Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ShinSight Trio-Shallow Nights Blurry Moon (2006)

This is a Hip-Hop goup consisting of Insight (emcee), Shin-Ski (producer) and DJ RYOW (turntablist). They do have a new album out(leaked I should say), although on their new album the first half is nice but it starts getting tedious quickly halfway through when they just spam choruses nonstop and nothing else really happens.

Back on track, The production is very jazzy boom bap-ish circa 93-95 but still they keeps things original. Shin-Ski on production shows himself to be a very able jazz rap producer, influenced a bit by Nujabes no doubt. Insight is a good mc, has a good flow for the most part and this is another nice addition to his already excellent discography. The turntabilsm is very nice as well.


Swans-My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky (2010)

After a 13 year absence Michael Gira has once again started up his project known as Swans. In the past they have released some of the most unique music out there and some of my personal favorite albums.

This album is defiantly a good start for them especially after having such a long absence in the music scene. While this album is not as great as some of their former work such as The Great Annihilator, White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity, and Body To Body Job To Job. It's still stands up to be one of my favorite albums released so far this year and hopefully is a preview of more to come from this band.



Track of the Day for August 31, 2010

New feature on LPC: one of the writers on the blog will post a track they've been listening to a lot lately/an all-time favorite/etc. I'll probably end up doing most of them but we'll have a lot of writers post different tracks.

So as I start this series, I name my first choice "Cut Your Hair" by Pavement. The song, released on their album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, is essentially as close as they ever got to being mainstream; the video received airplay on MTV and several radio stations in the US.

Pavement - Cut Your Hair

Monday, August 30, 2010

Japanese Cartoon - In the Jaws of the Lords of Death (2010)

When I heard Lupe Fiasco (which he refuses to be called when performing with this post-punk band) was going to be the front-man for a punk band, I was instantly interested. The album has a good post-punk sound, and is very listenable, but it last any kind of feeling or soul that I usually expect from any kind of punk music I listen to.

Another distracting feature of the album is Fiasco's phony British accent he has on every track on the album. I understand why he wanted to separate this project from his solo career, but just because you are doing punk, doesn't mean you have to sound like Johnny Rotten or Dee Dee Ramone. The album production is also a bit lacking, but its a free download from the bands website, so you cant really fault production on something you aren't paying for.

The best track on the album is "Gasp", its a bit softer than the rest of the otherwise heavy album, and Fiasco actually has glimpses of greatness behind the mic. If nothing else, this song will remain in rotation on my iPod for a while.

Overall, its a mediocre album that sounds like the Gorillaz, if they did a post-punk album, and lost all the fun that makes their albums such a joy to listen to.

Download the Album Free

William Fitzsimmons - Goodnight (2006)

I think it was the beard that did it.

I first found out about William Fitzsimmons while searching through music videos on youtube and was drawn to his massive beard. He grew up as the (non-blind) son of blind parents, so he learned to communicate more with sound than with sight. His parents divorced when he was in college, and this seems to have heavily shaped his musical style, which is smooth, emotional folk.

Goodnight is pretty standard as a Fitzsimmons album (they all sound pretty much the same. The guitar and half-whisper/half-singing that he does is very relaxing. Sometimes he teeters dangerously close to being corny/cliche (with titles like "I Don't Love You Anymore" and "Never Let You Go") but it's still a blast to listen to.

If you want to chill out or cry over a break-up, you could do much, much worse. His other albums The Sparrow and The Crow and Until When We Are Ghosts are also great listens.

Try It! (.rar)

Buy it!($12.50)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dirtybird Beats - Don't Forget The Magic

I've been procrastinating on writing this one for awhile so I'm glad I can finally get to it. Enter Dirtybird Beats. I can't remember exactly how I ended up on this guy's bandcamp site, but I'm sure as hell glad I did.

The album Don't Forget The Magic is a "seven song instrumental ep, that showcases some of (his) best work to date." - DBB. I am personally a big fan of instrumental tracks in this vein because they don't have that horrible distraction called lyrics messing up your vibe. Lol I kid, but still they let you add your own pictures and words allowing you to give meaning to the track. There isn't a point in saying what I think the different tracks mean, but I still got a very anime-ish (coming soon to scrabble dictionaries) feeling to it. Kind of reminiscent to Nujabes' work if you ask me.

So listen to this EP if you need some chill music in your life, you want to try a little something new, or you need something to blaze up to, or all three if you're feeling crazy lol. This bite-sized compilation of good music should be more than enough to satiate your appetite.

Acquire it, FOR FREE!

