Reviews

By VICE Staff

 

DEAFHEAVEN
SURFER BLOOD
PORTUGAL. THE MAN
HANSON


KANYE WEST
Yeezus
Def Jam
Complete list of Kanye West's collaborators on Yeezus: Daft Punk, Rick Rubin, Chief Keef, Bon Iver, Kid Cudi, Arca, Young Chop, King Louie, Travis Scott, Hudson Mohawke, Mike Dean, Papa John, Johnny DiGiornio, Speedy Domino, Francois Pizza Hut, Lexus Sbarro, Little Caesar. The joke here is pizza. Also, this album rules.

KANYE VEST
 
WALE
The Gifted
Warner // MMG
Would you like to come to my poetry reading? (I AM A VERY SERIOUS ARTIST.) Have you seen the cover of my album? (I AM A VERY SERIOUS ARTIST.) Did you hear me reading my poetry on Rick Ross's song "Banana Pancakes"? (I AM A VERY SERIOUS ARTIST.) Do you like the show Seinfeld? (I REALLY LIKE THE SHOW SEINFELD.)

WALE
FAT TONY
Smart Ass Black Boy
Young One
Fat Tony is the kind of guy who wears nail polish, which is a trend I'm noticing and liking in "weird" modern rappers. Fat Tony is the rap game's guy you want to hug the most. This is a really fun record—not like a "party record," where you have fun while it's playing, but listening to the record feels like reading MAD or Wizard Magazine when you were little and entering a clubhouse of people who got you. What I think I'm saying is that Fat Tony is the black Alfred E. Neuman.

SMARTER ASS BLACK BLOB
 
J. COLE
Born Sinner
Dreamville/Roc Nation/Universal
J. Cole woke up without a blanket. He shivered. "Cole world," he said into the darkness. "Cole world." He got out of bed, his footie pajamas skidding along the floor. He rubbed his tummy; it felt weird. He realized he had to poop. When he got to the bathroom, J. Cole looked in the mirror. J. Cole gasped. The world was much, much Cole-r than he could have imagined. In place of his eyebrows were two caterpillars crawling together. His blood nearly turned to ice. At this moment, he knew he would die alone.

KATE DAVIS JONES
TECH N9NE
Something Else
Strange
One time, I saw Tech N9ne live after I'd eaten a weed brownie and I couldn't tell the difference between his eyes and his eyelids because he'd put face paint on them. I kinda freaked out and had a panic attack and didn't like Tech N9ne for a really long time, but I was wrong, because Tech N9ne is great and some people are assholes or not into hip-hop or didn't grow up around other people who liked Tech N9ne. I guess what I'm trying to say is this record is good, but lots of people won't like it because they're hipster nutsacks.

MOHN JYLER TILLS
MAC MILLER
Watching Movies with the Sound Off
Rostrum
Wait, what? Mac Miller got awesome? Fratty-ass surprised-egg-lookin'-ass Blue-Slide-Park-makin'-ass Mac Miller made one of the most solid and aggressively awesome albums of the year? Yes. I'm not here to tell you to listen to the old Mac Miller, because that would be like me telling you to hang out with the old you before you started taking drugs and became cool. Just know that Mac Miller made a psychedelic rap album and all the good weird rappers in LA are also on it and you can take mushrooms to it.

MAC MILLARD
 

WISE BLOOD
Id
Dovecoat
Once upon a time, I lived in Los Angeles and was a total fucking mess. I slimed off this nice guy I went to college with and never paid any rent for his spare bedroom, rarely bought beer, and occasionally got abducted from bars and brought to five-star Beverly Hills hotels for all-night fuckathons with middle-aged Pakistani men. People were worried about me, and after a couple drunk dialing sessions, even my ex-girlfriend got concerned, so she sent me a care package. In it was a tiny container of glittery animal Pogs, a picture of her at junior prom, a love letter to her from a boy at Jewish sleepaway camp, a thousand-dollar bill, and a mix CD. Wise Blood was on that mix, and it saved my life.

LANDSEY LINNERD
oOoOO
Without Your Love
Nihjgt Feelings
Hey, oOoOO. It's me, Christian. Listen, I think you guys should really consider changing your name. The thing about language is that, most of the time, it's meant to be used as communication verbally, not to look cool in an instant-message conversation. When the people around me at the public library asked me what I was listening to at such a high volume, it was kind of awkward to look back at them, a dead look in my eyes, and simply say, "OoOooOOooh" (extra Os added for effect), mimicking a broken ambulance siren. It didn't help that your music sounds like something Buffalo Bill would listen to if his sex dungeon were in a Bushwick railroad apartment in 2007. Just a thought. Thanks!

