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.

Movie Review: The Witches

By Maddie James, Contributor
[Warner Bros. Pictures; 2020]
Rating: 3/10
The last thing that some movies should have is a good cast, and The Witches is one such movie. With performances from Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Anne Hathaway and Kristin Chenoweth, The Witches holds a lot of promise for people unfamiliar with the story, but falls short of its star cast. The Witches is a 2020 adaptation of the book of the same name by Roald Dahl, following the first adaptation in 1990. Aside from a more diverse cast and the updated graphics, the 2020 adaptation hasn’t grown much from the previous version, let alone the book.

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.

Movie Review: Happiest Season

By Ben Lindner, Staff Writer
[Hulu; 2020]
Rating: 7/10
It is rare for a movie to be added into the holiday movie canon, or the kinds of movies you watch every year with your family during the winter. The movie has to capture the holiday spirit and remain accessible to everyone, and at least on that basis, Happiest Season deserves consideration to be added to this group of movies.

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.

Album Review: Sinai Vessel – Ground Aswim

By Ethan Bloomfield, Contributor
[Single Occupancy; 2020]
Rating: 8.5/10
Key tracks: “Where Did You Go?”, “All Days Just End”, “Antechamber”
The rise of maximalism in music is an arms race soon to come to a close, but being as blown out, loud and abrasive as possible can only go so far. It is a spectacle, but one with a firm ceiling until noise becomes a Merzbow-esque discordance of sound and static. All that to say this: understatement in music is almost unfashionable in the modern zeitgeist. The meteoric rise of the likes of 100 gecs might seem like a death knell for the stripped-back, contemplative sounds of Sinai Vessel, but this contrast works to the North Carolina indie rock outfit’s advantage; this true alternative manifests itself in their second studio album, Ground Aswim. It’s an understated and expressive piece of indie rock that’s full of bare-naked lyrics and poignant instrumentals to achieve a captivating, though quiet, forty-seven minutes.

Album Review: clipping. – Visions of Bodies Being Burned

By: Kwase Lane, Features Editor
[Sub Pop Records; 2020]
Rating: 5/10
Key Tracks: “’96 Neve Campbell”, “Looking Like Meat”, “Eaten Alive”
clipping.’s commitment to fictional perspectives could be really interesting if Daveed Diggs bothered to put any energy into his delivery. Visions of Bodies Being Burned is a testament to how flaccid an album can be if the artist sounds terribly bored by the concept of making music. Every featured artist rides the beat far better than Diggs ever allows himself to, much to the album’s detriment. This project’s production is as unique as ever, but I can’t help but find myself wishing anybody else was responsible for rapping over it.

Album Review: boy pablo – Wachito Rico

By Maddie James, Contributor
[777 Music; 2020]
Rating: 7/10
Key tracks: “honey”, “te vas // don’t go”, “mustache”
Wachito Rico sounds like either incredibly well-produced brain candy or sexy elevator music. The newest release from boy pablo, Wachito Rico is the debut album of the indie-pop project headed by Chilean-Norwegian artist Nicolas Muñoz.