Ultimate Care II ALBUM REVIEW

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Ultimate Care II is not a sequel. Nor is the title some sort of parody of other albums. As a quick google search can attest, it refers to a particular model of a washing machine, as featured on the cover. Anyone who hasn’t already been following Matmos (and probably a decent portion of those who are) will probably be surprised to find that the entire album is sampled from various noises said washing machine makes. Listeners can throw in their towels on their expectations, preparing for a dazzling swirl of normalities. The dial twists, and it begins. Continue reading “Ultimate Care II ALBUM REVIEW”

Teen Suicide – “The Stomach of the Earth” TRACK REVIEW

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With promises that they are “changing [their] name!!” and the announcement that this album, It’s the Big Joyous Celebration, Let’s Stir the Honeypot, will be their last, lo-fi band Teen Suicide seems to be entering a completely different (and perhaps final) era. If their newest (and first) music video for their first single “Alex” is any indication, they’re evolving into an unusual, more ‘there’ band. Teen Suicide is shedding their old identities as ‘that band that played in that old basement’ and ‘this song is sad and it sounds like it was recorded with a laptop microphone’. “Alex” was a nice transitory piece; their vocals are clear but the lyrics remain downtrodden, and the music itself still rings true to the whole “skater punk” vibe. If anything, it was a nice update from a project long thought to be over. “Stomach of the Earth”, however, is a completely different animal. Continue reading “Teen Suicide – “The Stomach of the Earth” TRACK REVIEW”

Charli XCX – “Vroom Vroom” TRACK REVIEW

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Charli XCX has ditched her previous pop approaches (and label) in an effort to capitalize on the growing sub-genre of PC Music. She’s paired up with genre heavy-hitters SOPHIE and Hannah Diamond on her newest EP, which shares its title with her new self-produced label. The title track, “Vroom Vroom”, has production from SOPHIE, and although it only lasts about two minutes, it features some insightful risks and hopeful directions for the movement. Continue reading “Charli XCX – “Vroom Vroom” TRACK REVIEW”

Painting With ALBUM REVIEW

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Shh! Do you wanna hear a secret? I know one…

Animal Collective have always been a band founded on “secrets”. Their lyrics are wrought with hidden meanings and deeply political implications. Discerning the vocals can often be an act of scavenging in itself, disguised by layers of distortion and psych-infused melodies. But what started out as a lo-fi freak folk duo slowly grew into a pop-centric band of four, nearly devoid of the noisiness and challenge. Strawberry Jam marked the beginning of the full-fledged electronica approach to creating pop music, and Merriweather Post Pavillion brought the band into the scope of the masses, which wasn’t sustained with the release of Centipede Hz. But more than popularity, each Animal Collective release has been an individualized take on musicality and thematic concepts, and Painting With is no exception. Continue reading “Painting With ALBUM REVIEW”