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As I was listening to this epic two-hour-long thing of dark, loud beauty, I watched a medium-size pill bug crawl from the floor to halfway up the wall and then pause dramatically before falling directly into my garbage can.

SWANS

THE DARKNESS

FERGUS & GERONIMO

YEASAYER



BROTHER ALI
Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color
Rhymesayers Listen to this while eating a sandwich and see what happens. Bite that bread with feeling, bitch. Mop up that mayo with a strong back, son. Power to the pickle! Brother Ali is a big deal. I bet he owns a nice-ass bathrobe and shit; you can just hear it in his voice.

WANDA WALLACE
ADMIRAL CRUMPLE
Dark Sentences

Cataphonic Productions I think this may be some sort of new blend of rap music that we are lucky enough to get the jump on. This album, which was clearly made at home, opens with horrifying movie dialogue and then launches into warnings about how having babies when you don't make at LEAST $50,000 a year is completely unacceptable for society. Admiral Crumple'€™s mandate is 100 percent correct, but, really, who wants to hear morally sound people rapping. Even my dad doesn'€™t give a shit about that. It's kind of a bummer all around. Sorry.

FISHER SLICKS
IMIUSWI ABORIGINE
Uprising
Lion’s Breath Unlimited
There’s a style of hip-hop that crosses this subtle line in the sand and steers away from something that sounds good and into spoken-wordish territory. It’s not OK. Something about this album reminds me of this voodoo-incense store that I have to walk by every day on my way home from work. I always make this face as I pass the door to the shop that suggests I am in some way offended by the smell of its wares. I don’t know. Seemed funny at the time.

WALT CLITMAN


DAN DEACON
America
Domino I think I can speak for the rest of the world when I say that we are tired of “partying” and want to just sit here for a while and think about stuff while staring at the wall. Fuck all this jumping up and down and constant racket. I have a headache. Let’s just settle down. Shhhhhhh. Shhhhhh. That’s nice. Shhhhhh.

LUCY GOOSEY
YEASAYER
Fragrant World
Secretly Canadian I can’t read or hear the word “fragrant” without thinking of musky pubic hairs, and that’s basically what this album amounts to: a hot, moist clump of stinky pubis tuft that prevents you from dancing in a cool way because they’re all jammed up in your underwear, getting caught in the fibers and hurting you.

BRUISE NEASY
 
NIKI & THE DOVE
Instinct
Sub Pop There isn’t a second of this album that sounds like anything other than Kate Bush. It’s the combined efforts of a band with the financial backing and studio time needed to recreate all of the Kate Bush songs they wish she had written and recorded but never did. They’ve taken Kate Bush to a whole new level. This is the BEST cover band I’ve ever heard. Really. I know this isn’t coming across as being sincere, but it is.

FOOFER TINKS
NGUZUNGUZU
Warm Pulse
Red Bull Music Academy Imagine yourself taking a midafternoon nap on top of a down comforter in a cool, clean room. You’re dreaming, and in this dream you’re attempting to run through soft green grass, but the blades don’t move as you pass through them. They stay clumped together and almost fight to keep you away. Eventually you tire and lie down on top of the grass and sleep. Then you realize you’re sleeping within your sleep, and dreaming within your dream. You wake up in the refrigerator with a large pickle in your mouth and find that you’ve peed your pajamas.

HOUSE MOUSE

JOHN MAUS
CA Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material
Ribbon Music
Lube is a really weird thing for lesbians because you don’t really need it (unless you’re doing butt stuff), but it just always feels like you should use it for some reason. It adds to the filth factor, or something. One time I bought this peach-flavored lube and could NOT wait to use it on my GF. But something weird was in it and, after getting a glob of it on my lips, I had an allergic reaction; they were all sensitive and puffy for a week. Moral of the story: Lesbians don’t need lube, and NO ONE needs this shit-sock of a record.

FRUMUNDA CHEEZE


PARQUET COURTS
Light Up Gold
Dull Tools
Boys have it so easy. Walking around with their short hair, dirty T-shirts, and knee-length shorts. Must be so easy breezy, aside from that whole “I have a shrub’s worth of hair growing out of my asshole” thing.

KELLY McCLURE
SWANS
The Seer
Young God
As I was listening to this epic two-hour-long thing of dark, loud beauty, I watched a medium-size pill bug crawl from the floor to halfway up the wall and then pause dramatically before falling directly into my garbage can. The scenario would have only been made more perfect if I had then fished him out and set him on fire, but I was too busy tossing my head around and thinking about death.

HOT GYNO
NU SENSAE
Sundowning
Suicide Squeeze
I’m not sure what people who live in Canada have to scream about, but those maple-smelling fucks sure are good at it. Not exactly the sort of thing you’d wanna listen to with headphones on, but it’s nice to have on in the background while you’re engaged in some sort of angry activity. Like fucking a goth.

