Reviews

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April 30, 2021

J Lind - The Land of Canaan

The downside to being involved in music “news” is there’s a certain urgency to be the first to the plate with coverage on new releases. Full transparency – my involvement is fully of volunteer nature. But I do prefer to cover releases when they’re most timely and need the boost. The obvious drawback in instances where I don’t have a pre-release copy is that I have to make make some quick judgments.… Continued →

April 26, 2021

April 24, 2021

Rob Ray - Yours Is The Day

Rob Ray is the kind of artist that has the rare ability to instantly capture listeners’ attention. Blending what could best be classified as a mix of Josh Garrels, John Mayer, and Macy Gray, Ray crafts punchy tracks with instant appeal. More practically, it’s a soulful mix of R&B-tinged indie. Yours Is The Day meets the biblical classification of “spiritual songs” in no time flat.… Continued →

April 19, 2021

April 17, 2021

Song of the Day: Common Children - Skywire

Arkansas’ Common Children reminded me plainly of a cross between The Prayer Chain & Skillet. Why, might you ask? Well, CC has some serious ethereal atmospheric music akin to The Prayer Chain. And Skillet due to the obvious grunge influences and the three male band members when they first formed. Skywire came out in 1996 as did Skillet’s S/T.… Continued →

February 25, 2021

Andy Squyres - Poet Priest

Poet Priest dropped earlier today, but it’s already making waves. Even the most casual affirmations seem to eclipse anything I might have to say here. The press is quick. And trying to add something to the conversation here is certainly a challenge, indeed one that usually doesn’t show up. To say this album has been highly-anticipated is an understatement.… Continued →

February 8, 2021

January 18, 2021

Captain the Sky - Butterfly Effect

Crowdfunding campaigns have a record of being notoriously unreliable; even so, I’d admittedly forgotten about this album I contributed to two and a half years ago. Captain the Sky publicly announced their hiatus years ago it seems, so things have understandably been quiet with a number of side projects taking precedence.… Continued →

January 17, 2021

January 12, 2021

Kendra Blethen - Pilgrimage

Kendra Blethen is one of a host of singer-songwriters I found this past year, and it seems like North Carolina is churning out artist after artist. Blethen brandishes a unique blend of southern grit and spiritual ruminations across Pilgrimage, her debut EP. The core concept came to her during a drive to what I can only assume might be Audiofeed – a reminder that the voyage matters as much as the destination.… Continued →

January 9, 2021

Several Other Ghosts - Ghost Stations

From the opening notes of “Just Breathe” all the way to its creaky end, this track seems to live up to the “ghostly” vibe of this Washington-based act. Rest assured, this band is neither post-rock nor needlessly-morose. Ghost Stations is instead more coffee shop than haunted house. It shimmers with a certain tender warmth, though vulnerability is around every corner.… Continued →

December 26, 2020

Domestic Terminal - I Could See Midnight Sky

Undeniably, 2011 was a critical year for my musical taste. It’s the year I discovered Hands and A Hope for Home, bands still cemented as life-changing artists with some of my favorite albums of all time. Over the course of the next two years, due to bands like Gracer and Moving Mountains, my taste trended further from metal into atmospheric, emo-adjacent rock I’ve emphatically christened crescendocore.… Continued →

December 21, 2020

December 5, 2020

Make Sure / Ezekiel Songs - Split EP

Splits seem increasingly-rare; indeed, in a single-friendly, me-first musical culture, artists collaborating in mutual benefit is undeniably counter-cultural (as a side, it’s odd something even so simple seems adverse to some). But splits live on, if only solely as a remnant of DIY punk culture. There’s a raw, communal, anti-corporate element here.… Continued →

December 3, 2020

Wade Walker - The Harrow

Put simply, The Harrow is an album of parables. No, you won’t need a dictionary, nor are any of the sentiments too obtuse. The central narrative instead rests in simplicity; an earthy barrenness meets dirty hands resulting in what can only be described as common man’s praise. Where others would opt for sprawling pedal boards and tireless crescendos, Wade Walker chooses a subtler option: vulnerable, poetic, alt-country worship without all of the glitz.… Continued →

