Mister Heavenly – Out Of Love
Label: Subpop (2011)
Genres: 60’s Pop, Art Rock, Indie rock
Sounds Like: Man Man
Review by TG Keas, KXUA Music Director
Representatives from Man Man, Islands, and Modest Mouse get together to perform “doom wop” – the logical fusion of doom metal’s heaviness with 60’s doo-wop harmonies. And somehow, this is not the greatest album of all time. Most of the blame can be placed on the band for not following through with the punchline. While there is one song that carries the joke to fruition and a few light touches otherwise, most tracks are just retro love fests. In the end, the songs just feel like Man Man being played on a diner jukebox. Oh well. Given the talent engaged, this still makes for some great tunes.
Maria Taylor – Overlook
Label: Saddle Creek (2011)
Genre: Indie Folk
Sounds Like: Azure Ray, Orenda Fink, Now It’s Overhead
Review by Ginny Garber
Quiet your mind and lend your ears to Maria Taylor’s fourth solo release, Overlook. Written and recorded in Birmingham, this album bears songs of personal growth and change — freeing oneself from habit while also realizing the powerful and sometimes inescapable nature of happenstance and the psyche’s wiring. Taylor is the queen of subtle strength and annunciation, summoning the rise and fall of her music while remaining cool and sure. Taylor’s family and friends are featured strongly on the album, bringing rich variety in harmony, steel guitar, organ, and wire-brush percussion.
Theophilus London – Timez Are Weird These Days
Label: Warner Bros. (2011)
Genres: Hip-Hop, Electro-pop
Sound Like: Lyrics Born, Afrika Bambaataa
Review by Harrison Grimwood
It’s damn near impossible to place a genre tag on Theophilus London. You could call it hipster rap, but that’d only be accurate in the sense that “hipster” equals willfully anti-mainstream. You could call it electro-retro-rap-popfunk-rap, but anytime that many hyphens are involved the words ultimately don’t mean anything. Theophilus strikes an interesting chord in pop music as an artist that can draw heads from all walks of musical taste. London taps into the legendary roots of funk, soul, rock and jazz; then he tastefully accents it with a strong Hip-Hop background.
Revocation – Chaos of Forms
Label: Relapse (2011)
Genre: Metal, Technical Death Metal, Thrash, Progressive Metal
Sound Like: Death, Megadeth, Arch Enemy, The Faceless
Review by Duncan McKinnon
Chaos of Forms is the third album from the Boston based band, Revocation. With this album, they continue their unique blend of technical death metal and all-out thrash. David Davidson’s vocals range from growls to screams and are actually recognizable. The band even includes some interesting vocal harmonies throughout the album – unlike so many other death metal bands. The songs are tight, technical, and complex and I am left with the anticipation that they put on an excellent live show.