quarta-feira, junho 30, 2010

1320. Menomena - Friend And Foe

A great album with amazing interactive artwork. The band took a nice step forward with building upon their debut sound and making it sharper and tighter. Can't wait for the new LP out this year. 'Wet And Rusting' is a classic.

It's hard to risks with a pessimist.

8.4 out of 10

1319. Menomena - I Am The Fun Blame Monster!

I love this band. They are so simple yet sound so big. "I Am The Fun Blame Monster!" is a pretty great debut for them, highlight their harmonic capabilities while demonstrating a knack for large epic moments where it all comes crashing down to silence.

8.3 out of 10

terça-feira, junho 29, 2010

1318. Pinback - Autumn Of The Seraphs

I love Pinback - the harmonies, melodies, time signatures, lyrics - they are pretty perfect. This album wasn't a greater hit because I think that people were maybe a little turned off by the cover thinking it was some sort of metal project. The album as a whole is missing just that one little bump to make it perfect - I can't wait to hear the next release.

8.2 out of 10

segunda-feira, junho 28, 2010

1317. Pinback - Some Voices [EP]

This EP highlights Pinback's humble beginnings, from the photo of their home studio with the beige Mac on the desk to simple, yet unmistakenbly hook filled tracks.

6.4 out of 10

sexta-feira, junho 25, 2010

1316. Ween - La Cucaracha

I love Ween because they are funny and they are doing their own thing. La Cucaracha sounds like they wanted to tackle very specific styles of songs - from soft rock to dub to country. While the release isn't their best, they manage to throw in a couple of classics with 'woman and man' and 'you party'.

7.2 out of 10

1315. The Microphones - Mount Eerie

There was a period in the mid 2000's where every cd I bought sounded like this. Like the sound of what the fuck. Half assed melodies, out of place sound effects - an exercise in painting with music - and that's me being polite. This sort of thing just isn't my bag.

4 out of 10

quinta-feira, junho 24, 2010

1314. Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent Things

This may not make sense to say but if this record came out in the 90s it would have been hailed as a masterpiece, not that the reviews it got were bad - but it's so layered and cleverly executed that it didn't receive the praise it should have because, well we're all used to it now. We're used to the attention to details, the cheeky lyrics and infectious grooves. For 2006 when it came out this was a very good, fun release. Still is.

7.4 out of 10

1313. Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War

Bombast is a word I've never used here, but when bands like Stars use it properly it's unstoppable - it makes you sing out loud on a crowded subway, or make a simple trip on a train seem life affirming. Sadly "In Our Bedroom After The War" fails to harness that power that was so elegantly and cleverly captured on their previous releases. It is however still a rather solid effort by such a sweet bunch of canadians.

7.4 out of 10

1312. FEist - The Reminder

Why is the world afraid of soft rock or anything remotely close to it? This is hardly soft rock but it may be misconstrued as such by a less musically educated listener - Feist is too much of a genuine artist to be lumped in with Celine Dion. True soft rock is really superbly executed soft pop. This album absorbs so many influences and makes them its own so seamlessly that one forgets to hand out the credit. It helps too that Feist has one of the sexiest voices in music - that paired with such compositional brilliance makes this an album to remember.

9 out of 10

quarta-feira, junho 23, 2010

1311. The Sea and Cake - Everybody

At this stage of my life the sea and cake are more friends than they are a band - I just know them so well it's like a relationship that is constant, intimate but not surprising anymore. With that said I love my friends - 'Everybody' is a return to the 'biz' years in my opinion where the grooves ground you down and Sam's voice wisks you away.

7.9 out of 10

terça-feira, junho 22, 2010

1310. Built to Spill - Ancient Melodies Of The Future

BTS have become pretty good at releasing solid rock records - this one in particular lakcs the urgency and melancholy of previous efforts, but it is still pretty good nonetheless.

7.2 out of 10

1309. Built to Spill - Perfect from now on

A classic fucking record - back when the world was starting to go emo, and radio was playing rap metal, BTS quietly released this bluesy, heavy heartbreak of a record. Fantastic!

