Swans’ ‘To Be Kind’ Is a Monolithic Orgy of Blood, Guts, and…Love

It will come as no surprise to learn that one of the most frequently used words on Swans' new album is "no." Michael Gira has…
Philip Sherburne / May 12, 2014

Chromeo’s Sappy Soul-Pop Comes of Age on ‘White Women’

At the beginning, Chromeo had to be a joke. An over-styled, overly self-aware Arab-Jew duo signed to Vice Records cribbing Hall & Oates' synth-pop playbook…
Jonathan Zwickel / May 9, 2014

Fatima Al Qadiri Conjures a Cinematic Din on Exceptional Debut, ‘Asiatisch’

Someone needs to hire Fatima Al Qadiri to score a film. If all of the experimental electronic producer's releases to date were soundtracks, they'd be…
Anupa Mistry / May 8, 2014

Lily Allen’s ‘Sheezus’ Is a Tepid Mess of Bitch Bombs and Botched Satire

Oh, Lily. You so had us when we first saw you eating chocolate in bed and slipping laxatives into the cheating ex's coffee, all over…
Stephanie Benson / May 7, 2014

Lykke Li Waffles Between Pop and Anti-Pop on Soggy ‘I Never Learn’

Here are two things that contradict each other: wanting to be seen as a singer-songwriter rather than a pop artist; and getting hitmaker Greg Kurstin…
Katherine St. Asaph / May 6, 2014

Unsung Guitar Heroes Wussy Nail Rust-Belt Americana on ‘Attica!’

Over the last decade, Cincinnati garage/pop/folk practitioners Wussy have refined a winning formula. Every 15 months or so, they break from full-time jobs (stonemasonry, waitressing,…
Jason Gubbels / May 5, 2014

tUnE-yArDs Transform Turbulence into Transcendence on Exultant ‘Nikki Nack’

Success brought crisis to tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus. Following up 2011's Whokill filled her with fear – not a great state for a performer beloved for her…
Barry Walters / May 2, 2014

Gucci Mane and Young Thug Join Forces, Drag Feet on Phoned-In ‘Young Thugga Mane La Flare’

Presumably cobbled together using old recordings from back when waning trap hero Gucci Mane wasn't in jail, and released now to capitalize on the 2014…
Brandon Soderberg / May 1, 2014

Many Arms Add Sax Skronk to Jazz-Punk, Achieve Liftoff on ‘Suspended Definition’

For the truly Ill-adelphia/NYC guitarorrists Many Arms, there may be no more apropos home than pioneering avant-gardist John Zorn's Tzadik label for the trio's firestorm…
Brad Cohan / April 30, 2014

Damon Albarn’s Modern Life Is Rubbish on Endearingly Great ‘Everyday Robots’

As most folks know, SXSW is more about brands than bands; it has been for over a decade. To wit: For 10-plus years now, there's…
Garrett Kamps / April 28, 2014

Pixies – Kim + Rampant B.S. = ‘Indie Cindy,’ an Oddly Listenable Failure

The last album released under the name Pixies translated in French to "fool the world," so it's not like Indie Cindy, with its potentially condescending…
Dan Weiss / April 28, 2014

Wye Oak Swap Guitars for Synths on Soaring ‘Shriek’

On Wye Oak's first three albums, the indie rock duo excelled at writing catchy guitar numbers that showcased its fondness for distortion and soaring vocals,…
Mike Ayers / April 28, 2014

Thee Oh Sees’ Garage-Rock Endures on Sorta-Surprise Release ‘Drop’

Like a liquor store within stumbling distance, garage-rock is there when you need it, and despite what crate-diggers might've feared when the Hives booked studio…
Dan Weiss / April 25, 2014

Wavves’ Sweet Valley Meet Rap Bruiser DaVinci on Goofy-Great ‘Ghetto Cuisine’

Ghetto Cuisine is a collaboration between Sweet Valley, the beatmaking project from Wavves' Nathan Williams and his brother Kynan, and DaVinci, a cultish Bay Area…
Brandon Soderberg / April 24, 2014

Purling Hiss Unearth Their Scuzzy, Lovesick Roots on ‘Dizzy Polizzy’

Within Philadelphia exists a rotating cast of songwriters, friends and collaborators, all aboard a rock and roll freak train. These include Kurt Vile and his…
Paula Mejia / April 24, 2014

TEEN’s Faux-R&B Ploy ‘The Way and Color’ Elevates Discomfort to a Fine Art

Fronted by former Here We Go Magic keyboardist Teeny Lieberson (joined by sisters Lizzy and Katherine), Brooklyn's TEEN has made intriguing moves from the start.
Jon Young / April 22, 2014

Future Brings Humility, Sincerity and a Nonsensical Kanye to the Stunning ‘Honest’

Over the past couple of years, Atlanta rap nice guy Future has reinvented the slow jam. His fearlessly soft songs are neither cloying for-tha'-ladiezzz "feminine"
Brandon Soderberg / April 22, 2014

Kelis Serves a Soul Buffet From Space on Surreal, Tasty ‘Food’

Kelis has done a lot of (delightfully) strange things with soul music over the course of her career, from aggro-screaming "I hate you so much…
Rachel Devitt / April 21, 2014

August Alsina’s In-the-Pocket R&B Outshines Its Glitzy Guests on ‘Testimony’

Last year, cooin' and oohin' street dude August Alsina arrived with one of the more mazy and rewarding radio R&B songs in quite some time,…
Brandon Soderberg / April 17, 2014

Aussie Rapper Iggy Azalea’s ‘The New Classic’ Is a Stone Cold Dud

She's a singer and a rapper, the first white woman to appear on the cover of XXL, and an uninformed expert on Aborigines. She has…
Alfred Soto / April 16, 2014
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