reviews

SPIN Noise/Experimental Report: Methlab Explosion Loosen Bowels, Prurient Scares Your Mom

At the heart of experimental music is an aim toward the aspirational. High-minded tinkerers evoke future utopias for the world of organized sound, offering statements…
Raymond Cummings and Colin Joyce / September 3, 2015

Review: Public Image Ltd. Accidentally Make an Enjoyable Record With ‘What the World Needs Now…’

"Lucky you," began John Lydon’s radio announcer-like intro to Public Image Ltd.’s 2012’s "reunion" album This Is PiL. "You are now entering a PiL zone!"
Dan Weiss / September 2, 2015

Review: Grouper’s Liz Harris Peeks Through the Clouds on Helen’s Debut, ‘The Original Faces’

Over the course of her nearly decade-long career as Grouper, Liz Harris has become a master of all things overcast. Her ambient compositions and waterlogged…
Colin Joyce / August 31, 2015

Review: All Hail the King of P*ssy-Pop on the Weeknd’s ‘Beauty Behind the Madness’

"I'm the nigga with the hair / Singin' 'bout / Poppin' pills / F--kin' bitches / Livin' life so trill." So sings Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a.
Harley Brown / August 28, 2015

Review: Willis Earl Beal Prepares for the Big Sleep on ‘Noctunes’

Since the release of 2013's Nobody Knows., his last LP for XL subsidiary Hot Charity, Willis Earl Beal's been through some s--t. The vagabond songwriter publicly…
Colin Joyce / August 27, 2015

Review: Beach House Foster Openhearted Ambiguity on ‘Depression Cherry’

Virtually every interview that's been published about Beach House since their inception in 2004 has this moment of intense awkwardness, when Victoria Legrand and Alex…
Colin Joyce / August 25, 2015

Review: Yo La Tengo Are Set Adrift on Memory Bliss for ‘Stuff Like That There’

Lord knows Yo La Tengo is one of the world’s best cover bands. Who else has the chops to turn the Beach Boys’ "Little Honda,"
Dan Weiss / August 25, 2015

Review: Advance Base Offers Realism in Soft Light on ‘Nephew in the Wild’

Owen Ashworth writes car songs. It's not that the tinny keyboard-driven compositions he's made over the past decade-plus sounds particularly great slapping out of factory sedan…
Colin Joyce / August 24, 2015

Review: Destroyer Humanizes Times Square and Follows Your Rose on ‘Poison Season’

There seems to be some misunderstanding about how difficult Dan Bejar is to understand. A decade-plus worth of press clippings label the man…
Marc Hogan / August 24, 2015

Review: Panda Bear Has Already Solved ‘Crosswords’ Before New EP

At this point, the number of songs surrounding Panda Bear's most recent album, this year's Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, is more than the album's actual track list. Before the Animal…
Harley Brown / August 21, 2015

Review: Carly Rae Jepsen Shrugs Off the Weight of the World on ‘E•MO•TION’

What the f—k does Justin Bieber’s manager know about critical acclaim? "This time we wanted to stop worrying about singles and focus on having a…
Dan Weiss / August 20, 2015

Review: Myrkur Is a Light in Black Metal’s Darkness on ‘M’

Danish black metal composer Amalie Bruun's debut full-length as Myrkur, M, was recorded, in part, in a Norwegian mausoleum. She described the space as vast,…
Colin Joyce / August 20, 2015

Review: Deradoorian’s ‘The Expanding Flower Planet’ Needs Weeding

Anyone directly associated with art-rock monarchs Dirty Projectors can safely embark on a solo career with respectable name recognition (recall: prolific upright bassist Nat Baldwin, and, more recently,…
Rachel Brodsky / August 19, 2015

Review: Maddie & Tae Tell the Bros to Shut Up and Fish on ‘Start Here’

Part protest, and part indulgence in what they're protesting, Maddie & Tae's summer 2014 debut provocation, "Girl in a Country Song," gently poked fun at…
Jonathan Bernstein / August 18, 2015

Review: Royal Headache Beat a Sophomore Hangover on ‘High’

A couple of minutes into their sophomore LP High, Australian pub-punks Royal Headache stumble upon an important lesson for a young band: Rock'n'roll is a…
Colin Joyce / August 18, 2015

Review: FKA twigs Takes No Prisoners on the New ‘M3LL155X’ EP

Less than a year ago, Tahliah Barnett transformed the set of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon into her own personal wind tunnel, ducking and weaving through…
Harley Brown / August 17, 2015

Review: Mick Jenkins Obeys His Thirst on the H2O-Obsessed ‘Wave(s)’

Chicago-via-Huntsville rapper Mick Jenkins was a conspicuously missing name from the Social Experiment’s Surf this year, considering the breezy float of traditional easy-listening instruments that…
Dan Weiss / August 17, 2015

SPIN World Report: Mbongwana Star’s Congolese Street Music, Fabiano Do Nascimento’s Afro-Brazilian Folk Shredding

The term "world music," ick — a marketer’s desperate pitch more than tangible genre, suggesting either Yankee provincialism (there’s Americana, British rock, and, um, The World) or…
Jason Gubbels / August 14, 2015

Review: Luke Bryan Leaves Spring Break Behind as He Pushes 40 on ‘Kill the Lights’

You can leave your headlamps on for only so long. Eventually, the battery’s gonna die. Judging by the title of Luke Bryan’s fifth record, Kill…
Brad Shoup / August 14, 2015

Review: Lil B and Chance the Rapper Do What They Want Any Old Time on ‘Free’

The main thing about Free, Chance the Rapper’s surprise collaboration with the B*s*d G*d himself, Lil B, is it’s named after — and quietly a…
Dan Weiss / August 14, 2015
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