WUOG 90.5 Home

Category: Album Reviews


Jeffrey Lewis returns with his famous narrative, monotone vocal inflection that meanders through soft instrumentals with wordy, vivid passages that play out like a diary of sorts. Lewis details the routine of life from the mundane, like watching skateboarders in his hometown Manhattan, to the intense, like his battle with his past in “Screaming Old Man”, where he wrestles with the fear of growing up unaccomplished and unhappy, or otherwise not realizing his full potential. This theme of self-deprecating introspection runs parallel to his classic storytelling, giving the album a brilliant sense of being immersed in Lewis’s mind as he undergoes such events. Jeffrey busts out with his storytelling talent primarily on the opener “Scowling Crackhead Ian”, offering us a character profile for his schoolmate Ian in painstaking detail, so much so that the listener becomes empathetic with Ian despite his criminal misdoings. It’s a gripping, speculative point of view that questions what makes someone “bad”, and how much of it is actually their fault, from a very human, subjective perspective that engages the listener with its ambiguity and challenges the schema for morality. “Manhattan” takes a more narrative, objective approach to the stories, reminiscing on a walk to Brooklyn with his girlfriend, who he’s seemingly on the rocks with, that places you in its shoes with a lengthy duration and meticulous detail of graffiti, people, and the sun. The track is mostly descriptive, until Lewis’s perspective creeps in with incremental details of his relationship status(“But now you’re mostly quiet, so I guess I’m done talking”, followed by “here come some joggers”), wedged in between this collage of scenery, making for an immersive listening experience that takes multiple listens to lay out and pull apart, but well-rewarded with an emotional, relatable sense of awkwardness.

Though not every track is so dense and substantial that they become exceedingly weighty; Lewis is conscious enough to flavor these with a relatable deadpan humor, like on the track “Support Tours” that marvels at the trials of being an underground musician, groaning that he’d “hate to leave his home for a tour with crummy pay, but if you get asked what are you really gonna say?” This is just one highlight of Jeffrey’s poker-faced malaise, and even at times the sense that he laughs carelessly at his misfortunes. Instrumentally this album is a much more rock-oriented direction than past Lewis records, and while generally denser still remains a folk-inspired steady backing to emphasize the lyricism. There are a lot of low-mixed keyboard melodies, simple drum patterns, and guitar strings that waver erratically with a twee-inspired melisma in a more indie rock tonality. Though these guitars aren’t unadventurous, showcasing concise, comfortable licks and nicely bent notes that any Mac Demarco fan could get into. And on the closer “The Pigeon” they even grow into a distorted solo that sounds like something Lou Reed would’ve strung out with Velvet Underground in the 60’s, and it makes for a great finish.

Manhattan is a tastefully self-aware collection of indie rock-borrowed anti-folk tracks that cultivate a vivid description of Lewis himself in a portrayal that everyone can see at least a little of themselves in. He paints pictures in an obscured black-and-white to which he fills in the colors of his choosing, and through it offers his own perspective while simultaneously allowing for the listener’s own to be interpreted. If you are a fan of wordy, introspective folk music with a comfortable instrumental timbre and affinity for malaise-laden realism, Manhattan is an album you will enjoy digesting.

-Brian Pope

Joanna Newsom – Divers


Divers is the fourth studio album from singer/songwriter and harpist Joanna Newsom. Newsom’s previous album Have One on Me was a 2 hour-long feast and, comparatively, Divers is a much more easily digestible batch of songs. The instrumentation is a lush exhibit of baroque and folk sounds and the arrangements are exceedingly complex. Newsom’s voice remains a polarizing force, and she seems to rarely take a breath as she chirps lyrics of tremendous imagery and power. One highlight on this album is “Sapokanikan,” which references a former Native American settlement in the location of current Greenwich Village. The song seems to rarely repeat a melody, but many of them are infectious enough to burrow their way into your brain nonetheless. Another standout track is the title track, which starts off with an incredibly moving harp section that seems to spiral downwards and soon builds into a piano driven orchestra of a song. Divers is sure to be one of the best albums of the year.

-Alexander Kimball

Neon Indian – Vega Intl.Night School

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 3.01.30 PM

Chillwave connoisseur Neon Indian moves into groovier territory with his third album, Fly International Night School, drawing on the synthesizer patterns and song structures of synthpop and the bass-heavy grooves of p-funk and nu-disco music to create an addictive collection of danceable songs regulated by interludes of synthesizer arrays of almost ambient quality that keep the record unpredictable and vibrant . Alan Polomo flavors his vocals with a watered-down murkiness similar to Unknown Mortal Orchestra that make the tone of these tracks almost psychedelic at times, while maintaining that catchy groove that could have anyone in the building on their feet. “Glitz Hive” is a highlight of this,  which dives straight in with a Funkadelic-inspired bass line and an 80’s vocal pattern that hops in and out, detailing a meeting with a girl in a club, which perfectly complements the jaunty tone of the track, and is cut with a clever ambient outro that cuts the sugariness of the chorus-based song form. This is a recurring theme that Polomo utilizes all over the record, giving us enough chorus to rave to while also offering meticulously crafted measures of dense synth melodies and distorted electric guitar phrases that bring a tasteful palette conducive to active listening. Fly International Night School uses this to appeal at all levels, and culminates into a boundary-pushing, cohesive listen that invigorates as much as it sedates. If you enjoy the density and vibrancy of Washed Out or the danceable choruses and sparkling keys of Passion Pit, this record will fit nicely in your library.

