Posts Tagged ‘Merge Records’

2011 Thus Far In Rock

February 5, 2011

Overall assessment: This year is getting off to a slower start than last year. In 2010, we already had a classic by January (Owen Pallett’s Heartland), and I don’t see anything of that caliber as we near the middle of February. Still, there’s a good number of new records worth checking out, amongst them a pretty good representation of the sweet crop of budding new songwriters abound.

Merge Records

Apex ManorThe Year of Magical Drinking

Merge is certainly on a roll so far in 2011 – they have already put out one of the year’s most acclaimed albums (Destroyer’s Kaputt, which is pretty good, I guess, if you like Destroyer), and this Apex Manor record has become very well-played on my iPod’s 2011 playlist. (more…)

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Joint Review: Superchunk “Majesty Shredding” and The Posies “Blood/Candy”

November 11, 2010

Merge 2010

So far, 2010 has been a pretty stellar year for rock and roll. It started off a little hairy, with slews of cover albums and a tapering off of 2009’s polished mediocrity. But in its wake, 2010 should be remembered as the year of the comebacks that mattered. In recent years, it seems every band from Dinosaur Jr to Mission of Burma to Superdrag to Killing Joke has reunited to give things another go-round, and in most cases, the resulting new albums are a little underwhelming.

Rykodisc 2010

Fortunately, some people still understand what a comeback is supposed to mean. Ideally, a comeback should come from a band that has been around for a long time and seen a hiatus. But, it’s only a truly successful comeback album if the record is as good as or better than anything previously released in the band’s discography. Judging from these parameters, it seems that two of my favorite bands from back in my high school days—Superchunk and The Posies—have released the best comeback albums of the last decade. (more…)

Arcade Fire Poised for Great Takeover—Long Live Rock!

August 3, 2010

Merge 2010

Canada’s Arcade Fire—one of the world’s most beloved modern rock bands—put out their new album “The Suburbs” today on Merge Records. After a few strategically released mp3 downloads to stir the pot a bit, the band’s third album—the follow-up to two of the most talked –about releases of last decade—should be able to accomplish what “Neon Bible” just missed, and debut comfortably at no. 1 on the Billboard 200. (more…)

New Music Monday: Caribou “Swim”

April 19, 2010

Merge 2010

Normally, I’m a pretty anti-techno guy. As someone who was weaned on 60’s thru 90’s rock, I have a very low tolerance for music pumped out of a computer. (Obviously, one could call me a judgmental listener at times.) However, I am still loyal to the theory that every genre of music out there—EVERY genre—has something good to represent it. In the case of a few genres, the good stuff may not be so abundant, but there is still always a possibility for greatness. Dan Snaith, the main man behind Caribou, has been giving electronic music a wonderful name recently. His pop sensibility and pioneering sonic innovations helped his previous album, 2007’s “Andorra”, to win the coveted Polaris Music Prize; and “Swim”, the much-anticipated follow-up, could be bound for a similar glory. (more…)

Shout Out Louds “Work”

February 16, 2010

Merge 2010

“1999”, the first song on the third full-length release from Sockholm’s Shout Out Louds, is not a cover. I didn’t really think it would be, but with all these bands out there doing covers these days, it wouldn’t have surprised me all that much if the SOL’s had chosen to open “Work” with a Cure-and-Smiths-influenced rendition of Prince’s classic party tune. (more…)

The Top 100 Albums of the Decade (part 7)

December 16, 2009

Some may notice this post is a little belated…let’s just say any week your band gets to open for KISS is automatically the most hectic week you’ve ever had in your life, times a million.

No matter–it will take some picking up of the general pace, but all the reviews WILL be written by Dec 30th, and the FINAL LIST will be posted on the 31st. So, let’s get back to it, shall we?

Spoon—Kill the Moonlight
Merge, 2002

Remember how many memorable riffs Led Zeppelin II had? “Whole Lotta Love”, “The Lemon Song”, “Thank You”, “Heartbreaker”, “Ramble On”… It’s not even their best album, yet it contains a ton of the more iconic tunes of the 1970’s. Kill the Moonlight is that album for the 2000’s, and the best album so far from Spoon. (more…)

Top 100 Albums of the Decade (part 4)

November 25, 2009

Modest Mouse—The Moon and Antarctica
Epic, 2000

Despite the overwhelming success of 2004’s Good News for People Who Love Bad News, The Moon and Antarctica still seems to inspire the most resounding acclaim from longtime Modest Mouse fans. It highlighted a point in Modest Mouse’s storied career where, even though radio still wasn’t really playing them, they were becoming impossible to ignore. (more…)


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