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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of April 17, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Absolute Monarchs – 1 (Good To Die Records)
Actress – R.I.P. (Honest Jon’s) – Deviant
Allo Darlin’ – Europe (Slumberland Records)
Anathema – Weather Systems {EU} (The End Records) – Trey Spencer
Battles – Dross Glop (Warp Records)
Clubroot – III-MMXII (Lodubs) – Deviant
Copperwire – Earthbound (Porto Franco Records)
Cowboy Junkies – Nomad Series [Box Set] (Razor & Tie)
DaiTribe – Epochalypse A.D. (True Gemini Records)
Daniel Johnston & Friends – Space Duck: Soundtrack (Eternal Yip Eye Music)
Deadborn – Mayhem Maniac Machine (Apostasy Records)
DJ Drez – Jahta Beat: The Lotus Memoirs (Black Swan)
DragonForce – The Power Within (Roadrunner Records)
Dry The River – Shallow Bed (RCA/RED)
Stik Figa – As Himself (Mello Music Group)
The Flaming Lips – The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (Restless)
Future – Pluto (Epic)
Gory Blister – Earth-Sick {EU} (AIS)
Grinderman – Grinderman 2 RMX (Alternative Distribution Alliance)
Mickey Hart – Mysterium Tremendum (360° Productions)
Hiss Golden Messenger – Poor Moon (Tompkins Square)
Horse Feathers – Cynic’s New Year (Kill Rock Stars) – SowingSeason
Eric Hutchinson – Moving Up Living Down (Warner Bros.) – Davey Boy
In Mourning – The Weight of Oceans {EU} (Spinefarm) – Kyle Ward
Jack Johnson & Friends – Best of Kokua…

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Horse Feathers – “Thistled Spring”

I’ve always felt like this is the perfect song to start off spring. Not only does the title conjure up images of blossoming life, but the music nestles itself between icy winter-like pianos and the warm swelling of strings. The whole thing makes me picture a thawing landscape…ice melting and trickling down a hillside, tiny patches of green sprouting up through the cracks…this is the sound of life overcoming death.

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Annuals – “Brother”

This is one that packs a surprising punch, considering its all-natural and effortlessly fluid beginning. The sound of crickets and the bubbling water of a stream nuzzle your senses into a state of complete calm before the song erupts into all of its splendor with a magnificent riff and and epic string section…even the quiet, subdued vocals transform into a fit of passionate shouting akin to a triumphant arrival – not all that dissimilar to spring time coming into full force.

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Mae – “The Fisherman Song”

“The Fisherman Song” reminds me of morning. A lake who’s waves have just begun to curl and ripple, erasing the evening’s glass surface and setting the day in motion. The way the guitars are gently picked does an excellent job of depicting something soothing, such as water. Hell, even the squeaking fingers sliding up and down the strings remind me of a creaky old row boat. As the song gradually increases in tempo, it feels…

Fourteen years ago, Refused played what, up until last month, was their last show in a grimy basement in Harrisonburg, Virginia. A crowd of only forty or so people saw what is arguably one of the most influential bands of the last twenty years implode in the haze of infighting and police lights. Ten years ago I was first shown their landmark album The Shape of Punk to Come in the back of a high school Spanish class, with the mystical allure that “you will never ever get to see this”. Viewing the too esoteric for its own good documentary Refused are Fucking Dead only seemed to drive this point home. For all intents and purposes “dead” was what they were going to stay. That is why earlier this year when it was announced that Refused were reuniting for a slew of festival dates it came as a shock, not only because of the years of still spiteful attitudes but because for just about everyone who has ever listened to The Shape of Punk To Come Refused’s absence was an obvious given, just like gravity or E=MC^2.

With their Coachella appearance the day after, last night Refused sold out the Glass House in Pomona in seconds in what was by far one of the most talked about festival one offs in a week full of great word of mouth club shows. At 10 PM the lights at the Glass House began to dim and a low drone started to…

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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of April 10, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

