Album Review: Xiu Xiu – OH NO

By Venus Rittenberg, Contributor
[Polyvinyl; 2021]
Rating: 8/10
Key tracks: “One Hundred Years”, “A Bottle of Rum”, “OH NO”
Xiu Xiu’s 15th album is an album of duets that sees them returning to the sounds that frequent their discography prior to 2019’s experimental Girl with Basket of Fruit. A perfect example of this return to the olden days of Xiu Xiu is the title track, which sounds like something from Xiu Xiu’s fifth album, The Air Force, but with a poppier hook.

Lobster Review: Shakey Graves — Roll the Bones X

By Ethan Bloomfield, Staff Writer
[Dualtone Music Group; 2021]
Rating: 8/10
Key tracks: “Unlucky Skin”, “Business Lunch”, “To Cure What Ails”
The lobster review is meant to bring albums from the past forward to celebrate their influence, their merit and their lasting relevance in music. That being said, how is an album released in April of 2021 qualifying? Roll the Bones X is the product of 10 years of Americana singer Shakey Graves’ first record, Roll the Bones, released for the first time on all streaming platforms and loaded with new content from the last decade. 

Album Review: toe – DOKU-EN-KAI

By Ethan Bloomfield, Staff Writer
[Topshelf; 2021]
Rating: 8.5/10
Math rock is, to many casual music fans, a mysterious genre. Reaching all the way back to the likes of King Crimson and Spiderland-era Slint, the genre has found itself nestled into many bands across borders and oceans and repackaged for style after style. The Illinois emo band American Football popularized math rock in the mainstream with its 1999 hit single “Never Meant” and has achieved both cult and meme status, acting as both a face of the genre for many that know it casually and as a sort of butt of music circle jokes. Looking deeper, though, the math rock genre has much more to offer than this. 

Album Review: Tigers Jaw – I Won’t Care How You Remember Me

By Ethan Bloomfield, Staff Writer
[Hopeless; 2021]
Rating: 7/10
Key tracks: “I Won’t Care How You Remember Me”, “Lemon Mouth”, “Anniversary”
In the past year, Indie rock and DIY music in general have taken a major hit, and much of the grassroots music industry appears to be in dire straits. Nevertheless, as this year-long catastrophe rages on, independent music has found a way to shine through. Whether that be Sinai Vessel’s excellent Ground Aswim last Halloween or The Mountain Goats’ lo-fi quarantine tape, Songs for Pierre Chuvin––the stripped-back, quarantine-inspired album is a growing musical trend––musicians have found a way to get their message to people regardless of restrictions and problems associated with COVID. 

Album Review: Julien Baker – Little Oblivions

By Jonah Krueger, News Editor
[Matador; 2021]
Rating: 7/10
Key tracks: “Heatwave”, “Ringside”, “Song in E”
Is anyone else so ruined by internet culture that the opening organ chords to “Hardline” immediately bring Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” to mind? Just me? 

Album Review: For Your Health – In Spite Of

By Ethan Bloomfield, Staff Writer
[Twelve Gauge; 2021]
Rating: 7.5/10
Key tracks: Birthday Candles in the Effigy, The Day of Black Sun, You’re so United Ninety-Three, We’re so Flight One Eighty
For Your Health is not your grandma’s punk band. While Green Day is still releasing the same punk-flavored, radio friendly pop rock, albeit more competently than their last…. few records, this Columbus, Ohio based punk outfit is anything but easygoing radio fare. FYH’s new debut LP, In Spite Of, provides a fast paced, aggressive and enjoyable action packed experience, but it’s far too short to really make its mark. 

Album Review: Mogwai – As the Love Continues

Post-rock is a genre dominated by textures. Soundscapes are crafted, layering electronic instrumentals and guitars over complex percussion to form a musical experience and casting aside the usual structure of the rock genre. Scottish band Mogwai are no exception to this. Twenty-four years after the exceptional Young Team LP, the band is still releasing music, and their new studio album, As the Love Continues, does a delightful, though safe, job delivering the shimmery haze and atmosphere that post-rock employs.

Album Review: Danny L Harle – Harlecore

Harlecore is the long-awaited debut LP from PC Music affiliate Danny L Harle (HUGE DANNY). In an Arte Tracks video released in 2020, Danny is quoted saying, “The one thing that we maybe all [PC Music] dislike is things halfway between things. If you’re going to make something loud, it’s got to be the loudest thing you’ve ever heard. If it’s going to be quiet, it’s got to be incredibly quiet. If it’s got to be simple, it has to be the simplest thing in the world.” Harlecore lives up to this by unapologetically exploring the extremes with pure indulgence.

Album Review: Forever In Your Heart by Black Dresses

Black Dresses have been broken up for nearly a year, which makes any release from them surprising, but few things could be as surprising and exciting as a brand new full-length album. This surprise release sees Black Dresses going even deeper into the spheres of industrial and metal that the band have flirted with since their inception. Forever In Your Heart sees both vocalists, Devi and Rook, at their most intense and aggressive –– and their best.

Album Review: Father – Come Outside, We Not Gone Jump You

By Kiah Easton, Editorial Director
[Awful Father; 2020]
Rating: 6/10
Key tracks: “Spell Book”, “Fist of the North Star”, “Come Outside, We Not Gone Jump You”
2020 has been a suboptimal for most but Father seems to be unphased in terms of productivity, putting out his second project of the year. Contrasting Tha Thingz I Do For Money’s stripped-back, dirty pallette, Come Outside, We Not Gone Jump You has a much more meshed sound, with each element glued tightly together making singular waves of sound.

Album Review: Gorillaz – Song Machine

Gorillaz returns with what is perhaps their most ambitious project to date, Song Machine. Instead of a traditional album release format, the album is essentially a collection of singles, as each song is accompanied by an “episode,” lyric video or both on YouTube.