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Tuesday, December 31, 2013
#10 Dead Soft - Teen Fiction
#9 Wildlife - ...On The Heart
#8 Balladur - Balladur
#7 Belgrado - Siglo XXI
#6 Mrs. Magician - B-Sides
#5 Mouca Records - Mouca Records Day on FZB
#4 Petty Victories - Wait It Out
#3 Candy Colors - Casus Belli
#2 Soft Kill - Circle Of Trees
#1 Beaver - EP 2013
Monday, December 30, 2013
#20 Old English - Prose & Kahns
#19 White Poppy - Drifters Gold
#18 Alert New London - Gold EP
#17 Jarrod Sterling - Affection
#16 Catholic Spray - Earth Slime
#15 Sol Cat - Sol Cat
#14 Anakin - Emergency Broadcast System
#13 Giant Drag - Waking Up Is Hard To Do
#12 Mirror Kisses - Heartbeats
#11 Polyan & The Johnson Sisters - June
Friday, December 27, 2013
It's that time of year again, when all good blogs start pulling out their best of lists. Today we start with our Top 10 Videos of the year and next Monday and Tuesday we will feature the Top 20 Artists of the year. As always, our year end best of lists are determined by our readers page views. So, without further ado, here are the FZB Top 10 Videos of 2013:
#9 Bogan Via - Kanye
#8 Marcel Kassiel - A Waltz For My Bones
#7 Oval - Dandara
#6 Garlands - A Sneak Peek
#5 The Wooden Wolf - Your Drinking Shoulder
#4 Misfit Mod - Cars
#3 Crystal Soda Cream - Shot By Both Sides
#2 Clockwork Noise - The Tourists
#1 Mirror Kisses - Kameron
Thursday, December 26, 2013
This is it, our last review for 2013. Tomorrow we start our FZB year end countdowns with the Top 10 videos of the year, followed Monday and Tuesday with the Top 20 artists of 2013. We decided to give you something a little different in place of a review of a single artist's release. Instead we present you with the debut collection from a brand new Berlin based record label, Spati Palace. The twelve tracks on Collection #1 showcase some of the best of the current crop of Berlin based DIY, garage and pop bands. This is a wonderful collection of music to get you ready for what will surely be a new year full of great emerging artists. Stream and download Collection #1 for free at the link below.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
French band Volage have released their debut EP, Maddie, on Howlin Banana Records. Taking a page from artists like Ty Segall and Jay Reatard, Volage deliver six tracks of edgy, psych riddled garage rock, with bits of melodic pop undertones. The lo-fi production perfectly showcases the music, with the EP mixed to tape. A very nice touch in this overly perfect digital world. The EP is available digitally or as a limited edition 10" white vinyl record. Also a very nice touch. Stream and buy the Maddie EP at the link below.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Austrian psych rocker Juleah, aka Julia Hummer is back with her third release, Entangled And Entwined. Without question this is our favorite release of the year. Juleah delivers five tracks so good, they could be considered a gateway drug. This EP takes elements from Britpop, shoegaze and psychedelic and couples them with superlative songwriting, beautiful reverb drenched vocals and excellent guitar chops. The EP is a masterwork of DIY with Juleah doing everything herself. That just makes the quality of this EP all the more special and showcases Hummer's prowess as a producer. This EP (and all of her releases for that matter) is an absolute must have. Watch the video for the track The Verge and then stream and download Entangled And Entwined at the link below.
Friday, December 20, 2013
Sway is the latest album from Brooklyn based shoegaze auteurs Tape Deck Mountain. The album is dense, heavy and raw, while at the same time possessing much melodic beauty. That's no mean feat. The band of Travis Trevisan, John Momberg and Dan Alvarez create a presence so huge that mere mortals will not contain it. Rather than a wall of sound, Tape Deck Mountain launch a massive tsunami of sonic dynamics. This album is another absolute must have. Stream and buy Sway at the link below.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Vertebra is the sophomore release from Italian post-rock artist Australasia. Every once in a while, there comes a record that is so imaginative in its scope and excellent in its execution, that it defies all the usual superlatives. Vertebra is just such a record. The album defines a new aesthetic for post-rock. Blending elements from metal, shoegaze and ambient, the record stretches the genre into new territory, while retaining all the lushness and beauty that had previously defined the genre. This LP is an absolute must have. Stream four preview tracks of Vertebra at the link below.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
FZB favorite The Arctic Flow, aka Brian Hancheck, is back with the Sunbathing/Stargazing EP. Breaking with the trend of his last two releases, Hancheck brings the guitar up front to deliver seven tracks of dreamy, atmospheric pop. The EP continues Arctic Flow's grasp of music that lifts the spirit while propelling one past the days trials. This is another solid release and Hancheck continues to impress. Stream and download Sunbathing/Stargazing at the link below.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Our friends at Brooklyn indie label Stars and Letters Records have made a major score, signing former DFA heavyweight Shocking Pinks, aka Nick Harte, after six years away. The release of Harte's triple album debut for the label, Guilt Mirrors, is scheduled for Feb. 18th. In the mean time, we have two killer singles to wet our appetites. Shocking Pinks has always been a master of noise pop and these two tracks show the artist is back in top form. It is great to see the return of Shocking Pinks and hopefully this heralds the beginning of a new era of success for the artist and the label. Stream and download What's Up With That Girl & Not Gambling at the link below.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Australian band Cochlear Kill have released a new EP titled Blush. The four tracks range from driving noise rock to smooth dreampop. The product of DIY sessions, the EP has a lo-fi production aesthetic that perfectly frames the tracks. The band of Thomas Bullock, Lex Bowden, Thomas Madden and Simon Pearlman take us down a shoegazy path, with atmospheric vocals, hazy guitars and a tight rhythm section. This is a strong EP that was worth the two year wait since their last release. Stream and buy Blush at the link below.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Our friends at Brooklyn recording collective Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen have released yet another exceptional album, Lotic, by math-rock wizards Ishmael. The band of Andy Werle, Aaron Silberstein and Nick Otte have produced one of the standout works of the year. This album has everything, virtuoso performances, sterling production and superlative songwriting. If you want to hear what can simply be described as post-rock perfection, stream and download Lotic at the link below.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
