“Coin” Coin


COIN Album Review

StarTime International/Columbia Records

Released: June 16, 2015

Genre: Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Pop Rock

There’s a certain type of group in the indie pop/rock hybrid genre that I absolutely detest. These groups come on to the scene with a few bland, albeit catchy songs and (briefly) take storm of the entire casual alt-listening audience. Their ultimate goal seems to be getting their single in a movie trailer or a Coke commercial, and then cashing their checks and fading into obscurity. While I hate to call out artists for exclusively negative reasons, I’ll be blunt here and say I’m talking about bands like Walk the Moon and American Authors. Hopefully I’ll be proven wrong, but they seem to be technically proficient dudes without an ounce of passion in them.

I was initially worried COIN would turn out to be another one of these bands. I’d heard their single “Run” a few times and didn’t dislike it, but I definitely wasn’t onboard. That being said, once I gave their self-titled debut album a chance, I found my fears were (mostly) alleviated. This Nashville based band hasn’t made me their Number One Fan, but COIN is a strong, genuinely good first album, even if many of their songs seem to be interchangeable.

I’m not going to give a chronological track-by-track review of COIN, because for at least the first half of the album, it would seem fairly repetitive. That sentence isn’t meant to be read as a dig, though. It makes complete sense that, for the most part, COIN would try to stick to what they know best right now, which are refreshingly light, fast-paced ~three minute tracks. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Still, even among the homogeny, there are a few real standout songs. One of these is the album-starting “Atlas.” This percussion heavy track is enjoyable as hell and gives each member a chance to stand out. I particularly enjoy Chase Lawrence as the lead vocalist and Ryan Winnen on the drums. Other standouts include track two “Fingers Crossed,” a solid rock song with some interesting synth, and “Better,” an honestly written, slightly slower song that proves COIN has some true heart. Additionally, “Holy Ghost” doesn’t succeed at getting all too deep, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t really damn fun.

While COIN has potential to become a well respected indie mainstay, their first album does have a few noticeable missteps. While the general similarities between the songs collected here usually works, “Time Machine” is an example of where it definitely does not. While definitely not lazy (don’t call anything produced by an artist lazy, because that’s almost never accurate), “Time Machine” feels like indifferent filler, and listening to it makes me feel absolutely nothing. Also not working is the final track “Lately.” It’s strange and experimental, with intentionally distant, ‘off’ sounds that build to a climactic final thirty-five seconds, but it’s just not something COIN is able to pull off yet. Regardless, I certainly respect them for trying something weird.

COIN by COIN is a fine album that’s worth your attention. It doesn’t break new ground but hell, barely anything breaks new ground If every album broke new ground the ground would be a goddamn mess. You should listen to this album and definitely be on the lookout for whatever these guys make next.

FAV TRACKS: Atlas, Fingers Crossed, Better

LEAST FAV TRACKS: Time Machine, Lately

Score: (7.0/10)


“Death Magic” HEALTH


Death Magic Album Review

Loma Vista

Released August 7, 2015

Genre: Electro-industrial, Synth Punk, Experimental Rock, Noise Rock, Industrial, Dance Pop

There’s a scene in Dario Argento’s 1977 Italian horror cult classic Suspiria where the main character, Suzy, is taking a seemingly innocent stroll down the candy-colored halls of the German dance academy. Suddenly, the twinkling innocent theme becomes dark, claustrophobic, and incredibly noisy as it punctuates the impending chills that are to come. Try to picture that scene, and imagine its 70s lo-fi nature is taken away and replaced with the ever-evolving technological advances of 2015. That’s what HEALTH sounds like, and Death Magic is a terrifying, dark, and seemingly inescapable abyss of gritty dynamics, harsh synths, and soothing vocals that pour darkness rather than provide light to make up one of the year’s darkest records.

Now this is my first time listening to HEALTH, and they are one of the more accessible albeit enjoyable noise bands that I can recall in recent memory. When thinking about recent noise/power electronic albums I found one thing that kept DEATH MAGIC apart from the others: pop sensibility. These guys can conjure some dark and twisted arrangements, but they provide catchy and insane “choruses” that are accentuated by the falsetto vocals. Much like Purity Rings’ brilliantly dark debut, the band manages to create dark music, with some hopeful sentiments. However, the chaotic and distorted atmosphere quickly closes up any light that may pierce this albums’ persona.

