The Smile: Wall Of Eyes [Album Review]

The SmileWall Of EyesXL Recordings [2024] Album Overview: While their first album, A Light For Attracting Attention, could have been a one-and-done, The Smile returns! Thom Yorke, Johnny Greenwood, and Tom Skinner have assembled once more with the follow-up, Wall of Eyes. Wall of Eyes takes a different approach with longer, more dynamic song setups … Read more

Topographies: Interior Spring [Album Review]

TopographiesInterior SpringDark Entries Records [2024] Album Overview: San Francisco band Topographies sophomore LP, Interior Spring, delves into themes of guilt, inherited trauma, and recovery. It’s an exploration of the complexities of human existence, where the title symbolizes both renewal and the persistence of past struggles. Through ten songs, the album offers atmospheric compositions, introspective lyrics, … Read more

J Mascis: What Do We Do Now [Album Review]

J MascisWhat Do We Do NowSub Pop Records [2024] Album Overview: What Do We Do Now is the fifth solo studio album by J Mascis. Recorded at his Bisquiteen Studio in Western Massachusetts, it marks a departure from his usual solo acoustic style, incorporating full drums and electric leads while retaining acoustic rhythm parts. The … Read more

J. Robbins: Basilisk [Album Review]

J. RobbinsBasiliskDischord Records [2024] Album Overview: Basilisk is J. Robbins’ second solo album, following Un-Becoming, released in 2019. Recorded between 2021 and 2022 at his Baltimore-based studio, The Magpie Cage, Basilisk features eleven songs reflecting Robbins’ shift towards a more personal and portable songwriting style. The album incorporates elements of rock, punk, and electronic music, … Read more

Sarah Jarosz: Polaroid Lovers [Album Review]

Sarah JaroszPolaroid LoversRounder Records [2024] Album Overview: Sarah Jarosz’ seventh album is a real change of pace for the folk/Americana singer/songwriter who was viewed as a bluegrass prodigy on mandolin and banjo. Largely known as a folk artist, here Jarosz stretches out to work with a few other songwriters—Daniel Tashian, Natalie Hemby, Jon Randall, and … Read more

The Umbrellas: Fairweather Friend [Album Review]

The UmbrellasFairweather FriendSlumberland Records [2024] Album Overview: The Umbrellas’ sophomore album, Fairweather Friend, follows their self-titled debut in 2021. This album sounds bigger in every way with enhanced songwriting, top-notch production, and even more confident vocals from Matt Ferrara and Morgan Stanley, which once again play off each other perfectly with alternating male/female leads. The … Read more

Green Day: Saviors [Album Review]

Green DaySaviorsWarner Music [2024] Album Overview: Thirty years after their breakout album Dookie its hard to remember that this SF Bay area trio that were inducted into the R&RHoF in 2015, were considered “punk revivalists,” taking their cues from bands of the 80’s. Here on their 14th album, Green Day continues to expand their sound, … Read more

Ty Segall: Three Bells [Album Review]

Ty SegallThree BellsDrag City Records [2024]   Album Overview: Following his 2022 acoustic album, “Hello, Hi,” Three Bells takes Ty Segall on a deeper, wilder journey into the center of self. Ty is known for never making the same album twice, and this record represents a more profound and adventurous expansion of his continually evolving … Read more

O-D-EX: Breaker [Album Review]

O-D-EXBreakerDirtnap Records [2024] Album Overview: Breaker is the debut LP from O-D-EX, the latest project of musician Mark Ryan (Marked Men, Mind Spiders), along with Micah Why (Kitbashes, Mission Giant, Faux Fox). The album also features fantastic cover art that is simple yet fitting for the record. Musical Style: O-D-EX takes a new direction from … Read more

Hot Garbage: Precious Dream [Album Review]

Hot GarbagePrecious DreamMothland/EXAG’ Records [2024]   Album Overview: Precious Dream is the sophomore album from Toronto’s Hot Garbage, a band I first encountered when they opened for TFN favorites Frankie and the Witch Fingers in 2022. Their set was impressive, and I grabbed their debut, 2021’s Ride, on the strength of their performance. Precious Dream … Read more

SLIFT: ILION [Album Review]

SLIFTILIONSub Pop Records [2024] Album Overview: The French trio SLIFT presents ILION, a sonic behemoth reminiscent of a distant wave growing in intensity as it approaches. This marks the band’s third full-length album, following their 2020 release, UMMON, which secured the top spot in TFN’s Top 50 that year. ILION continues the relentless exploration of … Read more

Sleater-Kinney: Little Rope [Album Review]

Sleater-KinneyLittle RopeLoma Vista Recordings [2024] Album Overview: Sleater-Kinney’s album Little Rope is one of the most delicately layered records in the band’s nearly 30-year career. It explores themes of grief, loss, and navigating a world in perpetual crisis. The album’s emotional depth is evident in its complex arrangements and a lyrical focus. It is the … Read more

The Vaccines: Pick-Up Full Of Pink Carnations [Album Review]