Check out his blog.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Drudkh - Handful of Stars (2010)

Ukrainian black metal legend's are back again with their new album, Handful of Stars. A year after, Microcosmos, and album that, many felt was a bit too "out of the norm" for Roman Saenko and the rest of the band, they've reinvented themselves once again. They keep their Burzum-calling, dirty black metal riffs, with Thurios deep scream, but they manage to lead away a bit, with some moments near Alcest, and even some near the more post-rock leaning screamo artists, a Heaven in their Arms, for example.
Opting for a dedicated "Intro" track, "Cold Landscapes" nearly paints its own title. A sparse piano track, slightly dissonant, very moody in it's own right, unsettles the listener, leading up to the longest song on the album, the 12 min.+ "Downfall of the Epoch. Epoch, is a very Drudkh-like track, for the most part. Long, atmospheric passages, with screams here and there, it has a very Roman Saenko-esque riff structure, and a tone similar to what they've been doing since they began back in the early 2000s, although with slightly cleaner production than their early albums. It's a pretty straightforward "atmospheric black metal" song, with the occasional softer guitar passage to lead into a new riff, but that's not to say it isn't a *good* or unique track. It's certainly a great track that is a perfect way to announce that this is, in fact, a Drudkh record, as after this, it begins to fog itself.
From the beginning of "Towards the Light", it's possible to think Niege made a guest appearance. Even though Drudkh is partially known for keeping a rhythmic groove with its percussions, teamed together with the subdued guitar, it might call us back to some of the more "black metal" of Alcest's discography. Thurios manages to bring us back with his familiar screams, and the riff structure is, again, very much within Drudkh's vocabulary. And it goes on in typical Drudkh fashion, it continues to build and rest along, keep the atmosphere of Ukraine as it's point of focus, until a point about 5 minutes in, when things start to lean to that screamo/post-rock style I mentioned before. A solo guitar streaming arpeggios as a bass punctuates and a drum rolls in an upbeat, "un-black" groove. It's not entirely out of place here, in fact, it's a nice touch with the music. It may be a point where many Drudkh fans stop for a second, and question what they were thinking, but it's not an amateurish move, in the least. And they come back to a very Blood in our Wells type sound, adding a solo and building to a final minute of nice heavy black metal, a fitting end.
A similar feeling with the next, this one marked exactly 9 min., titled "Twilight Aureole", although this certainly does more to bring a Alcest-esque sound, in the beginning minutes. I have a feeling a large complaint will come from the second half of this, as around the 5:20 mark, we get, probably the most un-Drudkh moment of the album. A very "involved" riff comes in, not much like anything Saenko has done... ever. I almost have to say it sounds like, may get backlash from this,a very Opeth like section. It's a bit more technical with it's general sound, and the bass comes into much more of a contrasting riff against the guitar. It's not horribly out of place, but it is a bit different style than what we've been so used to. I'll hold off on calling this a bad track, but it's a low point of the album, imo, although the "solo" adds a very unique sound to the ending moments.
Another 9 min. track follows, much like the general flow of the album, with a slight more of a callback to "Downfall of the Epoch", I'd say, and then we get the closer. The minute long, mostly solo-guitar track, "Listening the the Silence", lets us off with a short passage reminiscent of their acoustic album, Songs of Grief and Solitude, a fitting end, letting us regroup with what the past 40+minutes had to offer us.
All in all, I'd say it's a successful album. It's not Forgotten Legends or The Swan Road but if this is a band trying to reinvent themselves, this isn't a bad way to go. I'd hate to see them evolve further into this direction, but maybe I'm wrong for pleading to "stagnation". Maybe it's just that they've perfected their sound, and now they need to expand it. Whatever they plan to do for the rest of their careers, I won't stand against them. As they've proved with Handful of Stars, they are a band that can still handle a little "experimentation".

myspace (label-run. Drudkh somewhat refuses press and basically all attention)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Los Campesinos! - Romance Is Boring/All's Well That Ends EP (2010)

Los Campesinos! come across as the UK's answer to their Arts & Crafts counterpart Broken Social Scene, with their 8-member cluster of multi-layered, catchy [indie] pop music. Their third album entitled Romance Is Boring sticks to a central theme of, surprise surprise, romance, with the familiar contrast of sad lyrics on upbeat music. The way in which lead singer and principle songwriter Gareth Campesinos! (try and find me their real surnames) exploits the less appealing aspects of love and intimacy is very upfront.

