Browsing Tag


7 Score

The Rockometer: Worth a Lot of Money by OBN IIIs/S/T by Snooty Garbagemen

When you trade in '70s style riff rock, like the OBN IIIs do, there's inherent risk. One hackneyed rhyme of "Rock 'N' Roll" and "soul" and all good will is lost. You get labeled as the kids who never left the Camaro and the high school parking lot, whose best and blurriest days all had two things in common: Budweiser cans and stank weed.
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12 Sleeve (3mm Spine)
8 Score

The Rockometer: Illegals in Heaven by Blank Realm

In one sense, yes, Illegals in Heaven is Blank Realm's pop record, for gradually over the course of their career, the Brisbane art-punks have moved from outsider noise rock aiming to please the curators of all things obscure to easily identifiable song structures with shorter run times and predictable melodies. Yet, while continually making strides towards accessibility, the band still enjoy playfully fucking with everything they record by placing track upon track of melody, counter melody and white noise upon those simple songs.
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Play Me: “See Me” by Obnox

Now, here's a face I never thought I'd see on the NPR website. Hillary? Sure. The Donald? Yes. Kim Davis? For fucks sake, I wish it wasn't so. But Obnox, Cleveland's own, Lamont "Bim" Thomas? As much as his profile has been steadily rising with each successive release of forward-thinking, punk'n'rap'n'soul albums, or trunk punk, as he calls it, I never considered the possiblity of Bim on NPR
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New Jam City: New Jams by Protomartyr and Blank Realm

I am Morrissey. For the better part of 2015 I've been all "Burn down the disco/Hang the blessed DJ/Because the music they're constantly playing/It says nothing to me about my life." Then, there are weeks like this, when new jams by Protomartyr and Blank Realm, bands that do speak to me and my life, hit on consecutive days.
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Play Me: “Look to the Sun” by Obnox

Bim don't quit. Clevelander, Lamont "Bim" Thomas writes, records, and tours as Obnox as often as other musicians tweet their lamebrain opinions on shit they don't know shit about, which is all the damn time. 2015 has already seen to Obnox albums: Boogalou Reed and Know America, and today, we get the first taste of Bim's third release of 2015 in the form of "Look to the Sun" from Wiglet, due out later this year on Ever/Never. This one is a slow, purposeful crusher with deliberate, doom metal guitars rendered in static, and vocals, half spoken and half sung, blurred by the rumble. It's not a happy song, in the least, but damn am I happy Bim keeps doing his thing.
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New Jam City: New Jams by Fuzz, Kurt Vile, and Archie & The Bunkers

Not to be confused with The Ty Segall Band, Fuzz is that other band from the prolific, left-coast garage rocker, Ty Segall. And like Fuzz's 2013 release, "Rat Race" and "Pollinate" from Fuzz's forthcoming, In the Red Records release on 10.23, both feature that smoked out, heavy duty blues sound your longhaired uncle dropped out to in 1973.
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11 Score

The Rockometer: Payola by Desaparecidos

Political punk rock comes with a unique risk. What if all the causes you've been championing have been overtaken by more pressing issues by the time your album hits the streets? In our era, dominated by hot takes and social media firestorms, remaining topical is even more difficult. When you consider anarcho-punk forebearers, Crass were left to question their own strategy after Thatcher began and ended the Falkland's War in the early '80s while the band worked for more than a year on the double album, Christ - The Album, a modern band surely faces an even more daunting task, right? Who cares about Occupation Wall Street any more? In the past month gay marriage is the law of the land and the Confederate flag has (finally) become a poisonous symbol. A diplomatic, nuclear arms treaty with Iran has been agreed upon and a Cuban flag is flying outside of an embassy in Washington DC. The United States of 2015 is a far different place than the United States of 2012, when Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and his long, dormant band, Desaparecidos reunited for a second round of incendiary arena-punk.
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Play Me: “Why Does It Shake” by Protomartyr

Got a few extra minutes? Check this new jam by Detroit post-punk survivors/saviors, Protomartyr. It's as intelligent and as fierce as anything the quartet has released to date, punctuated with a dancefloor-ready beat and guitars like shrapnel.
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