Lightning Like Me is the new album from London rockers Oh! Gunquit. The ten tracks have a retro rock-a-billy feel, with a nice lo-fi edge and more rawness than a piece of meat on a black eye. Energy abounds as the album unfolds into a punk dance party that will raise the roof and annoy the neighbors. This is a perfect slice of the very trendy retro pie and is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Lightning Likes Me at the link below.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Off White is the new album from former Trespassers William member and Chemical Brothers collaborator Lotte Kestner. The twelve tracks are a testament to a transcendent artist, who has created an album of sublime beauty. The songs weave an intimate simplicity into the perfect vehicle for Kestner's mesmerizing vocals and redefine the universality of indie folk as an art form. This is one of the best albums we have heard this year and it is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Off White at the link below.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Always is the new album from Seattle's The Blue Hour. The eleven tracks overflow with a delicate, yet powerful beauty that is at once compelling. The songs have an engaging complexity of textures that play out as an atmospheric excursion of the senses, creating both imagery and aural excitement. Combining the best elements of folk and dreampop, with a touch of Bohemian passion, the album transforms the sonic space it occupies into an intimate cocoon of sound. A definite must have. Stream and buy Always at the link below.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Ocean Forest is the S/T debut album from the Myrtle Beach band on North Carolina's Silber Records. The nine tracks make a definiative statement as one of the best albums we've heard this year. Produced by Brian McKenzie of FZB regulars Electric Bird Noise, this album is a testament to all that's good in shoegaze and psychedelic music. We can always count on getting fine music from Silber Records and this album is an absolute must have. Stream and buy Ocean Forest at the link below.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Grams is the debut full length from Chicago band Local Motive. The nine tracks have a retro R&B feel complete with standout brass and guitar parts, as well as tasteful changes in dynamics. Unfortunately, the album seems to miss the mark in terms of somewhat muddled mix and lack of real edge or excitement. Repeated listens failed to generate any sense of engagement with the tracks and the album as a whole seemed to plod along between dynamic highs and lackluster off tempo parts. The vocals added little to any sense of excitement, and served more to tie together the instrumental parts rather than propel the tracks forward. A album of good musicianship, but yet one that is overall forgettable rather than memorable. Try it for yourself, stream and buy Grams at the link below.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Of A Distorted Star is the new album from Polish artist/producer Opollo, aka Jarek Leskiewicz. the ten tracks are dense assemblages of ingenious synth pads, atmospheric textures and subtle noise. More sonically engaging than an ambient recording and more ambient than a melodic based instrumental album, this record defies genres with a series of experimental soundscapes that soar and twist effortlessly in a total aural experience. Stream and download Of A Distorted Star at the link below.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Long Vivid Dream is the debut EP from Montreal duo Discolor Blind. The five tracks are dark synthpop tinged rock, with an understated noise and lo-fi sonic patina. The tracks feature some nice original sounds, interesting arrangements and unexpected heavy passages, all the while keeping an overall atmospheric sound. Complex but yet engaging, this is a debut to be reckoned with and is a definite must have. Watch the video for EP track Bland and Grey, then stream and buy Long Vivid Dream at the link below.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Milwaukee indie label Good Land Records brings us the debut S/T album from Chicago power pop band The Obleeks. The ten tracks have a radio ready sheen with crisp production and solid songwriting. The vocals are reminiscent of Tom Petty, but comparisons stop there, with the varied and extremely interesting instrumental performances standing on there own. A vary solid debut album that showcases a band we should expect much more good music from. Stream and buy The Obleeks at the link below.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Wonderland Wins is the new album from Swedish artist/producer Martin Månsson Sjöstrand. Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with his work in Dog Paper Submarine and This Heel. The ten tracks on this new album showcase an artist that is at the height of his powers, with superb songwriting and arrangements. The album delivers a wondefully original take on post-punk, lo-fi and indie rock, with some glitchy elements thrown in for good measure. A fine album all around and a definite must have. Stream and buy Wonderland Wins at the link below.
Monday, September 11, 2017
No Honey is the new EP from Toronto indie rock band Goodbye Honolulu. The 5 tracks blend elements from grunge, garage and post punk into a solid EP, with a strong college radio feel. Nice varied dynamics propel the songs along and help keep the interest high. This is an extremely well crafted album, that marks a band that is fully developed in their songwriting, arrangement and production skills. A definite must have. Stream and buy No Honey at the link below.
