Album Review: Ghost — IMPERA

By Adrian Woods, Contributor
[Loma Vista Recordings; 2022]
Rating: 5/10
Key tracks: “Kaisarion”, “Call Me Little Sunshine”, “Griftwood”
The heavy and glam metal outfit Ghost is back with their fifth studio album, IMPERA, and when I say “glam metal” for this album, it is total glam metal. A lot of this album feels like a rock opera, and while that may sound like a positive thing, it ends up being a negative. If Ghost were to just make a pure metal album, it would sound so much better. However, the “glam” sound on this album mixed with the heavy metal instrumentation makes this album feel mixed and disjointed, not quite sure of what it exactly wants to be. Glam metal can be done well, with example from bands like Scorpions and Bon Jovi, that have the perfect mix of using that glam sound while the instruments fit in perfectly. Ghost tries to achieve that level of prestige, but falls achingly short.

Album Review: Black Midi — Cavalcovers

By Venus Rittenberg, Editorial Director
[Rough Trade; 2022]
Rating: 8/10
Key tracks: It’s three songs man
When Black Midi announced Cavalcade, they also announced a contest in which they would cover five songs, and depending on who the listeners preordered Cavalcade from, they would receive a 7” vinyl of one of the covers. Three of the five songs appear on this EP, finally added to streaming (sadly missing the excellent “Psycho Killer” cover that features some of the worst French I’ve ever heard).

Album Review: St Paul & The Broken Bones — The Alien Coast

By Adrian Woods, Contributor
[Self-Release; 2022]
Review: 5/10
Key tracks: “Tin Man Love”, “The Last Dance”
St Paul & The Broken Bones are back with their fourth studio album release, Alien Coast. Listening to their past records, this one felt like a drop in quality for the group. If anticipating another retro-dance R&B record, this album falls flat and feels like just another generic, modern day R&B album. 

Album Review: Amber Mark — Three Dimensions Deep

By Grace Koennecke, Columns Editor
[PMR Records, Universal Music Operations; 2022]
Rating: 8/10
Key tracks: “What It Is,” “Most Men,” “Darkside,” “Competition,” “Bliss,” “Event Horizon”
Amber Mark may be a name most have never heard before in the R&B scene, but the singer has been
around for the last six years. She’s dropped two EPs: 3:33 AM in 2017 and Conexao 2018. Both works explored grief and love through the melding of R&B, pop, dance and Bossa Nova sounds together to produce a classy, polished repertoire. Now, Mark is ready to prove herself beyond the world of EPs with her debut album Three Dimensions Deep, taking her voice to new levels and diversifying her use of production.

Album Review: Eels — Extreme Witchcraft

By Jonah Cashel, Contributor
Rating: 7/10
Key tracks: “Grandfather Clock Strikes Twelve”, “Strawberries & Popcorn”, “So Anyway”
tive-Rock band Eels released their newest album, Extreme Witchcraft late last month. The group has been producing funk-infused rock hits since the mid ’90s, and continues to this day with a steady flow of tours and releases. This record makes it clear that even almost 30 years after the band’s conception, there is no sign of slowing down. Band leader, Mark Oliver Everett (aka E), continues to mutate his sound and find new ways to tickle his audiences’ ears.

Album Review: Cordae — From a Birds Eye View

By: Ethan Hofer, Staff Writer
[Atlantic Recording Corporation; 2022]
Rating: 3/10
Key tracks: “Shiloh’s Intro”, “Today”, “Sinister”
ity and experience under his belt, something that unfortunately did not translate to talent on this album.

Album Review: Earl Sweatshirt — SICK!

By Adrian Woods, Contributor
[Tan Cressida; 2022]
Rating: 7/10
Key tracks: “2010”, “Lye”, “Titanic”
Earl Sweatshirt is back with his first studio album since 2019’s Feet Of Clay. The new release has so much of what one would expect from an Earl Sweatshirt album: it’s packed with interesting, creative samples and head-turning, dark lyrics, all wrapped up within a short runtime. Even with these similarities, Earl brings a fresh sound with SICK! 

Track Review: Of Two Minds – At a Distance

Takaaki, this track feels like a taste of a pleasant and exuberant ride through the palpable, distinctly human passion and hypnotic melodies that not only “At a Distance” and Of Two Minds provides, but Toe is known for. 

Album Review: King Krule – You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down

[True Panther Sounds/Matador Records; 2021]
Rating: 9/10
Key tracks: “A Slide In (New Drugs) – Live”, “Stoned Again – Live”, “Easy Easy – Live”
Closing your eyes to a live album can provide a euphoria to the listener, like you are actually there, and in my mind, I am here: at one of King Krule’s concerts right before quarantine. King Krule (Archy Marshall) is an indie rock/post-punk musician hailing from London, U.K who has released projects under multiple names, including Zoo Kid and Edgar the Beatmaker. You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down is King Krule’s second live album release aside from Live On the Moon and overall his fifth project he has released under the King Krule moniker. You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down features live performances from past projects such as 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, The OOZ and Man Alive!.

Movie Review: The Card Counter

By Ben Lindner, Staff Writer
[Focus Features; 2021]
Rating: 5/10
Writer and director Paul Schrader, best known for writing Scorsese classics Taxi Driver and Raging Bull and the 2017 indie hit First Reformed, returns to the big screen with The Card Counter. In The Card Counter, former soldier William Tell (Oscar Isaac) is just getting out of prison. Haunted by his time in a cell, William spends all of his time playing blackjack, swindling the casinos out of money with the card counting skills he learned during his time in solitary. William prefers to be alone, but he ends up getting to know La Linda (Tiffany Haddish), the charming poker manager who wants to get William into bigger gambling rings and Cirk (Tye Sheridan), a young former soldier who brings William’s past back to him. William has to face his past and see if he can adapt back into the world.

Album Review: Sufjan Stevens – A Beginner’s Mind

By Adrian Woods, Contributor
[Asthmatic Kitty Records; 2021]
Rating: 8/10
Key tracks: “Reach Out”, “Back To Oz”, “You Give Death A Bad Name”
Stevens is one of the biggest indie folk figures of the 2000’s and 2010’s, and he has released some of the most essential pieces of indie folk music within that time. It was a bit of a shock to see him drop his second album of the year, A Beginner’s Mind, just four months after his last album Convocations.

Album Review: Rx Nephews – Crack Dreams 2

By Kwase Lane, Features Editor
[NewBreedTrapperRecords; 2021]
Rating: 7/10
Key tracks: “Who Are They”, “The One”, “Aunty Lip Lock”
Crack Dreams 2, the latest project in Rx Nephew’s endless procession of releases, is a beautiful mishmash of boasts and self-condemnation. If you’re familiar with the New York rapper, you know he has a unique way with words, and if you’ve never heard his work, it doesn’t take long for his inimitable style to register. Rx Nephew’s work is ruled by contradiction. He’ll dedicate several lines to lamenting the tale of Job before irreverently declaring that he wants to “beat the shit out of Eve.” He laments his history of drug use just before criticizing individuals struggling with addiction for not kicking their own habits. Despite the staggering amount of tonal whiplash his pieces share, they are linked by a mutual understanding of pain and a desire to know what it takes to heal that hurt.