Test Icicles - For Screening Purposes Only: A catchier and more accessible, but equally as screamy, version of the Blood Brothers.
Stream clips from the entire album Media -> Audio Purchase for $9.79 (Pre-order, will be released in January)
Supermachiner - Rise Of The Great Machine: All of the ingredients are there to make a really good post-rock/avant gardcore record, but it just misses, because it lacks some of the grandiocity and intensity present in other bands of the same sound. Still, it's worth a listen if you're a fan of post-rock and/or Converge.
Download Bitter Cold Purchase for $9.28
Sun Kil Moon - Tiny Cities: If I didn't know beforehand that it was a collection of Modest Mouse covers, I still wouldn't know. If you're a fan of Sun Kil Moon and know nothing of Modest Mouse, you'll like it. If you're a fan of Sun Kil Moon and of Modest Mouse, you might like it. If you know nothing of Sun Kil Moon but like Modest Mouse, you'll likely hate it. If you know nothing of either band, you need to read more mp3 blogs.
Download Ocean Breathes Salty (via Stereogum) Purchase for $12.17
Silver Jews - Tanglewood Numbers: I'm sorry, I found it hard to take seriously because I could not get the image of Sol Star singing out of my head.
Stream the video How Can I Love You If You Won't Lie Down (and try not picture Sol) Purchase for $11.38
XTC - Apple Bite: The 54-track boxed site is entitled Apple Box, so it's fitting that the sampler to promote the box is entitled Apple Bite. The weirdest thing, is how this sampler feels like an album, even with its two newly crafted songs. This being my first encounter with the band, what I can't figure out is how come they weren't bigger. Sure, every music fan has heard the name XTC, but it's taken me far too long to have heard one of their songs.
Download the brand new song, Spiral Stream a whole bunch of tracks from various releases Purchase for $31.24
Rogue Wave - Descended Like Vultures: It was a rainy Monday morning when I popped this disc in and it fit perfectly to the rain-soaked scenery all around me. I've yet to experience this disc elsewhere and without a droplet-filled windshield, so I'll reserve judgement, save to say its better than their last one.
Stream some tracks (the site doesn't tell you which ones, so even if I told you the names, you wouldn't know) Purchase for $10.26
The Libertines - The Libertines: A bit more mellow than their debut, but the obvious album briding Up The Bracket to Down in Albion.
Stream a bunch of tracks, including What Became of the Likely Lads Purchase for $11.25
The Libertines - Up The Bracket: After all of the hype, this is exactly what I was epecting. It even holds up to the hype. My favorite part about the album? The music is so loose, it could fall apart at any second, but so tight it may go on forever.
Stream a bunch of tracks, including the album-titled track from this disc (click on Jukebox) Purchase for $11.48
I Hate Myself - 3 Songs: Not quite as anthemic as their previous work, but still, as a fan I'm excited enough knowing they're putting out music again.
Download This Isn't the Tenka-Ichi-Budokai from their previously released 10 Songs Purchase the vinyl for $4.50
I got tired of the old site so I re-did it. Took me a minute to remember the CSS and XML coding, but I managed it somehow. The design comes from Open Source Web Design which I found out about from DJ. All that's left is fixing the logo to match, but my girlfriend Sara is having trouble with Extensis Suitcase and by definition her fonts, so that's going to have to wait. Let me know what you think.
Hard-Fi - Stars of C.C.T.V.: It's very 2005 in its new-wave meets punk meets pop meets quirky. As usual, there are better bands that do it and there are worse bands that do it, but judge for yourself.
Stream Tied Up Too Tight, Hard To Beat, Cash Machine and Middle Eastern Holiday (click on Audio) Purchase for $12.95
Depeche Mode - Playing The Angel: Without speaking to the albums in between, it's like the band hasn't lost a step between Violator and their new outing. Though Angel seems a bit more accessbile they are very similar albums sure to please fans of the band.
Stream video for Precious Purchase for 11.99
Babyshambles - Down in Albion: A little slower and a little more raggae-influenced than I was expecting. Seeing as this was my first Pete Doherty album, I'll say what's been said a thousand times (today), he's a terrific talent wasting away in the coma of dependency. We'll just call him Terrell.
