Wye Oak - Civilian

Reviewed by yewknee

There was a time in my life that I would have said that acts fronted by women did not appeal to me. I know that sounds sexist or short-sighted or whatever -- but, it's not. I know they are every bit as capable of making great music, it just rarely strikes me in the same way. However, Wye Oak proves that I've emerged from that cave of thinking. This album absolutely could not be achieved with the same effectiveness if the vocals were male. There's a nice restraint to the album -- even when it's forceful, it's holding back perfectly. Recommended for anyone that likes Beach House but always wanted a little more punch.

Jun 20 2011

Panda Bear - Tomboy

Reviewed by yewknee

I think I have listened to this three times. That, in and of itself, should be enough of a review. I'm not really compelled by it or drawn in by much of it. I think it's a solid release and will please the Animal Collective diehards. I can't even say it's all that different from Person Pitch (on the surface), but I just haven't been engrossed by it yet. Blame it on Internet overload, or overhype, or maybe it just met my expectations too perfectly. Or, maybe I just need to spend more time with it.

Jun 20 2011

Man Man - Life Fantastic

Reviewed by yewknee

Man Man is one of those bands that may offer up too much of a good thing. I love their 2006 Six Demon Bag and, for whatever reason, glossed over the follow-up. Both were filled with crazy sea-shanties and the same ridiculous energy, but I loved one and not the other. Life Fantastic is much the same; great variety of instrumentation, a pirate undertone throughout and a general craze to the album. A mad man's ranting through song. Maybe I just like every other Man Man album and this is the proof to the rule.

Jun 20 2011

We Are Trees - Girlfriend

Reviewed by yewknee

The Grizzly Bear/Daniel Rossen comparison is probably entirely unfair to this band who have created two perfect EPs full of forelorn pop songs, but it can't be avoided. He really does sound just like Rossen (at least, the way your brain remembers Rossen sounding if you haven't listened to Grizzly Bear in awhile). So, it's unfair, but it's a helluva comparison to have in your pocket -- flattering and deserved.

Jun 20 2011

Here We Go Magic - January EP

Reviewed by yewknee

Every release from this band seems to differ just a little bit from the prior. A bit more accessible, a bit more upfront about itself. However, they manage to maintain the weirdness, the great keyboard sounds and the ability to zone out into realms of space throughout.

Jun 20 2011

Devotchka - 100 Lovers

Reviewed by yewknee

I have three other DeVotchKa albums. Aside from their awkward capitalization, I've always enjoyed it. I am told that this new record is a bit of a departure for them -- a more accessible sound for a wider audience. Personally, it sounds like same ol' Devotchka to me. However, don't take that as a slight! Their fusion of world influences, folk music and a dash of rock hasn't worn out its welcome and I enjoy hearing it every time.

May 19 2011

Those Darlins - Screws Get Loose

Reviewed by yewknee

I think this band probably gets pigeonholed into being quirky, country-fueled music from three rambunctious girls (and a quality drummer), but, honestly, it's just a bunch of great rock songs. There may be a country twinge here and there, but it's a rock record. I love that, lyrically, it comes from an empowered female angle -- not something you hear too often -- but it's not off-putting. It's fun, it's catchy and it's the kind of thing I'd like to hear more bands doing -- writing solid songs.

May 19 2011

Generationals - Actor

Reviewed by yewknee

Much like the first Generationals record, this is going to have to grow on me. I slept on the first one for awhile but came around to it. The vibe from the first record remains, so there's no reason not to equally enjoy this one. They seem to have stepped away from some of the more obvious doo-wop influences, but it's still solid. I have yet to discover the real JAM on the record (see: "When They Fight, They Fight" from the first record) but there's goodness here. Just keep listening.

May 19 2011

The Strokes - Angles

Reviewed by yewknee

This is how far behind I am in my music reviews...just now reviewing this album. Pretty much all of my friends expressed a lot of disappointment in this record and I don't get it. Granted, it's not as good as their first or second albums but, taken on its own, it has some great moments. The band is certainly capable of better, but I like it -- maybe not an essential item for the record collection, but enjoyment comes from listening.

May 19 2011

Alex Turner - Submarine OST

Reviewed by yewknee

Oddly, in the context of the film, these songs can be a little distracting because they are so lyrically heavy and up-front. However, outside of the film they serve as a great reminder of the overall tone. I'm not going to say it couldn't be played during any melancholy scene of your favorite indie movie of the past ten years, but that doesn't mean it's not good. Reminds me of quiet summer nights just staring out, lost in your brain.

May 19 2011