reviews

Ducktails, ‘III: Arcade Dynamics’ (Woodsist)

With 2010's chillwave tide receding, Real Estate guitarist and Ducktails' lone member Matthew Mondanile moves more toward lo-fi pop on his third full-length. Unfortunately, Mondanile's…
SPIN Staff / January 18, 2011

Review: Smith Westerns, ‘Dye It Blonde’

It's time to stop calling Smith Westerns garage rockers. On their self-titled debut, the Chicago foursome mashed Nuggets scruff and T. Rex/Bowie stomp into some…
Marc Hogan / January 18, 2011

Review: Social Distortion, ‘Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes’

When southern California's Social Distortion were getting started, Jimmy Carter occupied the Oval Office and the Sex Pistols were hot news, so merely showing up…
Jon Young / January 18, 2011

Tennis, ‘Cape Dory’ (Fat Possum)

The Mile High City isn't the first place you look for sweetly fuzzed beach pop. But with a handful of vinyl- and cassette-only tracks last…
Marc Hogan / January 18, 2011

Young Prisms, ‘Friends for Now’ (Kanine)

On their debut full-length, Young Prisms capture the exact moment when a nightmare's confounding anxiety shifts into the sigh of relief that it's finally over.
Michael Tedder / January 18, 2011

Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers, ‘Teenage and Torture’ (Knitting Factory)

Is Shilpa Ray crazy? You may wonder after the spine-tingling Teenage and Torture, in which she shrieks and sneers stream-of-consciousness lyrics while playing harmonium. Her…
Jon Young / January 18, 2011

Kid Rock Hosts Star-Studded Hometown B-Day Bash!

How, exactly, do you celebrate your 40th birthday when you're a musical icon whose 20-year-plus career leaps from hard-partying hip-hop to hard-rocking arena pomp, shit-kicking…
Chris Handyside / January 18, 2011

The Decemberists, ‘The King Is Dead’

The best thing about the new Decemberists record is what it lacks: a concept. On 2009's The Hazards of Love, these Portland-based nerd's nerds tragically…
Mikael Wood / January 18, 2011

Robert Pollard, ‘Space City Kicks’ (Guided by Voices Inc.)

Defying logic, the famously productive Robert Pollard is getting even more prolific with age. One of five Pollard-related releases slated over a ten-month stretch (plus…
Jon Young / January 18, 2011

Braids, ‘Native Speaker’ (Kanine)

It's fitting that burbling -- either of a brook or of a bong -- opens this Canadian quartet's debut, which pairs glimmering, pastoral post-rock with…
Spencer Kornhaber / January 18, 2011

Archers of Loaf Make Surprise Live Comeback

It was the poorest-kept secret in town: The unidentified "Special Guests" on the bill at Saturday night's Love Language show at Carrboro, N.C.'s Cat's Cradle…
David Menconi / January 18, 2011

Notable Newcomer Lissie Wows Crowd in L.A.

Saturday night in Los Angeles, rising indie folk-pop singer Lissie seemed surprised that so many people had come out to see her play. "For the…
Chris Martins / January 18, 2011

Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker Reunite!

What do Eyehategod, the Cribs, Stereophonics, and Echo and the Bunnymen have in common? They're among a handful of rock combos to perform not one…
Richard Gehr / January 18, 2011

British Sea Power, ‘Valhalla Dancehall’ (Beggars)

Even before choosing a mission overstatement as the title of 2008's Do You Like Rock Music? these Scots were ambitious omnivores, pilfering from various guitar-group…
Spencer Kornhaber / January 11, 2011

Tapes ‘n Tapes, ‘Outside’ (Ibid)

Tapes 'n Tapes' more polished yet underwhelming second album, 2008's Walk It Off, made the Minneapolis group a "live by the blog, die by the…
Ian Cohen / January 11, 2011

Cage the Elephant, ‘Thank You Happy Birthday’ (Jive)

Openly emulating Black Francis, Gordon Gano, and the dude from Cake, frontman Matt Shultz spends the second album by his Kentucky band spewing street-corner inanities…
Mikael Wood / January 11, 2011

Lennon Debuts Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger Tour

Could Sean Lennon draw a crowd if he didn't have his dauntingly famous pedigree? Or, for that matter, could his model-musician-girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl pack…
Eric Magnuson / January 7, 2011

Ghostface Killah, ‘Apollo Kids’ (Def Jam)

After last year's R&B-friendly Ghostdini: Wizard Of Poetry, Ghostface Killah's ninth album consoles his hardcore constituency: Forty-plus minutes of gritty, soul-sampling beats soundtracking bizarro street…
Brandon Soderberg / December 21, 2010

Prince Kicks Off ‘Welcome 2 America’ Tour

"We're taking it old school tonight." This is an extremely pleasing sentiment to hear Prince express early in a set, for a couple of reasons.
Andy Battaglia / December 16, 2010

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, ‘III/IV’ (Pax Am)

Ryan Adams has experienced his most consistent artistic success as an acoustic troubadour -- but dude always wants to rock. Cheekily billed as a "double-album…
David Menconi / December 14, 2010
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