Stream clips from the entire album Purchase for $15.99
Akron Family - Akron Family: It was just kind of boring. I know that there are going to be people out there that like it, and I like my fair share of lo-fi, but this just slowly trods along.
Stream Small Shape, Shake Collage and Deep Kazoo Purchase for $10.99
Aberdeen City - The Freezing Atlantic/Sixty Lives EP: Kinda boring, but decent. It tries to be a dark, atmospheric pop album, but falls just short of having either enough atmosphere or proper atmosphere.
Download In Combat Purchase The Freezing Atlantic for $8.50
3 - Wake Pig: The lead singer, Joey Eppard, is the brother to Coheed and Cambria's Josh Eppard. 3 even sounds a little like Coheed, but with more prog, less metal and not as catchy. That's not to say that this is a bad thing. In fact, this album is better than Good Apollo... If you like Coheed, check these guys out. If you like prog check these guys out. If you like music, check these guys out, because they're really good.
Download Alien Angel Purchase original version for $6.19 Purchase re-release for $7.56
Natalie Rose Lebrecht - Imagining Weather: Some records are a chore to listen to. This is one of those records. Not to say it's bad, but you need to be in the mood for such and avant-garde performance art type of album.
Download Track 6 off her previous album It's not for sale anywhere that I can find. Keep checking her website for updates
Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary: Some of the songs are really good. Some of the songs are really boring. It has the potential to be a great, great album. Maybe it will grow on me, or maybe their next album will be better.
Stream Shine A Light and My Father's Son Purchase for $10.27
We Are Scientists - With Love And Squalor: It triest to fire on all cylinders and be a pop-punky-indie band, but it just doesn't succeed. The singer's voice takes some getting used to and the songs are rather repititious.
Stream The Great Escape, Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt and It's A Hit Purchase for $14.70 (it's only out in the UK)
Various - This Bird Has Flown: A 40th Anniversary Tribute to The Beatles' Rubber Soul: What would normally be a hit-and-miss affair of Beatles covers turns out to have far more hits than misses. There are, of course, misses, but not as many as you'd think. And I'd love for some of these artists to do an entire Beatles album (I'm looking at your Fiery Furnaces).
Stream clips from the entire album Stream Ben Harper's Michelle Stream Dar Williams' You Won't See Me Stream Sufjan Stevens' What Goes On Stream Ted Leo's I'm Looking Through You Purchase for $12.99
The Stone Roses - Ultimate Rarities: The Stone Roses is one of my top 10 albums of all time. Accordingly, they are almost the only band that can floor me with a collection of demos and practice sessions. If you're a big fan of their debut, you'll also enjoy it, but if you're only a casual fan don't waste the hard drive space.
The torrent is out there, but I couldn't find it Item not officially released (with no plans on doing so)
Renee Heartfelt - Death of a Ghost: Featuring memebers of Count Me Out, American Nightmare and Striking Distance, you were expecting another hardcore album? Perhaps even a really good one? What you get, instead, is not quite melodic enough to be Melodic Rock and not hard enough to be Hard Rock, but rather something in the mediocre middle.
Stream Gratitude For as well as a few non-album tracks Purchase for $9.78
Ramallah - Kill A Celebrity: Very metallic and very bitter. It's got a little melodic edge to it this time around in the vein of White Trash Rob's other band Sinner and Saints. The album runs a little long and the debut EP is better, but if you enjoy lyrics like "I'd love to detonate a car bomb/ at the doors of your precious MTV/ and put some serin gas/ in the central A/C/ at the the VMAs/ and watch those beautiful faces turn ashen grey"
Stream the video from The Horror And The Gag Download If I Die Today Purchase for $10.49
The Joggers - With a Cape and a Cane: Solid indie-rock record with post-punk influences abounding. It's catchy enough, in its own special way, that you'll need to listen a few times.
Stream We've Been Talk Down To and Era Prison Purchase for $10.49