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neumu
Sunday, December 17, 2017 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive



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The Black Halos
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The Violent Years
Sub Pop
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Just like the New York Dolls? The return of the Stiv Bators sneer? The rebirth of mid-'70s punk rock? Wha?! C'mon people, who you tryin' to kid? This isn't the mean streets of New York City, 1977. This is the sunny skate parks of SoCal 1990 (sort of). Some critics seem to spend more time studying the press photo than listening to the new album. Sure, the guys in the Black Halos have those black shaggy hairdos, wear nothing but black, and sport those worn-out Converse shoes. But they aren't the new New York Dolls — they sound like a cross between The Ramones, Rancid and The Queers, and they aren't pathetically trying to be something they're not. The critics are just trying to sell them to you by suggesting they're a throwback to '70s punk. Anyway, even if the The Violent Years isn't quite as gritty, dirty and outrageous as punk was in the '70s, it's still a great record. You'll like it! (Unless you're bothered by punk that's been cleaned up with infectious melodies and anthem-led choruses.) The Vancouver, B.C. five-piece sure can write excellent, passion-fueled hooks. Like the power chord-driven "Some Things Never Fall," contagiously uplifting in a "People unite!" sort of way: "And I say yes/ We'll show them all/ Some things never fall." Made catchy by this great spiraling guitar line, "Jane Doe" feels like a danceable version of The Descendents' classic "Bikeage," mostly because of its similar theme: "'Cause you're sinkin' so low you're/ Going down/ You can't be found/ You're going down/ Sorry baby I can't save you," cries lead singer Billy Hopeless. With snotty, slurred vocals, drumming that actually changes its beats, and some pretty mean guitar solos throughout, the Black Halos aren't obnoxiously bubble-gum or pretty-boy Blink 182. But when Hopeless sneers: "'Cause the underground ain't underground no more" in "Underground" you can't help smirking to yourself, "As if they've got nothing to do with it." Although "Capt. Moody" is harder and faster than what most consider a ballad, it acts as the only low-key song on the record. Over a melody that, in a better world, would get this one on the radio, Hopeless feels sorry for himself: "These tides are the best I've ever known/ Drinkin' all the time/ Never knowing if I'm sick/ Or if I'm feelin' fine." The Violent Years doesn't offer a new sound or attitude in music, and that's just fine with me. It's an exciting, high-energy punk-rock-with-a-touch-of-pop album, one I think is worth having around when you need to cheer up, get hyper and forget your problems.


by Jenny Tatone




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