Reviews in Brief: Toro Y Moi and Screaming Females

Toro Y Moi — “June 2009”

Like the name might suggest, “June 2009” is a collection of songs written during the same sessions that spawned the anthemically chillwave “Causers of This,” an album name that coincidentally proved to be the actual cause of the spread of chillwave across the burned-out brains of the stoner population.

Since it’s a collection and not a full album, there are a few things worthy of noting in brief. For one, the quality isn’t really up to spec. Combining a more lo-fi quality with whacked out, experimental electronic whirring, this seems like it could have been found on a cassette tape in an abandoned basement. Second, this doesn’t flow like a regular album. Songs are of varying qualities and sometimes transitions between the songs can be a bit jarring.

Watch out for tracks like “Dead Pontoon,” though, because with a breakdown like this track has, it’s a wonder how it didn’t make it onto “Causers of This.” Maybe it didn’t have enough electronic spunk, like the track that follows, “Ektelon,” which descends into a mess of computerized bleeping at its finish.

“June 2009” has the odd charm that all collections do, reaching into the depths of an artist’s material to produce some of their most characteristic work. Fans of Toro Y Moi will thus rejoice in how very Chazwick Bundick this truly is; for fringe listeners, this might be a bit too out there.

Rating: 3.5/5


Screaming Females — “Ugly”

True to both the name of the band and the name of the album, Screaming Females’ latest album, “Ugly,” provides no beauty, instead dishing out abrasive hard-rock riffs. Marissa Paternoster, the literal screaming female of the group, leads vocals with a characteristically nasally warble, supplements these fuzzy jam licks. Figuratively, Screaming Females’ choice of name may be a reference to the distorted guitar, but anyone’s guess is as good as mine.

The sad part about these jams is that, like most others, they seem to blend into each other after a while. I know I could get crucified for saying this, but Screaming Females befall the same kind of fate as Best Coast, whose simple instrumentation and common themes make an album’s songs indistinguishable from one another. So while good, the only thing that really changes between these tracks is the speed at which you jump around your room while listening.

Still, the tracks don’t disappoint on the rockability meter. If you’re a fan of distortion pedals, this is your music.

A warning, though: Do not listen to this album if you have neck problems. Be advised that headbanging will not be a choice, but rather an eventuality.

Rating: 2/5