Album Review: King Krule – Man Alive!

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Artist: King Krule 

Album: Man Alive!

Genre: Art Rock/Post-Punk/Jazz

Label: True Panther Sounds/XL Recordings/Matador 

Rating: 9/10

When going into a King Krule album you can always expect to be emotionally and mentally exhausted when coming out of the album, and I mean that in the kindest way possible. Archy Marshall under the “King Krule” moniker has had quite the evolution in recent years. Going from his early Jazz-oriented sound to his smooth Trip-Hop style of his music under his real name Archy Marshall to 2017’s critically acclaimed The OOZ, one thing has remained certain, Marshall will always wear his heart on his sleeve and be uncompromisingly honest, resonating with countless people whom find solace in his moody introspective reflections and worldview, people including myself, but that doesn’t exempt him from criticism. As a matter of fact, I was quite critical of his last album The OOZ. Though the album featured some of his best work, it was frustratingly bloated and extensive, and would have been a more solid and cohesive effort had he trimmed the fat. The length and unfinished filler tracks that littered that album are what keeps me from listening to the album in it’s entirety whenever I revisit it, but where that album faltered, Marshall took those misfires and improved them immensely on his new album Man Alive! This album is a massive improvement and has a reasonable length. Marshall continues to experiment with the abstract, the genre blends of Post-Punk, Jazz, and Hip Hop, and his lyrics are as introspective and poetic as ever. Following the birth of his son, Marshall is naturally in a different spot in life right now, which explains the more optimistic tone that combats much of the album’s despondence. For those moments where Marshall delves into the pains of solitude, he carries a light of hope. The blend of saxophone-driven Jazz but not your Father’s Jazz and artistic Post-Punk with Marshall’s rough and gruff vocals is what we’ve come to expect at this point, but where much of the tracks that found him going in that direction on The OOZ sounded like unfinished vignettes, that sound is perfectly honed and fully-fleshed out on Man Alive! and like I said earlier, this album is filled with introspection, poetry, and swagger that evokes the same cool spirit of artists like Tom Waits or Nick Cave. Lyrically the album deals with themes of losing connection with people, solitude, the state of our technology-driven world, addiction, and most importantly, the love he feels for his partner and his newborn son. That’s where the optimism lies, and it’s nice to see Marshall acknowledging the light after much acknowledgement of the melancholy. This is by far his best work.

Written By: Steven Sandoval 

 

ADULT. Announce New Album “Perception is/as/of Deception,” Share New Single “Why Always Why”

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Being over 20 years in the music world, Detroit duo “ADULT.” still manage to sound fresh and reinvent themselves with every release. Their last album This Behavior was a back to basics triumph that recalled the Electroclash sound of their early work, but with a veteran sense of focus the band improved on that sound incorporating the darker EBM-laden grooves we’ve come to know the band for. Now, just two years after that release the band have announced they will be releasing their follow-up Perception is/as/of Deception on April 10th via “Dais Records.” The band have also released the album’s debut single “Why Always Why,” a synth-heavy track that is as urgent sounding and anxiety-inducing as it is danceable, because you know with “ADULT.” it’s anxiety always (if you know you know.) You can watch the music video for “Why Always Why” below:

Album Review: Riki – Riki

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Artist: Riki

Album: Riki

Genre: Synth-Pop/Post-Punk/Goth

Label: Dais Records

Rating: 8/10

There’s just something about the genres of “Post-Punk” or “Goth” that makes fans of said genres truly dedicated. Like most underground movements these genres have proven to have longevity, standing the test of time and inspiring countless artists, artists that take these styles and either emulate them or reinvent them. I mean, the fact that we still see “Joy Division” shirts now is further proof. No joke, I am wearing a “Joy Division” shirt at this very moment. So who can we add now to this ever-growing list of inspired artists? Well, meet Niff Nawor, a Los Angeles-based artist formerly of the band “Crimson Scarlet.” After signing to “Dais Records,” and going by the name “Riki,” Nawor has grown an interest in going solo. The result is an impressive self-titled debut that is rich in dark “Synth-Pop,” romanticism, and Gothic aesthetic. The anachronistic nature of these songs may turn those whom can’t get past the obvious 80’s influence off, but for me, these songs don’t feel nostalgic. This album feels more like a continuation of what people were doing in the realm of “Synth-Pop,” “Dark wave,” and even “Italo Disco” in the 80’s. Without sounding like an emulation, this music just sounds natural coming from her. Though traces of artists like Pat Benatar, Billy Idol, Madonna, “Clan of Xymox”, and even “Xmal Deutschland” when she sings beautifully in German can be heard, Nawor has developed her own style which isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, but is undeniably inspired and genuine.

Written By: Steven Sandoval

The Strokes Share New Song “Bad Decisions”

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It’s really happening! “The Strokes” are back. Set to release their new album The New Abnormal on April 10th, the band have released another track off the upcoming album titled “Bad Decisions,” and it’s sure to satisfy fans and those who weren’t the biggest fans of their previous single “At the Door.” The track has an 80’s influence, even so much that Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” comes to mind upon hearing it. You can watch the 70’s inspired music video for “Bad Decisions” below:

 

Jehnny Beth Shares New Music Video for “Flower”

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Jehnny Beth released her new single “Flower” last week, a track that will appear on her upcoming album To Love Is To Live which will be released on May 8th, and today she has given us a Valentine’s Day gift, a music video for the song. The video is immensely erotic and definitely not safe for work. It finds Beth exploring her sexuality and it also features Rebeka Adams. The music video perfectly reflects the sexual yet cryptic nature of the song’s content of a stripper Beth may be falling for and wanting to get closer to. The meaning isn’t quite clear, because their are some lyrical curveballs, but I don’t think the song is meant to be completely understood. Like the best poetry, it’s open for interpretation. You can watch the Anthony Byrne directed music video below:

The Strokes Announce New Album “The New Abnormal,” Share New Song “At the Door”

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The rumors have been confirmed. “The Strokes” are returning with a new album on April 10th via “RCA Records” titled The New Abnormal. Today the band have released the album’s first single “At the Door,” a synth-heavy and surprisingly percussionless track that finds lead singer Julian Casablancas delivering one of his most gut-wrenching vocal performances yet. If you’re expecting Is This It, you’re going to be disappointed, because the band are continuing to move forward and adopt new sounds. They’ve never been the nostalgic type. They find new ways to reinvent themselves, and that’s what separates them from the other bands that were in their class in the early 2000’s. That’s why we still pay attention. The New Abnormal will be the band’s first release since their 2016 E.P. Future Present Past, and their first full-length album since 2013’s Comedown Machine. You can watch the music video for “At the Door” below: