Death – Spiritual Mental Physical
n the case of this half-hour release, we get a brief chance to eavesdrop on a band of unique genius at its most raw, its most prankish and its most fun. It almost makes up for the chills, the sweat and the free cans of watery domestic.
The fidelity may be demo-grade. But, clearly, the rhythmically complex, relentlessly urgent math-metal opener “Views” and the unapologetically cheesy Route 66 rocker “Can You Give Me a Thrill??” are greased up and ready for the big time. Loud, proud and catchy as hell. And when it tries a post-Dylan-style electric ballad, we get “World of Tomorrow,” which ain’t shabby. Read the full review on Dusted
Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
The tremendous The Shepherd’s Dog, from 2007, found Sam “Iron and Wine” Beam’s musical muse tugged in turn towards the influences of Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, Calexico and African guitar bands. Kiss Each Other Clean is much more focused and homogenous, but there’s still a lingering sense of abundant inspiration, eager to carry the songs… Read the full review on The Independent
Akron / Family – S/T II The Cosmic Birth and Journey Shinju TNT
…A conscious effort to pocket the hacky sack. Songs such as “Silly Bears” and “Another Sky” retain the group’s recent crowd-pleasing guitar work, but a few knob twists put the searing tones closer to the distorted, bracing territory of Liars or Women. It’s on the ballads where the group’s time machine best hits its mark: “Cast a Net” and the album-closing cool-down of “Canopy” and “Creator” find the trio’s voices merging in alien harmonies while acoustic and electric guitars unfold as gently as ancient parchment. Whether raucous or tuneful, Akron/Family’s melodies tend to sink below the music — leaving lyrics such as those of “Silly Bears,” perhaps the first sludge-rock anthem applicable to a future “Winnie the Pooh” movie soundtrack, wisely out of the spotlight.
Read the full review at The LA Times