-Brian Pope

Computer Magic – Davos


If I was ever stuck in a space sci-fi film, I would want my scene to be set to Computer Magic. With dreamy vocals, danceable synths, and clean machine drums, Danz (aka Danielle Johnson), creates spacey synth-pop that sounds whimsical and airy. Computer Magic is wildly popular in Japan, and Davos, Danz’s first full length album after many EPs, keeps the unique and recognizable sounds of classic Computer Magic. Each track is masterfully layered, and her hypnotic coos over simple electronic beats create a noteworthy mix of songs. The opening track “Fuzz” is upbeat and danceable, “Be Fair” is full of catchy oos and ahhs, and “Chances” really features her bright vocals.

-Camilla Grayson

What’s new on WUOG? An ambient angel, slacker storyteller and a buncha folk-punk fellas…

Julia Holter – Have You in My Wilderness


Listening to Julia Holter’s fourth album, Have You In My Wilderness, was one of the most pleasurable experiences I’ve ever known. From the very first song I was captured by the beauty of Julia Holter’s voice and the symphony that accompanied her singing.  Have You In My Wilderness can be defined by how intimate it makes you feel. Holter is telling a story through her music, and there is something that feels extremely personal and touching as a result. This is an album that you play at the end of the night when you’re reflecting on how great the party was and how glad you were that all your friends came. Julia Holter has created a chamber orchestra pop album that is slightly more accessible then her splendid past works. The production on the album is extraordinary, and the intricacies of the music, due to great production, continue to complement Holter’s voice. Some tracks that really stood out to me are “Feel You”, “Sea Calls Me Home”, and “Everytime Boots”. 

–Will Jurgens

Kurt Vile – b’lieve i’m goin down…


Kurt Vile opens b’lieve i’m goin down with a ballad of desolation, and how his self-awareness from past albums crumbles when he merely looks at his own reflection. Vile’s bleak thoughts are delivered through humorous lyrics, meant to be listened to at night after everyone else has gone to bed. His deadpan vocals and guitar picking allow the listener to drift along to his conversational musings. Vile’s growth comes in the instrumentation as he incorporates more piano and banjo into his songs. Recorded at Joshua Tree and even in Athens, Vile uses less reverb, making it a lot lighter, but his emotional intensity is still as strong as ever. Vile claims “Wheelhouse” is the best song he has ever written, but “Lost My Head There” and “Pretty Pimpin’” are close rivals.

-Camilla Grayson

Front Bottoms – Back on Top


Back on Top is the fifth album from the indie-punk band, The Front Bottoms. Although the Front Bottoms are no strangers to the music business, this album is their first after signing to Fueled By Ramen after years with the small, independent label, Bar/None Records. With this label change, has come a change in sound. While staying true to their history of raw and revealing lyrics on most tracks, The Front Bottom’s newest album has a cleaner, and at times, more generic sound than that of the past. The newest album features slower tempos and more electric guitar than on previous releases. While The Front Bottoms have definitely not been lost, the album at times shows a side of The Front Bottoms that is a little too saccharine. One of these saccharine instances is “HELP,” which turned out sounding too common and not personal enough to be a quality Front Bottoms track. “Laugh Till I Cry” and “West Virginia” are the golden connections that link Back On Top to the group’s past, saving the band from losing their distinct sound in the void of the competitive indie-rock world. They both feature instrumental diversity and The Front Bottoms’ signature chaotically eccentric sound. Furthering the transitions from one album to another, “Ginger” almost sounds like a B-side off of Talon of the Hawk, with extremely quirky lyrics and even some trumpet on the track. “Cough It Out” is slower and sweeter than most that the band releases. It features a snare beat and a little keyboard to push it forward, but lead singer Brian Sella’s profound lyrics are really what drives the song to a new, yet somewhat nostalgic mark of success. “Historic Cemetery,” buried deep in the middle of the track list, is another standout. “Historic Cemetery” is more somber than the rest of the tracks, with haunting lyrics, acoustic, guitar, and even some recorded conversation. These songs add complexity to The Front Bottoms, proving they are more than one-trick pony. While there are some glaring faults on Back On Top, that’s what The Front Bottoms are all about; making music for the sake of making music, not with the goal of perfection in mind. While The Front Bottoms may not be recording out of warehouses or friend’s basements at 2A.M. anymore, the passion and creativity from those days are still apparent.

–Tori Benes

Toro y Moi – What For


Chaz Bundick of Toro y Moi trades in his electronic dance-pop for indie-rock  guitar and softer lyrics on his newest album What For?. More closely resembling June 2009 than his recent releases, the album is full of indecisiveness and quiet probing. Hazy electronic guitars, bass, and soft drums create psych melodies that compliment the ambiguity of his lyricism. He asks repeatedly,  “Does anyone know where we go from here?” on the track “What You Want” and “Do you understand what must be done?” on “Spell It Out”. “Buffalo,” said by Bundick to have set the precedent for the entire album, is full of 70s funk and gauzy melodies. Whether it’s lack of direction or a purposeful push towards a more laid back sound, What For?  shows Bundick’s range and thirst for musical growth.

