Another Six Minutes…

I’m thinking of doing away with these intro paragraphs, I never know what to say. Anyway, here’s another six reviews that should take you about six minutes to read…

The Antlers – Hospice (self-released; 3/3)


Slow-burning anthems of melancholic regret weaved in and around a loose narrative of nurse falling in love with patient; the story line goes like this- lead Antler Peter Silberman moves to the big city, spends two whole years sequestered from society writing this album, losing touch with family and friends along the way only to emerge with this stellar offering of dolorous melodies and heartrending storytelling. Think Radiohead-meets-Bon Iver with an Arcade Fire fascination and you can begin to draw a line connecting The Antlers’ influences to one another. If you like pop songs structured around ambient textures and falsetto-styled vocalizations with anthemic aspirations, Hospice may be your favorite album of the year. 9/10

Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications (Rough Trade US; 5/19)


So the guy from Pulp is releasing another solo album. I say this with disdain because it seems whenever Morrissey‘s prowess is being discussed there’s always some little Jarvis sycophant that sticks his nose (and unwanted opinions) into the conversation. Look, Morrissey‘s a snarky, sad recluse who is ill at ease among his fellow humans and was the frontman for the greatest band of the last 30 years, while Jarvis Cocker is a gregarious, model-dating ladies man that could steal your girlfriend off your arm with his wit and charm and you’d thank him for doing so and gladly pay his cab fare. And that’s kind of why I’ve always disliked the man; he’s everything Mozza isn’t and he’s introduced into those conversations too often, so this is me knocking him down a peg. Similarly revered by Brits, Cocker is a glammy, sometimes scuzzy rocker; and Further Complications is a rock album in the tradition of lecherous middle-age man seeking early-20s model; think Bryan Ferry (that’s a more accurate comparison and I usually interject that to deflect from anyone challenging Moz‘s superiority; likewise Cocker is at his best on this record when he’s veering into Roxy territory). It’s a look at the mind of a recent divorcee that’s trying to reconnect with hip young ladies (Angela), meeting a woman at a museum (Leftovers) and casting off pretension (I Never Said I Was Deep)- an exploration into a mid-life crisis that’s both endearing and pathetic. 6/10

Terry Urban – Southerngold (Gold Coin; 6/1)


Thank god for the mixtape culture that’s pushing both hip-hop and mash-ups to the next level. This mixtape by Terry Urban and Gold Coin Clothing almost didn’t happen- he sent the mixes to Santigold who was like “this is awesome, put this out” but her label, Downtown Records, was all “hell no!” Ironically, they’re the label that signed Danger Mouse after he gained fame from his Grey Album thing (Jay-Z‘s Black Album mashed into The BeatlesWhite Album). Basically, Southerngold is all the top southern rappers over the backing tracks of Santigold‘s debut album; and everyone’s here: Ying Yang Twins, Andre 3000 (OutKast), Bun B (UGK), Slim Thug, Mike Jones, T-Pain, Lil’ Wayne, Rick Ross, Trick Daddy and Young Jeezy. It ain’t gonna win any awards and isn’t groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination, but it sure is fun. Download it for free here. 7/10

Pelican – Ephemeral [EP] (Southern Lord; 6/9)


I said “uh oh” when I saw that Pelican had made the leap from Hydra Head Records over to Southern Lord. From being on Isis‘ label and going to Sunn O)))‘s label; please, no collaborations! Okay, good- they left you alone, the hooded douches from Sunn O))) aren’t on this EP (thank Satan!) Anyway; Pelican does what Pelican does- which is blaze neatly meandering instrumental post-metal trails into the ether of the stratosphere, built on top of jet-like riffage, walloping basses and punchy drums. A cover of Earth‘s Geometry Of Murder (with the infamous Dylan Carlson) rounds out the three-song, 21-minute affair with brutal ardor. Pelican is set to release another full-length in late October titled What We All Come To Need and it has that dreaded Sunn O))) collaboration that I’m fearing. Oh well, there’s always this EP… 8/10

Future Of The Left – Travels With Myself And Another (4AD; 6/23)


I couldn’t stand Mclusky, so I was glad to seem them go the way of the dodo bird. So Future Of The Left, with two members of that Cardiff-based three piece have given us Travels With Myself And Another; it’ alternates between screamo shouting and cabaret call-and-response over Queens Of The Stone Age styled-wank. Great, it’s the British equivalent of “cock rock”. Except it’s all edgy and political. Oooh. I still do not like. Sharing a common thread with another band from that part of the world that I don’t “get” would be Northern Ireland’s Therapy?, FOTL is so ridiculously Anglocentric that I feel like I need to sit with a Brit slang dictionary with the Beeb on the telly so I can get their whole vibe down. But then the actual music underneath the Welsh-inflected is quite lousy, so I shant be giving this any further listens. 4/10

Discovery – LP (XL Recordings; 7/7)

discoveryThis wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to b… no- wait, there’s the auto-tuned vocals. Okay, well at least your indie cred can remain intact for a… no- let’s discard that as well. Wes Miles, frontman of Ra Ra Riot (not a fan, but apparently the rest of the music world has been eating the peanuts out of their poopy for about a minute) and Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend) basically made you a synth-pop album, inviting Dirty ProjectorsAngel Deeradorian and fellow Vampire Ezra Koenig along for the glitz-fest. Oh joy. They add nothing spectacular. What I’m about to say is going to be awfully sexist (probably) so if you’re easily offended, stop reading now. Still here? Okay, this kind of music is only remotely okay to make if you have a female singer because if you’re a man and you’re making this soft-ass treacle pop shit you’re basically a gigantic pussy. 3/10