Review: Nonagon Infinity

Review: Nonagon Infinity

The newest release from Melbourne’s King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard definitely packs a punch. Nonagon Infinity is a relentless album that rarely allows room for recuperation.  The album's pacing is so extreme at times that it can be exhausting. Without a doubt, Nonagon Infinity is the fastest and most energetic album that Under The Rockies has reviewed this year so far. 

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Review: Cleopatra

Review: Cleopatra

It has been four years since The Lumineers released their debut album. Their self-titled record captured the hearts of indie and folk lovers everywhere within its first few bars. Carrying the runaway hit “Ho Hey”, along with other fan favorites such as “Dead Sea” and “Stubborn Love”, the group left excellent first impressions on the indie/folk community. After the album was dropped, fans were left waiting in four long years of silence, deprived of even the slightest taste of a follow up track. Now that their latest album Cleopatra has been released, it is clear that the wait was well worth it. The acoustic trio has produced another album of soulful storytelling, and simplistic melodies. By releasing Cleopatra, The Lumineers have proved that when it comes to music, they prioritize quality over quantity.

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Review: I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It

Review: I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It

The 1975’s self titled debut release was an album I needed to hear in 2013. It remains one of my favorite albums to date. When they announced follow up plans, leaving fans to wait until 2016 for a new album, I was nervous. The band’s sophomore release, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, is a continuation from where the band left us hanging. While it sounds totally different, it still possesses that fantastic element that makes The 1975, well, The 1975. It can be easily argued that this album is unoriginal, but The 1975 have always had something slightly different about them that makes them believable. If any other band made music like this today, would it be believable?

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Review: Side Pony

Review: Side Pony

After listening to the first few bars of Side Pony’s opening track “God-awful Things”, it is incredibly difficult not to be hooked onto Lake Street Dive. The full sound flows with a positively energetic aura throughout the song. Rachael Price’s smooth and powerful voice empowers the audience, while drummer Mike Calabrese relentlessly pounds away and provides an exciting rhythm in the process. Side Pony was a wonderful experience to start the New Year with. It beautifully blends aspects of gospel rock, blues-rock and funk. Filled to the brim with blaring horns, animalistic drums, groovy organs and blazing bass lines, Lake Street Dive’s Side Pony is Under The Rockies' first “Must Buy” of 2016.

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Review: Commontime

Review: Commontime

Field Music’s Commontime is not another typical indie album. While it does have higher toned vocals and a production value lower than a Billboard chart topper, that’s where the similarities with other typical albums end. Commontime is not an album of a just a man and his guitar, nor is it one that layers every instrument known to man into its songs to distract from their mediocrity. Field Music’s unique album tries its hand at a variety of styles and techniques, and then adds a twist of its own to make it fresh. The strong and erratic drumming in Commontime carries the album to its success. Powerful and creative, the albums funky rhythms are never quite in your face, but they make their presence known just the same. The other critical component of the album that makes Commontime work is its vocals. The faintly restrained vocals set the tone of each song perfectly. Commontime is an enjoyable album with ecstatic rhythms and styles that never disappoint

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Review: Better Strange

Review: Better Strange

Better Strange James Supercave’s debut album after the release of his EP, The Afternoon. Catchy rhythms and sharp vocals certainly set a unique sound for the band. Better Strange experiments with a variety of different sounds and styles. Simply using a guitar and drum-kit one moment, the group will try its hand at a much more synthetic sound the next. With similar singing styles to alt-J and Foster The People’s techno-pop tendencies, Better Strange is a great album for those who are looking for a fresh new mix of music. Borrowing elements of both alternative rock and techno, James Supercave uses Better Strange as a way to test different types of music and entertain its audience in the process.

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Review: Arts & Leisure

Review: Arts & Leisure

Walter Martin’s Arts & Leisure is his second solo album released after The Walkmen announced a hiatus in 2013. Capturing a much softer and more comfortable sound than those produced by The Walkmen, Arts & Leisure is a delightful album for any quiet occasion. The albums simple acoustic strumming is complimented by his adorable vocals and heart melting lyrics. The way Walter sings about his childhood stories and adventures wraps the audience in a warm blanket of calmness and youthful nostalgia. A pleasantly played guitar humbly rests in the background of every song in Arts & Leisure. Lost beneath a variety of instruments at times, and being the lone sound at others, the acoustic guitar never leaves the recording studio once throughout the entire album. Another constant component of Arts & Leisure is Walter Martin’s unique voice. Not quite a warble, but pleasant all the same, Walter’s voice adds the perfect amount of youth and experience to the album that wouldn’t quite work the same way if it was released by anyone else. Arts & Leisure covers aspects of youth, imagination, growing up and self-discovery while setting a tone of positivity that can easily be enjoyed over and over again.

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Review: Tell Me I'm Pretty

Review: Tell Me I'm Pretty

The fourth album included in Cage The Elephant’s resume has a lot to live up to. The group’s worldwide success, and catalogue of chart topping hits from previous albums left many impressive expectations to fulfill. How was the band supposed to live up to the success of Melophobia? What album could the Kentucky boys possibly create that would satisfy both the lovers of their heavier sounds, and the cherishers of slower paced masterpieces such as “Cigarette Daydreams” and still hold a voice of its own? Their answer to the hype was Tell Me I’m Pretty. An excellent edition in Cage The Elephant’s collection, whether in the form of a CD, vinyl or digital file, Tell Me I’m Pretty deserves to be listened to this holiday season. Tell Me I’m Pretty effortlessly flows from alternative rock and roll, to head bobbing slow jams, to riffs that resemble the days of hand jives and back again. Being a Cage The Elephant fan’s dream album, Tell Me I’m Pretty delivers mindlessly fun music that, when closely examined, contain themes of courage, determination and the importance of people to lean on.

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Review: A Taller Us

Review: A Taller Us

On up-and-coming Montreal based act FOXTROTT’s new album A Taller Us, not every one of the songs was a favourite of mine. The supporting rhythms and effects did not always impress but one thing is certain, lead singer, Marie-Helene Delorme, has incredible talent. Strong yet subtle when needed, her voice supports the album in a way that wouldn’t quite work had a different person been in her shoes. The vocals are the perfect counter balance between the harsh loops and the funky keyboards and synthesizers, which compose the majority of A Taller Us. Muddled and suppressed at times, while being sharp and abrupt at others, Delorme’s smooth voice remains the relaxing constant. A Taller Us will delight any electro dancehall enthusiast with its hip-hop themes and emotionally raw vocal deliveries. 

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