"The title track depicts exactly what its title would suggest. "You're pouting in your sleep, I'm waking still yawning; We're proving to each other that romance is boring". The resentment and frustration that recurs throughout the record becomes more prominent in 'We've Got Your Back', "And so fucking on, and so fucking forth; We've got your back, whatever that's worth". As the record progresses it becomes more confronting and explicit in its content. 'Straight in at 101' describes love seen from a frightened first-person perspective, "You pull your dress over your face, and I stare down towards my chest; Chastise both our greasy hair, wonder whose gut is the softest", while 'A Heart Rash...' describes love seen from a jealous onlooker watching two friends fall for each other, "The promised they'd be best of friends from now until forever; But both were far too needy not to fall for the other" "Her body barely visible, as bleach white as the bedsheets; As stiff as starched, only perceptible as her middle was still branded" "Walk out onto your front lawn and face into the rain; Shout into the wind this'll never be the same." The album closer, 'Coda', is somewhat of a submission and a way of letting go. The last lines "the first time, the last time, all the times i would've liked there to have been; I can't believe i chose the mountains every time you chose the sea..." Tells of someone who regrets the decisions they made towards someone they care about. It's the stage of acceptance that comes after regret and bitterness, which seem to be some recurring themes themes the record. Romance Is Boring can be seen as a concept album, telling one story after another while leaving room for reflection at the end; "I fall to my knees, my piss-soaked jeans; The first time, the last time, all the times in-between". It's an album of uncertainty, regret and misunderstanding.

All's Well That Ends is a 4-track EP containing alternate versions of 'Romance Is Boring', 'A Heart Rush...', 'Straight In At 101' and 'In Medias Res'. These different versions are more mellow and fitting to the mood of the lyrics. If you liked Romance Is Boring then give this a listen because it contrasts nicely and has an epilogue effect to it.

Romance Is Boring
Buy it

All's Well That Ends
Buy it

Friday, August 20, 2010

Arcn Templ - Emanations of a New World (2010)

Singapore based musicians Leslie Low and Vivian Wang, both from the obscure rock band, The Observatory, step from that project to form the strange Arcn Templ. They set to project a totally wild atmosphere, building a very naturalistic, world music like sound, with a spacey ambiance.
Certainly one of the most surprising albums I've come across this year, they harken back to some of the older experimentalists, names such as Igor Wakhevitch or Klaus Schulze. But even they didn't really bother too much with the kind of intertwining folk with their primarily spacey ambient music.

Kind of a sparse post, but I just want to get something up here. Plus, it's a fantastically simple album, in terms of it's general sound. I could certainly go through, listing different movements, and the sort of theoretical placement of them, but I think there is such a primal reaction to this. To go through and pick at every chord, every measure, it would ruin what is going on. I think I'll spare this release the trouble.

Buy (There are plenty of places to buy this, even Amazon, if you so choose. Forced Exposure happens to be a personal favorite, though)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

iLLy Mays EXCLUSIVE: "Go Home"

Posted on IGN earlier today as an, ahem, tribute to a certain new mod who's gotten off to a rough start. By rough, I mean this jerkoff has to go.

iLLy Mays - Go Home

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wale - More About Nothing Mixtape (2010)

They say I'm runnin hip-hop but I'd rather unify with yall then stampede

Due to the success of Wale's Mixtape About Nothing (2008) and his less than critically acclaimed album debut entitled Attention Deficit (2009), I wondered if Wale was starting a trend of progressively declining in quality and would eventually disappear off of the radar. Yeah I was shut up, and kind of glad about it.

This mixtape is Wale talking about life as realistically as he can. There is a lot of variety here and I'm not saying there is something for everyone, (if you don't like a a guy praising himself and talking about bitches a lot then this genre probably isn't for you) but he covers a great many topics and gives it to you straight, through his eyes.

Each song here tells its own story but together as a collection, they seem follow a few themes. At one point in time he'll be talking about being a workaholic and how that effects his relationships. Sometimes he'll get in his really chill and introspective mode and talk about the grand scheme of it all, why he gets up every morning and does what he does. And other times, he's just spittin' fire about living life in the fast lane and having a crazy good time doing it. This little review doesn't do him justice.

I'll even admit to being inspired by this guy's music. The song "The Power" really gives you a serious dose of that confidence stuff.

So all in all, do NOT let this mixtape sit around unlistened to cuz' well, in layman's terms, this shit is the hawt fiya. Peace.

Try it

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pylon - Chomp (1983)

I'll admit to it: I only checked this album out because I thought that was one of the most memorable covers I've seen. I knew nothing about the band or the fact that in the 80s, one of the most popular rock bands to ever exist, R.E.M., called Pylon "America's best band". Now, Pylon is known as one of the greatest underground bands of the 80s and at the forefront of the Athens, GA indie/pop movement.

