Part of the Elephant 6 family (a collective of lo-fi indie bands from the nineties that included the Apples in Stereo and Olivia Tremor Control), Neutral Milk Hotel is the lo-fi brainchild of Louisiana-native Jeff Mangum. 1996’s On Avery Island is an inscrutable concept album, a chronicle of an insular world told in a remarkably universal language. A fuzzy masterpiece of experimental lo-fi recording, the album wraps its ragged pop songs in ribbons of loops, marching-band squawks, and casio noodling; the opener, Song Against Sex, is as much a manifesto as a kick-off, a self-propelled marvel hopped up on rapid-fire wordplay and a stunningly ramshackle melody punctuated by bloated trombone moans. Throughout the record, Jeff Mangum’s wheels threaten to fly off at any time – his songs are cryptic and crazed, his ideas fast and furious, and together they force the home-recording concept out of the basement and into a brave new world.
With One Day, Fucked Up have delivered one of the most energizing and intricate albums of their career, a massive-sounding record that arrives in deceptively small confines. The Canadian hardcore [...]