Category Archives: Album Reviews

Singing about love without bullshit: The Father John Misty Story

The Hound gives this album 5 out of 5 stars

Father John Misty has presented 45 minutes of music that takes an outlook on love so original listeners will be weeping tears of bliss, heartbreak, sadness and laughter all throughout each second.

After reigning as drummer/godlike harmonizer in indie-folk group Fleet Foxes and releasing multiple solo albums under his real name Josh Tillman, the moniker of Father John Misty was created. The character evolved into the Jim Morrison-meets-modern day cynic/lady swooner that released the critically acclaimed psychedelic-folk Fear Fun (2012) and amazed audiences with his semi-deranged onstage banter and the mind-blowing delight his voice can bring.

With his most recent output I Love You, Honeybear, Tillman takes storytelling alongside a delicate acoustic guitar and a beautiful, Laurel Canyon-esque production to a place of raw honesty and truer-than-true romantic confession. Labeled by Tillman as a concept album “about Josh Tillman,” nearly every song’s lyrical content has a strong influence of the artist’s recent marriage to photographer Emma Elizabeth Tillman.

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Run the Jewels present furious sophomore effort

The Hound gives this album 4 out of 5 stars

For most masters of independent music, if major success is ever to come, it’s probably not coming when the musician is on the cusp of turning 40. Both Killer Mike, 39, and El-P, also 39, have broken barriers for middle-aged hip-hopsters, as the two enjoy immediate critical acclaim for their second album together, Run the Jewels 2.

With a rich history that involves creating labels, living the lavish celebrity lifestyle, ending labels, rapping on Outkast songs and more, you could say Killer Mike and El-P have lived unconventional musical lives. Killer Mike was a major element to the ‘90s underground hip-hop scene in the South, specifically his home base Atlanta, Georgia. Despite his role in the growing popularity of gritty, politically fused Southern rap, Mike never achieved the sensational celebrity achieved by his fellow Atliens (if you don’t realize that’s an Outkast reference, don’t bother reading on).

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Bass Drum of Death drop sizzling batch of party punk

The Hound gives this album 3.5 out of 5 stars

Bass Drum of Death is a group that would shotgun a beer on stage seconds before plowing into one of their many destructively catchy, wild songs. Like their peers that fall under the umbrella of different punk-influenced music, such as Ty Segall and FIDLAR, BDoD have generated a reputation for unreasonably sweaty shows that present a chaotic yet coherent batch of blues-tinged garage rock.

Formally the solo project of guitarist and singer John Barrett, the band evolved from Barrett writing and recording all the material while touring with a revolving lineup of hired hands to him and drummer Len Clark making music together. Both GB City (2011) and Bass Drum of Death (2013) were well-received within the underground garage rock community, and extensive touring led to the group gaining a reputation for performing their party-hardy garage rock louder and faster than most other groups within the sub-genre.

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Flying Lotus swings free jazz into an electronic underworld with newest record

The Hound gives this album 4 out of 5 stars

In a musical world filled to the brim with ambiguous sub-genres and off brand sounds, it isn’t everyday that an artist is able to melt together three completely different genres and weld the final product into something completely original. Steven Ellison, otherwise known as the multi-instrumentalist and producer of Flying Lotus, has molded a craft that is both adventurous and tantalizing—but most importantly, completely different.

The West coast based musician has a sound that sways from relaxing to groovy to so fast and furious you may think you’re having an aneurysm half-way through a song. A delicious concoction of nearly every form of jazz, electronica and hip-hop, FlyLo’s sound is unlike any other artist (it should be mentioned Ellison comes from a line of innovative musicians: his aunt and uncle were jazz greats Alice and John Coltrane).

With his fifth release, You’re Dead! (Warp Records), the artist continues to push boundaries—thematically and musically—with a record about the afterlife that offers hard-bop jazz, sharing space with heavy, chaotic hip-hop beats.

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…And Star Power yields most experimentation for Foxygen yet

The Hound gives this album 3.5 out of 5 stars

I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’m a fan of challenging music.

Something that takes a few listens to get into is one thing, but something that takes a few listens to even decipher what could possibly be going on (or wrong) in the musicians brain is another. I’m not proclaiming every seemingly “complex” record to be a hidden masterpiece because of its “deep take on the deepness of being deep.” But I am saying that if you put your noggin it, taking in a strange and exciting album can be a rewarding task.

This was my feeling towards psychedelic duo Foxygen’s latest album/rock opera/whirlwind of jams oozing with weirdness, …And Star Power. After bursting onto the Pitchfork scene of indie-lovers with 2013’s deliciously retro-rock We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic (Jagjaguwar), seductively wild lead singer Sam France and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Rado brought their ‘60s style left-of-the-dial, obscure pop to audiences, moving from opening for fellow experimental-pop troupe Of Montreal to becoming the most talked about set from 2013’s Pitchfork Music Festival.

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Some Love For Twin Peaks

Time to spit a little ramble about the Chicago-bred butter punk outfit twin peaks, prepare yourself kids.

Our story begins in the naive, formative years of my 2nd and 3rd year in high school, when i first became aware
of the pizza punk band Twin Peaks. I refer to these times as naive due to how i convinced myself that Twin Peaks were nothing more than a supporting act for the Orwells..                                                          How dastardly wrong i was… Continue reading Some Love For Twin Peaks

Benjamin Booker channels early rock influences on fantastic debut

The Hound gives this album 4 out of 5 stars

Benjamin Booker is launching a new landscape for modern rock music.

The only issue with this “new” and refreshing sound is it’s not new at all. It’s the old sound he’s worshipped his whole life; the James Brown funk lines, the Chuck Berry guitar hooks, the raspy growl of Tom Waits, the punk-fueled aggression of the Love Club. However, Booker establishes himself as a truly original act with the construction of all these influences, melted down and brandished into his own garage-rock wonder.

With his debut album, Booker, 25, presents the boogie-woogie backdrop of ‘50s rockabilly against a raucously destructive garage rock sound perfected by the likes of Georgia flower punks Black Lips and our generation’s guitar titan Jack White (who Booker opened for on White’s Lazaretto tour this summer before even publicly releasing any material).

With a voice that invokes a 60-something blues player after years of chain smoking under his belt, Booker is branched in New Orleans after relocating from Florida, is something new and fresh. He’s been officially active in the music industry for two years, yet his debut album, self-titled as Benjamin Booker(ATO Records) and released in late August, is something of a whirlwind blast from the past being hailed by both critics and musicians alike.

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