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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 1, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Bad Suns – Language & Perspective (Vagrant Records)
Beverly – Careers (Kanine Records)
Brian Eno & Karl Hyde – High Life (Warp Records)
Corb Lund – Counterfeit Blues (New West)
Corrosion Of Conformity – IX (Caroline/Universal)
Dot Hacker – How’s Your Process (Work) (Original Recordings Group)
Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown (Epitaph) – Jacob Royal
Magic! – Don’t Kill The Magic (RCA)
Mark Kozelek – Live At Biko (Caldo Verde)
NONONO – We Are Only What We Feel (Warner Music Sweden)
Old Crow Medicine – Remedy (ATO Records)
OOIOO – Gamel (Thrill Jockey)
Red Wanting Blue – Little America (Fanatic Records)
Robin Thicke – Paula (Interscope)
Seether – Isolate And Medicate (The Bicycle Music Company)
Seven That Spells – The Death And Resurrection Of Krautrock: IO (Sulatron Records)
Sixx John – Moments (Sixx John)
Trey Songz – Trigga (Atlantic Records)
The Vacant Lots – Departure (Sonic Cathedral)


Album Streams:

Beverly – Careers

Brian Eno & Karl Hyde – High Life

Corb Lund – Counterfeit Blues

Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown

Mark Kozelek – Live At Biko

NONONO – We Are Only What We Feel

Old Crow Medicine Show – Remedy

OOIOO – Gamel

Robin Thicke – Paula


SputnikMusic’s Most Played Artists of the Week

As we march towards Day 182 on the year, we honor the late radio personality Casey Kasem and his famous closing line: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

Artist credit: ninjaink, deviantART

Be it summer or winter where you are, we hope that your first half has been just as splendid as ours. It’s time for our quarterly mixtape: this time, albums from April-June are on the docket after tipping our hats to 2014’s first quarter roughly 3 months ago.

Featuring music from Veni Domine, Fatima, tUnE-yArDs, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Fucked Up, and Plastikman, we are once again hopeful that there’s something for everybody here in our 28 selections.

In the meantime, keep on enjoying the World Cup festivities, as well.

(If they’re super lazy, Google could recycle this for March Madness when shit really gets crazy at the office.)

(Oooooooooookay, maybe not that crazy.)

Enjoy! -Jom

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Ages and Ages – “Over It” (5:18)
Listen if you like: Real Estate, Hey Rosetta!, Vampire Weekend
Official site |  Available on iTunes

It happens at least once every year, without fail. I stumble across a band that – despite my…

Sputnik’s Infinite Playlist: Q2 Edition

No KISS featured on this list, unfortunately

Welcome to Sputnikmusic’s first Infinite Playlist of 2014. Confusingly, this is also based in Q2 – there was no Q1 playlist due to the author’s laziness. This also marks our first Infinite Playlist since SowingSeason (the originator of the list’s idea) went Emeritus, making it especially fitting since he has returned to the fold. Welcome back, Sowing. On this list are some of the finest tracks of the past three months from all over the world, as chosen and written about by the Sputnik userbase. We’ve got some great music to promote, from black metal to fuzzy, scuzzy stoner rock to sublime electronic. Enjoy.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Click on the track titles while holding down the CTRL key, and the song will open in a new tab. Clicking without the CTRL key will cause your browser to leave this page and make reading the blurbs mighty difficult.


This issue’s contributors are as follows:

Artuma / Arcade / Passive Madman / TheSupernatural / silentstar / dimsim3478 / Brostep / RogueNine / RivalSkoomaDealer / ExplosiveOranges / PitchforkArms / cmaitland421 / ScuroFantasma / Judio! / laughingman22 / Azn. / Rhyme

