Mini-Beats – October 2010 – Edition 29

Sufjan StevensThe Age Of Adz (2010, Asthmatic Kitty)
-see front page review-
Franklin For ShortSwell (2008, Beehouse) ♥♥♥½
-simple, melodic power-pop/rock that isn’t breaking down any new barriers but it is filled with hooks galore which makes it just swell in my book….-
AnagramThe Lights Went Out (2006, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-sophomore effort from this San Fran husband/wife duo consisting of varied dream-pop with a harder edge on a few tracks; takes a few listens for the goodness to surface but well worth the wait-
FuturebirdsHampton’s Lullaby (2010, Autumn Tone) ♥♥♥♥
-sprawling Americana with hints of Built To Spill and Neil Young when they jam out; most of these songs reach epic status almost effortlessly; think of the expansive prairie where Kings Of Leon could be roaming instead of playing their vapid arena rock to the masses…-
EfrenAlways A Bleeder (2010, Slo Pro) ♥♥½
-mellow psyche-folk hailing from Athens that might appeal to fans of Jason Molina or Patterson Hood
House Of BreadSuperhuman Tomb (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-electronic haze of melodic noise that consistently meshes into a pleasant experience-
These United StatesWhat Lasts (2010, United Interests) ♥♥½
-this is another in a long line of not-nearly-folk, not-nearly-country acts that has recently made ripples on the scene; sadly I think this falls short as it lacks any kind of real punch or grit-
Sufjan StevensAll Delighted People EP (2010, Asthmatic Kitty) ♥♥♥♥
-i am betting there will forever be disagreements over which Sufjan ’10 album deserves higher acclaim; this LP gets my vote if for nothing but the choral sweetness of ‘From The Mouth Of Gabriel’ and ‘Djohariah’, the sprawling ode to single mothers and his younger sister (whose name happens to be the song’s title)-
GrouploveGrouplove EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-very basic but undoubtedly hook-laden tunes with oohs-aahs and handclaps; the vocalist reminds me of Colin Meloy and the band themselves could pass for a less serious version of the Decemberists or even the New Pornographers; you’ll definitely be hearing this name around in the near future-
unouomedudeMarsh EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-15 minutes of lo-fi pop centered around repetition and big hair; available as a free download here
CastevetThe Echo and The Light (2010, Tiny Engines) ♥♥♥½
-Chicago collective that specializes in modern emo/post-hardcore rock with angular guitars, tense open spaces and throat shredding vocals; impressive if not common-

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