By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
"Dance Like There's No Tomorrow"
It's upbeat, it's frivolous, it's Sugar-Free Diet Pepsi dance-pop at best. This faded diva's apparent resurgence aside—and good on her for that—the vapidity of would-be dance hits about dancing never fails to simultaneously amaze and depress me. To any pop stars/producers/A&R stooges reading this: Is the public actually clamoring for more of this sort of thing, or are you all just weather-satellite high?
"Twitch of the Death Nerve"
Sorry—no Slint reunion for you. No Slint reunion in the traditional sense, that is. Because now they're metalheads. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but for Christ's sake, isn't this over-flourishing scene already inundating the Decibel offices with enough promotional material to bury a small country?
What do Brooklyn trio the Diggs have in common with Hillary Clinton? Both hope to cash in on good-vibrations '90s nostalgia, but I'm more apt to cast my vote for these kids. Mood-mosaic "Careen"—the singer's sorry he visited some chick, then he's a dorm-hallway acoustic-strummin' asshole, then he's trying to get to sleep—conjures up the late, lamented Knapsack with refrains repeated ad nauseam while the band performs that well-tread, never-totally-dead Chuck Taylor-soft shoe.
No guitars here—just raging drum kits bashing away, crossed with psychopaths screaming drivel like "I like pee-pee in my Coke!" At one point these freaks try on the rhythm to Sonic Youth's "Death Valley '69," but then they lose interest. Anyone could've knocked this song out in an hour with a RadioShack tape recorder and a case of Natty Boh. Pass.
WILDBIRDS & PEACEDRUMS
Foot Village might do well to check out this married Swedish duo, who conjure indignant, nitroglycerine magic utilizing only handclaps, drums, and one holy-moly power hammer of a voice. As Mariam Wallentin's righteous wails and Andreas Werliin's whiplash drums roll and pop against one another, you keep waiting for serrated riffs to swoop in and saw the lid off this joint, but it never happens, and it doesn't need to.