-Camilla Grayson

The Mountain Goats – Beat the Champ


Beat The Champ is the newest album from the Mountain Goats. The album is all about lead singer John Darnielles’ experiences with Lucha Libre wrestling growing up. With this fact in mind you might think that the album will be fun and lighthearted unlike many previous Mountain Goats’ album, but you would be wrong. The album encompasses the same confessional and heartbreaking lyrics that fans have grown to love. Darnielle escapes his horrible childhood through wrestling, and this album conveys that escapism. While the lyrics are sad, dark, and beautiful, the music itself is catchy and prompts you to sing along making Darnielle’s message easier to swallow. The album is quintessential Mountain Goats with a quirky topic.

-Will Jurgens

Shlohmo “Dark Red”


Darker than his previous work, Dark Red is an abysmal and distorted melody. After a long period of personal loss, electronic producer Shlohmo’s second full length album ventures into a mournful place with its detachment from pop and admission into a realm of sluggish, monotonous expression of unhappiness. This sense comes out most in the middle of the album, the first five tracks being more dynamic and the last two more reminiscent of his earlier, more energetic work. The album reflects the discomfort he felt when he wrote it and with that energy in mind, the succession of variation and repetition throughout the album is telling of his attitude. In this iteration of his work, Shlohmo has stripped his sound of any collaboration or vocals, which creates an even more eerie, ominous, and almost tragic tone. Without a doubt this album explores the many dimensions of loss and the equally complex systems for coping with that.

Kira Hynes​

Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Think


Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit glorifies the day-to-day mundane through deadpan, yet charming vocals. Barnett’s long rambling lyrics reflect intelligence and wit that compliment her slacker-rock aesthetic. “Elevator Operator” sings of a made-up man named Oliver, and “Depreston” tells of Barnett’s adventures apartment hunting. “Small Poppies”, set to the bluesy guitar, is about the harrowing task of mowing the lawn. Barnett’s clean strummed chords and her conversational lyrics give her music a laid back and relaxed feel, but her upbeat songs like “Pedestrian At Best” have the electric guitar and self-deprecating lyrics of 90s garage rock. With sharp melodies and storyteller lyrics, Courtney Barnett’s album has a unique sound that launches the listener into her complex mind.

-Camilla Grayson

Alex G – Trick


Alex G is the sentimental songwriter best known for his minimally produced, bedroom recorded Bandcamp projects, where he has released numerous hard-to-get recordings. Trick was released via Bandcamp before his most recent album “DSU”; now it’s being re-released through Lucky Number. Trick is Alex G to a point: mundane stories looped into bedroom-pop lo-fi melodies, comfortably shrouded in an unobtrusive relatability. His songs range from everyday thoughts about his favorite animal (“Whale”) to an uneasy melody about infatuation/murder  (“Kute”). Placed in among the mix of simple acoustic songs is the instrumental namesake of the album, “Trick”. The rerelease comes with three bonus tracks that stay true to the atmosphere of Alex G’s previous recordings.

-Cassidy Reeser

Laura Marling – Short Movie


Laura Marling’s 5th studio album, Short Movie has taken a turn towards a rock/alternative folk as opposed to the traditional folk, but she still retains her folk roots throughout the album.  Short Movie starts off stern and serious, but transitions to a more upbeat and lighthearted tone with the electric guitar. Most of Short Movie deals with Laura’s conflicting feelings about love and independence.  She jumps back and forth from needing to love someone to leaving for her freedom.  Laura’s new sound isn’t too far off from her previous works, but has a distinctness that makes it stand out from the crowd.

-Albert Moon

Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear


I Love You, Honeybear, the sophomore release by Father John Misty, weaves conflicting emotions of disillusionment and passion into a conceptual folk rock mix of airy vocals, guitars, horns, and strings. While Fear Fun consists of lighthearted skepticism, I Love You, Honeybear deals with heavier issues like his relationship with his wife and his own self-faults. “C Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” features horns that compliment his somber and wispy voice, and “True Affection” is a synth pop commentary on closeness. “Bored in The USA” confronts the alienation of consumer society to a piano and a purposely out-of-place laugh track. Featuring strings and horns on many songs, the album contrasts the large sound of an orchestra with the intimacy of Tillman’s lyrics. I Love You, Honeybear is full of musical and lyrical contradictions that perfectly describe the perplexity of love itself.

-Camilla Grayson

Purity Ring – Another Eternity


Purity Ring opens their second album with all the pulsing synth present on their debut.  Megan James’s gentle vocals yield a happy contrast to the powerful beats, mixing dance anthems with spacey ballads throughout “Another Eternity”.  “Stillness in woe” and “repetition” are slower tracks that demonstrate Roddick’s ability to blend instrumentals perfectly to the tones of James’s voice.  In conclusion, this sophomore release receives all the right attention with its varied electro-pop songs, but it fails to provide anything new from their first album.

