For Those Who Like: Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, Dream Theater

On his debut LP, Tony Molina proves that size doesn’t matter. With 12 songs clocking in at 12 minutes – yes, the length of many songs by most jam bands and Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Dissed and Dismissed is a pretty epic album and a terrific start to Molina’s career. Originally released in limited qualities in February 2013 and re-issued in March of this year, the album combines fuzz and reverb and throws in some prog-rock elements for good measure. Another way to think about this album – imagine Ty Segall fronting Dream Theatre.

The opening track, “Nowhere to Go”, introduces the listener immediately to this melange of sounds. “Change My Ways” is Ty Segall-esque with the reverb and fuzz while “Can’t Believe” is closer to Mikal Cronin, a Segall collaborator, with its melodic pop-rock sound.

The shortest track of the album, “Sick Ass Riff”, comes in at 25 seconds and is a mellow, instrumental track that could be mistaken for a song from the Renaissance era. The fuzzy Black Mountain-esque “Don’t Come Back” is the longest track on the entire album – coming in at an extended 1 minute 32 seconds. The closer “Walk Away” is fantastic – a little less prog and just flat out gritty, garage rock.

I’m not sure if such short albums will be the new trend as attention spans become shorter and shorter, but this album is one that deserves one’s full attention. It’ll be interesting to see what the San Francisco resident does next and whether he’ll continue down this road of quick songs or look to produce a longer, more epic LP.

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For Those Who Like: Field Music, The Flaming Lips, MGMT

Like Tame Impala, Pond, and Foxygen before them, the Franco-Scottish-Bolivian band, Jacques Caramac & The Sweet Generation, look to the sounds of the ’70s and ’80s for inspiration. Their debut album, The Highs and Lows of Jacques Caramac & The Sweet Generation, is full of quirky pop songs.

The album, however, doesn’t exactly start off with a bang. The opening track, “Exceedingly Good”, sounds like something out of A Clockwork Orange, a trippy tune that is repetitive as if played on a loop. “El Dorado” is another spacey song right out of the ’70s.

“Snowballs” is the first bubblegum pop song – upbeat and sugary sweet. “Passive Smoker” sees the band channel Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips with this slow-paced, psych-pop tune.

The best track on the album is the nearly nine-minute “Walk in the Park” – a Joy Division-esque track that could have been written for Ian Curtis, the late singer of the great Manchester band. “It’s not a marathon. It’s not a competition. It’s not a marathon.” Such words to live by.

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