What did we expect? Not this. Not a compulsively re-playable rock album with a lovesick streak — the kind of record the Libertines might’ve delivered if they’d pulled themselves together, or that the Strokes might’ve made if they’d fired Julian Casablancas and hired Paul Banks. With booming vocals and riffs aplenty, The Vaccines make a rock ‘n’ roll clatter so conventional that it shouldn’t seem as fresh as it does. But the songs hold up, especially the swelling epic “Family Friend,” the understated “Wetsuit” and the rocket-fueled “Wolf Pack,” to say nothing of “Norgaard,” the jittery 98-second single about a girl who “don’t wanna go steady,” which sounds like something Joey Ramone might’ve written after his long spell with Phil Spector.
By Stephen M. Deusner on 11.19.13 in Interviews
It's difficult to believe — or hell, maybe it isn't — that every major label in Nashville rejected Brandy Clark's first album, 12 Stories. The Washington State native has written or co-written songs for Reba McEntire, Da...
By Laura Leebove on 10.15.13 in Reviews
As Lucius, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig built a following through their mesmerizing live shows and a raw, four-song 2012 EP of tender, '60s girl-group harmonies; in the last year they've played Bonnaroo and Wilco's Solid...
By Kevin O'Donnell on 09.18.13 in Reviews
Like brooding, introverted frontmen Matt Berninger of the National or even Joy Division's Ian Curtis, San Fermin's Ellis Ludwig-Leone doesn't need to do much grab hold of your attention. On the band's self-titled debut a...
By Laura Leebove on 07.17.13 in Reviews
"I don't need love to rescue me/ I'll be all that I choose to be," Laura Mvula sings on "Make Me Lovely," the second track on Sing to the Moon. The British soul singer's voice is as strong as her sentiment, augmented fur...