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 24, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Ab-Soul – These Days (Top Dawg Entertainment)
Black Bananas – Electric Brick Wall (Drag City)
Carsie Blanton – Not Old, Not New (So Ferocious)
Circulatory System – Mosaics Within Mosaics (Cloud Recordings)
Deadmau5 – While (1<2) (Astralwerks/Universal)
Flashlights – Bummer Summer (Hard Rock Records)
Gus Gus – Mexico (Kompakt)
Jad Fair & Danielson – Solid Gold Heart (Sounds Familyre)
Kasai Allstars – Beware The Fetish (Crammed Discs)
M. Geddes Gengras – Ishi (Leaving Records)
Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun (Warner Bros.)Greg Fisher
Peter Matthew Bauer – Liberation! (Mexican Summer)
Phish – Fuego (ATO Records)
Phox – Phox (Partisan Records)
Riff Raff – Neon Icon (Mad Decent)
Roll The Dice – Until Silence (Leaf Spain)
Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs – Gates Of Hell (Southpaw Records)
Sarah Borges – Radio Sweetheart (Lonesome Day)
Slaves – Through Art We Are All Equals (Artery Recordings)
Sons Of Magdalene – Move To Pain (Audraglint)
Speak – Pedals (Playing In Traffic)
Strand Of Oaks – Heal (Dead Oceans)
A Sunny Day In Glasgow – Sea When Absent (Lefse Records)
Total Control – Typical System (Iron Lung Records)
Xeno & Oaklander – Par Avion (Ghostly International)
Zig Zags – Zig Zags (In The Red)


Album Streams:

Circulatory System – Mosaics Within Mosaics

Deadmau5 – While (1<2)…

In a world where we can cure cancer with Facebook likes… wait, never mind.

In a world where the relationship between musicians and their fans is bolstered through social media, pay-what-you-like downloads, and [hopefully] a continued focus on developing legal services that actually adequately compensate the artists, it’s always a neat thing whenever musicians tease that they’ll share a forthcoming tune to drum up some interest (or send their fanbase into a frenzy).

About 8 hours ago, Adelaide’s Hilltop Hoods teased that they would share a track from their upcoming album Walking Under Stars, the group’s 7th studio album set for release later this year. Originally disclosing that “Won’t Let You Down”, featuring London-based rapper Maverick Sabre, would be the album’s first single, the trio pulled off a swerve and released “The Art of the Handshake”.

Stream “The Art of the Handshake” below, and based on their tongue-in-cheek tweet, decide where you fall on the continuum:

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 17, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Alexis Taylor – Await Barbarians (Domino)
The Antlers – Familiars (Anti Records)
Big Freedia – Just Be Free (Queen Diva Music)
Boris – Noise (Sargent House)
Cannabis Corpse – From Wisdom To Baked (Seasons Of Mist)
Cerebral Ballzy – Jaded & Faded (Cult Records)
David Gray – Mutineers (+180 Records)
Death Has No Dominion – Death Has No Dominion (Sqe Music)
The Downtown Fiction – Losers & Kings (Fearless Records)
Ed Sheeran – X (Atlantic)
The Felice Brothers – Favorite Waitress (Dualtone Music Group)
For All Those Sleeping – Incomplete Me (Fearless Records)
Frog Eyes – Carey’s Cold Spring (Paper Bag Records)
Ghost Town – The After Party (Fueled By Ramen)
Glass Animals – ZABA (Harvest)
The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer – A Real Fine Mess (Tonic Records)
How To Dress Well – What Is This Heart? (Alternative Distribution Alliance)
Jennifer Lopez – A.K.A. (Capitol)
Julian Velard – If You Don’t Like It, You Can Leave (Chloebro Records/Exodus Entertainment)
Klaxons – Love Frequency (Akashic Records)
Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence (Interscope Records)
Linkin Park – The Hunting Party (Warner Bros.) Irving Tan
Lone – Reality Testing (R&S Records) Hyperion
Lower – Seek Warmer Climes (Matador Records)
Martyn – The Air Between Words (Ninja Tune)
Matteah Baim – Falling Theater (Dream Drive Records)

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 10, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

