Quaterbacks: Quaterbacks [Album Review]

Quarterbacks Quarterbacks Team Love Records [2015] Fire Note Says: Quarterbacks expand on fun self-titled full length. Album Review: Quarterbacks has yet another short and sweet release. Their self-titled album is the longest yet, with 19 tracks. The album only runs 22 minutes but somehow they manage to make every song jam-packed with memories, people, and … Read more

The Kooks: Listen [Album Review]

The Kooks Listen Astralwerks Records [2014] Fire Note Says: The Kooks attempt growth! Album Review: For a record I never have need to listen to again, The Kooks’ Listen is actually okay. The sorta-skiffle of the past is cast aside for lots of squawky Bernie Worrell- style funky squelches, lots of “Up With People” choruses. … Read more

PC Worship: Social Rust [Album Review]

PC Worship Social Rust Northern Spy Records / Dull Tools [2014] Fire Note Says: PC Worship stir up a disorienting sonic slurry. Album Review: My first listen to Social Rust, I knew nothing about the band that produced the album. That wasn’t a deliberate choice, really, but once I hit play it made sense to … Read more

The Young: Chrome Cactus [Album Review]

The Young Chrome Cactus Matador Records [2014] Fire Note Says: Texans kicking up goth-tinged tumbleweeds. Album Review: “Oh, good,” I thought at the first riffs of lead track “Metal Flake”, “someone is finally aping [Urge Overkill’s] Saturation.” This didn’t stick, but it’s a starting point. The riffs and grooves are the stars here: the vocals … Read more

Connections: Into Sixes [Album Review]

Connections Into Sixes Anyway Records [2014] Fire Note Says: Connections third LP, Into Sixes, is full of indie rock hooks and anthems. Album Review: Connections had a very efficient first year as a band releasing two full length LP’s (Private Airplane and Body Language) as well as a 7-inch e.p. (Tough City). Anyway Records offers … Read more

Dirty Lungs: Dirty Lungs [Album Review]

Dirty Lungs Dirty Lungs Communicating Vessels [2014] Fire Note Says: Dirty Lungs dig up some retro-leaning hard psych, but leave a little modern dirt. Album Review: Dirty Lungs’ self-titled LP opens strong with “I Suck in Bed,” a scuzzy, raging garage rocker with a catchy wordless vocal refrain. It’s so strong, in fact, that I … Read more

Happyness: Weird Little Birthday [Album Review]

Happyness Weird Little Birthday Rough Trade Records [2014] Fire Note Says: Ready for a non-disappointing British Sea Power? Album Review: Here’s something I don’t get to say every day: “That reminds me of Gay Dad!” Or possibly Sonic Youth’s “Antenna.” Or maybe Meat Puppets in their mid-90’s ZZ Top phase. Key word here is diverse. … Read more

Jenny Lewis: The Voyager [Album Review]

Jenny Lewis The Voyager Warner Bros. Records [2014] Fire Note Says: After six years in the wilderness, The Voyager heralds the resurrection of all things Jenny Lewis. Album Review: Since 2002’s masterful The Execution of All Things – an album which should be handed to girls as they turn thirteen, just as all boys should … Read more

Chris Staples: American Soft [Album Review]

Chris Staples American Soft Barsuk Records [2014] Fire Note Says: A charming and understated indie-pop/singer-songwriter album. Album Review: The penultimate track on Chris Staples’ American Soft is called “Needle Park,” and it’s really great. The instantly catchy chorus of “Well would I ever lie to you? / Of course I would, of course I would,” … Read more

The Proper Ornaments: Wooden Head [Album Review]

The Proper Ornaments Wooden Head Slumberland Records [2014] Fire Note Says: Anglo-Argentine pair wears influences on sleeves – and scores. Album Review: The Proper Ornaments album Wooden Head seems, at first blush, just a fun way to play a game of Spot the Idiom: Mary Chain/BRMC black-leather-jacket Spector-pop here, “Eight Miles High” jangle there. But … Read more

Bloom: Thousand Yard Stare [Album Review]

Bloom Thousand Yard Stare Broken Circle Records [2014] Fire Note Says: Fans of somber electric guitar indie rock and catchy keyboards will enjoy the sounds of Bloom’s new album Thousand Yard Stare. Album Review: Bloom hail from Nashville, Tennessee where there is no such shortage of rock being made these days. Their new album is … Read more

Buffalo Killers: Heavy Reverie [Album Review]

