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Local Music Spotlight -- Albums we're digging right now

Local Music Spotlight -- Albums we're digging right now

sodium lights
Sodium Lights
Album: Transtulit
Released: January 2011
From: Connecticut
Think Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine with a soulful club diva singing vocals. An unexpected but entertaining juxtaposition. Track two, Tunnel, combines Lady Ga Ga-like song-craft with techno beats. The confusing part is that Sodium Lights’ blend of glitchy techno and Top 40 pop hooks has one foot planted firmly in both worlds but doesn't quite belong in either. I'm not sure if they belong in a dark basement club or on Kiss 108 radio. Whichever of these two worlds wins out, Transtulit is an entertaining listen.

custard paws & mr. frenzy
Custardpaws & Mr. Freezy
Album: The Buffalo
Released: March 2011
From: Portland, ME
I almost wrote this record off without a listen because of the band’s incredibly dumb name. That would have been a mistake. The Buffalo is a thoroughly entertaining album. Mixed in with the kookiness of their schizophrenic song cycle is the serious musicianship of Blair Wells & Jeff Badger. It’s a strange combination of influences—the rhythms of the Talking Heads mixed with the indie-easy-listening of Cake and, oddest of all, a snarky sarcasm and vocal delivery that’s reminiscent of Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys minus the hardcore punk delivery. And, as if to validate that hint of punk in their veins, smack in the middle of the album they drop a 15 second blast of straight-up hardcore, "I’m Not Doing Shit Today Except For Writing This Song (And I Hope It Doesn’t Take Too Long)" which, in true punk rock fashion, takes much longer for me to type than it does for them to play.

kick kick
Kick! Kick!
Album: Rising Damp
Released: March 2011
From: North Hampton, MA
Good old garage rock that would be right at home in the seventies dosed with hints of the revivalist, angular instrumentations of The Killers and Interpol. Vocals bounce from Iggy Pop-like croons to Adam Lambert-like super-high shrieks. If their live shows have half the energy of this 6-song EP, they’re a band to head out and see.

sugar snow
Sugar Snow

Album: Sugar Snow
Released: January 2011
From: Boston, MA
Sugar Snow brings dreamy indie-pop that owes much to the psychedelic sixties. Driving rhythms overlaid with trippy guitar solos and the breathy vocals of Simone Berk. Their nine-track self-titled album moves at an ethereal pace as though floating through the fogs of their own dream-state. Listen closely and tell me if Simone’s vocals don’t occasionally make you picture Kurt from Glee fronting a shoe-gaze band.

--George Dow

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