Radiohead – Hail to the Thief

By the band’s own admission, Hail to the Thief is kind of a mess.1 Exhausted (and rightly so) from the Kid A/Amnesiac sessions, Radiohead opted for an organic, spontaneous recording environment for their sixth studio album, relocating to the Hollywood area and writing songs in studio rather than meticulously planning them out through computers and…

Cave In – Tides of Tomorrow

Tides of Tomorrow comes into a weird place within the career of Massachusetts group Cave In. The Radiohead of Metal forsook the technical metalcore of Beyond Hypothermia and Until Your Heart Stops for spacey alternative metal on Jupiter, and then left that for KROQ alternative with some indie influences on Antenna. It was a genre-leap unheard…

No Anchor – The Golden Bridge

No Anchor is a desert rock band from the land down under inspired by groups such as Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age, and Acid Bath. The Golden Bridge is their fourth full-length record, self-released on digital format and vinyl. In contrast to the long-form expositions of previous albums Steam and Real Pain Supernova,…

Radiohead – Airbag / How Am I Driving?

Airbag / How Am I Driving? is a mini-album by Radiohead released in 1998 only for American audiences, consisting lead track “Airbag” and seven b-sides from various singles off of the band’s landmark OK Computer. The songs are true to the band’s spacey-alternative rock themes from the parent album, along with two of Radiohead’s first…

Radiohead – Amnesiac

In jest or otherwise, Amnesiac is often labeled a collection of b-sides that didn’t make the cut of Kid A. There’s no shortage of reasons: Amnesiac was released not even a year after the latter (and after Radiohead themselves said that the next album would be a return to rock form), its tracks are all…

My Bloody Valentine – Ecstasy

Are you an indie kid in the late-eighties who heard My Bloody Valentine’s1 epicene noise rock single Strawberry Wine and wanted a full-length version? Well, here it is. Sorta. Ecstasy is the second mini-album and sixth overall release by the Irish quartet. Having found a stable line-up with the addition of Bilinda Butcher on guitars…

My Bloody Valentine – Strawberry Wine [EP]

Strawberry Wine is the start of My Bloody Valentine, Mark II. It was the first release to feature guitarist and vocalist Bilinda Butcher, who auditioned for the band following the departure of original singer David Conway. It also prominently utilized Kevin Shield’s deep voice – which were originally relegated to harmonizing “ahhhh”s. The extended-play was…

My Bloody Valentine – This Is Your Bloody Valentine

My Bloody Valentine is an excellent band for the music critic. Not necessarily because they’re good – and they’re usually very, very good – but because their career adopted so many styles and changes in their first decade of existence that each full-length, compilation, and extended-play1 is a novel experience. Listening to the Dublin quartet2…

My Bloody Valentine – Geek! [EP]

Before My Bloody Valentine became a paradigm of shoegaze and indie music, they were a deeply derivative post-punk band with gothic rock vibes. Fronted by vocalist David Conway,1 early releases were little more than The Cure worship with slurred Bauhaus-style vocals. The Geek! EP is the band’s second release, and it is the first demonstration…

Muse – Absolution

Of all the Radiohead clones, Muse is the most commercially – and, depending on whom you ask, critically1 – successful. Both groups are British alternative rock bands with nasal-tenor, eccentric, sadboy multi-instrumentalists who utilize electronic, symphonic, and progressive elements to create concept-albums-but-not-quite that discuss themes of political/social crises, disillusionment with the information age, and knotty…