this album rulz but it also kinda sux

quick & useless reviews by two former music directors from a college radio station you couldn't give a fuck less about.
Accents – Tall Tales
I definitely want to like this album a lot more than I actually do. I mean, the instrumentation, arrangements, and writing are all super, super solid (think The Decemberists but with more distortion, then add some rainbows and sunshine). Unfortunately, Tall Tales decides to put the gut-wrenchingly cheesy/terrible lyrics and supremely sub-par vocal action in the spotlight, and it really destroys anything these guys try to build instrumentally.
overall rating: schmeh.

Accents – Tall Tales

I definitely want to like this album a lot more than I actually do. I mean, the instrumentation, arrangements, and writing are all super, super solid (think The Decemberists but with more distortion, then add some rainbows and sunshine). Unfortunately, Tall Tales decides to put the gut-wrenchingly cheesy/terrible lyrics and supremely sub-par vocal action in the spotlight, and it really destroys anything these guys try to build instrumentally.

overall rating: schmeh.

Broken Bells – After the Disco
Yeah, I dunno, the writing can be pretty solid in parts, and there’s definitely some dancey catchiness going on up in this bitch, but honestly I just get bored with this album by the end. Maybe the sound is too repetitive/chilled out, I’m just not sure. All I know is I just can’t dig it all that hard.
overall rating: schmeh.

Broken Bells – After the Disco

Yeah, I dunno, the writing can be pretty solid in parts, and there’s definitely some dancey catchiness going on up in this bitch, but honestly I just get bored with this album by the end. Maybe the sound is too repetitive/chilled out, I’m just not sure. All I know is I just can’t dig it all that hard.

overall rating: schmeh.

Ava Luna – Electric Balloon
What I loved about past Ava Luna releases is how well the band has been able to pull off balancing dissonant weirdness with solid pop-sensible song writing. However, it seems like with Electric Balloon they’ve decided to completely abandon any and all pop sensibility in favor of treking far off into dischordy experimentationland, and as a result, the writing suffers miserably. Everything sounds ridiculously forced, nothing flows, and it’s just not pleasant to listen to.
overall rating: sux.

Ava Luna – Electric Balloon

What I loved about past Ava Luna releases is how well the band has been able to pull off balancing dissonant weirdness with solid pop-sensible song writing. However, it seems like with Electric Balloon they’ve decided to completely abandon any and all pop sensibility in favor of treking far off into dischordy experimentationland, and as a result, the writing suffers miserably. Everything sounds ridiculously forced, nothing flows, and it’s just not pleasant to listen to.

overall rating: sux.

Invalids – Top Secret Area EP
Oh. Oh yes. It’s been far too long since I’ve gotten my math rock boner tickled, and this EP. This. EP. I don’t even care that it’s only 2 songs, they’re both rad as fuck. So ridiculously technical. So ridiculously catchy. Probably some of the best vocals I’ve ever heard on a math pop release. Ever. Just. Yes. Moar. Plz.
Key Tracks: Both of them
overall rating: rulz.

Invalids – Top Secret Area EP

Oh. Oh yes. It’s been far too long since I’ve gotten my math rock boner tickled, and this EP. This. EP. I don’t even care that it’s only 2 songs, they’re both rad as fuck. So ridiculously technical. So ridiculously catchy. Probably some of the best vocals I’ve ever heard on a math pop release. Ever. Just. Yes. Moar. Plz.

Key Tracks: Both of them

overall rating: rulz.

Wild Throne – Blood Maker
Yeah, I don’t know, this one just isn’t really doing it for me. I think it’s too sludgey/stoner metalish for me, and the cheesy prog-esque vocals/lyrics don’t do it for me. They kind of sound like a mix between Converge, Mastodon, and Protest The Hero, but a bit cheesier. If you like stoner metal type stuff this could be your jam. Otherwise, meh.
overall rating: schmeh.

Wild Throne – Blood Maker

Yeah, I don’t know, this one just isn’t really doing it for me. I think it’s too sludgey/stoner metalish for me, and the cheesy prog-esque vocals/lyrics don’t do it for me. They kind of sound like a mix between Converge, Mastodon, and Protest The Hero, but a bit cheesier. If you like stoner metal type stuff this could be your jam. Otherwise, meh.

overall rating: schmeh.

Warpaint – Warpaint
It took me a good numbers of listens to into Warpaint’s new self-titled album, but I’m glad I took my time with it, because it really is a pretty fucking fantastic album. In a world of ridiculously overdone chilled-out indie rock, these guys not only kept it super fresh and original, but they absolutely nailed that shit in the process. The super hypnotic beats and bass lines, spacey guitar leads, and eerie vocals compliment each other extraordinarily well. Give this one a few listens through; it’s subtle, but that’s what they’re going for and it’s fuckin’ awesome.
Key Tracks: Biggy, Drive
overall rating: kinda rulz.

