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The Cropper!

A blog featuring #indiemusic news, interviews, & the best darn free songs east of Stockholm

Indie-Music Reviewed Carolinabound's 'Smoking Gun' EP and Loved it

Smith most definitely has a way with words, and uses them to vividly paint moving pictures to complement the musical collaboration of his fellow players on Smoking Gun. There is a potency and honesty to these songs, and while they may have been borne from traditional country and folk, the voice that has emerged is distinct and modern. It’s a fine line to walk but Smith does so with an ease that makes listening to this record comforting and truly enjoyable. Smoking Gun is a deceptively complex collection of tunes that displays a gifted lyricist to his full potential.

(READ THE FULL REVIEW OVER AT INDIE MUSIC!)

CMJ Posted a Great Review + Photo Gallery of Tommy Wallach's Release Show At Joe's Pub!

Wallach has a knack for creating compelling musical narratives and marring them to a dexterous performance style enriching the experience. The novelist, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, is finally having his stars align towards abounding success. The latest album We All Looked Up is sure to be the catalyst for his limitless musical trajectory, and a telescope won’t be needed for this cosmic display.

(READ THE REST AND SEE THE GALLERY OVER AT CMJ!)

Baeble Was Blown Away by Tommy Wallach at Joe's Pub

Tommy Wallach’s set was so good that it retroactively made me feel guilty about my trepidation towards the evening and it definitely made me feel guilty for all the silent shade I was throwing at the East Village types in attendance. It’s still easy to feel intimidated and a little disgusted at all of the excessive wealth on display, but that night was about appreciating a talented young artist with a remarkable future ahead of him — as we reported a week ago, Paramount has optioned the rights to his film — and Tommy Wallach left me and everyone else at Joe’s Pub more than satisfied.

(READ THE REST AND WATCH AN EXCLUSIVE BOOK TRAILER OVER AT BAEBLE! )

Pittsburgh In Tune Calls Tommy Wallach's 'We All Looked Up' A Gem

There isn’t a bad song to be found on the 10-track, 39-minute slab, but pay special attention to standouts “A Natural Disaster,” “No Stars,” personal favorite “Bad Bad People,” “Bloodless Love,” “Photographer, I Love the Painter,” “Seduce Me” and “Madeline.” With two killer records in less than a year — not to mention the book and movie — Wallach’s star is definitely on the rise.

(READ THE REST OVER AT PITTSBURGH IN TUNE! )

Paste Had Some Great Things to Say About Guts Club's 'The Arm Wrestling Tournament'

Baker’s songs sometimes play like the unfiltered id of someone hiding in your closet and watching through a crack in the door as you get ready for bed: she means you no intentional harm, but there’s no telling what she might do next.

(READ THE REST OVER AT PASTE!)

The Gods Themselves: The Gods Themselves Review

When Astra Elane announces “I am the president” on The Gods Themselves’ self-titled debut, it’s less a declaration of status than a hyperbolic warning that she’s not to be trifled with. In fact, you suspect she’d bring down fence-jumping intruders herself with a deceptively sweet smile and a forearm to the throat.

The song, handily titled “I Am the President,” pairs her lean voice with a tough riff that blossoms into a storm of wah-wah guitar in the middle eight. It’s a standout track on The Gods Themselves, which matches Elane and former Atomic Bride bandmate Collin O’Meara with Autolite Strike singer and guitarist Damion Heintschel (who doubles Elane’s vocals on the chorus of “I Am the President”). Together, the Seattle trio pursues a loose-limbed, lo-fi vision of rock ’n’ roll that incorporates elements of their other groups—the psych-rock scuzz of Atomic Bride, say, or the scrappy power of Autolite Strike—while pushing past them with an approach all their own.

One of the core elements of the group’s sound is, well, a lack of sound. The Gods Themselves surround, um, themselves with space in these nine songs, giving a snarly guitar riff plenty of room to feint at a wah-laced counterpoint, and putting Elane’s vocals out in front of a stinging guitar part on “Nerves.” Elsewhere, they go in for loping guitars and ripples of wah on “Gaslighter,” which features Heintschel delivering lead vocals with enough of a leer that Lux Interior would have been proud. “Thunderbird” shows the band’s more rugged side with superheated guitars clanging together in the vast emptiness that surrounds otherworldly vocals from Elane.

Two tracks later, “On the Meds” uses space a different way, letting Elane’s offhanded vocals float through an ebb-and-flow bassline, tip-tap drums and drifts of meandering guitar. The song contrasts with the juiced-up rockers that bookend it—the punky call-and-response “W.I.T.O.” comes before, while the terse stoner-rock jam “Pony” comes after—but it’s certainly distinctive. The same goes for The Gods Themselves, which offers a formidable combination of melody and swagger on a most promising debut.

(SEE THE POST IN FULL OVER AT PASTE!)

The Gods Themselves: The Gods Themselves

The self-titled, debut album from Seattle’s The Gods Themselves has such a wicked charm, that it melts over into a purposely tattered, yet seductive sophistication within the confines of punk, a hastier side of an edgier pop rock sensibility along with a darker blues appeal. The Gods Themselves possess a very vibrant, unique sound that is easily unlike anything else. Their reworking of R&B singer Ginuwine’s raunchy ’90s club hit, “Pony,” ignites with magnetically fuzzed-out guitars, certifiably sexed-up bass riffs and unrelenting drums and with that, their distinctively delicious flavoring cannot be denied or forgotten. “Gaslighter” has such a hypnotic appeal that the crawling lines of guitars, the upbeat pounce of rhythms along with charismatic vocals reaches towards a sort of ’70s rock psychedelic affair. “What Should Have Been Said…But Was Never Said” also feels like an ode to stadium rock’s yesteryear where songs and solos reached far beyond a corporate time constraint and into the upper echelon of the heavens creating an undulating, spellbinding reality all within the embrace of just one track at the hands of capable musicianship. Astra Elane, Collin O’Meara and Damion Heintschel are the trio that make up the powerhouse that is The Gods Themselves and within the familiarity of genres, they have created something unique, captivating and new.

(READ THE FULL REVIEW OVER AT SHORT AND SWEET NYC!)

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A blog featuring #indiemusic news, interviews, & the best darn free songs east of Stockholm

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The Cropper! accepts submissions of music of all kinds. Though we can’t guarantee write-ups, we eagerly anticipate writing about new and exciting artists. Submit your music now. Thanks!

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