The writers of Hear & Now get together with a vinyl of their choice, a bottle of wine, and an open mind full of things to say about each album.
Spike brought No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom
MANDI: When did this album come out?
SPIKE: 1995...holy shit, this is twenty years old!
JASON: Fun fact: This was the first album I ever bought that wasn't a Beatles release.
NATHAN: I haven't heard this album in a decade.
SPIKE: It's the most forgotten unforgotten album.
JASON: This totally takes me back to 1995.
MANDI: "Different People" is hella funky.
NATHAN: Gwen Stefani has got some soul.
JASON: I'm surprised by the varying styles and sounds this album has. Like I wasn't expecting the Sgt. Pepper-esque vibe of "The Climb."
MANDI: "The Climb" sounds like a mix of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and "Strawberry Fields Forever".
NATHAN: The bass player is killing it!
SPIKE: Would it be wrong to say they were a little bit before their time with this album?
Nathan brought T. Rex's The Slider
SPIKE: The cover of this album is not a T-Rex.
NATHAN: Ringo Starr took this album photo. It wasn't Freddie Paull?
MANDI: No, though I'd believe him if he told me he took this photo.
JASON: This is just some good rock n' roll music.
NATHAN: It's such a great party record.
SPIKE: Marc Bolan sounds like Stevie Nicks if she took a mild amount of helium.
MANDI: This definitely sounds like what influenced sounds like MGMT and The Growlers.
JASON: I like how there's all kinds of overdubs - like harmonies and strings - but it's never grandiose.
SPIKE: "Rock On" sounds like something off Sgt. Pepper with a ZZ Top riff.
JASON: There's also a ton of riffs that would be great for hip hop samples (like "Buick Mackane").
MANDI: These songs have a chugging nature to it...yeah that's the right word: Chug.
NATHAN: Where's the bluegrass jug cover band of T. Rex?
Mandi brought Sufjan Stevens' Illinois
MANDI: Sufjan is so buff.
SPIKE: No he's not.
NATHAN: This album makes me feel like backpacking. Let's go travel!
JASON: "Chicago" is still his best song, in my opinion.
SPIKE: I freakin' love this song.
NATHAN: It is such a beautiful song.
MANDI: "Casimir Pulaski Day" is actually a holiday in Illinois, celebrated on the first Monday of March.
JASON: If the actual Casimir Pulaski Day is as good as this song, then I want to celebrate it.
SPIKE: He does all writing and arrangements himself? Respect.
MANDI: Yea, he studied a shit ton of instruments and writes all the parts.
SPIKE: This must be what his brain sounds like.
NATHAN: "The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts" is seven minutes long and I don't care. It could go on forever.
SPIKE: I feel like if anyone had a voice that could cure diseases, it would be Sufjan.
JASON: I can't wait until he comes out with his Rhode Island album.
Jason brought Death By Steamship's S.S. Endurance
JASON: I bought this vinyl years ago at a show because I like what I heard, but I haven't listened to it since.
SPIKE: This sounds like a home recording.
BLAKE: I feel like I should be in a lawnchair drinking PBR to this album (accurate depiction of Blake at this moment).
NATHAN: The guitar has a cool indie vibe
JASON: It's definitely got a "Seattle" vibe, that's for sure.
SPIKE: This sounds like Black Flag meets Refused, except not as awesome as that combo sounds.
NATHAN: Why does every punk band have to have an acronym for their name?
JASON: I thoroughly enjoyed "Cuter Girls Ride Bikes" as a ballad.
NATHAN: Gotta have that classic mid-album ballad.
SPIKE: This sounds like one of the bands that opened for one of the punk shows I saw at the Nile Theater when I was in high school.
Blake brought Daughter's Live at AIR
NATHAN: So much floor tom and bass. I love it.
SPIKE: So much verb, and so much sadness.
NATHAN: Her voice is so wholesome, that perfect mid-range.
JASON: I've never heard of this band before, but I'm impressed.
SPIKE: I wonder what her childhood was like. It would probably make a good movie.
JASON: This honestly does not sound like a live recording at all. It's very well produced and mixed. Kudos to whoever was behind the board for this.
NATHAN: Ah, my heart! My heart strings!
SPIKE: This production is huge, it sounds like a movie soundtrack.
JASON: The dynamics are jaw-dropping here. It ebbs and flows like an ocean.
MANDI: This album is typical Spike music.
NATHAN: I need a copy of this.
BLAKE: This is why I brought a change of underwear.
And because we've all been waiting for this album to come out, we listened to Tame Impala's Currents in its entirety.
MANDI: Let it happeeeeeeeeen!
NATHAN: So many layers, its Tame Inception.
JASON: This sounds incredibly 80s in the best way possible.
NATHAN: Warm and fuzzy tape feels.
MANDI: That moment when "The Moment" sounds like "Everybody Wants to Rule the World".
JASON: I think this is the climax of the 80s sound revival. I don't think any band can go anywhere else with this sound after this.
MANDI: The lyrics to "The Less I Know The Better" are so weird, but I can't help but love it.
NATHAN: I LOVE THAT BASS.
SPIKE: The intro to the song "Eventually" sounds like it could be a Jay-Z track, yo.
JASON: Some of these synth sounds could have been ripped from a John Hughes movie soundtrack.
MANDI: I wanna make babies to "Cause I'm a Man".
NATHAN: I need this too.
JASON: This album will be to today's generation what Steely Dan was to the 70s, in terms of production.
SPIKE: Max gives this album one butt thumb up.