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No matter how much you love music, there is quite simply too much out there to keep track of. Even in your genre of choice, it is possible to overlook an impressive release, which can be frustrating when you find it year(s) later only to regret every single day that you weren’t already listening to it. For me, the most recent discovery of this sort was Laminate Pet Animal, a 2011 psychedelic/indie release that took me almost a full year to stumble upon.

Laminate Pet Animal is a brilliant effort from Snowmine, a band hailing from Brooklyn that is too little-known considering the heights they effortlessly ascend to. Their stellar blend of pop-accessible vocals (think James Mercer of The Shins) and challenging-yet-melodic atmospheres beckons casual listens as well as late night headphone sessions. Their sound works as one cohesive wave of beauty, flowing over your ears and engulfing them in one gorgeous instrumental arrangement after another.

Laminate Pet Animal is consistently jaw-dropping, so attempting to pick a standout track is like trying to pick out a date from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Nevertheless, one that exemplifies the album’s true nature, as well as what Snowmine is capable of, comes via “Let Me In”, a song driven by downright stunning vocals and a spacey atmosphere. Enjoy, and be sure to check out Snowmine’s bandcamp page for a name-your-own-price download of the album (It may be free, but it’s worth dropping a few bucks on to support the…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 11, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Akon – Stadium (Universal Republic)
Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra – Theatre Is Evil (8 Ft. Records)
Anchorless – Bridges Burned, Lessons Learned (Anchorless)
Apathy – Fire Walk With Me (Dirty Version Records)
The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter (Universal Republic)
Billy Talent – Dead Silence (Last Gang Records)
Blaqk Audio – Bright Black Heaven (Red General Catalog)
Bob Dylan – Tempest (Columbia)
Boyfrndz – All Day Pass (Boyfrndz)
Bucky Covington – Good Guys (Entertainment One Music)
Calexico – Algiers (Anti Records)
Chris Robinson Brotherhood – The Magic Door (Silver Arrow Records)
Commodo – Buckwild/Axis (Deep Medi Muzik)
Dave Matthews Band – Away From The World (RCA)
David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant (4AD/Todo Mundo)
De/Vision – Rockets & Swords (Metropolis Records)
Deserters – The Slow Rhythms Of A Dead Beat (Mediaskare)
Dismantled – Whole Wide World (Metropolis Records)
DMX – Undisputed (Seven Arts Records)
Field Report – Field Report (Partisan Records)
The Helio Sequence – Negotiations (Sub Pop) – Rudy Klapper
Hoobastank – Fight Or Flight (Open E Entertainment Inc.)
Hooded Menace – Effigies Of Evil (Relapse)
IO Echo – Ministry Of Love (IAMSOUND Records)
Kix Brooks – New To This Town (Sony Nashville/Arista)
Little Big Town – Tornado (Capitol)
Ludacris – Ludaversal (Disturbing Tha Peace/Def Jam)
Miggs –…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 03, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Aesthetische – Powerswitch (Alfa Matrix)
Animal Collective – Centipede Hz (Domino)
Azure Ray – As Above So Below (Saddle Creek)
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Rattle Them Bones (Savoy Jazz)
Billy Talent – Dead Silence (Last Gang Records)
Blu & Exile – Give Me My Flowers While (Dirty Science)
Bob Mould – Silver Age (Merge Records)
Brian Setzer – Rockabilly Riot: Live From The Planet (Surfdog)
Carlos Cipa – The Monarch And The Viceroy (Denovali)
Cat Power – Sun (Matador Records) – Rudy Klapper
Chick Corea and Gary Burton – Hot House (Concord Jazz)
Crypts – Crypts (Sargent House)
Cult Of Youth – Love Will Prevail (Sacred Bones)
Dave Stewart – The Ringmaster General (Surfdog)
Deerhoof – Breakup Song (Polyvinyl Records)
DFRNT – Fading (Echodub)
Elbow – Dead In The Boot (Polydor)
The Fresh & Onlys – Long Slow Dance (Mexican Summer)
FIS – Duckdive (Samurai Red Seal)
Gallows – Gallows (Venn Records) – Joseph Viney
Ian Hunter & The Rant Band – When I’m President (Slimstyle Records)
Imagine Dragons – Night Visions (Interscope Records) – SowingSeason
Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn’t (Secretly Canadian) – Robin Smith
Karlie Bruce – Paperback Lover (Karlie Bruce)
Korn – The Path Of Totality Tour [CD/DVD] (Shout Factory!)

