A Break from Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

A couple of weeks ago, when I ended up writing about the only Dave Matthews Band album that I actively enjoy, I had intended to write about “The Frame I: Betrayal in the Watchtower,” the finale from I the Mighty’s 2015 album Connector. I love “Betrayal in the Watchtower.” It’s narrative and epic and overwrought in all [...]

The Horrible Sound of Tomato

The Horrible Sound of Tomato

50 years ago today, Paul and Linda McCartney released Ram and more or less invented indie-pop which, as origin stories go, seems definitionally impossible given that Paul was arguably the most famous member of the most famous band of all time,1 but if you disagree, go and listen to the catchy, weird, aggressively lo-fi Ram and come back to me. [...]

Welcome Home

Welcome Home

As some bands age they become parodies of themselves, a problem that Coheed and Cambria can never have because, since their inception, the band has been too ridiculous to parody. For the better part of two decades, Coheed songs have been telling the story of … honestly, I’m not quite sure. A massive intergalactic war, maybe? [...]

Chart Up Your Insides

Chart Up Your Insides

The Execution of All Things isn’t the first or only record to open with a bait-and-switch mix that comes in low, tricking you into turning up your stereo, only for you to get blown away when the proper levels finally kick in. But it may be the only one that has the courage to see the bit [...]

Styrofoam and Cellophane

Styrofoam and Cellophane

When I reviewed OWEL’s third full-length, Paris, in March of 2019, I could feel the energy of springtime humming throughout the album. It’s bright and vibrant and delicate and brash. It makes me want to go outside, to bloom and breathe, if you’ll accept the cross-scene metaphor. A year later spring was canceled. I packed up my [...]

The Seven Best Albums of 2021

The Seven Best Albums of 2021

Presented in alphabetical order. 3 -- Envy on the Coast After the birth of Violent Joy, I thought Envy on the Coast was dead. Apparently, I was wrong. 3 is what it promises: a brief, three-song return, but that's enough. "FLASH BANG" is onomatopoeic, all big punches and explosive bombast; "GHOST" is lead-single material, hook-driven [...]

If I Could Do It All Again

If I Could Do It All Again

It’s fitting that Gates was the first band I saw in concert after the pandemic began. I’ve joked that they’re my musical spirit animal and it’s been so long since they passed The Dear Hunter to become the band I’ve seen the most that I can’t recall how long ago that shift happened or how [...]