Reviews: Every Local Release

* Akimbo, Live to Crush (4/20, Alternative Tentacles, livetocrush.blogspot.com): Frontman Jon Weisnewski adds a growling low-end bass that offsets both guitarist Aaron Walters’ wild licks and Nat Damm’s power-train percussion, all the while yelling his head off like the animal only he knows how to be. It’s more left-of-center than Akimbo’s been in the past—not surprising for a band knowingly writing their last album—but it’s as explosive as ever.

Corespondents, Land of the Low People (out now, self-released, corespondents.bandcamp.com): A guitar leads this instrumental album, but it’s the haunting tones of the Greek bouzouki, layered with a variety of horns and percussion, that send your ears on an animated journey.

*DJAO, “One” (out now, Dropping Gems, soundcloud.com/dropping-gems): This track by one of the most thoughtful purveyors of song-based, texture-rich (but not -reliant) local electronica is a wonderfully scattered, jazz-influenced mood piece with vocals that waver in and out like pond waves.

Secret Society, Secret Society EP (out now, self-released, secretsocietyproject.bandcamp.com): Trippy electronic beats play backdrop to frontwoman Zoe Wick’s scratchy soul vocals; the result is vibey dream pop fit for nightmares and pillow talk.

Spaceneedles, “Low Ceilings” (out now, self-released, spaceneedlesband.com): With a steady stream of bass riffs and a barrage of scream-singing typical of grunge, “Low Ceilings” is an average hard-rock song—but hey, you can’t beat that band name. (Fri., April 26, Blue Moon)

Stereo Sons, “Close Enough Forever” (out now, self-released, stereosons.com): Perfect for a sunny day road trip, this pop-infused track from the Seattle-based “bastard child of dance and prog” has vocalist Chris Klepac asking “When will I be happy?” Jump in the car, put this on repeat, and see what happens.

The West, In Low Light (out now, self-released, bandthewest.com): Part subdued Scissor Sisters, part cooled-down LCD Soundsystem, this quartet delivers a collection of keyboard-driven, harmony-heavy club hits a la the ’80s. While the formula is recycled, the twist is fresh enough to keep you invested. (Sat., April 27, High Dive)

Zander Yates, Revival Story (out now, self-released, zander-yates.bandcamp.com/releases): An album carried by dramatic speak-singing that leaves you feeling moody, much like those angst-filled teenage years.

*Various artists, Ball of Wax 31: Covers! (out now, self-released, ballofwax.org): If you need yet more proof of Seattle’s thriving—and diverse—music scene, look no further than this compilation of local talent, the 31st installment curated by singer-songwriter Levi Fuller. With a hyper-local focus, this time artists cover each other: Caitlin Sherman takes on Norman Baker’s “Telegrams from Paradise” with a delicate touch of piano keys. Shenandoah Davis turns Colin J. Nelson’s “Bourbon and Tea” into a tune flowing with staccatos and pulsing carnival vibes. Nelson then adds a gentle, acoustic flair to Alicia Amiri’s hard-rocking “Darkness In Me.” The distinct and versatile sounds of the city are succinctly captured here. (Shenandoah Davis: Sat., April 20, St. Mark’s Cathedral)

 
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