The Suffers, Make Some Room

You can’t resist The Suffers; seriously, it’s impossible. Their music is just so infectious, so warm and mellow it’s like one of those rare perfect spring days when the sky’s bright and blue and cloudless, the weather’s warm but not yet hot, and all feels right with the world…

The Lotus Effect, Totality

Wow; talk about ambition. I knew the four guys in The Lotus Effect had pretty lofty aspirations for their long-awaited full-length album, but I wasn’t real clear what they had in mind, specifically. Now that I’ve heard the full scope of Totality…well, I’m back to “wow,” again…

Shellee Coley, Songs Without Bridges

“How much is enough?” That seems to be the question Conroe-dwelling singer/songwriter Shellee Coley’s trying to answer with her latest album, Songs Without Bridges. I mean, you write a song on just a guitar or piano or what-have-you, and maybe you go into a studio and flesh it out with a full band, drums, bass, strings…

The Linus Pauling Quartet, “C is for Cthulhu”/”My Desire”

You’ve got to love those Linus Pauling Quartet guys; just when you think they can’t possibly come up with something quirkier or cooler or more insane than the last crazy-ass thing they did…well, they pretty much do. With big, goofy, halfway-loaded grins on their faces, no less…

The Tontons, Make Out King and Other Stories of Love

It’s taken me a good long while to write this review. And until now, I wasn’t really sure why; after all, there are very few albums I’ve been more excited to hear than The Tontons’ long-awaited full-length, Make Out King and Other Stories of Love. So when I finally had a chance to check it out, I grabbed it, and listened…

The Ex-Optimists/A Sundae Drive, “Burn Bright”/”Labor Day”

It’s always nice when you see your high expectations for something get validated; that’s the way I feel about the brand-new split-7″ from two of my favorite damn bands from this great state or any other, The Ex-Optimists and A Sundae Drive. When I first got word that this was underway, I was a little bemused — the two didn’t seem to necessarily fit all that well together…

Temples, Sun Structures

Okay, so I need to listen to Jason (Smith, that is, fellow SCR writer and badass rock photographer) more often. Don’t get me wrong; I love the guy dearly, but we don’t always see eye-to-eye on things, even when it comes to music. Lately, though, he’s been batting a thousand, and after finally getting off my ass to listen to Royal Blood and now Temples, both bands…

Paul Collins, Feel The Noise

Even if you don’t know who Paul Collins is, trust me, you know him. You may not realize it, no, but if you’ve heard any kind of guitar-heavy pop-rock made in the last 30 years or so, odds are good that there’s at least a little bit of his influence floating around in there; the man’s a real-live godfather of American-made power-pop, and he laid down the blueprint…

Royal Blood, Royal Blood

Oh, damn. I very nearly let this one slip by — we do get a crapload of releases sent our way, you know, and a large percentage of ’em suck — but now I’m so, so glad I didn’t. Why? Well, because I’m pretty sure I’ve just heard my New Favorite Rock Band, at least for this year, and you need to, too. Royal Blood are from Brighton, on the southern coast of England, but on their self-titled debut album, you wouldn’t know it…

Deep Cuts, Love Grows EP

If you’d ever wondered if there’s a middle ground between surf-rock, shoegaze, Latino pop, and Afrobeat, well, wonder no more, because on their debut EP, Love Grows, Houston’s Deep Cuts have found it and planted their flag deep, deep in the sand. The quintet somehow manages to blend together Latin-tinged pop, wavery dream-pop guitars…

MODFAG, Paradisio

A couple guitars, a bass, drums, distortion pedals, some riffs, and half-crazed snarled/yelped vocals — honestly, do you really need anything else? No; no, you most definitely do not. MODFAG prove the case here with their debut full-length, Paradisio, which is banged together from the elements above and not a damn thing else and which rocks the fucking doors off…

Keeton Coffman, The Ghost EP

These days, it seems, Keeton Coffman’s a changed man. When I first ran across Coffman, he was the frontman for The 71’s, a well-respected alt-/indie-rock outfit, and I was a bit bemused, I’ll admit — live, he was so wild and bombastic and over-the-top that it seemed almost put on, like a persona he was wearing, That Crazy Rock Guy, complete with overblown stage antics. I liked the music, definitely…

