Japandroids – Celebration Rock

Japandroids took the positive-partying mentality of Andrew W.K. and filtered it through pop punk, garage rock, and noise pop to create the life-affirming ebullience that is Celebration Rock. Surprisingly sleek, considering its influences from Guns ‘n’ Roses1 and Hüsker Dü, Celebration Rock is eight tracks of high-energy, danceable indie rock. The album opens and closes…

Beirut – Gulag Orkestar

At seventeen years old, New Mexico native Zach Condon dropped out of community college and flew to Eastern/Central Europe with his brother, where he traveled with gypsy bands and studied indigenous folk cultures in the Baltics and former USSR.1 Upon returning, the young musician started a one-man project2 called “Beirut,” through which he created music…

The New Record by My Bloody Valentine – My Bloody Valentine [EP]

The New Record by My Bloody Valentine by My Bloody Valentine is the second extended-play release by the Irish indie/alternative legends, following up the mini-album This Is Your Bloody Valentine1 and first extended-play Geek!. This short release demonstrates the band’s complete abandonment of the overt gothic rock and post-punk textures that characterized their initial recordings…

My Bloody Valentine – Sunny Sundae Smile [EP]

My Bloody Valentine were geniuses way before Isn’t Anything and Loveless became nigh-inseparable from the words “shoegaze,” “best albums of all time,” and “mind-blowing sex playlist.” Don’t believe me?1 Check out the Sunny Sundae Smile extended-play, a short four-song/nine-minute ditty of a release that was the last to feature original vocalist David Conway. Behind the…

Thumpers – Galore

Galore starts of fantastically. The clap-along percussion and twinkling production of “Marvel” makes for a gorgeous track that elicits the best of indie pop ebullience. “Dancing’s Done” graduates to stomp-along, and even has a cute guitar solo along Thumpers’ motor-mouth singing. Then it explodes into a fucking catastrophe of indie clichés and ostentatious lyrics divorced…

Karen O – Crush Songs

In several circles of independent music criticism, amateurishness and low-fidelity are equated with the concepts of true music and realism. In turn, this has inspired artists to shift from clean, produced sounds in favor of ascetic tendencies.. Low quality is seen as a realistic depiction of artists’ lives and emotions; the term “intimate” is often…