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EPs | 50-31 | 30-11 | 10-1

30. The Flashbulb – Arboreal

[Myspace] // [Review]

On Soundtrack to A Vacant Life, Benn Jordan seemed like he was on the verge of death. All but consumed by emotion, bleak and foreboding, his 2008 LP was intriguing in its dark soundscapes and irking ambience. Flash forward to 2010, and is The Flashbulb coming back to life. Infused with energy and spunk, Arboreal is an active listen. The artist mixes up a cascading string movement, a little melancholy piano piece, and a choppy electronic sample simultaneously, and the outcome is more organic, perhaps, than the clear-cut emotional platitudes of Vacant Life. The transitions, like always, are holy. Jordan’s ability to create beauty from a chaotic mess of disparate elements has never been this forthright, as he weaves and bends together the many aspects of the music like an artisan. Long-hailed as sit-down, concentrate, absorb-with-tender-ears kind of music, The Flashbulb manipulates this axiom of the genre into an album teeming with life. Some longtime fans expressed surprise, disgust even, at Benn Jordan’s new artistic aims; but I couldn’t be happier that The Flashbulb has found a new spring in its step, and is crafting more impressive music to complement this newfound atmosphere. - SeaAnemone

29. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me

[Myspace] //…

EPs | 50-31 | 30-11 | 10-1


50. Kylesa – Spiral Shadow

[Myspace] // [Review]

In the decade that they have been together, Kylesa’s story has been one of constant improvement, and in this sense, Spiral Shadow doesn’t disappoint. Although they retain the sludgy hardcore energy that made them good in the first place, the band has added new psychedelic dimensions to its sound which are fully utilised here. This is also without a doubt their most accessible offering yet, and some of the material – particularly ‘Don’t Look Back’ – hints that they may continue down this path in the future. The records highlights, however, come when the band does what it does best, such as the hard-hitting and direct ‘Tired Climb’ and the psychadelic tangle of the title track. If they continue on their ascent, Kylesa’s next moves will certainly be worth monitoring. – AliW1993

49. The Roots – How I Got Over

[Myspace] // [Review]

How I Got Over is a hip-hop album that carries a strong sense of purpose.  Too many artists focus on the negative aspects of growing up “on the streets”, such as drugs, domestic abuse, murders, theft, etc.  However, The Roots use their status within the genre (as well as their own history rising above the challenges…

The Users’ Top Albums of 2010 feature is currently underway. If you missed it, feel free to check out 100 – 51 and the top 10 EPs — with more to come.

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of March 22, 2011. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Agnostic Front – My Life My Way (Nuclear Blast Records)
A.M. Breakups – The Cant Resurrection (Backwoodz Studioz)
Artillery – My Blood {EU} (Metal Mind)
Art vs. Science – The Experiment (Independent)
Belong – Common Era (Kranky)
Binary Park – Worlds Collide (Metropolis Records)
Born of Osiris – The Discovery (Sumerian Records)
Edwyn Collins – Losing Sleep (Downtown Records) – Joseph Viney
CunninLynguists – Oneirology (RBC Records)
DJ Deadeye – Substance Abuse (Brick Records)
Duff McKagan’s Loaded – The Taking (Indie Europe/Zoom)
William Fitzsimmons – Gold in the Shadow (Nettwerk Records) – Jared Ponton
The Flaming Lips and Neon Indian – The Flaming Lips and Neon Indian (Self Released)
Green Day – Awesome as Fuck (Reprise)
The Haunted – Unseen (Century Media)
Jennifer Hudson – I Remember Me (Arista)
Imperia – Secret Passion (Massacre)
Negura Bunget – Focul Viu (Prophecy) [CD/DVD] {EU}
Panic! At the Disco – Vices & Virtues (Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen)
Pharoahe Monch – W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) (DUCKDOWN RECORDS) – Jared W. Dillon

EPs | 50-31 | 30-11 | 10-1


10. Pariah – Safehouses

[Myspace] // [Review]

For all the comparisons Pariah’s music has bought him, Safehouses manages to stand on its own two feet as something refreshingly joyous; its a romanticized nostalgic look back at a more colorful period that ever so slowly gave rise to a genre so now drenched in filth and grime. Almost too simple to be so ingenious, Pariah has crafted six impeccably explosive tracks to be explored and analyzed to the point of exhaustion, which at the conclusion will only reveal one more gifted musical engineer whose only want was to craft beats to express his admiration for music as a whole. The flawless switch between different feels and styles reveals an expert touch sorely lacking in many of his contemporaries and reveals just how far Pariah has come since last year’s single ‘Detroit Falls’ – the fact that the same man who, with just that one track typed on his resume has released this, one of the most unassuming yet addictive EPs of the year, is no less than astounding. Obliterating the dense subsonic pandemonium of dubstep and replacing it with an idm fairytale like lushness, Pariah has shown that he is an artist to keep an eye on. – Deviant

