Tuning In: About Tuning Into The Obscure + Contact info and Submissions

Hi!

You’ve found the front page of Tuning Into The Obscure! I know the date on this says May of 2011, but ignore that. Scroll down for new content.

And now, the obligatory front page bio stuff and contact info….

Over the past few years, I’ve been on a mission to find the best music on the planet, whether it be old, new, well known, obscure, underground or mainstream, or completely unknown previously. I started this project on an older, more personal blog but eventually figured it’d be easier to post all the music stuff here.

So here, you’ll find reviews on a variety of genres as well as interviews with artists and labels, spotlights on musical history, band previews and other various ramblings. Occasionally, I may even slip in some bits of my own music.

Submissions and Contact Info:

If you’re an artist/in a band or are a small label with some music you think the world should hear, contact me! Seriously, send me some tunes! Submissions are always welcome in all physical formats (please note that until further notice, digital downloads cannot be accepted due to tech issues). All genres are fair game.  Please note that if you already have my mailing address, it has changed as of May 2012.

Contact: lonelyfox_music@yahoo.com

Twitter: @Hound_of_Music

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Emotional Response Records Showcase

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New 7” EPs from EMOTIONAL RESPONSE!

Grab these while you can as they come with a digital download which gives you access to LOADS of bonus tracks! In fact, one of these shiny little records will score you TEN tracks! Score!  I should also point out that each of these bands featured below all share one common member, Stewart Anderson.

Hulaboy – Exes and Enemies

Combining Americana, twee and a bit of new wave, this three-song vinyl will suck you in and have you begging for more. It’s catchy and engaging.  If you’ve been following any of Hulaboy’s material or are a fan of UK’s twee genre, this will make you oh so very happy.  Their songwriting is still as fresh and wonderful as it was twenty years ago.  So sweet! (4.8 out of 5)

Boyracer – The Kind Of Man You Really Are

With Stewart at the vocals once again along with Jen, we are privileged to aggressive melodic pop and what might be the band’s final release… and who could really blame them for putting the project away after 800+ tracks released since their debut in 1991 – that’s quite a track record.  This vinyl features four tracks, each sporting a furiously fast tempo to the point where it reminds me of punk rock.  As with Hulaboy, the writing is top notch and is just as catchy.  And much like classic punk, the tracks are short and the bliss is over before you know and replays are highly encouraged.  And seeing as this is my first introduction to this project, it makes me curious to sniff out their back catalog and see what I’ve missed over the last twenty-three years.  Grab this while you can!  (4.9 out of 5)

The Safe Distance – Hey You!

Wild, noisy and powerful indie rock meets C86 elements and garage rock riffs. This stuff is powerful!  Stewart takes to the bass and organ here while Crayola takes on vocals and David Nichols takes drums.  Things slow down a little on the flip side but the intensity is not lost, especially as the pace launches itself back to breakneck speeds as the final track kicks off.  This is a sweet record from start to finish; never a dull moment.  Wow, just wow!  I want more!  Luckily, the digital download that accompanies this vinyl comes with seven bonus tracks.  Score!  (5 out of 5)

GO GET YOU COPIES NOW!

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New Rock for November 2014 part one

Georgio “the Dove’ Valentino – “Mille Plataux” – Self Released – 2×12” LP

Outrageously impressive artwork graces the covers and sleeves of this double vinyl. The music is astoundingly brilliant.  It comprises of a mixture of post punk, psyche, folk and experimental rock, all of which is so interwoven and ingeniously composed that it truly impresses as a work of art.  Some of the tracks are quite lengthy or are broken up into segments, much like suites in a symphony.  This is a fairly unique record.  In fact, its so unique that I can’t quite compare it to anything I’ve heard before.  It is sure not to disappoint those looking for something new, something on the cutting edge, something out of the norm and something entrancing.  (4.8 out of 5)

The Black Watch – Sugarplum Fairy Sugarplum Fairy – Pop Culture Press – CD

Coming out in January of 2015 is the newest LP by a rather prolific band. This LP is chuck full of indie pop jams that are insanely catchy and suck you in.  The instrumentation and lyricism show a true talent and I’m actually kind of surprised this stuff hasn’t hit the airwaves yet.  I certainly have no complaints here.  If you’re fans of The Smiths and early Radiohead will enjoy this. Good stuff!  Keep an eye out for this one! It should not pass under your radar! (4.7 out of 5)  And yes, the Beatles reference in the title was appreciated!

