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Dec 10, 2017







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Small Feet, Dreaming the Dream (Barsuk Records)




Small Feet, Dreaming the Dream (Barsuk Records)

This is a digital-only release of this EP, comprised of six reworked songs left over from the Stockholm-based trio’s 2015 debut LP From Far Enough Away Everything Sounds Like The Ocean. To get your bearings, we’re discussing a band whose first LP was lauded by such hipster vanguards as Brooklyn Vegan, which isn’t necessarily as bad a thing as it used to be, unless my brain finally cracked in half and this stuff doesn’t aggravate me as much as it did during the mid-Aughts. Singer/leader Simon Stålhamre is the impetus here, whom some have compared to the sadly departed one-man-depression-ward Jason Molina for some reason; actually he sounded more like Brandon Flowers in unplugged mode for most of From Far Enough, a dawdling sugar-free trifle that felt like Silkworm in 1950s-surf mode. This EP is much different from that, though, and has a lot of enjoyable moments. “Liar Behind the Sun” has a shoegazey feel, what with the slightly overdone reverb and beach-campfire vibe, but it’s also got a lot of twee authenticity to it as well — a remarkable little song, really. I like the lack of shrillness on Stålhamre’s part during the first half of this record, even if the mutant Roy Orbison shtick returns later during “Smoke and Mirrors” and throughout from there. A — Eric W. Saeger

 





Nine of Swords, You Will Never Die (self-released)
CD Reviews: January 5, 2017

01/05/17
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Nine of Swords, You Will Never Die (self-released)

New York punk-rock will never die, certainly not with albums like this bellowed into the great hollow void. Singer Rachel Gordon came to this band from the unlikely confines of Baby Mollusk, wherein she was tasked with batting her eyes and hipster-ditzing her way around some decent but ultimately disposable Pavement-ish fluff. That’s hardly the case here; apart from a few moments of insectile glitch pattering over some elevator synth-cheese, this is like Courtney Love singing for Helmet, and I mean the really crazy version of Courtney. These tunes want to break stuff, taking on the political/societal ramifications of mass shootings and voting against one’s best interests and such-and-so. Yeah, everyone has an unwanted opinion these days, of course, but Gordon’s roaring is so raw and real that one can’t help but commiserate. A+ 





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