sweet nothings reviews

another freaking microcosm
  • another freaking microcosm
  • Baby Mollusk
  • BABY MOLLUSK
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Song Title: another freaking microcosm

Artist: Baby Mollusk

Album: BABY MOLLUSK

Baby Mollusk is the persona of Brooklyn singer//songwriter Rachel Gordon.

“Another freaking microcosm” is my favorite track from Baby Mollusk’s self-titled demo debut. It is an adorable burst of beautiful, clever, and funny imagery. A majority of my love for this song comes from the lyrics. To put it plainly, my most favorite kind of lyrics are ones with sentences that are fun to say. I feel that Baby Mollusk has truly mastered her word play, and executes it best on this track. Some of the more memorable bits for me are in the first half of the song like, “Your fingernails have dug little comet tails into my back.” I love that.

Another reason that draws me to “another freaking microcosm” is the pacing and atmosphere of it. It has a nice, slow rise-and-fall feeling, with a comfortable sense of spaciousness. When listening to this song I get this childlike feeling of enjoyment, like I’m on a swing set.

Check this track out! A split tape with fellow singer//songwriter WHATEVER, DAD is supposedly in the works, so be on the lookout!

8/10

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Song Title: Black Fly

Artist: The Act of Estimating as Worthless

Album: Black Fly (demo)

The Act of Estimating as Worthless is an indie-folk band from Purchase, NY.

It’s hard to say a lot about “Black Fly”. The reason for this is because it makes me absolutely speechless. The Act of Estimating as Worthless has had somewhat of a reputation to me for making these gracefully precious songs, but they’ve really done a number on me this time. The acoustic strumming and serene vocals literally just pierce you right in the chest. It’s a song that is so beautiful it literally makes you want to cry. By the ending portion of the song, when drums and all kick in, “Black Fly” fully enters you and of course you are going to make room in your heart for it. At the end of the track you will feel at peace with yourself.

And the lyrics are just…they’re too cute. “If I die for you, will you die for me too?” The Act of knows exactly what they are doing, and are really successful at it. Many bands try, but no band is nearly as rewarding as The Act of’s capability of captivating a person emotionally.

“Black Fly” by The Act of Estimating as Worthless is a fragile beauty worthy of much praise. It literally makes you want to keep the ones you love close to you. If this is just a taste of the new things they are working on, I can’t wait to hear what else is next. If you have fallen for this song as well, you should pick up their latest album on cassette courtesy of Double Double Whammy!

9/10

Album Review: The Guru

Artist: The Guru

Album: Go Easy

For people who like: The Hiya Dunes, High Pop, Black Churches

Go Easy is the second full length album from the notorious Connecticut band, The Guru. Since I initially discovered their first album, Native Sun, I have been highly anticipating future efforts from these young beach-enthralled dudes. However, I must say for all the excitement I had for Go Easy, I am a bit underwhelmed to say the least.

The second I first heard Go Easy, and it’s beginning title track, I was so confused. Especially evident with the title track “Go Easy,” it seemed as though The Guru had really gone too far with this whole “disco” gimmick they had going on Native Sun. I think on Native Sun the disco influence they had going on was a lot more vague, and it seemed to be more of an homage rather than something that was capable of actually labeling the band as “disco.” However, as I proceeded to listen to Go Easy the more I started to feel that The Guru had seemed to take this idea highly serious on this album, making them sound almost like a generic wedding band. Although to be honest, the disco theme is not the only aspect of this album that seems more gimmicky than the last. The Guru has also cranked up the beach vibes up to nauseating levels. One can only tolerate overly jolly guitar licks and lyrics of “oceanside” love for so long. Similar to the disco themes on Native Sun, the beach aspect of the band was not something that fundamentally seemed to define the band back then. I think The Guru has really diluted themselves a bit, making them less distinguishable from other bands. It has gone to the point where tracks like “Guacamole” had me almost confused as to if I was listening to The Guru, or lead singer Eddie Golden III’s other band The Hiya Dunes.

Go Easy just does not seem to have the same energy as it’s previous album Native Sun had. Every track on Native Sun was an explosion of power, and it was really believable. There is a number of problems with Go Easy that may be the reason it seems to really bore me. It may be the lifeless tracks thrown in such as “Foreign Moon,” and “Pyramids,” or the seemingly hallow production of the album. Either way, Go Easy generally stays on a highly predictable path. It is an album that seems too content laying on the beach doing nothing, making any attempted excitement on Go Easy seem a bit forced.