CHRISTIAN STORM
 
DISCLOSURE
Settle
PMR
My boyfriend never does drugs, but last year, we went to a UK dance festival in Bognor Regis—which is as grim as the town’s name suggests—and he decided that this was the perfect opportunity to double-drop for the first time. He came up just as Kevin Saunderson and Inner City performed “Good Life.” In the throws of his first chemical climax, he turned to me he said, "This is the most fantastical moment of my life forever.” At that exact moment, Papa John’s poisonous pizza decided to reverse its way out of my gut and explode in my mouth, but that's a story for another album review.

BORING KIM
CSS
Planta
TKTKTK
This record is crazy. It kind of reminds me of New Order, but less on account of the music and more on account of the terrible lyrics. But there is something very earnest about it. Maybe it's because they're from São Paulo and I watched City of God last night, and now I just imagine Benny and his girlfriend banging out some dumbass songs about partying and looking cool into some old Casios so they don't have to deal with Lil Z and their own harsh reality. You guys want to jam on songs like "The Hangout" and "Teenage Tiger Cat"? Well, I think that's just fine. Good luck, you little heroes.

DRENNEN QUINN
AUSTRA
Olympia
Domino
OK, so do you actually like listening to Austra? Or do you just like the idea of listening to Austra? Yeah, that's what I thought.

SUNOVA WITCH
LUST FOR YOUTH
Perfect View
Sacred Bones
Seems like house is legit in the eyes of everybody again. This is an album of repetitive dance music that sounds like C and C Spooky Music Factory.

GARY GARY GARY GARY BIERS

ADVAETA
Gold Thought Exit
Self-Released
Expansive, crunchy rock 'n' roll with witchy lyrics from local Brooklyn hotties is like an all-girl Sleep. Seeing them live makes the boners fly.

LANDSEY LINNERD
 
SHOCKED MINDS
Shocked Minds
Hozac
I was like, "Man, this punk record is really good, but this is a blatant rip-off of Ex Humans and the Carbonas." Then, I did some research and discovered it is those guys, just under a new name. It's another record of snotty, Johnny Thunders-y punk. It's nothing new, but it doesn't have to be.

SHOOK MINDS
DEAFHEAVEN
Sunbather
Deathwish
Because I have an innie instead of an outtie, I've never known the crushing embarrassment of suffering an ill-timed and unexplainable boner. I've never had the experience of being called up to the board to solve an algebra problem with my little preteen peener suddenly standing unimpressively at attention. I've never had to wrestle any part of my body into my waistband. But what this also means is that I'll never be able to describe one of my appendages as "raging" or tap a very short person on the shoulder when my hands are full. Listening to this album is the closest I'll ever come to the feeling of standing on the bow of a yacht, bowlegged in basketball shorts, with my majestic erection penetrating the ocean breeze.

SHAWTY WANNATHUG
GOAT
Dreambuilding/Stonegoat 7"
Sub Pop
I went to a weirdo elementary/middle school for kids with behavioral problems and/or underdeveloped social skills. The primary philosophy was “You’re special and everything you do is great.” I don’t believe this, of course. I know as well as you do that we’re all just bugs. Case in point: there was an older kid who drew cartoons for our school paper. One of his comics centered around a cat, and I liked it very much. When I saw the artist (whose name, I believe, was Ben), I said, “Hey, Ben! I really liked your cat comic!” Ben glanced at me and responded, “I hate that cat.” Goat is a lot like Ben. They look cool as hell, they do this music thing really well, and they don’t give a fuck about it. “Oh, you like psychadelisprawl guitar solos? Fuck you.” In this sense, Goat is special and everything Goat does is great. But not you. You’re a bug. Go on with your bug life and let Goat be.

DRENNEN QUINN
JIMMY EAT WORLD
Damage
RCA/Dine Alone
I am 17, driving in my mother's Jeep Grand Cherokee, windows down, as I play "The Middle," feeling a little weird that I am relating so much to a song addressed to a "little girl." I am 22, a recent college graduate, very broke, attending a "pop-punk-themed" night at a bar, singing along to "The Middle" while some guy fingerbangs a girl in the booth next to me. I am 26, writing snarky record reviews that it is highly possible no one actually reads, racing to send an email back to my editor to get dibs on reviewing this record and then immediately questioning many aspects of my life. It took some time, little girl, but I think the Jimmy Eat World ride has finally reached the station and it's time to get the fuck off.

