When listening to the visceral eponymous debut of Ontario indie-core trio METZ, I cannot help but imagine the idea of Mudhoney's Mark Arm, who works for Sub Pop as their warehouse manager, smacking a copy of the group's demo on the A&R guy's desk lamenting, "Man, why aren't we signing bands like this anymore??"
On Skelliconnection, Chad VanGaalen offers up a wealth of musical influences, somehow crafted into a listenable, if not exactly earth-shattering, album. One hears, in his sound, hints of Joseph Arthur, Cloud Cult, and any number of Sub Pop artists. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that he is being touted as a combination of Iron & Wine, The Postal Service, and The Shins.
On Pixel Revolt, Vanderslice graciously straddles the bridge between songwriter and story-teller (there is a bridge, trust me), taking a J.D. Salinger meets Conor Oberst approach and layering his lyrics with dusky cellos, lightly strummed guitars, and floating beats.