Friday, September 8, 2017
Sagitta is the new EP from Chicago singer/songwriter Ryan Herrick. The six tracks are alt-folk pieces that channel elements of blues, folkrock and Americana. What immediately strikes one, is just how heavy this album is. Though based on acoustic instruments, the sheer power that is transmitted through the tracks is staggering. Herrick's voice is strong and compelling, the songwriting inspired and the musicianship is at a very high level. Taken together, this is one of the best albums we have heard this year. An absolute must have. Stream and buy Sagitta at the link below.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Swedish indie label Peter Out records always sends cool stuff and this time they sent something really special. Kabinet Dod was a band in the first wave of Swedish punk being active from 1979-1991. In that time the band never released any records, insisting that their music must be experienced live. However, they did record their live shows and now Peter Out brings us Kathiztan, a compilation of live recordings by the band from 1979-1981. Almost 40 years later these recordings have a rawness and intensity that showcases a unique punk rock band that is still relevant and needs to be part of everyone's collection. A definite must have. Stream and download Kathiztan at the link below.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
EP is the aptly titled Bearsuit Records debut from Japanese artist Hayato Takeuchi. The 5 tracks are original instrumental music that melds electronic, synthpop and guitar elements into a unique sound, that is both engaging and compelling. In many ways this EP could be viewed as a new form of classical music for a world removed to the far future. Only rarely do we have a chance to listen to music so original, that it defies existing genres, while at the same time embracing them. This is a work that should be in everyone's collection. Stream and buy EP at the link below.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Resilient is the new album from Chicago's Chip Ratliff. The eight tracks are a master class in everything funky. The album channels all the best influences from the likes of Sly Stone and George Clinton, with doses of Prince's rock sense. This was a very difficult review to write...because how the fuck could anyone possibly sit still listening to this album. Multiple dancing induced typos later, all we can say is, absolutely get this album or call 911, because you must be dead. Stream and buy Resilient at the link below.
Monday, September 4, 2017
Fly I Will, Because I Can is the new album from Brooklyn dreampop band My Favorite Things. Though ostensibly a quintet, the band is mainly an artistic vehicle for singer/songwriter Dorothea Tachler. The twelve tracks are lilting dreampop, with requisite doses of reverb, healthy amounts of atmospheric instruments and vocals, but also well placed elements of folk and bohemian influences. An altogether nice album, though the mix does leave things a bit muddy in spots. Stream and buy Fly I Will, Because I Can at the link below.
Friday, September 1, 2017
Standing Here is the new EP from artist, producer and indie label honcho Ric Gordon. Gordon calls the EP the best recording of his career. A strong statement from an artist who has released 16 albums and EPs under various monikers and produced another 26 for other artists. The EP is a superlative work of indie/folkrock and alt-country, that with five "A" tracks and no filler, will stand as one of the best singer/songwriter records of the year. A definite must have. Stream and buy Standing Here at the link below.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Down There For Dancing is the debut album from UK artist Granfalloon, aka Richard Lomax. The eight tracks are tasty dreampop/neo-folk that are melodic and compelling. The music draws the listener in deep with vocals that engage at a very personal level. Melodic and flowing, the album washes over you like a warm blanket on a cool night, comforting and safe, but not imposing or overly complex. This is an album that has a perfectly enjoyable vibe and a special sense of serenity to the overall feel. Stream and buy Down There For Dancing at the link below.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
The Train/Water 7" is the debut release from Australian duo Winter Witches. The two tracks are dark, intimate and ethereal, with orchestral textures melded to a dream pop aesthetic. The duo take a minimalist approach to arrangement, leaving enough space that each part, whether vocal or instrumental, rises to an important component of the sonic experience. This 7" is beautiful and engaging. Stream and buy Train/Water at the link below.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Muzak For The Masses is the debut album from Polish duo Neverending Delays. The four tracks deliver a lush synth/guitar fusion of dreampop, with ambient influences. The album has wonderful melodic lines that lead effortlessly from track to track, with adventurous beats, phrasing and arrangements. Eschewing cliche sounds for copious amounts of originality, this is an album that showcases strong musicianship and truckloads of talent. We can't wait to hear more. A definite must have. Stream and buy Muzak For The Masses at the link below.
