Review: Matmos – “The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises In Group Form”

Back in October 1939, storied British Prime Minister Winston Churchill offered comments on a BBC radio broadcast, in which he attempted to unwrap the Russian political motivations in the face of Germany’s bluster and war machinery. “It is riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” Churchill said. “But perhaps there is a key.” In Churchill’s case,…

Review: H.C. McEntire – “Eno Axis”

The new H.C. McEntire record, Eno Axis, starts not with the country-fried guitars of her debut, 2018’s excellent Lionheart, but with the gentle pulses of a pipe organ. And here, the organ is accompanied not by an acoustic guitar (too obvious a choice) but by McEntire’s lament-filled croon and that croon alone. It’s a devastating and devastatingly to-the-gut…

Review: Less Bells – “Mourning Jewelry”

There is a visible, conscious process of decision-making, maybe even a brand of self-reflection, behind the constructions on Mourning Jewelry, the sophomore outing by post-classical artist Julie Carpenter, aka Kranky Records act Less Bells. Take “Fiery Wings”, the LP’s second track. Here, Carpenter unfurls pitch-perfect swarms of cello, occasional punctuation marks from breathy laments, and a resolute…

Review: June of 44: “Revisionist …”

Revisionist: Adaptations & Future Histories in the Time of Love and Survival, June of 44’s first release in 21 years, might be the most bipolar document you encounter in 2020. The record features at least two or three BRILLIANT re-workings of Anahata-era offerings; these tracks are some of the best stuff we have heard from June…

Review: IE – “Aune”

A good drone knows you, as you know a good drone. Swelling with tides of undulating sound over a persistent tonal hum, it brings you in closer time, maybe even chromatic lockstep, with your breath cycles, your heartbeat, the world around you. A good drone offers its own narratives by tying its rhythms and clusters…

Review: King Buzzo – “Gift of Sacrifice”

Ipecac Recordings advanced two singles off King Buzzo’s much-anticipated second solo LP, Gift of Sacrifice: “I’m Glad I Could Help Out” and “Science in Modern America”. They’re good, they’re good. But why the label didn’t sneak a peak, though, at “Housing, Luxury, Energy”, arguably the record’s best track, is beyond me. The six-minute-long song, the introduction to the collection…

Review: Jim O’Rourke – “Shutting Down Here”

Jim O’Rourke fired off “Cede” 20- or 25-odd years ago as a salvo in the battles within his alien landscape of a musical mind. Shutting Down Here, then, is a punctuation. The new composition, out 14 August, was put to tape in sessions spanning decades at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, or GRM, in Paris –…

Review: Merce Lemon – “Moonth”

There’s a clear line between Moonth, the new LP from Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Merce Lemon, and Liz Phair’s Exile In Guyville, which hit streets and stereos more than a generation ago. Both records are documents of strong-willed women coming to terms with themselves and their desires in the musical and romantic landscapes that surround and sometimes seek to…

Review: Daniel Donato – “A Young Man’s Country”

Country guitar-slinger Daniel Donato has a success story that’s writ in big, block letters, locked in position and ready for mass consumption. A guitarist since he was 12, Donato in his early teens started busking on Nashville’s Lower Broadway, playing sometimes for up to eight hours each day. His persistence eventually led to a guest…

Review: TRVSS – “New Distances”

Looking for noise-rock to cut through the film of dusty ear-drums like a straight razor? Well, TRVSS has your number. The trio cuts through the bullshit with post-hardcore propulsion. Sophomore effort, New Distances, as understatements go, is tightly wound. How TRVSS sounds this in synch is confusing for a band with this short of a resume….