Swervedriver “I Wasn’t Born To Lose You” Album Review

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Swervedriver
I Wasn’t Born To Lose You
Album Review by
Rob Watts
@RobWattsOnline

On their upcoming fifth studio release, British Alternative band Swervedriver produced a well-crafted collection of charming songs that pick up right where we last heard the band, almost 17 years ago. I Wasn’t Born To Lose You, the first studio album of new material since 1998s 99th Dream, sounds slightly derivative (in a positive way) of their contemporaries Sonic Youth, Catherine Wheel and My Bloody Valentine. However, their updated sound and production is pleasing to the ear and feels as though the band had been recording regularly since 1998. The whirling and dreamy guitar playing is simplistic, yet enticing. It’s a mellow vibe throughout the album, shimmering with Shoegaze with enough backbone behind it to not fall into the overly-cliched genre. If you enjoy catchy hooks, melodies, shimmery guitar tones—song after song, then you’re sure to adore this new album. Available March 3rd.

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Moon Duo “Shadow of the Sun” Album Review

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Moon Duo
Shadow of the Sun
Album Review by
Rob Watts
@RobWattsOnline

It’s not often where I stumble upon a new album that hooks me in immediately and holds my undivided attention from point A to point B throughout the entire listen. In fact, I immediately replayed the album again, as it was one of the greatest listening pleasures I’ve had in quite a while. From the opening track “Wilding” to the final piece of the happy frenzy “Animal”, Shadow of the Sun, the band’s third album, feels a bit like a circus act on acid or a carnival fun house ride surrounded by neon pinwheels and dancing mannequins. Each track follows through with repetitive riffs and thumps, drizzled with hypnotic guitar tones and synths by singer-guitarist Ripley Johnson and singer-keyboardist Sanae Yamada. They truly created an eerie atmosphere of hazy, hypnotic sound on this album. I’m confident you’ll enjoy this latest release!

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Shadow of the Sun is available March 3rd.

Paperhaus “Paperhaus” Album Review

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Paperhaus
“Paperhaus” (Available March 10th)
Album Review by Rob Watts
@RobWattsOnline

Anything but mundane, this self-titled 8-track album contains blustery drum swagger, swirly, jangly guitars, and muddy bass lines. Factor in the flourishing vocals and it all adds up to a beautiful sounding ear-worm. This Lo-Fi collection of tunes has had me possessed for the better part of the week, playing it at home, my car, my iPod—you get the picture. It’s not often you come across a band that can lay all the musical pieces out properly in front of them, making full use of their playing potential. The guitar performance throughout the entire album evokes varies stages of emotion, while the rhythm section provides solid backbone. There’s a consistency within the flow of songs, while still maintaining their own identity throughout the album. It’s quite the musical oddity…in a good way! Standout Tracks: Cairo, Untitled and Misery.

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Quarterbacks “Quarterbacks” Album Review

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Quarterbacks
“Quarterbacks”
Album Review by Rob Watts
@RobWattsOnline

Not the most pleasing to my ears, however, I do appreciate the DIY approach in recording this batch of garage/punk rock nuggets. The self-titled album features 19 tracks performed just shy of 22 minutes. It’s hardly, in my opinion, enough to gain much traction if you’re waiting for any sort of payoff in these songs. Although, I do fancy the similarities between them and bands such as—let’s say, Husker Du or Mission of Burma. Although, that assessment may be reaching a tad, seeing as this trio of boys were no more than a glimmer in someone’s eye when those bands were rocking the scene. Clearly, this album will find its audience in the end. Surely this will be playing in the background at your nearest dorm room keg party, and no doubt the hipsters knew about this band LONG BEFORE YOU! It may or may not be your cup of tea, but it’s worth a listen just the same.

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The Districts “A Flourish and a Spoil” Album Review

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The Districts
A Flourish and a Spoil
Album Review by Rob Watts
@RobWattsOnline

Upon my initial listening, I was fearful that I’d never get past the similarities between this album by The Districts and something I’ve heard in the past by The Black Keys. Were those fears ever groundless, as these four young men from Lititz, Pennsylvania have thrown down the gauntlet by producing a riveting collection of tracks geared towards the harshest of sound junkies.

From the opening track of “4th and Roebling”, where the steady thumping sets the tone, leading into “Peaches” and “Chlorine”, where the guitar hooks are offset beautifully with arpeggios, never allowing your ears to hear the lackluster, clich├ęd sounds of many bands of today. “Sing The Song,”, with its shimmery guitar riffs satisfies greatly, and “Bold” with its hard driving, high-grinding reverb could possibly be the strongest track on the album.

Although the band takes a minimalist approach in recording A Flourish and a Spoil, it’s solid Alt-Rock all the way. A little sloppy, a bit screechy—in other words, a wonderful batch of music.

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Title Fight “Hyperview” Album Review

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Title Fight
“Hyperview”
Album Review by Rob Watts
@RobWattsOnline

Finally, a punk band that isn’t afraid to sound unpunk; perhaps defying the expectations is punk in and of itself. On Title Fight’s latest offering, the ten track length Hyperview, the quartet knocks every song in the pocket with their shimmery reverb and waves of distortion. Thursday’sNo Devolution” comes to mind when I listen to Hyperview, as it’s a big step towards musical maturity.

“Murder Your Memory”, an unconventional opener, with thick drums and slow bouncy bass lines sets the mood, but “Chlorine” hits you hard with it’s scraping guitar riffs and icy backdrop. “Hypernight” drives along nicely with its bass romps and “Your Pain is Mine Now” is full on shoegaze-dream pop.

This album folds up wonderfully into a relevant modern sounding piece of art. One of the best new albums released this year, so far!

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Click here to purchase Hyperview

Mount Eerie “Sauna” Album Review

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Mount Eerie
“Sauna”
Album Review by Rob Watts
@RobWattsOnline

I’ll admit, I’m very confused as to what this album is trying to be. Perhaps My Bloody Valentine meets Red House Painters? Between the splatters of distortion, the chorus girls and the ongoing droneology, I feel like I’m standing in the middle of an epic fantasy film which is being played out in front of my eyes. The title track “Sauna”, along with “This” and “Youth” are beautifully performed, however, the vocals throughout the album are (in my honest opinion) uninspiring and drowsy. Lyrically I’m not impressed. The Scandinavian ambiance, as well as the instrumentation as a whole, is beautifully done. This album might have benefited more by being simply a cool instrumental production.