Category Archives: Electronic / Post-Rock

Purity Ring, Shrines: Album Review

Purity Ring, Shrines: Album Review

Two out of Three HeadphonesAlbum: Shrines

Artist: Purity Ring

Year: 2012


As a genre, experimental rock isn’t particularly descriptive.  With sub-genres including everything from house music to math rock to what is essentially instrumental post rock, albums placed under the experimental heading often struggle to define themselves.

Case in point is the trippy and somewhat magical-sounding album Shrines from the Canadian duo Purity Ring.  Comprising the angelic and wispy vocals of Megan James and the deep-house beats and electronic tracks of Corin Roddick, Purity Ring has the dark, gothic feel of a witch-house album, but could almost just as easily be compared to the creations of artists like Bjork or Deerhoof.

Purity Ring is a strange contradiction of sound, but one that is immediately bewitching.  On Shrines, James’ lyrics are creepy and corporeal, referencing the body both in sexual and creepily clinical terms.  Her voice is light and innocent and when she sings about longing, death and other grim and serious topics, the effect is unsettling in the best possible way.  Mix that with Roddick’s mind-bending electronic tracks and the levels of thematic dissonance increase exponentially.

Roddick’s occasionally heavy-handed use of auto-tune and sliding sub-bass are probably the greatest weakness on Shrines and with Purity Ring as a whole, and yet the listener is likely to forgive these shortcomings as the overall effect of the music is one that draws the listener in to a weird and wonderful world of dark electronic sound.

Shrines is far from perfect as an album. There are some stunning moments throughout, but the occasionally cheesy or cliched beats take a little away from overall enjoyment of this album.  At the same time, Purity Ring is unquestionably talented and Shrines gives us all hope in a bright future for this duo.

DIIV, Oshin: Album Review

DIIV, Oshin: Album Review

Album: Oshin Artist: DIIV Year: 2012   The Brooklyn-based post rock / indie rock band, DIIV (formerly Dive) is getting a fair amount of attention for it’s debut LP, Oshin, and rightly so. Oshin is a delicate, uplifting little album, the kind of music you play on a lazy Sunday afternoon but then find yourself listening toContinue Reading

Kids These Days: The Up and Coming Talent of Leigh Ann’s Incisions

I trekked up to Marietta last Saturday to check out a metal-core band made up of high school kids called Leigh Ann’s Incisions at a little Marietta venue called Swayze’s. Admittedly, I was out of my comfort zone in a few ways. For one, I don’t often journey out of Atlanta to hear music, notContinue Reading

Tim Hecker, Dropped Pianos : Album Review

Album: Dropped Pianos Artist: Tim Hecker Year: 2011   When an electronic composer is bad, it is very very bad, but when it’s good, it can create something really wonderful, something that music with lyrics just can’t touch.  This was my reaction to the new Tim Hecker album of sketches, aptly titled Dropped Pianos. ElectronicContinue Reading

Album Review: Balam Acab, “Wander / Wonder”

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Album Review: Little Dragon, “Ritual Union”

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Album Review: CSS, “La Liberación”

Album Review: CSS, “La Liberación”

  Album: La Liberación Artist: CSS Year: 2011   Cansei de Ser Sexy, better known as CSS clearly has a lot of emotion to get out.  Their third album, La Liberación comes three years after the somewhat disappointing release of Donkey, an album that received mixed reviews at best and from the sound of La Liberación, CSS took theContinue Reading

Album Review: Saxon Shore "It Doesn’t Matter"

Album Review: Saxon Shore "It Doesn’t Matter"

Some people listen to music for the words.  Some people listen to music for the beat.  I’ve realized that I listen to music for the mood.  This doesn’t mean that lyrics can’t be important, but sometimes all you want is a song that will transport you to someplace you’d rather be. In the case ofContinue Reading

Album Review: Peter and the Wolf, "Traffique’s Endless Weekend Mixtape"

Album: Traffique’s Endless Weekend Mixtape Artist: Peter and the Wolf Year Released: 2010 Remember the 1970’s?  Yeah, me neither.  But remember that awful time in the late 90’s when 70’s nostalgia was taking over television and music?  While 70’s nostalgia was fun for a while and then horrifying after that, its was a reminder thatContinue Reading

Now Listening: Mt. Eerie, Wind's Poem

This image is completely stolen from, the only apparent website for Phil Everum, the talent behind The Microphones and now Mt. Eerie. I’ve been listening to Mt. Eerie’s latest release, Wind’s Poem, for about a week now.  For starters, if you own a decent pair of headphones, this is one album that sounds dramaticallyContinue Reading