Eric Funn — No More Blue Tomorrows – Self-released– digital

Recorded in a day’s session, this DIY lo-fi recorded-straight-to-cassette album will become an instant classic. Completely acoustic and brutally honest and emotional, I can’t help but think of the Mountain Goats, some of Dylan’s work and perhaps a dash of Iron and Wine, if he was a bit more on edge. The tracks tend to be about breakups and being far apart from folks you love, or at least once loved.  Seriously, where was this tape when I went through some of my breakups?  Honest and raw.  Thanks!  (4.9 out of 5)

Ghost to Falco – Soft ShieldInfinite Front and Curly Cassettes. 

Released roughly a year ago, this LP mixes indie/shoegaze with elements of pop rock, folk rock and blues, creating something that sounds like a mix of Modest Mouse’s mellower side, early Mark Lanegan, and bits of the Black Keys. The lyricism here is excellent and the instrumentation is easy to get hypnotized to.  Seriously, this is really good.  It bums me out that this album got lost in my massive pile of submissions for so long after my computer glitched; to think I went so long without hearing this!  So I’d urge you to get your copy and not wait any longer than you have to!  Go get it! (4.8 out of5)

The Shivers – Charades – Keeled Scales

Reissued for the first time since its release ten years ago, this obscure album is finally seeing new life and some much needed attention. It’s quite an interesting one to say the least, especially since the opening track features reversed vocals and the rest of it rests in a misty folky valley with droplets of experimentalism, spoken word and electronic bits.  Pretty far out, man.  And here again are some brutally honest lyrics; there is nothing hidden here.  Hard to really draw comparisons here so scope out the audio for yourself!  (4.7 out of 5)

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New Electronic Reviews for Fall 2014 Part One

Paneye — Remote Summer Clouds – Self Released

A jaw dropping 22 track LP from Secret Station alumna Paneye. Ambient, IDM, and a dreamy mixture of prime, ethereal electronic bliss brings this album to life.  With such a wide range of styles presented here, one might think that this album is all over the place and might not work as a cohesive whole, however, despite how the genres and styles might changes from track to track, nothing feels out of place.  Its variance gives it a greater sense of whole, like a mosaic.  In some spots, I’m reminded of a little bit of IDM from the early 90s, with softer beats, simple yet lush melodies and gentle acid synth tones, while the mixing of organic and electronic ambient and darker acidic elements give it a very futuristic feel.  And honestly, this is a very enjoyable album from start to finish. Every track is superb!  This will be sure to make you happy!  (4.8 out 5)

Lunar Testing Lab – The Alvoid Expanse – Secret Station

So I’ve been waiting for this for a while. As soon as news comes out that LTL has new material of any sort on the way, I get excited. And I’m never disappointed. LTL heads into deeper and more spaced-out scapes, picking up where the last two albums have left off with tracks leaning a tiny bit more into drones but not so much so that things become monotone. There are melodies here and stunningly detailed textures, so don’t let my description there confuse you.  Things are very much “ambient” here, but there are some voices, strange distorted sounds, well composed synth, samples and other interesting bits of audio that make things pop out.  So I guess I should say that you get tracks ranging from space ambient to melodic ambient…. Anyway…  If you’re a fan of any of LTL’s previous work, or tunes by Namlook or some of the spaced out stuff coming off of Psychonavigation, you’ll dig this.  (4.9 out of 5)

