REVIEW: Various Artists – “The Co-Op Communique Vol. 3”

Music writers are lucky bastards. As a form of payment for their poetry, they get a stream, an everlasting stream, of free music. It’s a pretty good deal if you can score it. Well, to be blunt, the epic compilation series The Co-Op Communique makes YOU the music writer. The third installment in the annual…

REVIEW: Edmondson – “Strange Durations”

The Gainesville, Florida-based brothers behind the duo Edmondson make an engaging sort of vaguely orchestral piano pop on the record Strange Durations, out now via Bandcamp and on Elestial Sound. But, while their intimate vocals have a dreamy but carefully syncopated, Pet Sounds-on-methadone sort of quality to them, efforts for their lyrics to imbue any…

REVIEW: Chicken & The Chick Flicks – “Too Bad About The Sun”

Chicken and The Chick Flicks’ Too Bad About The Sun, out now on Shinkoyo, is exhilarating for reasons that most records simply aren’t. A microtonal-poetry reading for a demented albeit low-key dream, the record pairs Thax Douglas – he of the live concert reading; check the resume here – with Skeletons b(r)and leader Matt Mehlan,…

REVIEW: Demen – “Nektyr”

The opening track – fragile and damaged, haunted and haunting – is so, so, so good, all lulling, breathy vocals, skittering drums and imprecise synth sounds. But Nektyr, Demen’s debut on Kranky, out Friday, is pretty much downhill from there. It isn’t that the music oblique that songwriter Irma Orm conjures is flawed. Sometimes, the…

REVIEW: Heron – “You Are Here Now”

To hear some good reverb-drenched post-rock on the radio dial or the event horizon, you can do a heck of a lot worse than Heron, the Pennsylvania quartet that made its debut recently with the engaging and shimmering full-length You Are Here Now. On the record, which they self-released, the band situates itself comfortably near…

REVIEW: The Afghan Whigs – “In Spades”

In Spades, the Afghan Whigs’ sequel to 2014’s Do To The Beast LP, is, as Whigs’ outings go, a pretty colorful and ambitious affair. Out Friday on vinyl and digital formats via Sub Pop Records, the album – the group’s second since it thankfully ended a 16-year-hiatus with Beast – shakes the rafters at points…

REVIEW: The Kraken Quartet – “Separate | Migrate”

Conventional time signatures, beware the Kraken! Polyrhythms rule the roost on Separate | Migrate, the new record from Austin’s The Kraken Quartet, self-released by the band this Friday. On songs like “Ox,” that’s a real blessing – the way marimba or vibes jigger and jaunt through a crescendo of sound before landing on their feet…

REVIEW: R. Ring – “Ignite The Rest”

You can tell right from the get-go, from the very first shot right out of the gate, that this thing is going to be pretty damned good. Kicking off in fine form with the single “Cutter,” an infective blast of surging guitars and smoky vocals, Ignite The Rest, the full-length debut from Ohio supergroup R….

REVIEW: Dw. Dunphy – “Your Saturday Sins” 7-Inch

It begins, as Dw. Dunphy’s finest work does, with the voice and the voice alone, this one sweetly multi-tracked into an infinite background. “And when it’s all laid out and you wonder what it’s all about / And when it’s all played through you start to question what’s wrong with you / When the music…

REVIEW: Zu – “Jhator”

It’s hard to imagine that the group behind these two pensive, funereal epics, out now on House of Mythology, is the same one that released Cortar Todo, a kaleidoscopic mélange of thudding post-metal, just two years ago. But such is the case with Zu, which has been upending expectations and rewriting formulas for the better…

REVIEW: Those Who Walk Away – “The Infected Mass”

Talk about a great idea for a ambient recording – just not quite fully realized. Those Who Walk Away’s debut, The Infected Mass, available now on Constellation, is the product of Winnipeg-based composer Matthew Patton. On the record, Patton, who lost his brother in a plane crash, seeks to compose a high-art brand of minimalist…

REVIEW: Anjou – “Epithymia”

It’s tough to pin down and make any kind of broad-stroke judgments about Epithymia, the second LP by ambient power duo Anjou. I’m using the term “power” duo, of course, lightly – maybe even with a trace of sarcasm – as there’s very little thrust or vim and vigor to the new record, out a…