Music reviews week for 9/16/09
Zeep- People and Things
“Tropical” Indie Rock
Fun album that plays around with smooth sounds and calm and controlled female vocals throughout. Somewhat of a jazz influence comes through in a few songs. A Portuguese influence shows in their cover of “Ghost Town”, originally by The Specials. Worth a listen.
Recommended tracks: 2,5,1
The Proclaimers- Notes & Rhymes
Rock with a touch of Scottish folk
Pretty lame. Lyrics are downright tacky like lame 90’s MOR love songs. The singing sounds like those songs for kids albums. Old Scottish guys trying to show they can still “rock” and be political but come up lacking. Can’t recommend this.
Recommended tracks (relative to other tracks): 8
The Sales Department- Measured Life
Experimental ambient electronica. Entirely instrumental.
Highly enjoyable electronic music. This CD made me wish I had larger speakers and could just lay down and take it in. Overall low-key and non-abrasive despite occasional unusual sounds. While keeping a calming feel, manages to give listener a range of feelings from calm to excitement to tension and sense of unease. Note: Most tracks over 4 minutes. Highly recommended.
Recommended tracks: 4,6,7
Music reviews week of 9/20/09
Coastwest Unrest- “Songs From the Desert
Acoustic indie folk
Heartfelt songs that are mostly downbeat, some being dreary, with occasional fast tense songs. Violin featured prominently. Vocals are mostly good but don’t feel quite right on a few songs. Overall good album, worth a listen. RIYL (Recommended If You Like): Tom Waits
Recommended tracks: 1,9,11
Castanets- “Texas Rose, The Thaw & The Beasts”
Mostly too slow and tedious to be interesting. Most songs don’t really go anywhere or get too experimental and centered around making weird annoying noises. A few songs did stick out as nice though.
Recommended tracks: 8,11
FCC (this means dirty words): 11
Red Wire Black Wire- “Robots & Roses”
Electronica, post rock
Vocals and overall mood a little too whiny and melancholy for me. Very vocally driven with typical syth and bass. Not a big fan of most of this. Kinda like The Cure or MGMT but more depressing and less interesting.
Recommended tracks: 1,5
FCC: 5, 6
Music reviews week of 9/30/09
In Defence- “Into the Sewer”
Hardcore, punk, thrash
Quite generic hardcore meant to be played in a tiny whole in the wall venue with lots of hardcore kids moshing. Lots of gang vocals. Lots of songs about concerts, being straight-edge and are intentionally offensive. Pretty much what you’d expect.
Amusement Parks On Fire- “Young Fight”
Whiny/bad emo, indie
Instrumental parts aren’t bad. Whiny vocals made me uncomfortable and want to take out the CD, so I did. Really though, the music is fine I just can’t take the vocals. The 7 minute instrumental on track 5 is kinda nice.
Various Artists- “Yo Gabba Gabba! Music Is… Awesome”
Varied, overall upbeat and/or melodic genres/songs
Album name says it all. This album is so much fun. Popular (mostly indie) bands playing songs for kids along with songs from the show. If you like the songs from the show look up the videos. Recommended for parents who are going to loose it the next time they have to hear “Kids pop”. Never thought I’d be told to brush my teeth by Of Montreal.
Recommended tracks: 3, 10, 14
Music Reviews 10/14/09
Roxy Swain- “New Love Designers”
Poppy, 90’s radio rock, female fronted ska influenced
I had low expectations and they were slightly exceeded. Alternating male and female poppy vocals with simple rock.
FCC: Insert claimed 4 was not for airplay, I thought it was fine
Family- “Think About Life”
Dancy Canadian pop disco, electronica, indie
Super catchy and poppy disco beats but with a more modern indieish vocals leading songs. Each song has a unique feel and style but in general all songs are catchy and upbeat. Earlier tracks more disco, later tracks more electronic. Great CD for a dance party. Great CD in general.
Recommended tracks: 3, 5, 10
Old Canes- “Feral Harmonic”
Indie folk rock
Catchy melodic folk rock. Alternates between Neutral Milk Hotel type music (basically same horns but totally different vocals) and rougher folk that feels like traveling music for driving in the desert. Emotional, “deep” feel to lyrics. Throws in some eclectic instruments in different songs for the right feel along the right touch of distortion. Vocals sometimes seem a bit drowned out which may be intentional. Very solid album overall.
Recommended tracks: 6, 3, 8
Music reviews 11/30/09
Zero 7- “Yeah Ghost”
Downtempo, Trip-hop, electronica, indie
Songs alternate between hip-hop and gentle indie. Overall very light and at times ambient with bits of more engaging beats. Hip-hop and non-hip-hop tracks are strikingly different in vocals. Nice fun album, a times a little slow.
Recommended tracks: 3,7,4
Misra Records- the year in radio 2009
Complilations of albums from Mishra Records
Light kinda drowny singing with light guitar, and strings in background. Think of Sarah McLachlan but not nearly as cheesy. Kinda dull, a bit generic.
Hallelujah the Hills
First tracks are pretty dull but it picks up by their third track, track 7. Incorperates cello well. Would be a bit better with more energy.
Recommended 8, 7
Light rock, indie with country feel
Airy vocals with guitar and drums. Track 7 uses buzz guitar, track 12 has more of a country feel and uses strings and piano.
Indie folk rock
Engaging vocals backed up by varied and active music in the back. My favorite band on the CD. Throws in hints of surf in track 14. Very folky track in track 15. Overall fun few tracks.
Recommended tracks: 14, 13, 15
Music reviews for 1/27/10
The Watson Twins- “Talking to you talking to me”
All female vocals, occasionally uses R&B and funk style beats. Generally mellow songs with vocals dominant in all tracks backed by guitar, piano, and a Moog. Nice melodic songs with some variety. Nothing was particularly interesting or stuck out. Note: this is the band without Jenny Lewis.
Recommended tracks: 5, 6
Music reviews for 2/3/10
The Hotrats- “Turn Ons (Singles)”
70’s Style Alt. Rock, Covers
This is two singles from an upcoming album of the same name. Both songs are covers (“(You gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)” and “Damaged Goods”) but are reinvented in different styles. Pretty well done, “Fight for your right” is kinda weird to hear in a Black Hollies-like 70’s style but is enjoyable.
Recommended Tracks: 1,2
Glimr- “Faith of our Fathers”
Droning rock with heavy distortion and distant vocals
Vocals somewhat annoying and the music never seems to go anywhere. Trying a bit hard to be epic. Maybe I’m just biased against this type of music but I was not a fan.
According to sticker, FCC: 6,7 but I didn’t hear anything or see them in the lyrics sheet (goddamn?)