The Amity Affliction – Let The Ocean Take Me (Roadrunner Records)
Anathema – Distant Satellites (Kscope)Trey Spencer
Andrew Bird – Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of… (Virtual Label)
Arch Enemy – War Eternal (Century Media)
Big Wreck – Ghosts (Zoe Records)
Body Count – Manslaughter (Sumerian Records)
Chrissie Hynde – Stockholm (Caroline)
Clipping. – CLPPNG (Sub Pop)
Craft Spells – Nausea (Captured Tracks)
Death Grips – The Powers That B – Part 1: Niggas On The Moon (Death Grips)
Dub Thompson – 9 Songs (Dead Oceans)
First Aid Kit – Stay Gold (Columbia) – Rudy K.
The Fresh & Onlys – House Of Spirits (Mexican Summer)
The Great Sabatini – Dog Years (Solar Flare Records)
Hollie Cook – Twice (Mr. Bongo)
Jack White – Lazaretto (Columbia)
Lust For Youth – International (Sacred Bones)
Mars Red Sky – Stranded In Arcadia (Listenable Records)
Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare (Season Of Mist) – Voivod
Memory Map – The Sky As Well As Space (Joyful Noise Records)
Mike Rosenberg – Whispers (Black Crow/Island Records)
O.A.R. – The Rockville LP (Vanguard/Universal)
Plastikman – EX (Mute)
Popcaan – Where We Come From (Mixpak Records)
Quantic – Magnetica (Tru Thoughts)
Rippikoulu – Ulvaja (Svart Records)
Say Anything – Hebrews (Equal Vision

Simon Bonwick (drums), Jimbob Isaac (guitar/vocals), Nikolai Ribnikov (bass)

Hark’s debut full-length Crystalline is a heaving beast of an album that stretches out the bounderies of sludge metal. The songs on the disc are plenty complex with meticulous twists and turns oftentimes honed to perfection. The might of early Mastodon, Crowbar and High On Fire is combined with the technicality of progressive metal and a dash of hardcore pugnacity to dazzling effect. I’ve recently approached Hark’s frontman Jimbob Isaac to talk about the creation process of Crystalline, and his ongoing career as an illustration artist.

Hark is a new outfit, but you also fronted sludge metal luminaries Taint last decade. There’s a 5-year gap between the last Taint release (All Bees To The Sea EP) and Hark’s debut. Why did it take you so long to compose new music?

The space between releases is simple to explain. Forming a brand new band, with a new vision, new personalities and the high quality levels that we committed to producing, is certainly not a quick or whimsical process. Forming Hark was a total gamble, in terms of there being no guarantee as to whether Simon, Niko and myself would even be able to write music together. We worked solidly for 3.5 years, to form the band, and write music that genuinely moves us.

There are certainly some similarities between the sound of Taint and Hark. The sludgy, riff-based approach seems to be intact.

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 3, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

50 Cent – Animal Ambition: An Untamed Desire To Win (G-Unit Records)
Apathy – Connecticut Casual (Dirty Version Records)
Biome – Lost Dubs (Biome/Bandcamp)
Bis – Data Panik Etcetera (Do Yourself In)
Blue Sky Black Death – Euphoric Tape III (Blue Sky Black Death/Bandcamp)
Bob Mould – Beauty & Ruin (Merge Records)
Bok Bok – Your Charizmatic Self (Night Slugs)
Buzz Osborne (as King Buzzo) – This Machine Kills Artists (Ipecac Recordings)
Camper Van Beethoven – El Camino Real (429 Records)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Only Run (CYHSY Inc.)
Curtis Harvey – The Wheel (FatCat Records)
Devon Williams – Gilding The Lily (Slumberland Records)
The Donkeys – Ride The Black Wave (Vanguard Records/Universal)
Echo & The Bunnymen – Meteorites (429 Records)
Edward Rogers – Kaye (Zip Records)
Fucked Up – Glass Boys (Matador Records)
Fu Manchu – Gigantoid (Redeye Label)
Gabriel Kahane – The Ambassador (Sony Masterworks)
Gold-Bears – Dalliance (Slumberland Records)
Hamilton Leithauser – Black Hours (Ribbon Records)
Kan Wakan – Moving On (Verve)
Lucy Hale – Road Between (Hollywood Records)
Matisyahu – Akeda (Elm City/Universal)
Miranda Lambert – Platinum (RCA Records/Nashville)
Nightmares – Suspiria (Rise Records)
Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal (What’s Your Rupture?)
PHORK – High End (NNA Tapes)
Redvers – Truth In Silence (Redvers/Bandcamp)
Rich Robinson – The Ceaseless Sight (The End Records)

