Release Date Buffet: 5/4/2018

Quick Impressions of the Week:

Belly – Dove
Producer: Tom Gorman, Paul Q Kolderie, Belly
Label: Self Relased
Genre: Alternative Rock

Quick Impressions: If alternative rock means “how many alternating rock sounds can we throw into a record?” then Belly just about tried to meander from their mellow, shoegazer’s delight towards more solid genres, like country, or garage or just simple blues melodies. But then again, when reuniting after a hefty break up and hiatus is all the rage for groups who seemingly died at the last millennium (see, Soundgarden? You started a trend), it’s a bit hard to capture what that signature sound was (unless you’re Rod Argent and the bloody Zombies). Belly’s adept enough to stitch all their scatter-brained attempts into an album of good feelings, but I wouldn’t be battering down doors for a record that seems starstruck by its own renaissance talents.

Review: N

Black Moth Super Rainbow – Panic Blooms
Producer: Tobacco
Label: Rad Cult
Genre: Neo-Psychedelia, Indietronica

Quick Impressions: Mellow, hazy. Perfect for lounging on a sunny, shiny, lazy Sunday afternoon—the lightbeams still peak through the blinders and haze along the dust in the air. It’s a 42-minute record filled with space. Too much space, even—impressive for a record with the same runtime as Dark Side of the Moon but which feels twice as long. Really though, if you’ve been meaning to catch up on reading, here’s an album perfect for it. What else would you really listen to this record for?

Review: N

Bong – Thought and Existence
Producer: Max Wood
Label: Ritual
Genre: Drone Metal

Review: This is not the type of music that I expect Sartre or Borges to enjoy. But this is the type of music that I expect someone who enjoys Sartre and Borges would make. I enjoy Sartre and Borges.

Review: M

Cut Worms – Hollow Ground
Producer: Jason Finkel, Jonathan Rado
Label: Jagjaguwar
Genre: Garage Rock, Psychedelic Pop

Quick Impressions: Should I be surprised that Jagjaguwar (along with Polyvinyl) are trying to push the talent of neo-psychedelicists who got lost in suburbia with nothing but Troggs, Byrds and Zombies records—plus one from Marylou Harris? No not really, hence why Hollow Ground is, if nothing, unsurprising. Is it bad? By no means, it’s adept, but it’s so easy to hear skills these days—the curse of living with 7 billion of us bastards. Still, Cut Worms shouldn’t be so down on himself for reminding me of less crowded times, if anything, he’ll help you forget today’s shiny stupidity for yesterday’s sheeny naivety.

Review: N

Daniel Blumberg – Minus
Producer: Peter Walsh
Label: Mute
Genre: Indie Rock

Quick Impressions: He may look like a Thompson Twin and played in 90’s cliché band Yuck, but on this record, Blumberg finally finds a nice middle ground of alternative and classic icons: turn-of-the-millennium Harvey, latter-Bad Seed Ellis and late-70’s Young. This mélange of musical and vocal sounds may not have been intended cause, but they still have an effect: A Blumberg record wherein he finally finds a voice that can stand toe-to-toe with those bereaved heavy weights yet remains totally unique.

Review: Y

Eleanor Friedberger (The Fiery Furnaces) – Rebound
Producer: Clemens Knieper
Label: Frenchkiss
Genre: Indie Pop

Quick Impressions: Soft, yet exuberant, Eleanor Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces sounds like a far more positive St. Vicent. Friedberger performs her unabashed self throughout a record filled with Spandau Ballet slow dance rhythms and the lavender soap vocals of a Dido or Des’ree record, far removed from the summer surf-rock tendencies of her debut. Still high-spirited, but with far more confectionary production.

Review: N

Gaz Coombes (Supergrass) – World’s Strongest Man
Producer: Gaz Coombes, Ian Davenport
Label: Hot Fruit, Caroline
Genre: Indie Rock, Art Rock

Quick Impressions: Gaz Coombes, the brains behind Supergrass and a Beefhearted name if I’ve ever heard one, doesn’t remind me much of Captain Beefheart—moving with a shimmer rather than a roll in the grass. What’s smacks me here is a dab of 90’s pop-rock, a dollop of vocal talent that Gourley surely could enjoy, a cup of sonicalities picked up around the craven psychpop-orgy studios and a couple crowd pleasing tricks (A kid’s choir? Gottem!) and you have a well-stitched together rock record, actually, no that I would enjoy it, but if I did, I would totally recommend checking out that “Wounded Egos” outro.

