Album Of The Week

Album Of The Week: Kix Rock Your Face Off

By Tom Breihan / August 5, 2014 - 4:18 pm

What was the best hair-metal band of the ’80s? Guns N’ Roses is the obvious answer, and Axl Rose did have some impressively big hair in the “Welcome To The Jungle” video, but that band (smartly) distanced themselves from their Sunset Strip peers as quickly as they possibly could, effectively and consciously transcending the genre… More »

Album Of The Week: Jenny Lewis The Voyager

By Tom Breihan / July 29, 2014 - 4:01 pm

Track five on the new Jenny Lewis album starts like this: “When I turned 16, I was furious and reckless / Got a Chelsea girl haircut and a plane ticket to Paris.” The song is about meeting another American girl over there and sort-of/kind-of falling in love: “How could I resist her? / I had… More »

Album Of The Week: Courtship Ritual Pith

By Tom Breihan / July 22, 2014 - 3:52 pm

I might as well get some boring full-disclosure stuff out of the way first: Nick Sylvester, a great friend and former colleague of mine, produced this album, and he’s putting it out on Godmode, his label. The fact that Nick worked on this album has a lot to do with the fact that I listened… More »

Album Of The Week: United Nations The Next Four Years

By Tom Breihan / July 15, 2014 - 2:54 pm

“A new life, a new craze, a new sound, all the rage,” Geoff Rickly sings on “Serious Business,” the first song from United Nations’ new album The Next Four Years — except he’s demonically howling it, not singing, and you’d never pick those words out without the help of a lyric sheet. Still, those word… More »

Album Of The Week: DJ Dodger Stadium Friend Of Mine

By Tom Breihan / July 8, 2014 - 3:06 pm

“Lately, I’ve been singing love songs by myself.” “It looks like I’m the one who lost.” “Never win, you know you’ll never win.” On the page, these are elegant phrases, sharply drawn pieces of economical wording that hint at vast oceans of ache without lapsing into woe-is-me verbosity. But that’s pretty much all they are. More »

Album Of The Week: Beverly Careers

By Tom Breihan / July 1, 2014 - 4:33 pm

I won’t lie: This was a rough week. Some weeks are rough because there are so many great albums that, when I pick one, I’m doing a disservice to all the others. And then some weeks are rough because there’s just nothing going on. This is one of those weeks. We haven’t seen a release… More »

Album Of The Week: How To Dress Well “What Is This Heart?”

By Tom Breihan / June 24, 2014 - 3:40 pm

Here’s something we never really knew before: Tom Krell can sing. Krell has been releasing music as How To Dress Well for something like six years, but he’s kept his voice obscured, shrouded in flickering fog, buried in audio murk. Even on 2012’s great Total Loss, the moment where he fully and finally stepped away… More »

Album Of The Week: White Lung Deep Fantasy

By Tom Breihan / June 17, 2014 - 1:55 pm

White Lung don’t sound like Hole. They don’t sound like L7, either. The only way they’d sound like Babes In Toyland is if you shot Babes In Toyland full of adrenaline and then forced them to claw their way out of a gigantic plastic bag. It doesn’t make much sense, musically at least, to compare… More »

Album Of The Week: clipping. CLPPNG

By Tom Breihan / June 10, 2014 - 2:27 pm

The minute the L.A. trio clipping. emerged, combining clinically precise raps with assaultive squalls of electro-noise, they invited comparison to another California group, Death Grips. But those comparisons don’t work, and the main reason is also the main reason I can’t stand Death Grips. Here’s the thing: clipping. are, on some level, a rap group,… More »

Album Of The Week: Parquet Courts Sunbathing Animal

By Tom Breihan / June 3, 2014 - 3:19 pm

What a great day for punk rock. My real favorite album of the week is Fucked Up’s bleary, anxious, grown-up hardcore masterwork Glass Boys, a grand and surging piece of work that I can’t write about because they’re my friends. (Our own Chris DeVille did well with that album in his Premature Evaluation, anyway.) Thi… More »