Monday, August 28, 2017
New York collective American Anymen are back with, Flag Burner, an inspired EP of protest music that captures the angst, frustration and horror of now living in a facist America. The three tracks of folk-punk are lyrically stunning, saying what the mindless trump (purposely not capitalized) supporters need to hear, a focused and eloquent fuck you. True protest music is a limiting genre for an artist, as its shelf life is short and only stands while timely relevant. It is a testament to any artist with the balls to sacrifice music to make a specific political statement. This EP is a absolute must have. Stream and download Flag Burner for free at the link below.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Austrian indie Wilhelm Show Me The Major Label, brings us No Easy Way, the new EP from Crush. The three tracks are 60's Mersey Beat reminiscent pop songs that twang of 12 string, smooth melodies and catchy hooks. This EP perfectly captures 60's pop styling and definitely leaves the listener wanting much more. Stream and buy No Easy Way at the link below.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Laranja Swadhisthana 67_5 - EPv1 is the catchy titled new ambient EP from the now Porto based Dave Wesley. When ambient is done correctly, it can be transformative by providing a full orchestral experience, within the framework of a limited, focused soundscape and melodic structure. That is what one finds on this EP, superlative sonic renderings of grace, beauty and substance. Stream and buy Laranja Swadhisthana 67_5 - EPv1 at the link below.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
North Carolina's Sorry State Records, is a purveyor of hardcore, punk and garage excellence. Their latest release is Numb Life, the new album from Essex Muro. The nine tracks are devastating hardcore punk full of grungy back alley brawls and 2:30 am dives from the stage. This is punk the way it was meant to be, loud, fast and snotty. Stream and buy Numb Life at the link below.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Austrian label Cut Surface has released a stunning compilation album featuring 20 of their artists. The tracks are sultry, fierce, industrial, post-punk, surf and psychedelic gems. This is a compilation where every track delivers up sonic goodness in huge portions. The perfect way for you to hear a lot of different bands and get the feel for the label's curation of artists. A definite must have. Stream and buy Compilation A at the link below.
Monday, August 21, 2017
After five releases in a little over nine months, Brooklyn pop auteur Chuck, aka Charles Griffin Gibson, is calling it quits with his final album Frankenstein Songs for the Grocery Store. The 15 tracks rollick through an urban landscape painting sprightly, twangy and catchy indie pop songs that are captivating in their simplicity and presentation. A fine album by an artist that would be welcome to stay around a while. Watch the video for album track New Yorker, then stream and buy Frankenstein Songs for the Grocery Store at the link below.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
The Clockwork Dance is the new two song single from UK band Vulovar. The two tracks are sultry post-punk with the title track having an eastern flair and mesmerizing drum beat. The second track is a live rendering that is a seven minute excursion into the band's Joy Divisionesque compelling live show.This is a fine band at their best. As a whole the two tracks are a nice followup to their album at the start of the year and wets our appetite for more. Watch the video and then stream and download The Clockwork Dance at the link below.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Dreams of Majesty is the new EP from Miami band Astari Nite. The four tracks are 80's retro new wave goodness. With a sound drawn from bands like Depeche Mode, Human League and The Cure, this EP sounds more like a throwback than an homage, with a strong dance beat, atmospheric vocals and a sound that is resplendent in all it's 80's glory. This EP is not a new take on an old theme, but is rather a nostalgic remake for those that missed the original time. Watch the video for the track Lovesick, then stream and buy Dreams of Majesty at the link below.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Chicago based singer-songwriter Ryan Joseph Anderson is back with his sophomore album, City of Vines. The ten tracks are a stylish romp through Americana, alt-country, blues and indie rock. With an authenticity to his songwriting and an earnestness to his delivery, Anderson is a troubadour for a new era. This is an ablum with a big sound, but yet an intimate feel; an album that speaks to musical roots and new possibilities. Stream and buy City of Vines at the link below.
Monday, August 14, 2017
Atlanta dreampop band Parsons Rocket Project have released their S/T debut EP. The six tracks have a diverse feel from stratospheric rock to a shimmering synthpop sheen, with heavy reverb and soaring guitar lines, swirling in an ambient continuum, paired with engaging vocals. This is a strong record that works as a nice sequenced piece all the way through, with an enjoyably compelling flow. Stream and buy Parsons Rocket Project at the link below.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Toronto based indie rock band Til Howl have released their S/T debut EP. The six tracks are wide ranging stylistically and show many diverse influences. Unfortunately, those influences are too omnipresent, as most tracks sound directly derivative. That said, this EP has superlative music on it, with a nice lo-fi production sheen and compelling arrangements and performances. With such obvious talent on display, one hopes that on subsequent releases this band finds their own original voice, as it would be a shame to see them consigned to the bin of forgotten imitators. Stream and buy Til Howl at the link below.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
LA band, Tombstones In Their Eyes, have released their latest EP Fear. The five tracks are a collection of garage tinged, psychedelic colored, indie rock. The songs are deep and dark, with mood swings from heavy crushing guitars to light a melodic passages. With influences from Pink Floyd to My Bloody Valentine, this EP is a compelling masterpiece that will appeal to a wide rock audience. A definite must have. Watch the video for EP track Always There, then stream and buy Fear at the link below.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Songbirds and Fog is the debut album from Arkansas based The Lark and the Loon. The husband & wife duo of Jeff Rolfzen and Rocky Steen-Rolfzen deliver 19 tracks of original, pristine Americana music. Their music is the closest you'll get to riding the rails with Woody Guthrie. Featuring wonderful vocal play between the two, engaging arrangements and an authenticity to their songwriting, that make the album a singular testament to the rich folk legacy that the duo embodies. The album is a definite must have. Stream and buy Songbirds and Fog at he link below.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
FZB favorites The Bordellos have released Underground Tape Vol. 7, their latest installment of previously unreleased material. Regular readers of this blog will be very familiar with The Bordellos work, as they are featured here regularly via their prolific output. What you get on this EP is the band's compelling folkrock, with lo-fi production, intimate songs and the sound of a dark basement coffeehouse. We love The Bordellos, you should too. Stream and download Underground Tapes Vol. 7 at the link below.
