Archive for the ‘Album Review’ Category

Death Grips: Whoa. [WARNING: really dark music]

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011



Have you guys heard about my new favorite thing that happened this summer? It's called Death Grips and its my new favorite thing. Here's why:


So as a person who mainly listens to hip-hop but recently has for some reason gotten into hardcore punk [Black Flag] and heavy electronic noises [Tobacco], I have been thinking all the time: 'I wish there was a really intense hip-hop group that utilized heavy electronic noises and yelled ALL OF THEIR LYRICS.' Then this happened. Death Grips is a trio made up of drummer Zack Hill (having cut his teeth in the group Hella), some mysterious angry guy named MC Ride and a third even more mysterious guy (Flatlander?) who maybe has a hand in producing. What do they do? Well sometimes they take a famous Link Wray song and chop it up and make it ear-bleedingly awesome and then yell over it ("Spread Eagle Cross the Block"). Sometimes they make sparse, heavy beats and then yell over that ("Takyon"). Sometimes they take Black Flag samples and yell over those ("Klink"). Sometimes they make far too intense electronic beats and yell over that, but for you guys that like yelling less, there are a couple super cool electronic tracks with regular talking ("Culture Shock"). I think it's super cool future music and I think it's awesome.


It gets better! The whole album, Ex Military, is free on their website. Click the album art, listen, get angry (and also, if you like it, pay them money to support them while you're angry)!




Local Artists of the Week Nov 14 – 20

Monday, November 22nd, 2010
To all those interested in the local scene, here our our top 5 local artists of the week. Also, take a look at some new album reviews from local bands.
  1. 1. Troubadour Dali
  2. 2. The Bottoms Up Blues Gang
  3. 3. Popular Mechanics
  4. 4. Jon Hardy & the Public
  5. 5. Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three

New Releases

Jon Hardy & the Public – A Hard Year
I am consistently astounded by Jon Hardy & the Public. On their newest EP "A Hard Year" they continue the great successes of their prevous releases. The band plays tight, dynamic pop and soul tunes led by the charismatic singer Jon Hardy. I am pleased to see the band release only original material where they have previously relied on some cover songs. This shows growth and confidence in a band that most certainly has the chops to back it up. As with all their recordings, the fidelity is fantastic, with every guitar lick and drum beat mixed perfectly. The band also succeeds in concert, as shown by their packed release show at Off Broadway. Check these guys out!
Favorite Track: "Silver Moon"
Beth Bombara – Wish I Were You
Beth Bombara has made some great strides forward since her last EP a year ago. Her new album "Wish I Were You" is a mature effort that highlights her honest voice, earnest songwriting, and intimate performance. This full-length shows Beth to be an extemely versatile artist who can ably handle blues, country, rock, and folk songs. She weaves all these different genres into one disc that flows seamlessly from one track to the next. Tracks are expertly embellished by slide steel guitar, fiddle, keys, and banjo. 
Favorite Track: The slide steel glissando of "Rainbow"
Britches – Britches Demo
Britches plays downtempo, dissonent rock tunes featuring distant vocals and reverb soaked guitars. Although they are clearly indebted to Animal Collective, these guys are not scared to bare their teeth, scream a lot, and tear the shit out of their guitars and vocal chords. Fans of droney and noisy experimental music will dig this band. 
Favorite Track: "White Noise" where they may or may not be screaming about Evil Dead II. 
The Disapeared – Nothing Someone Something
I would not want to get in the Disappeared's way. They sound like a tractor trailer coming down the highway playing fast, furious, and heavy rock n roll. Punks and metal dudes will probably appreciate this album. The band could benefit from grittier production and a warmer sound. 
Favorite Track: balls to the wall rock on "Baby Brother"


If you are in a St. Louis band and would like your cd considered for airplay and a review, email

Local Artists of the Week Nov 7 – 13

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Hey Folks,

Our top played local artists last week are these awesome bands!

  1. 1. Flaming Death Trap


Local New Releases
The Red Letter – Let There Be Here

The Red Letter feels like it was made by a kid in a candy store, and that's not too far from the truth. After graduating from Washington University the gentleman known as the Red Letter bought a bunch of recording equipment and locked himself in his garage to create his first album. He operates somewhere in the middle of the fun of the Flaming Lips, the DIY aesthetic of Neutral Milk Hotel, and the raw emotion of Bright Eyes. It combines really creative and dynamic drumming with weird song structures and a seriously wacked out energy.

Favorite track: "21"

Grace Basement – Gunmetal Gray

Grace Basement's 2nd album is a very solid overall pop record. Many songs feature interesting instrumentation ranging from the banjo and steel guitar to the viola and fiddle. The band also excels at creating the pristine harmonies that leaves one with a great appreciation for their songwriting abilities.

Favorite track: "There He Goes"


If you are in a St. Louis band and would like your cd considered for airplay and a review, email



Monday, November 8th, 2010

Our top played St. Louis artists this week are:

  1. 1. Theodore
  2. 2. Art Majors
  3. 3. US English
  4. 4. Bunnygrunt
  5. 5. The Hooten Hallers

Local New Releases

Via Dove – El Mundo Latino

Via Dove creates a solid album with a very good rocking mix of songs that are all good enough for radio play. The album starts off very quick tempoed, with a good “party” feel and progresses to a slower tempo as it continues. These are all very solid songs.

Favorite Track: “Fast Times”


Spelling Bee – Sweet Dreams, Strange Animal

This weird noisy rock duo permeates energy whether it comes in the form of spastic rhythms or a wall of sound bowling you over at their live shows. Spelling Bee‘s drummer Joseph Hess once described their band to me as “stupid loud,” and I cannot disagree with his assessment. Along with singer and guitarist Mabel Suan, they create fast, aggressive songs that frequently change rhythms. Their debut “Sweet Dreams, Strange Animal” on APOP Records captures their live energy well, with the added bonus that you can control the volume on your home stereo.

Favorite Track: “Omelettes”


If you are in a St. Louis band and would like your cd considered for airplay and a review, email


Local Artists of the Week Oct 24-30

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Our top played St. Louis artists this week are:

  1. 1. Bottoms Up Blues Gang
  2. 2. Tight Pants Syndrome
  3. 3. The Hooten Hallers
  4. 4. US English
  5. 5. Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three

Local New Releases
US English – What Frontier EP

This duo creates deep, warm, layered grooves from synths and sequencers augmented by both male and female vocals. Although the band clearly enjoys toying with their experimental tendencies, the songs never lose their catchiness. This is the first of a trio of EP releases, so we can look forward to much more from US English, who happen to be the same folks who work at the Luminary Center for the Arts.

Favorite Track: “News!”


If you are in a St. Louis band and would like your cd considered for airplay and a review, email