While some of these pop hooks make this album teeter the line between dance pop and noise/power electronic, it can feel a bit corny at times. Towards the back end of the album, the songs begin to feel like dark-wave songs that can be played at a goth rave. Rarely does this become an issue though. The main problem, for me personally, was the lack of dynamic hooks and arrangements to keep this album interesting. With DEATH MAGIC, we’re given a brisk 39 minute drive through a nightmarish soundscape that sounds like one long song. Many of these tracks follow the same formula, and never really go anywhere. There are some stellar tracks like “COURTSHIP II” and “NEW COKE”, but DEATH MAGIC struggles with redundancy with a formula with much room to grow in.



SCORE: (6.0/10)



From official Press Release:

AUSTIN, TX (August 27, 2015)  Fun Fun Fun Fest (FFF Fest) is proud to once again partner with Volcom, the leading modern lifestyle brand that embodies the creative spirit of today’s youth culture, to help redesign and build this year’s skate ramp, ride course, and curate the Fest’s 2015 action sports program. Single-day and weekend passes to the 10th annual event, set to take place November 6-8 in Austin, Texas, can be purchased at

Volcom, with the help of local ramp builder Ryan Corrigan of HOLDONHEREWEGO and the Austin-based nonprofit Project Loop, will lead the charge in building the FFF Fest skate & ride events this year, including the return of the Volcom Super Collider. The super ramp, designed by legendary skateboarder Remy Stratton, debuted last year to rave reviews from athletes and spectators alike, and it has now become an integral part of the action-sports experience at FFF Fest.

“The Super Collider, like a music stage, is also fun to look at even when no one’s on it. And then, there is that moment when the team jumps on deck with their boards in hand and the skate session explodes into some of the nastiest shredding ever, combined with the Fun Fun Fun Fest sights and sounds all around. I just can’t wipe the smile off my face,” says Volcom VP of Skateboarding Remy Stratton.

Volcom will also welcome back its renowned skate team for a series of demos throughout the Festival weekend, in addition to a variety of BMX riders that Project Loop is bringing to the 2015 Fest. Fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite athletes at special meet-and-greets and see some of today’s top skateboarders and BMX riders compete up close and personal in a truly unique environment.

With Volcom’s brand vision of ‘True to This, the company continues to build on the foundation of board riding and their tradition of supporting self-expression in sports, art, music and film to connect with the millennial consumer, driven and determined to build a better future. The unique Fun Fun Fun Fest experience of alternative sports, music, comedy, and lifestyle makes it an ideal event for a Volcom partnership.

A full list of participating Festival athletes can be found below and at


¨     Ryan Sheckler

¨     Grant Taylor

¨     David Gonzalez

¨     Dustin Dollin

¨     Caswell Berry

¨     Rune Glifberg

¨     Chris Pfanner

¨     Collin Provost

¨     Louie Lopez

¨     Ben Raemers

¨     Axel Cruysberghs

¨     CJ Collins


¨     Chase Hawk

¨     Aaron Ross

¨     Tom Dugan

¨     Clint Reynolds

¨     Joseph Franz

¨     Dani Lightningbolt

¨     Nina Buitrago

¨     Matt Nordstrom

¨     Paul Cvikevich

¨     Kenny Horton

¨     Devin Fredlund

¨     Jeremie Infelise

Fun Fun Fun Fest also has an incredible mix of music acts set to perform in 2015, including headliners like Jane’s Addiction, D’Angelo and The Vanguard, Venom, Wu Tang Clan, Chromeo, NOFX, as well as other acclaimed acts like Grimes, Rae Sremmurd, ANTEMASQUE, Future Islands, Toro y Moi, and ODESZA, among others. Plus, the JASH Yellow Comedy Stage is returning this year and is bringing a stellar comedy lineup with it. Comedy performers include Tig NotaroDoug BensonEric AndreTodd BarryEugene MirmanSabrina JaleesJonah Ray, and Kurt Braunohler, in addition to special events like GZA explaining “the science of hip-hop,” Andrew W.K. leading a motivational speaking lecture, and Big Freedia giving twerking lessons. For the full lineup of performers and events, please visit

Both single-day and weekend passes are now on sale at and available online. Single-day tickets are available for $89, while three-day passes are $199. Additionally, the Ultimate Smooth Pass (USP) is on sale and available for $450, offering ticket buyers the upmost FFF Fest experience.

