Choncy: 20X MULTIPLIER [Album Review]

Choncy20X MULTIPLIERFeel It Records [2024] Album Overview: Choncy is a four-piece punk band hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio that has just released their sophomore album, 20X MULTIPLIER. Following their 2023 debut, Community Chest, also on Feel It Records, Choncy continues to carve out their niche in the punk scene. Recorded at The Bomb Shelter in Nashville … Read more

Charles Moothart: Black Holes Don’t Choke [Album Review]

Charles MoothartBlack Holes Don’t ChokeIn The Red Records [2024] Album Overview: Black Holes Don’t Choke marks Charles Moothart’s fourth full length and his official transition from the CFM moniker to his proper name, reflecting a new chapter in his musical resume. The album, released via In The Red Recordings, is a collection of ten tracks … Read more

Torrey: Torrey [Album Review]

TorreyTorreySlumberland Records [2024] Album Overview: Ryann and Kelly Gonsalves formed Torrey in 2018 while living in San Francisco. Both their Sister EP (2019) and 2021 debut LP, Something Happy were recorded and self-released by the band, featuring clean, shimmery jangle pop. Torrey’s self-titled sophomore album and Slumberland Records debut moves that needle somewhat as it … Read more

Rip Van Winkle: The Grand Rapids EP [Album Review]

Rip Van WinkleThe Grand Rapids EPSplendid Research [2024] Album Overview: Rip Van Winkle was originally announced as a mysterious Robert Pollard project. Now, with its release, we know a bit more about the EP as several members of Joseph Airport—Ben Perry (guitar), Joe Patterson (bass), and Jason Short (drums)—round out the band, with Pollard, of … Read more

Hooper Crescent: Essential Tremors [Album Review]

Hooper CrescentEssential TremorsSpoilsport Records [2024]   Album Overview: Essential Tremors is the sophomore album from Brunswick, Australia’s Hooper Crescent. It marks a significant progression from their debut, Object Permanence (2020), and showcases their melodic, off-kilter sound through 11 tracks of sonic experimentation and playful songwriting. The album comes off fresh from their polished studio environment … Read more

IDLES: TANGK [Album Review]

IDLESTANGKPartisan Records [2024]   Album Overview: TANGK is the fifth album by the British post-punk band IDLES. It marks a significant departure from their earlier works by embracing themes of love, joy, and gratitude amidst personal and global challenges. The album radiates a sense of defiant empowerment and serves as a communal anthem for overcoming … Read more

Cheekface: It’s Sorted [Album Review]

CheekfaceIt’s SortedSelf-Released [2024] Album Overview: It’s Sorted is Cheekface’s fourth album, following their excellent 2022 LP Too Much To Ask. It finds the band in a slightly different place from previous records, with a more cohesive overall connection of tracks, yet still maintaining their hallmark funny-sad-funny lyrical style. The album reflects on questions of individuality … 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

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

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

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

The Fire Note Writer Edition Top Albums of 2023

At The Fire Note, our writers are the heart and soul of what we do. We want to give a big shout-out to these amazing folks (past and present) who pour their knowledge and love for music into every piece they write. The time and effort they put in consistently doesn’t go unnoticed by us … 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

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

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

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

Spiritual Cramp: Spiritual Cramp [Album Review]

Spiritual CrampSpiritual CrampBlue Grape Music [2023] I’ve been keeping an ear out for this debut ever since the San Francisco punk outfit, Spiritual Cramp, self-released their excellent Here Comes More Bad News EP back in 2021. Spiritual Cramp’s self-titled debut album expands on its predecessor, going bigger and bolder in its sound. It has ignited … 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

CIVIC: New Vietnam And Singles [Album Review]

CIVICNew Vietnam And SinglesAnti Fade/ATO Records [2023] Melbourne’s CIVIC released their debut EP, New Vietnam, originally in 2018 via Anti Fade Records. It was this EP that caught the attention of Flightless Records (King Gizzard) for their 2021 full-length Future Forecast, which, with their ATO partnership, made its way to the States. This new reissue, … Read more

Truth Club: Running From The Chase [Album Review]

Truth ClubRunning From The ChaseDouble Double Whammy [2023] Truth Club’s sophomore record, Running From The Chase, bursts onto the scene with an infectious energy and a distinctive classic alternative sound that captures the essence of today’s indie music landscape. While the Raleigh, North Carolina band’s style may seem familiar, the band masterfully infuses their own … Read more

GOAT: Medicine [Album Review]

GOATMedicineRocket Recordings [2023] GOAT, the enigmatic Swedish collective known for their unique blend of world music, psychedelia, and mysticism, has swiftly reemerged on the global music scene with Medicine. Following last year’s harder-edged and busier-sounding Oh Death, the band’s fifth full-length offering propels you gently across another sonic journey into the mystical and tribal. Medicine … Read more