Meatbodies: Flora Ocean Tiger Bloom [Album Review]

MeatbodiesFlora Ocean Tiger BloomIn The Red Records [2024] Album Overview: Flora Ocean Tiger Bloom is Meatbodies’ latest album, marking a significant progression from their previous works. The record serves as a testament to frontman Chad Ubovich’s tumultuous yet transformative personal odyssey over the last several years, encapsulating themes of redemption, reinvention, and the human condition. … Read more

Split System: Vol. II [Album Review]

Split SystemVol. IIGoner/Drunken Sailor/Legless Records [2024]   Album Overview: With members of the killer Australian garage punks Stiff Richards and Speed Week among their number, not to mention singer Jackson Reid Briggs (which has some great solo albums as well), Split System returns with a punch for their sophomore album Vol. II. The record features … Read more

Mannequin Pussy: I Got Heaven [Album Review]

Mannequin PussyI Got HeavenEpitaph Records [2024] Album Overview: I Got Heaven is Mannequin Pussy’s latest album, released on Epitaph Records. It marks a departure from their previous works, delving into themes of desire, loneliness, and navigating an unforgiving world. The album expands their indie radio-friendly side with stylish maturity while maintaining a hardcore edge that … Read more

Rick Rude: Laverne [Album Review]

Rick RudeLaverneBest Brother/Midnight Werewolf Records [2024] Album Overview: Laverne is the third studio album, and the first in six years, by the New England-based band Rick Rude, which was released earlier this month through Best Brother/Midnight Werewolf Records. It follows the band’s tradition of homemade rock ‘n’ roll, embodying a sense of closeness and camaraderie … Read more

Ghost Funk Orchestra: A Trip To The Moon [Album Review]

Ghost Funk OrchestraA Trip To The MoonColemine/Karma Chief Records [2024]   Album Overview: A Trip To The Moon is the fourth full-length album from Ghost Funk Orchestra, the brainchild of producer and multi-instrumentalist Seth Applebaum. An immersive and playful song-cycle inspired by moon missions past and present, fact and fiction, the album adds new elements … 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

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

Penza Penza: Electricolorized [Album Review]

Penza PenzaElectricolorizedFunk Night Records [2023] Electricolorized, the third installment from the enigmatic instrumental powerhouse Penza Penza, featuring Estonian composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Misha Panfilov, is an earworm filled journey that defies easy categorization. This album serves as a testament to an artist who effortlessly blends genres, creating a unique and captivating musical experience. Penza Penza … Read more

Buddy & Julie Miller: In The Throes [Album Review]

Buddy & Julie MillerIn The ThroesNew West Records [2023] I’ve been wracking my mind trying to think of another married couple that have recorded together with the same sympatico and creativity that I hear when ace Americana guitarist and sideman Buddy Miller records with his songwriter wife Julie Miller. Of course, there was Richard and … Read more

Uni Boys: Buy This Now! [Album Review]

Uni BoysBuy This Now!Curation Records [2023] Buy This Now! is the newest release from California’s Uni Boys. The album’s 12 songs, delving into themes of love and loneliness in the modern world, stand out as a timeless gem that captures the essence of the classic power pop era. The album works perfectly as it blends … Read more

The Bug Club: Rare Birds – Hour Of Song [Album Review]

The Bug ClubRare Birds: Hour Of SongBingo/We Are Busy Bodies [2023] “My bathtub has three taps.. hot, cold and Bach chorale. Balance is hard to achieve generally but the human voice and cold are an unlikely easy pairing. Given the choice I’d pick cold music over hot emptiness most days, but this isn’t most days, … Read more

Circus Devils: Squeeze The Needle [Album Review]

Circus DevilsSqueeze The NeedleGBV Inc. [2023] The “comeback album” is a risky proposition. More often than not, once a band has gone on hiatus or broken up it’s hard to recapture the original chemistry. Expectations run high, usually too high for the final result to meet. There are some pretty good comeback albums, but the … Read more

Sufjan Stevens: Javelin [Album Review]

Sufjan StevensJavelinAsthmatic Kitty Records [2023] Rare is the artist who does their best work when they are on top of the world, when all is going well, and they are happy and fulfilled. Sufjan Stevens has explored a wide and disparate subject matter, from the folky Psalm-like spirituality of Seven Swans, the unique geographic and … Read more

Sincere Engineer: Cheap Grills [Album Review]

