On the Record

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Bad Suns return with Disappear Here

L.A. pop-rock band's sophomore record no slumper

Some bands have the talent, drive, and luck to build a fan base and media presence early in their careers. Such is the case with Bad Suns. Formed in Los Angeles in 2012, the four-piece ...

Nick Cave's latest a gothic ode from a father to a son

Skeleton Tree recalls the sparse beauty of 1997's Boatman's Call

Sometimes the most beautiful of art is created under the most tragic of circumstances. Such is the case with Nick Cave and his latest album with the Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree. During the recording of ...

Out of the Redwoods, into the Midnight Pine

New self-titled record shows growth for the dark-Americana artists

The local Redwoods music collective merges the creative energy of the Elephant Six movement with the hired-gun musicianship of the Wrecking Crew. All the Redwoods projects, however, are anchored by the words of percussionist/lyrical scribe ...

Sluka releases his Introversions

San Diego's "gothic cavalier" finds his bright side, sort of

Christopher Sluka, a San Diego resident and a singer/songwriter/musician most commonly cast as a goth rocker, has released an album, Introversions, that seems to be an effort to expand his horizons beyond a half-melodic philosophy ...

The unpredictable Mild High Club

This year's Skiptracing is groovy psychedelia, with an indie sound that is soulful yet silly.

Skiptracing is a whiff of clear ’60s air, breathed out by Mild High Club. Their style is groovy psychedelia, with an indie sound that is soulful yet silly. The title and opening track peals with ...

Half-hour of free Descendents therapy

After 12 long years, SoCal punks return with Hypercaffium Spazzinate

The first Descendents album since 2004’s Cool to Be You blasts out of the gates with a pristine five-song run of classic ‘Dents goodness. The cream of the crop is “Victim of Me,” an 97-second ...

The London Suede's aquatic Night Thoughts

Contractions and negatives in song titles — “Don’t Know,” “Can’t Give,” “What I’m Trying” — convey the anguish

We won’t have the new Meat Loaf until the kids go back to school this September, so lucky for us the Suede decided to carry on in the face of lineup changes and, dare I ...

Once in a Blue Moon no soothing tonic

Robert Nix's latest adds muscle-tone to art-rock

Robert Nix is a Canadian composer and multi-instrumentalist whose recent album, Once in a Blue Moon, highlights a man adding muscle-tone to the business of art-rock. Acquainted with absurdity and valuing the artist impulse to ...

Com Truise's sci-fi saga continues

With Silicon Tare, the electronic artist brings the space traveler to an intriguing place

Com Truise is the electronic project of Seth Haley, a former DJ who employs an arsenal of synth patches and drum machines to create a heady mix of ’80s-inspired sci-fi music. By pitch-bending and layering ...

Chili Peppers' Getaway doesn't get too far

SoCal funk-rock act stays in its safe zone but gets high marks for revitalized production

Following the commercial high-water mark of Red Hot Chili Peppers' By the Way, it's been a decade plus of funk-rock mediocrity from an aging band with a formulaic sound. The average listener's impression of the ...

Claypool + Lennon = Delirium

Monolith of Phobos builds on '70s psychedelia

The quirky darkness off Les Claypool (Primus) blended with the experimental flair of Sean Lennon creates the mind-altering experience of the Claypool Lennon Delirium — it sounds as if the Beatles and Pink Floyd had ...

Unreleased master — Herbie Mann at the Whisky, 1969

Pop songs become springboards. Into the air, a double-flip, then deep down.

Coltrane was dead. And flautist Herbie Mann's band didn't boast the jaw-dropping hive mind of Miles Davis’s Second Great Quintet. What Mann had was a splendid band of creative misfits. Among others: incendiary guitarist Sonny ...

Impossible Kid worth the wait

Aesop Rock's latest parallels an old-school rap record

The Impossible Kid hits harder than any other Aesop Rock record. The rapper adds to his vocabulary palate with the usual flow of intelligent well-executed rhymes, blowing any mainstream rapper out of the water. None ...

Nanana — Chica Diabla do what they want

Local punk'd-rock quartet drops a dilly of a debut

Have you spent years lamenting the fact that this city doesn’t have a worthy Joan Jett/Runaways/Donnas-style female-fronted rock-and-roll juggernaut to call our very own? Well, lament no more. Chica Diabla has arrived and they have ...

Bryan Deister — jack of all trades, master of none

Art-rock hopeful's sprawling Spines of the Heart reviewed

Publicity materials for Bryan Deister assert that he's a student at Berklee School of Music and that he has extensive experience in studying and performing music of all sorts, be it classical, jazz, straight-ahead rock, ...

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