Slipped Discs February 2016

Discs You May Have Missed
by John Noyd

Supersonic Blues Machine

Supersonic Blues Machine

Initial Thoughts

February albums ask where you at? So, hunker down in honky-tonk roustabout MALCOLM HOLCOMBE’s dobro-soaked gut-bucket blues, “Another Black Hole,” or sparkle-pop operators HIGH HIGHS’ shimmering harmony-armored binges, “Cascades.” while locating melodic story-teller BILL PRITCHARD’s savvy narratives, “Mother Town Hall,” and funked-up swamp-stompers SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE’s crackling maverick road-trip, “West of Flushing, South of Frisco,” before covering all your bases with rodeo-poet STEPHEN KELLOGG’s home-bound ballads, “South, West, North, East.”


Disc Reviews


Holy Esque - At Hope’s Ravine

Holy Esque - At Hope’s Ravine

Holy Esque

Album title: At Hope’s Ravine
Record Label: Beyond the Frequency

Seething in bittersweet seizures, Scotland’s Holy Esque harbors karmic carnage beneath emotional oceans, dredging ominous concoctions from feverish allegiance and schizophrenic penance. Ravaged embattled cadavers roaring in glorious indie-rock flourishes, “Ravine,” careens around lean fiends screeching disturbing reverberations, shuddering and sputtering while tortured six-string scorchers parlay embryonic sonics lit in brazen flames into staunch conquering monarchs fueled by turbulent urgency.

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DMA's - Hill’s End

DMA's - Hill’s End

DMA's

Album title: Hill’s End
Record Label: MOM + POP MUSIC

Brandishing mammoth jangle-pop sincerity grown from humble strumming and plainspoken hopes, ” End,” elicits supersonic pub-rock issuing epic declarations with bluesy introspections arousing courageous choruses inside passionate mop-top holocausts, yearning for stability, grateful for relief. Portraying everyday heroes facing hard-won options to honest problems, Australia’s demonstrative DMA’s doles out down-to-earth words rooted in the larger-than-life decisiveness of red-blooded unrequited confessionals.

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Porches - Pool

Porches - Pool

Porches

Album title: Pool
Record Label: Domino

Calculated heartbreak slowly toasted over synthesized soul; Porches’ minor-key melancholy combines jazz accents, gleaming beats and delicate melodies to build sensible sentimental digi-pop props laced in restless pleasures. Underwater waltzes courting cyber-seamless teases, the terse, immersive, “Pool,” retools chilled skills with romantic stanzas, managing languid dangers through plush constructs tasked with humanizing plastic perfections, dissolving mechanical candor into well-timed designs.

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Sarah Neufeld - The Ridge

Sarah Neufeld - The Ridge

Sarah Neufeld

Album title: The Ridge
Record Label: Paperbag Records

Scratching an itch that spirals into Möbius strips of flickering art-pop mischief, “The Ridge,” hypnotizes with raspy gypsy patterns whose bewitching births spark spirited omens drawn from curious, furious compositions releasing uncontrollable golems chasing scathing cadence with demonic logic. Magnetic, emphatic and enigmatic, violinist Neufeld follows her dark, archaic muse through lively, divergent paths that resonate in splendidly menacing cadenzas.

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Chris Storrow - The Ocean’s Door

Chris Storrow - The Ocean’s Door

Chris Storrow

Album title: The Ocean’s Door
Record Label: self-release

Panning for AM Gold, Storrow strikes a rich gripping balance between personal concerns and universal truths, embracing muscular arrangements where sensitive perceptions harvest strong longing from bold, noble loneliness. Deep feelings disguised in common sense and sympathetic recollections, “Door,” restores faith in basics, turning mid-tempo mementos into defiant reminders decorated in lush, layered luxuries and galvanized in brassy, catchy catechisms.

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Quilt - Plaza

Quilt - Plaza

Quilt

Album title: Plaza
Record Label: Mexican Summer

Wide-eyed pop-rock trotted through cosmic meadows and hatched inside blazing paisley; the sly unbridled psychedelics of, “Plaza,” waft through magical Saturday after-thoughts with trippy sixties innocence and wise enlightened hindsight. Narco-minstrel convictions gliding inside slinky guitar-driven rhythms, Quilt’s groovy moon-struck doodles swing between sparkling star-dusted harmonics and suspiciously delicious ear-worm turns for a sweet voyeur’s voyage around dreamy sugar-coated scenery.

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Final Thoughts

Peak bleakness aside, winter albums remind us all is not lost but rather tied up in knots. Whether hallucinogenic lounge-chemist IDIOT GLEE’s left-field wonderland, “Idiot Glee,” oblique strategists RANGDA’s ragged banshee-jazz, “The Heretic’s Bargain,” or placated space-rogues PLEASANT GROVE’s shadow-running tumble-weeds, “The Heart Contortionist,” circumvented adventures abound. Reframing foolish games, transistorized dream-weaver TW WALSH’s haunting soul-searches, “Fruitless Research,” and rap-pop laureate SHIRLETTE AMMONS’ flirtatious soundscapes, “Language Barrier,” leads either to alt-punk renegades LOW CUT HIGH TOPS’ brilliant throwaway trophies, “Eh, Whatever,” or glossy posse TEEN’s velvet synth-pop propositions, “Love Yes.”