All in all, Go Easy does not seem to have the satisfying spark of genius that The Guru’s first album Native Sun had. I just know these guys are capable of so much more. Despite Go Easy’s negative qualities, The Guru’s appeal is still present, just in painfully small qualities. Don’t be fooled, as I do not in any way think Go Easy is an awful album. There are some undeniably catchy melodies on this album, as well as technical skill, but these things are not enough to make an album extraordinary. There may be a song or two like “Cow” that I generally enjoy, and can even listen to more than I have to, but to be honest, the appeal is only fueled from nostalgia of other band’s The Guru are influenced by. I think that The Guru are absolutely going to make something great in the future, and they are without a doubt amazing musicians, but I ultimately think Go Easy is an album that lacks anything special. To me, Go Easy nothing more than a list of uncorrelated catchy songs.


6/10 ((5/10 on a bad day))

Favorite Track: Cow

Consistency
  • Consistency
  • Stagnant Pools
  • Temporary Room
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Song Title: Consistency

Artist: Stagnant Pools

Album: Temporary Room

Stagnant Pools is a dreamy post-punk duo from Bloomington, Indiana. You always know a band is good when they can fully make up for the fact that the only have two members. These guys are doing just that. With “Consistency,” Stagnant Pools creates a catchy, yet hypnotic track with it’s saturated sounds and repetitious nature.

The vocals on this track are just so mellow too, which is odd due to the rather over-bearing instrumentation, but it somehow works so well. Take a listen to this, get lost, and buy their album out on Polyvinyl Records (they’re even doing a limited edition cassette!).

8/10

Sweet Nothings: Album Review

Artist: Joyce Manor

Album: Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired

For people who like: Tigers Jaw, Summer Vacation, Ape Up!

Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired is the sophomore “album” of indie-punk outfit Joyce Manor. The reason I put the word “album” in quotations is because there are a lot of problems with calling this new release by Joyce Manor an “album.” So let’s dive right into this…

I’ve been a pretty avid fan of Joyce Manor for almost two years now. Every punk-music fan gets a little giddy when they first hear “Five Beer Plan,” I mean who the fuck wouldn’t. It’s a great song. Anyway my love for them only grew dearer with the release of their first full length, Joyce Manor. What an amazing album that was. It gave me, and many others, hope for the future of Joyce Manor, and of the genre in general. However, this album is anything but what I would have expected or wanted from a new Joyce Manor album…

(Joyce Manor)

At the start of “These Kind of Ice Skates” you might think, “Wow this is going to be another great Joyce Manor album!” However, just as the song is about to get good, it ends. After the track “Comfortable Clothes” you can pretty much forget about thinking that Of All Things… is going to be a good “album.” After that track it jumps into the damn-awful pop tune, “See How Tame I Can Be,” which sounds like a drunken karaoke. Honestly, I don’t know what they were thinking (I mean a drum-machine and synthesizer? Common!) . It sounds as though the singer is trying really hard to actually sing. This issue seems to pop up numerous times on the album. The band seems to have shifted their sound completely from punk, to just full-blown pop or indie. For example “Bride of Usher” could’ve been a song by The Smiths (no disrespect to The Smiths) in its sound (and even song title?). Joyce Manor seems to have really lost their “edge” on this new project.

However, the main problem with Of All Things… is its feeling of incompleteness. The feeling that it isn’t even an “album.” It’s got a measly thirteen-minutes to it, that’s just barely an EP time-span. Joyce Manor clearly did not go through any process of trial-and-error on this album to see what worked and what didn’t. It seems as though Joyce Manor went with whatever their first idea was and did not expand on anything. Their laziness really seems to shine through the record with the random acoustic songs thrown in as well. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against acoustic songs. It’s just that on this album, they are done so poorly, both in recording and in the songwriting in general. They are very out of place as well. I mean after all, you’re supposed to end an album (especially a punk album) with a “bang!” And “I’m Always Tired” is definitely no “Constant Headache.”

Joyce Manor’s Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired is an unfinished and lazy mess with not enough of the band’s previous spark to keep it afloat. Although I have no problem with indie or pop, Joyce Manor just does not do this genre well. It clearly isn’t something for them. I don’t know if it was their newly gained quasi-popularity that inspired this, but this sound definitely does not suit them. However, you shouldn’t take my word for it. You might like this album. I’ve read plenty of good reviews online. So take a listen yourself and make your own judgment. Heck if you like it, you should pick up their 12” vinyl courtesy of Asian Man Records. Although I did not enjoy this, I have hope for Joyce Manor’s next releases. This is just one album after all, and my opinion of them can definitely bounce back in the future.

4/10

Favorite Tracks: Comfortable Clothes, Violent Inside

Least Favorite Tracks: See How Tame I Can Be, Drainage