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Nobunny, First Blood

2010 | Label: Goner / Revolver

A few facts about Nobunny, in no particular order: the frontman's identity is a relative mystery. He plays shows in a weatherbeaten bunny mask — and often little else. His debut outing, Love Visions, was one of the most fun and rambunctious punk records of the last five years, it's Ramones-derived cover a good indication of the impish thrills inside. So if follow-up, First Blood is more of the same, who's complaining? The songs boast ragged, grizzled guitars, '50s greaser choruses and enough goofy kindergarten charm to inspire endless… more »

Agent Ribbons, Chateau Crone

2010 | Label: Antenna Farm Records / The Orchard

"I was born to sing sad songs," sighs Agent Ribbons' Natalie Gordon on the Austin trio's sumptuous sophomore album. Indeed, Gordon's sultry voice — Zooey Deschanel wishes she could sound like this — lends itself to melancholy numbers, both the ethereal, floaty ones ("Dada Girlfriend") and the girl group-inspired ones ("Your Hands, My Hands") that are en vogue in indie rock these days, as well as the ones that are a bit more theatrical ("I'll Let You Be My Baby" evokes a cheeky old-school cabaret number). While Agent Ribbons breezes… more »

Strange Boys, Be Brave

2010 | Label: In The Red / Revolver

Now that the neo-neo garage rock revival is dead — or very close to it — the music can finally return to simply being fun and interesting. For the most part the money's gone, so bloggers can stop complaining about how much some kid got paid for their "bedroom lo-fi fuzz," and focus on whether said music is vital or not. Be Brave, is the second album from Austin, Texas-based postmodern garage band Strange Boys, and its content lives up to its name.

You just might have to work up to… more »

Vivian Girls, Everything Goes Wrong

2009 | Label: In The Red / Revolver

The first time Vivian Girls released a full-length, it went out of print in 10 days. While a proper CD pressing dropped the following fall, the damage was already done: thanks to a torrential downpour of buzz — based on less than 30 minutes of music — the Brooklyn-based trio was linked to the so-called "shitgaze" movement, a concerted effort to push everything into the red. Everything except for those harmonies, which can be heard careening across the group's galloping grooves and trebly guitars. Especially on Album No. 2, a… more »