1. MUST HEAR
‘Hear You’ marks a bit of a sea change for Toe, but not one that diminishes or hides any of the band’s strengths. The album does stand as one of their strongest releases. While its somewhat scattered nature does stand in stark opposition to more thematic genre, it does little to diminish the beauty and appeal of the songs themselves. While falling just short of being the best release of Toe’s career, may be their crossover moment. With a recently wrapped tour, fairly successful string of singles and new label backing, Toe may be set up for their most commercially successful year to date. And luckily, in terms of artistry, there’s little here that indicates that Toe has fallen off, or that they will. ‘Hear You’ easily puts to bed any of those worries. The Barbershop Music offers you a range of Toe’s discography.
2. STONER ROCK
If you are a fan of Fu Manchu, then this album will make you more of a fan, ‘Gigantoid’ has what the listener wants and needs and that is why we still go to see them and why they are such a big part of what makes rock still a thing. There is nothing processed, no autotune, just 4 badasses laying it down with such firmness and strength that it should be a lesson to the ‘music world’. Music when played so genuinely and with such gravitas can make you remember days gone past and why you got into it in the first place. It makes you feel. Whether it is sad, melancholy, tough, spectacular, it is still a feeling. Ask yourself, when were the last time you really listened to an album that hit you in your whole body? Guess what? This one does and for that, I salute you gentleman for a job really well done. Get your copy of ‘Gigantoid’ at The Barbershop Music.
On Prince Avalanche, the enormous, trembling tremolo chords that usually hang like supernovas in Explosions’ sky diffuse into a variety of subtler character mostly made of acoustic guitar and piano in counterpoint with electric shimmers and hums. There are intense, crackling ambient pieces. There are haunting e-bowed meditations, which recurs on later tracks to give the record its sorrow emotional center. There is a waltz, slow and sad flamenco-like tune, a misty piano interlude that wouldn’t sound out of place. There are also a handful of more driving tracks, it makes for a nice little album on its own. Hear for yourself. Prince Avalanche is simply a great LP to add on to your Explosions In The Sky collection.
4. NITRO ROCK CRANK
‘Only Ghost’ is a great album to get your heart pumping and blood flowing. It’s packed with a boatload of groovy riffs that dig in deeper than a wood tick on a hot summer day. Tunes with a straight up rock with raging vocals and somewhat repetitive lyrics. An album with up-tempo jam burns hot from start to finish. It is a fine finish to a great album from the boys in Red Fang. Crack into a case of your favorite beer and let this jagged mother of nitro rock crank. ‘Only Ghost’ album is up on The Barbershop Music.
Achilles’ Heel, Pedro the Lion’s fifth album, is a hallmark for the band, a culmination of their previous work, and personally their best album to date. Breaking down into broader concepts and themes that rely far less on storytelling and more on topical personal politics turns out to be a winning approach. Walking through the emotional fray of America’s suburban ennui, David Bazan and company have built a beautiful and wavering mix of indie rock and country-folk. Ester Drang keyboardist James McAlister added a syrupy keyboard undercurrent to contrast Bazan’s longing melodies and lyrics and the guitar work reaches new levels of uncharacteristic gritty rock to the band. ‘Achillies Heel’ is now available at The Barbershop Music along other Pedro The Lion’s LPs.