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Acetone – 1992-2001

Maybe it was all the pot I smoked back then, but Southern California in the mid-1990s sure seems idyllic in retrospect. Rent was still fairly cheap, and the biggest bother for music fans was wading through the glut of major-label product in the wake of Nirvana. This was the setting in which most of us […]

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metal melée: Elder, Briqueville, Sunrot

The days are getting shorter, the leaves are falling, the amplifiers are cranking to 11… It’s ROCKTOBER, everybody! To commemorate this merry month of rock, here’s a round-up of excellent new metal releases. Elder – Reflections Of A Floating World Elder formed a decade ago to create heavy metal music themed specifically to the legend […]

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Protomartyr – “A Private Understanding”

Here, then, is how Protomartyr makes utterly unique music today from a guitar-bass-drum format. A crazed, mechanical rhythm beats out like a possessed 3-D printer, ushering in tense, disquieting chords. The distinctive vocals of Joe Casey — not so much a singer as mutterer, ranter, unwilling prophet — make reference to Greek philosopher Heraclitus and […]

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Wand – “Plum”

If Sound It Out could adopt a “house band,” I’m pretty sure we’d choose WAND. We’ve been writing about these psychedelic warriors since… huh, did they really release three albums in the span of one year, between 2014-15?! Following frontman Cory Hanson’s solo album last year and then a silent spell (relative to them – […]

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Flesh World – “Into The Shroud”

Flesh World provide the answer to a question that, honest to god, I ask from time to time: Can I get 80s goth-punk supergroup Lords of the New Church but without all that toxic sexism and clichéd punk sneer? “Into the Shroud,” the title track of Flesh World’s new album, shows the California band dwelling […]

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Midnight Sister – “Blue Cigar”

The cinematic EZ listening music of Midnight Sister presents a sound that we may have heard before, but which teases and pleases the ear nonetheless. Through their deceptively simple sound, the duo of Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian channel an encyclopedic pop songbook and, in their promo videos, a distinct eye for glamour. On “Blue […]

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Nadine Shah – “Holiday Destination”

Finally, pop music that rises to the call of our extraordinary global moment. On “Holiday Destination,” Nadine Shah decries the migrant crisis on Europe’s Mediterranean shores and the blind eye turned by first-world tourists. The song is both hypnotic and jarring, its supple groove punctuated by a discordant riff and Shah’s refrain, “How you gonna […]

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Ghostpoet – Dark Days + Canapés

Here to put a calligraphed exclamation point on our surreal political present, Britain’s Ghostpoet releases a new album this week. Dark Days + Canapés finds Obaro Ejimiwe — more of a spoken word artist than traditional singer — dropping pensive meditations in his distinctively droopy drawl over anxious, rubbery rhythms. Though his lyrics often aim […]

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Kelley Stoltz – “Same Pattern”

Maybe Glen Campbell’s passing still has me shaken, but I’m grateful these days for albums that refuse to lean on passing trends or zeitgeist neuroses. This week, Kelley Stoltz delivers such goods with his new album, Que Aura. The first single “Same Pattern” demonstrates his skill at wrapping a synthesizer around a simple melody, but […]

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