BUFFY SLUMMERS
POTTY MOUTH
Sun Damage
Ride the Snake/Feeble Minds/Puzzle Pieces
Usually when bands send in their albums with a friendly note saying how much the record means to them and how much they like us and thanking us for listening, it’s a scary affair because then we have to come up with the least hateful way to tell them we don’t love them back. In the case of Potty Mouth, we don’t have to do that because they rule. Remember Babes in Toyland and L7? These guys are like that, but something tells me that they don’t smell like crotch rot.

TOONEY FEESH
FERGUS & GERONIMO
Funky Was the State of Affairs
Hardly Art
Sometimes when I’m bored at home, I’ll just take some scissors into the bathroom and cut my bangs completely off. It makes me feel so free, like a bird.

LISA BONET’S DIVA CUP
THE FRESH & ONLYS
Long Slow Dance

Mexican Summer If the next new “look” stolen from what’s worn by actual people with trades and jobs switches from lumberjack to cowboy on the gentle range, this will be the widely embraced soundtrack of their ways and their people as they clip clop along on no horse to nowhere.

CANO BEANS
THE CAST OF CHEERS
Family

School Boy Error/Cooperative Music A good lady friend of mine recently said something about a guy she slept with having a “beautiful penis,” and I was like, “What does that mean?” She broke it down: Some peens are really skinny, or bendy, or don’t stay hard, but a beautiful penis is thick and strong and not too veiny, and will get in there and fill shit up with attitude. This album is not a hideous penis, but it didn’t really hit dem walls.

HOT GYNO
THE DARKNESS
Hot Cakes
Wind-Up
This review could be a million words long and still not come close to accurately describing the utter terribleness of this album. What is this? Who would want this? You know what this sounds like? No, never mind, I don’t even want to get into it. The only way to unhear this garbage is to slit your wrists with the jewel case it came in. And that shit is tricky; I know because I tried it.

RYAN GOSLING
CALL OF THE WILD
Leave Your Leather On
Kemado
I liked this intensely until the lead vocalist started singing. The last thing this world needs is an inchworm with an ego who sings like he’s trying to make every song sound like a cover of Electric Six’s “Gay Bar.” I listened to this in its entirety to make certain my assessment was correct, and it’s a fact that every song rules until he starts blabbing away. How embarrassing for you, random handsome man.

NUCLEAR WAR
BLOC PARTY
Four
Frenchkiss
Wasn’t there some sort of weird controversy about this band not too long ago where the lead singer got booted but didn’t know it? Or like he got kicked out and learned about it on Wikipedia? Did I dream this? Well, I’m glad that he’s still in the band if that WAS the case because, and hopefully by now the rest of the band has realized this, he’s really the only thing they’ve got going for them.

DADDY PANTEES
AGALLOCH
Faustian Echoes
Self-released
What would people in bands like this do if there were no devil? What would they have to bellow about? What would they put on their shirts? So many questions. What I do know is that the singer of this band sounds like he’s choking on his own spit at all times, which is pretty hard to do while howling and playing guitar at the same time. Maybe the ability to handle your own bodily fluids while performing music is the new gauge for talent. Or maybe the lead singer is just a super talented stroke victim?

DUMB WHOORE
THE MOTEL LIFE
Those Bruises
Self-released
Have you ever been driving down a stretch of highway in rural Illinois, on the way back home to the city after spending the day with your parents, and a really embarrassing Fall Out Boy or Dashboard Confessional song comes on the radio at that perfect moment when there isn’t another car in sight, and it felt so good to be speeding, so you crank it up, roll down the window, and scream-sing along while smoking cigarettes and high-fiving the cornfields all the way home? (I’m literally crying right now.) The moral of my story is that your 20s end, eventually. But for the guys in Motel Life, their rubbery skin and rock-hard boners make them feel like it’ll last forever. And that just sounds so nice sometimes.

KAREEM O’SUM YUNG DUDEZ
BILL FAY
Life Is People
Dead Oceans
Have you ever thought that your life would be so much better if you decided to stay in the shitty town where you grew up instead of getting a too cool ’tude and making a run for the city? Think about it: You could be warming up the pickup truck right now with fuck all to do for the rest of the day except buying some sweet corn at the little wood shack on the corner of Wonderful and Clean.

HEY SALLY
DEEP TIME
S/T
Hardly Art
When the hell is someone going to come up with a foolproof way to determine whether or not apples from the store are bullshit or not? You know? You can’t tell by where they were grown, how much shine they have, OR how free of bruises they are. You can stand there with an apple right up in your face for an hour and think you made the right choice, then nope, you get that bitch home, take a bite, and it tastes like a clump of dandruff. Fuck fruit!

FECAL NATURE
LIGHTNING LOVE
Blonde Album
Quite Scientific
I can’t think of what this reminds me of, but whatever it is it makes me want to tap dance on a piano.

