album review

arms and sleepers

REVIEW: Arms And Sleepers – ‘Swim Team’

Artist: Arms And Sleepers
Album: Swim Team
Genre: Chillwave, Trip-Hop

Adding to a hefty catalog of LPs, EPs, and split releases riddled with lush tones, intricate instrumentals, ethereal auras, smooth beats and soothing vocal samples, Boston’s Arms and Sleepers are back, post-hiatus, with Swim Team, their fifth full-length studio effort since forming in 2006.

Opening with a slow-builder in “Unbound,” Swim Team immediately compels you to nod your head to one of its many ’90s-inspired beats as you float along with A&S’ evolved sound before meeting a very new one in the title track, which brings to mind the …

vision the kid

REVIEW: Vision The Kid & Tru – ‘Somewhere In A Dark City’

Artist: Vision The Kid & Tru
Album: Somewhere In A Dark City
Genre: Hip-Hop

Minneapolis tag-team, rapper Vision The Kid and producer Tru, joined forces roughly two years ago to combine their talents and create the best material that their capabilities would allow. The result is this year’s Somewhere In A Dark City, a 14-track hip-hop album that swings for the seats with impressive form — (excuse the baseball metaphor; I’ve been enveloped in the postseason/Fall Classic). Akin to the works of Macklemore and the lesser known and under-appreciated Common Market, Vision The Kid uses Tru’s excellent production as …

smith street band

REVIEW: The Smith Street Band – ‘Throw Me In The River’

Artist: The Smith Street Band
Album: Throw Me In The River
Label: Poison City Records / SideOneDummy Records
Genre: Folk-Punk, Punk

The past few years have seen Melbourne, Australia’s The Smith Street Band grow from local cult favourites to international touring, folk-punk juggernaut. Much of that rise to prominence can be attributed to two factors: the unprecedented success of their critically acclaimed LP, Sunshine and Technology, and the band’s relentless and tireless approach to touring in support of that release. A sleeper hit, Sunshine and Technology opened the world’s doors to The Smith Street Band and the band’s renowned …

dead leaves ep

REVIEW: Dead Leaves – ‘Dead Leaves’ EP

Artist: Dead Leaves
Album: Dead Leaves EP
Genre: Emo, Pop-Punk, Alternative

It’s been a few years since the hey-day of Ohio’s cult-favorite pop-punk band, Call It Fiction — an emo-tinged group that pumped out some seriously catchy tunes from the Midwest back in 2010. The band’s EP, Something I’ve Never Felt, was a smash hit within the scene and absolutely worth a listen if you’re an old school pop-punker.

Sadly, the guys in Call It Fiction saw more lineup changes through the years than they did recognition, resulting in the dissolution of the group. For those who know the …

Ground Culture

REVIEW: Kingdom Of Giants – ‘Ground Culture’

Artist: Kingdom Of Giants
Album: Ground Culture
Genre: Metalcore
Label: InVogue Records

I have enjoyed listening to Kingdom Of Giants for a few years now. Though I do like their EP and debut full-length, they weren’t a band that I thought I’d consider “best of the year” material. It’s nothing against them personally – I love their music, I was just never stunned by it. That has changed though, as they absolutely destroyed my impression of them with Ground Culture. Dana switched up his singing style and the instruments have a more full, well-rounded sound. It’s apparent from the …

Florida-Georgia-Line-Anything-Goes

REVIEW: Florida Georgia Line – ‘Anything Goes’

Artist: Florida Georgia Line
Album: Anything Goes
Genre: Country/Pop

Filled from front to back with anthems for a generation of music fans that grew up with a cornfield in their backyard and the internet in their pocket, Anything Goes solidifies Florida Georgia Line as an unstoppable force in the world of music.

If Here’s To The Good Times ushered in an age where phrases like ‘bro country’ are thrown around in regards to music sub-genres, Anything Goes proves Florida Georgia Line are capable of writing about things far more meaningful than parties. They still write about those as well, of …

Mary Lambert

REVIEW: Mary Lambert – ‘Heart On My Sleeve’

Artist: Mary Lambert
Album: Heart On My Sleeve
Genre: Pop
Label: Capitol Records

Mary Lambert was virtually unknown to those outside of the Seattle area until she teamed up with fellow Washingtonians Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to release “Same Love.” It’s likely because of that successful partnership she was able to leap forward in her career and get to work on her debut full-length album. For those of us who were not familiar with her music before the release of that single, it was a welcomed introduction. Now the time has finally come, and we have her debut effort in …

Hoodie-Allen-People-Keep-Talking-Review

REVIEW: Hoodie Allen – ‘People Keep Talking’

Artist: Hoodie Allen
Album: People Keep Talking
Genre: Hip-hop

After half a decade of free tracks, mixtapes, and a slew of critically acclaimed EPs, Hoodie Allen is finally sharing his long-awaited debut album with the world. To say the results were worth the wait would be a massive understatement.

People Keep Talking is the culmination of countless miles, thousands of fans, millions of streams, and several years of hard work. Hoodie Allen, known to his mother as Steven Adam Markowitz, has been crisscrossing the globe since 2009 with a unique take on urban music that challenges the white boy rapper …

dads tornado

REVIEW: Dads – ‘I’ll Be The Tornado’

Artist: Dads
Title: I’ll Be The Tornado
Label: 6131 Records
Genre: Emo, Indie Rock

“Oh.. there we are,” I thought to myself as the two-minute mark hit track number one, “Grand Edge, MI.” Drummer and vocalist John Bradley’s familiar, eerie falsetto finally made its way into Dads’ new record; a vocal watermark etched onto their music since their 2010 debut release, American Radass, that I was afraid we might’ve lost due to their sound’s noticeable facelift. A lot of things happened on I’ll Be The Tornado’s opening track. Two minutes and forty-two seconds in, heavy drumbeats and …

Favorite Weapon

REVIEW: Favorite Weapon – ‘Sixty Saragossa’

Artist: Favorite Weapon
Album: Sixty Saragossa
Genre: Post-hardcore
Label: Rise Records

It’s not unusual for a new band to crop up from the ashes of another group. Generally speaking, when a band breaks up or members depart they usually end up in another band. Musicians sometimes hop from band to band before they finally find their place (if they ever do). In the instance of Favorite Weapon, things worked out just a little bit differently. Frontman Hance Alligood was a part of Woe, Is Me before they broke up. Instead of starting a brand new page for Favorite Weapon …

Jason-Aldean-Old-Boots-New-Dirt

REVIEW: Jason Aldean – ‘Old Boots, New Dirt’

Artist: Jason Aldean
Album: Old Boots, New Dirt
Genre: New Country

After weeks spent atop the country music charts with his hit single “Burnin’ It Down,” Jason Aldean has prepared a hit-and-miss collection of material for his sixth studio album.

Looking at Jason Aldean it’s hard to believe he has been a music industry mainstay for a decade (and counting). He’s got just enough of a baby face to sell perpetual youth, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the vast majority of his material deals with things like falling in love, staying out all night, and working hard for a …

paul maged

REVIEW: Paul Maged – ‘Diamonds & Demons’

Artist: Paul Maged
Album: Diamonds & Demons
Genre: Rock

With influences ranging from Billy Joel to Green Day, it’d be easy to assume that Paul Maged’s sophomore effort, Diamonds & Demons, would vary wildly in style and sound. And with a whopping 17 tracks, collectively clocking in just shy of a full hour, the album indeed does…mostly. Does a long runtime with a heavy haul of songs that span several areas of rock guarantee an interesting and fulfilling listening experience though? Sometimes, sure. Many times even. This time, however, it might just be too much.

While Diamonds & Demons