Black Sea Royalty – EP (Self-released)

Nashville natives Sammy Mitchell and Jon Marc Winchester make some serious noise on their debut EP.  Black Sea Royalty’s sound, falling between traditional hard rock and mid-2000s alt-rock is both rough enough to appeal to Nashville’s underground music scene and accessible enough to find success in a general musical atmosphere.  The duo does a killer job of writing, performing, mixing, and producing this EP, and their work shows.  “Salvatore” is my personal favorite, but every song is good in its own right. -Austin Lyons 3/7/13 -

Little Green Cars – Absolute Zero (Glassnote Records)

I really like this album.  Absolute Zero did not have a bad song on it in my opinion.  I kept finding myself listening to the album on repeat.  Some songs aren’t as strong as others, and I wouldn’t say every song on this album is amazing, but overall the album was solid.  The song Red and Blue is interesting because it is a total break in the middle of the album.  The song is totally different from the other songs on the album so it kind of disturbs its flow.  This is probably because of “The John Wayne” alone.  That song is amazing.  It is the best song by far, and I feel like it will become a pretty well-known song in the future.  -David Botschner 4/13/13

Wondrous Bughouse – Youth Lagoon (Fat Possum)

This album feels like floating through cartoon space. It’s like The Flaming Lips and Spiritualized went on a Magical Mystery Tour together. I’m not 100% into the vocals, which sound a little wimpy and annoying at times (like “The Bath”). Sometimes they seem a little passionless and just obnoxious. But I dig the instrumentals. With reverbed vocals and synths galore, the atmosphere is here in spades. That and the occasional psychedelic bursts make for a pretty listen, albeit one that I probably won’t be revisiting often.

Nick Klinc 3/13/13

The Traditional Fools – The Traditional Fools (In the Red)

If you’re looking for old-school lo-fi surf-noise-garage-punk, look no further than The Traditional Fools.  Ty Segall’s ambitious 2008 album is getting a re-release in 2013, and thank goodness for it! This album is sick. It rocks hard and fast.  The songs are very very short (1-2 mins) and high-energy. Straight up California garage music.  It’s glorious. Hooks you on the first song and never lets go.  A sound like this is rare nowadays.  -Austin Lyons, 3/12/13

Overgrown – James Blake (Republic)

James Blake’s 2013 release picks up right where he left off last time, with syncopated rhythms, his distinctive pitch-shifting croon, and plenty of bass. RZA drops a verse on the surprisingly good “Take a Fall for Me” while songs like “Overgrown” and “Retrograde” show off how good Blake’s vocal chops and pop sensibilities have gotten. “Voyeur” and “Life Round Here” are ready for the dance floor. Good stuff here.

Zach Shealy 8/21/13