Monthly Archives: May 2013

Mikal Cronin – MCII

Gone is the sound of raw bedroom recordings for Mikal Cronin. On MCII, he slips into a sound not far from Americana. Of course, across the whole album he can be picked apart as being a man of many influences and that is his downfall; a slight absence of originality.

The buzzing guitars remain and The Beach Boys’ sense of melody hinted at on his debut is carried over straight away into ‘Weight’. With better production comes the satisfying sound of things clicking into place for a clearly talented young man (you might have heard of his friend Ty Segall?). ‘Shout It Out’ has the indie feel of a Darwin Deez track but he goes one better by adding a surf guitar solo.

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She & Him – Volume 3

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that Zooey Deschanel was the newcomer, wowing film audiences. Her musical side-project, She & Him, with alt-folk master M. Ward, has never been taken that seriously. Now she is a powerhouse and you ought to be paying attention to Volume 3 as well. Of course, leading something of a pixie-girl revolution means there are a lot of twee moments on this album, and you can imagine some bright-eyed swaying going on. Waiting by the phone, crying into pillows and collecting four-leaf clovers is going to make most people’s stomachs turn.

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The Physics House Band – Horizon/Rapture

Sounding like a punch up in a video game arcade, The Physics House Band have no need for words or lyrics. With Horizon/Rapture, they burst onto the instrumental scene covering all kinds of ground with breakneck speed and precision.

Opener ‘ObeliskMonolith’ sounds like it will muddle through as a jam, with a rapping of the snare and warbling feedback. What it actually matures into is powerful head-banger. The mixture of synth with intricate guitar and explorative drumming is akin to that of The Mars Volta on their debut. ‘Abraxical Solapse’ eerily continues that trend, showing off just how tightly this band can play. The interplay between them suggests skills beyond their years.

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