Mini-Beats – September 2010

MeursaultPissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues (2008, Song, By Toad) ♥♥♥½
-I’ll forgive the fact that Neil blatantly (or not) rips off the melody from NMH’s ‘Song Against Sex’ on the title track-
Crooked FingersReservoir Songs II EP (2010, Foreign Leisure) ♥♥½
-the second edition of Eric’s cover series; funded entirely through Kickstarter; unfortunately these do little to hold me over until the new full-length-
Perfume GeniusLearning (2010, Sub Pop) ♥♥♥♥
-tender, elegiac bedroom symphonies ‘banged out’ on Mike’s secondhand keyboard; depressing but beautiful shit, like Summer At Shatter Creek
Lowly, The Tree GhostWhatever Goes, Let It Go! (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-Cleveland collective that combines melodic indie-pop with elements of Americana and back-porch folk; they have that boy/girl vocal thing going on but I think in the future there should be more Emily than Andrew-
ListenerWooden Heart (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥♥
-Dan Smith shouts/waxes/drawls poetry over southern-fried music as his backdrop; what’s being referred to as ‘talk music’ in some circles; it’s profound, unique and interesting, a rarity-
RxRyAEIOUWLS (2010, self-released) ♥♥½
-instrumental chillwave that evokes a variety of moods but wears a little thin by the time it finishes up-
Blackbird BlackbirdSummer Heart (2010, White Guys With Beards) ♥♥♥♥
-pretty much all the tunez that have been blogged to infinity the past year are assembled here in a gorgeous package-
MeursaultNothing Broke EP (2009, Song, By Toad) ♥♥♥½
-this split the gap between the admirable debut and untouchable All The Creatures LP; everything in the catalog so far is essential-
Royal BangsWe Breed Champions (2008, Audio Eagle) ♥♥♥♥
-thieved from their wiki: ‘belting garage rock, quirky indie rock and bamboozling electronica, all served up in one smart and super-confident package’; RIYL Wrens, Japandroids
Sarah WinchesterThe Northeast Kingdom Demos (2009, Team Love) ♥♥♥½
-sparse, hushed lullabies from the female half of A Weather; I’m curious to see what happens when these ‘demos’ are further realized; RIYL Julie Doiron
The Wave PicturesPuncture My Pride (2009, Team Love) ♥♥♥½
-endearing/geeky British indie-pop fronted by David Tattersall; there’s good stories to be found here…and for free; RIYL Jeffrey Lewis
The VaselinesSex With An X (2010, Sub Pop) ♥♥♥
-i’ll ignore the horrible cover and mention that there is a little bit of old magic here but some of this falls flat; winners include ‘Overweight But Over You’; RIYL early Raveonettes
Screen Door PorchScreen Door Porch (2010, self-released) ♥♥½
-mellow Americana that doesn’t do a whole lot to distinguish itself from the pack; a few songs will make you hit repeat but there’s much better in this genre; RIYL Cowboy Junkies
SuperchunkMajesty Shredding (2010, Merge) ♥♥♥½
-i can’t say this is a return to form since SC have endured several acceptable forms over the years but there are moments that rip and roar; they’re still crackling with energy and scene relevance-
Half-Handed CloudAs Stowaways In Cabinets Of Surf… (2010, Asthmatic Kitty) ♥♥♥
-John Ringhofer continues his string of biblical sing-alongs emoted in a rather effeminate, twee-ish manner; with help from Danielson members RIYL The Bible, Elephant 6, Sufjan Stevens, Jason Lytle
Leif VollebekkInland (2010, Nevado) ♥♥♥½
-ladies and gentlemen, let’s all welcome the Canadian M Ward to our shores!-
Tame Impala
Tame Impala EP (2008, Modular) ♥♥♥♥
-the world needs more sounds like Tame Impala and Dungen; fuzzy, low-end psyche crunch that makes this guy want to cut an (oddly-shaped) rug-
Clean EquationsClean Equations EP (2009, State Capital) ♥♥♥
-this EP follows a straighter path to its end than their most recent LP; mellow, indie-pop with sparkling moments and the occasional male/female vocal interplay (more, please); RIYL Stars Of Track and Field, Death Cab For Cutie
Dinosaur BonesDinosaur Bones EP (2008, self-released) ♥♥½
