I penned a review of the new Javelin album, No Mas, over at the Passion. Spoiler: I love it. There isn't a better summer record out there. Click the excerpt below for the whole spiel.
The songs here rely less on goofy, ear-catching vocal samples than the band’s early work, and demonstrate a much stronger grasp of dynamics and song construction. There’s also a more overtly hip-hop aesthetic to many of these songs. J Dilla and DJ Shadow are clear influences, the Philly Soul lushness of “Dep” being particular evocative of Donuts’ glazed, up-at-3am vibe. The duo work magic with sample chops, finding beauty in brief snippets to create something insidiously catchy. The wonderful synth pop of “Vibrationz” comes closest to encapsulating the Javelin aesthetic in a song, but “Off My Mind” perfects it; it’s a sweetly handspun ballad which pairs tumbling drums and pseudo-baroque synths with the best use of a kalimba I’ve heard all year.