Stay tuned for more announcements in the upcoming weeks on FFF NITES—all festival after-parties are free with a festival wristband. The festival will also continue to bring in some of Austin’s favorite local food and beverage offerings.

Fun Fun Fun Fest would like to thank all of the 2015 partners and sponsors who help make the festival possible, including Shiner, Red Bull Sound Select, Volcom, JASH, Deep Eddy Vodka, Jukely, Luden’s, and Rdio.

For more information on the festival, go to Follow them at and on Twitter @funfunfunfest for updates and special promotions.

That’s the music lineup below:


from the album "Abyss"

“Abyss” Chelsea Wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe

Abyss Album Review

Sargeant House

Released August 7, 2015

Genre: Experimental Folk, Doom-Folk, Noise

When I first started Abyss, the newest output from Californian folk innovator Chelsea Wolfe, I thought it was going to be a power electronics project. “Carrion Flowers” was the hardest opening kick in the pants I’ve ever gotten listening to folk/singer-songwriter/whatever. Possibly what made it hit so hard was the fact that this is my first time listening to Chelsea Wolfe. I never knew that anything folky could ever be this heavy and tortured. Although Abyss is a kick in the pants to the fans of the Bob Dylan-side of folk, Chelsea Wolfe delivers a kick in the pants that is refreshing.

This album isn’t just feedback and bass, there’s still enough of guitar and even horns to constitute a “folk” project. The melancholy-tinged acoustic instrumentation helps the more industrial and electronic noises add to the sometimes claustrophobic sometimes lugubrious tone of the album. The soundscapes on Abyss are dark and brooding, fitting for an album of that title, but what really elevates the experience is Chelsea’s pristine voice. It cuts through all of the noise brilliantly, like an opera singer during a gruesome and cacophonous scene. Her voice shines through like a beacon of hope despite being in a state of despair. Although the lyrics on Abyss are morose and tortured, the way she delivers them so brightly makes it a nice contrast from the harsh music.

All of the songs incorporate the more obscure noises with acoustic instrumentation very well, but most songs are structured in a typical verse-chorus way. This doesn’t make the songs worse, actually more cohesive, but there aren’t any major unexpected change-ups. The song “Maw” is hurt by this, as the chorus is faster than the verses; the drastic tempo change every 30 or so seconds is a little jarring.

This is a small downside to this otherwise fantastic album. The risks taken with the instrumentation yield high reward, although some may be spooked out by some of the 80s horror movie soundtrack-esque noises. This is a refreshing and dark record that anyone who dares venture into the Abyss should listen to.


FAV TRACKS: Carrion Flowers, Iron Moon, After The Fall, Color of Blood, The Abyss


SCORE: (9.1/10)


"Compton: A Soundtrack" Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre

Compton: A Soundtrack Album Review

Aftermath, Interscope

Released August 7, 2015

Genre: Hip Hop, Gangsta Rap, West Coast Hip Hop, Pop Rap, Gangsta Rap

Buy and Listen:

On August 1, 2015 Dr. Dre said the words every fan was dreading: Detox was scrapped. “I didn’t like it. It wasn’t good. The record, it just wasn’t good. … I worked my ass off on it, and I don’t think I did a good enough job” said Dre. But alas a new stone had turned; inspired by the upcoming biopic Straight Outta Compton, Dr. Dre had returned to the studio to record an album, and that album is now done. How is it?

