Artist: Thee Oh Sees
Album: Putrifiers II
Rec’d Tracks: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8
Comments: The Thee Oh Sees continue their ever evolving but consistent streak of record making, Putrifiiers being their third album in two years. A career that spans 13 years now, you’d think a ‘sound’ could become monotonous or fade in quality. Fortunately Thee Oh Sees continue to infuse blues, fuzz, and instrumentation that really takes a genre like garage rock and give it a facelift without losing its core elemental puppet strings. Each track here, experiments without letting the album feel disjointed. Violins and organs come and go throughout for a really interesting fresh listen that reminds you that garages can hold more than just cars and guitars.
Genre: Garage Rock
Artist: Matthew Dear
Rec’d Tracks: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11
Comments: Beams cumulates sounds of David Bryne and Joy Division bass lines with club’ish electronics. Over his vast career, Dear has become more and more personal over each successive release. Being viewed as a DJ turned electronic introspective, this record really turns on the light in his basement of murky masochism. As a critic, with absolutely no experience as a therapist, I would say Dear has made a breakthrough. Dripping with 80’s post-punk feels, Beams is now just referencing them instead of fully living those influences.
Genre: Electronic Post-Punk
Artist: Grizzly Bear
Rec’d Tracks: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10
Comments: Lush harmonies and intricate pristine production has always been Grizzly Bear’s best strengths and this new release, is no different. After their last critically acclaimed album Veckatimest, the bar is set extremely high, and Grizzly Bear has obviously no problem pleasing and adapting a sound sonically different but also very true to their overall character. Attention to absolutely every measure of music has always allowed Grizzly Bear’s albums to take on multiple shapes and soundscapes with every repeated listen. A true headphone record with beautiful twists and turns on every track.
Genre: Indie Rock
Album: In Limbo
Rec’d Tracks: 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11
Comments: Entrancing vocals and repetitive snyths drive these light-hearted gems. Nostalgia-esque dream pop can sometimes be viewed as lazy or sonically not engaging, but here TEEN manages to craft a disc full of 11 separate ideas while each one could stand on its own, single-wise. While this doesn’t make for an album that stands as a cohesive unit overall, it does show the beginnings of where this young collective can go from here. An honest effort for a debut with high standards produced by just ‘friends’ venting out some ideas.
Genre: Dream Pop