Foals: Holy Fire [Album Review]

Foals Holy Fire Warner Bros. Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Foals are on the verge of breaking big with Holy Fire! Album Review: Foals come out of the gate on their third album, Holy Fire, like an unholy alliance of Muse, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party. This is huge music with gigantic stadium sized hooks, … Read more

The Spinto Band: Cool Cocoon [Album Review]

The Spinto Band Cool Cocoon Spintonic Records [2013] Fire Note Says: The Spinto Band are back with another batch of 60’s influenced pop nuggets! Album Review: The Spinto Band aren’t exactly tossing out the playbook and starting over fresh with their new album, Cool Cocoon, but why should they? At this point, the band knows … Read more

Airstrip: Willing [Album Review]

Airstrip Willing Holidays For Quince Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Willing is a promising stoner/psych debut from Airstrip! Album Review: Airstrip is a psychedelic stoner rock band from North Carolina, masterminded by Matthew Park. Their debut lp, Willing, out now on Holidays For Quince, is not your run of the mill stoner rock album though. … Read more

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down: We The Common [Album Review]

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down We The Common Ribbon Music [2013] Fire Note Says: We the Common delivers on the promise of earlier work and is the finest album yet from Thao & The Get Down Stay Down! Album Review: Thao Nguyen first came to my attention with 2008’s We Brave Bee Stings … Read more

Bettie Serveert: Oh, Mayhem! [Album Review]

Bettie Serveert Oh, Mayhem! Second Motion Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Indie vets look to re-establish themselves, and Oh, Mayhem! is a perfect reintroduction! Album Review: With their first two records, Palomine (1992) and Lamprey (1995) both on Matador Records, Dutch band Bettie Serveert laid out a sonic blueprint that later bands such as the … Read more

Radar Bros: Eight [Album Review]

Radar Bros. Eight Merge Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Eight is as gorgeous and lush as you would expect from these indie vets! Album Review: On their new album, Eight, Radar Bros aren’t reinventing themselves, or delving into electro pop or anything ridiculous like that. What Jim Putnam and company are doing, is perfecting their … Read more

The Ruby Suns: Christopher [Album Review]

The Ruby Suns Christopher Sub Pop Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Christopher is a chilled out dance pop filled with hooks and melody. Album Review: When Sea Lion was released in 2008, The Ruby Suns seemed to be a band on the brink. “Oh, Mojave” from that album was featured in a Windows Vista commercial … Read more

Pere Ubu: Lady From Shanghai [Album Review]

Pere Ubu Lady From Shanghai Fire Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Pere Ubu takes you on a wild trip like only they can! Album Review: This is a strange, difficult record to review. With the return of Thomas’ other pre-Ubu band, Rocket From The Tombs to active duty, I suppose I had expected a new … Read more

Camper Van Beethoven: La Costa Perdida [Album Review]

Camper Van Beethoven La Costa Perdida 429 Records [2013] Fire Note Says: La Costa Perdida is a worthy addition to the Camper Van Beethoven canon! Album Review: It’s hard to believe it’s been close to 28 years since Camper Van Beethoven took the skinheads bowling on their debut album, Telephone Free Landslide Victory, and a … Read more

Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin: Reverse Shark Attack [Album Review]

Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin Reverse Shark Attack In The Red Records [2013] Fire Note Says: A timely reissue of a little heard and excellent collaboration from two highly regarded artists! Album Review: The only question I had going into my first listen of the reissue of this 2009 collaborative album was not would it … Read more

The Traditional Fools: The Traditional Fools [Album Review]

The Traditional Fools The Traditional Fools In The Red Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Early Ty Segall band is reissued by In The Red, and you are going to want this for your collection! Album Review: If I give you three key pieces of information, you will most likely be able to figure out exactly … Read more

Holopaw: Academy Songs Volume 1 [Album Review]

Holopaw Academy Songs Volume 1 Misra Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Academy Songs Volume 1 is a record you are certain to keep coming back to. Album Review: Certain records make you keep coming back to them, even when at first you aren’t really sure why. They aren’t necessarily catchy at first, but there’s something … Read more

The Joy Formidable: Wolf’s Law [Album Review]

The Joy Formidable Wolf’s Law Atlantic Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Wolf’s Law is the record Joy Formidable fans were hoping for…and then some! Album Review: How do you follow-up a record like 2011’s The Big Roar, which was my #2 album of the year in 2011? After all, as great as that record was, … Read more