Having previously reviewed all three of the band’s albums, I guess it is fair to state that I am Sputnik Music’s undisputed expert in all things British India. From their exciting – if derivative – debut LP ‘Guillotine’, through to disappointing follow-up ‘Thieves’ and solid – if unspectacular – latest release ‘Avalanche’, there has always been some kind of appeal to yours truly… And it has nothing to do with the fact that they’re Melbourne boys like my good self.

Despite the occasional glimpse of promise, however, their two most recent LPs have felt as if the quartet were chasing their tail… Making do, without really progressing to a significant extent. Could that be about to change with the release of new single ‘I Can make You Love Me’? While still definitively British India – especially the yelping vocals of Declan Melia – it definitely took me a little by surprise with its build-up and dynamics. Sure, it still may not be breaking any new ground per se, but it feels like a genuine step forward for a band who I’ve always deemed to have potential.

As for the video; well, who wouldn’t love a drunk, pissed-off, lovelorn and karaoke-singing minotaur wandering the streets in the dark of the night? Hell, I think I’ve felt similarly myself on occasions. Hang on a tick, I think I also saw those identical views… I’ve definitely cursed Festival (aka Festering) Hall once or twice!

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 28, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

50 Weapons – 50 Weapons Of Choice #20-29 (50 Weapons)
Alanis Morissette – Havoc And Bright Lights (Collective Sounds) – Joseph Viney
As Artifacts – Strong Hands (As Artifacts)
Beanie Sigel – This Time (Ruffhouse)
Beardfish – The Void (InsideOutMusic)
Bermuda – The Wandering (Mediaskare)
The Chariot – One Wing (Entertainment One Music)
Circa Survive – Violent Waves (Circa Survive) – Eli Kleman
City Dwelling Nature Seekers – The Winter Year (City Dwelling Nature Seekers)
Dan Deacon – America (Domino)
Dave Porter – Breaking Bad: Original Score (Madison Gate Records)
Deepchord – Sommer (Soma Quality Recordings)
DFRNT – El Spirito (Echodub Recordings)
District – Painting The Mind/Modulate (Chestplate)
DJ Shadow – Total Breakdown: Hidden Transmissions From The MPC Era, 1992-1996 (Reconstruction Productions)
Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits (Merge Records)
Flobots – The Circle In The Square (Shanachie)
Get Scared – Built For Blame, Laced With Shame (Grey Area Records)
Holy Other – Held (Tri Angle)
Hybrid – Classics (Distinctive Records)
I Am War – Outlive You All (Red Ink)
The Icarus Account – Carry Me Home (The Icarus Account)
Indigo – Ayahuasca/The Root (Exit Recordings)
Jr. Juggernaut – Wake (Paper and Plastick)
Just Like Vinyl – Black Mass (Red General Catalog)
Matthew Dear – Beams (Ghostly International)


Veronika’s promotional material calls her music “atmospheric space pop with dark electro vibes, symphonic overtones and a truly haunting voice… A dream-like fantasy, ambient light shows and an electrifying, sexually charged stage presence. In developing her own ethereal but edgy identity, Vesper has drawn on the left-field character of Björk, Depeche Mode, Radiohead and David Bowie, to name a few. Visually, her style calls on designers such as Alexander McQueen, Vera Wang and Versace.” Admittedly, I’ve only heard the song from this video, but it seems to be pretty accurate.