FZB favorites Love Echo are releasing a new EP in January titled Next to the Night. They have given us an advance taste with their stunning cover of Coldplay's The Scientist. The duo of Vic Miranda and Vicki Glass just get better every time we hear them. It's no easy feat covering a song so entrenched with the persona of the original artist. Love Echo pull this off effortlessly, lending their own unique style and vibe to the track. If this track is any indication, the new EP will be a killer. Stream and download The Scientist at the link below.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Generator is the latest EP from New Jersey indie rock band The Clydes. The EP blends together diverse influences, from The Smiths to Roxy Music to The Jam, into six pop tinged tracks. With flourishes of heaviness and hints of driving dynamics, the EP is a solid work, but lacks the kind of energy that could push it over the top. Everything is there mind you, it just feels held back. Like a really hot car that's had a governor added to it. This is not a problem with the band, rather it is the sanitized production of producer Barry Knob. The Clydes show a lot of promise. We only hope that their next record is produced by someone who will let their true raw energy emerge. Stream and buy Generator at the link below.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Key to a False Door is the latest album from Minneapolis noise rockers The Blind Shake. Right from note one, this album gets it. Dense, heavy, noisey, lo-fi and perfect, the thirteen tracks come at you like a rabid dog. The sonic assault is in your face demanding your complete attention and rewarding with some of the best noise rock we have heard in ages. It literally picks you up by the scruff of the neck and shakes you like a piece of meat. (OK, not literally but you get the point.) This is simply the best noise rock record currently. Don't be a milk toast blob, stream and buy Key to a False Door at the link below.
Monday, December 9, 2013
November 5th saw the release of the self-titled debut EP from Canadian band King of Foxes. The four tracks are a powerful blend of garage rawness and alt rock influences, capped off by a lo-fi production aesthetic. The band of Olivia Street, Tony Bao, Greg Kolodychuk and Len Kitsco have crafted a compelling EP that takes the listener deep into the music, with radio ready tracks that are not afraid to retain their edgy persona. This sterling debut from the band is the way rock is meant to sound. We can't wait to hear more. Stream and download King of Foxes at the link below.
Friday, December 6, 2013
As a rule this blog does not do negative reviews. If we don't like it, we don't write about it. Every once in a while though, we come across a record that we like, but alas, cannot be completely positive about. Such is the case with Come With Me, the debut EP from L.A. garage band Idoleyes. The five tracks are a testament to everything good about garage music. The EP is raw, heavy, driving, has some nice dynamic changes, etc. Everything good so far. The problem is that Idoleyes sound like The Strokes. Not in the influenced by sense, but in the completely authentic looking Chinese copy sense. It's unfortunate as this is a really, really good band and record. So if you like knock off clothing and wear a fake Rolex, then Idoleyes are the band for you. Stream and download Come With Me at the link below.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The Gravitate EP is the latest release from Boston singer/songwriter Rachel Thomasin. The seven tracks show Thomasin's atmospheric, emotive vocals taking center stage. The album is masterfully produced, with delicate instrumentation that wraps each track like a nice warm blanket. There's an element of troubadour in these tracks and a dreampop undercurrent running through the whole EP. What there is most of though is beauty, lots and lots of beauty. This EP is a must have. Stream and download The Gravitate EP at the link below.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
I love it that the traditional band lineup of two guitars, bass and drums no longer dominates the music scene. Solo artists and duos are putting out so much great music. This brings us to Sad Boys, the new EP from Reno, NV artists Surf Curse. The duo of Jacob Rubeck and Nicholas Rattigan have crafted an EP that is six tracks of straight up pop punk. No pretense, no samples, no fantastical arrangements, just two guys playing simple, lo-fi, surf powered rock. Taking the best elements of dreampop, post-punk and beach music, Surf Curse have put together an EP that works on every level. Stream and buy Sad Boys at the link below.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Zagreb, Croatia new wave band Hemendex have released their new album, Solution To Reality. The ten tracks take an 80's retro synth powered new wave foundation and blend that with glistening pop song stylings and alternative rock leaning vocals. The result is an album that has a commercial radio sheen, an experimental vibe and some Rick Wakeman era grandiosity thrown in for good measure. Stream and buy Solution To Reality at the link below.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Montreal post-punk band Corridor have released their debut EP, Un Magicien En Toi. Taking a queue from bands like Real Estate and Local Natives, the six tracks are a jangly mix of melodic guitars and slightly lo-fi production. The band of Jo Robin, Dom Bertha, Julian Perro and Marc Chapeau make a good first effort at this EP, but the whole thing comes a bit undone by the vocals and song arrangements. Not that either are bad. Rather, the arrangements seem a bit pushed, complexity for the sake of complexity and could have more room to get a life of their own. The vocals are over processed and one wonders what they'd sound like if they just sang them straight with a little reverb. All in all, a good debut EP but not a great one, with much promise that growth by the band will bring out all their best qualities. Stream and download Un Magicien En Toi at the link below.