Mini-Beats – April 2010 – Edition 16

Toro Y MoiCausers Of This (2010, Carpark) ♥♥½
-everyone seems to be all a-buzz about this glo-fi product but I think it’s been trumped by many others lately-
Fang IslandFang Island (2010, Sargent House) ♥♥♥
-guitar(hero)tronics with some bro-fi tendencies and maybe a little Vampire Weekend; this is somewhat unique if not a little too overly playful-
Crooked HookThe Captain Will Be Your Guide (2007, Safety Meeting) ♥♥♥½
-some serious slow-burning Sabbath-worship; dig my alliteration, bishes-
Adam Arcuragi/AudibleOpening Acts & Great Surprises EP (2002, Father) ♥♥♥
-4 songs of Adam’s mellow, mope-folk and 4 Pinback-like offerings from Audible
Pushing Red ButtonsThe Butterfly Net (2008, Blockchord)
-terrible, generic power-pop that tried and failed to emulate XTC…and I actually liked their debut-
AbsofactoTagalong EP (2009, self-released) ♥♥½
-batch of 4 songs that neither stink or wow; features member of Mason Proper for what it’s worth-
Air WavesAir Waves EP (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥
-a demo of sorts that showed promise; newer material has already shaped up to be impressive fuzz-pop-
The Besnard LakesThe Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night (2010, Jagjaguwar) ♥♥♥♥
-two really solid 4-star albums in a row for this husband and wife couple from Canada; melodic dream-pop that completely washes over you and sends yer mind into the ether-
Butterfly ExplosionLost Trails (2010, Revive) ♥♥♥
-breezy shoegaze that hit a few sweet spots but didn’t quite qualify for that next level-
King Of PrussiaThe Time Of Great Forgetting EP (2010, Kindercore) ♥♥♥½
-a little more frolicky and melodic and, thusly, far better than their debut LP-
Wye Oak – My Neighbor/My Creator EP (2010, Merge) ♥♥♥½
-I don’t recall their last LP making much of an impression on me but this EP was a top-shelf effort aside from the misguided remix closing out the disc-
KissesThe Heart Of The Nightlife (2010, Surrounded By Sound) ♥♥♥½
-nothing original but their brand of electro-indie-pop a la Labrador Records/Jens Lekman is done with enough panache to make me come back to this-
Kaki KingJunior (2010, Rounder) ♥♥
-this is unfortunately the direction I had hoped Kaki wouldn’t move towards; especially awkward if you are familiar with her back catalogue-
White HinterlandKairos (2010, Dead Oceans) ♥♥½
-Casey Dienel’s powerful vocals atop spacey, trip-hop beats; more or less becomes background noise
Vic ChesnuttSkitter On Take Off (2009, Vapor) ♥♥♥
-the second part of Vic’s wry farewell output in ’09; this being more he-and-a-guitar than At The Cut
Pattern Is MovementThe Impossibility Of Longing (2004, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-the precious debut that put them on the (indie) map and set the standard for future, less inviting, releases; their live show is not to be missed-
One For The TeamGhosts (2010, Afternoon) ♥♥♥
OFTT have managed another solid indie-pop effort; if you like all their other releases, this will not disappoint-
Thinking MachinesWork Tapes (2010, TMvFM) ♥♥♥½
-a slight improvement from their last LP; the band improves upon their ability to exercise restraint or just flat out burn when necessary-
Pearl JamBackspacer (2009, Monkeywrench) ♥♥♥
-I struggled with this rating; sometimes the band is on (The Fixer & Just Breathe), other times this treads tired and old status (Speed Of Sound)-
The MissionariesDark Animals (2008, Magic Twig) ♥♥½
-mellow, wistful folk not unlike Phosphorescent and Horse Feathers
The Leisure SocietyA Product Of The Ego Drain EP (2009, Full Time Hobby) ♥♥♥½
-a diverse collection of songs centered around melody, sunshine and um, pancakes-
A WeatherEveryday Balloons (2010, Team Love) ♥♥♥
-harmless indie-pop folk with its fair share of ‘pretty’ moments; suffered from Sameness Syndrome at times-
Apples In StereoTravellers In Space and Time (2010, Simian/YepRoc) ♥♥
-futuristic disco-junk centered around girls ended up not being as compelling as it sounds-
The Leisure SocietyThe Sleeper (2009, Full Time Hobby) ♥♥♥
-very mild-mannered psyche-pop with some cutesy twee tendencies; not as good as the EP release around the same time but it could get better with age-
My Gold MaskMy Gold Mask (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥
-throaty female vocals and minimal beats made me think early Throwing Muses or the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s
Donkey Boy (USA)And The Anthony Graigs (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-well executed lo-fi pop songs with enough angst and enough pop-culture bashing to satiate the needs of every jaded hipster; available as a free download here
Josh PrestonThe Complex Wooden Heart EP (2008,  self-released) ♥♥½
-4 acoustic versions of previously recorded songs I’ve not yet heard; modern folkie singer-songwriter vibe; available as a free download here
Totally NebularBoat Boat (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-see front page review-
The Story of EverestConsuelo y Mas (2006, Blonde) ♥♥½
-indie-folk with lots of banjo and gadgetry and random bursts of noise and chaos; available as a free download here
SwansawFlight And Falling (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-dynamic instrumental post-rock with crescendos, the occasional nod to shoegaze and metal and grouped ‘movements’; available as a free download here
Jason CollettRat A Tat Tat (2010, Arts & Crafts) ♥♥♥
-a noted improvement from Jason’s Here’s To Being Here though still far below his maximum potential-
Lying In StatesThe Bewildered Herd (2002, RockProper) ♥♥½
-you can expect a noisy mix of 90’s college indie and emo; available as a free download here
SnowblinkLong Live (2008, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-Daniela sings quiet, introspective folk songs that made me daydream about the first couple Julie Doiron albums-
The BloodsugarsI Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On (2009, Engine Room) ♥♥½
-middle of the road dancey synth-pop; can’t recommend this for anything but the super-catchy ‘I Want It Back‘-
The Young SinclairsCeto’s Return (2007, Magic Twig) ♥♥♥½
TYS dig deep into the jammy, psychedelic innards of the 60’s and 70’s-
The Long BlondesCouples (2008, Rough Trade) ♥♥
-disappointing to say the least; essential if you’ve been champing at the bit for a new Cardigans or Elastica album…-
JónsiGo (2010, XL) ♥♥♥½
-a few strangely upbeat electro-tunes; Jónsi could pretty much fart in a can of beer and I would approve; frontman of Sigur Ros for those lost on an island the past 6 years-

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