Dre’s music has and could always be known for shamelessly embracing gangsta rap tropes, and for him it works. Not in a braggy sense that is shameful yet prideful but in a sense that wholeheartedly praises it for how it has affected his upbringing. Sixteen years have passed since the raucous 2001, and that along with his landmark debut The Chronic only cemented Dre’s star status but also foreshadowed his incoming impact on the hip hop genre. So when Dre announced that he had scrapped his LONG awaited Detox, Dre set his fans looking at his past, delivering an album inspired by and about the city that he calls home and frequently praises and heralds: Compton. Years of Dre’s careful and calculated singles and collaboration have taken sixteen years to curate this highly anticipated album.

Compton is undoubtedly a companion piece to the upcoming N.W.A biopic, as the album takes us through Dre’s history along with the prolific events of Compton- a history lesson of dreams and overcoming adversity. However it not, by any means, a soundtrack for the film nor should it be interpreted as such. Rather, the film serves as an inspiration for this record. Dre’s talent for instrumentation and production is on display here, no dust attached. He effortlessly blends sounds new and old, formulating a sound that can be compared to the nostalgic depiction of the film itself. It’s bombastic but restrained, excessive but layered – a brilliant balance that not many hip hop albums can accomplish these days. The album opens with a documentary intro that describes how Compton went from black-middle-class idyll to a crime-ravaged “extension of the inner city.” While this in hindsight can seem like a cliche opening, Dre doesn’t hold back once the songs hit. These tracks feature some Dre’s best work, brilliant, ambitious and unadulterated. Like one of the year’s best albums, this album is politically charged.

Kendrick himself makes multiple appearances here, most notably on  ‘Darkside/Gone”, which shouts out fallen colleague Eazy-E. In a “homecoming” turn of events, N.W.A colleague Ice Cube appears on “Issues”, a hyper active statement on today’s society. Kendrick goes IN on “Deep Water;” while I won’t spoil anything, he does take a few jabs on Drake. Just listen for yourself, there may be a beef coming. Snoop Dogg delivers on “One Shot One Kill” which has some of the most quotable lines on this project; almost every line perfectly balances catchiness and relevance managing to say something important while remaining memorable, a hybrid last achieved to great lengths on Kendrick Lamar’s Compton concept masterpiece good kid, m.A.A.d city and his equally as important follow up To Pimp A Butterfly.

Things get jazzy on the smooth and superbly produced “For The Love Of Money” while vulgarity meets shrill horns and bragadocious attitude on”Just Another Day”, which should have the city of Compton proud. “Animals” features LA based produced Anderson Paak who truly shines on this track as he and Dre deliver stanza after stanza of bars of racial rage along with attacking the vulture-like media; despite its aggressive nature, the song is incredibly moving.  But the real magic comes on the grandiose, deeply personal, and epic closer “Talking To My Diary,” the only track that just has Dre.For an impressively billed record, the final track finds Dre at his most powerful, eloquent, and relevant as he fills the empty void with his quips and observations on life. He abandons his solipsistic tendencies as he comes to terms with himself, both creatively and literally. “I used to be a starving artist, so that I wouldn’t starve an artist. This is my passion, it’s where my heart is” he says as he looks carefully into the past, knowing damn well that his future is bright.

In the Straight Outta Compton trailer, Corey Hawkins – who plays Dr. Dre – defends his record making and his humble earning of $50. “It’s a start” he snaps back, sure that his passion, heart, and soul can produce something that not only reels in money, but can also impact a culture and a generation of people who are simply looking for a voice. Dre is, without a doubt, one of the most important figures in hip hop; he was there when gangster rap started and has inspired or is responsible for the success and fame of Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Eazy E, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem.

Although we weren’t given Detox, one of the most anticipated albums of ALL TIME, there isn’t really much to complain about; Compton is an album that showcases Dre’s talents, impressively bills an all-star guest list, and celebrates a city that formed a movement, a wave of artists, and a voice. Compton is a dangerous place, but it has also produced some of the best messages that have, and will, endure the tests of time. Hip-hop fan or not, this is an album that has something we can all learn from, and taking that into consideration is the first step to what Dre has been striving for. Compton is gritty, theatrical, fresh, NEW, relevant, unique, and above all, powerful. I’ll shut up now…just listen.


