Symbiotic Recommends: 10 Albums, August 2011

12 08 2011

With so many good albums flooding my eardrums lately, it is next to impossible to write full reviews on all of them. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of 10 recently released albums that I feel are worth checking out. Here it goes!

August 19, 2011
by Jericho Cerrona

Here is a downloadable .zip folder with all the songs listed below!

MAC: Hold “Control” + click on link, “Save as”, follow steps to save file

PC: Right click on link, select “Save link as…”, follow steps to save file

Yalls “Yalls”

Song: “Runs in the Family”

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Yalls is a one-man electronic project from Oakland, California. Dan Casey writes, performs, and sings in a warbled falsetto over funky beats and skuzzy synthesizers on his latest self-titled release, which is essentially a collection of two EP’s and previously unreleased tracks. Weirdly mesmerizing stuff.

Grooms “Prom”

Song: “3D Voices”

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This Brooklyn-based three-piece play fuzzy noise pop on their sophomore LP Prom, which at times comes off like a mix between the angular 90’s alt-rock of Sonic Youth and the melodic experimentation of Abe Vigoda. Delightfully nostalgic, with a tinge of sadness.

Ritual Waste “Ritual Waste”

Song: “Thrown in it”

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The new EP from Sacramento, California’s Michael RJ Saalman under the moniker Ritual Waste is an avant garde pop album brimming with ambient synths, droney atmosphere, retro video game-style blips, and Saalman’s laconic and at times surprisingly catchy vocals. The entire five-track album is refreshingly loopy and refuses to be boxed into any recognizable genre.

Falls of Rauros “The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood”

Song: “Silence”

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Falls of Rauros are from Portland, Maine and they play an atmospheric brand of black metal that seems to be growing in popularity in recent years. Comparisons to Agalloch and Wolves in the Throne Room are apt, but Falls of Rauros provide their own spin on the genre, complete with folksy acoustic guitar strumming, high-pitched wailing screams, crashing drums, and epic instrumental interludes.

Waylon Thornton “Rat Brew”

Song: “Glitter Maiden”

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Waylon Thornton is a singer/songwriter from Florida and he has another band called The Heavy Hands who’s 2010 album Sixteen Dreams was a lo-fi punk gem. Now with solo release Rat Brew, Thornton has retained his previous bands punk spirit and infused it with a down and dirty psych/folk vibe.

Yacht “Shangri-La”

Song: “Beam Me Up”

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Art-rock duo Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans have made a fantastic electro-tinged dance album with Shangri-La, which sounds like a weird amalgamation of MGMT, Portugal. The Man and Of Montreal.

Suede Dudes “Greatest Hits”

Song: “Hot Grenade”

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Suede Dudes are a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida four-piece that concoct a primal form of garage punk racket on Greatest Hits, an album spilling over with lo-fi psychedelic fuzz, grimy guitar solos, and echo-chambered vocals. For fans of Thee Oh Sees.

Cult of Youth “Cult of Youth”

Song: “The Pole-Star”

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The first proper album from Brooklyn-based Cult of Youth founder Sean Ragon is a majestic bit of neo-folk. There are hints of Americana, industrial punk, and pagan style folk throughout. Minor-key acoustic guitar strumming, stellar violin work by Christiana Key, a tight rhythm section, and Ragon’s deep-toned vocals are all meshed together brilliantly.

La Big Vic “Actually”

Song: “Mr. Broken Bird”

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Keyboardist Peter Pearson (who’s worked with Pink Floyd’s sound producer), guitarist Toshio Masuda (who produced hip-hop commercials in Japan) and singer/violinist Emilie Friedlander (who is the editor of Pitchfork-spin off site Altered Zones) have collaborated on a debut that sounds like dreamy synthpop gone Krautrock. Each member’s influence is readily apparent, from Masuda’s hip-hop-esque beats, to the proggy drone of Pearson’s keyboards, to Friedlander’s soaring violin and laconic vocals, and many of the songs sprawl majestically.

The Cool Kids “When Fish Ride Bicycles”

Song: “Boomin’ (featuring Tennille)”

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Chicago, Illinois hip-hop group The Cool Kids (made up of rappers Mikey Rocks and Chuck English) have delivered on the promise of 2007’s EP Bake Sale with their more expansive follow-up When Fish Ride Bicycles. The music is old school 90’s-influenced fun, with tons of percussion-heavy beats and lazy summertime rhymes.



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