-Ben Phillips

Will Butler – Policy


Recorded in one week in Jimi Hendrix’s old Living Room, Policy marks Will Butler’s (probably most known as Win Butler’s younger brother) first solo album to date. Though this is his premier album, the Arcade Fire musician did compose the original score to 2014’s award-winning motion picture “Her.” Since then, he’s employed his menagerie of musical skills to compose a sonically diverse debut. Because he’s a part of Arcade Fire, the urge to expect a style and fluency throughout the album close to that of AF is natural, but that’s not what Butler delivered. The album as one single entity doesn’t have the most natural transitions, but with that in mind, each song has a distinct feel much like each Arcade Fire album has a distinct feel, and each song is reminiscent of a different AF phase. Granted, it still isn’t Arcade Fire. Butler adds a flair of punk in “Take My Side (1), “What I Want” (6), an 80’s background vibe in “Anna” (2), some thick experimental funk and accidentals in “Something’s Coming” (5), and altogether more experimental takes on melody in each track. We hear the familiar rhythm and piano of Neon Bible in tracks “Finish What I started” (3) and “Sing to Me” (7), with a splash of that choral background ohhing and ahhing that’s so Funeral and so loveable in tracks “Finish What I started” (3) and “Witness” (8). The most accessible and most consistent tracks are “Witness” (8) and “What I Want” (6), bringing in the most energy and the most danceability. His lyrics are zany (“I’ll give you a pony/ if you cook it for dinner I know a great recipe/ for pony macaroni” – ‘What I Want’), he’s got a little extra angst, and he’s proving his musical worth as an individual. All he’s missing is the cohesion throughout the album, but I wouldn’t write him off so soon.

-Kira Hynes

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper – After


Lady Lamb’s sophomore album, After, starts off with typical pop-rock sound with “Vena Cava” and “Billions of Eyes”,  with a hint of 60’s beach music in the mix.  But in the next track, “Violet Clementine”, she adds in some eerie, Modest Mouse-y, banjo, as well as a chorus of singers and horns.  Shifts like this happen often through the album; “Sunday Shoes” is a stripped down acoustic track, “Milk Duds”, “Ten”, and “Atlas” are all sort of alt-country.  But she never changes so much as to lose her unique sound.

-Justin Johnson

The American Spirit – Season of Violence or Mourning, Protest, And the Birth of Bishop Killborne


American Spirit plays an assortment of ambient folk on their newest album that combines the woozy vocals of Father John Misty with the southern twang of My Morning Jacket. Their debut album features hazy songs led by acoustic guitars. Some songs are supplemented with light drums on songs like “All Night”, while others feature harmonicas and banjos like in “Going on My Own Way”. There is a musical depth through the background vocals but also a lyrical depth in their lyrics about  longing and discovering something more. Season Of Violence or Mourning, Protest, And The Birth of Bishop Killborne is a creative album full of talent.

-Camilla Grayson

Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Three


Based out of New York, Matana RobertsCoin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee is the third album of a slated 12 that will compile her Coin Coin project. Having grown up in Chicago in the late 70s and early 80s, her childhood was filled with musical influences, specifically of jazz and its component instruments. Roberts is known as a sound experimentalist. This album is full mechanical, repetitive hums, crackles and reverberations, masked by eerie oohs and experimental saxophone melodies, Roberts’ main instrument. Fading in and out of the noise is Robert’s voice, sometimes melodic, but often it is just raspy and chant-like, or just plain talking, being that Roberts also works with spoken word poetry. Her album is full of the sounds of life, not its melodies, which weave together in sincere incongruity and culminate into a whole of transfixing uncertainty.

-Kyra Hines

Proving WUOG can be your home whether you are really cool or still think 1977 was the best year for music (it was, ok, it was) we have both Dan Deacon AND the Pop Group playing on the radio these days.

Dan Deacon – Gliss Riffer


Baltimore is really churning out some great music these days and Dan Deacon is one of the city’s very best artists. Since his stunning breakthrough, 2007’s Spiderman of the Rings, Deacon has put out the gorgeous, live-instrument focused Bromst (one of my favorites of that year) and the ambitious America, and now Gliss Riffer, which  feels like vintage Dan Deacon, while still experimenting with the ideas and forms that his fans are familiar with. The opener “Feel the Lightning” feels like the closest thing we’ve ever gotten to a Dan Deacon pop song. There’s a really discernible structure and catchy synth parts that augment Deacon‘s traditional joyful, electronic chaos. Gliss Riffer takes a really dramatic left turn is the last 2 tracks of the record. “Take It to the Max” and “Steely Blues” are two of the most experimental tracks Deacon‘s done since signing with Domino and display his masterful composition skills as well as his ability to create huge environments with his array of musical ideas.

-Andy Tabeling

The Pop Group – Citizen Zombie


The seminal post-punk band, The Pop Group has released Citizen Zombie, their first LP in 35 years, and they’ve picked up right where they left off.  When beloved bands reunite and  release new material, the new records often derided and met with skepticism, as it can never match the expectations presented by a legendary back catalog.  With their three short years as a band from 1977-1980,  The pop group seamlessly blended the noise of the Birthday Party, the political outrage of the Clash and the Sex Pistols, and the nerdy white punk funk of American New Wave, all the while lending more influences to these contemporaries.  On Citizen Zombie the Pop Group still have the raw political energy and the rage of a young band while still offering a mature, postmodern sound that seems wiser than their previous work.  The opener and title track, “Citizen Zombie” is funky and savage which somehow manages to include jazz inspired sounds, feedback and futuristic noise.  In contrast to their usual punk-funk, tracks like “Mad Truth” and “s.o.p.h.i.a.” are dancefloor ready snythpop tracks.  The Standout track is “Nowhere Girl” and its most reminiscent to their older material and verges on the anthemic, combining love song and atypical optimism with huge, blaring guitar riffs and U2ish backup vocals. Closer “Echelon” sounds like a synthed up Nick Cave song as its very pretty and eerie. Although the political lyrics can be bulky at times (see; “Nations”/ “Immaculate Deception”) they are still intriguing and give the album a dystopian vibe.  The Pop Group’s Citizen Zombie is a strong effort that holds up to the band’s impressive discography without sounding trite and overdone.