Veronika Vesper became a classically trained musician at a very young age — even touring as first flutist for a symphony orchestra when she was still in her teens. She eventually became more interested in electronic music and started to develop her singing voice, as well. The end result is the song ‘Bleeding Desert’. This is just the beginning for Veronika Vesper as she is currently working on her debut album with multi-platinum selling songwriter Martin Sutton and producer Venom One.


Veronika Vesper
Offiicial Site // Twitter // Facebook

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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 21, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Mature Themes (4AD Records)
Bill Fay – Life Is People (Dead Oceans)
The Darkness – Hot Cakes (Wind-Up)
Dispatch – Circles Around The Sun (Universal Republic)
Ensiferum – Unsung Heroes (Spinefarm)
JJ DOOM – Key To The Kuffs (Lex Records)
JT Hodges – JT Hodges (Show Dog Universal)
I Am Carpenter – My God Clara (Bessie Pro Records)
Katatonia – Dead End Kings (Peaceville)
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Last Of A Dyin’ Breed (Roadrunner/Loud & Proud)
Nathan Fake – Stream Days (Border Community)
Our Last Night – Age Of Ignorance (Epitaph)
Owl City – The Midsummer Station (Universal Republic)
Project 86 – Wait For The Siren (Project 86)
Ry Cooder – Election Special (Nonesuch)
Six Organs Of Admittance – Ascent (Drag City)
The Smith Street Band – Sunshine & Technology (Poison City Records)
Swans – The Seer (Young God Records)
Teengirl Fantasy – Tracer (R & S Records)
Tenth Avenue North – The Struggle (Reunion)
Trey Songz – Chapter V (Atlantic)


Album Streams:

The Darkness – Hot Cakes

JJ DOOM – Key To The Kuffs

Lynyrd Skynyrd -Last Of A Dyin’ Breed

Project 86 – Wait For The Siren

Swans  – The Seer


SputnikMusic’s Most Played Artists of the Week (according to Last.FM):

Staff :

01) Gaza
02) Explosions In…

At the end of July, Animal Collective released “Today’s Supernatural,” the single from their upcoming release Centipede Hz due out in early September.  Before listening to the track, the reemergence of Deakin has been tremendous as seen on the Honeycomb / Gotham split.  One might think after the critically acclaimed, and Deakin-less, Merriweather Post Pavilion that Animal Collective would be better without Deakin’s trippy riffs.  Yet, after listening to “Gotham,” where the guitar riffs drip like a hot rain, it is clear that the depth and layering of their sound is much more developed than before.

That brings us back to “Today’s Supernatural,” a frantically uptempo track that defines the growth since Strawberry Jam.   The track is unusually heavy (reminiscent of “For Reverend Green”), with Panda Bear’s masterful percussion skills throbbing throughout, while Avey Tare shows a multitude of vocal dynamics and moods.  Lyrically, Tare paints a picture of the willingness to adventure beyond some mundane life and quite literally ‘letting go’ and enjoying the ride.  How the bookend of this ride will sound remains to be seen, but we damn well know Centipede Hz will be an interesting trip, as always.

Animal Collective – Today’s Supernatural

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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 14, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

2 Chainz – Based On A T.R.U. Story (Island/Def Jam)
Ash Borer – Cold Of Ages (Profound Lore)Kyle Ward
American Me – III (Rise Records)
Ben Taylor – Listening (Sun Pedal Recordings)
Black Light Burns – The Moment You Realize You’re Going To Fall (Red General Catalog)
Bloc Party – Four (Frenchkiss)
Blue Daisy & Unknown Shapes – Bedtime Stories (Blackacre Records)
Calyx & Teebee – Elevate This Sound/Hurting (Ram Records)
The Classic Crime – Phoenix (Goomba Music)Davey Boy
Coki – Don’t Get It Twisted Vol. 2 (DMZ)
Dead Can Dance – Anastasis (Pias America)
The-Dream – Love IV MMXII (Def Jam)
Ephel Duath – On Death and Cosmos (AIS)
The Faceless – Autotheism (Sumerian Records)
Four Tet – Pink (Text Records)
From Atlantis – Pedestals (Invogue Records)
The Gashers – Law Is Not Order (Squidhat Records)
Hand Of Mercy – Last Lights (UNFD)
The Holy Mess – Cande Ru Las Degas (Phantom Domestic)
Insane Clown Posse – The Mighty Death Pop! (Psychopathic)
In This Moment – Blood (Red General Catalog)
Jessie Ware – Devotion (Island UK)
Letter To The Exiles – Make Amends (Facedown Records)
Lorelei – Enterprising Sidewalks (Slumberland Records)
Masked Intruder – Masked Intruder (Red Scare)
MNDR – Feed Me Diamonds (Ultra Records)
North Atlantic Oscillation – Fog…