EVITA CHEETO
KOKO BEWARE
Something About the Summer
Self-released
How many of these Best Coast, Dum Dum, Vivian Broads bands are there gonna be? This is an honest question, how many? (Also, have you noticed that we’ve had like four reviews in a row that begin with questions? I just did.) How ’bout this: Why don’t you get in your little deuce coupe and drive it off a cliff? I’m sick of sunshine and being happy. Stop it! Just stop!

FRANKY PEPPERS
POOR MOON
S/T
Sub Pop
When those dark weekend nights roll around and you find yourself drunk on cheap beer, going through page after page of OkCupid profiles and giving everyone who doesn’t remind you of a Wes Anderson movie a one-star rating, it’s comforting to know that someone out there, somewhere, listens to ONLY Simon & Garfunkel albums and that’s, like, her “thing.” Even if you never meet her, you know she’s out there in some beat-up brown leather shoes, maybe smelling like old paper a little bit. Isn’t that nice?

HEY SALLY
CHASE KING
South Tropical Trail
Wonderland Archives
The first lyrics sung on this album are “I want you so bad/ So let me down easy/ This time around.” Hate to get all Robert Christgau on you, but Chase King is an exceptionally honest man and that shit resonates. Like, “Hey, cunt, how about not being so cunty for once? Or you could just leave me alone, please, instead of breaking my heart all the time.” (Or, if you’re afraid of the c-word, replace it with asshole. They’re right next to each other, after all.) This and piles of other tastefully curated laments hover across a soft-focus recording of strummy, megalayered instrumentation, nonannoying whistling, loops that anyone who doesn’t know they’re loops thinks are like five additional band members, and botfly melodies that bore into your brain. It’s the perfect accompaniment to summer crushes, sweaty crotches, and cheap beer, all coated with a few bottles of Kraft barbecue sauce.

OROTSAC OCCOR
CONVEYOR
S/T
Paper Garden
If you ever went to a religious school for any amount of time, you may have been subjected to a band called something like Kool Krosses or Holy Dudes that would play good ol’ American rock and roll loaded up with tons of scripture and moral messages. I bought a cassette tape by one of these types of bands when I was ten years old because they did this one song about peas that just blew my mind.

BEA NYSE
SFUMATO
These Things Between
Learn to Love
IHere is a prime example of how you can’t judge a book by its cover. This was a rogue submission and the press release for it literally says: “I am essentially a drummer who decided to record an album of songs, which I sing with my voice. It’s been quite a journey.” That makes him sound autistic, and whether or not he is, once this thing started playing I immediately began to feel like one of those scabby whores Jesus would hang with and wash the feet of, all like, “It’s cool, we’ve all made mistakes.” Basically it’s all of the good “hush now, baby, don’t you cry” parts of Pink Floyd songs, complete with some of the most shimmering guitar you’ve ever heard.

JESUS WEPT

 
DELICATE CUTTERS
Ring
Skybucket
The publicist for this band sent this with attention to “current music editor.” I wrote back asking if he ever read mail he received at home addressed to “current tenant” and explained that emails are the same. He wrote back and was basically like, “Oh, well, I’ve never heard from your publication in six years. Sooooo, will you be reviewing this album?” You know what? I think we will.

KUNTY KRABTREE

DEAD CAN DANCE
Anastasis
[PIAS] America
This is DCD’s first album in 16 years and they’re still as smooth and creepy as ever. You can’t listen to this and not think about casting spells or burning sage, which is awesome. If you don’t think that reading books and having lingering thoughts about bogs and dragons are cool, then this isn’t for you. Go eat a microwave burrito and get out of my face, you common piece of trash.

KAYLE MAQLUE
WILLIAM CODY WATSON
Bill Murray
Bathetic

More and more it’s getting to where the less lyrics there are in an album, the more I’ll like it. At a certain point you just want everyone to shut the fuck up for a minute, you know? This is an 11 movement instrumental piece dedicated to Bill Murray, which in and of itself is probably the coolest thing to enter my life all year.

PETER VENKMAN
 

JANKA NABAY &
THE BUBU GANG
En Yay Sah
Luaka Bop
Well, if the only way to make people stop calling you a “hipster racist” on their blogs is to become a world music enthusiast, then I guess that’s what I’ll have to do. Look for me in my grass hut that I’ve built in the middle of my brownstone, shaking all sorts of ass to these diverse jams. HOLLER!

RYAN GOSLING
VARIOUS ARTISTS
Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac
Concord Music Group
It’s gotta be awkward when albums like this come out and the band that they’re paying tribute to is still very much alive and kicking ass. I hope Stevie Nicks listened to this while snorting coke off a ball sack and then dried her hair with a dream catcher while laughing with the kind of pure joy that can only come from being unfuckable with.

STEVIE PRICKS
GUANO PADANO
2

Ipecac
If you are still obsessed with the Kill Bill movies or cary around a suitcase full of guns, not to use them, but because you like the way it makes you feel, then this is for you. What we have here is song after song of weirdo instrumentals that bounce back and forth from desperado (complete with whistling) to washed-out surf. And the best part? The name of the band has SHIT right in it.

TOKYO SLINGSHOT