On the Record

Lost in the Dream with War on Drugs

The third album from Philadelphia band War On Drugs finds main man Andy Granduciel filling his hazy, melodic sound with scattered layers, long tones, and phantom drum machines, delivering a record that could soundtrack any ...

Mess by Liars

Like most Liars’ music, Mess is anxiety-ridden, dissonant, frantic. The seventh album is their third to be made in Los Angeles since leaving Brooklyn. With the change in location comes a change in sound: the ...

Atlas by Real Estate

The instant “Had to Hear” begins, you welcome back the awaited jangle of Real Estate. The indie-pop band of the moment knows exactly what you expect of them and their third LP delivers. So much ...

Jon Pardi's Write You a Song

It’s refreshing to see a young country artist write his own songs and wear a Stetson straw cowboy hat. With modern country singers opting for trucker hats and V-necks, sometimes a tight pair of Wranglers ...

William Shatner's Ponder the Mystery

Let’s assume he’s serious. Simplifies matters. And unlike his previous, Seeking Major Tom, this one has no well-known originals to brain-sprain yourself over. He’s by turns polemic, stumbling, provocative, gravely. You need his grit, too, ...

Mogwai's Rave Tapes

What happens when a notable ’90s post-rock band gets in a head-on collision with a pile of synthesizers, you ask? The album Rave Tapes, by Scottish mainstays Mogwai. The first release by the group since ...

Sun Kil Moon's Benji

Recording as Sun Kil Moon, Mark Kozelek’s new album, Benji, walks a fine line between tear-jerk confessionals and R. Kelly–style stream-of-consciousness stories. The everyday recollections of “Ben’s My Friend” feel kind of like Kozelek’s own ...

Tacocat's NVM

Never heard Tacocat before. First impressions of “Bridge to Hawaii”: (1) I’m getting impatient with the song’s two resounding opening guitar chords, cringing at the prospect of overdramatized, underwritten music...is there going to be a ...

Carla Bley's Trios

Pianist/composer Carla Bley, 77 years old now, knows outrage and energy; her early masterwork Escalator Over the Hill ends with repetition infinite — or at least, until the needle punches through the lock groove at ...

Broken Bells' After the Disco

Wondertwins James Mercer (the Shins) and Danger Mouse (recent producer of every band in the universe) have once again transformed into Broken Bells to deliver full-length number two to their eager listeners. Unfortunately, this one ...

The River & the Thread, by Rosanne Cash

This is Rosanne Cash's first collection of original material in eight years. The daughter of country-music royalty, Cash is done writing songs about her rebellious youth and her traumatic marriage to Rodney Crowell. Although she ...

Wig Out at Jagbags, by Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

California native Stephen Malkmus has added a deep-cut notch to his indie-rock belt with the release of Wig Out at Jagbags. Jagbags is SM’s sixth release with the Jicks and it reveals a certain comfort ...

Beady Eye's BE

Hopefully Liam Gallagher wasn't serious when he claimed Beady Eye would be "bigger than Oasis." He must realize he’s pissing in the wind with that one. While their debut album was a decent collection of ...

Harsh Toke's Light Up and Live

San Diego’s own, here, live for the fumes. They live for each new spume. Imagine that perpetually smoking RV from Breaking Bad and substitute some stinky green, which at least won’t kill you quite so ...

M.I.A.'s Matangi

M.I.A. has once again delivered an engrossing platter of ear candy with her latest effort Matangi. From the opening of “Karmageddon” through the closing track “Sexodus,” M.I.A. brings the listener along as she dominates the ...

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