Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: Menomena, Mount Eerie, Pissed Jeans, Ramona Falls, Releases of the Week, The Antlers, The Cave Singers
PREVIEW: Download The Cave Singers’ “At the Cut” MP3
Every week, 20 Watts rounds up the new releases on our radar; click the link for our full review.
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Embarking on their second full-length album, The Cave Singers present themselves with a newfound confidence. Not that lead singer Pete Quirk ever sounded bashful, but you can tell, within the first couple of notes, that Welcome Joy is a different experience altogether. For every folksy acoustic track, comes a rambling, bold, rock ‘n’ roll counterpoint. The result is a personal, introspective examination of what makes the band, and maybe the listener too, tick.
Menomena sort-of-frontman Brent Knopf’s debut under the moniker Ramona Falls comes off as a charming narrative at first listen. Its harmonies glow from track to track, littering the album with a self-assured and collected nature endearing to the listener. Among its many textures and approaches, the most consistent theme throughout Intuit seems to be its nostalgic qualities. The feelings of familiarity and sentimental value literally seep out of each track, making the overall effort a pleasant surprise worth a listen for fans across the musical spectrum.
The Antlers’ latest effort, Hospice, is a deeply personal story of death which cuts to your heartstrings just as much as it did to the personal psyche of lead singer Peter Silberman. Recounting a tale of losing a loved one to cancer, it weaves a long and intricate road through the stages of grief. Between its gushing honesty, and glaring realism, the album contains enough emotion to bring the overly-sympathetic to their knees. For those interested in that sort of experience, meet your favorite album of the year.
Mount Eerie’s Wind’s Poem can seem like a stark departure from previous efforts. Heavily-influenced by metal, the distortion-filled lo-fi collection romps through a murky and dark aesthetic. That said, it does maintain some of the band’s earlier folk vibes. In fact, fans may even see the overall work of Wind’s Poem a re-imagining of some of Phil Elverlum’s previous ventures. It’s an intriguing look that works out well for the indie/folk veteran.
Pissed Jeans — King of Jeans [15/20]
Thrashing about wildly, Pissed Jeans’ latest, King of Jeans, may just be the hardest-rocking group of songs they’ve compiled to-date. It’s brash, a bit sporadic and simply chaotic. In no way, however, does that take away from the perturbed hotbed of non-issues the band deals with. If “angry” is the best descriptor they’ve got, so be it. It’s a wall of unleashed sound, and the music scene can always use a little bit of that every now and again.
— John Cassillo, Reviews Editor