Review: M

Iceage – Beyondless
Producer: Nis Bysted
Label: Matador
Genre: Post-Punk, Art Punk

Quick Impressions: Danish post-punkers Iceage are back after a small hiatus, bringing you swanky free jazz, grueling blues riffs and all the post-rock ambience you can ask for. Leadman Rønnenfelt is better than ever: his slow vocal panache provides a counterpoint to punk’s current lead snarler of choice, Adam Savage, while working in twisty Caveisms over a noise-rock sound that could only descend from the Sonic Youth family tree. Quite a cocktail.

Review: N

Jessica Risker – I See You Among The Stars
Producer: Adam Wiebe
Label: Western Vinyl
Genre: Psych Folk

Quick Impressions: If I wanted to put baby to sleep, this would be the record to do it.

Review: M

Landing – Bells in New Towns
Producer: Justin Pizzoferrato
Label: El Paraiso
Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Quick Impressions: Mellow, expression filled, Landing fits snugly in between DIIV and Beaches (Aussies, not Canadian), or because landing has been doing this for longer than DIIV or Beaches have been around, Landing snugly fits as a sonic forebearer. They try to make it sound that way when “Gravitational VII” slips on and continues a career long theme of making listeners sound suspended from their ankles in a spaceship before “Bright” takes them for launch. However, for all this spaceyness, I feel like there’s never the same bite as DIIV or Beaches (Down unda, not up tundra), a bite similar to Sonic Youth’s. I wonder if scientists would call that evolution?

Review: M

Mexican Knives – II
Producer: Bill Skibbe
Label: Jett Plastic Recordings
Genre: Post-Punk, Garage Rock

Quick Impressions: Well, if Reality Something has the alternative album debut of the week, then Mexican Knives gets the sophomore gold—this record rips like a post-punk riff on the New York Doll, a riot that can’t help but riot nice and quiet, occasionally, before turning up the heat like a lighter to some urban boilpot. The meal’s done after 30 minutes, and damn was it delicious.

Review: Y

Middle Kids – Lost Friends
Producer: Peter Katis
Label: Domino
Genre: Indie Rock

Quick Impressions: Middle Kids are the ones that always have to work the hardest, don’t they? For Hannah Joy, Tim Fitz and Harry Day, however, the praise came easy. Elton John likes them! And I like Elton John! Well here’s the problem: try as I might, I cannot pierce what exactly makes them such a palatable critical act. They sound like every other pop three-piece out there with a modicum of skill, or one better: a poppier Okkervil River with a Mazzy Star-lite vocalist. They sparkle enough to catch your eye, but when two years go by, will they still shine like a star or will we all realize they were simply another streetlight along the indie rock fastlane?

Review: M

Peace – Kindness Is The New Rock And Roll
Producer: Simon Felice (Bat for Lashes)
Label: Ignition
Genre: Pop Rock, Indie Rock

Quick Impressions: Oh, come the fuck on with this “Kindness Is The New Rock and Roll” shit. I get it, you feel like a hippy because you take your shoes off in the grass, wave your hair in the air and play your sunny sun sunshine and rainbow riffs as the girls in the park sing under the gazebo. But now you’re laying it on thick—thicker than a late-career Oasis. It tries so hard to inspire a vision and yet all I can think is how Bat for Lashes has more inspiration and vision in her cuticle than these poprock Ken and Chads. Hookiness is one thing, but this just reeks of corporock. That said, expect me to have all these barroom chant lyrics remembered to “Kindness Is The New Rock and Roll” by next Monday.

Review: Y

Pinkshinyultrablast – Miserable Miracles
Label: Club AC30
Genre: Shoegaze, Synthpop

Quick Impressions: By far the best Russian export these days, Pinkshinyultrablast returns with a refined synthpop sound made for Stranger Things. No, really. Listen to this damn record and tell me you don’t want to go down to the arcade and beat Mad Max’s record on the machines, cuz I dig dug this record.

