quinta-feira, maio 27, 2010

1288. Mastodon - Crack the Skye

This was my first Mastodon LP and it came with a CD version of the album as well - this is the way of the future my friends - now if they could just include an mp3 of the disc too.. so, this release finds the band very proggy and noodley in my opinion which isn't bad but it does become a bit tiring towards the end, especially with the Baron. Being my first Mastodon album too I just wanted them to shred, but that's why High on Fire are around I suppose.

7.2 out of 10

1287. Tool - 10,000 Days

Tool's cds might as well comes as one big track since you cannot listen to just one track - that is especially true of 10,000 Days. While Lateralus was a slow simmer, reaching its peak after the disc has been ejected, 10,000 Days is definetely less remarkable - it's pretty straight forward for a Tool record which is weird, and the moments that do meander often end up at a rest stop as opposed to an amazing destination.

7.4 out of 10

1286. The Mars Volta - Amputechture

Mars Volta bears no resemblance at all to ATDI and it seems like with every release they keep getting further away from themselves either, yet something often draws me back to them - maybe it's just cause they are so fucking crazy that I crave a bit of that in my life, even if it is only sonically.

7.3 out of 10

quarta-feira, maio 26, 2010

1285. Battles - Mirrored

Music is so disposable and accessible I am often just looking for a reason to buy an LP or even a CD, a format that I still believe in. While waiting for Interpol to go on the dj, or ipod, played a track by these guys. Th one thing I truly miss about the club is listening to music really loud. A track from this CD came on and I was floored by how rhythmic, eccentric and loud it was. Sadly the disc often finds itself trapped in the same pattern, but when it manages to break free it's pretty exciting.

6.8 out of 10

terça-feira, maio 25, 2010

1284. LCD soundsystem - Sound Of Silver

For many this was the best album of 2007, and while it is pretty great and has amazing moments it isn't pure genius, at least not to me. What works are the moments Murphy let's go of himself and allows his voice, through effects I presume, to take on a different character. The pure JM moments work in bite size bits like "NY I love you...". What's undeniable is that he's an artist to recognize and admire.

7.9 out of 10

1283. LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem

Two words for this album: fun and funky. By the time I reached the end of disc two I was ready for the party to be over though. On his follow LCD balances the fun with a more serious, sophisticated brilliance.

7.2 out of 10

segunda-feira, maio 24, 2010

1282. Interpol - Our Love to Admire

The debut was tense and urgent. The follow up was tense and hopeful. The third, and major label debut is tense but void of purpose. I guess that's what let many of us down. It had no kick, no reason for being. Upon listening to it again I realize it is a bit better than what I remembered, but the pressure is really on for their next release.

7 out of 10

sexta-feira, maio 21, 2010

1281. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

There are so many great things about this cd. First, it's one of my summer albums - you know, a record you play all summer long. Secondly it's pure pop genius, with just the perfect dashes of weirdness. It's as if the band could have made this album all along, but have been fighting it forever - so much so that for their follow up the reverted back to their old ways, staying strange and hypnotic, as opposed to this which is lustfully addicting. I've never done coke in any form, but have had many friends who have, and I picture the rush of it on your tongue to feel like this record.

9.8 out of 10

1280. Spoon - Gimme Fiction

Listening to this album now having heard the latest so recently really puts the band's entire discog in perspective. This sounds more like Transference, and Ga, Ga, Ga, Ga sounds more akin to Kill the Moonlight. One thing is for sure, the band does what they want. Gimme is filled with great moments that are at times stuck yet free - a few riffs sound very familiar, particularly "I Turn My Camera On" sounds very close to "Written in Reverse".

7.3 out of 10

1279. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose

I'm not a country fan - the furthest I've ever dived into it was with Johnny Cash. I picked this up because of Jack's involvement and from the minute this disc starts you can tell it's a sweet labor of love for Jack and Loretta.

7.2 out of 10

1278. The White Stripes - Icky Thump

I've become a big fan of the white stripes mainly because of their DIY attitude - I mean, the guy has three bands, a record label and a record store. Fuckin' A. That's how you do it. Icky Thump isn't their strongest LP but it's a hodge podge of sounds that works well, with very clear blues, stones and vocally led zep influences.

7.4 out of 10

quinta-feira, maio 20, 2010

1277. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Orange

While reviewing the remixes cd 5 years agoI noted how I had to pick this up... I did not disappoint. And now Chad, Doug and myself all have a copy. And it's as good as I remember - a brilliant effort through and through by the eclectic and often excessive Jon Spencer.

