Servers – Everything Is OK

Sometimes, what you need out of our music is for it to be rock solid. The parameters of said music should be well defined, the execution reliable and engaging. You're not looking for experimentation or a breach in the boundaries of what you know but for emotional connection, groove and professional delivery. If you're feeling in that kind of mode, then Servers' Everything Is OK is here to scratch that itch for you. It's an album that relies on a decidedly modern approach to its music, tight production and focused composition shedding innovation in favor of communication and effectiveness. Splice that with a pleasingly nuanced social critique and you have an album which draws its strength from empathy and a shared human condition.

Long Distance Calling – TRIPS

Allow me a personal note for a minute; I did not expect to like this album as much as I did. Long Distance Calling were always one of those bands that I almost liked but did not quite manage to fully embrace. Their sound seemed obvious to me and the last album, Nighthawk, did nothing much to assuage that. Their definition as post rock always seemed erroneous to me, my mind wanting to catalog them as simply another progressive, instrumental band. Sure, they had some good track on Avoid the Light, "The Nearing Grave" with Jonas Renske (Katatonia) was my favorite, but nothing was really awe inspiring. However, it would be a good idea to keep the above quote in mind before pressing play on their latest album. While it should be obvious by now that this band has been undergoing changes for some time, what with the addition of a vocalist to their last album, the extent of their transformation is perhaps not readily apparent from the cover of TRIPS. This album is an intriguing experiment in what happens when you take your core sound and throw it out the window, instead focusing on the dynamics and interactions that existed beneath it.