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new kexp album reviews

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New Album Reviews:

Childbirth: Women's Rights
Buy! - (Suicide Squeeze)
The second album from this Seattle trio comprised of members of Chastity Belt, TacocaT and Pony Time is a strong set of snarky garage-punk with primal, grungy guitar lines and pounding rhythms accompanying Julia Shapiro’s sarcastic vocals and the band’s biting, often-hilarious lyrics skewering sexism and lots more. 10/2/2015 - Don Yates

Other Childbirth album reviews:

It's A Girl! - 1/10/2014

Wavves: V
Buy! - (Warner Bros.)
The fifth album from this LA-based band led by Nathan Williams is a potent, hook-filled blend of power-pop, garage-punk and grunge-pop, featuring consistently strong, sharply crafted songs juxtaposing angst-fueled lyrics with bright pop melodies. 10/2/2015 - Don Yates

Other Wavves album reviews:

Afraid of Heights - 3/29/2013
King of the Beach - 7/13/2010

Protomartyr: The Agent Intellect
Buy! - (Hardly Art)
This Detroit band’s third album is another stellar set of bleak post-punk with angular guitars, taut, driving rhythms, gloomy vocals and acerbic lyrics. 10/2/2015 - Don Yates

Other Protomartyr album reviews:

Under Color of Official Right - 4/4/2014

The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die: Harmlessness
Buy! - (Epitaph)
This nine-piece Connecticut band’s second album is an impressive set of dramatic, beautifully crafted emo-rock with a dynamic, richly textured sound combining a variety of instrumentation with a multitude of singing voices and anthemic song hooks. 10/2/2015 - Don Yates

Yppah: Tiny Pause
Buy! - (Counter)
The fourth album from Long Beach, CA-via Texas producer/multi-instrumentalist Ypaah (aka Joe Corrales Jr.) is another transportive set of blissed-out grooves incorporating elements of atmospheric post-rock, downtempo electronic and ethereal shoegaze. 10/2/2015 - Don Yates

Other Yppah album reviews:

Eighty One - 3/23/2012

Blackalicious: Imani Vol. 1
Buy! - (OGM)
This veteran Sacramento-based duo’s fourth album (and first album in 10 years) is a strong set of warm, funk-infused hip hop pairing Chief Xcel’s boom-bap beats with Gift of Gab’s intricate, life-affirming rapping. 10/2/2015 - Don Yates

Other Blackalicious album reviews:

The Craft - 9/14/2005
Blazing Arrow - 4/15/2002
Nia - 3/15/2000

Israel Nash: Israel Nash's Silver Season
Buy! - (Loose Music/Thirty Tigers)
This Dripping Springs, TX-based artist’s fourth album is another impressive set of psych-tinged folk-rock reminiscent of Neil Young, featuring a warm, ‘70s-steeped sound with expressive guitar solos, occasional pedal steel, gentle vocals and wistful melodies. 10/2/2015 - Don Yates

Other Israel Nash album reviews:

Israel Nash's Rain Plains - 1/31/2014

Lana Del Rey: Honeymoon
Buy! - (Interscope)
This LA-based artist’s third album is her strongest, most-focused work to date. Honeymoon plays to her strengths with a string of dark, atmospheric torch songs, languidly paced and spaciously produced with mournful orchestration, spare beats, haunting melodies, sighing vocals and fatalistic lyrics of addictive love and LA decadence. 10/2/2015 - Don Yates

New Order: Music Complete
Buy! - (Mute)
The veteran British band’s 10th studio album (and first in 10 years) features a revamped lineup with original keyboardist Gillian Gilbert back on board while iconic bassist Peter Hook is absent. It’s still a fairly strong comeback with a few missteps, though most of it’s quality dance-pop with propulsive rhythms, sweeping synths, atmospheric guitars and sparkling song hooks. 10/2/2015 - Don Yates

Say Hi: Bleeders Digest
Buy! - (Barsuk)
The ninth album from Seattle artist Eric Elbogen (aka Say Hi) is a sequel to his 2006 vampire concept album Impeccable Blahs. Like that album, lyrics revolving around vampires are used to explore themes of love and alienation on songs fleshed out with buzzing synths and catchy pop melodies. 9/25/2015 - Don Yates

