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  • Slipped Discs March 2020

    Discs You May Have Missed
    by John Noyd

    Porridge Radio

    Porridge Radio

    Initial Thoughts

    March albums appear to embody contrasts and double down on dichotomy. From stratospheric synth-wiz CHRISTOPHER SKY‘s palatial palpitations, ” What It Is, It Isn’t,” to urban sound-painter ZEBRA KATZ‘s athletic trap, “Less is Moor,” opposites attract. Add soul-kitchen magicians WHISKERMAN‘s frontier medicine-show, “Kingdom Illusion,” exorbitant punk-pop extortionists PORRIDGE RADIO‘s scorching score-keepers, “Every Bad,” and robo-narconauts PHANTOM POSSE‘s satin lava-lamp synaptics, “Forever Underground, ” and self-inflicted contradictions soon prove inscrutably immovable.


    Disc Reviews


    The Black Watch - Brilliant Failures

    The Black Watch - Brilliant Failures

    The Black Watch

    Album title: Brilliant Failures
    Record Label: A Turntable Friends Records

    Combative ballads locked in flinty indie-rock battles, “Brilliant,” thrills in morose maelstroms and chill with jangle-cradled fables, a diligent intelligence distilling urgent evidence into existential tempests with guitar-centric tendencies. Discontented sentries railing against unlimited insignificance and metaphysical ennui, The Black Watch’s Trotsky moxie roars with authority, swiping decisively with furious swerves, cooked in psychedelic vibrato and hand-delivered with professorial calm.

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    Activity - Unmask Whoever

    Activity - Unmask Whoever

    Activity

    Album title: Unmask Whoever
    Record Label: Western Vinyl

    Schizophrenic alchemists blending unhinged inventions into mesmerizing tension, Activity’s dicey nightmare divinity spins agitated mind-games keen on twisted mysticism into heavenly ectoplasmic traps luring meaning from steamy post-punk riddles and Krautrock dream-journals. Tasked with passive catastrophes encroaching tantric mechanics, “Unmask,” wraps tight-rope soap-operas in shadow-world poetry, drenching deliberate suspicions in careening micro-industrial feedback nourished by brooding bass and underwater drums.

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    U.S. Girls - Heavy Light

    U.S. Girls - Heavy Light

    U.S. Girls

    Album title: Heavy Light
    Record Label: 4AD

    Tropical exotica transplanted into modern-diva chic, ‘Heavy,” levies midnight galas slithering between sassy and savvy; bold, mobilized street parades strutting among sound-collage conversations and socio-political glitter. Dazzling deviations circling worldly flirtations, U.S. Girls’ poly-rhythmic sizzle and feather-boa flow cavorts and exhorts. Designer cool oozing through gumbo jungle trysts, mastermind Meg Remy brings her vivacious vision to Madison’s Majestic April 6th.

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    Moaning - Uneasy Laughter

    Moaning - Uneasy Laughter

    Moaning

    Album title: Uneasy Laughter
    Record Label: Sub Pop

    Dark, manic phantoms dragged down dance-floor drainpipes, Moaning shapes delicate elegance over monumental New Wave anxiety; swirling, searching specters caught in restless dread’s headlights, resisting dismissive disappointments and withstanding abandoned grandeur. Daring escapes chased by runaway synths, “Uneasy,” seizes subdued confusion caught in calculated rhythms, subverted verse and mountain-king chords while polite moonlight shines on sleek beasts wrestling misdirected intentions.

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    Marie Miller - Little Dreams

    Marie Miller - Little Dreams

    Marie Miller

    Album title: Little Dreams
    Record Label: Tone Tree Music

    Wise to the world, “Little,” kindles nimble Americana flickering in candle-lit arrangements for neighborly banquets where trusted country roots wear their Sunday best.  Galloping gracefully over tender reflections and unresolved promises, Miller evokes heartfelt folk buffed to a gentle, sophisticated luster; authentic sentiments wrapped in crackling tapestries weaving banjo, mandolin and guitar between velvet strings, desolate melodies and church-yard harmonies.

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    Jim Andralis &The Syntonics - My Beautiful Enemy

    Jim Andralis &The Syntonics - My Beautiful Enemy

    Jim Andralis &The Syntonics

    Album title: My Beautiful Enemy
    Record Label: self-release

    Sly irony hides behind upfront hungers, exposing emotional strangleholds in well-composed odes as home-grown straight-shooters Andralis and company introduce natural narratives to casual analogies for root-cellar novellas ripe with redemption. Traveling country-folk balladry cast in novel plots exacting tragic costs, “Enemy,” cements spent identities to scrappy tabernacles and spirited fierceness for punches to the gut in the kindest way possible.

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    Final Thoughts

    March takes a shine to exalted authorities from shark-tooth chanteuse CAROLINE ROSE‘s lip-gloss dance-offs, “Superstar,” and effusive muse WAXAHATCHEE‘s sauntering coffee-shop prophecies, “Saint Cloud,” to generalized idols like electro-poet HALF WAIF‘s candid family examinations, “The Caretaker, ” untethered electric jesters DISQ‘s cattle-prod pop, “Collector,” and ex-Klaxons, sunshine superman JAMES RIGHTON‘s groovy hula-bop, “The Performer.” Adding to the adoration, country-blues soothsayer LILLY HIATT‘s full-moon, “Walking Proof,” Glasgow’s power-pop hooligans CATHOLIC ACTION‘s trippy rubber-room raves, “Celebrated By Strangers,” and collegiate chameleon MARGARET GLASPY‘s literate mischief, “Devotion,” become key ingredients for cultish consultants.