My Bloody Valentine Review: mbv

My Bloody Valentine
mbv
My Bloody Valentine, mbv, m b v, album cover art

After 22 years, a decade-long breakup, a reunion, and a reunion tour, My Bloody Valentine has finally dropped the follow-up to their incredible 1991 sophomore release, Loveless. While titled simply mbv, the band’s third album is anything but simple. In fact, this album has more layers of grungy complexity than a freshly painted onion tossed around in the dirt. Oddly enough, I have not been biting my nails in anticipation for this album, unlike most other music junkies; especially the ones with a love for grungy, shoe-gazing noise-rock. In fact, I gave up on My Bloody Valentine many, many years ago. In fact, last Thursday I had to double-check that I even had there complete LP discography … all THREE albums. However, after revisiting their first two albums, and a couple EP’s, I admit, I was instantly disappointed in myself for not maintaining a certain amount of loyalty to the band; especially the part where I skipped out on the chance to see them on their reunion tour. My Bloody Valentine helped pioneer a sound for so many bands I loved and still love to this day, and I didn’t just put them on the back burner, I took them off the stove completely. I think my main issue was that they had such a small body of work compared to Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Pixies, etc., let alone their few predecessors. Thankfully, lead man Kevin Shields finally made good on his promise to “release an album or die”, and thus, my love for My Bloody Valentine has been not only been rejuvenated, but has increased tenfold.
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Dinosaur Jr. Review: I Bet On Sky

Dinosaur Jr.

I Bet On Sky

Dinosaur Jr I Bet On Sky album cover art

Unlike their species namesake, Dinosaur Jr. survived their age (the garage rock/grunge era) and have even aged nobly with some of their best albums coming this past decade, over 20 years after their debut in 1985. While it definitely isn’t appropriate to compare this crunchy raw garage trio to a fine wine, the better comparison would be fellow nobly aged rock stars Neil Young and Tom Waits. The reason these artists’ music still works well years after they started is their music is raw, honest, and ugly (in a good way) as they sing about being tired and weary – all things people become more and more of as they age, making the music feel truer than ever. One look at J Mascis, the band’s guitarist, singer, and primary songwriter, and there is no doubt the dude fits all those descriptions.  The band’s latest, I Bet On Sky, is more invigorated muscular rock from Dinosaur Jr. that doesn’t quite reach the height of their last couple releases.
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Screaming Females Review: Ugly

Screaming Females

Ugly

Screaming Females, Ugly, album cover, cover art

From the first snare hit, Ugly explodes and continues to be as loud and in your face as a Jersey woman, minus the spray tan and facelift. The New Jersey group masters many diverging genres, yet still finds a way to make it their own brand of loud and ugly punk rock. Yes, the album name drop was intentional.
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The Men Review: Open Your Heart

The Men

Open Your Heart

The Men, Open Your Heart, album cover, cover art

“Rock is dead” is a phrase that has become far too cliché. Even with traditional rock music being fairly paralyzed, there has been a fair share of great rock bands this past decade. That being said, hearing the opening notes of Open Your Heart, the Brooklyn foursome’s third album, is still no doubt invigorating, as its workmanlike, physical rock that rarely exists anymore.
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LxListening: As Lo As Fi Can Go

If you haven’t deduced by the title, I have been listening to a lot of shi**y sounding garage rock lately. Which incidentally, sounds far from shi**y, but rather incredibly pleasant to my ears. It began when the Screaming Females performed on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series. I keep going back to them, and it spun me right back into my frequent obsession with dirty, overly distorted, garage-rock-grunge-punk. The 5 songs I am going to list are actually fairly fun, poppy, upbeat songs for each artist. So let loose and enjoy …
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Top 20 Thursday: 2011 Albums That Will Live In Infamy

Because we at Little by Listen enjoy letting you know what the best of the best is, we have opted to force upon you our Top 20 albums of 2011.  Constructing this list was much simpler than the top 20 songs, and thankfully didn’t end with me burning down Wes’ house or digging up Todd’s childhood pet and leaving it for him to find in his bed.  In fact making this list was a little too easy, possibly because Todd had a cold nose while we were making it, and probably just wanted to get the process over with.  Or maybe because Wes needed to tend to his beehives to collect some holiday honey (honey is coincidentally the name of Todd’s childhood pet btw).  Please enjoy the list we have so meticulously crafted, and feel free to throw your entries in the comments so we can immediately dismiss you as philistines with no taste.

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