Cults’ eponymous debut: Album review

Indierockers Cults eponymous debut has something approaching 60s pop and Motown overtones in the clappy beats, expansive vocals that swamp the mix with their forcefulness, occasional glockenspiel mirroring the vocals, and echoey reverb. Hellishly catchy melody lines like the lead vocal on “Go Outside” and “You Know What I Mean” (tell me you don’t hear a Supremes influence on that opening vocal line!) and a solid production make this a highly engaging debut.
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Stef Chura’s “Messes”: Album review

Courtney Love meets Stevie Nicks / Chrissie Hynde voice, with a touch of Angel Olson, over guitar lines that could fit nicely on a Buffalo Tom or Dinosaur Jr album, this is an emotionally captivating and satisfying debut. Stef uses a shade of reverb on her vocals, shimmery vibrato on her gently distorted guitars, and the clever arpeggios and open strings are musically pleasing.
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Peaches’ “Rub”: Album review

2015’s “Rub” returns to some of those brazen highs of unapologetic vulgarity heard in 2006’s “Impeach My Bush.” Kim Gordon’s guest vocal opens this rolling buzzing grind of an album. The vulnerability of 2009’s “I Feel Cream” is replaced with the bitter attack of “Free Drink Ticket.” Somehow darker and grittier, this is less catchy and melodic but still appealing in its directness.
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Peaches’ “I Feel Cream”: Album review

More melodic and perhaps less harsh and abrasive than either 2006’s “Impeach My Bush” or 2015’s “Rub,” 2009’s “I Feel Cream” is still definitely more electroclash than electropop. That said, there’s more singing than accusatory yelling or staccato rapping, and Peaches’ voice is in incredible form. There’s still a touch of the Little Boots-style synthpop, and an uncharacteristic level of vulnerability, such as in “Lose You.” It’s not all soft and sensitive, though, as Shunda K demonstrates with her blistering contribution to “Billionaire.”
Overall, “I Feel Cream” is a catchy dancy affair. Popular with the cardio work-out crowd, I’m sure.
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Peaches’ “Impeach My Bush”: Album review

Kind of an unashamedly vulgar M.I.A. highly focused on gender issues, Peaches on 2006’s “Impeach My Bush” brings in some other brush strokes – tracks like “Downtown” captures electropop and synthpop flavors like something Little Boots would release, while there are punkier rockier guitar lines at work in “Boys Wanna Be Hear,” “You Love It,” and “Do Ya.” “Give Her” has an almost Ramonesque beat and chord progression to it. Likely you can chalk those other tones up to the guest musicians – Joan Jett, Beth Ditto, Josh Homme, Samantha Maloney, Mocky and Feist.
It gets the blood pumping. Probably good soul-cycle music.
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Bedouine’s eponymous debut: Album review

A kind of Joni Mitchell / Leonard Cohen, with soft understated undertones of 70s folksinger. Beautifully arranged and orchestrated, sort of a gentler First Aid Kit. One reviewer cites later Nick Drake, and I can definitely hear hints of that breathy string-accompanied sound.

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“Bob Dylan: Walkin’ Down the Line: 1962-1963 Demos & Rare”: LP review

Limited to only 500 pressings, this vinyl LP is a collection of Dylan demos from 1962 and 1963, in the period when Dylan’s first album was behind him and he was at work on his second.
Nothing too ground-breaking here for those who already own, say, the Whitmark Demos, the Blind Boy Grunt tapes, or the Bootleg series for those years, yet still worth owning.
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