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New Rock for Fall 2014

Zouaves – Hyrdacast — Åiö Soundings—12” LP/digital

This LP caught me by surprise. It’s a sweet mixture of art rock, indie, punk, psyche and my God, it jams like no other.  The energy this band has is tremendous and they’ve focused it perfectly into their lyrics, their hard driving grooves and instrumentation.  This was an LP I played a few times, getting into the lengthy guitar kicks that really make the tracks stand out to me.  It’s powerful!  Crank is up and kick out the jams! (4.9 out of 5)

Tapes & Tubes – 27 – Tapes and Tubes – cs

On a pretty little cassette comes this gem. It’s a blend of folk, rock and folk rock with hints of electronic, blues and psyche.  Soft lyrics caress the soft guitars, keys and atmospheres.  The spoken word track at the end of Side-A really caught me by surprise.  It’s a nice poetic story that kind of reminds me of my own town.  The tape as a whole is brilliant.  It certainly captures my imagination and glues me in.  Can’t wait for the next release! (4.9 out of 5)

The Hobbes Fanclub – Up At Lagrange – Shelflife Records – LP/CD

Hazy and dreamy guitars and vocals gives this album a sort of hot, hazy and lazy summer feel, which for me is just perfect. It’s refreshing and relaxing at the same time, without compromising on songwriting or quality.  It definitely fits in with Shelflife’s vast catalog of sound, and this album delivers nothing short of perfect.  Fans of the Chills, The Ropes and even those who’ve been digging some of the more recent M83 singles will enjoy this album.  Sweet stuff! (4.8 out of 5)

Lunchbox – Lunchbox Loves You – Jigsaw Records – CD

Jangle, pop rock, indie, psyche, dream pop and a hint of garage make this album so delicious that I want a second helping. This album is quite sublime without losing any potency lyrically.  It’s hazy and dreamy at times but knows where to pack its punches.  It reminds me a bit of the September Girls with hints of the Vaselines, Veruca Salt and others.  The love here is mutual, Lunchbox! Keep on rocking!  (4.7 out of 5)

Fishboy – An Elephant – Yofishboy – LP + Graphic Novel

This indie punk lo-fi pop outfit returns with a soundtrack to their graphic novel that follows the ghost of Topsy the Elephant in her quest for vengeance for being electrocuted by Thomas Edison in 1903. And if you’ve seen that video footage from that time period, I think you’d find yourself joining Topsy’s quest.  This album rocks!  Life, death, and everything afterward makes this hard to resist, especially when it sounds so cheery.  It’s been a while I’ve come across a themed record like this where I dare to call it a rock opera of sorts.  Awesome!  (5 out of 5)

The Primatives – Spin-O-Rama – Elefant Records – CD

Their first album of new material in almost 22 years, the band creates some real indie-pop jewels. I’d say it likens closely to their early material from the mid 80s, picking up right where they left off.  It’s so catchy, sparkling and sweet without sacrificing its rock edge, like a more jangle-new wave Vaselines.  Male and female vocals make this extra dreamy. I can totally see why this band has been a major influence for so many bands/artists over the years.  The writing and composing are top notch and highly addictive. Lovely! (4.9 out of 5)

Joanna Gruesome / Trust Fund – Split 12” – HHBTM – 12”

Three tracks per band, starting off with Joanna Gruesome’s brand of jangle-pop-rock-folk that’s sure to please fans of just about any of the bands reviews above in this post. This is my first introduction to the band and I am hooked badly and need another fix. These three tracks are astonishingly engaging and staggeringly powerful.  Flip things over with Trust Fund and while the genre mixture stays somewhat similar, the flavor and the drive changes up a little bit.  It’s a great intro to the band for those who are not familiar with them and it is safe to say that if you liked Joanna Gruesome, you’re gonna love this!  Flawless split EP from start to finish.  (4.9 out of 5)

