Experimental rock bands seem to be getting a good amount of attention from the mainstream media these days, but within that subgenre is an even smaller subset of individuals who seem to channel the unconscious into droning, contemplative music that listeners can really lose themselves in. Similar to doom metal bands like Om, which lure listeners in with the calming use of repetition, psychedelic experimental bands like Clipd Beaks achieve the same effect, but via a different sonic experience. Clipd Beaks' new album, To Realize, is the band's second full-length record, and it will likely turn some heads in 2010. Whereas comparable musicians like Psychic Ills and Indian Jewelry seem to overtly drink in inspiration from world music -- with some of their songs complete with Eastern chimes and accompanying visuals to match -- Clipd Beaks seem to be a combination of the worldly sound of these bands and the accessible nature of more widely-accepted experimental bands like Fuck Buttons.
Listen to "Blood" off of To Realize - DOWNLOAD MP3 "Strangler" is the minimal track that starts off the album, immediately setting the stage for the echoey, dissonant noise that the listener is in for. The track's ambient underlayer smooths it into the next track, "Blood," which has slow, grinding bass and a background reminiscent of a room full of people simultaneously chanting the word "om". Nick Berbeln breathily expells vocals which stretch out over the top of the instrumentals like a canvas, effectively creating songs that -- dare I say -- might find themselves at home on an updated rehashing of the '90s Spawn soundtrack. And though that may sound like a criticism of sorts, it is far from one. Though it's hard to deny that some industrial and downtempo influences do shine through in the slow, sludgey beats of Clipd Beaks, their music luckily never runs into corny KMFDM territory or anything.

Animal Collective have just released a five-song EP entitled Fall Be Kind on the heels of their unbelievable smash, Merriweather Post Pavilion. Merriweather was a true rock n' roll landmark. Catchy vocals atop electronic cacophony set a new standard for indie composition. The question now facing Animal Collective: how will...

Surfer Blood are a weird anomaly: they hail from West Palm Beach, FL, home of Jewish grandparents and all things octogenarian, yet they make refreshingly current indie-rock. The first single from Astro Coast, "Swim," has been all over the internet, with critics and bloggers gushing -- and deservedly so. It...

Just sharing some jolly good locally-grown experimental psych-pop with you, courtesy of Big Spider's Back and director Karla Santos. The video for "Warped" captures psychedelic pop in its essence, really, with radiant colors swirling in and out of consciousness, melding with shapes and figures reminiscent of those formed when Polaroids...

All bands -- or at least the good ones -- have an album that, in future years, will be judged as the pinnacle of their successes. Some start out strong but never achieve much recognition with their first and second albums. Some build up to a grand finale but crumble right as their greatest album is released. Some are so consistent, with each new album being a fitting reinvention of their sound, that the debate will rage on for years as to which album defines their legacy. Such is the case with Portugal. The Man, whose fanbase is constantly at odds with itself over which album is the band's most important release to date. With their fourth disc, The Satanic Satanist, the debate continues to rage on. From its fantastically elaborate album packaging to its upgrade in record production quality, The Satanic Satanist marks a definitive, significant change in Portugal. The Man's career; it solidly extends the band's sphere of influence into pop, folk, and funk territories.
Listen to "People Say" - DOWNLOAD MP3

There is a lot to be said about Jack Conte, and the vast majority of it is at the tip of my tongue and going nowhere fast. For a five-song EP, Sleep in Color is absolutely packed with things to listen to. I have a hard time listening to it...

Heavy Feather's debut album sounds like a work in progress. Although the members of Heavy Feather clearly have experience, made obvious by their musical abilities, there's a general lack of cohesion throughout the album. It seems like they each had several ideas that they all really wanted worked into the...

There are certain artists throughout history that insist their art extends forth into the world from another dimension of consciousness lurking just below surface level awareness. To create, all they need to do shut off their regular thought patterns and dip into this infinite wellspring; they funnel a source of...

If the sound of blistering guitars on the opening track, "Boys at the Metro," doesn't get a listener's attention, the "hey!" shouts will make it clearly known that Seattle's Tea Cozies are not willing to go unnoticed. Following a 5-song EP, which received airplay on Seattle's KEXP and numerous Internet...