- Tom Jurgens

Title Fight – Hyperview


Title Fight’s third full length album, Hyperview, is an extreme departure from the aggressive punk of their previous releases, even the most recent  Spring Songs EP (which featured heavily in WUOG’s rotation last year).  They’ve replaced the loud, post-hardcore sound, with a lusher shoegazey guitar sound that still packs the punch of their previous albums.  Hyperview is still a killer punk album and it shows that Title Fight’s steady growth has paid off with such a rewarding album.  It may prove divisive to fans of their older material, but it’s as good a place to start as any for the uninitiated.  “Chlorine” still has guitars that swell and explode into softer, melodic vocals.  “Hypernight” is still firmly entrenched in post-hardcore despite the shoegaze inspired riffs.  “Your Pain is Mine Now” is beautiful and heart-wrenching with the refrain “Don’t cry your eyes out.” This song feels like the centerpiece of the album as it  strips away the noise and shows the strong influence of mumbling post-punk and nineties indie rock dressed up as punk.  The band stated that Dinosaur Jr. and the Beach boys were big influences on the record, and the transition from “Your Pain is Mine Now” into “Rose of Sharon” encapsulates those influences perfectly.  This record is glorious, go listen to it.

-Tom Jurgens

The Church – Further/Deeper


Further/Deeper is the newest release from the Australian outfit The Church, building on more than three decades of experience and 25 albums. As would be expected with any band that created 25 albums and gained and lost a few members along the way, there is a disparity between original Church from 1981 and Church in 2015. The loss of an essential member (Marty Willson Piper) and gain of another (Powderfinger’s Ian Haug), is one of the reasons for the shift into the Church of today. Despite this, their distinct sound carries through: emotionally searching, full of shimmering guitars and distant drums, but still wholly relatable. In Pride Before A Fall, Steve Kilbey’s pleading voice drones “And now you know that actual love / It goes further, deeper,” revealing the album’s namesake and staying true to the yearning songs of the band’s past.  This album brings forth new ground that is apparent from the lead track “Vanishing Man” through to the psychedelic “Globe Spinning.” Further/Deeper maintains the dreamy atmosphere reminiscent of past years while traversing new ground that is applicable to the 2015 music scene.

-Cassidy Reeser

Benjamin Booker – Live at Third Man Records


Benjamin Booker, relatively new to the music scene, has already made a name for himself with his interesting take on post-war blues.  His self-titled debut album, released last year, combined elements of blues with a DIY, garage-punk sound.  His raspy voice sung, or sometimes screamed, over that lo-fi guitar sound and punchy percussion create a truly unique musical experience.  While recording in a live setting sacrifices some production and overall sound quality, Booker more than makes up for it with his raw, energetic performance.  The live album also features arrangements with fiddle and mandolin, including his cover of Furry Lewis’ “Falling Down Blues”, which he takes in a much folkier yet equally (if not more) powerful direction.  Overall, the album is definitely worth a listen, and I am excited to see what the future holds for Benjamin Booker.

-Justin Johnson

Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass


Natalie Prass is a singer-songwriter based in Nashville, TN. I bet that made you think of what she sounds like, and odds are, you guessed wrong. Prass stands out remarkably among a crowded field of modern singer-songwriters by accompanying her songs with the most enormous arrangements I’ve heard from a folk-ish musician since Sufjan Stevens. All of the songs on Prass‘ self-titled debut are filled with gorgeous string sections, soft horns and delicate woodwind passages. The artist that comes to mind for me is the mid-period of Scott Walker’s career (Scott 1, 2, 3, 4) where the arrangements are massive, but only add to already great songs. Thankfully, like Walker, Prass knows how to write a song. The opener “My Baby Don’t Understand” has a gorgeous, addictive melody that weaves itself around some of the most interesting instrumental accompaniment I’ve heard in a while. Tracks like the previously mentioned 1st track and the following track “Bird of Prey” both refuse to adhere to the boring song structures many of Prass‘ peers rigidly follow. Her voice, which sounds almost tiny compared to the orchestral majesty of the songs, takes a little bit of getting used to, but can prove addictive and lovable like the songs it’s a part of.  -Andy Tabeling

Twerps – Range Anxiety


Twerps combines their reverb based riffs with lead singer Marty Frawley’s warm but slightly off key vocals to create a lo fi album full of breezy harmonies and playful guitar. Range Anxiety, their second full-length, can be energetic, but also sensitive. “Cheap Education” is upbeat, while “Empty Road” is sung as a monotone ballad of love. “Empty Road” is a perfect mix of Twerps’s slacker roots and their sunny guitar. Singing “I don’t mind if you stay, I don’t mind if you go,” Frawley’s ode to apathy is actually a well thought out song that utilizes the power of his guitar to form a chorus in itself. Range Anxiety is a cohesive album that combines the easygoing ambiance of Real Estate with the musical depth of Yo La Tengo.  -Camilla Grayson

