Album review: (Sandy) Alex G, “Rocket”

by Jon E. Lynch

(Sandy) Alex G, “Rocket”

Available: Friday, May 19 via the Domino Recording Co. in various formats: Digital download, compact disc, limited-edition red cassette tape, and a limited-edition version pressed on 180g Red Vinyl, housed in a gatefold jacket. I imagine a standard black version will also be available.

“Rocket” is the eighth – that’s right, you read correctly – EIGHTH (according to his current label) full-length album from Philadelphia’s Alex Giannascoli, aka Alex G aka (Sandy) Alex G. You may not care or be as blown away by that fact, but I certainly am. At a mere 23 years young, I feel that is quite an impressive and noteworthy feat. While it is hard for me to pinpoint when I first heard his brand of lo-fi, seemingly bedroom-produced indie rock, I give credit to good friend and former KDUR Music Director Chris “CB” Braun, right around the release of “Trick” or “DSU”, the fourth and fifth full lengths. Any college radio station worth its salt should turn you, the listener, on to your new favorite artist(s) before they reach the masses. Easier said than done in our current (OVERLOAD of) Information Age, what with the advent of Tumblr, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and the countless music-based blogs and websites. So, thanks CB.

That said, I was truly sold on the artist as performer as any standout artist should convince you: During a blistering live set. While I was very much looking forward to his set prior to the show, I didn’t anticipate being floored. I haven’t listened to his studio work the same since. I purposely ignored listening to advance release singles from Rocket, choosing to hear them within the context of the full record. I had read that the tracks leaned into folkier territories, which intrigued more than anything. I am certainly glad to have waited. The new record has moments of country-tinged rock, “jazz-pop,” and straightforward indie-leaning rock music, making for an album that will certainly appeal to a varied cross section of fans. I highly recommend this record. It will certainly make a smattering of “Best of” lists at year’s end, likely mine included.

For fans of Sebadoh, Kurt Vile, Built to Spill, Stephen Malkmus (solo, with The Jicks and even a few moments of Pavement), Elliott Smith and early Modest Mouse.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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