Review: The Unintended – S/T

The name under which Rick White, Dallas and Travis Good, Sean Dean, Mike Belitsky and Greg Keelor chose to collaborate and record certainly provides a laundry list of thematic possibilities for critics looking for a good, juicy hook. To be blunt, though, after listening to the lazy-day psych-rock and folksy but well-charted semi-jams that saturate…

Review: Various Artists – “Asaurus Records EP Club #2”

While the roots surely run deeper, the indie compilation craze reached its peak, in my mind, with a flood of releases by predominantly Pacific Northwestern labels in the early- to mid-1990s. There are the K collections, which encouraged many micro-indies to jumpstart labels with decidedly lo-fi (and occasionally cassette-only) affairs. There are the strings of…

Review: Via Audio – S/T

Even without paying much mind to the self-titled nature of the release, it’s pretty obvious that Via Audio’s recent six-song offering on kill.normal is the debut of a band with radio rotation in its sights. The recording is insanely clean, focused, and deliberate, with even the in-between moments bearing the mark of studio sheen, engineering…

Review: Vice Transmission – S/T

Nine times out of 10, the free CDs you get handed by random persons while in the crowds of a live show aren’t very good. The majority are clunky lo-fi affairs sounding like they were captured haphazardly on makeshift dictation tape recorders, all of the spirit somehow buried behind a wall of tape hiss and…

Review: We Are Childhood Equals – Hearts Ache For Home

There’s this moment at the end of “Hearts Ache for Home,” the title track of the recent We Are Childhood Equals EP, where a jumbled mix of guitar squalor, distortion, and hand-claps gives way to the sound of a girl – or maybe it’s two girls, it’s tough to tell – letting out a brief…

Review: The Vanities – “EP For The Lord”

The Vanities peel open the stage curtain of EP for the Lord with more of a declaration of intent than you might initially expect or even realize. After a bluesy introductory progression of bent, palm-muted notes on an electric guitar, the bass and drums get in a quick one-two punch before vocalist/guitarist Rob Blake shouts…

Review: The Snow Fairies – “Feel You Up”

Boys and girls, don’t be fooled by the title of The Snow Fairies’ full-length debut. This is not a frisky affair. It’s the soundtrack that two bright-eyed lovers sing to themselves as they run through green fields filled with sunflowers and poppies, the sunshine reflecting off their smiles. The “Up” of the title is clearly…