Night Moves – “Colored Emotions”Domino Records-out now2.5 / 5 Minneapolis threesome Night Moves manages no minor feat in their pop: they make music that sounds good and is instantly forgettable. How do they do that on their debut? We think one of the problems lies in the fact that their songs don’t really cleave that far from each other: they each have backing guitar, dreamy Avi Buffalo-sounding vocals, whispery synth, all the tools you’d need to make a pretty neat pop album. We’re going to blame vocalist John Pelant for over layering and drowning his vocals here, as that’s the main culprit in these songs’Read More →

Garrett Pierce – City of SandNarnack Records-out now3 / 5 There is some heartfelt, dust-blown balladry on Garrett Pierce’s latest effort. The L.A.-native singer-songwriter employs his gentle yet firm vocals throughout, hitting the nail on the head with the opener “Everybody Breaks” and the title track. These and others are tracks for the more discerning and somber listener: spare, backed simply, and striking the same soft mood as might a light autumn drizzle bring. But for all the reach Pierce’s record has, his voice comes up half a foot short from grabbing our heart. For as simple as the songs are, Pierce needs an exceptionallyRead More →

Bottlecap – BottlecapMuther Music-out now3 / 5 It’s loud. It’s blasting. It’s a screaming, Swedish garage rock debut from a trio well-versed in guitar hooks and basslines. Right from the get-go, these three get down and dirty into it, with “Set Me On Fire” starting it off right. And as well that things should burn. But their execution is spotty, with their ambitious “Carry Me All the Way” feeling weak and thin, mostly in the vocal department. We love garage rock, but the problem with a lot of it is that it’s easy to make it good, and really hard to make it great. WhatRead More →

Jon Lindsay – Summer Wilderness ProgramBear Hearts Fox Records-out now2.5 / 5 We’ll put this one quick for you all: lo-fi pophead Jon Lindsay is just too… lo-fi. We’re not sure how that kind of thing happens, especially given our personal tastes, so give us a chance to explain. The bouncy, upbeat pop of Oregon-born Lindsay wants to evoke the simple pleasures of boyhood love (and heartache, natch) with a summery, blustery attitude similar to the Beach Boys less four. But Lindsay’s voice isn’t a Wilson-quality voice, and although his arrangements allow him command trumpet, sleigh bells and a handful of other instruments, the varyingRead More →