Craig Kinsey, American Roots and Machines

There’s a darkness to America, to our history. It’s a stark, surprising contrast to a lot of our country’s accepted story, because we’ve managed to brand ourselves as this great, shining city on a hill, something other countries should aspire to emulate, to be…

PUJOL, KLUDGE

I used to obsess about lyrics. I methodically scrawled them across every surface I could find, particularly high school book covers; I was sure those words were this magical key that could help me unlock the frustrating, perplexing mysteries of the world. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but even now I can recite the lyrics to any pre-Black Album Metallica…

Lisa’s Sons, Bummed Out

Well, now. Six years after their debut, Digital Nozzle, and long after I’d figured the duo (Stefan Mach and Jordan Brady) had gone their separate ways (and yeah, it sounds like they had, at least in the physical sense), Lisa’s Sons are finally back with the followup…

Edge of Tomorrow

Somewhere in the not-too-distant now, aliens will/are/have invaded the world via a meteor landing in continental Europe. Aliens with the ability to replay periods of time (roughly 24-48 hours) over and over again, making them largely invincible. Or at least they were, until press officer William Cage (Tom Cruise) finds himself an unlikely front-line soldier…

Funeral Horse, Sinister Rites of the Master

Funeral Horse frontman/guitarist Paul Bearer, aka Paul Chavez, aka Walter Carlos, is something of an enigma to me. I’ve met the guy a few times over the years, live and electronically, and each time he’s been doing something seemingly completely different, sometimes using a different name, and every damn one of those things has been pretty great. First there was the sadly-overlooked art-punk/New Wave trio Art Institute; then came along sleazy, gritty gutterpunks…

Fire Moth, Oil Paintings & Gold Chains

I’ve always been a little disheartened by the state of the blues here in sweaty, grimy Houston, Texas, the town I call home. Unless you’re a serious student of the genre (or, you know, actually live here, and maybe not even then), odds are pretty good you’ve got no idea…

Band of Skulls, Himalayan

After Band of Skulls last release, 2012’s Sweet Sour, which I liked a fair bit but didn’t quite love, I’ve been looking forward to seeing where the band would be headed next. I’d kind of assumed they’d stick with the heavy stuff for Himalayan, their brand-new followup, with plenty more of that sludgy guitar and those sneering vocals; and don’t get me wrong…

the last place you look, Rip It Out

Ah, anticipation; sometimes, I hate you, when you string me along and make me wait eagerly for something that turns out to not be very good at all. But then sometimes, just sometimes, you deliver. It’s a little odd to be listening now to the cleaned-up, finished version of the last place you look’s latest EP, Rip It Out, because it feels like I’ve been listening to these songs for a few years now…

Mogwai, Rave Tapes

It was about four tracks into Scottish postrock quintet Mogwai’s most recent release, Rave Tapes, when it hits me: the mainstream has passed the band by. No, scratch that; the mainstream hasn’t zoomed past Mogwai, but rather has swallowed the band whole…

Twin Forks, Twin Forks

I’ve been seriously intrigued by Twin Forks since they released their first shot across the bow late last year in the form of a self-titled EP, hoping that the band’s full-length would live up to the EP’s substantial, grin-inducing promise. Granted, it’d be all too easy to dismiss the whole Twin Forks project as yet another bunch of indie-rockers trying to “rediscover” their country-rock roots…

We Were Wolves, Wolf House

I’ve only ever been to Beaumont once, so I can’t claim to know what it’s like to come from there, not exactly. What I do know, however, is what it’s like to come from a dead-end, soul-destroying town with no obvious future beyond a low-wage job or the military; that’s what it was like where I went to high school, and I and nearly everyone else I know from those days got the hell out as soon as we could…

Computer Chess

From across the land they come, the nerds, the geeks, the professionals, and the hobbyists. The computer programmers and the computer deriders, the chess pros and the chess amateurs, all seeking the answer to that age-old question: can you teach a computer to play that game of chess? A word of warning right from the outset: this movie is not for everyone…

The Consolation Project, Glaciers

I’m not entirely sure why I first started listening to the genre of music dubbed “shoegaze,” nor can I really explain to you in words what “shoegaze” means exactly. I do know, however, that along with bands such as Music for Headphones and Bloody Knives, The Consolation Project is definitely a name that has made me a fan of shoegaze. I also like to think of shoegaze as being another name for what I refer to as “Breakfast Club bands,” which means pretty much what it says…

