Review: Anyway – “Dead End”

Finally, a title that doesn’t fit for all the right reasons. The second full length from this Czech quartet will open far more doors for the group than it will close. From blasts of high-octane punk to more angular, Fugazi- or Husker-infused refrains, this excellent 12-song outing displays a frighteningly developed grasp on how to…

Top 10 Records I Reviewed (Or Should Have Reviewed) In 2006

Originally published in Punk Planet January/February 2007 1. Clogs – Lantern An almost sublime offering from a quartet that blurs the line between classical composition and post-rock experimentalism without cranking out songs that feel over-cooked or over-analyzed. The hushed silences from the audience that watched them open up for Rachel’s in New York City in…

Psychedelic Horseshit – Who Let The Dogs Out?

Originally published in Punk Planet November/December 2006 It’s with mixed emotions that listeners may discover the debut 7” from these punky noisemakers is neither psychedelic or horseshit. Go figure. The three-song platter depends less on acid-inspired guitar noodling than it does the clattering lo-fi rumble of early Pavement, Ariel Pink and even Bill Callahan. The…

Review: Casey Holford – “All Young And Beautiful”

Bright and perky, this occasionally keyboard-laden pop-rock outing hits its stride quickly but also feels like it’s repeating itself before nearing the end of its 40-minute running time. Holford’s got a knack for writing quirky acoustic numbers and parts of the full-band exercise “Neon Shining Star” suggest a mid-fi Sufjan Stevens. The disc offers some…

Review: DK Limb – “Defy Define Definition”

This southern Florida quintet feels like it’s aiming to create energetic and densely layered pop-punk but instead ends up churning out that familiar brand of chart-conscious nu-metal (or whatever you’d like to call it) native to your radio dial. Dueling guitarists Ryan Alvarado and Nick Ziros weave together some interesting verses, from time to time…

Review: Chrash – “Audio Feng Shui”

Poppy, poppy, poppy, with all the high-in-the-mix vocals, jangly guitar hooks and bouncing bass lines to prove it. While tracks like “Raised By Gays” or “Box Cars (A Long Line Of)” strike their intended targets, it’s a little unclear if the commentary contained in “The New Immigrant Song,” obvious title aside, resonates on anything below…

Review: The Sea, Like Lead – S/T

Originally published in Punk Planet November/December 2006 There’s not much here in terms of volume — three mostly instrumental songs and a pair of 40-odd second interludes — but this unassuming EP may be one of the better debuts you’ll find this year. The Pittsburgh-based trio, like June of 44 and A Minor Forest before…

Review: Oneida – Happy New Year

Originally published in Punk Planet November/December 2006 Genres merrily collide on this eclectic and carefully crafted 11-song disc, which marks the 100th release for Bloomington’s Jagjaguwar label. Melancholy jaunts bleed into electronic cut-ups. Frenetic dancehall exercises rub elbows with dissonant pseudo-acoustic ballads. Poppy bridges lead listeners toward a closing requiem fleshed out with spare keyboard/piano…

Review: Thee Moths – Nature

Originally published in Punk Planet November/December 2006 This spare, bleak record defines itself not through somber acoustic ruminations or Alex Botten’s breathy whisper of a voice but in how those elements are cut up and filtered through Botten’s prominently featured laptop. (A painted homage to the machine, one’s led to believe, is even featured on…

Review: I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness – “According To Plan”

  Thirteen minutes, apparently, is all these guys need to envelope you. This bite-size, three-song offering packs as much of an emotional punch as the lauded Fear Is On Our Side, the full-length platter the Austin quintet released just a handful of months before it. Maybe it’s the sequencing or Paul Barker’s crisp production, all…