You Blew It! – Pioneer of Nothing


You Blew It! have returned with the 7” Pioneer of Nothing after their sophomore album, Keep Doing What You’re Doing.  On these three songs, You Blew It! Offer more of the same, which is essentially a good thing.  Back in the summer they did an EP covering Weezer’s the blue album, honoring the geek rock gods that came before them.  On this EP, however their influences lean more to the nineties emo of Dismemberment Plan and American Football. Despite what Ian Cohen says, we’re in the midst of an emo revival, which  7” keeps it going strong with the opening two tracks offering textured and intricate guitars that soon give way to angst ridden pop-punk hooks.  On “Lanai”, You Blew It’s! vocalist is reminiscent of Travis Morrison. Slow burning, heavy and sad-emo is back and here to stay at least for a little while.  -Tom Jurgens

Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love


No Cities To Love is punk outfit, Sleater-Kinney’s first album after a nine-year hiatus. No Cities begins with “Price Tag”, a punchy anthem to consumerism. From minute one of the short thirty-three minute (ten song) album you’re hit with the hard-driving tempo that carries it throughout. “Fangless” is a tad funkier than the rest with a more danceable tune. “A New Wave” conquers the dilemma of identity, as much of the album does, with some welcome harmonizing. “Surface Envy” is arguably the crowning jewel, featuring quite a bit of dual guitar play. No Cities To Love definitely follows on in the path of their previous work yet seems a bit more concise. There’s no respite for the listener, each song gets straight to the point and before you can recover you’re thrown back in.

-Sarah Guirguis

Viet Cong – Viet Cong


Death plays a major part in Viet Cong’s composition. Aside from being the title of the epic final track on their debut album, it is death that initially brought the band together. After the tragic death of Women’s guitarist Christopher Reimer, Bassist/vocalist Matt Flegel and Drummer Michael Wallace formed Viet Cong, continuing the creation of anxiety fueled post-punk. Since their Cassette Ep, Viet Cong have incorporated synthesizers and drones of Swans intensity, further expanding their sound. “March of Progress” begins with a repetitive drum rhythm over minimal synth chords and tape loops, leading to metallic arpeggiating guitars and a verse that builds with full intensity, highlighting Wallace’s precise drumming and their ability to interweave guitars. The presence of Christopher Reimer lurks through each track, inspiring much of the content lyrically and musically. On Continental shelf, Flegel sings, “Don’t want to reminisce” and “Don’t want to face the world, it’s suffocating”, further revealing his emotional angst. On the album’s closer “Death”, Viet Cong play with driving force, exemplifying their greatest strengths and abilities. At just over 11 minutes, “Death” takes many forms, patiently building up into a throbbing drone until a sudden shift, changing the pace and playing at unusual time signatures similar to Women’s “Heat Distraction”. Viet Cong is an incredibly consistent album that stretches the boundaries of their previous work, blending familiarity with a certain freshness.

-Ben Houston

What’s new on WUOG? Strangest collab of the year, Helium/Autoclave/Wild Flag’s Mary Timony’s newest band and a buncha Canadian garage punks!


If you tune into WUOG you might hear the latest from Texas post-rockers This Will Destroy You and California dance-poppers Lemonade. Both albums have blue covers, so this article is visually pleasing.

This Will Destroy You – Another Language

Many have heard of Texas post-rock band Explosions in the Sky. Their atmospheric sound has made it into the hit TV show (and movie) “Friday Night Lights”, bringing music lovers’ attention to the Texas Post-Rock scene. Although Explosions in the Sky is usually the headliner when talking about this style of music, San Marcos, TX quartet This Will Destroy You is revolutionizing the scene. The biggest difference is that most post-rock bands such as Explosions in the Sky will follow the same formula for each song: Intro, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action. This Will Destroy You was also guilty of following this set formula, but they seem to have break away from it in their latest record Another Language.

TWDY have been active since 2004 and they have come a long way in developing their sound. This record seems to realize the emotional effect certain sounds can evoke in a person’s mind. The band strays from using strictly guitar with delay pedals and pounding drums, focusing more on layering sounds and recognizing their effect on the listener. In tracks such as “Mother Opiate” the drums only use brushes to capture the hazy nature of opiates, while the spacey minor key offers a tone of depression and loss to the whole mix. The album ends with “God’s Teeth”, a track that I listened to constantly over and over again. The guitar swells drone in the back while a piano offers a progression that is calming. While that fades away, there are more sounds that come in offering the listener a pushing and pulling feeling, much like the internal struggle of someone struggling with faith, or someone on their deathbed. The song fades to black at the end, offering an eerie solace. This album is the perfect example of how music itself can speak so much to the soul. I highly recommend This Will Destroy You’s Another Language.