09. James Blake – Klavierwerke

Sarah Fimm’s upcoming album, Near Infinite Possibility, is going to be released on May 5th and the first single from that album is “Yellow.” If you’re familiar with Sarah Fimm’s music then you’ll know that the album title is the perfect description for the way Sarah seems to view life as well as the potential direction of every new album. She has delivered such a wide array of music over the course of four albums that it’s hard to ever predict what she might do next. She’s dabbled in trip hop, ambient, soulful acoustic rock and even some atmospheric alt. rock.

If “Yellow” is any indication of the direction of Near Infinite Possibility then we’re going to be in for quite a treat. “Yellow” continues Sarah’s move towards an organic sound that relies much more on live instruments than on electronics. The song is mellow, emotional and even kind of depressing. The depressing atmosphere shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise once it’s learned that the song (and video) were inspired by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a dark collection of journal entries written by a woman whose husband has put her on “rest cure;” confining her to a bedroom of a house that he has rented for the summer. Forbidden to work, she has to hide her journal entries from him, so that she can recuperate from what he calls a “temporary nervous depression —a slight hysterical tendency,” a diagnosis common…

The Users’ Top albums of 2010 feature is coming along at a steady pace and is set to begin on Friday (barring any unforeseen issues). In the meantime, our contributing reviewer Deviant has compiled a list of the albums that just barely missed the cut. If you’d like to see albums 100 through 51 as chosen by the users of Sputnik Music click here: 100 – 51

The next order of business is to draw your attention to this post which outlines some criteria concerning your indiviudal user names on the site. If you have a long/excessive/questionable screen name for the site, you may want to take a look at the linked post.

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of March 15, 2011. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Adebisi Shank – This is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank (Sargent House) – Dave de Sylvia
As Blood Runs Black – Instinct (MEDIASKARE)
Avantasia – The Flying Opera {EU} (Nuclear Blast)
Travis Barker – Give The Drummer Some (Interscope Records)
Miranda Cosgrove – High Maintenance [EP] (SBME/Columbia)
Deadlock – Bizarro World (LIFEFORCE RECORDS) – Trey Spencer
The Dodos – No Color (Frenchkiss)
The Flashbulb – Love As A Dark Hallway (Self Released)
Funeral For A Friend – Welcome Home Armageddon (Good Fight) – Davey Boy
J. Mascis – Several…

Believer fans should always expect the band to constantly push ahead and deliver something challenging. This is, after all, the band that mixed technical thrash with violins and an opera singer on their 1993 release, Dimensions. They’re also the ones that came back after sixteen years of silence and immediately pushed their sound in a new quirky prog direction on Gabriel without abandoning their thrash roots. If “G.U.T.” is any indication of what Believer’s upcoming album, Transhuman, is going to sound like, though, it appears that their most challenging album is still ahead.

