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Music Review: Never Shout Never - Black Cat

Released August 7, 2015
Reviewed by Cody Garland, WERU Intern

Christofer Drew is the exception to the rule. Having dropped out of high school to pursue a career in music, he has found his stride and grown in popularity since his days posting original works on You Tube for fun. A rarity in the digital age, Drew has begun to separate himself from the pack and distinguish himself as a force to be reckoned with as the band Never Shout Never. Whether it be a 60s bubblegum pop throwback, a wonderfully performed ballad or a compilation of funky loud noise rock, Drew can do it all, and the latest evidence of this can be found in his newly released album, Black Cat. Read more »

Music Review: James Taylor - Before This World

Released June 15, 2015
Reviewed by Cody Garland, WERU Intern

Lyrical creativity in music is something that is becoming a rare commodity. Gone are the days of the singer-songwriter dominance, but luckily some artists from that era still give us new music to listen to, and we can recapture a glimpse of what music used to be in that slice of time in the world, and what it can still be with a little effort. James Taylor's 16th studio album, Before This World, does just that with his ability to string together stories with a refreshing and simple melody that not only makes us at ease, but also gives us a sense of wisdom not often heard in popular music today. Read more »

Music Review: Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp

Released April 7, 2015
Reviewed by Cade Overton, WERU Volunteer

In a very brief period of time, Katie Crutchfield has entered the indie canon. Though Waxahatchee is by no means a household name, Crutchfield's project has already yielded two unforgettable records, 2012's sparse and haunting American Weekend and 2013's fleshier Cerulean Salt. The former offered soul-baring introspection that somehow toed the line between lo-fi navel gazing and hair-raising heartbreak, while the latter ditched the tape hiss, kept the gutting confessionals, and added some more diverse instrumentation. Waxahatchee has always lived in the realm of relationships and on the edge of a near-unbearable sadness, and Ivy Tripp, Crutchfield's newest effort, stays true to the name on the jersey. It has been a couple of years, of course; the record lacks a helpless vulnerability that often broke the surface in the past, and with confidence comes strength.  Read more »

Music Review: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

Released March 31, 2015
Reviewed by Cade Overton, WERU Volunteer

Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress is the sixth full-length from Canadian post-rock outfit Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and the second since their 2012 re-emergence following a ten-year silence. 2012's Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! was a forceful reminder that the group's importance had hardly diminished during their decade-long sabbatical, as it demanded thoughtful contextualization while simultaneously delivering searing satisfaction, and Asunder is in many ways a direct thematic follow-up to that record. Read more »

Musician Interview: Uncle Tan

By DJ Knix (The Knix Mix, Friday nights 10-12):  The Knix Mix is privileged to be the first English interview ever for Finnish electronic pop artist Uncle Tan.  Uncle Tan hails from Tampere, Finland, a large inland city located in Southern Finland. Uncle Tan describes Finland as a "beautiful and inspiring" country.  I know I'd love to visit! Musically, Uncle Tan draws inspiration from artists like Moby, M83, Röyksopp and "countless" others.  "Positivity, good hooks and innovativeness are my trademarks," says Uncle Tan.  He has been working as a solo artist since 2011 and previously worked as an composer for dancehall reggae artist Lord Est.   Read more »

Music Review: Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden

Released August 19, 2014
Reviewed by Cade Overton, WERU Volunteer

By its very nature, doom metal is a niche, a subculture of metal bands essentially exercising a somewhat tidy collection of tropes, buried semi-deep in the darker recesses of the broad metal umbrella. It is by no means a sub-genre with crossover appeal, but this is precisely why Foundations of Burden,the highly anticipated sophomore effort from Pallbearer, is a record that deserves attention. From the start, the band has found themselves drawing Black Sabbath comparisons and garnering hype that belies their humble beginnings, and while “doom metal” might not yet be a household term, it’s on its way to becoming a legitimate American tradition. Arguably, Pallbearer are doing it better than anyone else. Read more »

Music Review: Antemasque - Antemasque

Released July 1, 2014
Reviewed by Cade Overton, WERU Volunteer

After a brief hiatus/high-profile falling-out, the two main players behind both post-punk legends At The Drive-In and prog wranglers The Mars Volta have returned with an unexpected new project: Antemasque. Once the dust settled and the music media got over the fact that Flea was handling bass duties (the egregious term “supergroup” was bandied about feverishly), the band dropped their refreshing tour de force self-titled record. Read more »

Music Review: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra - F--- Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything

Released January 21, 2014
Reviewed by Cade Overton, WERU Volunteer

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra have never been much for accessibility or gentleness. Their lineup boasts members of Canadian anarchist post-rock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor, for one thing, and it's worth noting that their records didn't even feature vocals until a few albums in. That being said, this particular record offers a nice thesis statement in its title – the direct aggression is there, but it's tempered by a very visceral image of joy. The title track starts the record with a child's voice saying “We live on the island called Montreal, and we make a lot of noise because we love each other!” It's almost an addendum to the proclamation of the album's title, and from there, the music does the rest of the work. Read more »

Music Review: Liars - Mess

Released March 24, 2014
Reviewed by DJ Knix, host of The Knix Mix, Fridays 10pm-12am.

Mess is dance-punk veterans Liars seventh full length album since the release of They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top in 2001. The Los Angeles based trio, consisting of Angus Andrew, Aaron Hemphill and Julian Gross, has undergone a number of paradigm shifts since their early years as an art punk band. Read more »

Music Review: Trust - Joyland

Released March 4, 2014
Reviewed by DJ Nix, host of The Knix Mix, Fridays 10pm-12am.

Joyland is the sophomore album by Trust fronted by Toronto's Robert Alfons, and it is The Knix Pick for Best New Release.  I haven't been this excited about a new album since Gesaffelstein's Aleph was released in the fall. Read more »

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