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Once while driving through the Virginias I stopped to poop and look for belt buckles. This junk shop with waffles had some postcards, and you’re damn right I bought the one that said virginia is for lovers

by VICE Staff
Mar 11 2013, 10:00am





Fly Zone
Greedhead/Camp & Street
Is it me, or is the rap/hip-hop game now one where the most talented artists give their shit away for free? It’s like they record the most mind-bendingly amazing tracks, with beats as thick as maple syrup on a hot blacktop driveway, and don’t want anything in return for them. As a poor-as-shit person, maybe it’s easy for me to say this, as like a fantasy, but could it be that to make it now, the easiest thing thing a person could do is to NOT give one flat, watery shit about money? I’ve been listening to LE1F’s latest mixtape endlessly, for hours, since it came out, and it has brought me more joy than most things I can recall.

The Grimy Awards
Fat Beats
When’s the last time you washed behind your ears? I guarantee there’s some real disgusting shit back there, but there’s no way it’s got anything on whatever’s growing out of Rick Rubin’s massive, bearded head. And the microwaves emanating from his dome have sterilized a generation with the notion that white people can rap while incorporating rock music into the mix. That was the conceit of a band called the Beastie Boys, and they’re the only ones capable of doing it right because they owned it. But in the grand scheme of things, this album is OK, I guess. It makes me want to watch Kill Bill, which is usually a good thing. It remains to be seen whether that means it makes me want to hack people up with a samurai sword. We’ll find out soon.

Sock It to Me
Hardly Art
I saw Colleen Green at the Hardly Art SXSW showcase last year, and it was quite a scene. I was just the right amount of drunk, everyone in the room was attractive, and I was super happy and positive about life because Hardly Art is one of my favorite labels. My extreme PMA was soundtracked by Colleen Green onstage, wearing amazing accessories and blasting my crotch lips back with a style of music that hasn’t brought me so much joy since I was nine or ten years old and furiously roller-skating around my parents’ garage while listening to the Pretty in Pink soundtrack on my boom box.

Images Du Futur
Secretly Canadian
This album made me nod off into a blissful, meditative state that felt dreamy and drug-induced, like when the dentist puts the “space mask” on you. It made me want to steal a car and do more drugs, further proving that euphoria is often intertwined with mischief. It’s full of pulsing instrumentation that’s genuinely strange without purposefully catering to the avant-garde and exemplifies the same type of raw but confident swagger that underlies the best post-punk. Can, and dare, I say it also recalls the Beach Boys at their weirdest? Interested parties will dial into it immediately, as if you just dropped acid with Timothy Leary as he tells you to quit school and kill your parents.

Wondrous Bughouse
Fat Possum
The guy in this band appears to be roughly 15 years old, which is so annoying it might just give me shingles. When super young people are ambitious, doesn’t it make you want to hit them in the face with a piece of driftwood? Youth is for eating snacks and getting fat, or, if you’re a terrible person, making babies while acquiring incurable STDs. Teenagers are NOT supposed to make music that literally sounds like nothing that you will ever remember past the amount of time it takes to eat a microwaved taquito. Congrats on being ambitious, young man, but maybe take it easy for a bit and try again when you’ve lived a little and have been disappointed a whole lot. You’ll have a lot more stuff to say.

Changing Days
Permanent Vacation
There’s no better feeling than being pelted by a beautiful shitstorm of love. Before it happens, you’re most likely stuck in a place filled with cold, putrid garbage that’s devoid of any sort of emotion whatsoever. Then you meet a person who’s so fantastic that you have no choice but to construct this janky little boat of feelings made out of scraps of happiness and hope and cum and butterflies that have been hiding out in your rib cage for years. Once you’re both aboard this vessel and sail it around for a bit, you realize that living life with purpose and being in love is ALL that matters. Fuck. Listening to this stupid album made me think of all THAT? I guess it means that I’m one sappy sucker, but I am 100 percent OK with that.

