Quicktakes

Voxhaul Broadcast

“Timing is Everything”

(Voxhaul Broadcast)

“Timing is Everything” is truly a great listen from start to finish. As Los Angeles-based band Voxhaul Broadcast’s full-length debut album, it offers a series of rock songs that range from dark and gritty to lighthearted and fun. Although every song is worth a listen, the tracks to definitely check out are “Rotten Apples,” an instant mood-improver, “Cheetah,” an addictive and appropriately fast-paced tune, and “Loose Change,” a slower and more drawn out song. At times the band sounds a lot like a super-talented garage band — effortlessly cool, with a slightly grainy sound on some tracks. The album ends with the catchy and thoughtful “Fact or Fiction,” the type of song that will leave you wanting more. And if this debut album is any indication, this is definitely just the beginning.

Hayley Burgess


The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

“Belong”

(Slumberland)

“Belong,” the sophomore release from the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, evokes a familiar sound that seems more appropriate in the ’90s alternative rock scene.? Without a doubt, the Brooklyn quartet has undergone a transformation into a bigger, more established band after its self-titled debut in 2009.?This metamorphosis, along with ’90s shoegaze influence, can be attributed to producer Flood and mixer Alan Moulder – of Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine fame, respectively – who both helped craft “Belong.”?

Christina Oriel


Pharoahe Monch

“W.A.R. (We Are Renegades)”

(Duck Down Records)

Within a music industry that is becoming entirely viral and transparent, Pharoahe Monch’s cautious return to the limelight – four years since his last solo album – is a breath of fresh, old-school air. Monch flexes his poetic muscles, and reminds us why we first gravitated to him back in the ’90s, as he spits out his signature multi-syllabic, staccato-like rhymes. But even amidst all his poetic devices, Monch still succeeds in conveying coherent preacher-like messages. The majority of the album’s success must be attributed to the vocals; the album’s primitive, monotonous production does not hold a candle to Monch’s rhythm, flow and word choices. The repetition of the lyric, “where I come from” in the album’s most highly praised song, “Shine,” exudes a slow falling into the depths of Monch’s inner conscience, and segues into his archetypal Joycean stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Monch’s two previous canonical albums will likely overshadow his admirable transformation of tedious poetic devices into a seemingly effortless subconscious revelation in “W.A.R.”

Rachel Hodin

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