Throwing Muses – Purgatory / Paradise – HHBTM – LP

One of the most influential groups returns with a double LP (the CD came out in 2013 and the vinyl is brand spankin’ new!) and they pack a punch as you might expect. Everything about this album is powerful, beautiful and even haunting at times.  The magic is unmatchable.  Despite the absence of some of the founding members, nothing is lost here.  And the vocals are to die for. Seriously!  This is well worth having on either CD or vinyl – as long as you get a copy!  (5 out of 5)

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Talking Skull Records – Early Fall 2014

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Talking Skull Releases for September 2014

Les Zerreurs – s/t – cassette

Montreal’s own wild punk-indie-explosive rockers Les Zerreurs deliver a solid, loud and relentless tape featuring four tracks. I loved it straight away.  Slightly reminiscent of We Are Wolves, their sound is a screaming hybrid of punk infused indie with dashes of art rock, post punk, no-wave, and maybe a hint of psychedelic.  Despite my earlier comparison to We Are Wolves, this band remains extremely unique, creating a faster, hard driving brand of music that makes want to grab their next release and if I ever get a chance, feel the energy of this band live.  Killer, powerful, raw and awesome.  (4.9 out of 5)

LEAMERS – Getting Older / You’re Not Ready – 7”

Shortly after the release of their 7×5” playable postcard, the band returns with their debut 7” vinyl single, featuring two indie/garage rock gems. The a-side is fresh, fast and fun, like someone put the Ramones and early White Stripes in a blender and served it with a dash of gin.  The b-side is a bit slower but forms a brilliant track, leaning on hints of grunge, garage, art and indie rock.  And God, they know how to jam!  Killer! Seriously cannot wait for more! (5 out of 5)

Will Austin – Polemical Blues – cs

His third release, this cassette is an interesting one. Side A opens with us rowing across a lake, literally for a bit before some harmonic twangs of a lonely guitar carry us away.  Things carry on in this fashion for quite a stint until the guitar changes its direction and ponders up a gentle breeze and sends up ever so gingerly back to the water.  This time around, it sounds as if we’ve made it to shore and back at the house as other sounds come into play; voices, birds, footsteps and so on.  After a long walk, we’re treated to some atmospheric and somewhat stormy guitar, creating a new world right before our feet.  Time to flip the tape over.  Recorded at a support structure at a busy bridge, the sounds here are quite captivating.  It’s by now that I’m struck by the mixture of field recordings, live instrumentation, and some ambient textures added in throughout this tape, giving it a very familiar and yet alien feel.  Wild.  (4.7 out of 5)

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Aubjects / Intangible Cat Showcase

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Scope out both label pages to see this releases for yourself, along with the killer artwork each sports. Aubjects and Intangible Cat.

Amalgamted – s/t – CD

An interesting and provocative mixture of ambient, modern classical, sound collage and some post rock elements create this brilliant album. And saying that, it still barely touches the surface of what’s going on here.  There are strange sounds comprising of electronic experiments, manipulation and unique compositions of guitar and piano, catchy percussion and amorphous soundscapes that really capture the imagination… and it’s all so fresh, so engaging, noisy and captivating.  This is one of those rare albums that comes along and kind of matches the strange sounds I have in my head.  Certainly makes me happy.  Hard to draw comparisons to this; it reminds me of some folks for sure but there is so much uniqueness going on in here that it’d be a real stretch to say it sounds like anyone else. Check this one out for yourself upon its upcoming release around Halloween 2014. (5 out of 5)

Dog Hallucination – Serving Two Masters – 3” CDr

First off the artwork that encases the CDr itself is awesome: the pressed leaves inside the case were a nice touch. The music here is wondrous.  Ambient electronics meets gentle guitar, occasional drums and tape clips, creating a vivid world.  The tracks are all untitled, giving the listener the freedom to imagine anything they wish while experiencing the music.  This is some pretty sweet stuff that is magical as a composition and the personal cuts from the tapes make it all the more beautiful. Wonderful! (5 out of 5)