Blown Out
This album came with a handwritten note that said, “Josh and Jesse of North America here. Josh’s boyfriend works with your girlfriend and suggested we pass along a copy of our latest album.” That’s some faggoty-faggot family love right there—faggots helping faggots across the globe. High-five, homos. Down low, deviants. Also, your album is nice and people should listen to it.


Publicists should really not ever make or send press releases because I was super into this album until I unfolded the thing that came with it and the first sentence said, “THIS IS DETROIT TRAP POP.” It made me want someone to fuck me in the face. I’m a reasonable person, though, so in time I’ll be able to look beyond all that and say that this is honestly a fun little album with interesting vocals and my favorite kind of synth organ. You know, the kind that goes RRRRrrrrrrRRRR. We good here?

This band was really popular in the 80s, and this is their first album in about ten years. I was so excited when I heard about it that I tweeted some bullshit, and everyone was like “Who cares, loser?” But I do care, and I’m the music editor, and that’s all that matters in this rodeo. [fart noise] Really, though, it sounds almost exactly like their stuff from the 80s and 90s. Maybe they even recorded it back then, and it was never released. Nostalgia might not work in terms of actual “sales,” but it sure does inspire shitty album reviews like this one right here!

New Moon
Sacred Bones
Hey, I thought these guys were supposed to be hardcore, but this album sounds exactly like the Gin Blossoms, and I guarantee you no one’s going to be all “Hey Jealousy” about it. It seems that over the last few years a lot of supposedly hardcore bands have scratched their chins and are putting out more thoughtful tunes, but I’m not digging the Men’s attempt at clawing out of the ghetto of unfettered aggression. And I’m positive lots of pissant music blogs are going to love this record, but the part of my brain that was looking forward to hearing what the Men were all about is now filled with boredom and regret.

All Around
Lost Race
You can’t fucking get one of these LPs. They only made 100 of them in Australia, and they’re probably all warped on purpose in some weird way that makes each copy great and unique, and they all sound amazing. I have one and you don’t have one. VICE was like, “Hey, do you want to review some records?” And I saw this one and said, “Yeah, OK,” but really I was thinking, Oh, fuck you guys, I’m just gonna get this record and write about how I’m like the only person who has it besides a bunch of parents and people the band fucks. I could tell you what it sounds like, but as far as you’re concerned, it doesn’t even matter because you don’t have it. Hahaha. Deal with it.

Getting old sucks huge baby dicks with shiny, hairless, wrinkleless balls. Your hair grows in weird places, you start wondering if that fine piece of ass you’ve been tapping is going to stick around to grow more weird hair with you, and everything becomes phenomenally puzzling. They Might Be Giants and I are the same age; we are 30, and that is totally my excuse for thinking these dudes are the chodes who sang “Be My Yoko Ono.” They’re not. I was confused because in cat years, I’m already dead. And, if you didn’t know, I’m a cat. I’m also a vampire, and with my advanced age comes insane amounts of wisdom, and now that I’m a real senior citizen I can confidently say that Nanobots is like a beautiful dream for fans of goatees, charcoal sweaters, those jeep things that are actually minivans, and themed parties. “Like wow, these sweet jams are so sweet I need to fuck a bag of Cheetos, rip off this V-neck, and call my sister.”

Genius Fatigue
Once while driving through the Virginias I stopped to poop and look for belt buckles. This junk shop with waffles had some postcards, and you’re damn right I bought the one that said virginia is for lovers. I never sent that postcard to anyone because I was on acid and forgot I bought it until a few years later when I found it in a moldy box along with some vintage Playgirls and Tiny Tim records. Geographically speaking, I’m pretty sure both Virginias are part of the South, just like Georgia or Alabama. I’m not saying I totally understand all of this Mason-Dixon horseshit, but I am saying that, yeah, Georgia is also for lovers, but just because Tunabunny are from Atlanta, it doesn’t mean I have any feelings for them. Just because a girlfriend in that city can turn to her boyfriend and say, “Hey boo, I love you so bad but I’m sick of having sex with you. Let’s start a for-serious girl band to, like, spice things up or whatever” doesn’t mean I condone the relationship. In fact, I could care less. Just break up already and leave me alone.

