Mount Kimbie – Cold Spring Fault Less Youth

You can tell by its tame, geometric cover that Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, British post-dubstep duo Mount Kimbie’s second album, explores more domestic themes than MK’s seedy, big booty debut, Crooks and Lovers. In fact, Cold Spring sounds completely disparate from Crooks and Lovers in every respect except that it lazily retains its vague electronic vibe. Cold Spring does channel a handful of familiar, yet loveable aesthetics: opener “Home Recording” starts off with a TV on the Radio-esque fanfare before it settles into a complacent groove; “You Took Your Time,” with eclectic British rapper/singer King Krule, resembles a Gorillaz/Roots ... Read More

The National – Trouble Will Find Me

I discovered Cincinnati-based indie rock band the National in 2007 when I first heard “Fake Empire” off of the band’s fourth LP, Boxer. I immediately fell head over heels for Matt Berninger’s despondent smoky baritone, which trails over an arrhythmic acoustic piano and a bright, sporadic drum fill. Berninger captures a dream world of nostalgia and nausea. It sounds so imperfectly human. No National song that I’ve heard since then has quite surpassed that initial euphoria. It starts modestly and builds up so passionately, so organically; a fanfare of horns brings it home. It evokes rock and blues sensibilities in ... Read More

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

I’ll be honest; I don’t ever purposely put on house or dance pop. Whenever I hear it though, I dig it. How can you not, as Justice said, “D.A.N.C.E.”? But I’ve never taken it too seriously. And I take music “obnoxiously” seriously, as some of my friends put it. One of my friends from grade school burnt me copies of “Homework” and “Discovery” a few years ago. I only ever played them when we would drive around town, bored as hell and hyped up on Daft Punk’s signature robotic funk. –“Another time around this block?” –“Yeah, one more time!” When ... Read More

RP Boo – Legacy

Based on my research, RP Boo is somewhat of a big deal in his line of work. The putative inventor of Chicago based “footwork” music; Legacy is apparently his first legitimate album. Based on some reviews I read, I figured RP Boo’s work would sound like J Dilla’s—sample-based work without rappers—which intrigued me, since Dilla has been one of the cool things I’ve found in college thus far. When it came to actually listening to it, though, it fell short of my expectations. I felt like, listening to Legacy, that I was listening to a movie soundtrack at times. You’ve ... Read More

Escape the Fate – Ungrateful

Escape The Fate’s fourth album shows many changes, like adding rhythm guitarist Michael Money (brother of lead guitarist Monte Money) and replacing old bassist Max Greene with TJ Bell.  The lineup changes seemed to not have much effect on this album, which probably has to do with the lead guitar and the drums being the main strengths previous albums.  Ungrateful seems like their attempt to revert back to the acclaim of their first album, “Dying is Your Latest Fashion.” The first portion of the album is perfect: it has great back-up vocals, drums, and lead guitar which weave together to ... Read More

Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

I have a theory that most music critics have had leads for Vampire Weekend’s third album already written for three years: “Some Oxford Comma reference or a derisive jab at hipster ivy league grads that wear boat shoes followed by why or why not Vampire Weekend’s predictable or experimental Third Album sounds good or bad.” When I gave Modern Vampires a listen, I very much repressed any opinions I had of Vampire Weekend and Contra because I hate reviews that only reference an artist’s previous projects/styles. That turned out more difficult than expected. I noticed an obvious departure from its ... Read More

Deerhunter – Monomania

On Monomania, Deerhunter’s 6th full-length album, the glamorous indie rock outfit goes hard. I mean, for indie rock. I mean, for American indie rock… in 2013. It seems several eons and even more Internet subgenres ago since indie rock sounded as rocky and live as this. Deerhunter certainly hasn’t forgotten its DIY roots, and when I first heard that Deerhunter’s new album would draw upon that primordial sound, I got my hopes up because, in all honesty, I missed that guttural, gritty ethic of proto-Internet rock. On paper (or laptop screen, rather), Monomania looked as if it would deliver just that. When I ... Read More