9 out of 10

1276. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - IS IS

I've enjoyed the last two YYYs albums, but this is the sound I love by them - rawm, dirty, gritty and sexy. I hope, and pray that their next release is a return to this balls out sound.

8.8 out of 10

1275. The National - Alligator

I have friends who 'own' certain albums or bands, and the national belong to joe. He got me this deluxe edition of the cd with bonus cuts, and I saw them with him ages ago. Here's what I really like about these guys: they do straight up american rock the way it should be done in the 2000's: sophisticated, mysterious, ambitious and revealing. So many bands take a Springsteen shit on a plate and expect you to buy it. The National grab that sound and build so much on top of it placing them at the forefront of the class.

8.4 out of 10

quarta-feira, maio 19, 2010

1274. Tv on the Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain

TV returned on their new label, with a V2 designed cover no less, with 'Cookie Mountain' - a sonically adventurous, ever expanding soundscape of an album. For some reason I didn't identify with it as much as thirsty babes, and it isn't as genial as dear science, but it still is pretty great.

8.8 out of 10

segunda-feira, maio 17, 2010

1273. Ted Leo/Pharmacists - Living With The Living

Ted branches out a bit more on this release, incorporating ska, dub and pop. A satisfying album, especially since he could have just kept doing the same thing.

7.5 out of 10

1272. Ted Leo/Pharmacists - Hearts of Oak

My first proper introduction to ted leo was when ellen included the track "Hearts Of Oak" on a mix - I never would have guessed that we'd move in together and I'd see a member of this band all the time at a record store down the street from our place.

7.6 out of 10

sexta-feira, maio 14, 2010

1271. Ted Leo/Pharmacists - The Tyranny Of Distance

I got all of my Ted Leo discs because of ellen - she's a really big fan, but till now I hadn't heard them. "The Tyranny Of Distance" is a pretty great pop/punk record, with the highlight being "St.John the Devine" to me - a blistering tracks filled with classic rock n roll at it's best. Not sure what that really means.

7.2 out of 10

1270. Maritime - We, The Vehicles

I make no bones about really liking Maritime - how could I? Promise ring and the plan together, sort of? It's perfect and the critics after unjustly slamming their debut, came around to this disc recognizing it for what it was - such sweet, sweet pop.

"And then to have someone like you
Like you"

8.2 out of 10

1269. the big sleep - Son Of The Tiger

Great record by a largely instrumental band, on LSF's label, French Kiss. When the vocals do come in right, the band is pretty hard to fuck with, making the title of the disc very, very apt.

7.8 out of 10

quinta-feira, maio 13, 2010

1268. Art Brut - It's a Bit Complicated

Ahh, so how does the one trick pony do for their follow up? Not so bad - same trick though, but not as charming as their debut.

6 out of 10

1267. Art brut - Bang Bang Rock & Roll

To call Art Brut a one trick pony wouldn't be fair, but the truth is they sort of are. The basic catchy riff paired with spoken word vocal delivery works perfectly on tracks like "formed a band' and 'my little brother' but it begins to become uneventful on tracks like "Maternity Ward". Regardless I love these guys for their sense of humor and amazing live shows.

7.7 out of 10

1266. The Rapture - Pieces Of The People We Love

"Echoes' was for me a night out that involved heavy drinking and heavy dancing with joe, james, money mike and the crew - "Pieces Of The People We Love" sounds more like a drive the next day, with the top down on a sunny sunday. It's fun but it lacks the manic energy of it predeccesor and therefore feels like a side step instead of what it should have been: a David Lee Roth type leap forward.

7.4 out of 10

1265. Ratatat - Ratatat

In the early 2000's the indie scene seemed a bit dull - there were all the 'The" bands, (strokes, kills, stills) and emo as in Promise Ring had sort of reached its peak and had started to decline. What came afterwards was really amazing in that kids, equipped with laptops as studios and the internet as a marketing manager, sought out to create all sorts of stuff under the 'indie' umbrella. Ratatat get props for doing things as they want and as they know - it can all sound a bit like a techno discoed bridge jumping from chord to chord but it's all theirs and for the most part works. "Seventeen Years" will forever be an indie dance floor classic.

7.2 out of 10

1264. Death From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm A Machine

CRAZY HOW THERE ARE NO GUITARS ON THIS HEAVY ASS RECORD by death from above (sorry didn't realize the caps were on). As the title implies the album deals with men and women and everything in between them. The duo parted ways after this release but are individually around as mstrkrft, Femme Fatale, Black Cat #13 and Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains. This electro clash rock record is worth a spin every now and then.