The VaccinesPick-Up Full Of Pink CarnationsThirty Tigers [2024] Album Overview: The Vaccines have released their sixth studio album, Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations, produced by Andrew Wells (known for his work with Phoebe Bridgers and Kaiser Chiefs) and marks the band’s first album without original guitarist Freddie Cowan. The album delves into the disappointments of … Read more

SPRINTS: Letter To Self [Album Review]

SPRINTSLetter To SelfCity Slang [2024] Album Overview: Dublin’s four-piece SPRINTS just released their debut full-length, Letter To Self, on January 5th. The record is filled with brooding and building guitar rock that exhibits both intensity and unrelenting passion. Musical Style: Brutally mixing rhythms and sounds, SPRINTS captures your ear with rhythmic tracks that build and … Read more

Car Seat Headrest: Faces From The Masquerade [Album Review]

Car Seat HeadrestFaces From The MasqueradeMatador Records [2023] I remember seeing Will Toledo and Car Seat Headrest early on back in 2016, soon after Teens Of Denial was released. I recall them being very timid on stage. Fast forward to 2023, and Faces From The Masquerade showcases Car Seat Headrest playing three consecutive sold-out nights … Read more

Ken Kase: Ken Kase (EP) [Album Review]

Ken KaseKen Kase (EP)Self-Released [2023] This fast, fun power-pop 5-song EP from Ken Kase is a quick display of the kind of musical alchemy that the singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has been bringing to the St. Louis live music scene for 30 years. Kase has shown up in a variety of live music venues throughout his … Read more

MJ Lenderman: And The Wind (Live and Loose​!​) [Album Review]

MJ LendermanAnd The Wind (Live and Loose​!​)ANTI- [2023] This review should serve as a wake-up call to all our readers who have not yet embraced the excellent music of Asheville’s MJ Lenderman or his primary band, Wednesday. The new live album, And the Wind (Live and Loose!), is compiled from two sold-out summer 2023 shows … Read more

Catbells: Partly Cloudy [Album Review]

CatbellsPartly CloudySQFT Records [2023] Partly Cloudy is the full-length debut from the enigmatic female dream pop/folk rock artist who is most comfortable sharing her deepest, most intimate thoughts from behind her somewhat mysterious cat face mask. Most of the 13 tracks here are rooted very closely to simple acoustic guitar folk rock, with producer Billy … Read more

Wurld Series: The Giant’s Lawn [Album Review]

Wurld SeriesThe Giant’s LawnMeritorio Records [2023] Wurld Series hails from Christchurch, New Zealand, and The Giant’s Lawn is the group’s third LP. The history of that region is indie lore, with bands such as The Clean, The Chills, and other associated groups with the Flying Nun record label creating a musical scene characterized by jangly … Read more

Golden Apples: Bananasugarfire [Album Review]

Golden ApplesBananasugarfireLame-O Records [2023] Philadelphia’s Golden Apples’ latest album, Bananasugarfire, is a vibrant addition to indie guitar music. The album showcases a cohesive band lineup and the most genuine bond among its members on record. The album was recorded in various studios and the band members’ homes, featuring dynamic guitar work, sugary vocal interplay, and … Read more

Peter Gabriel: i/o [Album Review]

Peter Gabrieli/oReal World Records [2023] It’s been 21 years since English pop singer/songwriter Peter Gabriel released a new album of original material, as his 2010 release Scratch My Back was a cover album of songs by favored artists sung only with an orchestral backing, while 2011’s “New Blood” went back so his own material with … Read more

Blonde Redhead: Sit Down For Dinner [Album Review]

Blonde RedheadSit Down For Dinnersection1 [2023] Given Blonde Redhead’s early experiments in the no wave movement and early noisy angular indie rock recordings for Steve (Sonic Youth) Shelly’s label, Smells Like, along with engagements with the cosmopolitan art scene in New York City where the band formed 30 years ago, it might be surprising that … Read more

Dion Lunadon: Systems Edge [Album Review]

Dion LunadonSystems EdgeIn The Red Records [2023] Systems Edge from Dion Lunadon is a blistering third solo record that catapults listeners into a raucous world of garage rock brilliance. Hailing from New Zealand and now residing in Brooklyn, Lunadon bursts out of this new album with infectious energy and a sound that pays homage to … Read more

The Ascendents: The Fellowship Of The Broken [Album Review]

The AscendentsThe Fellowship Of The BrokenSelf-Released [2023] It’s a curious thing when musicians take a busman’s holiday and step away from their main gig to join up with players and singers from other bands to experiment with a previously untried collaboration. Golden Smog was a loose affiliation that included members of Wilco, Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, … Read more

Hotline TNT: Cartwheel [Album Review]

Hotline TNTCartwheelThird Man Records [2023] Brooklyn-based Hotline TNT’s latest album, Cartwheel, unfolds as a captivating exploration of life’s complexities, love, and the ongoing journey of self-discovery. Will Anderson, the creative force behind the band, infuses the album with a blended indie rock and shoegaze sensibility that is raw and unfiltered. Cartwheel signifies a significant evolution … Read more