Monday, August 7, 2017
In 2004, Canada's The Heavy Blinkers released The Night and I Are Still So Young. In the years that have passed, this superlative pop album has been named as one of the best records of the early 00's and is regarded as one of the best Canadian records ever. Now, Toronto indie Label Obscura have given this classic its first ever vinyl release and also made it available for digital download. This is an album that should be in everyone's collection and is a must have. Watch the video for the title track, then stream and buy The Night and I Are Still So Young at the link below.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Texas artist Get A Life has released his debut 7", What You Deserve b/w 2 Plus 2 Equals 5.The first track is a dense industrial piece with heavy noise and a lo-fi feel The second track is the opposite with a light melodic structure, though still having industrial overtones. The record is enjoyable, but neither track really gives the listener anything to hold on to. The tracks just sort of unfold in front of you and when they're over, they leave nothing behind in the mind. They are just over. Check it out as it's definitely worth a listen. Stream and buy What You Deserve at the link below.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Always is the new album from Montreal based band Raveen. The nine tracks are atmospheric dream pop, but with a depth and musicality that one would expect from post-rock, not radio ready pop. This album is marked by its strengths. Strong arrangements, compelling production and enticing vocals, make this album a sublime listening .experience. Inspired performances and dark textures showcase one of the best albums of the year so far. Stream and buy Always at the link below.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Our friends at North Carolina's Silber Records are back with some new entries in their 5in5 series, where artists do 5 songs in 5 minutes. Internet Hits the the new one from Dusty Tears, aka a project of Shane De Leon (Miss Massive Snowflake) and Jamie Smith (Danghead). The music wrought in 5 minutes is a testament to all that is good and righteous in rock music since its beginning of time. Turn it up loud and annoy a neighbor. Stream and buy Internet Hits at the link below.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Suddenly Constantly is the new EP from Montreal based artist Smileswithteeth, aka Gabriel Gutierrez. The four tracks are dream pop, that rely too much on overused glitchy cliches, rather than finding original sounds. The tracks are enjoyable as they stand, though they are light on melodic structure and lack cohesiveness. Overall this is an EP that is worth a listen and will certainly find some audience, but that also falls short on musicality and vision. Stream and buy Suddenly Constantly at the link below.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Haifa based Van Der Blute have released their S/T debut EP on Israeli label Schwarz Neon Licht Records. The four tracks are melodic electronica, that is strong on musicality and arrangement, with a solid bass player, while most importantly eschewing the overused cliche sounds and glitchyness so prevalent in electronic music today. What results is an EP that is original and engaging, that should be very welcome in everyone's collection. Stream and buy Van Dr Blute at the link below.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Scottish label Gold Mold Records brings us PolarPricks, the boisterous split EP from Grand Pricks and Polarnecks. The four tracks, two from each band, showcase the range of this EP with Grand Pricks taking influences from Weezer, Gang of Four and Teenage Fanclub, while Polarnecks deliver noisy grunge in the vein of Dinosaur Jr. The band's performances are sterling, but the sub par production is dull and muddled, taking the edge off of an otherwise strong record. Still, these are hot bands and their rock goodness shines through. Stream and buy PolarPricks Split at the link below.