6.7 out of 10

quarta-feira, maio 12, 2010

1263. Constantines - Tournament Of Hearts

I bought this ages ago based on the track 'Love in Fear'. I thought I had them all figured out, but by the time track 6 came around I realized what I had assumed of these guys (sort of a working man's punk rock) was way off - and what I discovered was a band willing to go completely in the opposite direction within their style. Great record.

7.9 out of 10

1262. Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends

What a great record by LSF - and to think they were going to break up! This album is a 'sophisticated' on for them pairing their art punk sensibility with true pop to create a sing a long fest. Yes, let's stay friends!

8.6 out of 10

1261. Les Savy Fav - 3/5

I love LSF. I got this used right as the reissue was coming out, so I missed out on all the bonus tracks and such. But this is a fun little EP (back in the day 10 tracks would have been a full length) with an amusing intro and some gems like "Cut it out" and "Raise Buildings".

7 out of 10

1260. At the Drive In - Alfaro Vive, Carajo!

1259. Q and not U - No Kill No Beep Beep

This is a great little punk record - filled with unexpected moments combining the best of 'math' rock and punk rock. At 39.5 minutes it's a short disc but it fills the room with its expansive sound.

8.3 out of 10

terça-feira, maio 11, 2010

1258. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped

This album feel s very much like a companion to Sonic Nurse - it starts almost after the dust of that previous album had settled. It's very methodical and knows exactly what it wants to say. It's still so amazing how much this band can produce that is of such high quality. Great record.

8.5 out of 10

1257. Sonic Youth - Murray Street

I was so disappointed with nyc ghosts that I took a SY break - a break of one album to be exact, this one. I only heard this recently and what a surprise this is - an amazing little gem of an album - everything you'd want from Sonic Youth, done perfectly.

8.8 out of 10

1256. Sebadoh - III

This is true indie rock, started off at the beginning of time, 1991. Lou Barlow's lo fi masterpiece was post Dinosaur JR and pre Folk Implosion, which in a human timeline would mean that this is a pimple of a band grounded in the teenage years - adolescent sonic adventures, tongue in cheek lyrics and pent up sexual exploration via hi-fi equipment. This disc, and its bonus disc of tracks is fun, unpredictable, at times very sophisticated.

8.2 out of 10

segunda-feira, maio 10, 2010

1255. Mission of Burma - The Obliterati

Wow, this fucking rocks. No other way to put it. The previous MOB release was just a warm up - this sonic fuck showcases how much the band had left to say and how they wanted to say it.

9 out of 10

1254. Mission of Burma - ONoffON

Matador has recently made a name for itself signing older bands to its roster - it was once the place to go to for new acts. Mission of Burma make a heroic return with this album who's title is very appropriate for a number of reasons. The songs are hit or miss and the style lives switches from full throttle to coasting. But regardless it's a very welcomed return.

7.3 out of 10

1253. Medications - Your Favorite People All In One Place

Chad turned me on to these Dischord guys. Their brand of punk is very melodic, sharp, angular almost in the Shudder to Think vein. A surprisingly fresh disc.

7.4 out of 10

1252. Foals - Antidotes

This is a great little cd by the Foals who don't get the love they deserve I think because the tracks aren't as catchy as one would like. The band mixes a punk sound with brit pop and a live instrumentation of techno almost to create something that many wouldn't immediately get. I haven't heard the follow up yet but I look forward to.

7.9 out of 10

sexta-feira, maio 07, 2010

1251. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium

Californication was a return to form with John leading the way. By the Way was as mature of a pop record RHCP could ever put out. Two very successful tours made them as big as U2 on the road. Everything pointed to the fact that this double cd, "Stadium Arcadium" would be an epic release - even Flea said at one point I think that it was the most mind blowing stuff he had ever worked on. John was doing crazy stuff with Mars Volta and his solo career. So why is this disc so boring? It all sounds phoned in - like a RHCP wannabe band recorded it. I even edited the double cd down to one and it still sucks. This is why John quit. The band had to move forward not backwards - going back to their basics, exploring the energy and funk on Mother's Milk would have been better. Instead we got this lame adult rock record. RCHP as we knew it will probably never return...

