Mini-Beats – June 2010

Black TambourineBlack Tambourine (2010, Slumberland) (re-issue) ♥♥♥½
-seminal wall-of-sound fuzz-pop from D.C.; re-issued with several bonus tracks-
Dan DeaconWoof Woof EP (2010, Amazing Sounds) ♥♥♥
-one original single and 3 remixes from the Bromst album; not too much variation here but if you welcomed the direction he took on the LP like I did. you’ll like this-
Admiral FallowBoots Met My Face (2010, Lo-Five) ♥♥♥
-Scottish broodsmiths that immediately make you think Arab Strap or Frightened Rabbit with their blend of folk and crescendo-filled mope-core-
CocoRosieGrey Oceans (2010, Sub Pop) ♥♥♥½
-was never a big proponent of these ladies but this is a surprisingly eclectic and interesting affair-
Ariel Pink’s Haunted GraffitiBefore Today (2010, 4AD) ♥♥½
-the so-called pioneers of chillwave; their ‘major’ label debut yields one great song and a bunch of skewed oddball pop that’s all over the place, but in a not-so-good kinda way-
Trips and FallsHe Was Such A Quiet Boy (2010, Song, By Toad) ♥♥♥
-a somewhat indescribable group of songs from Montreal; imagine a ridiculous pairing of Karate/Geoff Farina and um, Magnetic Fields?-
Hooray For EarthMoMo EP (2010, Dovecote) ♥♥♥
-this started off pretty strong but fizzed out at the end; fans of  Yeasayer or chill synth sounds in general will find a little to chew on here-
The FranksDuh EP (2010, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-10 minutes of spry indie-garage like Art Brut and the like; available as a free download here
Sleigh BellsTreats (2010, Mom + Pop) ♥♥♥♥
-half of these tracks were already embedded in my head from here and there; it took a few listens for me to realize I will likely not hear anything like this all year; hard to believe there’s Poison The Well lineage here…-
CarrotsCinnamon Park EP (2005, Grabaciones En El Mar) ♥♥♥½
-indie-pop from Spain featuring the syrupy title track and two versions of the splendid BTID favorite One, Two, Three, Love
EFMourning Golden Morning (2010, And The Sound) ♥♥♥½
-their 3rd LP continues their tradition of mild-mannered post-rock done well; RIYL Hammock, Saxon Shore
Mark McGuireVacation Days (2010, Wagon) ♥♥♥
-instrumental drone type stuff that focuses on guitar; Mark’s been around for several years under different incarnations-
La StradaNew Home (2010, Ernest Jenning Recording Company) ♥♥♥½
-not as raw and impressive as their Daytrotter session but this eclectic, Brooklyn-based outfit has a good chance to make some waves with this LP-
Horse FeathersThistled Spring (2010, Kill Rock Stars) ♥♥♥
Justin Ringle’s vocals will always keep me coming back to anything he appears on; the songs themselves aren’t as strong as previous efforts but still worth a few listens; RIYL Jamie Barnes
She & HimVolume 2 (2010, Merge) ♥♥♥
-another collection of easy listening ditties that center on Zooey’s vocals; the actual feel and flow of the album is a drastic improvement over the forced delivery on the debut-
Electric LitanyHow To Be A Child & Win The War (2010, Inner Ear) ♥♥♥½
-atmospheric, dream-pop primarily based in Greece that reminded me of recent Antlers; I could see fans of Jeff Buckley digging this as well-
Rotary Downs
Cracked 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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