Afraid of Heights
Mom + Pop
Man, this record is so good. I did the cover art for the last one, which was fine but just not as exciting as the other Wavves records. This feels like a true successor to King of the Beach. It’s a big exciting beast with tunes you can boogie to, oddly looped samples with tons of echo, and that thing with Nathan Williams’s voice where you can’t quite tell if he’s a man or a boy. The first song of the album, which is also its lead single, starts with piano tinkles before kicking in to “Sail to the Sun.” The tracks range from fun, poppy tunes full of paranoia and self-loathing to slower, psychish songs about being anxious and angry. Great record from beginning to end and it makes me want everyone to be my best friend.

Southern Lord
With Bushcraft, you know exactly what you’re getting early on and it doesn’t let up till it’s over. It’s burly, lumberjack-shaped metallic hardcore, as equally influenced by Slayer and Converge as it is by Black Sabbath and Hot Snakes. The endgame is a steamy, syrupy, cesspool of feedback-hissing riffs and drums that pummel you in the chest like an abusive father on a bender. This is straight-line, no-nonsense butt fucking—hard and heavy and without lube. If you’ve found yourself suckling the sonic titty milk offered from bands like Trap Them, Black Breath, and Doomriders, you should have no trouble whatsoever cracking your skull open and pouring the Baptists’ dairy product over all of it. This is music for simultaneously bonging beers, bumping fists, poppin’ a nollie roof-gap thing (I’m pretending to care about skateboarding), sex, and swinging a machete. Throw it on the next time your head insists on banging.

White Mountain
Western Vinyl
While it’s always refreshing to listen to an album that is devoid of a people singing about feelings and expressing a unique take on the world around them, it’s also not that amazing to listen to something that makes me feel like I’ve been waiting two hours for my order of sweet-and-sour chicken.

Waiting for Something to Happen
Have you ever listened to indie pop through a stained-glass cathedral window? Of course you haven’t, but I’m trying to create a metaphor here so just bear with me, OK? Shit. Let’s start over. Like maybe the court jester or minstrel or whatever has mistakenly discovered a record dropped by a time-traveling twee fan? And then recorded it surprisingly well with future technologies? Nope. Never mind.

Be Your Own King
Bella Union/Cooperative
Woulda been more appropriate to call the band Concrete Naps and the album Be Your Own Zzzzz. Do you ever wonder what these bands sounded like before Arcade Fire/2005? If these guys were a bit younger, you might have seen Konkreet Nivez playing the noon slot on the Qdoba Red Stage at the Family Values tour 15 years ago. But on the other hand, they’re from France, and I think there’s a song about Jack Sparrow. So maybe this is for you? I bet you also like Sugar Ray.

Sacred Bones
I want to give this a puke face out of sheer annoyance but can’t because it was made by two people from Chile who put out a perfect hazy summer psychedelia album with that nice, warm buzz tone that tingles the tip of your dick when you’re stoned. And they’re doing it in the dead of winter as a fuck-you to the entire Northern Hemisphere. I live up here, assholes. It’s nine degrees. Right now they’re probably all growing their hair long and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoons and shouting “Cowabunga, dude” and surfing and hand-feeding grapes to naked women with green eyes or whatever the fuck they do down there. Just invite me, dudes. Please.

Sacred Bones
Can I just say for the record that this is one of the best and worst band names of all time? I’m serious. As a shitty band name attached to a way better band than the name, it’s right up there with Flamin’ Groovies. Why is there an umlaut in there? (It’s not a metal umlaut.) How are you even supposed to say the name? I imagine the correct pronunciation is like the forwards-backwards dwarf in Twin Peaks. You have to say it all weird and walk like your knees don’t work, and you have to put this on so it sounds all ominous and otherworldly, and then you have to say a bunch of senseless mumbo jumbo about destiny. That’s the only way to do it.