TONY BARMAN
SUPERCUTE!
DON'T PoP MY BUBBLE
Secret Code
What were you doing at eight years old? I was hanging out in a sheet fort and making conversation with a bear named Waddles. Rachel Trachtenberg was bashing drums and touring the world in her mom and dad’s band, The Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players. She also spent a shit ton of time in outfits her mom stitched out of 70s curtains. Now, Rachel is free. She's 19 and tall. She models for Lanvin. You know those people who look like harmless members of society, but they’re actually hiding a razor in the space between their lower lip and their teeth so that if they encounter serious danger, they can spit-and-slit in two seconds flat? Rachel and her girl group are kinda like that. They write ukulele songs about pigeons and dead turtles, but they’ll cut you lickity-split if you misbehave. Idiot boys, beware.

KTB
GRMLN
Empire
Carpark
My hatred for this record officially signifies the end of my teens and early 20s. I now hate sunny pop punk from California? Fuck, I just sprouted, like, 35 varicose veins just SAYING that.

LOINDSEY LEANHARD
SURFER BLOOD
Pythons
Warner Music
John Paul Pitts (allegedly) throws women to the ground, pins them down by climbing on top of them, and shoves his fingers in their mouth, but his real crime is continuing to squeeze generic bullshit out of 2009's buzzy surf-pop trend. Just kidding. His real crime is (allegedly) assaulting women.

CRISTOF BRAUN
LEMURIA
The Distance is So Big
Bridge Nine
I don't normally go in for this college-rock sound, but oh boy, is this record ever summery. This album was made by some wimpy-sounding white-washed bores, and I don't think this band would like me at all if they met me, and I would have nothing to say them, but this is a very pleasant record.

DOUGLOCH
SMITH WESTERNS
Varsity
Mom + Pop
Remember that time Smith Westerns' stage collapsed and killed a guy? And then the Smith Westerns guy tweeted bitchily about how their stage collapsed and almost broke one of their amps or something like that? Anyways, fuck this dick-jerkingly boring band and their roadkill cocktail of shitty twee, shitty classic rock, and shitty shoegaze. I thought we agreed like four years ago to stop letting horseshit like this get made. What gives, America?

EMILY DICKENSON
SIGUR RÓS
Kveikur
XL
No matter what Sigur Rós do, they always sound like whales having the saddest sex in the world. It’s as if a whale couple watched their offspring get harpooned by a dickhead fisherman, who then sold their kid’s flesh to some rich people that don’t give a damn about endangered species. A week later, the whale couple decided to mate again in an effort to plug the gaping hole left by their now-dead whale spawn, but in the process, both began crying giant, salty, whale tears and making that very same noise Jónsi eeks out all over this record. And every record. This is bumming me out hard.

KTB
HANSON
Anthem
3CG
You know when you watch American Idol and you think, This person has a good voice, but this song is really dumb and they're over-singing and it’s cheesy, so therefore, this sucks, and you flip the channel? Then, you go back to Idol later (because there is nothing else on and watching Mariah Carey as a judge is amusing) and you realize that it’s hard to actually critique the Idol contestants because they're all playing familiar pop songs and have pretty good voices, so the philosophical question becomes: Do I like this because it’s comforting and familiar, or because it’s actually a good song? This is the confusion with pop music.

LUCY DOVE
BASS DRUM OF DEATH
Bass Drum of Death
Innovative Leisure
American youth! Jean jackets! Leather jackets! Ripped up pants and T-shirts and beer and backseat sex and rollercoasters! Drugs, shows, and parties and driving fast! This is a good record.

BRINDSEY BRENNARD
CASE STUDIES
This is Another Life
Sacred Bones
I remember being really into the Magnetic Fields, Tom Waits, and They Might Be Giants when I was younger. Now when I listen to them, I feel like they're ridiculous. This record feels like listening to those bands back when I didn't think they were corny. I think this is a compliment.

CASEY STUEDENMILLER
PORTUGAL. THE MAN
Evil Friends
Atlantic
Twee Lives. KILL ME.

WINZEE WENNARD

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