Mini-Beats – June 2010 – Edition 21

Rotary DownsCracked Maps and Blue Reports (2010, Reapandsow, Inc.) ♥♥♥
-these guys can’t seem to break out of the Pavement mold they’ve shaped themselves into; regardless there’s a few really solid songs to be enjoyed here-
Beach FossilsBeach Fossils (2010, Captured Tracks) ♥♥♥½
-short, fuzzy lo-fi tunes not unlike The Legends or Radio Dept.; this will undoubtedly be lumped into the wall-of-sound side of the chillwave genre-
Spirit KidSpirit Kid (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-60’s influenced indie-pop with all the right starts/stops, ooohs/aaahs; RIYL old-school Of Montreal or Minders
Jon Spencer Blues ExplosionDirty Shirt Rock N’ Roll: The First Ten Years (2010, Shout!) ♥♥♥½
-insert every dirty, gritty word here and amplify it to 11 with echo and soul-
Chromatic FlightsFavorite Cat EP (2009, Monotonik) ♥♥♥½
-Kyle Wyss’ (Blind Man’s Colour) side-project that I feel is considerably superior; bits of shoegazing and electronic warmth with vocals reminiscent of Eric Elbogen from Say Hi To Your Mom; available as a free download from the label here
The ChairsCan We Be Friends EP (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-5 cover songs from this Wisconsin collective spanning the gamut from Radiohead to Neutral Milk Hotel; available as a free download here
The DebutantesThe Debutantes EP (2008, self-released) ♥♥♥
-melodic post-punk from New Zealand-
Monster Eiffel TowerLand Lines EP (2008, self-released) ♥♥♥♥
-this trio from Brooklyn has assembled 5 tracks of above-average 90’s emo-prog full of wiry guitar lines and bursts of Braid-like energy; free and awesome!-
Vulture WhaleBamboo You (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-Alabama rockers serving up melodic, raw guitar-bass-drum jams with faux British accents; available for free download here
Beloved RoguePolaurora EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥½
-reverb-heavy dream-pop that does have potential even though it didn’t elicit a second listen; available as a free download here
Janelle MonáeThe ArchAndroid (2010, Bad Boy) ♥♥♥½
-there is a whole lot going on throughout this near 70-minute behemoth of an album; my initial assessment finds Cold War/Tightrope and anything beyond Suite III to be top-shelf; I could live without the slower dirge-like ballads however-
MGMTCongratulations (2010, Columbia) ♥½
-rating based not on its lack of Oracular-isms but moreso its failure to succeed as conceptual psyche-pop; a few tracks even reminded me of a third-rate Devo…and that’s bad…-
MedicationsCompletely Removed (2010, Dischord) ♥♥♥½
-the album Ted Leo should be busy making instead of whining about records being flipped on eBay…; features ex-members of Faraquet
DemanderFuture Brite (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-NYC pop-punk trio featuring ex-members of the Hissyfits; fans of recent Bettie Serveert and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s will get behind this; settles in after the 2nd and 3rd spin-
PhosphorescentHere’s To Taking It Easy (2010, Dead Oceans) ♥♥♥
-it’s no surprise I enjoyed the pastoral canyon-core of Matthew Houck’s early career more than new material; however, Here’s is much more effective Neil Young worship than the previous 2 albums-
YardsaleKnock Alley West (2010, self-released) ♥♥
-claims to be the second rowdiest, hootenanniest band in Kentucky but this a far too bar-bandy for me to get into and enjoy-
HammockNorth, West, East, South EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥½
merely a bonus EP to coincide with their linen-bound book of the same name; as good as anything they’ve released; (Dear Hammock – please think about pressing some vinyl…)-
Alcoholic Faith MissionLet This Be The Last Night We Care (2010, PonyRec) ♥♥♥
-an oddly compelling album from this Danish clan with dreamy pop, mixed girl/boy vocals, weird song titles and even weirder lyrics-
Canyons Of StaticThe Disappearance (2008, Former Airline) ♥♥♥
-muscular post-rock played with enough panache to keep you mostly interested but this, of course, has all been done before and to much greater effect-
Lab PartnersMoonlight Music (2010, Pravda) ♥♥♥½
-it’s big and meaty and Brit-influenced shoegaze from Dayton, OH with a few ballads; another solid release from this terribly under-appreciated band-
Circus DevilsMother Skinny (2010, Happy Jack) ♥♥
-a dark and twisted affair; territory that has never suited Bob well imho-
VA – Behind The Banana Curtain (1975-2000) (2000, Valve) ♥♥♥
-a 2-disc compilation centered around the evolution of the Brisbane, Australia music scene and its quintessential radio station 4ZZZ; consists mostly of political influenced punk and post-punk anthems-
MaquiladoraSt. Cecilia’s Drowning – White Sands & Ritual Of Hearts Revisited (2CD) (2008, Acuarela) ♥♥½
-brooding psyche-Americana that is often compared to Calexico but this combines two albums from their earlier, less mesmerizing catalog-
Jeremy MessersmithThe Reluctant Graveyard (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
JM has progressed drastically with each LP since the debut; this is full of sunshine-pop, harmonies and 60’s nostalgia; we’re definitely going to hear ‘Violet‘ in a commercial very soon-
RangersSuburban Tours (2010, Olde English Spelling Bee) 
-these tropical pastiches of lo-fi noodling are lacking the necessary twists and turns to keep me interested-

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