The Invisible Way
Sub Pop
My god, this is beautifully depressing music. It makes me miss everyone I know who is not currently in the room with me. People make fun of “slowcore” because it sounds like a bunch of wimps having wimpy sex, but Low were basically a really good band with style and 40 other bands copied them. Also, they are from Duluth, Minnesota, which is awesome and fitting. Have you been to Duluth? Even in the summer, that place slowly suffocates you in nonspecific sadness. I remember when I was there I got drunk and skinny-dipped in Lake Superior, right at the downtown waterfront. This is a pretty perfect soundtrack for all your melancholic swimming needs.

Sudden Elevation
One Little Indian
I almost didn’t review this album because I couldn’t figure out how to do those two dots above the second o in her name, so later on my boss was all like “google it and copy and paste it, dude” but I still sent it in without it because I knew he’d do it for me (sucker). Either way, I think you all know who I’m talking about. There’s only one Ólöf. Well, there’s also a really good ice cream store in Sarasota, Florida, called Big Olöf’s, but this girl sounds like a few other artists from Iceland and also almost exactly like Joanna Newsom, who very well may be from Iceland for all I know but what the hell. I want to have sex in a hot spring in Iceland with waterproof headphones on while this shoots hot sound goo into my ears.

The Chronicles of Marnia
Kill Rock Stars
This will turn your boring charcoal-Kenneth-Cole-peacoat-colored morning train ride to that job you hate into a magical, fantastical world that exists entirely in the subway. You won’t see a bunch of sluggish white people all wearing the same charcoal Kenneth Cole peacoat crammed into a tiny train car pretending not to notice anyone around them so that they can pretend like it’s not their reality. You’ll see a bounty of charcoal-Kenneth-Cole-peacoat-clad pixies who display their interest in everything through facial expressions of disinterest and disappointment! Feed them any of the plentiful apples and berries lying at your feet. (These “fruits” will be disguised as trash and shit.) If they don’t seem interested, place the unwanted fruit in the magical pockets of their charcoal Kenneth Cole peacoats. Now you can start your day in peace!

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtracks are great because then you can listen to them and forget about wanting to see whatever movie they’ve been made for. Besides, movies that you make up in your mind are so much better anyway. I have no idea what Stoker is about, I’ve never even heard of it, but there are clues on the cover of this soundtrack that have helped me to piece together what’s going on. At its essence, in my brain, Stoker is a film about Nicole Kidman getting her old face back, thinking about the doldrums of life while staring at a grave, and then feeling better because she hears a Nancy Sinatra song in the distance. BOOM! Twenty dollars saved!

As a teenager, Projekt was my favorite go-to label for goth/industrial/weirdo music. Their releases were hard to find, and if they didn’t have what you were looking for at Warehouse Music or some shit at the mall, you had to either order them through the mail from a catalog you already had from ordering from them through the mail before, or go to some goth store—which was cool cuz then you could also stock up on black lipstick and upside-down cross earrings. Listening to this album, which is the latest release by the band of the guy who runs Projekt, I felt a little bit embarrassed. But fuck it. I don’t care that I am not 23 and now in fact hate most 23-year-olds. Once you go black you never go back.

Classically trained musicians from Berlin making dance music is the perfect thing to listen to on your ride home after coming out to your parents as both a homosexual AND a person with horrible taste. This sounds like what buttholes taste like after you’ve had a cold (or the butthole has had a cold) for a month.

Psychedelic Rock from Singapore and Malaysia—1964–1970: Vol. 1
Sublime Frequencies
We all have that friend, the one who knows everything about ridiculous sub-sub-subgenres of music, and who swears by his rare, exotic pressing of 7-inches of hopelessly unknown bands that only existed in someone’s garage or hut for three hours on Memorial Day weekend in 1964. These Alan Lomax fuckers can get bent. (I need to make it clear that Alan Lomax himself is cool in my book, though.) There isn’t some sliding-scale correlation between obscurity and quality, buds. Good music is good music, whether it was made by the Beatles or some band that has only been heard by the people who made it and some field-recording blogger who parachuted into Swaziland or wherever to document it. Knowing this, I am impervious to this album’s particular brand of chicanery; I didn’t fall for the trick. I recognized it for what it is: some throwaway bubble-gum pop that sounds goofy because it’s not sung in English. Fun pictures, though!