna smoke those fuckin Japanese rice burners once I put a new head gasket on it.”

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Joseph Gordon Levitt playing a likely Rival Sons fan 

Julia Kent – Temporal

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(January 25th on The Leaf Label)

Neo-minimalist string compositions that seem ripe for use and abuse by TV producers, dance studios, art exhibitions, abstract YouTube video creators, and itinerant samplers.

 

FIDLAR – Almost Free

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(January 25th on Mom + Pop Records)

FIDLAR started off as obnoxious but life-affirming and now they’re just obnoxious. There’s some great moments scattered here and there (“Almost Free”, as an example) but for the most part it wants to marry garage-punk with more bombastic modern styles and a weird retcon of coked-up old Blur and it comes across as past it’s best-before.

Swindle – No More Normal

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(January 25th on Brownswood Records)

Solid, sultry modernity with touches of garage, grime, UK dubstep, and older pop-R&B.

Sarah Louise – Nighttime Birds And Morning Stars

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(January 25th on Thrill Jockey Records)

Gorgeous folk-instrumentation that will probably be relegated to background for most listeners but deserves a closer listen.

Weezer – Weezer (Teal)

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(January 24th on Crush Music)

Less covers, and more note-for-note and tone-for-tone remakes of the songs, which is about as godawful as you might imagine.

Better Oblivion Community Center – Better Oblivion Community Center

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(January 24th on Dead Oceans Records)

I graduated the first time in 2005 and that was also coincidentally the last time that Conor Oberst, a mainstay of my first trip through university, made me sit up and take notice. Until this record, anyway. All it took was Phoebe Bridgers, I guess.

 

 

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