16Volt – Wisdom [ReIssue] (Metropolis Records)
Accept – Stalingrad (Nuclear Blast)
Addison Groove – Transistor Rhythm (50 Weapons) – Deviant
Amadou & Mariam – Folila (Nonesuch)
Ancestors – In Dreams & Time (Tee Pee Records)
Attaloss – Attaloss (Rock Ridge Music)
Tim Barry – 40 Miler (Chunksaah Records)
Kishi Bashi – 151a (Joyful Noise Records)
Bassnectar – Vava Voom (Amorphous)
Black Dice – Mr. Impossible (Ribbon Records)
Cavo – Thick as Thieves (Eleven Seven Music)
Charm City Devils – Sins (Fat Lady Music)
Choir of Young Believers – Rhine Gold (Ghostly Int’l)
Counting Crows – Underwater Sunshine (Collective Sounds)
Dead Sara – Dead Sara (Pocket Kid Records)
Demon Hunter – True Defiance (Solid State Records
Dirge Within – There Will Be Blood (THC/Rocket Science)
Enthroned – Obsidium (Agonia Records)
Exumer – Fire & Damnation (Metal Blade Records)
Fastway – Eat Dog Eat (Steamhammer/SPV)
Florence + The Machine – MTV Unplugged [CD/DVD - Deluxe Edition] (Universal Republic)
Nanci Griffith – Intersection (Spunk)
Halestorm – Strange Case Of (Atlantic)
Job for a Cowboy – Demonocracy (Metal Blade)
Keb Mo – X2: Keb Mo / Keep It Simple [Reissue] (Sony Legacy)
Darrelle London – Eat a Peach (Hype)
Jeff Loomis – Plains of Oblivion (Century Media) – SowingSeason
Lords Of Acid –…

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The Neighbourhood

Oh yes, I can dig this. Give me indie-pop made solely with hooks and blow ‘em up. Cut the beat so they stick in your head. Give that familiar indie-wail a little swagger. The lyrics? They weren’t that important anyway. Make them vague and sexual enough to blend into the song, but give me a lyric or two to hold on to. “One love one house/ no shirt, no blouse”? That’ll do.

The Neighborhood have of yet released only two songs, which makes it difficult to say if they’ll blow up the way “Sweater Weather” demands to blow them up, but here’s hoping. “Sweater Weather” is a masterfully done series of ear worms, bridging RNB and indie-folk-with instantly recallable pop-hooks, the kind of genre mish-mosh that likes to explode. It’s simply too irresistible for some company looking to corner the grad-student demographic to not nick the song’s phenomenal chorus for an ad. If that doesn’t sound appealing, I don’t blame you. But if indie-pop with this much potential mass appeal is this good, I’m totally okay with it.

Sweater Weather by theneighbourhood

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

Trace Adkins – 10 Great Songs (Capitol)
Atoma – Skylight (Napalm Records) – Trey Spencer
AU – Both Lights (Hometapes)
Bam Spacey – Vi Delar Samma Grab (Ceremony Recordings)
Beak – Eyrie (Someoddpilot Records)
Bear In Heaven – I Love You, It’s Cool (Dead Oceans)
Kasper Bjorke – Fool (HFN Music)
Candlebox – Love Stories & Other Musings (Audionest)
Caracal – Isle Brevelle (Black Acre)
CeU – Caravana Sereia Bloom (Six Degrees)
Chris Clark – Iradelphic (Piccadilly Records)
The Cornshed Sisters – Tell Tales (Memphis Industries)
Cynic – Portal Tapes (Season of Mist) – Trey Spencer
Emily Danger – Paintings (Self Released)
Dr. John – Locked Down (Nonesuch)
ETHS – III {EU} (Season of Mist)
fIREHOSE – lowFLOWS: The Columbia Antholgy (Sony Legacy)
Great Lake Swimmers – New Wild Everywhere (Nettwerk Records)
Hello Lazarus – Hello Lazarus [EP] (Scylla Records)
High on Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis (Entertainment One) – Adam Thomas
Hush Arbors/Arbouretum – Aureola Split LP (PID)
Killing Joke – MMXII (Spinefarm Records) – SowingSeason
Kj-52 – Dangerous (Bec Recordings)
LHF – Keepers Of The Light (Keysound)
Lostprophets – Weapon (Epic) – Adam Knott
Love On A Real Train – Love On A Real Train (Aeronaut Records)
The Lumineers – The Lumineers (Dualtone Music

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~In a While Now, I Will Feel Better~

