Review: HHY & The Macumbas – “Beheaded Totem”

Dub filtered through with tribal polyrhythms and a touch of mysticism is the name of the game on Beheaded Totem, the sophomore LP from Portugese experimentalists HHY & The Macumbas, out a few days ago via House of Mythology. While that description could send some of the more ambitious listeners among us into fits of…

Review: Mudhoney – “Digital Garbage”

Mudhoney, which is now running strong past its 30th year of existence, has never really been that topical. (I mean, c’mon, “Touch Me, I’m Sick” hardly had policy implications.) Leave it to frontman Mark Arm, though, to shake up the established order of things. On the Pacific Northwest band’s new LP  — Digital Garbage, out yesterday…

Review: Low – “Double Negative”

Every time I listen to Double Negative — the unsettling and ambitious new record from Low, out recently via Sub Pop – I am reminded of the video for the record’s first single, “Quorum.” Edited into a kind of disorienting, rapid-edit triptych, the black-and-white film juxtaposes blurred photos of the band members, at once pensive…

Review: Iron & Wine – “Weed Garden”

I don’t know what to make of Sam Beam’s latest outing, an Iron & Wine EP titled, cleverly if mockingly, Weed Garden. (It was released a few days ago on multiple formats by Sub Pop.) In some respects, it’s very easy to hear how much of this material was coaxed into existence around the same…

Review: The Zells – “Failure To Slide”

The Zells, the newly rechristened Pittsburgh garage-rock quintet f.k.a. Denzell, has a new record out this Friday via the fine folks at Crafted Sounds and, man, is it a doozy. In terms of the method and initiation of the band’s 13-track full-length debut, Failure To Slide calls to mind Pavement, for sure, with all of…

Review: Noemienours – “As A Beare Doth Her Whelps”

The German guitar-composer Noemie Dal on Sept. 10 will release her third outing, a Bob Weston-mastered LP and digital release via Bandcamp, under the sobriquet Noemienours, titled As A Beare Doth Her Whelps. It’s a continuation, in some form, of the ursus-themed records she’s been releasing for the past two or three years, and the…

Review: Exhalants – S/T

To call Austin’s Exhalants a bombastic noise-rock trio is to call Everest a molehill. These guys, who released an epic, self-titled full-length via Self Sabotage Aug. 24, write with acid and fire, and burn with the desire to spread their gospel. It’s might stuff. Exhalants don’t craft hooks, but hurl explosions. Their impact on your…

Review: Robin Bacior – “Light It Moved Me”

Ah, the sophomore outing. What more vexing way of testing an artist’s mettle than seeing if they can replicate the magic of their debut, while not leaning on the former so much that they trend formulaic? It’s a difficult balancing act, and many have gone to the guillotine for their inability to pull it off….

Review: Papa M – “A Broke Moon Rises”

Talk about a phoenix rising from the ashes of it all, am I right? Consummate post-rock guitarist David Pajo returns to excellent form on A Broke Moon Rises, a new five-song mini-LP released a few days ago via Drag City. The record comes less than two years after Highway Songs, a confusing mish-mash of odds…