LADYGUNN REVIEWS: JULY ALBUM RELEASES

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A quick preview of five album releases in July 2013 that you need to hear!
reviews by / LOGAN BRENDT
 



ABOUT GROUP / BETWEEN THE WALLS
Domino
release date: July 2, 2013
The third album from About Group, which features Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, contains some seriously jacked up jams in the best possible way. Always maintaining an opiated groove but allowing the discordant guitars and analog synths to squelch into another dimension, the vocals manage to bring it all back to home base. The hardest thing to decipher is whether Between The Walls is the ultimate after club, night record or an early Sunday morning hangover chaser. Highlights include the epic “Walk On By” with its interstellar overdriven crescendos along with the space-rock freakouts, the heartbreaking closer on “Love Because”, and “Words” with its sitar laced and ring modulated rhythm and blues. Like any supergroup, About Group certainly know how to play off each other.
 

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BEACH / IN US WE TRUST
Short Story Records
release date: July 16, 2013
With an interesting history that’s lead to her project Beach, New York-based singer and muli-instrumentalist Karen Mould (also known as Bitch) affixes her vehement magnetism into every song on In Us We Trust. Opening the album with the wicked breakup anthem “Ibuprofen”, Mould’s energy will immediately prove to the listener that she possesses the schizophrenic and electrifying power of a rock banshee. Her cross-pollination of bluesy rhythms on “Love Was A River” and ethnic musical dabblings on “IFURWTUEAT” provide a contrasting backdrop to her creaking but engaging vocal attack. There are also moments on “Souvenir” which displays a stunning ability of storytelling, vocal strength and violinist skills. Mould doesn’t hold anything back.

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LEFTOVER CUTIES / THE SPARK & THE FIRE
Self-released
release date: July 23, 2013
The throwback flair of The Spark & The Fire, the sophomore album by Leftover Cuties, touches on the same classic era that Adele managed to make palatable for the mainstream. Except, Leftover Cuties seem to preserve the authenticity and bar room shuffle more effectively. With their potpourri of ukulele, trumpet, accordion, and piano, they defy conventional accoutrements which makes them unusual enough to grab your ear and become enthralled. “Thick and Thin”, “One Heart”, and “Once Again” kick off the album by favorably tumbling into the listener’s space with the polarity of a lively mood and heartbreaking subject matter. And anyone who name-checks Doris Day as one of their influences is all right in my book.

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EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS / Self-Titled
Community Music / Vagrant Records
release date: July 23, 2013
Led by Alex Ebert, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros return with their messianic lullabies on a self-titled third album. Revealing itself as cohesive and multilayered, the album presents itself as an art piece, dripping with corn-fed Americana and psychedelic musings. The long reverb gang vocals sit nicely on groovy stoned licks and other trippy instrumental interludes. And it even seems as though Ebert is feeling like Jesus on the aptly titled “Let’s Get High”. Also living up to the hype of their 2009 single, “Home”, their opening track “Better Days” could bring along more moments of memorable commercialism as well. While this may not be their goal, you can’t help what a good song can do.

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HAPPY HOLLOWS / AMETHYST
Pesky Fruit Records
release date: July 30, 2013
LA-based Happy Hollows have a gem in their sophomore album Amethyst. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Sarah Negahdari powers their rocket ship of indie rock into a powerful and cosmic soundscape. Vibrating on the colors of rich rhythms, guitar, and electronic touches that are driven along spellbinding vocals, songs like their title track is flawless. Negahdari can certainly prompt feelings of nostalgia with her voice that’s akin to idols like Cyndi Lauper, however, she is without a doubt one-of-a-kind. Tracks like “Stop The World” and “Count No Years” can even bring to mind wistful memories, allowing them to segue into your present state, and the guitar work also deserves praise for bringing Tinderbox era Siouxsie and the Banshees to light. Amethyst is truly magical, smashing all stereotypes of what female fronted bands are made of.

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