Music Reviews

CTZNSHP - All Things To The Sea

All Things To The Sea, the sophomore album by Montreal's CTZNSHP, is chock-full of large sounding, arena-filling music. When discussing the scale of sound, the word "big" can feel like an understatement. The LP is produced by Jace Lasek, who has also worked with Wolf Parade, Young Galaxy, and Besnard Lakes. The album resonates with new wave and post punk sounds and aesthetics, the likes of which will have you hearing the influences of The Smiths and Joy Division.


Nanimal - Presentation

Summer, where are you? Nanimal, a Montreal-based band releasing their debut full-length Presentation, seem to have an idea. It's a follow-up to their previous release, Karma Kamikaze EP, which was recorded at Montreal's finest radio station, CJLO (heard of it?). Nanimal make music you listen to with the windows open and your mind adrift.
 


Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Interscope / Aftermath / Top Dawg 2015

Feel so good inside myself Don't want to move
Feel so good inside myself Don't need to move
As I grow up I'm growing down. And when I'm lost,
I know I will be found.

--Sly and the Family Stone, There's a Riot Goin' On


Hellenica - Blood Moon Wolf Head

The release of Blood Moon Wolf Head by Jim Demos, under his Hellenica moniker, coincided with el Dia de los Muertos - the day of the dead. According to Demos, the album is meant as an offering to the deceased. A preliminary reading about this holiday finds that it's meant to allow friends and family to congregate together, to remember those who have died, and to offer the deceased support through their spiritual journey back to earth. What kind of spiritual support to the dead is this album, an album described by Demos as the celebration of improvisation and composition?


Mad Parish - Procession

Self-Released 2014

Right from the very first notes of the opening song "Darkness Befalls This Cursed Land", you know you're in for a trip down metal lane. The classic fade in sets you up for the righteous metal saga that Procession so eloquently weaves from beginning to end.

I really dig the way that no riff sounds rushed. The spacing accomplished in these arrangements are brilliantly suited for Josh McConnell's classically-highish metal vocals. I quite like when and where you can find the vocals in the midst of all of these tasty hooks.


Fleece - Scavenger

Self released, 2015

Full disclosure: Matthew Rogers, vocalist and keyboardist for Fleece, is a current DJ at CJLO. The album was recorded at CJLO's "The Oven" studio by our Production Director Patrick McDowell. So, as Omar our head music director so rightly put it "this is a family affair".


Viet Cong - Viet Cong

Viet Cong is the self-titled debut by this foursome from Calgary. This album is the follow up to last year's Cassette EP, and it's chalked full of sonic whines, hums and murmurs all set in a kind of impending doom-like atmosphere. The album often seems to musically wrestle between pessimism and optimism; a sense of doom often interrupted by bursts of hope.


Hound - Out Of Time

SRA 2014

The debut album by Philly rockers Hound allows each of us to scratch our rock itch, to indulge in an album that is relentless rock 'n' roll. Out Of Time consists of ten tracks, six of which are under three minutes in length. At less than twenty-eight minutes, this album doesn't allow for any superfluous bells or whistles, there's rockin' to be done.


Eagle Tears

Self-released, July 2014

If I try to describe the debut album from Eagle Tears, I think of times when music actually held some technical clout. I think the '70s. There's a total '70s metal and hard rock vibe, but to stop there would be too easy. I'll have to get to that in my summation, it'll come.
 


Caribou - Our Love

Our Love is Dan Snaith's fourth LP, and first in four years, under his Caribou moniker. Throughout the 10 tracks of the album, Snaith creates a rich tapestry of sounds that have a warmth and richness to them that envelops the listener at each turn. It's always quite amazing to find artists who can take the seemingly cold and calculating (computers, software programs, electronic equipment, and so on) and manipulate them to ultimately achieve a sound that offers a kind of 21st Century campfire warmth.


Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 2

Mass Appeal Records, 2014

It's a tense time in the world. We are constantly inundated and bombarded by selected news and pop culture controversies with the lines between the two becoming more blurred. It's increasingly hard to tell what's important or to discern when real news descends into just another form of entertainment for those who live to be outraged. Surely, there must be a saviour somewhere in the midst of this chaos, waiting to save us from this madness?
 


Ariel Pink - Pom Pom

"I genuinely worry for anyone who can sincerely enjoy this record" -My roommate, on Ariel Pink's latest endeavour

Oh boy, where to begin? Can a record be great and terrible, enjoyable and infuriating, really smart and incredibly stupid, all at the same time? If this was the goal of Ariel Pink's latest record Pom Pom, then good lord, has he ever succeeded.


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