PWR BTTM: Ugly Cherries
Buy! - (Father/Daughter)
The debut full-length from this New York duo is a strong set of punkish garage-pop combining a stripped-down guitar-and-drums sound with buoyant pop melodies and bold lyrics revolving around being young and gay in a mostly straight world. 9/25/2015 - Don Yates

Chvrches: Every Open Eye
Buy! - (Glassnote)
This Scottish trio’s second album is another powerful, impeccably crafted set of anthemic electro-pop with bright, shimmering synths and propulsive rhythms accompanying Lauren Mayberry’s crystalline vocals and emotive lyrics. 9/25/2015 - Don Yates

Other Chvrches album reviews:

The Bones Of What You Believe - 9/20/2013

Kurt Vile: b'lieve i'm goin down...
Buy! - (Matador)
This Philadelphia artist’s sixth solo full-length is another first-rate outing of expansive, folk-tinged psych-rock, with a consistently strong set of mostly dark, open-ended songs combining Vile’s expressive guitar work along with some occasional banjo, piano and other instrumentation with his laconic drawl and smart, self-aware lyrics that leaven deep melancholy with flashes of wry humor. 9/25/2015 - Don Yates

Other Kurt Vile album reviews:

Wakin On A Pretty Daze - 4/5/2013
Childish Prodigy - 9/30/2009

Dungen: Allas Sak
Buy! - (Mexican Summer)
The seventh album (and first in five years) from this Swedish band led by Gustav Ejstes is an impressive set of expansive psych-rock, with a warm, beautifully detailed sound combining a variety of instrumentation including fuzzy guitars, piano, organ, horns, woodwinds, vibes, harp and more with delicate vocals and twisty melodies. 9/25/2015 - Don Yates

Other Dungen album reviews:

Tio Bitar - 5/4/2007

Julia Holter: Have You In My Wilderness
Buy! - (Domino)
This LA artist’s fourth album is a beautifully crafted set of sophisticated avant-pop with a lush, airy, imaginatively arranged sound featuring a variety of colorful instrumentation and inventive rhythms to frame her intimate vocals and cryptic lyrics, along with some of her most gorgeous pop melodies to date. 9/25/2015 - Don Yates

Youth Lagoon: Savage Hills Ballroom
Buy! - (Fat Possum)
The third album from Boise, Idaho artist Trevor Powers (aka Youth Lagoon) is a more polished take on his melancholy psych-pop, with a lush, cleaned-up sound that puts his fragile, high-pitched vocals and vulnerable lyrics up front. 9/25/2015 - Don Yates

Other Youth Lagoon album reviews:

Wondrous Bughouse - 2/28/2013
The Year of Hibernation - 9/20/2011

John Grant: Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
Buy! - (Partisan)
The third solo album from the former frontman for The Czars is a moody blend of buzzing electro-pop, arty glam-rock, flinty funk and stately ballads, featuring a variety of sharply crafted, beautifully detailed songs with dark, often-caustic lyrics. 9/25/2015 - Don Yates

Other John Grant album reviews:

Pale Green Ghosts - 4/18/2013

Small Black: Best Blues
Buy! - (Jagjaguwar)
This Brooklyn band’s third full-length is a fine set of psych-tinged electro-pop with a hazy sound featuring fuzzy synths, atmospheric guitars, propulsive rhythms, yearning vocals, wistful melodies and lyrics of loss and memory. 9/25/2015 - Don Yates

Other Small Black album reviews:

Moon Killer - 11/23/2011

Futurebirds: Hotel Parties
Buy! - (Easy Sound)
This Athens, GA band’s third album is an impressive blend of expansive psych-rock and country-fried roots-rock, with a cleaner, more direct sound than their previous releases that places the band’s rock-solid, hook-filled songwriting more squarely in the forefront. 9/25/2015 - Don Yates

Other Futurebirds album reviews:

Baba Yaga - 4/5/2013

Dilly Dally: Sore
Buy! - (Partisan)
The debut album from this Toronto band led by Katie Monks is a powerful set of ‘90s-influenced rock reminiscent at times of The Breeders and Pixies, featuring a raw, dynamic sound with jagged, noisy guiitars, measured rhythms, catchy song hooks and Monks’ raspy, occasionally throat-shredding vocals and angst-fueled lyrics. 9/18/2015 - Don Yates