-Toronto-based collective whom you should be familiar with due to ‘N.Y.E.’ being featured on a monthly mix; wasn’t moved beyond that single, however-
Sofia TalvikFlorida (2010, Makaki) ♥♥♥
-adorable Swedish songstress with a playful but graceful vocal delivery; not quite twee or folk or pop but more a style of her own; RIYL Goldfrapp
The Capstan ShaftsRevelation Skirts (2010, Rainbow Quartz) ♥♥♥½
-the ‘new’ hi-fi Capstan Shafts will take a little while to get used to considering there’s over 20 previous releases under the moniker that were recorded without the help of a studio; this album is mostly older staples in the catalog reworked with a full band; RIYL Do The Collapse/Isolation Drills-era Guided By Voices
StarsThe Five Ghosts (2010, Soft Revolution) ♥♥♥
-cute, catchy, Canadian indie-pop that is worth a few listens but ultimately trumped by higher quality releases elsewhere in the genre this year-
Matthew CarefullyCommunity Balloon (2010, Collar City) ♥♥♥½
-former(?) contributor to the (late?) Kamikaze Hearts collective who has since started his own record label; this is a hodge-podge of left-of-center pop that ranges from lush to sparse-
Blue GiantBlue Giant (2010, Vanguard) ♥♥½
-while seemingly competent musicians capable of pulling off several styles, they provide little by way of memorable songs…-
Yellow OstrichThe Morgan Freeman EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥½
-six trebly, lo-fi attempts at chronicling the life and times of Morgan Freeman himself; I admire the concept (and the man himself) but there’s higher quality songs to be found Alex’s catalog; available for free on his bandcamp
Minus The BearOmni (2010, Dangerbird) ♥♥
-I’ve pretty much resigned myself to being a fan of early Minus The Bear only; the last few records had more of a proggy feel to them than their post-hardcore roots but this is far too overproduced and even corny at times to appeal to me beyond what once was-
Balsa GlidersDanceable In Victor (2008, Deep South Digital) ♥♥♥ from North Kakolaki RIYL Old 97’s
TV On The RadioDesperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (2004, Touch and Go) ♥♥♥½
-i felt it was my civic duty to begin an (overdue) investigation of this band’s catalog considering they’ve been referenced so much lately and so far, it’s worth it-
Dishwater PsychicsIf I Ever Disintegrate (2007, Friendly Psychics) ♥♥
-i always experience a serious Lou Barlow vibe with every DP release but this record failed to impress beyond the lyric sheet-
The Joy FormidableA Balloon Called Moaning (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥♥
-several sources cited this among their favorite albums of the year and I’m on board; coupling the sugar-coated, supersonic, shoegaze swirl with Ritzy’s precious vocals yields the most endearing sounds I’ve heard hailing from the UK in quite a while RIYL Giant Drag, Asobi Seksu
HotpipesHotpipes (2007, Liquid Panda) ♥♥½
-the follow up to these Nashville regulars’ excellent debut The Deadly Poison lacks any real kind of punch or hooks-
The Hoof and The HeelAnd All The Tigers EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥
-boy/girl dance-pop that’s as cute as it is forgettable outside of the bouncy, Cardigans/Bettie Serveert inspired ‘Fireworks’-
SuckersWild Smile (2010, Frenchkiss) ♥♥♥½
-eccentric indie featuring Quinn Walker’s over-the-top falsetto and a wide array of anthemic choruses and crescendo-filled breakdowns ; RIYL Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Wolf Parade
StornowayBeachcombers Windowsill (2010, 4AD) ♥♥♥
-tale-spinning folk/indie-pop with swelling harmonies that can, at times, be a little overdramatic and thus overbearing; RIYL Belle & Sebastian, The Decemberists
GonerRock and Roll Always Forgets (2008, Bifocal Media) ♥♥♥½
-playful key-tar rock that that will appeal to fans of Canasta or Oh My God or on a larger scale, Weezer
Sam SkarstadSerkus (2007, Catapult) ♥♥♥
-mildly psychedelic/experimental pop that features a wide array of instrumentation and twists and turns; FYI now known as Sam Bay; RIYL Sufjan Stevens

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