Review: M

Reality Something – Life Noise
Producer: Kingsley Brock
Label: Infinity Cat
Genre: Alternative Rock

Quick Impressions: If Courtney Love and Avril Lavigne had a baby, she would sound like Elena Franklin. And damn does she sound determined. And damn does Reality Something’s debut sound solid like a Pavement strip.

Review: N

Shakey Graves – Can’t Wake Up

Producer: Alejandro Rose-Garcia, Chris Boosahda
Label: Dualtone
Genre: Indie Rock, Psychedelic Rock

Quick Impressions: For record number three, Mr. Graves decided that it was high-time for aethereal shimmers and Gilmourian mumbles, time for lo-fi sonics and a back-and-forth pace, time for a change and the reformation of an artist who otherwise sounded like a James Taylor/Neil Young mashup naught but a year ago. Or he just saw the money-train and ran for it; neo-psychedelic rock is in full railroad revival, and these bucks don’t make stops for long.

Review: N

Shinedown – Attention Attention

Producer: Shinedown
Label: Atlantic
Genre: Hard Rock, Alternative Rock

Quick Impressions: Ayeesh. Shinedown? More like nail down because Shinedown has nailed down a sound (I’m never making a pun like that again, that was awful). What sound? Why all of Alt-Rock. We got piano ballads, we got hard-hitting riffs, we got sing-shouting, we got percussion recorded in your dad’s garage. In short, we’ve got everything short of some creativity.

Review: N

Sugar Candy Mountain – Do Right
Producer: Sugar Candy Mountain
Label: People in a Position to Know, Joyful Noise
Genre: Neo-Psychedelia

Quick Impressions: Neo-psychedelia is in a weird spot right now. For one, it somehow has to fit on the same chair as psychedelic rock and pop-psych, not an easy thing to do. It somehow has to balance its electronic adaptations with analog trickery, not an easy thing to do. And it somehow has to convince you that it is a true successor to the sixties acid-rock explosion, not an easy thing to do. But then we have Sugar Candy Mountain, who make it sound so ridiculously easy. People want to call them similar to Tame Impala—Fine, I say, but that’s just a copout; Tame Impala is verily the most popular psychedelic band (person?) in goddamn decades—no, the real summary of Do Right is simple:  it’s as if Animal Collective listened to a Beach House album and chilled the fuck out.

Review: M

Tove Styrke – Sway
Producer: Elof Loelv
Label: Sony
Genre: Electropop, Dance-Pop

Quick Impressions: Take HAIM. Now give HAIM some beats. No not beets. And none that paltry Nineties R&Beats. I’m talkin’ today’s wub-a-dub-dubbers, the thudders of the clubbers. Good. Then swirl that along basic house rhythms and bang, here is Tove Styrke’s Sway: too stylish to be bad, but not complex enough to be good.

Review: N

Yonatan Gat – Universalists
Producer: Yonatan Gat
Label: Joyful Noise, Glitterbeat
Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Quick Impressions: On the cover is a be-suited man stranded along the dunes, a man holding a guitar by the head, probably mucking up his tuning, and a man whom I presume to be Mr. Gat himself. While holding a guitar in a most peculiar way, which means he’s an artist, he’s also standing in a desolate place—very artistic. And when this record is opened, you’ll find a record that is indeed artsy-fartsy lemon-tartsy. It’s a citrus food, a sour blood orange, a combination of garage rock, post-punk, worldfolk and lo-fi recording techniques that all come together to record negative and positive space. It might sting on first bite but give it a second and you’ll find it refreshing for the pallet.

