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YoureBetterThanThis
8 Score

The Rockometer: You’re Better Than This by Pile

I can't say that I'd go as far as to say You're Better Than This, the new record by buzzy, Boston upstarts, Pile, is a difficult album, as Pitchfork's Paul Thompson claims in an otherwise complimentary review. Selections, like howling opener, "The World Is Your Motel," should sound familiar to anyone whose familiarity with the AmRep catalog stretches beyond knowing how to use AmRep as a shortcut for the nastier and heavier underground sounds of the '90s.
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BeechCreepsAlbumCover
9 Score

The Rockometer: S/T by Beech Creeps

It's March 4th, the streets of Cleveland are lined with black, nasty ice sculptures, remnants of three weeks where the temperature rarely rose above freezing and the snow kept piling, and I have found my summer jam. It's "Times Be Short," by the New York band, Beech Creeps.
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Krill - A Distant Fist Unclenching
7 Score

The Rockometer: A Distant Fist Unclenching by Krill

Like their brothers in rock, Pile, the Massachusetts act Krill are one of those bands who wouldn't know a chorus if the chorus was a wet Atlantic salmon and they were smacked over the head with a wet Atlantic salmon chorus. They're also one of those bands who tend to nerd out, and noodle on their instruments for minutes on end like early Modest Mouse and early Built to Spill. Oh, and bassist/vocalist, Jonah Furman has a unique way with words. The most memorable track on the trio's 2014 release, Steve Hears Pile in Malden and Bursts Into Tears, was called "Turd." Furman literally imagined himself as a turd, as in a piece of shit, going down the commode. This is all to say Krill are not going to be everyone's favorite new band, not everyone is going to get it. Those not content with the status quo in modern guitar rock music, however, should by all means get themselves more familiar with the weird world of Krill.
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torche-restarter
8 Score

The Rockometer: Restarter by Torche

As the title would imply, Restarter is a deliberate attempt by Florida heavies, Torche, to realign their recorded output with the band they consider themselves to be. Their previous two efforts, 2010's Songs for Singles EP and 2012's Harmonicraft, downplayed their background in the sludge and doom metal scenes, and instead focused on quick-hitting (and oh so burly) pop-metal. In one particularly memorable soundbite from this era, conservative commentator, and closet rocker, Mike Huckabee, labeled Torche the heavy metal Foo Fighters. It fit, especially if you've only heard Torche through earbuds.
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obnoxBoodalouRee
11 Score

The Rockometer: Boogalou Reed by Obnox

It's not just the whole damn country that's about to blow up, with his third long player in less than three years, Lamont "Bim" Thomas is due to blow up, too. For more than any other Obnox record, Boogalou Reed, showcases Thomas' unique ability to blur the lines between punk rock, hip-hop, and experimental sounds. There are no beat-based joints, or punk rock ragers, or improv head fucks. Instead, there are Obnox songs, fifteen of them, to be precise, and each one gives the listener a slightly different perspective into the mind of Thomas, on this, the outlaw rockers' most poignant work to date.
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TwerpsRangeAnxiety
7 Score

The Rockometer: Range Anxiety by Twerps

The Twerps are admitted fans of the Go-Betweens. And, depending on your own listening habits, you may hear traces of C86, The Kinks, or the Shins on Range Anxiety, the band's first album for Merge Records. This is all another way of saying the casual facade of this Australian quartet conceals a deep understanding of what makes guitar pop tick.
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SleaterKinney_NoCitiesToLove_cover-608x608
8 Score

The Rockometer: No Cities to Love by Sleater-Kinney

Sleater-Kinney are an important band, a very important band. Their left-leaning politics and fiercely proud feminism sheltered countless listeners during the band's first run through the '90s and early-to-mid '00s. Carrie Brownstein also has one helluva rock kick. And you know that song of theirs, "No Rock 'N' Roll Fun?" Turn it around and the message becomes, Sleater-Kinney are Rock 'N' Roll fun.
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VietCongAlbumCover
9 Score

The Rockometer: S/T by Viet Cong

It's not that the Canadian post-punk outfit, Viet Cong, have listened to different albums than you and I and everyone else active in the underground music scene. The foreboding tones of Ian Curtis and Joy Division provide a convenient starting point for anyone with a passing interest in what's happened outside of the mainstream during the past 30 years. Yet, unlike pretty much everyone else who has turned to the early days of UK post-punk for inspiration, the finished product is anything but a by the note reproduction of once ground-breaking sounds.
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