REVIEW: Chicken & The Chick Flicks – “Too Bad About The Sun”

Chicken and The Chick Flicks’ Too Bad About The Sun, out now on Shinkoyo, is exhilarating for reasons that most records simply aren’t. A microtonal-poetry reading for a demented albeit low-key dream, the record pairs Thax Douglas – he of the live concert reading; check the resume here – with Skeletons b(r)and leader Matt Mehlan,…

REVIEW: Demen – “Nektyr”

The opening track – fragile and damaged, haunted and haunting – is so, so, so good, all lulling, breathy vocals, skittering drums and imprecise synth sounds. But Nektyr, Demen’s debut on Kranky, out Friday, is pretty much downhill from there. It isn’t that the music oblique that songwriter Irma Orm conjures is flawed. Sometimes, the…

REVIEW: Heron – “You Are Here Now”

To hear some good reverb-drenched post-rock on the radio dial or the event horizon, you can do a heck of a lot worse than Heron, the Pennsylvania quartet that made its debut recently with the engaging and shimmering full-length You Are Here Now. On the record, which they self-released, the band situates itself comfortably near…

PROFILE: High Plains (2017)

For those who haven’t been paying attention, Cinderland — the debut LP from Scott Morgan and Mark Bridges, the duo known as High Plains — is a serious early contender for year-end Top Ten lists. It is elegiac and nuanced stuff, at once dreamy and funereal; the record just ebbs and flows from your turntable…

REVIEW: The Afghan Whigs – “In Spades”

In Spades, the Afghan Whigs’ sequel to 2014’s Do To The Beast LP, is, as Whigs’ outings go, a pretty colorful and ambitious affair. Out Friday on vinyl and digital formats via Sub Pop Records, the album – the group’s second since it thankfully ended a 16-year-hiatus with Beast – shakes the rafters at points…

PROFILE: Kelley Deal (2017)

She’s finding herself in the now again. Kelley Deal has topped charts with The Breeders but her latest outing, R. Ring’s Ignite The Rest, is perhaps the most nuanced and writerly of her career. It is, at once, immediate, gutsy, clattering and beautiful, and, make no mistake about it, Deal and Ampline’s Mike Montgomery, who…

REVIEW: The Kraken Quartet – “Separate | Migrate”

Conventional time signatures, beware the Kraken! Polyrhythms rule the roost on Separate | Migrate, the new record from Austin’s The Kraken Quartet, self-released by the band this Friday. On songs like “Ox,” that’s a real blessing – the way marimba or vibes jigger and jaunt through a crescendo of sound before landing on their feet…

REVIEW: R. Ring – “Ignite The Rest”

You can tell right from the get-go, from the very first shot right out of the gate, that this thing is going to be pretty damned good. Kicking off in fine form with the single “Cutter,” an infective blast of surging guitars and smoky vocals, Ignite The Rest, the full-length debut from Ohio supergroup R….

REVIEW: Dw. Dunphy – “Your Saturday Sins” 7-Inch

It begins, as Dw. Dunphy’s finest work does, with the voice and the voice alone, this one sweetly multi-tracked into an infinite background. “And when it’s all laid out and you wonder what it’s all about / And when it’s all played through you start to question what’s wrong with you / When the music…

REVIEW: Zu – “Jhator”

It’s hard to imagine that the group behind these two pensive, funereal epics, out now on House of Mythology, is the same one that released Cortar Todo, a kaleidoscopic mélange of thudding post-metal, just two years ago. But such is the case with Zu, which has been upending expectations and rewriting formulas for the better…