Gushing Cloud – Beat Wings In Vain – CD

Another fusion of electronic rock and modern classical with touches of jazz, ambient and IDM. Well, to be precise, this one is harder to pin genres to. Despite that, this is packed with variety, unique flavors and tones to keep you satisfied. Rich in guitar patterns, textured sound clips and voices, electronica flavored beats, piano, sax bits, and synth, this album really has everything you could want. And if the previous releases were hard to draw comparisons to this one is even harder, if not impossible.  Like the others, you’re going to have to take my word on it and check it out.  AWESOME. (4.9 out of 5)

Homogenized Terrestrials – The Contaminist – CD

This project has a score of releases, nearly all of which have been released through 6 On The Dot but this album comes just one year prior to the appearance on the 2x cassette 4-way-split that was featured on Intangible Cat. This one sits on the outer realm of ambient, taking shots here and there into international styles, deep space vibes and some light ventures into sound collage / phonography.  Track five has a wonderful chorus sample in it that makes it stand out so vividly – killer! You might notice many of the tracks share similar sounds with each other, giving this album a sort of united theme, as if each track is a mini-movement of one larger mass.  It does not feel very repetitive and rather feels like a flow of cohesive thoughts that stemmed from one larger idea.  I like the use of bells/gongs and other percussion; it gives this a very organic and almost ethereal feel over all.  This is a very stellar album.  It certainly has me curious about the other releases from this project!  (4.9 out of 5)

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New Rock and Folk for Early September 2014

Lojah – Pub Songs on Palafox – Self-released

Celtic styled acoustic pub songs with hints of Creole and roots music bring this four-song folk EP to a festive life.  Lojah displays a true knack for lyrical narratives, creating a very traditional sounding music, not to mention authentic. The first two tracks feel quite Celtic while the final two feel a bit bluesy with a hint of Caribbean flare.    Fans of the acoustic side of Flogging Molly or The Chieftains will find this quite enjoyable.  Good stuff! (4.8 out of 5)

The Ahs – Corey’s Coathangers – Jigsaw

Indie pop with a flare! And really, it is a very perfect blending of those two genres.  The vocals are dreamy and quite harmonic; she’s got a strong voice that flutters around chord progressions like it’s nobody’s business.  Tie that in with the brilliantly composed accompaniment, you have a winning recipe.  In fact, I dare say that in some ways, this record reminds me of early Beatles material.  I think I’m hypnotized! Naturally, now I’m curious about the band’s older material and what else they may have coming in the future.  Lovely.  (4.9 out of 5)

Dott – Swoon  – Graveface Records

We featured Dott way back when on the blog and I’m psyched that they’ve returned with another sweet LP.  And without any doubt in my mind, they’re just as awesome then as they are now.  Indie/dream/pop rock goodness fills this LP from start to finish, along with its catchy, well crafted lyrics and impressive melodies… Dott does not disappoint.  Dott does not fail.  There are no weak spots to be found.  Solid, strong, engaging and sure to get stuck in your head in the most wonderful way, “Swoon” is a flawless winner.  Fans of their earlier work will dig this, along with those who enjoy The Vaselines, The Ahs, September Girls and the Cranberries.  Love it. Get this LP. (4.9 out of 5)

Pen – A Churchyard That Sways – Self-released

This one is a bit harder to describe genre-wise.  Lots of electronic treaments to the instrumentation give this sort of an ethereal feel.  There’s sort of a folky, post-rock, indie rock, shoegaze, electro rock vibe going on here, creating something soft, yet powerful.  It reminds me of Sigur Ros, The Postal Service, Seefeel, and Damian Rice.  It made a very good first impression on me and I hope it does the same for you.  This is a two track release and is a stellar one to say the least.  (4.8 out of 5)