Believer – Transhuman — Released on April 12

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of March 08 , 2011. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Agnostic Front – That’s Life [7"] (Bridge Nine Records)
Angelspit – Carbon Beauty  (Metropolis Records) – Trey Spencer
Augury – Concealed (Sonic Unyon)
Ava Inferi – Onyx (SEASON MIST)
Banjo Or Freakout – Banjo Or Freakout (Rare Book Room Records)
Benedictum – Dominion (Frontiers Records)
Blood Ceremony – Living With the Ancients (Rise Above Records)
Carol Bui – Red Ship (Ex Oh Records)
Burzum – Fallen ( Byelobog Productions)
Children of Bodom – Relentless Reckless Forever (Fontana Universal)
Bruce Cockburn – Small Source Of Comfort (TRUE NORTH)
Colosseum – Chapter 3: Parasomnia (Firebox Country)
Dance Gavin Dance – Downtown Battle Mountain Pt. II (Rise)
Defeater – Empty Days & Sleepless Nights (Bridge Nine Records) – Adam Thomas
Dinosaur Bones – My Divider (Dine Alone Records)
Empress Hotel – Empress Hotel (Park the Van Records)
Riley Etheridge, Jr. – Power Keg (Rock Ridge Music)
Sara Evans – Stronger (SONY NASHVILLE)
Lupe Fiasco – Lasers (Atlantic) – Sobhi Abdul-Rakhman
Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam (Brownswood)
Ghost & Writer – Shipwrecks (Metropolis Records)
Aaron Gillespie – Anthem Song (Tooth & Nail Records)
Grails – Deep Politics (Temporary Residence)
The High Kings – Memory Lane (Ard Ri Entertainment)
Sierra Hull – Daybreak (Rounder)
The…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of March 01 , 2011. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Marsha Ambrosius – Late Nights, Early Mornings (J-Records)
Agnostic Front – My Life My Way {EU} (Nuclear Blast Records)
Francesca Battistelli – Hundred More Years (Fervent Records)
Beady Eye – Different Gear, Still Speeding (Dangerbird) – Joseph Viney
Apollo Brown – Clouds (Mello Music Group)
Bugsy Da God – The Terrorist Advocate (Napalm Recordings)
Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi (Domino)
Harry Connick Jr. – In Concert on Broadway (Columbia)
DeVotchKa – 100 Lovers (ANTI-)
Simone Dinnerstein – Bach Strange Beauty (Sony Import)
Dropkick Murphys – Going Out In Style (DROPKICK MURPHYS)
Alexander Ebert – Alexander (Vagrant Records)
Linda Eder – Now (SONY MASTERWORKS)
Eisley – The Valley (Equal Vision Records) – Trey Spencer
Melissa Etheridge – Icon (Island)
Everyone Dies In Utah – Seeing Clearly (Tragic Hero Records)
Forever The Sickest Kids – Forever The Sickest Kids (Motown) – Davey Boy
Gideon – Costs (Facedown)
Go Radio – Lucky Street (Fearless Records) – Davey Boy
Grayceon – All We Destroy (Profound Lore)
Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise (Circus Company)
Aaron Lewis – Town Line (STROUDAVARIOUS)
Liquid Mind – DREAM: A Liquid Mind Experience (Real Music)
Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes (Atlantic)
Buddy Miller – Majestic Silver Strings (New West Records)

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of February 22 , 2011. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Adele – 21 (Columbia) – Joseph Viney
The Aviator Set – Better Days [EP] (Self Released)
Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place (Asthmatic Kitty) – Robin Smith
Bayside – Killing Time (Wind-Up) – Davey Boy
Before the Dawn – Deathstar Rising {EU} (Nuclear Blast)
Jonny Burke – Distance And Fortune (Dreamcar Records)
Civet – Love & War (Hellcat Records)
Darkest Hour – The Human Romance (eOne Music) – Jared Ponton
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows – D.R.U.G.S. (Sire/Decaydance)
DevilDriver – Beast (Roadrunner Records)
Die Apokalyptischen Reiter – Moral & Wahnsinn {EU} (Nuclear Blast Records)
Earth – Angels Of Darkness, Demons Of Light 1 (Southern Lord)
Eat Sugar – Levantense (Mush)
Evergrey – Glorious Collision (Steamhammer)
G. Love – Fixin to Die (Brushfire Records)
Handguns – Don’t Bite Your Tongue (Pure Noise Ent.)
I See Stars – The End of the World Party (Sumerian Records) – Davey Boy
Jamie xx/Gil Scott Heron – We’re New Here (XL)
Kerouac/The Long Haul – Split EP (Tangled Talk Records)
Komor Kommando – Oil, Steel & Rhythm (Alfa Matrix)
The Low Anthem – Smart Flesh (Nonesuch)
Luttenberger*Klug – Unsere Zeit (Universal)
Malakwa – Street Preacher (Alfa Matrix)
Mercenary – Metamorphosis (NoiseArt Records)
Moonsorrow – Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden

“Temptress” by In Every Breath from JNP Productions on Vimeo.

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After more than three years, In Every Breath are back with four new songs in the form of their latest EP, Awakening. At first it might seem like a long time to wait for another EP, but during those three years they had to endure a few line-up changes. Awakening is the first In Every Breath recording to feature the band’s new guitar and bass player. The video is for the song ‘Temptress’ and is a pretty decent representation of their current sound. Awakening was released on February 8th and is currently available through iTunes and Amazon Digital. The full EP is also streaming here.

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In Every Breath – Awakening — Released February 8th

Stream the entire album at Bandcamp.com

 

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German melodic death metal/metalcore/metal (depending on the album you’re listening to) band, Deadlock, have released a video for the song “Virus Jones.” The song is taken from their upcoming album, Bizarro World, which is scheduled to be released on March 15th through Lifeforce Records.

Bizarro World is a continuation of the band’s push towards a mainstream sound. While the metalcore and death metal elements are still present, they’ve been injected with a strong pop influence. This has lead to some of the band’s strongest choruses to date, but the music itself isn’t nearly as powerful as it was in the past. Overall, Deadlock are only asking their fans to accept the ongoing transition that has been in progress since the band’s inception – a slow evolution towards an equal blend of soaring pop melodies and powerful metallic riffs combined with the divergent styles of Johannes Prem’s growls and Sabine Weniger’s powerful clean singing.