-Shubham Kadam

Lemonade – Minus Tide


This album by Lemonade provides the perfect synthesis between heavy electric beats and muted dance music. The vocals are harmonic and follow nicely with the instrumentals, creating a smooth synth pop experience for the listener. Sampling sexy saxophone for their ballads and heavy drums for the dance numbers Minus Tide is an extremely versatile album. The lyrics are the true gem. while dance music focuses on the beat and lyrics can fall by the wayside, that is not the case with Lemonade’s Minus Tide, as they combine inspirational lyrics with their tunes. The 80’s inspired vocals mesh well with the modern electronic beats, especially with softer songs such as “Durutti Shores,” providing pleasing hazy sounds, while “Water Colored visions” shows the lyrical capability of the band and the more dance music inspired “OST” allows for a high energy ending.

-Isabella Ballew

We have two featured albums that went into rotation this week, the soundtrack from twee king Stewart Murdoch’s new film and the latest from garage king Ty Segall.

Stewart Murdoch – God Help the Girl


The soundtrack for Stewart Murdoch’s debut film is everything you’d expect from the frontman of Belle & Sebastian.  God Help The Girl embodies all the twee charm of the Scottish indie band, but instead of the signature pipes of Stewart Murdoch, actors Emily Browning and Olly Alexander, amongst other actors, dominate the soundtrack.  God Help The Girl follows a coming age story of three young adults: Eve, James, and Cassie.  To cope with their own personal struggles, the trio strives for musical success with their band God Help The Girl.  The soundtrack is made up of musical numbers from the film interspersed with instrumental pieces and dialogue between the characters. God Help The Girl is upbeat and fun with tracks like “I Dumped You First”, “God Help The Girl”, and slower and mellow with “Act Of The Apostle” and “Baby’s Just Waiting”. Overall, God Help The Girl is warm and whimsical, highlighting the best songwriting talents of Belle & Sebastian.

reviewed by Anna Anderson

Ty Segall – Manipulator


 Ty Segall’s seventh album, Manipulator, has a very clear psychedelic influence while still highlighting Segall’s garage rock roots. The album is a departure from Segall’s usual chaotic sound, leaving behind most of the fuzz of his previous work. The guitar use in Manipulator has a definite 70s influence and has a much more clear sound than his last albums. The focus of this album lies in the instrumentation rather than the lyrics of any of the songs, as do most of his previous albums. Manipulator sounds as if it was plucked out of the 70s and dipped in a bath of garage rock.

reviewed by Sarah Guirguis​


You know the deal. Here comes another year end list, this one highlighting the best local releases (anything from the state of Georgia) of 2013. Ranked in a mostly arbitrary fashion by local music director WIll Guerin, with special consideration to input from Patrick Boyle and Alec Livaditis, as well as a handful of other WUOG staffers. Don’t read too much into the individual rankings, we just put the numbers there so you’ll (hopefully) read the list. So go ahead and enjoy 20 of our favorite 2013 local releases, edited by Dafna Kaufman and Will Guerin.


Hey everybody. A few quick details on how we put all this together: We compiled a small team of writers/editors out of the current and incoming executive staff at the station. Our weighted votes, along with the votes of 25 other WUOG staffers determined a definitive Top 50 list that we feel best represents the thoughts and views of the station. (more…)

Blood Orange
Cupid Deluxe
Known predominantly as a man who works for other artists, Devonte Hynes sure knows how to make music that is without a doubt his own. After providing the vital character for Solange’s True and writing tracks for Britney Spears new album that won’t see the light of day, Hynes has branched out on his own to create his second solo endeavor under the moniker Blood Orange. This isn’t to say Cupid Deluxe is entirely a solo record – each song features collaboration with a multitude of familiar names in the music scene. (more…)

Active Child
Rapor EP
Vagrant Records

This is Pat Grossi (alias Active Child)’s third E.P. and his fourth release overall. Ellie Goulding, who covered “Hanging On” appears here, as does relative newcomer Mikky Ekko. It’s a gorgeous, short piece of electropop that is pretty consistent all the way through. It’s as atmospheric and beautiful as early Depeche Mode but is admittedly a lot more fun to listen to. There’s a pretty clear R&B influence here which oddly fits with the atmospheric synthpop production. It’s a fun, catchy record that anyone can get into. – Dan Clifford

Cut Copy
Free Your Mind
Loma Vista Recordings

The new album by Australia’s finest dance-rock act Cut Copy, Free Your Mind is one of the most fun and enjoyable records released this year. Structured around a few psychedelic interludes, the record is filled to the brim with catchy tunes and subtle grooves. One of Cut Copy’s greatest strengths is the way they can build a groove and then create a catchy song around it. Dan Whitford’s voice is breezy and his production creates songs that sound equally great at a dance party or an afternoon spent in the sun. All those psychedelic interludes lead up to the penultimate track “Walking in the Sky”, which is essentially Cut Copy’s version of a power ballad. It once again repeats the mantra that gives the album its title. Free Your Mind does just that, providing 50 minutes of escape and pleasure. – Andy Tabeling

Connan Mockasin

Filled with phased and reverbed and pitch shifted vocals, crystalline guitar, and luxurious synth, this album just wants to give you that Ooh Baby real smooth like. With AM radio soft rock and Ariel Pink-esque soft focused nostalgia holding hands at the forefront of the sonic pallet here, Caramel welcomes you in with wide open arms and holds you tight and give you that Oh La La with tracks like the slinky “I’m The Man, That Will Find You” and “I Wanna Roll With You.”  Give it a spin and get some of that sweet Caramel as soon as you can.  – Sebastian Marquez