Warpaint – Warpaint

It took me a good numbers of listens to into Warpaint’s new self-titled album, but I’m glad I took my time with it, because it really is a pretty fucking fantastic album. In a world of ridiculously overdone chilled-out indie rock, these guys not only kept it super fresh and original, but they absolutely nailed that shit in the process. The super hypnotic beats and bass lines, spacey guitar leads, and eerie vocals compliment each other extraordinarily well. Give this one a few listens through; it’s subtle, but that’s what they’re going for and it’s fuckin’ awesome.

Key Tracks: BiggyDrive

overall rating: kinda rulz.

Johnny Booth – The Bronze Age
This shit caught my attention, ear, and fancy pretty much just as quickly as Johnny Booth’s last album, Connections, did. It’s heavy as fuck. It’s groovy as fuck. The shred factor has even been turned up a notch. If you want some straight up fucking balls-to-the-wall badass heavy shit in your life, look no further.
Key Tracks: No Signal, Passages, Single Cell
overall rating: rulz.

Johnny Booth – The Bronze Age

This shit caught my attention, ear, and fancy pretty much just as quickly as Johnny Booth’s last album, Connections, did. It’s heavy as fuck. It’s groovy as fuck. The shred factor has even been turned up a notch. If you want some straight up fucking balls-to-the-wall badass heavy shit in your life, look no further.

Key Tracks: No SignalPassagesSingle Cell

overall rating: rulz.

La Dispute – Rooms of the House
It’s kind of a ridiculous how consistent some bands can be in terms of releasing absolutely brilliant material. La Dispute is one of those bands, and be it a full release of their practically non-classifiable brand of post-hardcore-emo-spoken-word-progressive-amazeballs or an EP of ambient-ish instrumentation over spoken word experimentation, they have done no wrong in my book, and Rooms of the House in no way breaks this streak of brilliance the band has been on since their debut EP. This album is definitely stylistically closer to Wildlife than it is to Somewhere at the Bottom, but Rooms of the House really shines through in terms of its variation, and how well the album flows despite the frequent and extreme shifts in dynamic. Did I mention it’s fucking brilliant? Stop reading this stupid review and go listen to it, you absolute fucks.
Key Tracks: Woman (In Mirror), Stay Happy There, Objects in Space
overall rating: rulz.

La Dispute – Rooms of the House

It’s kind of a ridiculous how consistent some bands can be in terms of releasing absolutely brilliant material. La Dispute is one of those bands, and be it a full release of their practically non-classifiable brand of post-hardcore-emo-spoken-word-progressive-amazeballs or an EP of ambient-ish instrumentation over spoken word experimentation, they have done no wrong in my book, and Rooms of the House in no way breaks this streak of brilliance the band has been on since their debut EP. This album is definitely stylistically closer to Wildlife than it is to Somewhere at the Bottom, but Rooms of the House really shines through in terms of its variation, and how well the album flows despite the frequent and extreme shifts in dynamic. Did I mention it’s fucking brilliant? Stop reading this stupid review and go listen to it, you absolute fucks.

Key Tracks: Woman (In Mirror)Stay Happy ThereObjects in Space

overall rating: rulz.

Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Despite having hated Against Me’s last album, White Crosses, with every fiber in my being, I was actually a little bit excited to see what their newest material had in store. Tom Gabel is now Laura Jane Grace, and you would think being the first major-label-mainstream rock star to come out as transgender would give you a shit ton to write about/be fucking pissed off about. The first few tracks of Transgender Blues Dysphoria definitely reflect this, but by the third or fourth track in, everything just ends up sounding like the same soulless, generic pop-punk that they’ve been cranking out in recent years. Unfortunate considering the potential of what this album could’ve been in terms of pure perspective, but what’re you gonna do.
overall rating: schmeh.

Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Despite having hated Against Me’s last album, White Crosses, with every fiber in my being, I was actually a little bit excited to see what their newest material had in store. Tom Gabel is now Laura Jane Grace, and you would think being the first major-label-mainstream rock star to come out as transgender would give you a shit ton to write about/be fucking pissed off about. The first few tracks of Transgender Blues Dysphoria definitely reflect this, but by the third or fourth track in, everything just ends up sounding like the same soulless, generic pop-punk that they’ve been cranking out in recent years. Unfortunate considering the potential of what this album could’ve been in terms of pure perspective, but what’re you gonna do.

overall rating: schmeh.

Beck - Morning Phase
Yeah, when I saw Beck was putting out an album for the first time in like 6 years, I definitely wasn’t expecting something like Morning Phase. A slow, sad, acousticy folky indie album? What? Where’s the weird-as-shit instrumentation? Where’s the ingeniously nonsensical lyric action? I mean, I guess it’s pretty and stuff, but even from a completely objective standpoint it’s not all that interesting. So weird.
overall rating: schmeh.

Beck - Morning Phase

Yeah, when I saw Beck was putting out an album for the first time in like 6 years, I definitely wasn’t expecting something like Morning Phase. A slow, sad, acousticy folky indie album? What? Where’s the weird-as-shit instrumentation? Where’s the ingeniously nonsensical lyric action? I mean, I guess it’s pretty and stuff, but even from a completely objective standpoint it’s not all that interesting. So weird.

overall rating: schmeh.