Catherine Hatt – Sweetcorn – Self released

From Belfast comes this magical little album.  Recorded some time ago but just released, this folky marvel builds itself mainly on vocal harmonies that create a lyrical instrument that dominates with flawless grace.  This almost stands as an a ccapella album but there’s some light accompaniment by the way of some guitar , light percussion, thumb piano, etc…  The end result is a minimal sounding record but that does not mean it lacks in any respect.  It is a full bodied album and it comes as no surprise that Catherin Hatt tours around Ireland, hitting the various folk festivals.  Her style is unique and yet reminds me of bits of Loreena McKennitt and Outside the Museum.  That in intself is an interesting cross so trust me when I say this is a must-hear album. (4.9 out of 5)

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Electronic Jams for Late Summer 2014

Analogous Doom – Departing the Hourglass – Body Control Records

I’m going to call this right now: Body Control Records is a literal power house.  I say this because they have a true knack for finding that perfect sound and quickly getting it into the ears of the eager followers. This is a good thing, especially when the material coming from their artists is pure, solid gold.  This release is another shining example of what darker electro can be.  There is strength behind the synth, the gentle beats and the grooves in the keys.  I’d even say this release has pushed beyond the dark electro genre and is poking around a bit with some retrofuturistic elements, some ambient atmospheres (serving mainly as shadowy backdrops for the tracks to build on), and maybe even dipping its toes in some light elements of acid techno.  Fans of Dorosoto’s current work, Red Falcon Projects or any of the previous offerings from Body Control Records will love this. I know I do (5 out of 5)

Sense – Still Life – Psychonavigation

Sense returns with another chilled gem.  Right away, I’m in a world of mellow and tranquil bliss.  There are subtle harmonies flowing in and out of the background, similar to a melodic loopy-drone but leaning more on the side of ambient.  In fact, subtlety seems to be the key figure on this album.  Things gently ride the waves to your brain and are just on the edge of being noticed, like a dream half remembered.  Samples and sourced sounds meld in with liquid flowing synth to create a lush and unconscious landscape.  They’re also used to bridge tracks together as one ends and another begins.  It sort of gives a theme for the mood of the upcoming piece.  All in all, another solid work from Sense.  Fans of Carbon Based Lifeforms, FSOL’s more atmospheric work, Steve Stoll, Pete Namlook and Sense’s previous album will like this.  (4.8 out of 5)

Params – Grids Grains and Waves – self released

This isn’t your typical electronic album despite the fact that I strongly think it should have a big label release.  Params creates magic with the elements of IDM by turning them into gentle waves of awesomeness.  Here, a masterpiece of electronic, downtempo, minimal and even very light bits of glitch bring itself into the dim early dawn sunshine.  Fans of the mellow side of Aphex Twin, Autechre, early Damiak, and Boards of Canada will find this release to be highly enjoyable.  (5 out of 5)

 

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Electronic Reviews for July 2014

Dorosoto – Maxtoon Physics – Illuminated Paths

Departing from his earlier drone/ambient styled pieces, the Dorosoto project has taken on new life as a dark, enchanting beat-rich world of intelligent and atmospheric acid.  Following up on the heels of the single that was released a few months back, this cassette album brings us into strange territory while being mind-blowingly engaging and thought provoking.  Fans of FSOL’s darker side of “Dead Cities,” Red Falcon Projects, Trills, releases from Body Control Records and Dorosoto’s previous work will find this a very worth while buy and they’ll be thirsty for more.  Killer.  (5 out of 5)

Second Thought – Purlieu Redux – Second Thought Records / Bullfinch

A limited edition repress of the 2004 album featuring alternate takes, demos and a plethora of rare stuff on a CDr and set of tapes, complete with a booklet of art and a short story (also available as a 29 track download).  As to be expected with material by Ross Baker, you get a nice helping of experimentalism, ambient tunes, some neat drones, some modern classical gems and a large variety of other surprises mixed in.  This reissue does not disappoint.  Damn, is this thing ever awesome and rich!  The original material still impresses and the new material captures the creative process and the thought that went into creating this.  The unreleased tracks give a glimpse into a new direction this album might have taken and gives it a new light.  There’s a good deal of sonic variety here and fans of Baker’s previous material under any of his projects or collaborations will not be disappointed.  Score a copy while you can or at the very least, grab the digital version.  Astounding! (5 out of 5)