Edited by: Nathan Kerce

Cass McCombs
Big Wheel and Others

In his first release since 2011’s two releases Wit’s End and Humor Risk, Cass McCombs has released a sprawling double LP filled with clever lyrics and delicate tributes to psychedelia, country and folk. The LP’s massive length makes this a dense journey but a close listen reveals the layers that McCombs employs to keep the listener engaged over a long period of time. While the instrumentation remains fairly in the realm of a normal indie rock band, McCombs effectively uses odd guitar sounds and the occasional gentle steel guitar to create a welcoming atmosphere that remains listenable across the album’s 85 minutes. Lyrically, McCombs is as witty and clever as ever and Big Wheel and Others yet again displays his storytelling ability as well as his wonderful sense of humor. The patient find themselves rewarded with a large collection of meticulously crafted, clever rock tunes.  – Andy Tabeling

Glow & Behold
Fat Possum

With the departure of Yuck’s former frontman Daniel Blumberg many speculated that the London group’s dissolution was imminent. However, for Yuck’s sophomore effort, guitarist Max Bloom has taken over songwriting and vocal duties. The group’s sound has changed along with its lineup but they’re still clinging to their 90’s inspired roots.  Yuck originally garnered comparisons to nineties indie rock groups like Pavement and Yo La Tengo, channeling a fuzzed out lo-fi sound. Glow & Behold finds the trio leaning towards their more melodic work from their first album, polishing its edges for a lush, quieter sound.  The few remnants of the band’s raw debut are “Middle Sea” and “Glow & Behold” while the other tracks are softer and more refined to suit Bloom’s vocals. Glow & Behold still walks in the footsteps of its predecessor while working with a gentler, more lyrically abstract tracklist. – Thomas Jurgens

Parquet Courts
Tally All The Things That You Broke
What’s Your Rupture

Slacker rock takes on many forms. There’s the melodic, feel good vibes of Mac Demarco on one end but across the spectrum lies Parquet Courts, a garage punk group who’s lyrics conjure both a smile and a roll of the eyes. Apparently, not much has changed since the foursome’s breakout hit Light Up Gold was (re)released earlier this year to critical acclaim. The drums are as dampened as ever, the guitars are constantly strumming and Andrew Savage continues to fit as much “social commentary” as he can possibly mumble into his two minute (on average) songs. If anything, the group has expanded on the wacky atmosphere their lyrics can often create. Instrumentally, things get really silly. Album opener “You’ve Got Me Wondrin’ Now’s” use of sporadic flute and the closing track’s inclusion of a digital cowbell that sounds like it came from a child’s keyboard. The album’s cover is an especial indication of the elevated silliness with an obvious misspelling of their own name.  In essence, Tally All The Things That You Broke is nothing surprising, but it is a pleasant extension of a sound that garnered the quartet so much attention in the first place. – Jonathan Williams

Edited by: Nathan Kerce


Producer Nicolas Jaar and guitarist Dave Harrington (otherwise known as DARKSIDE) have managed to generate much hype since their 2011 inception, releasing a noteworthy EP and even remixing Daft Punk’s album Random Access Memories. Their new LP, Psychic, not only builds upon their established industrial sonority—it transcends it. DARKSIDE once again utilizes minimalist percussion and bluesy guitar riffs, but also masters the art of using silence as an instrument—accenting every last nuance. As a result, their precise attention to detail enables them to bring together two juxtaposing genres to conceive an entirely new one, propelling ambient electronic music into uncharted territories. Psychic is intelligent, dark, modern—and certainly one of the most praiseworthy albums to be released this year.- Magnolia Triplett


True Panther Sounds

Cameron Mesirow, alias Glasser, strikes me as someone who could easily write straightforward pop songs but that wouldn’t be half as interesting as what she offers up on her sophomore LP, Interiors. Her style is incredibly difficult to describe – at times I was reminded of Madonna’s Ray of Light and moments later I’d think  of Aphex Twin. The one word that consistently came to mind was “beautiful.” This album shimmers and shines while still taking very strange and interesting directions, often mid-song. The track names have a theme of architecture; if this album were a building, there’s no doubt it would be as surreal and shiny as the album cover. I hate to use such bizarre metaphors but you’ll understand if you listen to the record… it’s quite difficult to describe. – Dan C.


Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
The Speed of Things
Warner Bros

With a name that somehow made the jump from late night “hah- that should be a band name” to actually being a band, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s second album delivers a dose of dreamy dancey indie pop. Showcasing wordy hooks that are actually quite Reptar-esque [especially on the track “Run”], their catchiness is more lyrical than banal. Fairly typical indie rock goodness here, with enough innovative electropop elements, spacey breaks and little vocal harmonies/falsettos to keep you listening to your favorite songs. Sometimes memorable and danceable, like the aptly named single, “If You Didn’t See Me [Then You Weren’t on the Dance Floor]” or dreamy and low-key on songs like “Beautiful Dream” to straight up catchy but acerbic on “Don’t Tell Me.” This Detroit duo managed to avoid the Sophomore slump and seems to be working on a solid catalog to accompany their novelty band name. – Brett Bennett

Edited By: Nathan Kerce