Sincere EngineerCheap GrillsHopeless Records [2023] Chicago-based indie punk artist Sincere Engineer started as a solo acoustic punk act, performing at dive bars and open mics. Singer Deanna Belos decided to forgo dental school for a career in punk music, and she has since toured the world with bands like Alkaline Trio, The Menzingers, and Joyce … Read more

Allison Russell: The Returner [Album Review]

Allison RussellThe ReturnerFantasy Records [2023] In an unusual turn of events, the first two times I saw Allison Russell perform live I was a complete blank slate, I’d not heard any of her recordings or the work of her numerous musical collaborations beforehand. The first time was over Memorial Day weekend in 2017 at the … Read more

jaimie branch: Fly Or Die Fly Or Die Fly Or Die ((World War)) [Album Review]

jaimie branchFly Or Die Fly Or Die Fly Or Die ((World War))International Anthem [2023] jaimie “breezy” branch, was a trumpeter and composer who had rapidly ascended as one of the brightest stars in the jazz world when she tragically passed away on August 22, 2022, at the age of just 39. In July 2022, this … Read more

Margaret Glaspy: Echo The Diamond [Album Review]

Margaret GlaspyEcho The DiamondATO Records [2023] The first time I heard the lead single from Margaret Glaspy’s third album, Echo The Diamond, the kicking guitar hook of “Act Natural” knocked me down, but her spirited vocal and insightful lyrics left me on the ground, stunned. And, once we tracked down the album, I was both … Read more

Palehound: Eye On The Bat [Album Review]

PalehoundEye On The BatPolyvinyl Records [2023] The fourth album from El Kemper’s Palehound is a break-up record to beat all break-up records, as their poetic distillation of the moments that led up to the relationship’s inevitable dissolution fuel the driving music of their rock trio. Kemper’s diary-like lyrics in “Independence Day” chronicle how a collision … Read more

feeble little horse: Girl With Fish [Album Review]

feeble little horseGirl With FishSaddle Creek Records [2023] Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, feeble little horse presents an invigorating and charmingly unpredictable sophomore offering with Girl With Fish. The album is a collection of brief yet captivating tracks brimming with feedback-laden melodies. The band undertook the independent recording and production of this release, embarking on a … Read more

The Ironsides: Changing Light [Album Review]

The IronsidesChanging LightColemine Records [2023] There’s something of a soul and funk renaissance happening these days, and one of the labels at the forefront of the movement is Loveland, Ohio’s Colemine Records. They’ve released albums by some of the most exciting acts of the last ten years, counting names like Durand Jones and the Indications, … Read more

Joanna Sternberg: I’ve Got Me [Album Review]

Joanna SternbergI’ve Got MeFat Possum Records [2023] Joanna Sternberg’s sophomore album, I’ve Got Me, is a heartfelt and introspective album that delves into themes of recognition, self-discovery, and resilience. With their raw and honest songwriting, Sternberg invites listeners on a deeply personal journey, showcasing their remarkable talent as both a songwriter and performer. The album … Read more

Sweeping Promises: Good Living Is Coming For You [Album Review]

Sweeping PromisesGood Living Is Coming For YouFeel It/Sub Pop Records [2023] Sweeping Promises, the once Boston-based post-punk outfit now located in Lawrence, Kansas, has unleashed a feverish and uncompromising attitude in their sophomore album, Good Living Is Coming For You. With unrelenting urgency and a distinct blend of post-punk, new wave, and garage rock influences, … Read more

Motorbike: Motorbike [Album Review]

MotorbikeMotorbikeFeel It Records [2023] I love it when a record comes out of nowhere and completely knocks you over after the first spin. Motorbike’s self-titled debut did just that with its full-throttle, high-stakes rock ‘n’ roll assault that will make you a believer in its short twenty-seven-minute runtime. The five-piece Welsh-American band from Cincinnati, Ohio, … Read more

Pardoner: Peace Loving People [Album Review]

PardonerPeace Loving PeopleBar/None Records [2023] Pardoner, the San Francisco-based indie rock band, has returned with their fourth album, Peace Loving People, and it’s a fantastic display of their evolving sound and songwriting prowess. Building upon the foundation they laid on last year’s excellent Came Down Different, Pardoner delivers a collection of songs here that continues … Read more

Robert Vaughn And The Shadows: Love And War (35th Anniversary Expanded Edition) [Album Review]

Robert Vaughn And The ShadowsLove And War (35th Anniversary Expanded Edition)Alternative Records [2023] It’s a story as old as time. Likely all of us have at some point encountered a band, a song, an album that so impressed, so inspired and delighted us that we were convinced that they would soon be the Next Big … Read more