Sep 14, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The Clean is a band whose members have no sense of time. It can take them years, and sometimes even the better part of a decade, to release a new album—their first full-length didn't arrive until 1990, a full 12 years after forming in New Zealand—and their records pay little credence to the era that spawned them. Their organ-laced, ramshackle early pop singles were like little else from the punk period, and their latest, Mister Pop, is similarly divorced from modern indie-rock, suggesting an alternate reality where The Feelies and Galaxie 500 never broke up.  More

Sep 11, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

"Manic depression's a frustrated mess" goes the infamous Jimi Hendrix lyric, and Memphis garage rocker Jay Lindsey, aka Jay Reatard, can certainly relate. The mania of his music belies the morose depression evinced in the lyrics throughout Watch Me Fall, his desperate pleas subverting the heady instrumental rush. Whether he's matter-of-factly intoning, "All is lost, there is no hope" on the frantic fist-pumping opener "It Ain't Gonna Save Me," or confessing "I always play the fool," on the byzantine synth surge of "I'm Watching You," it's as though the music was recorded during an amphetamine binge, and the lyrics were scrawled during the subsequent crash. More

Polvo

In Prism

Merge

Sep 10, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

A beacon of vitality in the over-cerebral math rock scene of the '90s, Polvo ostensibly broke up in 1997 after releasing the polarizing, Eastern-tinged Shapes, a maddeningly ambitious record distantly removed from the avant-garde dissonance of their early discography. They've re-emerged with In Prism, and as far as unheralded reunions go, this one's a smashing success. It's a sprawling, psychedelic masterwork, rife with knotty tangles of discordance and serpentine riffs. More

Sep 09, 2009 Music Issue #27 Summer 2009 - Jarvis Cocker

Don't let the cumbersome album title or the pictographic clown-butterfly intermezzos fool you. Danish trio Mew is surely grandiose, but still a few concept albums shy of bat-shit crazy. In fact, No More Stories is fairly tame in comparison to 2005's labyrinthine and gloomy song suite, And the Glass Handed Kites. Where Kites stockpiled instrumentation, No More Stories cuts the fat and makes do with the group's new orientation (bassist Johan Wohlert left the band to concentrate on fatherhood). More

Sep 08, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Reverie Sound Revue’s eponymous full-length has been a long time coming. Formed in 2002, the Canadian quintet released a self-titled EP in 2003 to critical acclaim… and then, for all practical purposes, vanished. Now they’re back, with indie cred to spare. More

The Antlers

Hospice

Frenchkiss

Sep 04, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

While it may not be the only way, one manner in which great songs are created is necessity. In other words, the songwriter is compelled to write a song or songs, not by their record company or market forces, but inspired by a new love or heartbreak, or sometimes tragedy. Peter Silberman's songs that populate The Antler's Hospice are just such a batch. More

Sep 03, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The most striking aspect of Things to Come is the intricate interplay between the Pakistani-American guitarist and saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. The duo dances tightly throughout the record, working in tandem, Mahanthappa smoothing Abbasi's prickly licks, even when they sound like they're both making it all up on the spot. More

Sep 02, 2009 Music Issue #27 Summer 2009 - Jarvis Cocker

British singer/songwriter Jack Peñate knows a thing or two about starting over. At the age of 24, with his 2007 debut album Matinee already having snagged him a spot on the U.K. charts and a cover of NME, Peñate headed back to the studio, ready to try something different. He emerged with Everything Is New, an album that expands his radio-friendly sound to include Brazilian, Afrobeat, and lo-fi hip-hop influences without sacrificing any of his trademark every-man likeability. Grouped into the "Estuary English" pack of U.K. pop-performers who sing without altering their English accent, a category that includes the likes of Lily Allen, Kate Nash, and Adele, Peñate's sophomore effort represents a major step forward, demonstrating that he might just have the chops to outstrip the lot of 'em. More

Sep 01, 2009 Music

For his third album, Benedikt H. Hermannsson, aka Benni Hemm Hemm, headed to Murta St. Calunga. While Google searches indicate that this isn’t a real place, it’s difficult to not crave a respite in Hermannsson’s beautiful, orchestral-pop filled land. More