Thursday, July 29, 2021

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Sound Check


“Leave Me Alone”

Look, Hinds is fun, OK? I am not trying to argue that the Madrid-based foursome’s sound is anything less than charming and enjoyable. But sometimes you have to ask yourself if that is enough. “Leave Me Alone” is about as DIY as it gets, with lo-fi vocals, loose sounding guitars and a clearly garage aesthetic. But when you look past the dirty-but-lovable surface, there is not much underneath. Sometimes that is just fine. “Chili Town” sounds and feels like an innocent surfer-tinged tune that calls back to warm, carefree summer days. If all you are looking for is a new album to zone out to for a half an hour and forget about all the election-year madness, “Leave Me Alone” will probably get it done. But if you need a little meat with your dessert, you will probably have to look elsewhere. CV

Alexx Calise
“Addition by Subtraction”
IndependentAlexx Calise

Addition by Subtraction” is the first album in nearly four years for the L.A.-based Calise, whose music has previously been a staple of the millennial twee-rock set, with songs appearing on shows like “Dance Moms” and “One Tree Hill.” Here, Calise has teamed up with producer Warren Huart, who has previously lent his talents to everyone from Cobie Caillat to Korn. The result of the pairing is an album that has a more complete, unified sound than anything Calise has produced, but it does not take many chances. Calise’s vocals are not world beating, but they are certainly strong enough to hold an album together if given the chance. The songs do not have much of a low end, which aids in giving everything a light, poppy feel but also robs them of a lot of force. “Addition by Subtraction” is a decent album, but Calise has too much talent to be happy with decent. CV

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