Under The Radar [#43], the Top Albums of 2014 feature both Future Islands' Singles and Wye Oak's Shriek in the top 10.
About Future Islands' Singles:
"This Baltimore trio has been working hard touring, recording and generally kicking ass for eight years. However, it was a performance on Letterman and sick dance moves that finally put these synth-poppers in the national spotlight they've long deserved. ..." -Austin TrunickAbout Wye Oak's Shriek:
"...Wye Oak jettison the guitar and drums-dominated pop which has defined their prior three albums, instead favoring silvery synths, sawing cello, and a bedrock foundation of bass. The results dazzle ..." -John EverhartThere's also a Q&A with Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner in the 2014 Artist Survey.
"Speaking for myself, I try to go through life treating everyone I meet with kindness and respect. But hey, sometimes people are dicks. And sometimes those people also happen to make good art. This is nothing new. What's different now, it seems to me, is the urgency with which what was once considered the 'underground' now operates as a mirror image of the mainstream media circus. Honestly, I find the whole process exhausting and tedious. ..."
Magnet #118 has a store profile on Sound Garden, which has locations in Fells Point, Baltimore and Syracuse, NY.
"... 'Sound Garden is one of the few places in Baltimore City where you see everybody from Baltimore City,' says [owner Brian] Burkert, who credits his staff for making informed choices when it comes to stocking each section and making it attractive to a core constituency. 'The store isn't a reflection of my tastes so much as it's a reflection of my staff's tastes. We practically lost an entire generation to digital music and iTunes, because we weren't part of their lives. But the resurgence in vinyl has given our store new life and made it more relevant to younger people who now have something to collect and people who can talk about it with them and make smart recommendations. They become part of the culture at Sound Garden. ...'"And in their "Year in Music 2014" section, they rank Future Islands' album Singles as #8.
"... Future Islands has been called synth-pop, but that's a flimsy label. The spine here is '80s new wave, sure, but the flesh, the heartbeat? Singer Samuel T. Herring's one-of-a-kind vocal theatrics, raised up from some place deep in both his throat and his gut. Heartache, longing, rage, gentle sentimentality - Herring paints with all these colors, often within the same song. ..."
Razorcake #83 has a review of ADVLTS self-titled 7-inch EP.
"... ADVLTS kick out some catchy as hell punk rock that is pretty dern good, and has more going on, as revealed in subsequent listens. The soungs are wound tight, with the bass bouncing off the drums and the guitar jangling and scratching up next to them. ... If I was to keep some sort of 'best of...' list, then this would be in it for sure." -M.Avrg
And also a review of Wildhoney's Seventeen Forever 7-inch.
"Loud and heavy in a dreamy, summery way. These three pop songs are driven by pedal-heavy guitar that ebbs and swells in slow, shoegazey washes. ... Everything about this release is elegant, from the clean production to the minimalist labels. ..." -Indiana Laub
Beer Connoisseur #17 ranks Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter as one of the best beer's of 2014.
"Lovers of the original gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson will embrace the dark, intoxicating beauty of Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter. The potent, complex concoction was based on the Baltic porter style, and first brewed to celebrate Thompson, shortly after his death in 2005. ... The intense heavy hopping was schemed to cut through all the malt sweetness and high-starting gravity, and it was fermented with a combination of ale and lager yeasts..." - Bob Townsend
Big Takeover #75 has a review of Future Islands' Singles.
"Future Islands ... are just what the tired world of synthpop needed. ... this is an original sound. .... A must for fans of new sounds." -Tucker Petertil