San Cisco-Gracetown (2015)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 100%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Run
  2. Too Much Time Together
  3. Magic
  4. Snow
  5. Wash It All Away
  6. Bitter Winter
  7. Jealousy
  8. Super Slow
  9. Mistakes
  10. About You
  11. Skool
  12. Just For A Minute

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Needing some happy music.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I actually love these guys’ covers, they always look super artsy and cool.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes.

Final Thoughts:

When it comes to bouncy stupid pop music, San Cisco is my go to. They’re the embodiment of the rule “keep it simple stupid”. Their albums are exactly what I want pop to be: fun, happy, catchy, not too repetitive, not too experimental. They aim for their mark and they hit it on Gracetown. The album is a great example of what pop should be, a genre you can put on in a mall or restaurant without offending anyone. Is Gracetown going to go down in history as an influential album? Absolutely not. But there’s something to be said about making an album that aims for a genre and gets it 100% correct, no need to get fancy with the spices, this is pure pop.

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San Cisco-The Water (2017)

My Rating: 90%

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 90%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Kids are Cool
  2. Sunrise
  3. That Boy
  4. The Distance
  5. Hey, Did I Do You Wrong?
  6. Waiting For The Weekend
  7. SloMo
  8. The Water
  9. Did You Get What You Came For
  10. Make Me Electrify

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a fun pop album.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I actually like the cover a lot, it’s really reminiscent of early electric music.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really one I think that would be that great as a record.

Final Thoughts:

San Cisco is fun music, really easy to put on and have anyone generally enjoy it. They’re good at what they do: making poppy bouncy music. The Water is really dance-able, consistently enjoyable, and not at all thought provoking, just the kind of tunes you need when throwing a summer pool party, or for those long days when you need something mindless to lift up your spirits. The music is really solid, not like a lot of the bands who are similar, and thank the sweet lord it’s not too repetitive. A fun summer listen.

The Drums-Abysmal Thoughts (2017)

My Rating: 100% (A++)

Pitchfork Rating: 74%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 79%

Average Rating: 84%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Mirror
  2. I’ll Fight for Your Life
  3. Blood Under My Belt
  4. Heart Basel
  5. Shoot The Sun Down
  6. Head of the Horse
  7. Under The Ice
  8. Are U Fucked
  9. Your Tenderness
  10. Rich Kids
  11. If All We Share (Means Nothing)
  12. Abysmal Thoughts

Favourite Song on Album:


Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a contemporary band that sounds like they could be straight out of a 90’s Spielberg flick.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super weird, I think I like it…I think.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Own it, they did a good job at making it really unique too! One side of the two records is just a glossy “Abysmal Thoughts”.

Final Thoughts:

The Drums have been playing on my mp3 players since late High School, they’re a band that’s seen me through a lot of growing pains. And I think they’ve gone through growing pains of their own. With the more experimental sound of Encyclopedia, their release before this one, a lot of fans weren’t on board for songs like Magic Mountain (my all time favourite by them). But with the release of Abysmal Thoughts both fans from Encyclopedia and old school fans from the days of Money and Let’s Go Surfing should find lots to drool over. There is something a lot more accomplished about this album, true it doesn’t stray too far from their sound, but it’s almost like a confidence is being exuded through the tracks. It sounds like an instant classic, like the evolution of The Smiths. Abysmal Thoughts continues the theme of incredibly sad lyrics over fun instrumentals, and we thank them for it.

Broods-Evergreen (2014)

My Rating: 91% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 91%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Mother & Father
  2. Everytime
  3. Killing You
  4. Bridges
  5. L.A.F.
  6. Never Gonna Change
  7. Sober
  8. Medicine
  9. Evergreen
  10. Four Walls
  11. Superstar

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking to branch out from your typical radio sounding music, but you’re not ready for anything too experimental.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s really cool and sharp looking.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah I think it’d be a fun contemporary record to own on vinyl.

Final Thoughts:

Broods are a great way to try to get out of your comfort zone a bit, their music still sounds like mall/radio friendly tunes, but there’s something a little more going on here. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I like the style and I’m always up for something that makes me question what I think of a genre. Typically, this kinda junk does not appeal to me in the least, but Broods do it in a fresh/unique way that’s almost similar to FKA Twigs or Little Dragon. Finally an album that me and the typical white girl could probably agree on. It’s all about making white girls happy, amiright?

Electric Guest-Plural (2017)

My Rating: 82% (B+)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 82%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Zero
  2. Glorious Warrior
  3. Back & Forth
  4. Dear To Me
  5. Oh Devil
  6. Back For Me
  7. See The Light
  8. Over
  9. My Omen
  10. Sarah
  11. Bound To Lose

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting a pop/electric album that’s fairly straightforward.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s rad, reminds me a bit of The Human League’s album covers.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

Electric Guest has been on my watch list since their incredibly catchy song This Head I Hold. I’ve expected these guys to make more waves but very few people seem to be tuning into their stuff. I can understand that, the lead vocalists can be a little whiny sounding at times (ex. Back & Fourth) but when he doesn’t try those really high notes his voice is great. Plural is a great album in the sense that it will add nicely to my shuffle, but it’s not about to be an album that I’d go searching for on vinyl. The problem is that it’s just a little too simplistic and for a band that has only made two albums that can be a problem. Nothing wrong to sticking to the plan, but these guys need to work on their plan a little more. There are some incredibly catchy tunes on this album, though, and it can be a lot of fun at times, I just don’t think they’ve hit their stride quite yet.

The Drums-Encyclopedia (2014)

My Rating: 92% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 59%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 61%

Average Rating: 71%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Magic Mountain
  2. I Can’t Pretend
  3. I Hope Time Doesn’t Change Him
  4. Kiss Me Again
  5. Let Me
  6. Break My Heart
  7. Face of God
  8. U.S. National Park
  9. Deep in My Heart
  10. Bell Laboratories
  11. There Is Nothing Left
  12. Wild Geese

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for an album to mellow out to/be sad to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I love it, everything from the position they take on the couch to the objects above their heads, it all fits their sound.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah, fer surrrre.

Final Thoughts:

The Drums feel like the evolution of bands like The Smiths or The Animals, catchy tunes for sensitive people. They have an overall sad sound that really translates to the themes that they tackle (see There Is Nothing Left). Although the theme of Encyclopedia isn’t exactly as flushed out as I’d like it to be, the album still stands. And holy crap Magic Mountain as the opening track, I’ve never felt so excited to delve into a album by these guys.

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