New Album Review

New Music Floodgates Open: Indie Rock Edition

With the pandemic winding down, musicians are now releasing long-delayed albums, so there is a lot of new music to cover. Indie Rock has evidently taken the lead here because numerous great indie albums have dropped in the past week. I thought I’d give you an annotated list of some of the new albums I’ve been listening to. Hope you see something you like.

Iceage – Seek Shelter

Iceage are technically a punk band, but they have moved in a warmer and more elaborate direction lately. This new album is lavish and densely orchestrated art rock. It also gets points for having the only sample of “May the Circle Be Unbroken,” I’ve ever heard outside folk music.

The Armed – Ultrapop

Your inner emo kid will rejoice at this album from the anonymous post-hardcore band The Armed. While Ultrapop strays far away from pop and even further from melody, the album is still accessible as mood listening. If you want to study and/or cry, this is the album for you

Spiritualized – Lazer Guided Melodies

I have an allergic reaction to all things prog, so I was very skeptical of this album at first. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of pretension in this instrumental space rock release. The album name really gives you what you need to know: it’s melodic to a fault. The primary compositional trick at work here seems to be the baroque counterpoint, where different melodies are played to create harmonic relations without relying on chords. It’s an acquired taste, but the album creates a spacey and beautiful vibe.

St. Vincent – Daddy’s Home

Alright, I’ve spoken about this album at length in a full review, so I’ll be brief. St. Vincent has reversed course yet again, leaning into ’70s aesthetics of glam, hard rock, and AM singer-songwriters. It’s Joni Mitchell, it’s Lou Reed, but most importantly it’s St. Vincent.

Weezer – Van Weezer

Rivers Cuomo sings “Pump it up into me please daddy,” and if that’s something you’re interested in I need not say more.

New Album Review

St. Vincent- Daddy’s Home Album Review

The elusive songwriter and indie darling St. Vincent has returned with a new album, “Daddy’s Home,” a legacy rock album filtered through her unique lens. Now, at the risk of giving up the goods too quickly, I’ll preface this with my personal thoughts: the album is very enjoyable, though not Vincent’s best work. If you like St. Vincent, or heck if you like female-led indie rock of any kind, you will probably enjoy this record. The duo of her virtuosic arrangements with ubiquitous producer Jack Antonoff is virtually untouchable from an auditory perspective and easily makes up for any faults in lyricism and songwriting. That said, I’d like to take you on a tour of the album’s reception and influences, and ask what’s next for St. Vincent and her generation of indie stars.

Reception to the album has been positive, but somewhat fraught. St. Vincent is a notoriously reclusive singer who dislikes press interviews, and this album is her most personal record yet. Unsurprisingly, this has generated conflict. While some publications have condemned Vincent’s press hostility, including her alleged attempts to “kill” an interview with Jezebel she didn’t like, I do have to admit some of the reviews and coverage for this album has overhyped the autobiographical nature of “Daddy’s Home.” The title, ostensibly a reference to Vincent’s own formerly imprisoned father, signifies that this will be personal for a St. Vincent album. However, in the scheme of indie records, this is still a strictly musical affair. The lyrics play second fiddle to the music, the songwriting to solos and so on. The press reaction has largely focused on Vincent’s personal life, so I’d like to take a moment to appease Ms. Clarke and analyze her music from a purely auditory perspective.

This is a legacy rock album, which is a label usually a pejorative for bands stuck in the past, but St. Vincent owns the label. While I would hardly call “Daddy’s Home” an innovative record, it also doesn’t feel anachronistic. The production aesthetics are vintage 1972, with Vincent purchasing period-accurate technologies to produce the album. The justification was that Vincent was trying to connect with the musical language of her father’s vinyl cabinet. As a result, there are a lot of boomer influences on display that have gone out of fashion in favor of more ’80s-oriented synthpop and punk aesthetics. All of Vincent’s previous work has favored the likes of Kate Bush or of David Bowie’s ’80s output, making this change of pace abrupt, but at the very least sonically interesting.

Bands like Greta Van Fleet still nip at the heels of Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, but Vincent is more interested in blending these influences with her own personal pantheon. On “Melting of the Sun” Vincent lays out this pantheon of Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos and the ever-present Candy Darling, who gets her own tribute song. These women, combined with Amos’ perennial male influences of David Bowie and Lou Reed, blend together into a kind of classicism. She is not trying to sound like any one of these artists but work within a venerated classical tradition of rock songwriters, using their style to express her own ideas. The effect is an album that is rooted in the past without being backward facing. However, this can also leave the album feeling formulaic at points, as the only songs that really caught my ear outside the context of the record were the singles.

As St. Vincent and many of her indie rock contemporaries age out of the mainstream, I expect they will experiment with this retro style more freely. Indie needs new ideas, and St. Vincent has responded by looking to the past. If this is her new direction, she will need new ideas and different angles. “Daddy’s Home” is pretty good, but here’s to hoping she has some more retro tricks up her sleeve in the coming years.

