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neumu
Tuesday, September 19, 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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Metal Hearts
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Socialize
Suicide Squeeze
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The Metal Hearts' debut album, Socialize, feels like high school. Not because it's amateur, petty or pop, but because it plays well and honestly to the teenage set that didn't quite fit in. And unlike radio (often pop-punk) bands that aim to appeal to misfits with predictable high-school woes (bullies, rejection), the Metal Hearts use innovative arrangements and intelligent lyricism that true outcasts feel at home with. After all, outsider kids are too smart to be sold on manufactured versions of teenage heartbreak; they want the real thing.

Multi-instrumentalists Anar Badalov and Flora Wolpert-Checknoff, 20 and 21 respectively, grew up in Baltimore, attended the same high school and began making music together shortly after graduation. While attending separate colleges, the pair exchanged sound files of, one can only imagine, a slew of sonic experiments (keys, piano, synthesized noise and crafty guitar riffs), through email. Both decided to quit college, ending up back in a Baltimore basement, laying down dozens of tracks, which would eventually morph into the brooding songs that comprise Socialize.

Their songs move slowly, as if forcing their way through syrup, amidst cymbal splashes, deep, resonating keys and treble-y pre-programmed beats. Vocals (both Badalov and Wolpert-Checknoff sing) are sometimes tired, sometimes breezy and, occasionally, reminiscent of Isaac Brock, giving the Metal Hearts a Modest Mouse feel. Dissonant, meandering guitar sounds communicate an attitude that feels spent and sick of it all.

"Disappeared" is infectious, minimal and speedy (relative to the 10 other tracks) while the sullen, half-whispered "Gentleman's Spell" features saxophone (played by Wolpert-Checknoff) and tinny beat breakdowns. Gliding uneasily on high, then low, keys and damaged beats, "No More Ghosts" reaches into the past for careless days: "I miss the days when my dog grew I miss the pool that we possessed I miss the days when we were young" while the hazy, acoustic guitar-led "Midnight Sun" is, like the majority of the album's tracks, about heartbreak: "I bet we could be happy, but where do we begin? I used to write you poetry, but I had a girlfriend then I'd like to move on, preferably with you/ But God knows I can't handle another critical review."

Most teenage misfits can't, which is why they prefer getting lost in creative, offbeat sounds like the Metal Hearts make.


by Jenny Tatone




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