59 items by Joe Gross

  • Brass

    Brass | ALBUM REVIEW

    Royal Bangs have slid from the noisy toe-tappers of earlier records to a brighter pastiche of styles heard on their fourth album – a transformation not unlike the Black Keys', whose Patrick Carney produced Brass. But...

    October 18, 2013 12:15 PM ET
  • Defend Yourself

    Defend Yourself | ALBUM REVIEW

    This trio, once the platonic ideal of indie rock's ragged, guitar-blasting side and its mopey, acoustic no-fi side (see also their self-parodic 1991 single "Gimme Indie Rock!"), hasn't put out an album since 1999. As lead singer...

    September 23, 2013 5:15 PM ET
  • "Bitter Rivals"

    "Bitter Rivals" | SONG REVIEW

    The Brooklyn distorto-riff/break-beat duo edge closer to airplay while keeping their sound intact. Those opening finger snaps could bring Middle Eastern peace, singer Alexis Krauss belts fluff-pop clichés, and the riff stays louder than a bomb.

    September 10, 2013 10:00 AM ET
  • Coming Apart

    Coming Apart | ALBUM REVIEW

    Kim Gordon has had a rough few years. Her marriage disintegrated at the same time as Sonic Youth, the band she and philandering ex-husband Thurston Moore shared for three decades. With Body/Head, the noisy duo the...

    September 10, 2013 12:00 AM ET
  • "You've Got Me Wonderin' Now"

    "You've Got Me Wonderin' Now" | SONG REVIEW

    The Brooklyn band's transformation into Pavement for the iPhone era continues, from lyrics that may not signify a damn thing but sound awesome ("Cavity click keeps the rhythm, keeps it movin'/Any day it's gonna crack") to a...

    August 28, 2013 11:50 AM ET
  • Run the Jewels

    Run the Jewels | ALBUM REVIEW

    Run the Jewels is El-P and Killer Mike – the noise-loving Brooklyn rapper-producer and the gut-punching Atlanta MC who blended perfectly on Mike's great 2012 album R.A.P. Music. On this release, available as a free download, the...

    July 15, 2013 2:45 PM ET
  • More Light

    More Light | ALBUM REVIEW

    The first track is "2013," and given that we weren't sure he'd make it out of the Nineties, it's perfect that formerly drug-gobbling head Screamer Bobby Gillespie has to remind himself of the year. It takes him...

    July 15, 2013 2:25 PM ET
  • "Burn"

    "Burn" | SONG REVIEW

    The Kylie Minogue of Generation WikiLeaks is convinced she's caught fire, but not completely sure what has caught flame ("We're burning one hell of a something"). It's a completely inoffensive slice of hands-in-the-air British pop; you...

    July 15, 2013 1:25 PM ET
  • False Idols

    False Idols | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Nothing's changed," Tricky moans on, um, "Nothing's Changed." Indeed. Ten albums and 18 years after his still-amazing debut, Maxinquaye, the greatest boning-someone-you're-maybe-not-supposed-to-bone album ever, his catalog is mostly the sound of inspiration struggling for context. False Idols...

    July 15, 2013 11:05 AM ET
  • One True Vine

    One True Vine | ALBUM REVIEW

    How excited were the folks in Low, the Minnesota indie band, when they heard the divine Ms. Staples covered their "Holy Ghost" to lead off this lovely, largely acoustic album (and turned a mopey lament into...

    June 25, 2013 12:15 AM ET
  • "Oh Come On"

    "Oh Come On" | SONG REVIEW

    After battling Lyme disease for several years, Kathleen Hanna returns with a band-size version of her solo moniker. This finds garage-pop middle ground (guitar solo and everything!) between Le Tigre's bounce and Bikini Kill's howl. Ms. Hanna,...

    June 18, 2013 12:15 PM ET
  • Kveikur

    Kveikur | ALBUM REVIEW

    These Icelanders have always had a sideways relationship with the ideas of "pop" and "heavy." Ambient mindblowers like 2002's brilliantly titled ( ) drift and surge rather than swing, but the effect can be sublime and overwhelming....

    June 18, 2013 8:15 AM ET
  • Anthem

    Anthem | ALBUM REVIEW

    "Come with us if you want to live," Hanson sing on the White Stripes-y "Fired Up." The brothers who gave you 1997's Disney-funk fantasia "MMMBop" can't back up that superhero brag. But their very existence is a...

    June 18, 2013 8:00 AM ET
  • "End of the Beginning"

    "End of the Beginning" | SONG REVIEW

    Black Sabbath without original drummer Bill Ward is Not Quite Black Sabbath. That said, this eight-minute mastodon (from their upcoming LP, the first with Ozzy Osbourne in 35 years) lumbers and surges just fine, as...

    May 20, 2013 10:20 AM ET
  • As It Is on Earth

    As It Is on Earth | ALBUM REVIEW

    Last time we heard from this jumpy glam outfit, on 2001's The Hogyssey, it seemed weird Spacehog were even still around; by then, singer Royston Langdon was mostly famous for dating Liv Tyler. Turns out the Hog...

    May 8, 2013 10:40 AM ET
  • "Magic Beanz"

    "Magic Beanz" | SONG REVIEW

    A high-pitched mumble, synths whooshing like wind-swept snowdrifts, guitars that sound like anything but, and skittering digital beats with their own unique groove logic: Yes, Thom Yorke's got his ghost-in-a-machine mojo working on this new track from...

    May 8, 2013 10:30 AM ET
  • "Ísjaki"

    "Ísjaki" | SONG REVIEW

    Whoa: A Sigur Rós song with actual structure and percussive drive that also trades on the Icelanders' interplanetary drift. Think Wings of Desire: The angels sound earthbound, but the divine spark is still there. It's the sound...

    May 8, 2013 10:15 AM ET
  • Indicud

    Indicud | ALBUM REVIEW

    Someday this Cleveland MC/producer/former weed enthusiast will find the lyrical and vocal charisma to match the scrumptiously dark, quasi-industrial tenor of his moody beats. But Cudi’s pitchy-dawg voice remains his own worst enemy. He has some interesting...

    April 22, 2013 2:13 PM ET
  • "My God Is the Sun"

    "My God Is the Sun" | SONG REVIEW

    When last we heard from Queens of the Stone Age, in 2011, they were touring on the deluxe reissue of their almighty first album, where they made sun-warped desert metal speed like a bullet train. No...

    April 15, 2013 2:30 PM ET
  • "Voyeur"

    "Voyeur" | SONG REVIEW

    Blake wants to make you feel good, but only if he doesn't have to move too fast. "Voyeur," the British DJ-songwriter's latest, slinks into focus while processed words slither out of his mouth; by the time the...

    March 28, 2013 2:25 PM ET