Mt. St. Mtn.

Blues Lawyer Something Different LP

Bruised-heart vignettes delivered in punchy bursts of two minutes or less, economical in approach but with plenty of emotional weight. On their second LP (though definitely not a “long-player”), BLUES LAWYER continues to work a certain jittery and anxious FEELIES-esque jangle, stripped of the latter’s tendencies toward slow-burning rave-ups and instead pared down to the most concise form possible—”It’s All a Chore” spins out fully-realized in exactly 28 seconds, like the musical equivalent of one of those wind-up chattering teeth toys. There’s also a few tricks picked up from the VASELINES, particularly in the bittersweet harmonies between guitarist Rob Miller and drummer Elyse Schrock, some nods to the insistent pop strum of Flying Nun’s BATS/CLEAN/CHILLS holy trinity, and plenty of romantically-minded concerns expressed through pure buzzsaw energy much like the BUZZCOCKS, all reimagined within the context of the struggle to get by, and the (in)ability to connect with other people that shapes modern life under late-stage capitalism. There’s not a single wasted moment here, and it makes more of an impact at about seventeen minutes than a lot of albums twice its length.

The Wind-Ups Try Not to Think LP

A California project dreamed up during the 2020 lockdown, the WIND-UPS’ debut album presents an interesting brew of styles wrapped in fashionably weathered production and distorted ghostly vocals. The first few tracks have a post-punk/no wave feel, and then it suddenly gives way to some syrupy lo-fi power pop and RAMONES-y rock. At some point it leans back into more artsy territory, before finally ending off the record sounding like the BEACH BOYS on Quaaludes. The songs are brief, yet the album provides a lot to digest, and if you like the MARKED MEN, etc., this is for you.