RVA #26: Record Reviews (Part 2)

by | Oct 25, 2016 | MUSIC

This article was featured in RVAMag #26: Fall 2016. You can read all of issue #26 here or pick it up at local shops around RVA right now. You can read Part 1 of our Record Reviews here.

This article was featured in RVAMag #26: Fall 2016. You can read all of issue #26 here or pick it up at local shops around RVA right now. You can read Part 1 of our Record Reviews here.

Peter $un
Paradise Is A Day Away

Heartfelt hip-hop music that’s just perfect for the summer and warm fall. This “audio diary” mixtape serves as a complimentary follow-up to the breakout release Sunset Castle, offering more of the sincere MC’s unique creations while highlighting a more carefree approach to the lyrics and production. Even at its rawest musical moments like on “Who Is Love?,” there is an easy-going spirit here that just can’t be eluded. (DN)

Smoke Break
Everything Is Wrong
(Bad Note Records)

Everything Is Wrong packs a heavy punch for clocking in at barely twenty minutes, chock full of punk anthems that are sure to leave fans craving more Smoke Break tunes. “Triple A” and “Freaked Out (Love Song)” are quick to point out for their confessional attributes about memories at basement shows and unrequited love, but “Healthy Scratch” might be the one to lock in for introducing yourself to one of the best bands floating around the local music scene. (SC)

The Talkies
Dead Dad Grades

Pulsating punk rock energy in alt-rock format with clear shoegaze and twee influences, this four song release is a great musical statement for The Talkies as they begin to forge their name throughout town. With plenty of musical space, there is plenty for the band to showcase here, such as the snark trade-off between guitar and vocals and their saccharine musical fills arriving right on time in each song. One listen to this EP is all you’ll need to become this quartet’s latest fan. (DN)

Young Scum
Zona
(Citrus City Records)

There is a beautiful delight that emerges after every listen of Zona. Young Scum have crafted a five-song gem of an EP that spins uncontrollably in glory as the pop dream we never knew we so desperately desired. “Out of State” and ‘If You Say That” are quick favorites, but every song deserves a listen and a placement on a mixtape for your new favorite person. (SC)

NATIONAL

Angel Olsen
My Woman
(Jagjaguwar)

Eschewing a breakthrough sound for a new direction is hardly something new for musicians, but for an artist to do it and still maintain her quality, respect, and following? Inconceivable. Here, Olsen departs from her previous lo-fi folk sound for a more polished and melodic vision that still maintains the introspective and remorseful aspects of her songwriting. The result is an album almost implausibly great, yet completely endearing. (DN)

The Avalanches
Wildflower
(Polyvinyl)

The recent revivals of the last five years have proven that you can move music forward while looking to the past, but none do it in such a declarative and triumphant way as The Avalanches do on their return album. Here, they fill modern creations with nostalgia and familiarity helping to lay common ground for anyone to become lost in their exuberant world of clever combinations and irresistible grooves that is one of modern music’s most celebrated works. (DN)

Bat For Lashes
The Bride
(Parlophone)

Natasha Khan unveils her latest concept album with expert ability, taking careful time to highlight the trauma, grief, and even hope that can arise from a situation like this. What’s truly astounding here is Khan’s refusal to compromise her vision with pseudo-pop hits or conventional progressions. Instead, she strives to find harmony in dissonance and innovation in custom, while putting forth music that is as captivating as it is invigorating. (DN)

Blink-182
California
(BMG Rights Management)

Remember when you were a Blink-182 fan? You probably shouldn’t listen to California if you want to retain that level of fandom. It’s great that Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba is in the band now, but that doesn’t really fix the larger problems at hand. Unfortunately, the record feels like they extracted the things that made the band fun and just threw in tired ideas. Nostalgia wanes as this record spins. (SC)

Doug Nunnally

Doug Nunnally

Former RVA Magazine Print Editor, Sound Gaze Host, The Auricular Editor, Off Your Radar Editor. I like music and I write about it.




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