Album Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Cool It Down

By Roman Salomone, Contributor
[Secretly Canadian; 2022]
Rating: 8/10
Key tracks: “Burning”, “Fleez”, “Different Today”
The reinvention that rock music underwent in the early 2000s has finally reached the age where it’s being looked back upon for ushering in a wave of legendary bands. Groups like The Black Keys, Bloc Party, Metric, and Interpol have all continued to release music through the past decade. Meanwhile, LCD Soundsystem and Paramore have all been coming out of long-term hiatuses and releasing some fantastic throwback singles. Strangely though, one of the most essential groups of that scene has stayed relatively quiet on the music front in the 2010s – the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The trio went on a hiatus after 2013’s Mosquito, and other than reuniting for the occasional festival performance, the group has stayed almost completely silent. That is, until May 2022, when the announcement of a new album and single came to much hype and speculation. Better late than never, but it makes sense. With up and coming groups like Wet Leg, Viagra Boys, and illuminati hotties taking clear influence from the trios’ classic 2000s albums, it’s the perfect time for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to show their bones again. 

Album Review: Shygirl – Nymph

By Emma Rickett, Contributor
[Because Music; 2022]
Rating: 8/10
Key tracks: “Heaven”, “Poison”, “Honey”
In Greek mythology, nymphs were attractive young women who had a deep connection to nature and fertile, growing things. In Shygirl’s debut album, Nymph, we hear precisely why she used the name. Shygirl, the stage name for English rapper, singer, and DJ Blane Muise, layers unique pop beats with bright vocalizations and sexual lyrics.

Album Review: The Vacant Lots – Closure

By: Cody Englander, Contributor [Fuzz Club; 2022] Rating: 6.5/10 Key Tracks: “Thank You”, “Burning Bridges”, “Obsession” “Closure” is the first project I’ve heard from The Vacant Lots, and it certainly won’t be the last. This is the most recent album from Jared Artaud and Brian MacFayden, with the alternative and electronic sound they are known…

Album Review: Alex G – God Save the Animals

By Rocco Prioletti, Contributor
[Domino Recording Co; 2022]
Rating: 6/10
Key tracks: “Mission,” “Ain’t it Easy,” “Miracles”
Predictability is a vice dreaded by most every creative individual. The fear of succumbing to a seemingly predestined path, to not exceed expectations. Given the now nine full-length records, alongside a vast plethora of loose unreleased hits, Alex G has remained unscathed by the claws of predictability. From the first moments of lead single “Blessing”, all expectations of a folk-adjacent follow-up were blown completely out of the water. We’re unexpectedly presented with the grating growl of an exceptionally dated synthesizer, along with Giannascoli’s almost Criss Angel-like attire in its accompanying music video.

Album Review: Björk – Fossora

By Cody Englander, Contributor
[One Little Independent Records; 2022]
Rating: 9/10
Key tracks: Fungal City, Victimhood
Björk makes her triumphant return with Fossora, five years after her previous Utopia, and this new album does not skip a single beat. Fossora differs from Utopia with darker themes, and goes on a more personal journey than usual. The album is a blend of genres as Björk has done previously, but the psychedelic background vocals and instrumentals really separate this work from her others, elevating it. Accompanied by her powerful vocal performances, these elements make for an album that is certainly worth checking out. 

Album Review: (self-titled) – Marcus Mumford

By: Phoebe Giordano, Contributor [Capitol Records; 2022] Rating: 7/10 Key Tracks: “Cannibal”, “Better Off High”, “Stonecatcher (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)”, “How (feat. Brandi Carlile)” Most well-known for his role as founding member and lead vocalist of London folk-rock band Mumford & Sons, Marcus Mumford officially kicked off his solo debut with the new album (self-titled), four…

Album Review: Tough Baby – Crack Cloud

By Rocco Prioletti, Contributor [Crack Cloud; 2022] Rating: 4/10 Key Tracks: “Costly Engineered Illusion”, “Please Yourself”, “Tough Baby” The opening track of Tough Baby, “Danny’s Message” acts as the band’s cathartic preface for lead singer Zach Choy’s late father, Danny Choy, who tragically passed away at only twenty-nine. Through television static and a sparking lighter,…

Album Review: BLACKPINK – BORN PINK

By: Amy Szmik, Copy Editor
[YG Entertainment; 2022]
Rating: 5/10
Key tracks: “Yeah Yeah Yeah”, “Hard to Love”, “The Happiest Girl”
Disappointing is one word to describe BLACKPINK’s new album, BORN PINK. Superstar KPOP group BLACKPINK released their sophomore album in September, two years after their debut album, aptly titled THE ALBUM. The four member group features Jennie, Rosé, Jisoo and Lisa, and debuted under famed KPOP company YG Entertainment back in 2016. Despite being in the industry for a long time, there is no noticeable growth through their music. It’s especially evident in BORN PINK. While the eight-song album has some good and memorable tracks, many of them are repetitive and could be easily chalked up to empty noise. Blackpink can make good music; they obviously have a discography of good and popular songs, but for an album that was so highly anticipated, it feels like a let down. 

Album Review: The Mars Volta – The Mars Volta

By Adrian Woods, Contributor
[Clouds Hill; 2022]
Rating: 6/10
Key tracks: Blacklight Shine, Flash Burns From Flashbacks, No Case Gain
The Mars Volta have finally made their long awaited return with their seventh studio album, The Mars Volta. After the duo of Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala had broken up ten years ago, fans weren’t sure if the two would ever make music again. Evidently, they wanted to, and when The Mars Volta announced their newest single with an album to follow, fans were eagerly awaiting the release in September. 

Album Review: Death Cab for Cutie – Asphalt Meadows

By Max Baker, Contributor
[Atlantic Recording Corporation, WEA International Inc.; 2022]
Rating: 7/10
Key tracks: “I Don’t Know How I Survive”, “Roman Candles”, “Here To Forever”
Death Cab for Cutie has been most recognized for their 2005 album Plans with hits such as “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” and “Soul Meets Body”.  With their most recent release, Asphalt Meadows, they stick with their typical indie-rock sound that brought them into popularity.

Single Review: Bladee – DRAIN STORY

By Liam Syrvalin, Contributor
[year0001; 2022]
Rating: 5/10
Let’s address the elephant in the room right now: if you are a Bladee fan, you probably think I am insane for giving this single a 5. Sure, there’s absolutely no attempt to stay onbeat. Sure, the lyrics are beyond dumb and don’t really make any sense. Sure, the cover art looks like 30 different, very loud images slapped on top of each other in Photoshop. This single is also, though, a love letter to the goofy, carefree style and niche of media Drain Gang falls into, and it is a reminder of why “drainers” obsess over the collective.