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New Releases

Reviews of records by Danvers, Boonie The Kid and Tanning Machine

Jazz Standards
Your enjoyment of this record will depend almost completely on your tolerance for pop punk, but if you’ve ever had affection for bands like Saves the Day, Jazz Standards should stir something in your heart. Fast-paced, aggressively melodic tunes paired with unabashedly heart-felt lyrics (sung here with urgency and clever pacing by frontman Lee Yarnell) are well-mined hallmarks of the genre, but Danvers manages to pull off a nostalgia trip without sounding like a nostalgia act.

Boonie The Kid
Few Levels Higher
Steel House Entertainment

This EP takes a minute to find its footing — some cheesy lines and unsubtle midi instrumentation overshadows some of the better moments of opener “The Zone” — but keep listening because Boonie offers some seriously solid tracks. On the title track/lead single, Boonie nimbly raps with a golden-age-of-hip-hop-style swaggering buoyancy; harder cuts like “Off Top” and “We Trappin” reflect the influence of rappers like Scarface or Kool G Rap. Worth checking out.

Tanning Machine
binding problems
(Critical Fail Records)

Track by track, duo Tanning Machine moves from buttoned-down minimalist punk to frenetic, grinding chaos to the kind of abrasive electronic dance that makes me very wistful for 2003. binding problems is mercifully free of dull noise-rock tropes and posturing. It may take a couple listens to latch on to the hooks, but they’re there (in a manner of speaking). Madeleine Campbell’s chilly production makes this record sound like a lone lightbulb in an empty room, in a good way.