Crime and the Forces of Evil – Bone WalkerSelf-Released– out now2.5 / 5 We like it when ambitious projects come our way. And when the nook-hidden fantasy indie group Crime and the Forces of Evil offered their latest project for review, we didn’t want to decline. Bone Walker is a soundtrack to a fantasy book series by the name of The Free Court of Seattle, the city from whence these Newfoundland folk (self-described) elves come. Usually what happens with these kind of ambitious projects is we complain about overreaching scope (17 Pygmies’ Even Celestina…); muddled storytelling (The Decemberists’ Hazards of Love), or just crazy, crazyRead More →

End of Love – Ghosts on the RadioDevise Music-out tomorrow2 / 5 Age old question: is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? If one were to sum up even a fraction of the talent on this record – which boasts members of Sonic Youth, Wilco, and yes, even Big Star – one would assume that having some of the musicians behind the seminal music of the ’70s, ’90s and 2000s would ignite the kind of music-gasm one might have should Jimi Hendrix open up Chick Corea’s piano and start strumming some of Arthur Lee’s tunes. Yes, that kind of talent. And yet…Read More →

The Oh Hellos – Dear WormwoodElektra– out now4.5 / 5 We’ve anticipated this follow-up to 2012’s bright folksome Through the Deep, Dark Valley for far, far too long – since Newport ’14. On their sophomore full-length, these southern Texans have put us in the awkward position of having to promote their first LP above their follow-up; and yet, if this is that supposed “sophomore slump” that so many bands seem to go through… then only “wow” can be said of it. If it weren’t for Dark Valley, which we’d give a more than solid 5 of 5 (the third in our 6 years of blogging),Read More →

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats – Self-TitledStax Records– out now4 / 5 We caught him at the Newport Folk Fest nigh two months ago, and this grimy, (night) sweaty fellow showed us how to boogie your tired soul out. The Herman, MO-born Rateliff is indeed soulful, smoking, burning on his self-titled Stax debut, his fourth full-length. If you haven’t heard “S.O.B” on the radio, humming in the bar, in the bottom of that bottle, then maybe you should sober up and clean your ears out. Seemingly his anthem, Rateliff’s strength here, and on this album, is the grit he blows through his lyrics. TheRead More →