They Might Be Giants – I Like Fun

Thomas Wolfe wrote You Can’t Go Home Again. Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in The Dispossessed that you can go home again—because home is a place you have never been. I hone in on the significance on home here because, in a manner of speaking, They Might Be Giants have come home with their latest album, I Like Fun, recorded in the same space they recorded Flood. Not entirely the same though. Back in the day it was Skyline Studios. Now it’s Reservoir Studios, following a renovation in 2015-16. Stuff has changed in the interval; likewise with TMBG in-between Flood … Read More

Game Review: Subnautica

In my early teens I had a fascination with survival games. Something about them was inherently enamoring. I don’t know if it was the lack of direction, the continuous progression, or the flexible role playing that the genre offered, but I would gobble up any survival game I could. I would spend hours rifling through the Garry’s Mod server list just looking for a survival-based server to hop into in order to get my fix. I have since had a falling-out with the genre and haven’t really touched it since then. After playing Subnautica all these years later, I am reminded of … Read More

Game Review: Iconoclasts

There is a terrible bait-and-switch at the heart of Iconoclasts, the long-gestating game from Swedish developer Joakim Sandberg. For the first 3 hours, the game does everything it possibly can to convince you that it is a bad game. It got to a point early on where I dreaded even playing the game. I was stuck wandering around boilerplate environments solving simple puzzles in order to get crafting materials for extremely minor upgrades I didn’t need. The writing was a chore to get through, full of sentences that were unintentionally difficult to parse. I had no idea what my character’s ambitions … Read More

The Highs and Lows of Overwatch League

I imagine a beautiful future not too far down the road when I can tune in to my local radio station and listen to drunk people complain about how Dreamkazper’s DPS game is in the toilet or how ShaDowBurn is really carrying this garbage team they’ve got this year. Overwatch League, the concerted effort from Activision Blizzard to establish their shooter Overwatch as a competitive game worth watching, does a lot to move us closer to this goal. Even in its infancy it has been a ton of fun to watch. It puts on a show better than any e-sport broadcast … Read More

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Gumboot Soup

I wonder how seriously King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard considered the phrase “quality over quantity” when they committed to their absurd five-album release schedule for 2017. The idea of any band surviving long enough to release five albums is kind of hard to imagine, let alone a band surviving long enough to release five good albums. But King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard was going to do just that in a single year? Alright. Here we are almost a month into 2018, just enough time to evaluate that schedule’s ultimate payoff. With only hours on the clock before 2017 … Read More

Jeff Rosenstock – POST-

POST– never outright says what it’s following, even though the quickest glance through a lyric sheet could probably lead you to an obvious culprit. Within the first seven minutes or so, Jeff Rosenstock has already spat obtuse references to Middle America, media cycles and a wayward joke, seething with distrust, disappointment, and several other D-words before collapsing into good ol’ fashioned American boredom. But in those same seven minutes, Rosenstock’s swung a hard reference to the Crickets-by-way-of-the-Clash, parleyed through jagged emo-inflected pop punk and sunk his opening track into post-punk-lite. To the cadence of “You promised us the stars and … Read More

Elder – Reflections of a Floating World

Lately I haven’t been reviewing that much music, and this lends each review a strange sense of weight. If I’m only going to review one album a month then there must be a reason why I choose THE ONE over the thousand other albums coming out every Tuesday and Friday. So why the hell do I keep reviewing metal albums? I don’t even like metal. I am a metal outsider. I am not a viking warrior or a slab of granite. I am wood or a soap bubble or something. I am just the shyest li’l sprig. And here I … Read More

Ryan Adams – Prisoner

I’ve heard a thousand records like Prisoner. They were the kind of albums I’d play on drives with friends, the kinds of records with just enough of a hometown bend and just enough of road-worn lyricism to sound endlessly familiar. They’re probably albums you’ve heard before, too. Think Tom Petty, Bob Seger, John Mellencamp and, yes, Bryan Adams. Acoustic guitars and harmonicas, country rock licks and big choruses, heart-on-sleeve clichés, houses, highways, girls, etc. I can’t deny how comfortable Prisoner is to me, actually. The sound Ryan Adams channels feels like the natural heir to Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, … Read More

Los Campesinos! – Sick Scenes

The music I grew up with is a decade old now and that terrifies me. In my mind the late 2000s were a beautiful period of experimentation and growth and honest, unabashed wonder. I was swept up in the pitchfork content mill and every major release felt like an event and another bud on these vast musical branches I was incredibly eager to claim as my own. I jumped from Yo La Tengo into Animal Collective into Deerhunter and beyond. Everything felt and still feels like it was contributing to a staggering musical epoch that ended, coincidentally, once I grew … Read More

Tucker’s Favorite Album of 2016

I was never one to consider meditation. Not only can I not get my legs into the requisite pretzel, but the process always seemed rarefied to the point of comedic exaggeration. People finding transcendence in ohms and ahs and incense sticks. There seemed to me a very drink-the-kool-aid aspect to the whole business. And that’s how I probably would have kept on if not for Sleep Cycle, the first and only solo album from Animal Collective guitarist Deakin. It would be hugely presumptuous of me to say that Sleep Cycle is an album about meditation. I don’t believe that to be … Read More