Category : 70s Retro
There’s a bunch of different ways to look at Minnesota’s Capital Sons. On the one hand they mix up interesting vocals reminiscient of either Mark Eitzel or The Posies with the pop-punk punch of the Replacements. That side is apparent on “Miss Understood”, the first song off their recently released self titled EP. It’s a great track, just brash enough to break free of the bonds that the early 90s record label punk-puppets were enslaved under. Guitar and drums driven pop, with a bit of soaring in the choruses. Feel-good stuff.
And then they follow it up with “On Your Side”, which is just a little too Counting Crows for my tastes. Granted, they make no bones about their love for roots-rock hooks. It’s just not my thing. The same goes for “Halo” which made me feel like I was at a Pearl Jam reunion. For me, forgettable guitar licks and Eddie Vedderisms are better left buried in the 99 cent bargain section at Amoeba.
The dirtier songs seem to swim along better. When the Capital Sons keep it simple and rough, they can be very good. Or when they slow it down, like in “Spark” which feels even a little shoe-gazey at times. The closer, “Paint This Town” brings back a little of the poppunk magic from the opening track. I’ve got mixed feelings about the disc, but there are certainly at least a few good pop songs worth a listen here.
Karl Obermeyer – Vocals/Guitar
Jesse Thomas – Drums
Gary Vogel – Guitar/Vocals
Keefe Russell – Bass/ Vocals
“KR” is going to get abbreviated in that fashion heretoforth because of his keyboard-tripping name that ties up my fingers whenever I try to type that. Besides the name, the eclectic Swede has been turning my ear upside down with his trippy songs that ride on classic 70s melodies and sounds (Stones, T Rex, Late Beatles, etc.). I’ve also heard him being referred to as a “Beck of Swedes” but that’s not exactly accurate.
So what is accurate? No idea. The songs on Sweet Bills are definitely more straight rock at times but there is just an overall weirdness that permeates all the songs. He’ll throw in weird samples every so often and mixes in electronic stuff and over-distorted drums. Lots of funky horns thrown in the mix. I think you just have to hear KR and decide for yourself.
Do You Want A Piece Of Me EP
Kristoffer Ragnstam website
Love as Laughter
Highly irreverent indie rock from Sam Jayne of Love as Laughter makes for some interesting listening. I’m usually not such a big fan of 70s or 80s classic rock influenced modern bands, and there have been quite a few to come out on Subpop in the last year. But I actually took a fancy to a few of the later tracks on the album such as Neil Young influenced “Every Midnight Song”. That song really got off the ground and started to rock out near the end.
Continue reading “Love as Laughter- Laughter’s Fifth” …
Found this artist through the ever reliable Sixeyes. A former Australian turned Londoner, M. (Martin) Craft plays a mishmash of mellow melodic folk tunes mixed with a slight groove at times. A side note first: What’s with all the folks/bands wanting to abbreviate their first names as “M”. I speak of M. Ward, M. Coast, etc. Oh, M. Night Shyamalan, hehe.
His debut album Silver & Fire was released this past summer, and while he gets hit with that “psychadelic folk tag” I just don’t hear that as much. Although, there is different sort of disco and waltz tempo to what might just be standard folksy stuff in other musicians’ hands. From the tracks I heard, it could be a semi-combination of Bill Callahan, Jose Gonzalez, Hayden, Radar Bros. and Pedro the Lion. I did get to watch the video for “You Are The Music” and OK, maybe that’s more on the psychadelic side. Looks a bit like Max Headroom.
One interesting thing is that in addition to streaming the album, you can also download the entire thing in MP3, but with the tracks as instrumentals only. Never heard of that technique before, but it sounds like a great way to get a feel for what the tracks will sound like.
Wincing The Night Away
A funny thing happened to me on the way to the post office box the other day. I got the new Shins release Wincing The Night Away in the mail… I guess it’s not such a FUNNY thing, but I’d thought that with all the lack of coverage at Palebear that I’d been booted off their promo list. It seems like every other blog (and their mom) had this release already. Good to know I’m still on the list, albeit at low priority. =)
Anyhow, too much has probably been written about the new record. I’ve surreptitiously been avoiding reading about it. You probably just want to know: is it worth picking up. The answer so far, in the 10 listens since I received it, is generally Yes. I can hear the Shinfanatics yelling at me now.
I guess it just didn’t grab me as hard as Inverted World or Chutes did right away. Sure, you’ve got your anthemic hits like “Phantom Limb” and “Turn On Me” which will always elevate them high in indie hearts. But it took a full 5 listens to get into many of the other songs. The quirkiness which has always been their strong suit is definitely still there. But in my opinion it’s often overly squandered on the louder material. “Sleeping Lessons” contains an interesting Air-like arpeggio mapped onto a double time snare-fest worthy of the Interpol or the White Stripes. “Australia” bounces along quite nicely, but “Pam Berry” is basically just a gratuitous Dick Dale Pulp Fiction surf line. “Sea Legs” sounds like a Beck outtake, while “Girl Sailor” is also an outtake but of the Belle and Sebastian variety.
Continue reading “The Shins – Wincing The Night Away” …
Let Me Take Your Photo
One of the companies that have really stepped up to the plate with cool music in their commercials is Hewlett Packard. Even without the addition of interesting music, their commercials would still be really cool… featuring Michel Gondry-like shots of photos or video being moved around and becoming one with parts of the actual commercial shot. It is pretty hypnotizing to watch.
I still am trying to figure out this one commercial of theirs that has music that sort of sounds like the Apples In Stereo (no it’s not the Kinks track). But I finally DID figure out a newer commercial that features a woman repeatedly being dressed up in various clothes and handed a photo which becomes the backdrop for the next shot. The song in question is a pretty fast sounding punk song with these snare drum rolls that really move it along.
Continue reading “The Speedies – HP Commercial” …