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neumu
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 
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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
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American Princes
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Less And Less
Yep Roc
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A vast improvement over last year's Little Spaces, this second full-length from the Arkansas-based power-pop foursome flits from jittery, electro-shocked rockers to touching ballads to jangly college rock anthems. Sparklehorse's Alan Weatherhead produced the album, capturing what must be really intense live energy with clarity and precision. It's like going to a show, in other words, except you can understand all the lyrics.

The album starts with a bang, the manic, super-charged "Stolen Blues" pitting Collins Kilgore's jittery, hair-pulling vocals against stabs of guitar in a punk-leaning manifesto that breaks, unexpectedly, for lyrical interludes. It's a hint at the band's split personality, all-out rock jams interspersed with quiet bits of melody. "Open Letter," which follows, slows things down and slips a roots-rocking flavor into the mix, its heavy ringing guitar notes and earnest lyrics reminiscent of Centro-Matic. Then it's back to palm-muted urgency with "Simple Life," one of the album's best cuts, as sweet falsetto vocals swirl around a hard-hit rock foundation. "You don't want the simple life," sings Kilgore, amidst a thicket of dueling drums and guitar and bass — not a line you're going to hear in most country-rock songs. But this is not your typical bearded band of Neil Young lovers.

The best songs on the album are a diverse group, ranging from the ELO-shaded, Brit-pop ballad "Annie" to the anarchic distortion-fuzzed sweetness of "This Is the Year," to the Marshall Crenshaw-ish roots bravado of "Copper for Sound." The cuts are united less by style and more by ferocious energy that somehow lets its vulnerability show.

Contrary to its title, Less and Less is more and more from a young band just now finding its signature sound. American Princes could go in any of several directions from here... but let's hope they continue to go in all of them.


by Jennifer Kelly




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