Newcombe and his shifting band of acolytes in the Brian Jonestown Massacre have been steadily and stealthily releasing records that that are revered and reviled in equal measure. As one of music’s more outspoken characters, Newcombe cares not for public opinion, nor would he have it any other way. Taking time out from a lengthy world tour, Newcombe spoke with us about his life in Berlin, thoughts on U.S. culture and cynical Hollywood sharks.

JV: The title of your latest LP, ‘Aufheben’, is a word that has multiple meanings. It can be used to mean ‘to lift’ or ‘to abolish’ among others. What meaning did you have in mind when choosing it to represent your music?

AN: I love the concept of destroying something to preserve it. I read a book once about a Sufi institution of learning…maybe it was in Iran hundreds of years ago. At some point a new ruler decided that Sufi art and teaching were against more conservative Islam, so mobs of angry orthodox people were going from village to town to attack and destroy these schools of learning and art and purge these mystical sects. The master of one school, upon learning of a mob heading in their direction, ordered his students to grab all of the texts and art they had created in the compound and take it out to the street and burn it; all of the rugs and tapestries etc. A student

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 07, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

10 Years – Minus The Machine (Pale Horse Records)
The American Scene – Safe For Now (Pure Noise)
Antibalas – Antibalas (Daptone)
Antony and the Johnsons – Cut The World (Secretly Canadian)
Bilocate – Summoning The Bygones (Aural Music)
Certain People I Know – Certain People I Know (Count Your Lucky Stars)
Colt Ford – Declaration Of Independence (Average Joe’s Entertainment)
David Archuleta – Begin. (Highway Records)
Digital Summer – Breaking Point (Victim Entertainment)
Fergus & Geronimo – Funk Was The State Of Affairs (Hardly Art)
Gatherer – Postcards (Glass Nail)
Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang – En Yay Sah (Luaka Bop)
Lianne La Havas – Is Your Love Big Enough? (Nonesmuch)
Mala – Cuba Electronic/Calle F (Brownswood Recordings)
Niki & The Dove – Instinct (Sub Pop)
Redd Kross – Researching The Blues (Merge Records)
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damm Band – Between The Ditches (Side One Dummy)
Rob Zombie – Mondo Sex Head (Geffen Records)
Sixpence None The Richer – Lost In Transition (Sixpence)
The Snips – Highs Of Low (Rival Party Records)
So Many Wizards – Warm Nothing (Frenchkiss)
Stagnant Pools – Temporary Room (Polyvinyl)
Sweetheart – XOXOX (Porterhouse)
Sweet Valley – Stay Calm (Fool’s Gold Records)
Thelem & Killawatt – Dualism/Saturn’s Colour (Osiris Music)
Tidelands – We’ve Got A Map (Redgummy Records)
Turbonegro –…

It would be easy to sit here and spout off a few facts about Anthony Sly in honor of his passing, but after all is said and done that would be useless. For what he left us in his 41 years deserves more than just the script notes of a life lived. His heart and emotion resonated with thousands in a way that was more akin to a family member even though we never truly knew him or even met him outside chance run ins or through quick conversations at shows. Tony Sly took the adolescent soul of pop punk and channeled it through a lens of understanding clarity well beyond his years. It was a gift. He sharpened and refined this skill further when he embarked on a solo career that offered a more fitting medium to work with given his ever maturing, but still so youthfully rooted, outlook.