8.9 out of 10

segunda-feira, junho 21, 2010

1308. Kevin Drew - Spirit If...

This disc by BSS's Kevin Drew starts really well and ends really well but becomes somewhat luke warm in the middle offering us a glimpse into the sonic eccentricities that make the full BSS sound so unique.

7.4 out of 10

quinta-feira, junho 17, 2010

1307. Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene

Their previous release had been out for quite sometime already before it picked up momentum through amazing reviews and touring - when the follow up came out it seemed rather quick but in reality it wasn't. This is a great follow up to 'You forgot' - it's as epic, layered and guest heavy as ever - what it isn't is hopeful, something that the previous LP always was to me, but that could have just been me personally. This disc also comes with a bonus cd of bsides.

8.3 out of 10

quarta-feira, junho 16, 2010

1306. Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - Real Emotional Trash

I love stephen - I never want to meet him because if he turns out to be a jerk it'll ruin the perfect impression he's cast on me. This third album by him and the jicks is another little treasure - filled with his witty lyrics, jammy gasms and classic rock moments. It's impossible not to like this.

8.8 out of 10

quarta-feira, junho 09, 2010

1305. Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

I just heard this cd for the first time right now - crazy huh? It just sort of went right under my radar for a long time - then I'd read about it, or heard about and still didn't listen to it. Then it was on sale at virgin a few years back for $10 so I got it... it's amazing how close this album reminds me of The Decemberists, except less tongue in check and less polished than their vocals and arrangements - and by polished I mean NMH is just looser, playing live instead of individually in a studio - the lyrics too are rawer. Overall I'm impressed.

7.3 out of 10

1304. Margot & the nuclear so and so's - The Dust Of Retreat

Yes the disc is so so. The track I had, and loved, is still great "skeleton key" - but the rest struggles to find its voice and makes a noble effort at trying to be engaging but ultimately is just too diluted to make an impact.

6.4 out of 10

terça-feira, junho 08, 2010

1303. Mew - And the glass handed kites

One of the great things about european bands is that their lyrics are always slightly off - off maybe they aren't off and their sensibilities towards life, people and love and are much more fantastical than we think here in the US. Mew have great song structures, with great pop moments and feature an amazing vocalist whose voice is so sweet yet so powerful. Fun record.

7.5 out of 10

1302. Shearwater - Palo Santo

When Shearwater received an offer to join Matador they were also offered to re-record their debut album - and boy, I am so happy I have this version. The production on this disc is crude, and has a genuine live feel creating a haunted aura around each track - the new versions are just over produced and way too delicate.

7.5 out of 10

segunda-feira, junho 07, 2010

1301. Chris Walla - Field Manual

What is this a field manual for? Most likely love or something like that. I was very curious about this album -Walla has been involved in so much indie music I just knew his solo output had to be good. Well it is, just good. There are many sweet hooks of pure indie bliss, but he voice lacks the necessary punch to roar through all the emotion.

6.9 out of 10

sexta-feira, junho 04, 2010

1300. Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs

I obsess over my music. I'm a collector, a completist, a everything. I used to sit down and watch my friends playing with a CD of mine and thinking, "I hope they put the insert back properly so the jewel case tab doesn't crease the booklet" - well, I've learned to let go a little. This was one of the few cds I bought in the last year or so, and within a day ellen spilled water all over it, merging all the pages of the diecut booklet into one solid piece (the cover has four short folds). Sure I was a little upset, but I realized, I can always buy another... but back to the music at hand. DCFC were on a steady roll prior to their major label debut. "Plans" was just a bit too sugary and sweet - the band has alway excelled at making suffering sound so good, but that disc had just too much of the good. On "Narrow Stairs" the band swings to the other direction making the suffering take the front seat to what eventually becomes a stale, uninspired set. You still enjoy it because the band has its charm, but there's no spark.