 

– “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.”

It may already be six weeks into 2011, but we’re not going to let that stop us from giving the users of SputnikMusic a voice. Between now and the end of the month you can go here to vote for your favorite albums of 2010. Just make sure you read the rules before voting.

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of February 15 , 2011. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

An Aesthetic Anaesthetic – Ghosts in the Red Wilderness (Bandcamp)
Armageddon Dildos – Untergrund (ALFA-MATRIX)
A Skylit Drive – Identity on Fire (Fearless Records)
Asobi Seksu – Fluorescence (Polyvinyl Records)
Awol One & Factor – The Landmark (Fake Four)
Lisa Batiashvili – Echoes of Time (Deutsche Grammophon)
Beans – End It All (Anticon)
Bright Eyes – The People’s Key (Saddle Creek) – Adam Thomas
Brown Recluse – Evening Tapestry (Slumberland Records)
Chixdiggit! – Safeways Here We Come (Fat Wreck Chords)
Close To Home – Never Back Down (Razor & Tie)
Common Man Down – Self Addiction [EP] (Bit Riot Records)
Cowboy Junkies – Demons (Razor & Tie)
Darkest Era – Last Caress of Light (Metal Blade)
DC the Midi Alien – Avengers Airwaves (Brick Records)
The Dears – Degeneration Street (Dangerbird Spain)
Death – Sound of Perseverance [Reissue] (Relapse)
Deicide –…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of February 08 , 2011. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – Tao of the Dead (SUPERBALL MUSIC) – Rudy Klapper
Akron/Family – S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT (DEAD OCEANS)
David Arkenstone – Ambient World (Domo Records)
Nicole Atkins – Mondo Amore (Razor & Tie)
Belphegor – Blood Magick Necromance {USA} (Nuclear Blast)
James Blake – James Blake (Universal Republic)
Tion Bukue – Nome De Plume (Bandcamp)
Covenant – Modern Ruin (Metropolis Records)
Crowbar – Sever The Wicked Hand (Entertainment One Music)
Cut Copy – Zonoscope (Modular Records) – Rudy Klapper
Dave Dub/Sutter Cain Gang – Mind Police (M9 Entertainment)
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew LIVE (Sony Legacy)
Edge of Dawn – Stage Fright [EP] (Metropolis Records)
Kurt Elling – The Gate (Concord Records)
Esben & The Witch – Violet Cries (Matador Records)
Joe Farrell – Penny Arcade (101 DISTRIBUTION)
Fen – Epoch (Code666)
Goldenboy – Sleepwalker (Eenie Meenie Records)
Hell Rell and J.R. Writer – Gun Clap (Siccness.net)
Helrunar – Sol I – Der Dorn Im Nebel (Prophecy)
Hocico – Tiempos de Furia (Metropolis Records)
In Every Breath – Awakening [EP] (Band Camp)
Late Night Alumni – Haunted [Digital Only] (Ultra Records)
LBC Crew – Haven’t You Heard (Wideawake

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of February 01 , 2011. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Abysmal Dawn – Leveling the Plane of Existence (Relapse Records) – Jared Ponton
Amplifier – The Octopus (Self-Released)
Chase and Status – No More Idols (Mercury Records)
The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow (101 DISTRIBUTION)
Steve Cole – Moonlight (Artistry Music)
The Dirtbombs – Party Store (In the Red Records)
Aretha Franklin – The Great American Songbook (Arista)
Thomas Giles – Pulse (Metal Blade)
The Go! Team – Rolling Blackouts (Memphis Industries) – Robin Smith
Paul Hardcastle – Desire (TRIPPIN & RHYTHM)
Dave Hause – Resolutions ( Paper + Plastick Records)
Hercules and Love Affair – Blue Songs (Moshi Moshi Music)
The Insane Warrior (RJD2) – We are the Doorways (RJ’s Electrical Connections)
The JaneDear Girls – The JaneDear Girls (Reprise)
Lazarus A.D. – Black Rivers Flow (Metal Blade Records)
Bobby Long – A Winter Tale (ATO Records)
David Lowery – The Palace Guards (429 Records)
Manowar – Battle Hymns MMXI – Battle Hymns 2011 (MAGIC CIRCLE MUSIC)
Bob Marley – Live Forever: The Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh PA [2 CDs] (TUFF GONG/UMGD)
Ricky Martin – Musica + Alma + Sexo (Sony U.S. Latin)
Matisyahu – Live at Stubb’s Vol.II (RED GENERAL CATALOG)
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Go Down Under (Fat Wreck Chords)
North Mississippi Allstars…

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