Author Archive

Silkworm – Firewater

Silkworm – Firewater

16 songs, 59 minutes long

Silkworm was an indie rock group signed to either Matador or Touch & Go Records from 1987 to 2005. This review would be hard to do with out comparing this band to Pavement. They were around in a similar scene during the same time period and it is hard to miss the similarities, but Silkworm is an amazing band that stands out in a sea of crappy 90 rock groups and deserves just as much attention as Pavement. Firewater came out in 1996 and is my favorite of the large Silkworm catalog. Firewater has the basic lo-fi 90’s indie rock aesthetic, but it also has some of the best musicianship of any group from that era. In between all the lo-fi noise emerges blistering guitar riffs, amazing long solos, and catchy yet meaningful lyrics. To me an album like this is rock at its finest and every time I listen to it I only wish i was old enough when this band and scene was active to have gotten in to it.

Firewater at Amazon

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Cloudkicker – ]]][[[

Cloudkicker – ]]][[[

3 songs, 15 minutes long

I have never been a fan of metal. I respect it completely as a genre, but its just not one that has ever appealed to me, at least until i found Cloudkicker. Cloudkicker is a one man project by B.M. Sharp, which is recorded completely at home using drum machines and custom tuned guitars. His entire discography, which includes 3 EP’s and a full length LP, is available entirely for free download. My favorite of these is the EP’s is ]]][[[, though all of them are worth listening to. This is metal that I feel appeals to metal and nonmetal fans alike. Its very melodic and complex, with easy to listen to atmospheric guitar riffs, heavy distorted breakdowns, and best of all, completely instrumental (sorry metal fans, I just can’t do screaming rough vocals). It’s short, but the perfect length for a metal album such as this. The listener never gets worn out, you can have 15 minutes of headbanging metal without ever getting a headache, and enjoy every minute of it. Since the albums are free, you really don’t have a good excuse to not check this out. It may be something new and it may even turn you on to checking out more metal.

Download ]]][[[ and all other Cloudkicker albums for free

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Biosphere – Substrata

Biosphere – Substrata

11 songs, 58 minutes long

Biosphere (real name: Geir Jenssen) is a well known and well respected ambient artist from Norway. He has released a notable catalog of music and is an essential listen for anyone who enjoys ambient music. He has many good releases, but his 1997 album Substrata really shines among them as a true classic in ambient works. Substrata is a cold, lonely, distant album, but among all that it is beautiful and relaxing. The whole album has a very arctic feel, and its easy to imagine sitting on a glacier viewing the northern lights completely alone for miles and miles while listening to this album. The album is full of looping strings and distant drones with detail and diversity that keeps the listeners attention (which is a feat for an album as ambient as Substrata). And on that note I must mention that this is a very ambient album. There is very little beat or rhythm and most of the focus is on creating a sound scape and atmosphere. If you are looking for something with just a little more beat, check out Biospheres album Microgravity, it is also fantastic and contains the same arctic feel, but with more techno beats and rhythm.

Substrata at Amazon

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Air France – No Way Down

Air France – No Way Down

6 songs, 22 minutes long

This is an EP I have meant to review for a long time. It is probably my favorite 22 minutes of music and something that everyone should give a listen to. Air France is a group from Sweden that has gained respectable popularity for a band with only 2 EP’s. No Way Down is their second effort and while their first EP, On Trade Winds, was fantastic, No Way Down is, dare I say, perfect. The only good way I can describe Air France is beachy; not beachy like party pop music, instead melancholy and relaxing. The album is dreamlike, from the repeating “Sort of like a dream. No. Better.” to the dance worthy basslines to the horns and piano that fill the EP. Even though this is a disappointingly short album, every moment on it is worth listening to over and over again.

I can’t recommend this album enough. Its something I will be listening to for a long time, and I cant wait to see what else this group can come up with in the future.

Get No Way Down at Amazon

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Experimental Dental School – Forest Field

Experimental Dental School – Forest Field

10 songs, 28 minutes long

Experimental Dental School is a 2 piece group  from Portland and their latest LP, Forest Field, has been released for free download, and it is a fantastic album. Experimental Dental School is a raw, noisy, catchy, and original band. Forest Field starts out raw and lo-fi. Distorted guitars and fast drums take over; very reminiscent of punk and early indie rock, but then the vocals come, which are catchy and dare i say pop-esque. The whole album is very diverse, from synth heavy songs with super catchy lyrics, to raw guitar driven songs that blur in to a big heap of noise.  This is one of the noisiest, yet most listen-able albums i have come across in a long time, and its highly recommended

Download Forest Field

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Tera Melos – Drugs to the Dear Youth

Tera Melos – Drugs to the Dear Youth

6 songs, 20 minutes long

Math Rock is a genre that can be very hit or miss for me but occasionally I come across a band that blows my mind and Tera Melos is one of those bands. Coming from California, Tera Melos is a complex and spastic post-rock and math rock group. Drugs to the Dear Youth is easily my favorite album from them. Their older stuff has a much heavier and post-hardcore influenced sound, but Drugs to the Dear Youth is much more melodic and influenced by post-rock. Don’t get me wrong though, this album contains some very heavy distorted guitar moments matched by spastic drums, though it is parallel with jazz-like guitar lines  and ambient electronics. Completely instrumental, Tera Melos has managed to create a short, but satisfying album that I feel stands above most other math rock.

Drugs to the Dear Youth at Amazon

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Sin Fang Bous – Clangour

Sin Fang Bous – Clangour

12 songs, 42 minutes long

Hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland, Sin Fang Bous’ (the solo project of Sindri Mar Sigfusson from the band Seabear) first album, Clangour, is a catchy and original Dream Pop album. The album has the distinguishing Icelandic feel similar Sigur Rós but with a much more Pop-esque and lively sound. This is an album that will be repeating in your head for days to come after just one listen. It doesn’t contain much of a synth sound like other dream pop bands; instead the album relies a lot more on guitars, violins, and pianos (along with electronic effects) to produce a fairly upbeat (though not generally dance worthy) and joyful album. Not many dream pop or indie pop bands catch my attention like this album has. It stands out from bands with similar tags for reasons that are hard to put into words. It is an album that has to be listened to in order to hear why it’s so good; I can’t imagine any review doing this album justice.

Clangour at Amazon

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