7.2 out of 10

1299. Of Montreal - Icons, Abstract Thee

Fuck I love this EP. I love Of Montreal. I have ellen mainly to thank for that, and James too. What I love about the band is how prolific Barnes is - there's something about artists that just write so much music that instantly makes me like them, like Prince. This EP is as neurotic and chaotic as other OM releases but it's much more stripped down. Easily, the highlight of the disc to me is "No Conclusion" - a sentiment I feel more and more often. Also, any artist who writes a lyric like "Cock shocker blues" is genius in my book.

8.4 out of 10

1298.The Spinto Band - Nice and Nicely Done

The promo sticker on this says something like "these guys are a mix of pavement, yo la tengo and flaming lips" - and while I wouldn't have picked those bands exactly, they do indeed sound like a bunch of bands - which isn't a jab at them - I guess it's harder to tame all your influences when there is so much music available at your finger tips nowadays. Regardless, they are a talented bunch and deserve a pat on the back.

5.6 out of 10

quinta-feira, junho 03, 2010

1297. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank

This is MM's most successful commercial LP. "Good News" was great but this disc is just solid through and through - sure it is more mainstream, but it's as good as mainstream can get. When Johnny Marr was announced as a new member I took a small, but warm shit in my pants. The result of is inclusion is interesting - there isn't anything Smiths like on here, but instead the songs do have a very strong 80s pop sensibility to them, which I love - he also added a certain of reason into the Modest Mouse sound, which I love.

9.3 out of 10

1296. Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies

Destroyer is part Wayne Coyne, part David Bowie and I really appreciate that. He's theatrical but always with a pop sensibility, and he's first and foremost a musician - so his lyrics are always on par with his arrangements.

7.3 out of 10

quarta-feira, junho 02, 2010

1295. Bodies of water - Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink

I put a track by these guys on a mix once, and my friend Matt remarked that if he had a band he'd want to sound like these guys. I can understand why, they have this communal family meets classic rock thing going on and after hearing the disc they've also manage to add some sweet sad pop in there too, making this one great little cd. It made my day hearing it today.

8.4 out of 10

1294. Heatmiser - Cop And Speeder

I might have mentioned this about my previous Heatmiser cds - you can hear the struggle of two sounds on this disc - one is of something very common for the ear, a post grunge sort of indie sound almost sebadoh like, and the other is Smith's classic pop sensibility - the two are at even levels here, unlike Mic City Sons where Smith seemed to have is way a bit more. The tracks aren't bad, but they are more for the Smith enthusiast than anybody else.

7 out of 10

1293. Jeremy Egnik - World Waits

Egnik is an old lover that I have a soft spot for - no matter how dated or uninspired a release may be there are always moments that remind me of why I love him.

7.3 out of 10

1292. Dirty On Purpose - Hallelujah Sirens

I played this album while working and it ended with me not realizing what I had heard. The mellow, melancholy disc moves through like a shy guest at an overcrowded party, where they've showed up just so they can say they are being social. I liked it, and I'm not sure if its a disc that can ever be loved since it is so timid. To be continued some other day I suppose.

6.4 out of 10

1291. Mission of Burma - Signals, Calls and Marches

Simple yet incredibly sophisticated. Sure that sounds like a bullshit tag line, but this album really is - it is raw and blunt when it needs to be but it was years ahead of what everyone else was doing. The closing track, "All World Cowboy Romance" is just pure class.

8.2 out of 10

terça-feira, junho 01, 2010

1290. Dead Kennedys - Plastic Surgery Disasters/In God We Trust Inc.

Yeah that's a pretty gross cover. I just picked this up a few years ago and it's a pretty great record. "Moon Over Marin" is a classic punk rock melodic track, a tune everyone should hear. The EP that is attached to this is also pretty great in its own right. Good stuff.

7.9 out of 10

1289. High on Fire - Death Is This Communion

Along with Mastodon, these guys are doing the best thrash metal out there - definitely better than Metallica. "Death Is This Communion" is relentless but has enough moments that are instrumental breathers, either as an intro or outro... the vocals are less growling and more Lemmy like - and work perfectly for this.

8.2 out of 10