Friday, July 21, 2017
What Lies Ahead is the debut EP from Long Island based Final Call. The five tracks are influenced by bands like Panic At The Disco and My Chemical Romance. This EP is locked in on the alt radio EMO formula of heavy guitars and light melodic vocals. The record is solid with good production, strong instrumental performances and vocals. The overall sound is too derivative and formulaic, but the album will definitely appeal to the new EMO scene. A good effort for a debut EP, but not a great one. With the talent displayed, we hope the band takes on more original directions on a followup. Stream and buy What Lies Ahead at the link below.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
With The Beetles is the new album from Kinbom & Kessner, a collaboration between lap steel virtuoso Fredrik Kinbom and writer/dramatist Sonja Kessner. The ten tracks are imaginative indie folk, with crisp production, deep lyrical themes and tight instrumental performances. Vocal duties are shared by the pair, but with only a couple of songs in English, the album will feel mostly out of reach to all but those who speak German. This is a shame, as this is an album that would do well with a wider audience, but is ultimately doomed to limited exposure. Give it a listen regardless of whether you can understand the lyrics, as this is a beautiful work, that will be enjoyable throughout. Stream and buy With The Beetles at the link below.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Italian artist, Sitting Girl With Arms Bent, has released her debut S/T album. The ten tracks are dark post-punk, with healthy doses of reverb, atmospheric vocals and sinister guitar parts. This album has an extremely edgy vibe and a rawness that takes one back to the original ethos of punk. The album conjures up imagery of dark urban scenes and shadowy figures. This is one of the best post-punk albums of the year so far and a definite must have. Stream and buy Sitting Girl With Arms Bent at the link below.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Missed Month is the latest album from Toronto artist/producer New Tendencies, aka Matt Nish-Lapidus. The five tracks were born out of electronic explorations and discovery on a newly built modular synth. What results, is an album full of wonderfully unique synth pads, textures and phrases. With a glitchy vibe, perfectly placed noise and just enough melodic structure to hold things together, this album is surprising in its depth and welcome in its uniqueness and experimental verve. This is a must have for all synthesizer aficionados. Stream and buy Missed Month at the link below.
Friday, July 14, 2017
In a career that spans 5 decades, Ric Gordon has released 14 albums and EP's under various monikers, and produced another 26 for other artists. Today on the eve of his 64th birthday, Gordon releases his first studio album in 4 years, but with a twist. Instead of one album, he is releasing two EP's one electric, releasing today, and the other acoustic, releasing September 1st.. Today's release, Despair's Lover is a five track post punk gem, with large helpings of edgy, heavy and twangy. Lyrically, the tracks are about despair in love, urban existence and at a government gone bad. This is a definite must have, that should be in everyone's collection. Stream and buy Despair's Lover at the link below. Then preview the second EP, Standing Here, by listening to the advance track Rise Above at the link below, and watch for a review of the EP on Sept. 1st.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Legendary artist/producer John Fryer has released Lost In Reflection, his second album under the Black Needle Noise moniker. Known for his production work for Nine Inch Nails, Cocteau Twins and Depeche Mode, as well as being co-founder of This Mortal Coil, the eleven tracks feature 10 different vocalists, have great depth and range stylistically, while still having a noisy sheen and edgy sonic texture. A master work from a seminal artist/producer, that should be required listening for all. Stream and buy Lost In Reflection at the link below.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gavia is the new EP from FZB favorites Hanetration. The UK group deliver four tracks that inhabit the space between IDM and ambient genres. No mean feat as on the surface, there is little common ground. Hanetration overcome this with an ambient based EP that is big on melodic structure and beat, while still keeping an ambient base throughout. This EP is highly original and has some fine unique electronic sounds. A definate must have. Stream and download the Gavia EP for free at the link below.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
One is the debut EP from Glasgow band, The Sinking Feeling on Gold Mold Records. The three tracks are alt-rock EMO, the commercial radio variety, with influences from The Used, Panic at the Disco and Weezer. There has always been a formula to this kind of music, which is less adventurous and edgy compared to the more punk variety. This EP features solid vocals, instrumental performances and songwriting, but is lacking on originality, as this has all been done, just this way for a long time. If you're in the need for some new EMO just the way you remembered it, give this one a try. Stream and buy One at the link below.
Monday, July 10, 2017
The Gospel According To John is the new album from L.A. band The Black Watch. The eight tracks are stylish indie rock with influences from psychedelic to shoegaze. The songs are varied and dynamic, abound with interesting guitar riffs and strong vocals, where every part fits perfectly. The album showcases a band that consistently puts it all together and delivers great music. Watch the video for album track Way Strange World, then stream and buy The Gospel According To John at the link below.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
FZB favorites Boobs of Doom have a new split album with Stupid Cosmonaut. The UK groups each serve up a side of edgy and inventive instrumental music. Employing elements of ambient, drone, metal and electronic, each track engages the senses with compelling textures into a totally enthralling sonic experience. Dark, original and ambitious, this album is a must have. Stream and download this split album at the link below.