Album Of The Week: Trash Talk No Peace

By Tom Breihan / May 27, 2014 - 1:48 pm

People don’t talk about Trash Talk’s music. We talk about Trash Talk as an avenging force, or as a torch-bearing institution dedicated to reminding us of the days when you could get your fucking head kicked in at a punk rock show. The first time I saw Trash Talk live, I’m not sure I eve… More »

Album Of The Week: G-Side Gz II Godz

By Tom Breihan / May 20, 2014 - 1:58 pm

“Turned the city where I’m from into a mini-Motown,” says ST 2 Lettaz on the new G-Side song “Higher.” He’s right and he’s wrong. Five or six years ago, Huntsville, Alabama, the city where G-Side are from, was the toast of the rap internet, a small nowhere town that suddenly seemed to be cranking out… More »

Album Of The Week: Sylvan Esso Sylvan Esso

By Tom Breihan / May 13, 2014 - 3:05 pm

These things are rare, but if you were in the right spot for 25 minutes at SXSW 2010, you no longer felt like you were in the middle of a chaotic industry clusterfuck. This was in Buffalo Billiards, a cheesed-out pool hall on 6th street, chaotic-clusterfuck ground zero, but there’s a decent chance that the… More »

Album Of The Week: The Horrors Luminous

By Tom Breihan / May 6, 2014 - 2:38 pm

Album Of The Week was a straight-up dogfight this week, a brutally even match between two strong competitors. In one corner, there was Lykke Li’s beautifully heart-trampled breakup album I Never Learn, in which Li ditches all her kinda-cute dance-pop tics and goes straight for the emotional jugular. For a breakup album, this one take… More »

Album Of The Week: Wovenhand Refractory Obdurate

By Tom Breihan / April 29, 2014 - 2:48 pm

The Swans reunion is an unambiguously great thing: A band of grizzled veterans channeling all the forces of darkness and playing half-hour symphonies to the abyss, staring all their deepest impulses in the face and submitting to them entirely. A Swans show, these days, is a scorching, purifying, life-affirming experience, and a new Swans album… More »

Album Of The Week: Future Honest

By Tom Breihan / April 22, 2014 - 4:27 pm

The first words Future says on Honest are a half-conscious mutter, but that doesn’t make them any less heartfelt: “Be bold. Smell me?” As if to show and prove on those four words, the music underneath him is not what you might expect from the intro track to the new Future album. It’s a warm,… More »

Album Of The Week: Triptykon Melana Chasmata

By Tom Breihan / April 15, 2014 - 4:38 pm

The later, post-Optimus Prime death seasons of the original Transformers cartoon took place in the distant, futuristic year of 2006, when the Decepticons’ most powerful weapon was Trypticon, an actual city that would transform into a vast purple-and-black dinosaur. Trypticon spent a lot of time fighting against Metroplex, an Autobot city that would also tur… More »

Album Of The Week: EMA The Future’s Void

By Tom Breihan / April 8, 2014 - 4:11 pm

Seven years ago, covering CMJ for the Village Voice, I tried to go see High Places at the Cake Shop in New York, and I got their early enough to see the final song of the band that was before them on the bill. That final song just about sucked my soul out through my… More »

Album Of The Week: Cloud Nothings Here And Nowhere Else

By Tom Breihan / April 1, 2014 - 4:17 pm

Listen to the god damn drums. There’s a lot to like about Here And Nowhere Else, the new Cloud Nothings album: The snot-punk hooks, the scraped-out guitar textures, the overwhelming refusal to acknowledge any musical influences from anytime after, say, 1997. But those drums are the best thing about Here And Nowhere Else. Cloud Nothing… More »

Album Of The Week: Future Islands Singles

By Tom Breihan / March 25, 2014 - 4:19 pm

One of my favorite tropes in pop music is the readymade greatest-hits album, the album so packed with perfectly crafted pop nuggets that every one of its tracks seems destined for airplay. There aren’t too many of these albums, but they all feel earthshaking when they come along: Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Def Leppard’s Hysteria, Michael… More »

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