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Destroyer   - Destroyer's Rubies  -  -  - Merge  -  - Unsuspecting fans of the New Pornographers beware: - Songwriter Dan Bejar's other band  Destroyer  is not - a poppy delight. Apparently, the Vancouver musician - likes the Pornos (with Neko Case) to act as his Paul - McCartney endeavor, while Destroyer keeps things - honest, raw and somewhat loose, in a John Lennon - fashion. The outfit's seventh album, Destroyer's - Rubies, confirms Bejar's creative notions with - cynical tales ("Rubies") and quirky melodies ("European - Oils") that are remotely interesting but never truly come - together in genius form. Destroyer's Rubies - doesn't disappoint, but also doesn't turn your frown - upside down.  John Benson
  • Destroyer

    Destroyer's Rubies

    Merge

    Unsuspecting fans of the New Pornographers beware: Songwriter Dan Bejar's other band Destroyer is not a poppy delight. Apparently, the Vancouver musician likes the Pornos (with Neko Case) to act as his Paul McCartney endeavor, while Destroyer keeps things honest, raw and somewhat loose, in a John Lennon fashion. The outfit's seventh album, Destroyer's Rubies, confirms Bejar's creative notions with cynical tales ("Rubies") and quirky melodies ("European Oils") that are remotely interesting but never truly come together in genius form. Destroyer's Rubies doesn't disappoint, but also doesn't turn your frown upside down. John Benson

Two Gallants  - What The Toll Tells  -  -  - Saddle Creek  -  - This is easily the best disc I've heard all year. The San - Francisco two-piece (drums and guitar) crafts songs with - memorable melodies and timeless stories, and bounces - beautifully among a weird punk-like passion ("Las - Cruces Jail"), a softer, more reflective, semi-melancholic - demeanor ("Steady Rollin'"), and a jangle-pop groove - intensity ("Age of Assassins"). The band, at times, seems - to borrow heavily from label brothers Bright Eyes, - especially when the vocals turn an Oberst-ish phrase, or - when vocalist Adam Stephens screams in an emotional - tenor. Still, Two Gallants offer something fresh in a world - where more and more acts seem to wear their influences - on their shirts.  Toll is a work of dynamic - strength and creativity.  Jesse Stanek
  • Two Gallants

    What The Toll Tells

    Saddle Creek

    This is easily the best disc I've heard all year. The San Francisco two-piece (drums and guitar) crafts songs with memorable melodies and timeless stories, and bounces beautifully among a weird punk-like passion ("Las Cruces Jail"), a softer, more reflective, semi-melancholic demeanor ("Steady Rollin'"), and a jangle-pop groove intensity ("Age of Assassins"). The band, at times, seems to borrow heavily from label brothers Bright Eyes, especially when the vocals turn an Oberst-ish phrase, or when vocalist Adam Stephens screams in an emotional tenor. Still, Two Gallants offer something fresh in a world where more and more acts seem to wear their influences on their shirts. Toll is a work of dynamic strength and creativity. Jesse Stanek

East River Pipe  - What Are You On?   -  -  - Merge  -  - East River Pipe, aka one-man band F.M. Cornog, has - released an astonishing amount of low-fi, high-intensity - indie folk tunes in the past 10 years. After an almost - debilitating battle with drugs and alcohol and a stint - sleeping in the Hoboken, N.J., train station, Cornog has - settled into a more productive existence behind songs - that continue to carry their trademark scars of hard - living. Songs like "Druglife" show a rarely seen side of - substance abuse, while "Life Is A Landfill" offers glimpses - of Cornog's newfound New Jersey world of strip malls - and Home Depots. That Cornog refuses to play live only - fuels his self-made shut-in persona. There's actually - little need to publicly perform these songs. They seem - more powerful and poignant when listened to in - solitude.  Jesse Stanek
  • East River Pipe

    What Are You On?

    Merge

    East River Pipe, aka one-man band F.M. Cornog, has released an astonishing amount of low-fi, high-intensity indie folk tunes in the past 10 years. After an almost debilitating battle with drugs and alcohol and a stint sleeping in the Hoboken, N.J., train station, Cornog has settled into a more productive existence behind songs that continue to carry their trademark scars of hard living. Songs like "Druglife" show a rarely seen side of substance abuse, while "Life Is A Landfill" offers glimpses of Cornog's newfound New Jersey world of strip malls and Home Depots. That Cornog refuses to play live only fuels his self-made shut-in persona. There's actually little need to publicly perform these songs. They seem more powerful and poignant when listened to in solitude. Jesse Stanek

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