Local Licks

This week, we review Felsen, Al Lover, and The Family Crest.

Felsen, I Don’t Know How to Talk Anymore. On its fourth album, I Don’t Know How to Talk Anymore, pop-rock outfit Felsen wants to free the tech generation from its wired shackles, and the first track, “Rock and Roll’s Not Dead,” makes it abundantly clear what will save us. The album’s power-pop tracks are its best: The ballad “Better Thoughts” mocks new-age/self-help speak with a chanting, Weezer-esque chorus and roaring guitar riff; “Tokyo Electric” is a glammed-out rock ditty in the vein of T. Rex; and “Dr. Fujimoto Speaks” combines Big Star-style guitar hooks and vocal harmonies. (Sign Shop Records)

Al Lover, “Vodun Moon”/”Snake Hands.” Under the moniker Al Lover, producer Alex Gundlach has reimagined tracks by Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall and collaborated with artists like Tim Presley, whose White Fence project makes an appearance on this new seven-inch. On “Snake Hands,” Gundlach weaves together White Fence’s piercing guitar and distorted vocals with clanging tambourine and stomping beats. “Vodun Moon” is equally trippy, pairing a surf-rock guitar riff with a hard-and-fast beat that almost resembles drum ‘n’ bass. (Punk Slime Recordings)

The Family Crest, The Headwinds. Orchestral indie-rock collective The Family Crest fully embraces the genre’s tropes on its latest EP, The Headwinds. Opener “The River” kicks off with an anthemic melody and chanted whoa-oh-oh-ohs but quiets down when singer-songwriter Liam McCormick starts his apologetic lover’s ode. (The formula continues on “Love Don’t Go” and “Brittle Bones.”) The title track takes a more interesting approach, opening with a stripped-down duet between McCormick and a female vocalist — who sound a lot like Of Monsters and Men — as sentimental piano and strings build to greater impact. (Tender Loving Empire)


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