Mini-Beats – December 2010 – Edition 33

Pas Chic ChicAu Contraire (2008, Semprini) ♥♥½
-eccentric cabaret/psyche pop with danceable, almost Kraut-like beats and French lyrics likely about sex and wine and being hip and whatnot; this didn’t pan out as good as the description implies…-
Yellow OstrichThe Mistress (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-there’s always enough quality in Alex Schaaf’s songs and presentation to keep his albums on repeat for hours before I realize the pressing need to not ignore the  rest of my listening queue; this features less of the a capella harmonies of the precious Fade Cave EP but it still works wonders on its own level; gratis
Yellow OstrichThe Serious Kids EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-I’m hoping the eventual popularity Alex will enjoy (or suffer through…) doesn’t hinder his ability to keep banging out quality stuff and providing it for free, no less; some tracks reminded of Cloud Cult here-
FoalsTotal Life Forever (2010, Sub Pop) ♥♥½
-rhythmic indie-rock from the UK that never seems to develop and live up to its potential (that potential being Spanish Sahara…); rumor has it that I need to give their debut a spin-
Les Savvy FavRoot To Ruin (2010, Frenchkiss) ♥♥♥
-if you came expecting the heroes of the post-punk revivalist scene to summon your white ass to the dancefloor (read: mosh pit) like they have with every previous LP you’ll be a little disappointed; however, if you came for a more accessible batch of guitar-driven social commentaries (read: finger-pointing) then by all means, pleasure yourself-
PregnantRegional Music (2010, Life’s Blood) ♥♥♥½
-a nervous jaunt through a hodge-podge of skronky beats, noise loops and sound collages; pressed on diarrhea-yellow vinyl and the A-side is cut to play inside-out (pretty neat…)-
Let’s WrestleIn The Court Of The Wrestling Let’s (2009, Boom) ♥♥
-heard great things about this coming but walked away with a sour face; it’s structurally unsound, schizo/manic odd-pop that should equate to something a little more interesting-
Boston SpaceshipsOur Cubehouse Still Rocks (2010, Guided By Voices) ♥♥♥½
-I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is the most solid/worthwhile release from Bob since ’06’s From A Compound Eye
Archie Bronson OutfitCoconut (2010, Domino) ♥♥♥
-a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affair, especially when it comes to this variety of hyper UK post-punk; I liked the few jams I heard on their previous LP but nothing here came close to packing the same punch or intensity-
In GrenadaBreak (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-imagine a 70’s-era Springsteen fronting the 2010 Arcade Fire and you’ll begin to understand these Philly lads’ debut-
Deer TickThe Black Dirt Sessions (2010, Partisan) ♥♥♥½
-this might be a case of my loving John McCauley’s vocals more than anything since only a few tracks stood out and some even felt uncomfortable or out of place-
Josephine Foster & The Victor Herrero BandAnda Jaleo (2010, Fire) ♥♥♥
-this is a collection of adaptations of Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca’s Las Canciones; I’d say it treads more on the side of minimal Latin folk with handclaps, classical guitar and castanets centered around Josephine’s dynamic vocal style-
The Head and The HeartThe Head and The Heart (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-warm, comforting folk/Americana not unlike recent favorites the Avett Brothers and Delta Spirit
Lawrence ArabiaChant Darling (2010, Bella Union) ♥♥♥½
-an unexpected soulful pop surprise from New Zealand that doesn’t pull influence from the Flying Nun crowd; RIYL Okkervil River (an after-effect of touring with them I am sure)-
Run On SentenceYou The Darkness and Me (2010, Hush) ♥♥♥
-assorted mix of modern folk sounds and instrumentation that should appeal to fans of Iron and Wine

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