Tag Archives: Jagjaguwar

Black Mountain

17 Feb

Black Mountain, unlike Pink Mountaintops, is not Stephen McBean’s band alone, but that doesn’t stop it from having McBean’s self-consciously unself-conscious swagger. If you close your eyes and think hard enough, you can imagine that Black Mountain is what would have happened if Ozzie had never left Black Sabbath. But if you keep your eyes – rather, your ears – opened, you’ll hear something that has the telltale signs of ’70s accidental arena rock but that also carves out a niche for itself as the soundtrack for headbangers and spliff tokers of a different decade.


Parts & Labor

13 Jan

Parts & Labor is a Brooklyn trio that makes some noise — some very noisy noise. Don’t let that deter you if it ain’t your thing, because the way all that noise is organized on “A Great Divide,” well, it’s darn near rapturous. Screaming guitars, drums pulsating like helicopter blades, vocals shouted through a bullhorn, bleeps and burps and explosions like a Radio Shack under siege — and it all comes together like there’s a riot in your headphones and everyone’s invited!


Okkervil River

10 Jun

A few months ago, The New York Times compared Okkervil River to The Decemberists, noting that both bands compose literate, obscure indie-pop songs for small-but-growing audiences. At least I think that’s what the article was about. I don’t really remember. Anyway, the songs I donwloaded back then have been sitting around on my computer, aging like a decent bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, so please let me say, “Drink away!” Start with the mellow intensity of “A Favor,” check out the pop legs of “Black,” or dive right into “For Real,” off their recently released Black Sheep Boy. For more hits at the bottle, so to speak, check out the half dozen other tracks available at the Okkervil River homepage (and please excuse my oenophilic tendencies).



12 Mar

Spokane slow things down to reveal the fragile melody and uncomfortable detail of people trying to get along.



26 Feb

Rich orchestral pop with affected and infectious vocals ressembling a cross between Mark E. Smith and Rik Ocasek.