June 17, 2014 in Album reviews, Alternative, Dream Pop, Electronic, Experimental, Folk, Funk, Garage Rock, Indie Rock, Industrial, Pop, Post-rock, Psych Folk, Psych Pop, Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Shoegaze, Soul, Surf Pop, Surf Rock, Top 2014, Tropical Pop, World Music by Rex
Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness
Burn You Fire For No Witness came out of nowhere for us, and although Angel Olsen’s name has been floating around the interwebs for the past few years, we are proud to say this album broke our Angel Olsen cherry. There’s some songs that sound like Patsy-Cline-meets-Nirvana, while others sound like a younger, just-as-intense version of Sharon Van Etten; so if you’ve only dabbled around in one or two songs off the release then be sure to dabble around in the rest.
Mac DeMarco – Salad Days
We couldn’t even begin to try and wipe our DeMarco-like shit-eating grin off our face the first time we heard this record, and although it may be a little hard to stomach at first (think Ween crossed with Paul McCartney) this album will almost certainly grow on you…if you let it.
Liars – Mess
Don’t be fooled by what looks like a cheerful/colourful Whoopi Goldberg-like hairdo, because what lies beyond the mask is a disturbing, intensely tribal and angst-ridden album that is creepy as fuck; (is this what acid sounds like?) The album may have its low points, but I’m not about to point them out because I’m afraid that warped Whoopi is going to attack me in my sleep when I don’t have my big-girl PJs on.
The Horrors – Luminous
Maybe it’s because we were waiting, waiting and (yup, more waiting) for what seemed like forever to hear this album, but we pounced all over this shit as soon as it hit the pavement. The album is a little gothic here, a tad experimentally electro here, and it even has a slight Brit Pop edge over yonder, but overall I found the release very familiar (almost too familiar…) with their wicked 2011 album Skying, but you don’t see me complaining…much.
Black Lips – Underneath The Rainbow
It’s inspiring to know that badassery can sometimes never age, change or dim-down, and the Black Lips are living proof of that awesome fact. From a little hillbilly on “Drive-By Buddy,” a tad poppy on “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” and all awesome-like on “Dog Years,” no genre goes untouched under this rainbow.
Beck – Morning Phase
Beck has always been the champion of everything/anything alternative, but this album follows a more mellow, acoustic-ed down version from what we’re used to hearing from Becky boy. (So yeah, don’t go expecting any “Devil’s Haircut” on this one). We gave this album a mediocre review only because of the snooze-fest going on throughout it, but everyone else was slobbering all over it so…maybe it’s just me?
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Give The People What They Want
So technically this album was released in late 2013, but as any fan knows about the struggles this band has had to endure this past year, the release date kept on getting pushed further and further back. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, but now that the album is here we can honestly say the wait was well worth it, so prepare yourselves to get lathered up in some classic Motown vibes.
Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow
This release is less of an album and more like a variety of different cultures jammed into one record, and the worldly delight on tracks like “Feel” and “Come To” made us return to the album again, and again. It hasn’t spawned too many singles or videos yet, but don’t let that deter you…because if you’re a hardcore BBC fan (as if there’s any other type of BBC fan…) you won’t be left disappointed.
To read our So Long, See You Tomorrow album review click here.
Real Estate – Atlas
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Flower Lane fan just as much as the next Ducktail groupie, but I couldn’t help but dive right into this album. It’s pleasant, familiar and soft around the edges (like a furry little puppy) and has a ton of subtle guitarwork that often goes overlooked on the critic front. There’s a slight bend in the alt-country direction here and there, but overall the band continues to raise the bar in the dreamy poppy-rock genre.
To read our “Crime” music video review click here.
Mogwai – Rave Tapes
The first track we heard off the album was the almighty “Simon Ferocious,” so naturally the bar was set really, really, really, really high (like a bird flying in the sky…and if you watched the video you’ll get what we’re rambling on about). There’s some dark and deep electro all throughout this album that’s intensely hypnotizing, so much so that it doesn’t need any fancy frills to back it up; (you know…like, vocals?)
To read our “Simon Ferocious” music video review click here.
Coldplay – Ghost Stories
One would think that the album following the divorce of Chris Martin and GOOP-y Gwenyth Paltrow would sound more along the lines of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, but Martin has gone all dark, introspective and electro on us…and we’re totally loving it right now. You see folks: Sometimes divorce can be a good thing! In the music world, that is.
Wild Beasts – Present Tense
If you have an acquired taste for the likes of Joy Division, Xiu Xiu and How To Dress Well, then let us proudly introduce Wild Beast’s new album to you. After giving it a listen we can definitely see what the fuss is all about thanks to the spaced-out vocals you can just get lost in…(AKA Volcano Choir-lke). If more tracks sounded like “A Simple Beautiful Truth” we probably would have liked the album more, but hey, not every song can be equally as epic.
Sam Roberts Band – Lo-Fantasy
It’s been a good year for Sammy (although not so much for his beloved Habs…) and this album goes to show why Sammy pinned the “Band” to the end of his name these past couple of albums. The release is reminiscent of Chemical City and Love At The End Of The World, and waaaay more intense than Collider, so for that fact alone we give Sammy a double “A” for being “astonishingly awesome.”
To read our Lo-Fantasy album review click here.