The word “kai” has many meanings in many different languages, but perhaps the rough translation, “oar”, can be applied to Tokyo 4-piece te’ ‘s new album,『櫂』(kai), considering one may need some oars to traverse the unpredictable rhythms and immense waves of sound delivered in each densely packed track of this release.
Alpha Male Tea Party have developed a uniquely identifiable sound that stands out amidst the sea of derivative bands we are hearing these days. Their songs have both a meaty weight and blasting energy, as well as a strong sense of melody and an ever-flowing structure. Basically, they play loud, beautifully nasty, groovy hooks, with some nice breathing room in between.
tiny is the debut album from Minnesota’s Robat, an album rich in lush guitar sections from a band that is lulling in and out of reality. Reminiscent of early Wilco, the band tends to drab drift in a folk induced wave. Soaring vocals and locked drum riffs make the band particularly tasteful.
Spanish post/math rock stalwarts Jardín de la Croix valiantly return to the spotlight with Circadia, their first release since their 2013 EP 187 Steps To Cross The Universe. Their full length follow up is exquisitely produced and brings an array of new tricks to their familiar melodic sound.
A sound engineer once told me that he felt the best EPs he’d ever recorded were the ones that "less resembled an album so much as a short, sharp live set". Given that, perhaps Memory of Elephants’ new 4-track is everything it should be: a statement of intent that grabs your attention and leaves you wanting to hear more.