Sonic Reducer: Micro Reviews Of Keep You, Biker Gone And Words To The Blind

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Billed as screamo, Baltimore hardcore band Pianos Become The Teeth sure as hell don’t sound that way with Keep You—which honestly suits me just fine. Previous PBTT works have actually been compared to Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai, and it’s that same stripe hypnotic instrumentalism that shines through here for me. Kyle Durfey’s vocals keen out over a wash of guitars, while a steady unwavering drum line courses through each of the album’s 10 songs. He lets loose with a wail on “Old Jaw,” but only gets full-on screamy with the last track, “Say Nothing”; it sounds like he’s been saving up every ounce of angst just for this moment. Other standouts include “April,” “Late Lives” and “Traces.” (M. Brianna Stallings)

Kim Deal Biker Gone 7-inch (Self-released)

The world can rest easy, because Kim Deal is still dishing out new, original work in the form of her 7-inch vinyl series. The latest finds Deal traversing the depths of the same sinister minimalism she explored on Title TK with the title track. However, Deal shows her softer side in the acoustic intonations of “Beautiful Moon.” It should also be noted that she enlisted the help of her sister and Breeders bandmate Kelley Deal, a great singer-songwriter in her own right, on the proceedings, and drummer Britt Walford, who played on Breeders’ first LP Pod. Is this record a groundbreaking endeavor that will shift the landscape of music’s capabilities? Not quite. But it’s a welcome addition to Deal’s already stellar oeuvre. (Mark Lopez)

Savages and Bo Ningen Words to the Blind (Stolen Recordings/Pop Noire)

There are records that elicit a certain reaction: albums that induce headaches, wild dancing, contemplation or reflection. It’s difficult to determine where the joint effort of Brit post-punk prodigy Savages and Japanese acid-punkers Bo Ningen resides. The record consists of one 38-minute track that fuses French, Japanese and English spoken-word moments, erratic breaks and dark imagery. How dark? Well, listening to this track/album has visual components because the two bands recorded it as an experience rather than merely a listening party. It is a bit of a disappointment that Savages’ Jehnny Beth’s amazing voice doesn’t really come into full force until around the 24-minute mark. And while their efforts are notable, maybe this is something that should best be experienced live. (Mark Lopez)

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