Album Reviews

“Animals in Bloom” by Big Light – Album Review

Photo: Jay Blakesberg For a debut album, Big Light has an impressive shine, polish and cohesion on their rock infused, “Animals in Bloom.” The San Francisco foursome blends a mix of trendy rock with elements of psychedelic, folk and even pop. Taking inspiration from bands such as My Morning Jacket and Wilco, they capture elements […]

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Sandra Burciaga Olinger |
“Big Echo” by The Morning Benders – Album Review

These kids seriously look like they’re barely of legal age but perform as though they’ve been doing it for decades. San Francisco’s latest indie sensation, The Morning Benders, are winning the musical hearts of indie snobs everywhere with their sophomore effort “Big Echo.” Their new album and Rough Trade debut is one of the most […]

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Sandra Burciaga Olinger |
“The Courage of Others” by Midlake – Album Review

Denton, Texas-based Midlake’s brand of lo-fi music could definitely fall into the psych-folk category, with a sound touched by Laurel Canyon’s days of lore. The band’s newest record, “The Courage of Others,” picks up where 2006’s excellent “Trials of Van Occupanther” left off, but finds Midlake stripping away the synthesizers to create a sound that […]

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Sandra Burciaga Olinger |
“One Life Stand” by Hot Chip – Album Review

Let’s stop for a moment and consider the art of keeping it real. Many claim to do it, few actually do. Hot Chip keeps it fucking real and you only need to look to their latest album, “One Life Stand” to see that. There’s something old school about keeping your album to ten tracks, and […]

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Sandra Burciaga Olinger |
“American Ghetto” by Portugal. The Man – Album Review and Stream

Listening to “American Ghetto,” the brain categorizes sounds and rhythms heard by referencing them against other bands and sounds heard before, but it isn’t long before it’s apparent that nothing quite fits for Portugal. The Man. Because the band creates an intriguing blend of snyth-laden ambience, delicate vocals, beautiful harmonies, and inspiring lyrics that pull […]

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Sandra Burciaga Olinger |
“American Gong” by Quasi – Album Review and Full Album Stream

Tapping into the familiar 70s psychedelic rock genre, Quasi’s album “American Gong” isn’t groundbreaking new stuff, but there is some trippy magic swirling about this debut on the Kill Rock Stars label. The Portland side-project created from former Heatmiser and Sleater-Kinney members (not to mention former married couple), Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss, respectively; make […]

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Sandra Burciaga Olinger |
“Similes” by Eluvium – Album Review

Matthew Cooper of Eluvium has crossed over a sound bridge into a familiar realm of vocalization and ambient soundscapes of creative artists such as Pieter Nooten. Opening track “Leaves Eclipse the Light” off his new album “Similes,” begins with a mutated percussive loop within halls and timely delays and is met with a lovely detuned […]

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Sandra Burciaga Olinger |
“Spells” by The Happy Hollows – Album Review

Listening to The Happy Hollows‘ latest album “Spells” tends to leave me in a dizzy through the first half. It’s dreamy, fuzzy indie pop straight from Silver Lake that makes me want to look through dark kaleidoscopes, wear baby doll dresses, and bust skulls just to remind you that I can. Wandering along through the […]

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Sandra Burciaga Olinger |
“The Soft Pack” by The Soft Pack – Album Review

After first listen to The Soft Pack’s full-length debut, I had to double-check the release date. While they are a little late for the last garage rock movement with the likes of The Strokes and The Hives and are very late to be a part of 1960s surf-rock scene, they give a big ol’ tip […]

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Sandra Burciaga Olinger |
“Astro Coast” by Surfer Blood – Album Review

I got a good listen to Surfer Blood’s “Astro Coast” and I have to tell you it’s a smooth composite of indie rock elements with great lyrical content and melodic moments. “Catholic Pagans” begins with a familiar guitar melody from April Steven’s “Teach Me Tiger.” It then redirects to a smooth multi- guitar arrangement into […]

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Sandra Burciaga Olinger |