It’s rare for me to draw inspiration from an artist as commercialized and famous as Shinedown. Typically, I like to find songs by bands so anonymous to the general public that I feel like they only apply to me. But for some reason, I have felt a particular connection with the title track off of Shinedown’s most recent album. ‘Amaryllis’ is a towering ballad, complete with shimmering acoustic guitars, crashing electric riffs, and a movie-climax type of chorus. It’s all so easily accessible yet emotionally intense at the same time. I compare it to The Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris”, with which I feel that it shares many parallels. Even though the album itself was a disappointment in my opinion, ‘Amaryllis’ just might be my favorite song of the year so far. If you haven’t heard it yet, give it a chance. If you don’t like it at first, give it a few more listens and see if it sinks in. I think you might be surprised at how well this song relates to you (or alternatively, it just relates to me a whole fucking lot right now and I’m projecting that onto all of you). Either way, I present to you Amaryllis – the song that is keeping me going right now. Enjoy.

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of March 27, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

3 Inches of Blood – Long Live Heavy Metal (Century Media)
The All-American Rejects – Kids In The Street (Interscope Records) – Davey Boy
Astra – The Black Chord (Metal Blade) – SowingSeason
Atoma – Skylight {EU} (Napalm Records) – Trey Spencer
Before Their Eyes – Redemption (Invogue Records)
Black Breath – Sentenced to Life (Southern Lord)
Blaktroniks – Ready Set Blow (Tokyo Dawn Records)
Blood Red Shoes – In Time to Voices {UK} (V2) – Davey Boy
Borknagar – Urd (Century Media)
Celldweller – Live Upon a Blackstar [DVD] (FiXT)
Erik Chandler – Writing The Wrongs [EP] (Self Released)
DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles – The KoleXXXion (Gracie)
E-40 – The Block Brochure vol.1 (Heavy on Grind Ent.)
E-40 – The Block Brochure vol.2 (Heavy on Grind Ent.)
E-40 – The Block Brochure vol.3 (Heavy on Grind Ent.)
Justin Townes Earle – Nothing’s Gonna Change… (Bloodshot)
Elephant & Castle – Transitions (Plug Research)
Flying Colors – Flying Colors (Mascot)
Georgia A. Muldrow+Madlib – Seeds (Entertainment One Music)
Gift Of Gab – Next Logical Progression (Quannum Projects)
Hint – Daily Intake (Tru Thoughts)
Iron Solomon – Monster (Duck Down Music)
Janus – Nox Aeris (Realid Records)
Klone – The Eye of the Needle (Season of Mist Records)
La Sera – Sees The Light (Hardly Art)
Legacy – With Peace In Mind (InVogue Records)
Lonewolf – Army…

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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of March 20, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors. Apologies for the delay and abbreviated format.

The American Dollar – Awake In The City (Yesh Music) – Deviant
Anti-Flag – The General Strike (Side One Dummy) – Adam Thomas
Black Sheep Wall – No Matter Where It Ends (Season of Mist) – Adam Thomas
Boat To Row – Grassmarket EP (istartedthefire Records)
Brad Mehldau Trio – Ode (Nonesuch)
C-Bo – Cali Connection (Black Market Records)
Choir Of Young Believers – Rhine Gold (Ghostly International)
Cynic – Portal Tapes {EU} (Season of Mist) – Trey Spencer
DVA – Pretty Ugly (Hyperdub)
Electric Touch – Never Look Back (Island)
Eye Beyond Sight – The Sun and the Flood (Massacre Records)
Melanie Fiona – The MF Life (Universal Republic)
Forever In Promise – Into the Storm (Self Released)
Frank Black & The Catholics – Live at Melkweg (The Bureau Records)
Gun Barrel – Brace For Impact (Massacre Records)
I Call Fives – Someone That’s Not You (Pure Noise) – Davey Boy
If These Trees Could Talk – Red Forest (Self Released)
Casey James – Casey James (Sony)
Lost In The Trees – A Church That Fits Our Needs (Alternative Distribution Alliance) – Rudy Klapper
Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s – Rot Gut (Mariel Recording Company)