New Album Review

Album Review: Female Species – Tale of My Lost Love

ALBUM: “Tale of My Lost Love” by Female Species


LABEL: Numero Group

RATING: 9/10

BEST TRACKS: “Tale of My Lost Love,” “Bye Bye Bye” and “Till The Moon Don’t Shine”

FCC: Clean


The new release of Female Species album “Tale of My Lost Love” follows the band from California to Nashville. The tracks on this album start with their garage 60s/70s sound which gradually transitions to 80s/90s country folk-pop. The compilation allows a listener to dive into the whole story of Female Species.

The Female Species started with two sisters, Vicki and Ronnie Gossett. In 1966, as teenagers, they released peppy pop in their home in California. With the culture shift in 70s, they moved into more psychedelia, experimenting with their sound. In the 80s the sisters moved to Nashville and began songwriting in the industry.

It’s so special to be able to see them transform their careers from swinging girl group to prolific songwriters in the Nashville scene. You can hear how Female Species evolves on “Tale of My Lost Love”. For example, the tracks “Chinchilla Hat” and “Chinchilla Cat”. The two songs have the same lyrics but in the second version you can feel the vocals are more soulful and almost bluesy. I really enjoyed how retrospective the compilation is, it feels respectful of the Female Species 55-year journey.

I first heard of the band from La Luz’s cover of their song “Tale of My Lost Love”. The cover came out April 16, 2021. I was enthralled by the harmonies, minimal drums and swinging guitar. After finding the original, I was taken aback by how well the two bands fit each other; La Luz with a fresh modern surf rock sound and Female Species with classic garage rock. I hope the cover increased awareness of Female Species, they deserve all the recognition.

-DJ Lil Witch

New Album Review

YUKIKA- timeabout Album Review

A young Asian woman in a pink outfit posing for a promotional image
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Yukika Teramoto, known by her stage name YUKIKA, is a Japanese pop singer, model, and actress working in Korea. From that description, most Americans generally know whether her music is something they are going to vibe with, and if you are stridently against K-pop I don’t think she will be what converts you. However, if you are at least K-pop curious there are some unique elements to this new ep that might appeal to you.

Yukika is working from well within the mainstream South Korean music industry, but her solo career is not quite as closely tethered to the tentpoles of the genre. Her music incorporates a slightly unusual range of stylistic influence, drawing both from the Pop of her home country, creatively titled J-pop, as well as more Western retro styles like synthpop and nu-disco. There’s a strong impulse here in America to categorize anything from East of Europe into nationality-based buckets, but Yukika’s music is a little too broad to categorize in this way.

This new ep sounds immaculate, even if there are no radio hooks. She sings mostly in English, her songs all have English titles, and the sound is more oriented to Western ears than the average K-pop artist, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this is ep is trying to introduce her to Americans in anticipation of a crossover attempt, but we will have to wait and see about her next full-length album. If this is your genre, or if you’re like me and you just like to see what’s new in the genre every now and then, give Yukika a listen.

New Album Review

Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined (2021)

The 15th studio album by the OGs of Death Metal, Violence Unimagined by Cannibal Corpse was released on April 16th, 2021 (Metal Blade). Of course, it’s awesome! It’s Cannibal Corpse! But more than that, this record is their best in over a decade! Cannibal Corpse always delivers the beatings; you always know what is coming. After 32+ years there is no sign of them slowing down or losing a step. In fact, with Violence Unimagined, the opposite is true. Cannibal Corpse have solidified themselves as the kings of terror, horror, torture, crunch, and furious frenzy.

One major reason for the bands rejuvenation on this record is the addition of guitar mastermind, producer genius Erik Rutan (Morbid Angel; Ripping Corpse; Hate Eternal) on lead guitar. He filled-in for Pat O`brien on the band’s 2019 tour, and produced four of Cannibal Corpse’s albums. In February of 2021 Erik joined the band full time. For ViolenceUnimagined, Erik wrote the music and lyrics for three songs (“Condemnation Contagion,” “Ritual Annihilation,” and “Overtorture”) and he even sings backing vocals on “Murderous Rampage.” Erik compliments long time member Rob Barratt (lead and rhythm guitar) very well. Founding members Alex Webster (bass) and Paul Mazurkiewicz (drums) are one of the hardest working rhythm sections in all of music. And what can you say about the most recognizable voice (and neck) in Death Metal?! George “Corpsegrinder” Fischer (vocals) steps it up another notch with his powerful holler/gutteral/scream. 

