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The Tallest Man on Earth - Dark Bird is HomeThe Tallest Man on Earth – Dark Bird is Home

Swede Kristian Matsson has been making singer/songwriter folk as The Tallest Man on Earth since 2006, but Dark Bird is Home is easily his grandest.  Featuring a full band for the first time, including horns and even some electronics, Matsson has added a richness and depth to his music that often puts the album more in the vein of The Decemberists than his usual comparison of Bon Iver.  His true strength, however, remains as a poet, and the album is chock full of wordplay like “And I’ve already grown up here, here I might as well grow down” (from “Little Nowhere Towns”).  This combination of orchestration and lyrics makes Dark Bird is Home an absolute gem.

Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh

Blanck Mass – Dumb Flesh

A side project of Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin John Power, Blanck Mass makes electronic post rock/drone that is more abstract than Power’s main group, but fans of Fuck Buttons will continue to find a lot to love on Blanck Mass’ second release.  The album is largely made up of heavy drum machine, synth drones, and electronic chirps and flourishes, with label Sacred Bones describing it as “a comment on the flaws of the human form in its current evolutionary state.” That’s an awful lot to glean from 53 minutes of instrumental experiments, but Dumb Flesh is nonetheless a seriously enjoyable listen even if its meaning is elusive.

Guantanamo Baywatch - Darling...It's Too LateGuantanamo Baywatch – Darling…It’s Too Late

Tacky, trashy, and scuzzy, Guantanamo Baywatch make surf, garage rock inspired by bands like The Trashmen, The Sonics, and The Cramps, and does so for one reason only: It’s fun.  Darling…It’s Too Late is the trio’s second widely available full length (although there are earlier recordings out there), and takes an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality to the group’s formula.  There’s reverb and lots of tenor on the guitars, vocal harmonies, and a rawness to the music that makes Darling…It’s Too Late perfect for hanging out on a summer’s day.

Also out today: Pfarmers – Gunnera, Snoop Dogg – BUSH, and Tyondai Braxton – HIVE1.


An author and editor at MiG, Craig lives in Minnesota with his wife and son and is an attorney in his real life. Once upon a time Craig played the trumpet and spent four years in the Hawkeye Marching Band and pep band. These days Craig finds himself most often listening to experimental rock, hip hop, and post punk, but you can see everything he's listening to at: www.last.fm/user/cafreema Craig is not ashamed to admit the first concert he ever attended was New Kids on the Block.
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