Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog had set all their cards out on the table from the beginning and has consistently kept to their laid back, forwardly retro, bum rock style. Although this consistency doesn’t mean they haven’t progressed from the start. In fact they perfected it with their latest album, Shame Shame. While most of the terms used to describe this album will be a mash-up of random music-related terminology and slapdash adjectives, it all makes sense with just one listen through. Their recent release steps away from the raw production, giving a shinier feel to their typically rough presentation.
- Shadow People
- Jackie Wants a Black Eye
Paper Tongues are an alternative rock band from Charlotte, North Carolina. Managed by Randy Jackson and signed to A&M/Octone Records, they are definitely trying to make a name for themselves. Their first step was made with the release of their self-titled debut album.
Starting the album with a significant push, Trinity is a great way to introduce an album. While the verses have serious strength, the hooks are catchy and strong enough to bust some speakers. The album doesn’t slow down, keeping the energy high with heavy bass, strong vocals, and light electronics filling in the details. Their hit song, Ride to California, moves into Get Higher, which bats clean up. Both songs have their strengths and seem to standout. A Surprise standout came on track 6, Soul, which is high intensity with a fun beat and great lyrics.
Overall, the album is a nice combination of alternative rock and upbeat pop. The music isn’t anything different, but it will definitely create a following for this young band.
- Ride To California
- Get Higher
The Andronicus’ latest album, The Monitor, stirs an interesting pot of assorted alternative sounds. Anthems for drinking, Irish punk rock, heavy garage distortion, west coast electric, and a plethora of classic lyrical placements litter the album as a surprise around every corner. The album is rough and extremely raw, but includes an interesting twist; a reoccurring Civil War theme. Fuzzy old monologues and patriotic undertones are placed throughout the album.
- Four Score And Seven
- A More Perfect Union
- Titus Andronicus Forever
Brian Burton, a.k.a. Danger Mouse, has a notable track record of creating successful breaks in the music industry. His resume includes the essential 2004 Jay-Z / Beatles mash-up album, The Grey Album. Burton has teamed up with James Mercer, lead singer of The Shins. A collaboration we never saw coming.
The self-titled album successfully promotes each of these individuals’ strengths. Let it be Danger Mouse’s next level instrumentals and distinctive production or Mercer’s infectious vocals and catching choruses. Whether it’s intentional or the product of unique collaborative design, the album is a successful departure from the typical. Mercer’s vocals are barely comparable to that of The Shins and Danger Mouse’s instrumentals are innovative yet clean and relaxed.
Although the album isn’t a leap in front of music’s last step, it has its charm.
- The High Road
- The Ghost Inside
Heavy drums, echoing electric guitar, spacey keys and pseudo-rap vocals make up a large portion of Portugal, The Man’s highly anticipated album, American Ghetto. The collection is a blend of their prior album’s styles, which range from rather experimental to a raw alternative attitude. As a whole, the album plays seemingly different from their 2009 release, The Satanic Satanist, which had a more pop sensibility.
The album opens with one of the strongest tracks, “The Dead Dog”. The heavy drums and crackling production push the album off with a convincing start. A quick abstract interlude leads into another solid song, “60 Years”. Heavy on the electric guitar, notes cry out in the background carefully filling in the songs details. As the track progresses, the chorus takes off and seals its appeal. Overall the first three songs on the album are the standouts, but that doesn’t mean it’s over.
- The Dead Dog
- All My People
- 60 Years
Voice-overs, heavy horns, and a background full of chanting men is probably the best way to introduce the first two tracks on your album. Galactic released their latest album, Ya-Ka-May, this week and its sure to satisfy. Each track is a mash up of sophisticated beats and vocals, featuring a new artist and their individual style on every song.
- Heart Of Steel (featuring Irma Thomas)
- Do It Again (featuring Cheeky Blakk)
- Wild Man (featuring Big Chief Bo Dollis)
Future Sons and Daughters is a collection of unique mid-tempo tracks taking the typical indie sound, including the soft nature of 70’s light rock, and fuzing it with an unassuming shot of contemporary pop. AM’s latest album is a refreshing taste of something new, but not too far from the familiar. He’s taken the recognizable acoustic-pop/folk sound and reworked it enough to keep things interesting.
- The Other Side
- It’s Been So Long
- A Complete Unknown
A long time in the making, two years to be precise, Spoon fans have been waiting for a follow-up to the 2007 release of the sensational Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.
Almost as recognizable as when the Beatles switched from straight-laced pop to a path of something more experimental (Cliché Warning), Transference pushes the typical sound Spoon has previously offered. This isn’t to say they have completely abandoned the style that made them who they are, or that it’s even remotely unrecognizable, but that they are trying something new. Something a bit dirtier. As the album progresses, the sound begins to turn back to a comfortable spot. Someplace they’ve been before. With only 11 tracks, they’ve covered all the needed bases.
- Written In Reverse
- I Saw the Light
- Got Nuffin
- Out Go the Lights
After months of listening to the EP, Chunk of Change, I was finally blessed with a full album by Passion Pit. The band is off-center, original, and atypical enough to excite my sometimes boring playlist. I don’t consider every song perfect, but sometimes its the imperfections that make an album standout. With this one-size fits all type of composition, if you like the first track I’m willing to bet you’ll like the rest. I’m not saying they all sound the same, but their style stays with each track. Finally a band that is unique, but doesn’t rub it in your face!
If your looking for a collection of mainstream pop rock, than this album isn’t for you. With their second full length album release under Dangerbird records, Silversun Pickups conjure up the sounds of 90’s alternative rock past. An orchestra of distortion fills your ears behind the moody vocal work of Brian Aubert.
-Growing Old Is Getting Old
-It’s Nice To Know You Work Alone
-There’s No Secrets This Year