Buffalo Killers Heavy Reverie Sun Pedal Recordings [2014] Fire Note Says: The Buffalo Killers return with a sonically polished 5th studio effort entitled Heavy Reverie. Album Review: The Buffalo Killers are no strangers to success. In fact, their previous four albums have gained them critical claim from Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes who knows … Read more

Lab Partners: Seven Seas [Album Review]

Lab Partners Seven Seas Pravda Records [2014] Fire Note Says: Lab Partners have returned with an early contender for Album of the Year. Album Review: Dayton, Ohio’s favorite guitar hero’s the Lab Partners have returned with their first record since their 2010’ LP Moonlight Music, which was released by Chicago Label Pravda. The same label … Read more

Dirty/Clean: Welt Am Draht [Album Review]

Dirty/Clean Welt Am Draht Self-Released [2014] Fire Note Says: Fans of vintage synth rock will love the debut album from Dayton, Ohio’s new darlings Dirty/Clean. Album Review: Ohio is no stranger to bands incorporating cool synthesizers into their sounds. Devo and Brainiac perfected the art in fact. On their debut album Welt Am Draht we … Read more

The Singles: Look How Fast A Heart Can Break [Album Review]

The Singles Look How Fast A Heart Can Break Sound Artifacts Music [2014] Fire Note Says: The Singles hit a home run on their third swing. Album Review: This long-awaited, third full-length release from former Detroit band The Singles may be the ideal record for summer 2014. Look How Fast a Heart Can Break, the … Read more

WV White: West Virginia White [Album Review]

WV White West Virginia White Anyway Records [2014] Fire Note Says: Columbus Ohio’s WV White shines on debut full length on Anyway records. Album Review: It would be easy to classify this release under the slacker rock category, but rest assured that the slacker term does not apply to the songwriting execution on this excellent … Read more

Overlake: Sighs [Album Review]

Overlake Sighs Killing Horse Records [2014] Fire Note Says: 90’s guitar fueled indie rock is alive and well with Overlake’s new LP Sighs. Album Review: My first thought after listening to New Jersey natives Overlake’s new record Sighs was – why did I just now find out about this band? The answer is simply that … Read more

New Bums: Voices In A Rented Room [Album Review]

New Bums Voices In A Rented Room Drag City Records [2014] Fire Note Says: You should be ecstatic over the beautifully well-crafted debut full-length album from New Bums. Album Review: New Bums are a two-man duo made up of Donovan Quinn (Sky Green Leopards) and Ben Chasny (Six Organs Of Admittance). Their debut full length … Read more

The Maravines: The Maravines [Album Review]

The Maravines The Maravines Mint 400 Records [2014] Fire Note Says: The New Jersey duo The Maravines are strong out of the gates with their debut release but are heading into a traffic jam on The George Washington Bridge. Album Review: The Maravines are a two –piece, Union City, New Jersey, duo made up of … Read more

Amen Lucy, Amen: Ashore For The End [Album Review]

Amen Lucy, Amen Ashore For The End Brave New Records [2014] Fire Note Says: Amen Lucy, Amen takes a refreshing approach to the folk genre. Album Review: Amen Lucy, Amen describe themselves as a “woozy-boozy cyclone” that sings “punk-inspired folk tunes.” The description fits their debut album Ashore for the End perfectly. The experimental arrangements … Read more

Jake Bugg: Shangri La [Album Review]

Jake Bugg Shangri La Island Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Jake Bugg’s sophomore album is a more refined production of the artist’s raw, gritty sound. Album Review: Jake Bugg’s sophomore album, Shangri La, quickly follows his successful self-titled debut. Despite the lack of time between the two albums, Shangri La introduces new sounds and themes, … Read more

Maria Taylor: Something About Knowing [Album Review]

Maria Taylor Something About Knowing Saddle Creek Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Maria Taylor’s latest is light, carefree indie rock packaged in an effortlessly happy message. Album Review: Something About Knowing was the first time I’ve listened to Maria Taylor, although the artist has a long history. Her most recent release is her sixth solo … Read more

An evening with The Lone Bellow [Concert Review]

The Lone Bellow: The 20th Century Theatre, Cincinnati, Ohio – 11/12/13 If The Lone Bellow are a band you should be listening to, they are no doubt a band you should experience live. Their self-titled album has been a favorite of mine since hearing them on my local public radio station and I was very … Read more

Cults: Static [Album Review]

Cults Static Columbia Records [2013] Fire Note Says: With their sophomore album, Cults put a pop/rock spin on their west-coast sound. Album Review: With their sophomore album, Cults put a pop/rock, electronic spin on their west coast sound. Most of the songs feature female vocalist Madeline Follin, while other tracks are accompanied by Brian Oblivion, … Read more