Review: Y

Also released this week:


The Arbuckles – Fat Cat 3-Pack Volume 1
Label: Self-Released
Genre: Punk, Garage Rock

The Buttertones – Midnight in a Moonless Dream
Label: Innovative Leisure
Genre: Indie Pop, Indie Rock

CatFancy – Leave No Cross Unturned
Label: Self-Released
Genre: Punk, Alternative Rock

Decisions – The Weight of the World Leaves a Broken Back
Label: Wharf Cat
Genre: Alternative Rock, Noise Rock

Eureka California – Roadrunners
Label: Happy Happy Birthday To Me
Genre: Indie Roc

High Sunn – Missed Connections
Genre: Indie Rock

Jake Martin – 1555 Syllables That Mean Everything
Label: Aaahh!!! Real Records
Genre: Folk Punk

Liz Phair – Girly-Sound to Guyville: The 25th Anniversary Box Set
Label: Matador
Genre: Indie Rock

Old Bones Break Easy – A Barrel in The River
Label: Self-Released
Genre: Skatepunk

Pre Nup – Oh Well
Label: Jigsaw
Genre: Indie Rock

Radon – More Of Their Lies
Label: Eager Beaver
Genre: Punk, Alternative Rock

Reuben and the Dark – Arms of a Dream
Label: Arts & Crafts
Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock

Shonen Knife – Alive! In Osaka
Label: Good Charamel
Genre: Japanese Punk

Skating Polly – The Make It All Show
Label: El Camino
Genre: Punk

The Spires – Obscured View
Label: Fop Music
Genre: Indie Rock, Pop-Psych 

Trampled By Turtles – Life Is Good On The Open Road
Label: Banjodad, Thirty Tigers
Genre: Folk Rock, Alternative Rock

Tropical Fuck Storm – A Laughing Death in Meatspace
Label: Mistletone / TFS Reords
Genre: Punk Blues, Pyschedelic Rock



Benjamin Lazar Davis – Nothing Matters
Label: 11A
Genre: Indie Pop, Singer/Songwriter

Damien Jurado – The Horizon Just Laughed
Label: Secretly Canadian
Genre: Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk

Frank Turner – Be More Kind
Label: Xtra Mile, Polydor, Universal
Genre: Singer/Songwriter, Folk Punk

Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs – Clippety Clop
Label: Transdreamer
Genre: Alt-Country

JOHNNYSWIM and Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors – Goodbye Road
Label: Goodbye Road
Genre: Folk, World

Leftover Salmon – Something Higher
Label: LoS
Genre: Folk, World

Malphino – Visit Malphino
Label: Lex
Genre: Cumbia

Parker Millsap – Other Arrangements
Label: Okrahoma
Genre: Folk, World, Country

 Rachael Sage – MYOPIA
Label: MPress, ILS, Caroline
Genre: Singer/Songwriter

 RF Shannon – Trickster Blues
Label: Cosmic Dreamer Music
Genre: Psych Folk

Traveller – Western Movie
Label: Refuge Foundation
Genre: Country Rock



Dimmu Borgir – Eonian
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Symphonic Metal 

Drahla – Compact
Label: Captured Tracks
Genre: Post-Punk, Art Rock 

Elizabeth Colour Wheel – Queen Tired
Label: Midnight Werewolf
Genre: Shozegaze, Doom Metal

Gnod – Chapel Perilous
Label: Rocket
Genre: Noise Rock, Post-Punk 

Holm – Dappled EP
Label: Tough Love
Genre: Post-Punk, Alternative Rock

LIINES – Stop-Start
Label: Reckless Yes Records
Genre: Post-Punk, Alternative Rock 

Parlor Walls – Exo (EP)
Label: Northern Spy
Genre: Post-Punk, Noise Rock

Parkway Drive – Reverence
Label: Epitaph
Genre: Metalcore

Thou – The House Primordial EP
Label: Robotic Empire
Genre: Sludge Metal, Drone Metal

Thy Catafalque – Geometria
Label: Season of Mist
Genre: Avant-Garde Metal, Progressive Metal

WOLVHAMMER – The Monuments Of Ash & Bone
Label: Blood Muisc
Genre: Black Metal, Death Metal



Cuco – Chiquito EP
Label: Self Released
Genre: Alternative R&B, Hypnagogic Pop

Johnny Yukon – Installation I
Label: Atlantic
Genre: R&B/Soul

Lake Street Dive – Free Yourself Up
Label: Nonesuch
Genre: Rhythm & Blues 

Leon Bridges – Good Thing
Label: Columbia
Genre: Smooth Soul 

Plan B – Heaven Before All Hell Breaks Loose
Label: 679, Warner
Genre: Contemporary R&B, Pop Soul