FAV TRACKS: Genocide (feat. Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius & Candice Pillay), It’s All On Me (feat. Justus & BJ the Chicago Kid), All In a Day’s Work (feat. Anderson Paak & Marsha Ambrosius), Deep Water (feat. Kendrick Lamar & Justus), One Shot One Kill (feat. Snoop Dogg), For The Love Of Money (feat. Jill Scott & Jon Connor), Just Another Day (feat. Asia Bryant), Animals (feat. Anderson Paak), Talking To My Diary

LEAST FAV TRACK: Medicine Man (feat. Eminem, Candice Pillay, & Anderson Paak)

SCORE: (8.9/10)


“Free (The Based Freestyle Mixtape)” Lil’ B & Chance The Rapper

Lil B & Chance The Rapper

Free (The Based Freestyle Mixtape) Mixtape review


Released August 5, 2015

Genre: Rap, Based Freestyles

Download Here

When it was announced that the extremely controversial Lil B and the very popular Chance The Rapper were collaborating for a released comprised of entirely freestyles, the world giggled in disbelief. No one thought that the two camps would actually collide because of the geographical distance or Lil B’s tendency to troll the internet. However, on August 5, the Based God and Chance stuck to their word and dropped a 6 song free mixtape full of FREE-styled verses. Although this project is obviously made just for giggles, Chance and Lil B deliver nonstop fun on this surprising collaboration.

Now, the fun is nonstop if you were previously a fan of these rappers. This literally is just a tape full of goofy nonsense from the two emcees, so it’s exactly what you’d expect from a freestyled project from the two artists. There aren’t any lyrical bombs of knowledge, just utter silliness. If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, it won’t be.  If you don’t want to hear things like “I’m like a period/ Or a comma cause these [people] gotta take a pause/ Or somethin’,” skip over this. If you’re like me and love tomfoolery of this nature, this is a load of fun. There are good beats, but other than that this is definitely made for old fans of Chance and Brandon. Simple as that.




Score: (Fun For The Fans/10)

from the album "Multi-Love"

“Multi-Love” Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Multi-Love Album review

Jagjaguwar Records

Released May 26, 2015

Genre: Indie Rock, Indie Pop, R&B, Lo-Fi, Psychedelic Rock, Psychedelic Soul

Multi-Love is the third installment in Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s repertoire, led by the technical Ruban Nielson with his band consisting of members Jacob Portrait on bass, Riley Geare on drums, and Quincy McCrary on the keyboards.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra has many good attributes, the best one being that all of the members of the band are extremely talented musicians. They take pride in their music and their style which is definitely something to admire and respect. Ruban obsesses about the rhythms, the tone, the flair, and lyrics. It seems like he actually cares about what he is making, carefully creating not just songs, but HIS own songs or stories he wants to share. THIS gives the band credibility, making it easy for listeners to take Unknown Mortal Orchestra seriously. Multi-Love has dynamic soundscapes that truly differentiate from anything else out on the scene. A mix of independent indie rock and rhythm and blues, Ruban and his band love exploring each genre and mixing the two perfectly together.

Starting off with a strong hook, “Multi-Love” really grabs your attention with the staccato keyboard notes and somewhat haunting vocals telling the story of a man’s heart that has been “trashed like a hotel room” by his two polygamous lovers, hence the name of the song and album, Multi-Love.This is the first but not the last time polygamous ideas and imagery appear in an LP, which is really interesting as it is thought provoking. He DOES love both women. In fact, he memorably sings in the chorus, “She don’t want to be your man or woman. She wants to be your love,” revealing that the love in this trifecta cannot be defined; it is pure and unpolluted emotion they all share. In this way, is what they are doing okay? Is it still wrong? I think it is mainly up to the listener.

Along with polyamorous desires, other adult themes are also explored on this album.  From drugs physically dissolving his life in “Acid Rain,” to having one night stands in “Ur life One Night,” this album shows the complicated sides of being an adult in our current culture. After the opener, many other songs are great pieces as well, although this album lets itself down in the fact that out of the 9 songs, only a handful are memorable. This seems to be a problem in all of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s albums, often boasting some standouts while the majority of the songs are unremarkable. With Multi-Love only consisting of 9 songs, this is definitely a problem.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s third album clearly deserves claim for their catchy, well written, and overall good time songs, but it still leaves much to be desired.