In a time when musician’s obituaries are running like a constant news ticker through the internet, I, like most people, am slightly disconnected from the news when it breaks. It’s saddening but only for a moment, until some new stimuli pops up on my screen calling away the focus of my attention deprived brain, but when I read a single 140 word millisecond long tweet about the passing of Tony Sly it made me stop what I was doing in a stunned silence. It felt like I had lost a family member even though I had only met the man…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 31, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

The Alchemist – Russian Roulette (Decon Inc.)
Anchor And Braille – The Quiet Life (Tooth & Nail)
ASC and Sam KDC – Cold Spot/Kaleidoscope (Auxiliary)
Audio – Fall Back/Rust (Renegade Hardware)
The Black Swans – Occasion For Song (Misra Records)
A Bullet For Pretty Boy – Red Medic (Red Int/Red Ink)
Blur – Blur 21: The Box (Virgin Records)
Close To Home – Momentum (Razor & Tie)
Cold Blank – The Agenda (Burn The Fire Records)
D.O.A. – We Come In Peace (Sudden Death)
Darqwan – To The Fly (Texture Records)
Domo Genesis – No Idols (Odd Future Recordings)
Everyone Dies In Utah – +//- (Polarities) (Tragic Hero Records)
Evoken – Atra Mors (Profound Lore)
Erik Gundel – A Home To Keep You (Mecca Lecca Recording Co.)
Gaelic Storm – Chicken Boxer (Lost Again Records)
Gaza – No Absolutes In Human Suffering [Digital] (Black Market Activities)
Gloriana – A Thousand Miles Left Behind (Emblem)
Ice Choir – Afar (Underwater Peoples)
Jackyl – Best In Show (Mighty Loud)
Jesse Harris – Sub Rosa (Dangerbird)
Joshua Radin – Underwater (Mom & Pop Music)
Joss Stone – The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 (S-Curve Records)
Junk Culture – Wild Quiet (Illegal Art)
Korpiklaani – Manala (Nuclear Blast International)
L.P. – Into The Wild (Warner Bros.)
La Coka Nostra – Masters Of The Dark…

Nomadism is the singer/songwriter project of Jeet Mukerji, whose music blends tense electronics and guitars with a dark reason reminiscent of Different Class-era Pulp. Harbouring a slight post-punk lilt and closing with the brilliant “Romance and Violence”, this Soundcloud set is a thoroughly compelling twenty-five minutes of songcraft.


Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 24, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Ancients – Star Showers on the Euphrates (PID)
The Antlers – Undersea (ANTI Records) – SowingSeason
Blood Red Shoes – In Time To Voices (Cooperative Music)
Blu & Exile – Maybe One Day [EP] (Dirty Science/Fat Beats)
Constants – Pasiflora (The  Mylene Sheath)
Cooly G – Playin Time (Hyperdub)
Damu The Fudgemunk – Redef Remixes (Redefinition Records)
Dark Time Sunshine – ANX (Fake Four Inc.) – Sobhi Youssef
The Dirty Panties – I Am A Robot (SquidHat Records)
Distance – A Result Of Sound/Deserted (Chestplate)
DjRum – Watermark/The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn (2nd Drop Records)
Eternal Summers – Correct Behavior (Kanine Records)
Family Band – Grace & Lies (No Quarter)
Fang Island – Major (Sargent House)
Foals – Tapes (!K7)
Forever Came Calling – Contender (Pure Noise Ent.)
The Full Steam – Yours Truly (The Full Steam)
The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten (Mercury) – Adam Knott
GZA – Liquid Swords: The Chess Box Set (Get On Down)
Jack Sparrow – Afraid Of Me (Deep Medi)
Jennifer Lopez – Dance Again: The Hits (Epic) – Irving Tan Zhi Mian
Laetitia Sadier – Silencio (Drag City)
Lawrence Arabia – The Sparrow (Bella Union)
Love And Theft – Love And Theft (Sony Nashville/RCA)
Micachu & the Shapes – Never (Rough


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