This one comes from a BIRN alumnus, Jon O’Neal. If you listen to heavy metal and think, “yeah cool but it needs more video game references”, this is the album for you. There are no shortage of riffs and licks on this 4 song EP, which touches on everything from Mario Kart to the Atari game system.
Sunday night shows are an unpredictable beast, but far away from their homes in Texas, Loma and Jess Williamson brought their joyous best, and the crowd reciprocated. A two band bill of wildly different but similarly tempered groups was the perfect way to close out the weekend.
Jess Williamson has been primarily known for her work in the country-Americana-rock-singer-songwriter vein, but she showed her ability to reach beyond that realm Sunday night, playing exclusively material off her upcoming record, Cosmic Wink. Though the country flair was still present, the music incorporated synths and dance grooves that brought it into its own space. Jess was a captivating voice and presence to front the band, and her songs were full of life and character.
Conexão does what an EP is supposed to do. It hooked me right from the start, delivered four excellently catchy and groovy tracks, and left me wanting more. The production is simple and sparse, letting Amber Mark’s catchy and powerful vocals shine and highlighting the ingenious songwriting. This EP is about to introduce Amber Mark to the spotlight.
Daniel Blumberg – Minus (Singer Songwriter, Folk Rock, Post Rock, Kind of Noisy?)
You might know him from Yuck, but Daniel Blumberg’s excellent solo debut deconstructs music as he never done before. Though the album tends to move at its own slow pace through sparse arrangements and obtuse experimentation, the stand out feature is the songwriting. On my first listen, I hardly even noticed how weird the album was because I was so focused on the songs. Recorded by Peter Walsh (Scott Walker) in the London free jazz haven Cafe Oto, Minus is the perfect combination between emotive and inexplicable. Continue reading “Ruby’s Prime Slices of the Week (4/23-4/29): Daniel Blumberg, Half Waif”
If you like Dr. Dog, there is an almost certain chance you will like anything they put out. They are an incredibly consistent band. Critical Equation is their 10th full length record, as they approach their 20th year as a band, and it continues the pattern. The album gives listeners the Beatles-esque catchy pop songwriting that made Dr. Dog, but sees the band experimenting with structure and sound in a way that blends perfectly. They are unafraid to wear their influences on their sleeve, but they add so much original style that their music is its own wonderful entity.
Favorite Tracks: Listening In, Go Out Fighting, Virginia Please
KNASH – Lame– single (Silly Garage Rock)
Everyone likes to have a good time right? Swedish 6 piece garage-rock-trash-pop-punk writes this song as a “poke to lame people who ruin one’s life”. Though this genre is a bit played out in the states, these Swedes are doing it with such fervor and joy that it recalls what FIDLAR made us feel like our junior year high school.
I’m not going to lie to you loyal readers, this week was a rough week for music over here at the Berklee Internet Radio Network. There weren’t any albums sent in that struck me as deserving of a Prime Slice™ Designation, so I’m going to hit you with a few singles that made me happy.
Rock is pasé. Bands in the current musical climate tend to shy away from the descriptor and aesthetic. Hop Along embraces the normalcy of the “rock” sound without fear and present their incredible songwriting in a warm and familiar environment. The production on the record is full and crisp, with attention to every small details from the acoustic guitar to the lush string arrangements. Bark Your Head Off, Dog is sonically familiar but their strong writing and Francis Quinlan’s unique artistic and actual voice carry it to special and specific places. Continue reading “Ruby’s Prime Slices of the Week (4/2-4/8): Hop Along, Dr. Octagon”
Amen Dunes – Freedom (Indie Rock, Alt Folk, Whatever)
Amen Dunes’s fifth album is naturalistically weird. If put at a low volume in an upscale casual restaurant or a mellow party it would not strike anybody as bizarre, but when you hone in on the details of the music everything has a strange and unique timbre. Everything sits at a gentle volume and intensity and Damon McMahon’s inflected voice and fast tremolo vibrato cut through everything to deliver songs both catchy and esoteric. Freedom is both easily enjoyable and dense enough to accumulate more and more worth with every listen. Continue reading “Ruby’s Prime Slices of the Week (3/25-4/1): Amen Dunes, Soft as Snow”
Joan As Police Woman – Damned Devotion (R&B, Singer Songwriter)
Lou Reed and Elton John collaborator, Joan Wasser, returns with her Joan As Police Woman project to deliver an excellent album that sounds both current and referential. Damned Devotion feels as though it has always existed. Wasser’s songwriting and arrangements are front and center and accented by the warm and clear production.
Favorite Songs: Wonderful, Warning Bell, The Silence