9.6.06 | Palebear Blurbs – Sep 6
Hey, what be this? It be Palebear Blurbs! That be nice. There be 5 of them. Sorry, we be catching up…
Also to be noticing, we’re going to start linking to MyDisgrace, excuse me MySpace, pages for some links. Because of course they be the huge ultramega conglomerate walmart of music downloading and samples, and everyone be using them. So we be caving in to popular demands and such. I be hating bastard MyDisgrace lately…
1. Nothing, Nothing – Sneaky Thieves (Radioheadia Talkity Talk)
2. Wisemen – Umbrella Tree (Decemberista Moxy Fruvousa)
3. Jesus In Your Ovaries – Crawling With Kings (Wilcofied MMJ)
4. When You’re Electric – The Pomonas (Chilton my Robert Pollard)
5. A Tough Decision – The Charade (Super Swedish Hang Ups to The Shermans)
9.19.06 | Scanners – Violence is Golden
Violence Is Golden
This is a short review of the band called Scanners, and not the Cronenberg movie. If you’ve somehow managed to stumble upon this page while looking for the movie, head on over to IMDB. Or read about the band’s “Violence is Golden” for a bit, and then off you go.
Anyhow, Scanners deeply channels (and there’s a pretentious review word if ever there was one) Chryssie Hynde and her Pretenders buds with slamming and snarling guitar riffs and a bit of 80s new wave synth party thrown in. Vocalist/bassist Sarah Daly is mostly responsible for the Pretender references with her ringing set of wrought iron pipes.
The music sometimes reminds me of 90s Brit-bands like Elastica, though there’s also modern touch to the music. “Joy” and “Lowlife” start off the album in spectacular fashion, with glossy shimmering soundscapes. Some people are going to gothic-ize their reviews of this album but I’d say its more punky than overall gloomy. Sometimes I can’t figure out what they’re aiming at, for instance in “Changing Times” which has a guitar riff that sounds like a Snow Patrol or Travis track embedded in it. The band is also capable of so-called “birdwalks” away from straight up punkwave.
“Evil Twin” starts off almost folky semi-sweet, like a Jeff Hanson tune but quickly gets good and creepy, while the keyboard beeps of “Look What You Started” puzzle and ponder their way through a reversed 16th century classical melody.
The band is releasing stuff on Dim Mak. Have a listen…
9.5.06 | Struggle In The Hive – S/T
Struggle In The Hive
Struggle In The Hive is a collaboration between members of two record labels – Future Appletree and Radical Turf. I have to admit that Future Appletree releases are sort of hit and miss for me. For the most part, I understand where their artists are coming from and appreciate the indie CDs. But I don’t listen to all of them on a regular basis.
However, SITH (great Star Wars tie-in when you abbreviate them) is actually quite good, a mellow indie pop album of mostly acoustic guitar driven numbers. (Interestingly, B. Patric is in Marlboro Chorus which is one of my least favorite Appletree releases – but his contributions in this particular collaboration are great) Because of the lighter approach with the songs, they often sound like a mini Reindeer Section, albeit a little less lush. The RIYL points toward Kings Of Convenience but I hear more of a Pedro the Lion feel or The Negro Problem, especially on the track “Hold Your Breath”.
Actually, when B. Patric (or is it Nigel – I’m not sure who’s singing the majority of the lead) sings in a low crawl it almost sounds like Hayden, Mark Kozelek or the singer from the Merge band Spent. There are some great tracks on this self titled album regardless of who you think they sound like.
B. Patric – guitar, cello, voice, drums, piano, bass
Nigel Jeffrey – guitar, piano, voice
9.27.06 | The Decemberists – The Crane Wife
The Crane Wife
To say that The Decemberists’ new album The Crane Wife is a departure from their previous album is an understatement of huge proportions. If Picaresque was an ambitious, carnival-driven masterpiece, just you wait until you get your ears wrapped around the latest tracks. In addition to his usual pitchman storyteling shtick it’s as if Meloy has simultaneously plugged into the mindspace of more classic rock bands like Yes and Neil Young. That’s just for starters.
These 10 songs include two “song cycles” that top the 10 minute mark: The Crane Wife and The Island. In usual Decemberists fashion, the first song cycle is based upon older literature – namely an old Japanese folk tale called The Crane Wife (see the Wikipedia entry for more info).
Though some might argue that the the transformation from musical oddity to full-fledged superstar indie rock band happened with the last album, The Crane Wife leaves no doubt that the Decemberists have truly arrived.They completely shrug off all of the Neutral Milk Hotel comparisons and the songs really seem to have matured. The initial impression is that the songs are more lush and full, and often much louder.
“The Island” cycle starts off with the total classic rock vibe intro of “Come and See” (I’m almost afraid to say – Steve Miller?) but soon morphs into Neil Young. That then leads into the prog-rock keyboard machinations of “The Landlord’s Daughter”. Whoah. But “You’ll Not Feel The Drowning” ends the cycle more thoughtfully with mellow acoustic guitar arpeggios.
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