Over the past few days, there’s been a bit of a hullabaloo on Sputnik regarding what, exactly, constitutes evidence in a review. In the comment thread for contributor Josh Fountain’s review for the new Powerman 5000 album, there have been a few people attacking the review itself for, among other things, its “lack [of] basic argumentation.” At the risk of pulling some comments out of context, users have described it as a review “chock-filled with “cheap insults,” one that is “extremely annoying” and “filled with animosity.” While for every user who complained, there were about five or six supporting the reviewer (which, to an extent, I approve of), the thread still devolved into a trainwreck of “this review sucks/you suck/Powerman 5000 sucks/this thread sucks.”

I’ve already voiced most of my thoughts about the review itself in the first few pages of comments, but for those of you unwilling to read a few extra paragraphs of me blathering on about writing about writing about music I basically argued that evidence in the traditional sense is moot in terms of writing reviews. Of course it’s possible to describe a song down to the timbre of an instrument and utilize that as evidence as to why it’s an objectively brilliant and/or stupid piece of art, but for the near-total majority of the general Sputnik-reading-and-writing populace such criticism is undesirable and usually too dense and pedantic to read. If an author wants to argue that the reason such-and-such a song is…

Roots was one of my top 5 records last year, which made me super excited for Aura ever since the album was announced. Now, thanks to the man behind Saor, Andy Marshall, Sputnikmusic has the chance to host the stream for what is bound to be one of the finest black metal albums of the year, from one of the finest newcomers to the genre. Filled to the brim with authentic Celtic melodies and wonderfully lush primeval soundscapes, Aura is a real treat for those who like their metal atmospheric and epic. You can pre-order Aura from Saor’s bandcamp. The album will officially be released on June 6th, 2014 via Northern Silence Productions.

The stream has ended!

Even though I have 100+ reviews on Sputnik, I’m actually a man of few words, at least when it comes to writing. Verbally I can talk on for days and about pretty much anything if in the right setting, but you’ll rarely see me posting a review that’s over 1000 words. Why so, I really don’t know. I guess opening myself up to a screen just isn’t the same. In any case, enough rambling, here’s what you need to know about MiXE1 and their debut album Starlit Skin:

1. MiXE1 was formed in 2010 and they play electronic rock music with a poppy vibe.
2. The band’s name is pronounced Mikes one, and all the songs are “set” in a futuristic city of the same name.
3. As of now, the band is independent, after the closure of their previous label Static Distortion Records in 2013
4. Starlit Skin is a solid debut that will surely see the band craft out a nice little niche for themselves.
5. I’ve learned from Jom that lists of five are always the coolest.

In co-operation with MiXE1’s frontman Mike Evans (super nice bloke by the way), Sputnikmusic now has an exclusive chance to stream the band’s debut album, starting from today (31.05.14) up until the midnight of next Friday (06.06.14). So don’t be shy, give Starlit Skin a whirl, and if you enjoy it, do go and support the artist by purchasing the album (bandcamp link…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of May 27, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

