Micro Reviews Of Tsigoti, Kurt Vile And The Knife

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This mostly Italian anarcho jazz-punk combo (à la The Ex) features world-class avant pianist and occasional New Mexican Thollem McDonas on keys and vocals. I find their satirical and sometimes even sloganeering lyrics about war and capitalism to be quite refreshing in an era of rock dominated by oblique poetry or relationship complaints. McDonas belts them out with a punch-drunk fervor that’s somehow shouted and slurred simultaneously. The approach is didactic yet down-to-earth, and the music is high-quality, complex punk that never stops moving. This is Tsigoti’s third album, and it’s their second on the Post-Consumer label. (Derek Caterwaul)

Kurt Vile Wakin On A Pretty Daze (Matador Records)

Listening to Vile’s latest release is like careening down a lonesome highway, the warmth of the sun on your bare skin—illuminating the cloudless, blue sky—as you make for the big city and end up in a metropolis of golden lights. My first official Vile earful, Wakin On A Pretty Daze, is just what it sounds like, existing eternally in the ethereal netherworld of the mind. The first glimpse is the ambient rock and roll of the title track. Then skip forward to the ’80s synth-pop-infused indie rock of “Air Bud.” Heavy on guitar solos, Vile’s droning voice and the daze of his songwriting, this one’s a keeper. (Mark Lopez)

The Knife Shaking the Habitual (Rabid Records)

Karin Dreijer Andersson careens into class battle astride a war elephant on this release, reaching Yoko Ono-ish levels of vocal intensity backed by her brother Olof’s Nordic post-juke. “Full of Fire” proffers a tab of Plastikman’s acid and a 10-minute face-stealing trip. The time signature is written in some Ur language, compelling footwork for the six-legged. Andersson communicates spitefully, mockingly in moaned laughs. Her vocal processing goes far beyond previous gender/circuit bending; at times it resembles the shrieks of Daleks on the brink of orgasm. Shaking the Habitual is far more musical than it sounds, and even more frightening. The psychomimetic quacks and squelch worms of this extended analog workout give voice to a panicked animal kingdom, over which The Knife reigns ever supreme. (Ehren Salazar)

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