Album reviews in 30 seconds or less.
Sounds Like: Brit trio’s debut of washed-out garage rock is fast, noisy and a little punk. But this is Sub Pop, so nothing’s very hard to swallow.
Free Association: “Year’s Not Long” single and video is a delightful play on the band name.
For Fans Of: Japandroids, Thermals, Buzzcocks, white-boy thrash.
At Night We Live
Sounds Like: Sacramento quartet’s big reunion record after disbanding some 10 years ago is a power-rock tour de force with touches of metal and screamo.
Free Association: Perfect for teenagers and soundtracking WB moments.
For Fans Of: Live, Weezer, Our Lady Peace, the Verve Pipe.
(Silent Majority Group)
Sounds Like: Blistering MTV-supported power-pop from Orlando’s debut is a horrendous mix of computers, Auto-Tune, power chords and sunshine-y angst.
Free Association: That cover is a total farce. That ecstatic pony must be on drugs.
For Fans Of: Paramore, Fall Out Boy, things that suck.
Windsor For The Derby
Sounds Like: Hushed and atmospheric rock from Philly transplants from Austin and Tampa—simple, ambient chamber rock that makes you want to nap.
Free Association: This is so chill, let’s just rest our eyes for a minute or two.
For Fans Of: Tortoise, Stereolab, Yo La Tengo, the Notwist on ‘ludes.
Whisper Down the Lane
Sounds Like: Local folks make a bluesy, folk-rock record that feels sun- and bourbon-soaked, and also par for the course for a Mad Dragon record.
Free Association: Some of the finer moments feel reminiscent of Zeppelin’s blues joints.
For Fans Of: Hoots & Hellmouth, the Swimmers, Wilco x DeVotchka.
Wake Up The Nation
Sounds Like: The Jam and Style Council legend has been making solo records for almost two decades. This one’s full of punchy, upbeat bursts of rockness.
Free Association: Takes you back to swinging ‘60s London, then right back to now.
For Fans Of: Stone Roses, Billy Bragg, Kinks, legends aging gracefully.
Sounds Like: Try to hate these knob twisters and tweakers, but the music speaks for itself on this one—energy, rhythms and funk emerge out of the noise.
Free Association: Singing feels overrated. It’s not necessary or missing here.
For Fans Of: Kraftwerk, LCD Soundsystem, Can, sweaty dancing with lasers.
Sounds Like: Bouncy, synthy and scuzzy electro tempered by Alice Glass’ wispy and haunting voice. Well worth the buzz.
Free Association: Fifty-two minutes of feeling like you’re in an ‘80s acid flashback ... in a good way.
For Fans Of: New Order, Ladytron, Health meets Pet Shop Boys.
PW's Music Issue 2014