7 Seconds – Leave A Light On (Rise Records)
Austin Mahone – The Secret (Universal Republic)
Ben Frost – A U R O R A (Mute)
Black Anvil – Hail Death (Relapse)
Cher Lloyd – Sorry I’m Late (Epic)
Crowbar – Symmetry In Black (Entertainment One)
Crowder – Neon Steeple (Six Steps Records)
Eyehategod – Eyehategod (Housecore Records)
Harassor – Into Unknown Depths (Dais Records)
Haunted Hearts – Initiation (Zoo Music)
Hercules And Love Affair – The Feast Of The Broken Heart (Moshi Moshi)
Hundred Waters – The Moon Rang Like A Bell (OWSLA)
Jerry David DeCicca – Understanding Land (Virtual Label)
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – Dereconstructed (Sub Pop)
Little Barrie – Shadow (Tummy Touch Records)
Mariah Carey – Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse (Def Jam)
Mark Jones & Twenty Paces – Breaking Even (Mark Jones & Twenty Paces/Bandcamp)
Marty Friedman – Inferno (Prosthetic Records)
Matthew Barber – Big Romance (Outside Music)
Misery Index – Killing Gods (Season Of Mist)
Moe. – No Guts, No Glory (Sugar Hill/Universal)
Owen Pallett – In Conflict (Domino)
Peter Murphy – Lion (Nettwerk Records)
The Ready Set – The Bad & The Better (Razor & Tie Recordings)
Reuben And The Dark – Funeral Sky (Arts & Crafts)
Roll The Tanks – Broke Til Midnight (Epitaph)
Rush Midnight…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of May 20, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Archie Bronson Outfit – Wild Crush (Domino)
Blu – Good To Be Home (InGrooves)
Brian Jonestown Massacre – Revelation (A. Records)
Bry Webb – Free Will (Idee Fixe Records)
Chatham County Line – Tightrope (Yep Roc Records)
Cherry Ghost – Herd Runners (PIAS America)
Comet Control – Comet Control (Tee Pee Records)
Conor Oberst – Upside Down Mountain (Nonesuch)
DZ Deathrays – Black Rat (I Oh You)
The Everymen – Givin’ Up On Free Jazz (Ernest Jenning)
Haley Bonar – Last War (Graveface Records & Curiosities)
Hedley – Wild Life (Capitol Records)
Joakim – Tropics Of Love (Tigersushi/Because Music)
Jolie Holland – Wine Dark Sea (Anti/Epitaph)
Kate Tempest – Everybody Down (Big Dada Records)
Mr. Scruff – Friendly Bacteria (Ninja Tune)
The Okee Dokee Brothers – Through The Woods: An Appalachian Adventure Album (Okee Dokee Music)
Plaid – Reachy Prints (Warp Records)
The Roots – …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (Def Jam)
Royksopp & Robyn – Do It Again (Cheery Tree)
Smoke Fairies – Smoke Fairies (10 Spot)
Toumani Diabaté and Sidiki Diabaté – Toumani & Sidiki (Nonesuch)
Trans Am – Volume X (Thrill Jockey)
Traxman – Da Mind Of Traxman Vol. 2 (Planet Mu)
White Sea – In Cold Blood (Alternative Distribution Alliance)
Yann Tiersen – ∞ (Infinity) (Mute)
Zero Boys – Monkey (Z-Disk)


Album Streams:

Increasing your band’s exposure can be a daunting task. Some are fortunate enough to have found spots on “The Big Four” American networks (or their equivalents); for example, House, Parenthood, and Scrubs all have (or had) prime-time TV spots, and expanding our parameters to include networks like CW (e.g. Gossip Girl), HBO (e.g. Treme), and Showtime (e.g. Weeds) illuminates how well-placed music can complement a show’s storyline. The same principle can be applied to video games, too, as well as marketing (e.g. Feist’s “1 2 3 4″ video for Apple). The premise is simple: write music that people enjoy (and that you enjoy playing) and, theoretically, you might not have to worry about finding work. On the other hand, bands should be strong enough to cultivate their own following first before hoping that a company or brand does it for them.

And then there are times where there’s the “other” category. ADAM are an all-female group based out of the Netherlands, and an unofficial video for their forthcoming single “Go to Go” has eclipsed 5 million views in less than a week. It reminds me of Clayton Cubitt’s Hysterical Literature series, which integrates culture and sexuality and pleasure into an alluring black-and-white package, but in the case of “Go to Go”, the women sing their way through their song under similar conditions:

The Dutch lasses pride themselves on “daring to be [themselves]“, and it’s empowering to see another example that the marriage of music and sex can…

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