Brian Eno – Music for Installations
Label: Universal
Genre: Ambient 

Chris Reimer (Women) – Hello People
Label: Flemish Eye
Genre: Drone, Ambient

Dada Life – Our Nation
Label: So Bleeped AB, Under Exclusive, License to Universal
Genre: Dance

DJ Koze – Knock Knock
Label: Pampa
Genre: House

Eternal Summers – Every Day It Feels Like I’m Dying
Label: Nevado
Genre: Indie Pop 

FAN (The Dodos) – Barton’s Den
Label: Polyvinyl
Genre: Synthpop, Indie Pop

The Glitch Mob – See Without Eyes
Label: Glass Air
Genre: Glitch Hop, Chillstep

The Goldberg Sisters – HOME: A Nice Place To Visit
Label: apologymusic
Genre: Pop Pysch 

Harry Permezel – Wax Man
Label: Muscle Beach Records
Genre: lo-fi

Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders – Blue Poles
Label: Terrible
Genre: Synthpop

Jon Hopkins – Singularity
Label: Domino
Genre: Microhouse, Tech House 

Lucrecia Dalt – Anticlines
Label: Rvng
Genre: Electronic, Ambient 

Mat Kearney – CRAZYTALK
Label: Tomorrow Music
Genre: Indie Pop, Electropop

Mating Ritual – Light Myself On Fire
Label: Smooth Jaws
Genre: Electropop

Label: FADER
Genre: Indie Pop

Mount Kimbie – Love What Survives Remixes Part 1
Label: Warp
Genre: Tech House, Techno

Mr Husband – Silvertone
Label: Good Soil Records
Genre: Indie Pop

Perera Elsewhere – Drive
Label: Friends of Friends
Genre: Art Pop, Trip Hop

twig twig – darkworld gleaming
Label: Otherfeels
Genre: lo-fi

Venetian Snares & Daniel Lanois – Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois
Label: Timesig, Planet Mu
Genre: Breakcore

Viva la Void (Moon Duo) – Vive la Void
Label: Sacred Bones
Genre: Electronic, Post-Punk

When Saints Go Machine – It’s A Mad Love EP
Label: Kartel Music
Genre: Electronica, Trip-Hop 

Yeek – Blackheart EP
Label: 667985 Records DK2
Genre: Indie Pop, Hip-Hop



BlocBoy JB – Simi Mixtape
Label: Bloc Nation
Genre: Trap Rap, Southern Hip Hop 

Desiigner – L.O.D. EP
Label: GOOD, Def Jam
Genre: Trap Rap

Daniel Son x Futurewave – Pressure Cooker
Label: Self-Released
Genre: Hip Hop

Rae Sremmurd – SR3MM
Triple Album containing SR3MM and Swae Lee’s Swaecation and Slim Jxmmi’s Jxmtro
Label: Eardruma, Interscope
Genre: Trap Rap, Pop Rap, Southern Hip Hop 

Royce Da 5’9 – The Book of Ryan
Label: E1
Genre: Hip Hop

Scarlxrd – DXXM
Label: Island
Genre: Industrial Hip Hop, Trap Rap 

Styles P (of The Lox) – G-Host
Label: Phantom, New Music Cartel, Fontana
Genre: Hip Hop


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About BenJamsToo

A young dude with an old soul from Portland, OR but currently teaching and writing in rural France. A lover of rock n roll since his mother first spun The Police’s “Roxanne,” he’s also dabbler in soul, funk, jazz, blues, electronic and hip-hop. Perhaps it’s easier to list what he doesn’t like; most gangster rap, country-western and modern metal disagrees with his stomach. Spends all day wondering what Ruban Nielson eats for breakfast, why Danger Mouse hasn't made a through and through GOOD record since St. Elsewhere, if Kamasi Washington is the Kanye West of jazz and just what the hell people hear in mumble rap. Between those things he writes for Atwood and his own blog, Come here for the nice clean thoughts; go there for the ramblings of an insane man.