Review: Greg Dulli – “Have Yourself A Merry, Little Christmas”

In case you’ve been under a rock for the past 30 years, this just in: Greg Dulli’s a keeper, if he’d just allow us to keep him. The Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers/Gutter Twins soul-rock leading man does it again today in the unconventional covers category, releasing on the Web a moody and decidedly NOT merry “Have…

Review: Sarah Longfield – “Disparity”

In terms of pure technique, Sarah Longfield’s a hell of a seven- and eight-string guitarist. Her new LP, Disparity, buttresses that thesis and then some. But can she write a song? Well, sorta. The new record, out Nov. 30 on Seasons of Mist, features nine songs that coalesce between glassy textures and rapid-tapping rock/metal shreddage….

Review: Tenchio – “Bedroom Chaos of The Inner Noodle”

Manuel Tenchio, who often just goes by the nom-de-guerre Tenchio, is a Uruguayan teenage guitar whiz who plays a kind of mutant math-thrash with reckless abandon. And if his second self-released record — Bedroom Chaos of The Inner Noodle, out recently on Bandcamp – is any indication, he’s either keeping heavily over-caffeinated or battling hefty…

Review: Calexico – “The Black Light: 20th Anniversary Edition”

I don’t know if I’m old but this didn’t seem that long ago. And only old people say that. It was 1999, maybe 2000, apparently. The venue was Maxwell’s, an infamous Hoboken, N.J. haunt with a decent bar (stiff pours) and a small, sound-proofed black room in the back for bands to make a clatter….

Review: Christian Frederickson – “Islands of Light”

There’s this piece of ephemera from the days of the Rachel’s ensemble that sticks to the attic of my mind like so much setting rubber cement – let’s call them the scrolls. Far from biblical or Talmudic or scriptural (in a sense of religiosity, at least), they were large sheets of paper on which members…

Review: Daughters – “You Won’t Get What You Want”

Daughters, never a band to play it understated, returns as a beast both transformed and reborn in the Rhode Island quartet’s first release since a pseudo “break-up” around 2009/2010 – You Won’t Get What You Want, out last week via Ipecac. It’s not immediately a satiating bit of consumption but it certainly grows inside you like…

Review: Will Oldham – “Songs of Love and Horror”

Songs of Love and Horror — a new LP, out alongside a tome of lyrics last week via Drag City, wherein the acclaimed singer-songwriter Will Oldham unfurls tender incantations of songs from the Palace and Bonnie “Prince” Billy catalogues — is frighteningly, frighteningly evocative stuff. It also might be the indie-folk icon’s finest record in…

Review: Colin Mawson – “Death of the Ego”

It begins in isolation: a descending piano line, a star-twinkle gradually picking up speed as it traverses the lonely sky. The song – the title track to Colin Mawson’s Death of the Ego, out next week via Disintegration State – is eerily calm and resolute, an interesting take to lead a record by a multi-instrumental…

Review: Uboa – “The Sky May Be”

I haven’t heard a record this year that sounds like it has as much acid running through its veins as The Sky May Be, the new, digital-only release from Australian experimentalist Uboa, a.k.a. Xandra Metcalfe, out last week on Bandcamp. Tracks like “Thigh High Cat Tights,” perhaps the release’s best track, are harsh noise pushed…