Single Take: This Song Is Awful/Awesome And You Are Stupid for Liking/Not Liking It (Gregg Kowalsky, John Mays, Flat Worms, Kamaiyah, Show Me The Body, Fresh and Only)

Single Take is a Reviler feature where multiple people give a passing glance at some new music and causally rank it somewhere between 1 (Justin Beiber) and 10 (really amazing). Fun, right? Check out the latest installment below and feel free to tell us who stupid and out of touch we are based on our opinions. Arguing on the internet: the greatest of American traditions.

Gregg Kowalsky – Maliblue Dream Sequence

Adam J (8/10)
Ambient mood music always has a place in my ears. It might not exactly stretch too much, but this evocative little gem sure centers a person. I want more…

Jon (6/10)
This is pretty nice – deeply chill. Sounds like a film soundtrack. I feel like the context would be an important factor in appreciating this – most of the time I wouldn’t be into it but if I was in a soul-searching mood it might make for a good accompaniment.

Josh (8/10)
Love me some lush ambient, and this is about as “lush” and “ambient” as you get. Strap on your overpriced headphones and wash in the glory.

John Maus “Teenage Witch”

Adam J (7/10)
‘Did Johnny borrow your video camera?’
‘He better hadn’t; that thing’s expensive. Why?’
‘…no reason…’
Short and simple, and I sure like that drum machine. Reminds me a little of Cleaners From Venus, but with waaaay more synthesizers.

Jon (5/10)
The new John Maus record Screen Memories is shaping up to be one of my favorites of the year. Unfortunately “Teenage Witch” is (in my opinion) one of the weakest tracks on the album. Part of it is due to the comparison – with so many really strong tracks this one stands out as an outlier. Great record, so-so song.

Josh (3/10)
I’ve generally enjoyed Maus’s work a lot, but this feels like a hollow version of the things I like so much about him. Like why is the volume so low? Is my computer broken? Or is he doing some avant-whispering synth thing? I generally appreciate lo-fi, less polished versions of most artists, but this just feels like an outtake.

Flat Worms “Motorbike”

Adam J (8/10)
Can’t beat loud guitars making bouncy back-and-forth power punk, not with a stick. Turn up the drums, and always wear a helmet.

Jon (7/10)
This is a pretty ripping tune – I like the guitar hook and the scuzziness of the sound. I bet this band is better live than recorded.

Josh (6/10)
I dig the fact that this song is as scappy and economical as the title suggests. Some good clean/dirty garage pop that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a crucial component for me when navigating this genre.

Kamaiyah “Successful”

Adam J (6/10)
Success: measured in jet skits, sports cars, mansions, and extraneous cash since 1993. This message brought to you by Miami, Florida.

Jon (6/10)
I like Kamaiyah a lot and this song is pretty good. Maybe not quite a legendary party anthem but good party filler.

Josh (8/10)
I love Kamaiyah, and will continue to as long as she continues to reference “How Does it Feel” to remind me how much I love that song. I wish I was 1/100 as positive as her songs are. Maybe then I’d be successful?

show me the body “K-9”

Adam J (6/10)
Hardcore poetry usually ain’t my cup o’ black coffee but I like the dynamics of this tune. It’s like he’s a dog, man; and he’s, like, feeling trapped…

Jon (8/10)
Maybe the best of this group of songs? Haven’t heard a tune that so effectively and viscerally conveys violence via music in some time. It’s great but a little terrifying.

Josh (6/10)
I appreciate the tension and sharp edges, and the dramatic buildup over a relatively short song, even if this isn’t something I would add to my next mixtape.

Fresh and Onlys “Impossible Man”

Adam J (7/10)
A kaleidoscopic look inside the mirror from a great modern rock-and-roll band. I’m guessing Tim Cohen as a low self-opinion, but he sure dresses up his deprecation with excellent melodies and skittering rhythm section.

Jon (7/10)
This is a pretty decent pop song – I could see it being a grower. I always considered this band more of a psych-leaning garage group but this does more to demonstrate the “80’s pop” leanings that I just read they have via their wikipedia page.

Josh (5/10)
The Fresh and Onlys are a band I respect more than I actually listen to. I can’t help but think “this song is solid, but I’m not sure I ever need to listen to it again.” If you’re looking for some manicured, melodic garage rock, you’re in luck.

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