Two singles were released for Violence Unimagined, “Murderous Rampage” and “Inhumane Harvest.” The former is the opening track that beats you to a pulp from GO, and the latter is one of my favorite songs on the record; with its unforgettable, Cannibal Corpse trademark buzzing riff. “Condemnation Contagion” and “Slowly Sawn” bring the heavy grooves. “Ritual Annihilation,” “Bound and Burned,” and “Overtorture” contain some of the crunchiest riffs on the album. “Follow the Blood” is almost a throwback to their thrash metal roots, and is nearly anthemic in the chorus. “Necrogenic Resurrection” and “Surround, Kill, Devour” are straight-forward bone crushers. And “Cerements of the Flayed” is a great song that seems a leftover from A Skeletal Domain (2014) and reminds me of “Skewered from Ear to Eye” on Evisceration Plague (2009).

Favorite Songs: Condemnation Contagion; Ritual Annihilation; Slowly Sawn

Rating: 9/10!! Great technical Death Metal with powerful gutterals; exactly what you expect from Cannibal Corpse, with a fresh infusion of the seasoned Erik Rutan! 

Stay Metal,


New Album Review

New Album Review: The Battle at Garden’s Gate

ALBUM: “The Battle at Garden’s Gate” by Greta Van Fleet


LABEL: Republic Records

RATING: 7/10

BEST TRACKS: “Built By Nations”, “Age of Machine” and “The Weight of Dreams”

FCC: Clean

Bringing true rock ‘n roll into the 21st century can be tricky. Should we keep the sacredness of what was, mimicking the classic bands and their godliness? Or should we infuse it with modern styles and technology? Toeing the line between reinventing the wheel and being a nostalgia act is something Greta Van Fleet has dealt with since the release of their first album in 2017. Critics and fans alike endlessly compare them to Led Zeppelin, but “The Battle at Garden’s Gate” is an obvious attempt from the young band to create their own identity in the world of modern rock.

Part of the reason behind their meteoric rise to fame (and honestly the reason why I first started listening to them) is how well they’re able to echo the greatness of classic rock. On stage, they don’t lipsynch or use background tracks. Most of their first two albums were produced organically. It’s the powerful simplicity of their sound that has made Greta Van Fleet so refreshing for both new and old audiences.

“The Battle at Garden’s Gate” is a significant shift for the band. It’s cinematic and heavily produced, lacking both the grittiness of “From the Fires” and the twinge of blues in “Anthem of the Peaceful Army.” The running theme throughout the album is one of unity, peace and light. I love the sentiment, and I appreciate that they’re trying to go in a new direction, but it feels almost overdone. There’s a definite pop undertone in several of the songs which take away from the richness of the entire album.

Something else I noticed is how absent their guitarist seemed throughout the album. If you’ve ever seen their live performances, Jake Kiska is an absolute madman on the ax. He’s not afraid to spend some time on his screeching solos. Their first two albums were soaked in heavy riffs, which made their two hit songs “Safari Song” and “Highway Tune,” so fantastic. However, in “The Battle at Garden’s Gate,” his guitar work seemed like background noise at best. The few songs where he does have time to shine, such as in “Built By Nations” and “The Weight of Dreams,” are easily the best of the entire album. My question for them is why they opted for more of the lead singer’s wails instead of utilizing (in my opinion) their most powerful member.

Despite its flaws, “The Battle at Garden’s Gate” still has some beautiful tracks. “Age of Machine” is intense and atmospheric, while “Tears of Rain” whispers a heavenly acoustic ballad. Originally released as a single, “My Way Soon” is energetic and lively. However, if you’re a first-time listener, I’d head back to their earlier albums.

Blog New Album Review

Blush Album Review

Written by Miranda

My favorites: Sistine (Plucks), On Deck, Blush
Listen if you like: K-Lone, Emancipator, Little People, Yoshinori Hayashi

Facta, also known as Oscar Henson, is an East London electronic musician, recently releasing his first full-length project, “Blush.” The album is much like its art cover: naturalistic, abstract, and nature-oriented. Facta delves into the first track with a plucky, happy, beat and light piano notes complemented by a background of birds singing. “Sistine (Plucks)” seamlessly flows into the next track, “On Deck,” with effervescent Spring emotions brought onto the listener. Each track brings about a different mood, though all sound like a soundtrack to the listener’s life as they go about their day.

Apparently, Facta worked on this album outdoors while drinking coffee, and the resulting album is exactly what you would expect that to sound like. Generally simplistic, there is an air of grace and looseness that reminds me of wandering in a field of flowers, playing a children’s video game (especially in “Iso Stream”), or painting on the balcony during a sunny day. Playing with varying instruments and distinctive melodies gives the album an artistic experience not many instrumentalists can create. Facta breathes life into every track through drum beats, vibraphone, piano, and delicate background tones.

New Album Review

Pinkshift: Saccharine Album Review

Punk is a reliable genre. Get the right instruments, three chords, some personal lyrics, and an attitude together and you have 95% of what you need for a post-hardcore album. With that accessible and, let’s be honest, quite basic formula, it takes an inventive band to really stand out in the field, and any group that doesn’t have a vision for their music is unlikely to get noticed.

