The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
Label: Columbia (2011)
Genres: Indie Rock, Garage Rock
Sounds Like: Surfer Blood, The Drums, The Strokes
Review by TG Keas, KXUA Music Director
To tell you the truth, I was probably expecting too much. It had been a good year or so since the great hype machine began grinding for this UK band. Hype of any kind can be insurmountable, so in that sense, I suppose I would be disappointed. But from a reasonable, objective stance? The Vaccines’ debut holds up remarkably well. The warm haziness, far from being the shoegaze-y centerpiece placed by your typical indie outfit, works in tandem with straightforward songwriting and good old rock n’ roll energy. It’s a solid release from a band that has a promising future.
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Label: Jagjaguwar (2011)
Genre: Indie Folk, Space Rock
Sounds Like: Phil Collins, Volcano Choir, Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes
Review by Ginny Garber
This album conjures memories of my infancy. Reflecting the play on the band’s name, “Good Winter,” Bon Iver’s sophomore album has the air of a Jack London story, exploring space in sound, great echo, repetition, guitar riffs like migratory birds. This ambient album invites one to become lost in its landscape, cradle and all.
World’s End Girlfriend – Seven Idiots
Label: Erased Tapes (2011)
Sound Like: Kashiwa Daisuke, Matryoshka
Review by José Bonilla
This genre-blending album is the 10th studio album to make it to the Western hemisphere by Katsuhiko Maeda, aka, World’s End Girlfriend. If you’ve heard any of Maeda’s previous albums you would know what to expect — Genre crossing, great electronic music. You can’t listen to this album once and pick out every genre. There is Dubstep, House, Classical, Modern, Neo Classical, and more found in this. To make a note, many of the melodies on this album sound like they are straight from a video game. World’s End Girlfriend continues to impress with this album.
Job For A Cowboy – Gloom
Label: Metal Blade (2011)
Genre: Death Metal
Sounds Like: The Black Dahlia Murder, Cattle Decapitation, Dying Fetus, Carcass
Review by Joel Bunch
JFAC is a young band that has taken a ton of flak for being just another deathcore band. Part of that is due to the fact that the band was given a deal with Metal Blade off the strength of their MySpace page. I think they’re better than average. They play modern death that is tight, high on guitar heroics, and relentless. The vocals may be a little weak at times (at least he dropped the pig squeals), but the instrumentation makes up for it. This EP shows a band that continues to improve.