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With Thrice about to embark on their final tour and Thursday just having finished up their last shows, post-hardcore, in the terms of what originally attracted me to the genre, is dead. That’s not to say that a vibrant new community hasn’t sprung up out of the underground to replace it in the burgeoning screamo scene, or that this is the first time it has died as a similar comparison can be made of Fugazi’ and At the Drive-In’s demise after their reign as genre kings throughout the 1990’s, but certainly the aged scene which many of us were once attracted to in some way or another has reached it’s end. These two bands, besides having seemingly parallel careers and similar starting names, were in many ways the pulse of a generation of kids in the early and mid-2000’s. One doesn’t have to go far to see the influence, good and bad, that these bands have had. Sure, they are in part responsible for what Warped Tour has become over the last few years, which is dubious at best, but they never sunk into that mess themselves. After both redefining the style with Illusion of Safety and Full Collapse respectively, and then finding commercial success with releases on Island records, they continued to push themselves forward and both got themselves dropped from their labels for not sacrificing their own vision. There was no cash in. Thrice spent their advances on building and maintaining their home studio and Thursday got dealt…

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So in case you haven’t heard, indie-pop legends The Shins are releasing their fourth studio album, Port of Morrow, this Tuesday. The entire album is actually streaming via iTunes (and it is pretty damn good) but “Simple Song” really stuck out to me. Its breezy, carefree chorus takes me back to the days of Oh, Inverted World. Listen and let me know what you think.

I for one am very excited.

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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of March 13, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Adrenaline Mob – Omerta (Elm City Music)
Anuhea – Foir Love (World Sound)
Dave Barnes – Stories to Tell (Razor & Tie)
Barren Earth – The Devil’s Resolve (Peaceville) – Trey Spencer
Cannibal Corpse – Torture (Metal Blade)
Caustic – I Can’t Believe We’re Re-Releasing This Crap (Metropolis Records)
Coldworker – The Doomsayer’s Call (Listenable Records)
The Decemberists – We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Capitol)
Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit (Concord Music Group)
Demdike Stare – Elemental (Modern Love) – Deviant
Elisa – Steppin on Water (Decca U.S.)
Empires Fade – Reflections EP (Self Released)
Epica – Requiem For The Indifferent (Nuclear Blast)
Estelle – All of Me (Home School Records) – Davey Boy
Lee Fields – Faithful Man (Truth & Soul)
Float Face Down – Exitium Verum (MediaSkare Records)
Gazpacho – March of Ghosts (Kscope)
Gorod – A Perfect Absolution {EU} (Listenable Records)
Hands Like Houses – Ground Dweller (Rise Records)
Hellbound Glory – Damaged Goods (Rusty Knuckles)
Impending Doom – Baptized in Filth (Entertainment One Music)
I See Stars – Digital Renegade (Sumerian Records) – Davey Boy
Jonny Greenwood & Krzysztof Penderecki – Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (Nonesuch)
Kelvox1 – Grazed Red {EU} (Aagoo)
Nina Kraviz – Nina Kraviz (Rekids)

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First it was Willow Smith and then it was Miley Cyrus. Now, Neil Young (or is that late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon with his hat, guitar and harmonica?) ever so slightly matures to cover LMFAO and their ever so articulate hit ‘Sexy and I Know It’.

In order for the Canadian singer-songwriter to nail such a deep song, he clearly needs the help of someone just a little younger… Cue Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen to join the party and “wiggle, wiggle, wiggle”.

“That’s the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life” stated LMFAO’s Redfoo. Clearly he hasn’t seen The Boss in a speedo trying to tan his cheeks!


If you have navigated through the vast interweb desert in search of great, up-to-date music, then I present to you the oasis. As part of a new feature here at Sputnik, we are composing a quarterly mixtape of sorts – one where black metal can be found alongside indie, and where staff and user tastes coalesce into one reliable knowledge bank. Here, any registered user can submit one song from this year that they feel stands above the pack. Below is a list of some of our favorite songs from the first three months of 2012. Feel free to listen to our selections, browse the descriptions, or even register and submit your own song for next time!
Special Thanks To The Contributing Writers For This Issue:

Klap4Music / OnlyAnchors / Tyraelxy / Clercqie / FelixCulpa / OmahaStylee94 / Crysis / Emim / InnocentShadow / Blackbelt54 / ChuckTheMan / Greg84 / AliW1993 / Sanders / SowingSeason / Patrickfannon / Dimsim3478 / Monsterpoptart / Theacademy / Dimor

So without further ado, I present to you (in no particular order) the first installment of Sputnik’s Infinite Playlist!


Orbital – “Straight Sun”

Yeah, we all know how reunion tours/albums/productions are mostly cash grabs for the artists involved. Why should we waste our time (and money) on those poor, rehashed ideas when we can instead relive the better times? In…


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