AFI – Decemberunderground

Trying to peg the appeal of AFI is an exercise in futility. They’re everything and nothing you believe they are. Merely a pop band carving their own Green Day history? Misunderstood party crashers uncomfortable with the increasing fame and labels? AFI sure seems to fool a lot of people with an image that doesn’t accurately […]

Aloe Blacc – Shine Through

What you might want to know first and foremost about Aloe Blacc’s new album Shine Through is that it is not his heavily influenced hip-hop group Emanon. Nor does it follow in the footsteps of his guest spot on Oh No’s late-2004 debut album, or does it feature the superbly crafted conscious rhymes that he […]

John Common – Good To Be Born

John Common has been compared to everyone from Radiohead and Wilco to the Rolling Stones and Neil Young. And although Radiohead, in particular, has become a far-too fashionable card to play these days, there’s no denying Common has certain key ingredients in common with these artists — namely a keen melodic sense and the requisite […]

CX Kidtronik – Krak Attack

One thing is certain with CX Kidtronik on his debut—he has thoroughly covered everything to do with crack of any kind. Krak Attack, as evidenced by the female ass-cracked album art, is a celebrated mess of booty krak, cleavage krak, krazy krak, and crack-pipe krak. The all-over-the-place ADD dream is exactly how Sound-Ink so strangely […]

Mr. Lif – Mo’ Mega

So what do you get when you match one of the industry’s dopest, most respected indie rappers with one of the industry’s unsung production talents? That would be the latest offering from Def Jux and Mr. Lif himself, Mo’ Mega. Produced almost entirely by Def’s head honcho, El-P, the album sports an industrial griminess that […]

Smoosh – Free to Stay

Panning an album made by twelve and fourteen-year-old girls would be very much like making a little girl cry. Hell, for all I know, it might literally be making a little girl cry. Sitting down to listen to Free to Stay by Smoosh, I was afraid that I might provide Kaffeine Buzz with something similar […]

Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped

For a while now I’ve felt incomplete, a bit uncomfortable, like I mistakenly left the house without a bra and deodorant. I even pulled out my beloved Chuck Taylors in all their worn glory, a pair of shoes that is still hanging in there after 20+ years of city street living and too many concerts […]