So, what is it that Pinkshift is doing to get your attention? Well, their music is just so intensely sweet… Saccharine, you might say. This doesn’t mean their music is unserious or lightweight per se, in fact, they have more of an edge than you might expect, just that there’s a certain queasy pleasantness to it. The ep gives the aggressively upbeat and positive energy of a close friend on the verge of a total mental breakdown. There’s a compelling tension between the mall punk aesthetic and the understated, quietly dissatisfied lyrics, something like Avril Lavigne covering The Dead Kennedys. However, what Pinkshift nails in their music is a total lack of irony despite this rather angsty dissonance. There’s no sense that Pinkshift is above the kind of music they’re making, just an earnest and melodic sound.

This is a debut Ep, so doubtless Pinkshift have more to give. There are a few moments on the album that hint towards more musical complexity, especially on the one instrumental passage. It will be interesting to see if they embrace this or double down on streamlined punk formulas. Either way, take some time for this album, it’s only a 15-minute commitment.

New Album Review

Album Review: Rob Zombie – The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy (2021)

“The Hellbilly,” Rob Zombie has returned with a new release on March 12, 2021, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy (Nuclear Blast). His trademark eclectic style – Psychedelic Horror Metal, Go-Go Funk; sometimes folky, always spooky songs, samples, lyrics and instrumentals – is on display, and as all his album titles suggest you’re always in for a ride!

One of the constants on a Rob Zombie record as of late is his killer band – Zombie (vocals) John 5 (guitars), Piggy D (bass), Ginger Fish (drums). The other constant is the awesome musicianship of these veterans. If you’ve ever seen Rob Zombie live, then you already know the shock-n-awe of the visual expression of the psycho/horror sounds (all while Zombie go-go dances!). No matter what style the band employs on this newest record, it is incredible. And “The Hellbilly’s” multiple vocal ranges are, as usual, superb. 

The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy has landed in the top sales spot on the Billboard Charts, a first for Rob Zombie. While there are two good records separating them, this is the natural follow-up to the masterpiece Hellbilly Deluxe, in my opinion. Excellent production is on display on this 17-track offering, and even a new genre of music at one point – Industrial-Country! 

Track Listing:

  1. Expanding the Head of Zed
  2. The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)
  3. The Ballad of Sleazy Rider
  4. Hovering Over the Dull Earth
  5. Shadow of the Cemetery Man
  6. A Brief Static Hum and Then the Radio Blared 
  7. 18th Century Cannibals, Excitable Morlocks and a One-Way Ticket on the Ghost Train
  8. The Eternal Struggle of the Howling Man
  9. The Much Talked of Metamorphosis 
  10. The Satanic Rites of Blacula 
  11. Shower of Stones
  12. Shake Your Ass-Smoke Your Grass
  13. Boom-Boom-Boom
  14. What You Gonna Do with That Gun Mama
  15. Get Loose
  16. The Serenity of Witches
  17. Crow Killer Blues

Rating: 8.5/10! 

Favorite Songs: The Triumph of King Freak; Shadow of the Cemetery Man; Boom-Boom-Boom 

Stay Metal, 


Band/Artist Profile Classic Album Review Local Music Miscellaneous New Album Review

New Music Alert: Rehearsal

One of my long-time favorite bands, Skegss, has finally released another album. Skegss is a group of three guys from Byron Bay, Australia. The group formed in 2013 when childhood friends Johny Lani and Ben Reed started playing together as a duo around local venues. They soon paired up with Noa Deane and Tony Cregan and released their the singles “LSD” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio.” However Noa left the following year in pursuit of a surfing career, leaving Johny, Ben, and Tony to run the show. 

Since then they have released three EP’s and three albums. My personal favorite is their self-titled debut EP, however their two most recent albums are close contenders. Rehearsal is their most recent one to date and includes 13 surf-punk-garage styled rock songs on the album. It starts off with “Down to Ride” and “Valhalla,” which are both upbeat, fast paced songs that set a good tone for the album. However, my two favorites of the 13 are “Bush TV” and “Savor The Flavour.” They perfectly incorporate the iconic Skegss style and listening to them makes me feel like an angsty teenager again. Another honorable mention off the album is “Wake Up,” which is a bit of a slower song. That being said, I feel like this band doesn’t make slow, sentimental songs like this all that much, which makes it all the more meaningful. 

Fun fact about this band, they actually had their cover art for the EP “50 Push Ups for a Dollar” stolen by Lil Yachty and Reese for their single “Do It.” Go ahead and look it up, the comparison is laughably similar. 

That’s all for this week, hope you guys enjoy the music. 
-The DJ Formerly Known As Chippypants