The Beatles had “All you need is love,” but, for Christopher Owens, “Love is in the ear of the listener.” Owens (half of now-defunct San Fran band Girls) takes the reins with oh-so-soft hands on his first solo outing, Lysandre. Named after a love interest, it's a deeply sentimental relationship remembrance of touring, but “sentimental” might be an understatement. “Lysandre's Theme” contains a mystical and mythical chord progression and flutes to wake a comatose minstrel. My only deeply rooted frustration is that the release's recurring musical theme plays over and over throughout, leading me to believe that it's just filler. But, there are some hidden gems. Listen to “Here We Go,” and “Part of Me (Lysandre's Epilogue)” to see why we love Owens and are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. (Mark Lopez)
Feast of the Epiphany originated with Nick Podgurski, drummer for NYC art rock bands Extra Life and Yukon, and now features a who’s-who of modern prog-metal nerd elites. Like Temperance, their previous release on the same microlabel, these tracks all have a dense, brightly hypnotic buzz produced by entwined synth/guitar lines doing weird things inside your cranium. Odd-metered vocals in a strange “devotional” style add to the pleasantly disorienting effect. The B-side reworks The Brogues’ garage anthem “(I Ain’t No) Miracle Worker” in similar fashion, with a near-drawling intonation. This music is a real treat for listeners—like myself—who enjoy solving puzzles. (Derek Caterwaul)
Italo disco label Giallo Disco preserves the essence of continental body music on its second release. Think retrofuturistic imprint Italians Do It Better decked in black latex. On “Darkroom,” Maovvi lights up the haunted house Thrill Kill Kult built with dayglo flashes. “Prisoner Nightdrive” screws the throb of Carpenterian synthwaves into slowmo death disco. The remix half of the EP doesn’t hit as precisely on target. Mircala and Paton’s dubs resemble dance floor filler from Pulse’s EBM nights or a Halloween release by Mannheim Steamroller. Vercetti Technicolor’s remix, however, pushes up the Zombi choir and injects energy into the sparse original, granting the dead new life. (Ehren Salazar)
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