FAV SONGS: Multi-Love, Like Acid Rain, Can’t Keep Checking My Phone, Extreme Wealth and Casual Cruelty

LEAST FAV SONGS: Ur Life One Night, The World Is Crowded, Puzzles, Stage or Screen

Score: (7.0/10)


Courtesy of AbsolutePunk


Deafheaven recently announced plans to release a new album titled New Bermuda, the follow up to 2013’s incredible Sunbather. Additionally they have announced a subsequent tour. Today, they have shared a new song entitled “Brought to the Water”. When talking about the eight-and-a-half minute track, lead vocalist George Clarke tweeted:

Listen below

Read our interview with Deafheaven here.




Danish band Iceage have unveiled a new song during their set at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Illinois. Very much in the vein of their last full-length Plowing Into The Field Of Love, which we loved very much, this untitled track is a very brooding affair. It’s swung like a 50s jazz standard, but dark like a Nick Cave project. However, it still has that unmistakable tinge of Iceage that we know and love. Enjoy!


"Coming Home" Leon Bridges

Leon Bridges

Coming Home Album Review

Columbia Records

Released June 23, 2015

Genre: Soul, R&B, Gospel, Doo-Wop Magic

Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas and bringing that vintage soul sound, Leon Bridges delivers one of the more refreshing soul-revival albums of the year. Coming Home is comprised of ten songs, including his single, also called “Coming Home,” which starts off the whole album and was one of Spotify’s top ten most viral tracks. Coming Home boasts a straight up 60’s soul kind of style (think Sam Cooke, whom he’s often compared to), and is easily one of the hottest acts coming from the soul-revival music scene.

Really nothing about the album is extremely exciting or just jumps out at you. Right off the bat and straight through to the end, you get that soulful, sometimes gospel-like old sound, which Bridges executes perfectly. Though the songs basically all blend together if you’re not really paying attention, there are actually great changes of pace in between certain tracks (“Lisa Sawyer” to “Flowers”), background singers, a lot of doo-wop going on, and some really groovy horn instrumentation to round it all out. Plus, of course there’s Bridges’ super suave vocals singing some romantic lyrics.

Like, what girl doesn’t want to hear that she’s the only one her guy wants to be around? Or that her man doesn’t want anything other than to be a better man to her??? Sweet, right? But it’s not completely romance and lovey-dovey stuff. A couple tracks lose the “baby” and the “darling” name drops like “Lisa Sawyer,” which is a sentimental ode to his mom. “Shine” has more of a church hymn, gospel feel, in which Bridges asks God to forget his sins and use him as his vessel, so he can shine like a candle.

Something else I noticed, which I’m not sure is actually that important, is that no song on the album really demonstrates a great vocal range if he even has one. Thankfully, that doesn’t really bother me because it’s not everyone’s job to be Axl Rose or Mariah Carey, or whoever else can sing like that. Each person has their own vocal strengths and that’s their style. And I think Leon Bridges’ voice goes well with the style he is aiming for. His voice smoothly rides along the 60s vibe of most of these tracks, bringing back those familiar with Otis Redding and Sam Cooke.

Coming Home is a fine debut, but it’s not a great one. Admiring Bridges’ revival of this classic sound isn’t the only thing to take away from this or simply praise him for. What’s missing from this debut is Bridges own personal take, or reinvention, of this style of music. Yes, most of these tracks are very good, but it’s hard to distinguish them from Sam Cooke’s soulful tenor or even Otis Redding’s doo-wop flair. There’s really nothing new on this record to call unique or significant; it’s all emulation. So if you’re looking for something classic, this is it. But after a while, that gets boring; bringing something new to the table is what really matters nowadays.

FAV TRACKS: Coming Home, Better Man, Brown Skin Girl, Shine, Lisa Sawyer


Score: (6.5/10)