The Big Sleep don't quite know if they want to be a heady math rock band or an alternative pop rock band. This dichotomy would usually result in an uneven, forgettable record. But there is something about Sleep Forever that works with all it's grasping and changing between instrumental and vocal tracks. Big guitars provide the foundation here and the band's instrumental talents are impressive. But if you are looking to swoon over technical talent -- go for the jazz.
Distortion is the perfect name for this new album by The Magnetic Fields. The record has a din of fuzziness mixed through it as if it was recorded through a tin can telephone. This seemingly never ending hum helps blur the lines between the individual instruments. But under the haze are some hooks bigger and sweeter than anything Don Kirshner himself could manufacture. Noise pop fans should make sure not to miss this one.
Many 90s alt rock bands have had a really tough time staying relevant in the aughties. Today music is more polarized than ever between the masses who take what is pushed by corporations and the Internet set that run from it in droves. Seven Mary Three have lost the major label support that promoted their smash 1995 hit "Cumbersome" into the ground. But Day & Night Driving shows how much better the band is when forging their own path. Although they will never see the same sales numbers, they have kept their integrity in tact.