Letters Of Utrecht – Slow Exit – Offshoot

An EP of interesting sounds composed via laptop, guitar, bass and manipulated found sounds.  The result is an interesting little EP, sitting somewhere between experimental and ambient but remaining extremely unique.  It eases between periods of deep electronic scapes, ambience and noisy patches with bits of harmonies scattered throughout the work as a whole.  This EP creates an interesting feel, which I can get behind.   I guess that is what one can expect when the man behind this release is more known for his work with various rock bands; sometimes the best electronic music comes from solo/side projects from rock musicians.  It’s hard to pin down comparisons so you’ll just have to grab a copy for yourself! (4.7 out of 5)

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Vinyl Rock Reviews For July 2014

Jon Autry – Beautifully Broken – Usonian

Here’s another nice surprise that was waiting in my mailbox.  Pressed on transparent blue vinyl, this LP is chuck full of prime indie-pop-folk goodness.  The songwriting and instrumentation are quite a nice pair, with the lyrics lending themselves well to the mixture of acoustic and electric guitar and a variety of percussion and atmospheres.  I feel like it’s a mix of Iron and Wine, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Beck’s folk side with elements of Wolftron.  This is a great LP; it’s engaging, well-crafted and it shows off Autry’s talents wonderfully.  (4.8 out of 5)

Wei Zhongle – Raised High / Brought Low – Edible Onion

It’s recordings like this one that make me realize I need a better stereo.  My little speaker just doesn’t cut it.  This LP wins the “most unique” award for today’s listening session, and I seriously mean that in a good way.  The fusion here between Asian and Balkan instrumentation and scale styles was quite an eye opener.  I’ve yet to have anything come in for submission sounding anything like this before.  It’s like Japanese scales meets Balkan rhythm and strum patterns meets experimental jazz meets raga vocals.  And speaking of vocals, the singer’s voice takes on the appearance of a string instrument, perhaps a sitar or some other rapid tone-shifting instrument. It’s uncanny.  This is a very engaging record and I give it massive points for putting sounds together I never dreamed of hearing on one record. Artfully done! (4.7 out of 5)

Eureka California – Crunch – Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records

The jangle pop punk indie gods return with their first LP since 2012’s “Big Cats Can Swim.” And after  having the privilege of reviewing that album when it came out, getting my paws on this LP after nearly two years of silence was awesome.  Here, the band ventures into a peppier sound that throws me headlong into a state of bliss.  Lyrically, like their last album, this is genius but a bit more on the playful side of things as far as writing goes.  There’s not a single dull moment on this LP.  I found myself loving each track, easily falling into the crazy and vibrant vibes.  Rock on!  (5 out of 5).

Bastards of Fate – Vampires Are Real And Palpable – This Will Be Our Summer Records

Here is a solid and packed LP full of pure, gritty experimental rock fused with so much life that calling it “experimental rock” really doesn’t define it. Maybe I could get away with calling it indie-experimental… At any rate, the lyrics are put together well and create the glue that the foundation of this record is built on.  Add the strange, fun and sometimes noisy sound clips that bridge gaps between tracks and you have yourself one giant cohesive wall of sound.  Overall, this is a unique record, with an overhanging darkness that’s surprisingly upbeat, giving me this image of a vampire lounging with a lemon lollypop in his mouth.  The imagination and creativity here is equal to that wild sonic exploration of perhaps Yasushi Ishii but the Bastards Of Fate have a sound that is unmistakably original.Seriously, this is quite the LP.  (4.8 out of 5)

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