5 out of 10

quinta-feira, maio 06, 2010

1250. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Live In Hyde Park

I'm a pretty big RHCP fan. When Frusciante decided to come back to the band I was ecstatic - Californication and By the Way were back to back stellar records. It's great that the period after By the Way was documented on this live double disc. The band is playing so well, riffing off one another, covering old 70s classics and playing catalogue songs their most proud of. I got this for $1.00 at a flea store.

8.4 out of 10

1249. Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist

This is a pretty good SP record. How could it have been better? Well, for starters if James and D'Arcy (or Melissa) are sorely missed. I know Billy says he does everything but truth is he's not 100% of the Pumpkins, maybe 70%, but not a 100%. I'm used to SP records having 'softer' and 'heavier' tracks - Siamese had 'Today' and 'Silverfuck' - Melancholy had 'Zero' and "Tonight, Tonight". But the production varies so much on this record that it just doesn't feel cohesive and therefore takes me out of the 'album' experience - the band should have stuck to one producer and have opened their sound so it doesn't sound so compressed. Regardless it was a good start to the 'comeback'.

7.9 out of 10

quarta-feira, maio 05, 2010

1248. Mudhoney - Piece of Cake

I got this when I first moved to the US and eventually got rid of it. I always regretted it - when I saw this remastered and expanded edition used I didn't hesitate. In addition to the original release b-sides from singles and eps are included. Piece of Cake has some blistering exceptional moments, while the additional tracks are fodder- pleasant, but fodder.

7.4 out of 10

terça-feira, maio 04, 2010

1247. Twilight Singers - She Loves You

I love covers and Dulli and Co. do a stand up job of paying homage to their favorite tunes - from Bjork, to Jody Watley to John Coltrane. You can still hear the essence of the song underneath Greg's signature takes.

7.8 out of 10

1246. The Twilight Singers - Powder Burns

I'm a loyal guy. Even to bands. Afghan Whigs are one of my favorites so checking out any Greg Dulli project is almost a requirement. That got me in trouble once when I purchased a CD by a band called Ass Pony's because Dulli had produced it - turned out to be a stinker and I am still ridiculed over it to this day. The Twilight Singers, now named after the infamous movie series, is Dulli's latest project (along with the one off Gutter Twins I suppose). The thing with Dulli is that if left alone is black velvet, whiskey swigging, oral sex giving persona can come across as a bit over the top - the whigs always maintained the appropriate balance. Here the line is treaded and never thankfully crossed fully, resulting in an energetic testament from the singer.

7.3 out of 10

Now Serving: Left Overs

First off, see how good that sounds? And just like that I am back into the game, all excited about the project again. Time to tackle the releases I added to my collection that weren't reviewed due to timing. Suit up, grab a glass and a smoke and relax.

segunda-feira, maio 03, 2010

Game Over?

So this is it. I have gone through my entire CD collection. A lot has changed in the last four years when I first started this blog. Of course basic things like relationships, where I live etc., are different but most notably I no longer really buy CDs. The last one I bought was over a year ago. Now I just buy records... lots of records. But despite the resurgence of vinyl, the portability of mp3s I don't think CDs will ever disappear - the quality, the durability and yes the portability are all reasons why this format will survive. If there's one thing I have learned is that a format is never truly dead. Hell even tapes are making a comeback. But the format didn't inspire me to create this blog. The music did. I wanted to immerse myself in these CDs - listen to them again, track for track, cover to cover. Looking back maybe I did get rid of one or two discs that I shouldn't have, but more importantly I rediscovered or completely discovered amazing albums that I already owned. So is this blog over with? No way. My first order of business will be to cover all the CDs I did buy over the last four years that I didn't get to review since the categories had been covered already. Then I think I am going to start reviewing my records and who knows maybe even tapes..

1245. Weird Al Yankovic - Greatest Hits

Did I save the best for last? More on that in a minute. I was, and still am to degree (or enough to keep this disc at least) a fan of Weird Al. I like to laugh, make people laugh, goof around and not be too serious about things - that's probably my biggest downfall. Weird Al grabbed the biggest hits and made them funny - the videos are even funnier. I still know the lyrics and probably have a few of his tapes around somewhere... nowadays Weird Al would have some serious competition thanks to YouTube - but he was the original.

7 out of 10

1244. Eccentric Soul: The Prix Label

Wow, this is the last disc in the series I own (I will be picking up the others) and it's close to being the best. Such strong funk, played with a jazzed out soul perfection the Prix Label artists are smoking - no two ways about it.

8.4 out of 10