Wooden Wand: Blood Oaths Of The New Blues [Album Review]

Wooden Wand Blood Oaths Of The New Blues Fire Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Put on the headphones, turn out the lights, and enjoy the new Wooden Wand record! Album Review: I didn’t see this one coming at all. When I looked at the list of upcoming albums I thought, “I’ll give the new Wooden … Read more

Christopher Owens: Lysandre [Album Review]

Christopher Owens Lysandre Fat Possum Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Solo debut from ex Girls frontman is not what you are expecting! Album Review: It came as a shock to most indie fans when Christopher Owens announced last year that he was leaving Girls, after two critically acclaimed albums and another highly touted ep, for … Read more

Yo La Tengo: Fade [Album Review]

Yo La Tengo Fade Matador Records [2013] Fire Note Says: There won’t be many records this year that are better than the new Yo La Tengo! Album Review: There aren’t many bands out there that have been putting out records as consistently good as Yo La Tengo has, for as long as Yo La Tengo … Read more

Norwegian Arms: Wolf Like A Stray Dog [Album Review]

Norwegian Arms Wolf Like A Stray Dog Big School Records [2013] Fire Note Says: Wolf Like a Stray Dog is a diverse and impressive sonic soundscape! Album Review: I suppose if you have to label Norwegian Arms, you could call them Weirdo-Folk, Psych Folk, Freak Folk etc, but the more that I think about it, … Read more

GAMES: GAMES [Album Review]

GAMES GAMES HoZac Records [2012] Fire Note Says: GAMES is PURE GOLD! Album Review: If I had to pick my top 5 current record labels, Chicago’s HoZac would be in the running for the top spot. The label has created a brand if you will; it’s the home of some of the finest psychedelic/power pop/punk/garage … Read more

Aspiga: Every Last Piece [Album Review]

Aspiga Every Last Piece Paper + Plastick Records [2012] Fire Note Says: Fast, loud, and melodic fist pumping punk from NJ trio, Aspiga! Album Review: I’m a total sucker for a band that plays fast, loud, melodic punk songs that make you want to pump your fist in the air and sing along with their … Read more

Goldenboy: The New Familiar [Album Review]

Goldenboy The New Familiar Eenie Meenie Records [2012] Fire Note Says: The New Familiar is a richly textured cinematic pop record! Album Review: When you spend a considerable amount of time out on the road with the likes of Elliott Smith, Grandaddy, Neil Finn, The Rentals, Eels, and Bright Eyes, as Goldenboy has, you had … Read more

The Evens: The Odds [Album Review]

The Evens The Odds Dischord Records [2012] Fire Note Says: The Odds is 13 songs you should definitely embrace! Album Review: The Evens hail from Washington DC and feature the husband and wife duo of Ian MacKaye on baritone guitar and Amy Farina on drums. Their new lp, The Odds, is their third overall, and … Read more

Emerson Lake & Palmer: Live In California 1974 [Album Review]

Emerson Lake & Palmer Live In California 1974 Shout! Factory Records [2012] Fire Note Says: Prog legends at the absolute top of their game! Album Review: In 1974, Emerson, Lake & Palmer were at the top of their game, they had just released their most successful album, Brain Salad Surgery, and were on their way … Read more

The People’s Temple: More For The Masses [Album Review]

The People’s Temple More For The Masses HoZac Records [2012] Fire Note Says: The People’s Temple have the tunes to match their swagger! Album Review: In late 2011, The People’s Temple first showed up on my radar with their album, Sons of Stone, which was a nice piece of Byrds via Black Rebel Motorcycle Club … Read more

The Babies: Our House On The Hill [Album Review]

The Babies Our House On The Hill Woodsist Records [2012] Fire Note Says: No “Sophomore Slump” for The Babies on Our House on the Hill! Album Review: Although originally conceived as a side project between Woods member Kevin Morby and Cassie Ramones from Vivian Girls, one thing is clear from the first song on The … Read more

Midway In Wake: We Will Remain Sedate [Album Review]

Midway In Wake We Will Remain Sedate Lowatt Records [2012] Fire Note Says: Midway In Wake take you on a well crafted Bedroom Pop journey. Album Review: We Will Remain Sedate is the debut album from El Paso’s Midway in Wake.  Greg Reynaud is the creative force of the band, writing, recording, and playing all … Read more