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Albums heat up the fall


Black Taxi: “Electroshock Death Grip”

Black Taxi is a Brooklyn-based group well-known for its eccentric and eclectic live performances. Their newest album titled “Electroshock Death Grip” is hugely fun and exceedingly vibrant.

The foursome consists of lead vocalsist Ezra Huleatt, vocalist and lead guitarist Bill Mayo, bassist Krisana Soponpong and newly added drummer Daniel Gould. The band’s former drummer Jason Holmes can be heard on some of the tracks.

This group has consistently succeeded in getting an audience excited. Since their first 2012 album “We Don’t Know Any Better,” the group has enthralled live audiences and album listeners.

In keeping with the preceding album “Chiaroscuro,” which featured the danceable single “House On Fire,” Black Taxi’s new album encapsulates the group’s dance-y punk-pop vibes while adding a new and fitting electronic element.

“Electroshock Death Grip” opens with the song “21st Century,” which sounds like a live show. Huleatt blares his trumpet in the opening while the others create a disco-esque vibe in the background. A spoken bridge keeps the listeners dancing along until the next chorus.

The second and title track showcases the band’s incredibly beautiful and heartbreaking songwriting skills. The first verse fades into the chorus saying, “I’m hanging on to you with electroshock death grip, like yesterday’s acid trip. Don’t you want to tell me why, I feel like I do?”

Other standout tracks that prove Black Taxi is an up-and-coming showstopper include “Take Off the Edge,” “Only Room for One Ninja in this Town” and “Even Further.” This danceable quartet will be at Skipper’s Smokehouse on Nov. 11.

alt-J: “This is All Yours”

alt-J burst onto the music scene back in 2012 with “An Awesome Wave.” The trio is originally from Leeds, England and began touring the U.S. festival circuit in summer of their debut year.

The band’s fame has come from mixing electronic elements with intricate harmonies and interesting melodies. Songs such as “Breezeblocks” and “Tessellate” were underground hits covered by artists such as Ellie Goulding and Mumford & Sons.

The band recorded most of its new album while on tour for the first and included a few nods to the Japanese city, Nara.

The band sticks to their slightly off-center vibe. They dissipate dissonance with soft and delicate harmonies balanced perfectly with danceable electronic beats.

However, an effort to change their style has caused a bit of controversy. It has been rumored by many media outlets that their biggest single from this album, “Left Hand Free,” was a challenge by their record label to produce something more radio friendly. It is rumored that the band made the Black Keys-esque song in about twenty minutes as a joke. Little did they know it would become their biggest single to date.

The rest of their album is similar to what listeners have grown to expect from the group. “Every Other Freckle” has all of the elements of their first record, as do most of their other songs.

The band will play Next Big Thing at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg on Dec. 6.