Omotai, Fresh Hell

Rarely have I seen an album title as apt as Omotai’s Fresh Hell; and no, not because it’s bad by any stretch of the imagination, but because of the images of menace and dread it conjures up. There’s a weird sense of foreboding you get while listening, like something truly, ineffably horrible is waiting for you, just around the next corner, and it’s going to get you no matter what you do. It’s your destiny, inescapable…

Augustines, Augustines

Raise your hands high, people, and your heads, too; throw ’em back, eyes closed tight, with a look of blissful joy plastered across your face. Feel the heat of the lights on your face as they explode outwards from the stage, and the physical impact of the music as it slams against your chest…

Wild Moccasins, 88 92

There’s always been an ’80s influence apparent in the Wild Moccasins’ music, it’s true. With new album 88 92, however, they’re flying their neon-colored flag proudly, even spelling it out explicitly in the album title. There’s a serious New Wave feel to the whole thing…

Mikey and the Drags, On The Loose!

It’s always nice when somebody not only exceeds your expectations but beats them into the pavement with a length of lead pipe, leaving ’em bleeding and unconscious as they walk away. And yeah, that’s…

Moon Honey, Hand-Painted Dream Photographs

I’m a very, very recent convert to Baton Rouge band Moon Honey (formerly known as Twin Killers, by the by, in case you’ve seen that on bills with The Manichean or other like-minded folks), but now…

Venomous Maximus, Beg Upon The Light

It feels a little weird to say, but y’know, what I like best about Beg Upon The Light, Houston-bred doom-/dark-metallers Venomous Maximus’s first full-length album, is, um, the slow, quiet stuff. I know, I know — that’s a pretty damn…

Dessa, Parts of Speech

First things first: yes, Dessa is a member of the ever-awesome Doomtree hip-hop collective out of Minneapolis, but that doesn’t mean she’s a rapper. Actually, scratch that; that doesn’t mean she’s just a rapper. She’s something else entirely…

Fox & Cats, This is Your Brain on Love

I’d been wanting to say something on this little site about Fox & Cats for some time now, but while I procrastinated and got wrapped up in other things, the duo (Josh Willems on guitar and vocals and Nicole Wiggington on drums) continued right…

football, etc., Audible

Relationships are difficult things to handle; even the good ones, the ones that are worthwhile, take work and pain and struggle. And I’m not even talking about relationships with spouses or partners or whatever, but any relationship…

Magnus Karlsson, Freefall

To put it simply, Magnus Karlsson’s Freefall is an exquisite work of melodic metal. I really can’t emphasize that enough. The songs are satisfyingly heavy, with plenty of guitar pyrotechnics and double-bass drumming, but they have a sense of melody that is stunning…

Captain Phillips

On April 8, 2009, four individuals from Somalia boarded the cargo vessel Maersk Alabama, marking the first time a U.S.-flagged vessel became subject to an act of piracy in a century. Over the next four days, the drama of the capture played out in real-time for American audiences, as the pirates abandoned the ship aboard its lifeboat with its captain, Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), as hostage, attempting to make for the coast of Africa…

And So I Watch You From Afar, All Hail Bright Futures

Joy and wonder. That’s the key, at least a fair amount of the time — it’s not always what’s most important in music, but when I go looking for new bands or songs or albums to love, what I’m really looking for is that feeling, that wide-eyed…

The Phlegmatics, Life is Better with a Soundtrack

There are bands that frustrate me because they don’t quite hit the mark, and then there are bands that frustrate me because they do hit the mark but never actually capitalize on it. The Phlegmatics are that second kind of band…

The Family

Luc Besson‘s The Family is filled with his signature visual wit, boasting occasionally sharp satire aimed equally at both sides of the Atlantic, but he lets us down in the end, through the deadly combination of broad characters…

The Lonely Wild, The Sun As It Comes

Musically, it’d be very easy to pile The Lonely Wild in with the ever-expanding slew of low-key country-folk acts that seem to be coming out of the woodwork these days. The more I listen to The Sun As It Comes, though, the more compelled…


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