Linfinity – “Martian’s Bloom”American Myth-out now!3.5 / 5 Dylan von Wagner’s vocals haunt like Duncan’s ghost on the sophomore release by New York quintet Linfinity. Spinning up this mixture of somber rock via David Byrne, we’re reminded of the strong vocal presence of the National’s and Shearwater’s lead vocalists. There is no denying that it’s Wagner’s voice, take it or leave it, that supports Linfinity’s efforts, but credit should be given to such tracks as “Choo Choo Train to Venice,” which rocks like an iconoclastic surf-influenced punk, and “MSG,” which feels inspired by the Talking Heads. While, lyrically, “Martian’s Bloom” doesn’t grip as tightly asRead More →

Avi Buffalo – Self-TitledSub Pop-out now!3.5 / 5 The debut by Long Beach-native Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg begs the question: is there such a thing as beautiful crassness? Should vulgarity sounds so pleasant? Perhaps the answer lies in “What’s in it For?” the clear, takeaway single from this collection of light, airy tunes. Nothing here hits harder than a light pluck, which is surprising considering some of the material (“Five Little Sluts,” “Where’s Your Dirty Mind”). While Zahner-Isenberg carefully straddles the line between art and outright disgustingness, generally he plays it just risque; our main regret on here is the song “Summer Cum,” which is a needlessRead More →

Blitzen Trapper – “Destroyer of the Void”Sub Pop-out now!4 / 5 Since 2008’s breakout “Furr,” Blitzen Trapper has been (in personal opinion) a somewhat over-hyped band. But on “Destroyer of the Void,” the Portland, OR rock group pulls out all the stops, culminating in a fine selection of songs that would enthuse even the strictest of rock listeners. The title and opening track hits such a strong classic-rock vibe, that this little blog believe it merits comparison to “Stairway to Heaven”: with strong, rock-out guitars, it is Blitzen Trapper’s height by and far, a dizzying array of musical themes whose structure feels at ease withRead More →

Slow Club – “Yeah, So”Moshi Moshi Records-out now!3 / 5 If every song from every band could be as intimate and quirky as “When I Go,” the opener from Slow Club’s debut, we’d be pleased as punch. The UK duo creeps into this track like a strange little She and Him, acoustic with a touch of sadness, and it comes off soaringly. But when the rest of Yeah, So picks up, the driving percussion and fevered pop energy aren’t enough to carry through (but still check out the story on “It Doesn’t Always Have to Be Beautiful”). Comparisons have been drawn between Slow Club andRead More →