November 29, 2020

Daniel Markham - Burnout

From the opening riffs of opener “Armadillo”, you know this is going to be something interesting—dual harmonic guitar riffs in fuzzy tones. Vocals reflect Markham’s alt country background, but this is clearly a rock record. His bio claims he was trying to return to the hard rock and heavy metal that made him happy as a child, and while that is certainly a tangible presence, it’s filtered through his alternative consciousness.… Continued →

November 7, 2020

Starflyer 59 - Miami (EP)

There used to be a fairly well-known release formula for SF59. Step one: release full-length album. Step two: release EP of similar material within the following year (or even later that same year). While the formula has been tweaked over the years, it still more or less holds. Whereas She’s the Queen was the counterpart to Silver, Miami functions that way for Young in My Head.… Continued →

October 27, 2020

Cory Breth - Wide Awake

Wide Awake is a quintessential fall album. It’s rife with alt-country flavor, down-to-earth lyrics, and bit of dust and grit to polish things off. The album serves as Cory Breth’s third major release to date, and, while fall is already turning to winter in parts of the country, the timing of its release couldn’t be much better.… Continued →

October 20, 2020

The Oh Hellos - Zephyrus

With Zephyrus, The Oh Hellos close out their four-EP project spanning several years. It’s exciting and a bit sad all at once seeing the project come to an end, especially with a lengthy gap between the first and latter halves of the project. Much like the consecutive releases of Notos and Euros, Zephyrus follows Boreas closely and shows the band at a higher degree of mixing and mastering.… Continued →

October 13, 2020

September 4, 2020

The Oh Hellos - Boreas

Boreas is far from a gentle, stereotypical winter-themed release. It has been tested by negative-degree temperatures. It has been refined in a viking furnace. It sees the Heaths adorned in makeshift bear pelt armor ready for battle. The Oh Hellos may have been in hibernation, but they've woken up roaring. 

September 2, 2020

August 25, 2020

Review: Idle Threat. "Nothing Is Broken For Good"

"He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." -Psalm 147:3 Spirit Filled Post Hardcore act, Idle Threat. have released their Tooth & Nail debut "Nothing Is Broken For Good" full of passion, heart, and faith. RIYL: My Epic, Household, Paperweight, Arms for Elephants, and Trainwreck-era Boy's Night Out

August 14, 2020

Former Ruins - Large Startling

Enchanting. It’s a word that sums up only a few truly moving albums; ones that shine lyrically, consist of artisan songcraft, and thrive off a powerful emotional response. I won’t mince words – Former Ruins offers all of this and more. Levi Dylan Sikes crafts cascading songs with The National-esque vocals and captivating folk and alt-country arrangements.… Continued →

August 12, 2020

July 25, 2020

Roemer - Straight Bars and Guns

Roemer is a stripped-back acoustic/indie folk project. If you’re anything like me, folk has to be some really special to catch my attention—a quirky vocal style, effective use of harmonies, skilful playing, or best of all hard-hitting and/or poignant lyrics. If it has one or more of those, I’m more likely to pay attention.… Continued →

July 16, 2020

Micah McCaw - Imbalances

Micah McCaw - Imbalances

In spite of its title, Imbalances feels balanced lyrically, melodically, rhythmically, and spiritually. It's an incredibly impressive album that feels so fresh and unique compared to most modern bands. It's artful but not pretentious. McCaw speaks with both wisdom and humility. The songs flow dynamically but it always feels natural. If you're a fan of complex bluesy prog-rock then this album definitely deserves a listen.

July 2, 2020

July 1, 2020

American Arson - A Line in the Sand

American Arson - A Line in the Sand

It'd be an understatement to say A Line in the Sand is highly-anticipated. Many IVM readers have supported the band since their inception, and our vicarious connection here has culminated to something truly exciting. This is the kind of album we deserve from American Arson - one that balances the best of their catalog with a insatiable hunger for growth. It's a lyrically-bold album which never obfuscates what it's trying to say. And while it takes a few listens to take everything in, A Line in the Sand is an ambitious debut LP that will not disappoint.