They've been together three different times over 30+ years, from 1978-1983 to 1989-1991 (reformed to tour with R.E.M.) to 2004-now. The well-known venue in Athens, called the 40 Watt Club, got its name from a phrase the band used to describe the room lit by a single 40 watt light bulb.

If you're looking for a good 80s album, you've come to the right place.

Try it (apologies for Rapidshare link)
Buy it
Buy the re-release from 2009

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ida Maria- Fortress Round My Heart (2008)

Ida Maria Børli Sivertsen is a Norwegian rock musician who goes by her stage name Ida Maria. Now you probably wonder, why did I decide to seek out Ida Maria. Well it's kind of a funny story.

Ok for those of you who got the joke, give yourself a pat on the back. It all started when I saw the trailer for It's Kind Of A Funny Story. In the trailer was the song Oh My God by Ida Maria. I did not know this until I did some research. Hearing the full song, I was hooked. The lyrics were so simple but so infectious you can't help but sing along. "Oh my god, you think I'm in control? Oh my god, you think it's all for fun, Oh my god, you think I'm in control. Oh my god, you think it's all for fun". The album begins with Oh My God, this girl is definitely indie. This is an indie rock album. She has a wonderful voice in my opinion, probably due in part to her accent which with it , she still speaks perfectly good English. This is a wonderful album, it good clean fun along with some folk rock flair, some of these songs are stripped down acoustics. Overall a very good indie rock album from this Norwegian rocker. Now this is her only album, but I hope we get to hear from her again. Highlights of this album are Oh My God, Morning Light, and I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked. A great debut album for what should be a great career for Ida Maria.

Also look on youtube for a collaboration version of Oh My God she did with Iggy Pop.

Friday, August 13, 2010

O.A.D. - Daytona (1995)

Not exactly sure where to even begin with this one. From a number of Japanese musicians, including appearances from the ever-present experimentalists Otomo Yoshihide and Atsushi Tsuyama comes one of the most throughly freaked-out, deservedly experimental packages I've heard. While tipping in between different styles, this album rests upon the backbone of constant electronic wankery, although it is the most distorted backbone one could imagine. Throughout the album, production shifts to and fro, squeals wiggle inbetween frequencies, and harsh fuzz pounds in and out of the foreground, while guitars and saxophones fight to stay within beat. And upon this idea, those instruments throw some wild ideas. While mostly contained within that famous Japanese style of noise rock, they throw in cheeky versions of lounge jazz, a little funk, a little more of just about anything you could think of that would counteract the harshness of their electronics. The end result comes out as a musical equivalent of a creature straight out of David Cronenberg's head.

Not much info out there on this mutant of a music project. However, you could try the label this album released on, as they encourage you to "do an email"

LPC Mixtape Series Vol. 1, August 2010: Peter's First Tape

My poor attempt at a cover aside (I'll make a better one for September), this is a mixtape featuring fourteen songs picked by our writers that, from LPC's foundation in late June to now, have been some of their favorites.

We'll do one of these monthly, and the titles (and cover art) will become more creative every time. For now, we'll leave you with this.


1. Ruinzhatova - Trans-Europe Express
2. Small Black - Despicable Dogs
3. Electric Six - I Buy the Drugs
4. Svarti Loghin - Kosmik Tomhet
5. Panda Bear - Slow Motion
6. Dylan Ettinger & the Heat - Miami Heat (The Stakeout)
7. Freddie Gibbs - National Anthem (Fuck the World)
8. Joanna Newsom - Good Intentions Paving Company
9. Peter van Hoesen - Terminal
10. Crooked Necks - Poisoning the Seed
11. Oberhofer - o0Oo0Oo
12. Pan Sonic - Pan Finale
13. Eric Copeland - Fun Dink Death
14. Tennis - Marathon

Have fun.

Peter's First Tape

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Good Luck- Into Lake Griffy (2008)

Good Luck is a three piece band from Bloomington, Indiana who plays an incredibly noodly brand of pop-punk. The band is somewhat of an indie supergroup as all three members have earned modest followings in acts such as Abe Froman, One Reason, and Bodyhammer, among others. This experience has given them songwriting and chops superior to many of their college band counterparts.

There is an immediate charm to the music, starting with the X-like mixture of male and female vocals. The nasally voice of singer/guitarist Matt Tobey and the more powerful voice of singer/bassist Ginger Alford split the vocal duties about evenly, both lead and back-up. The songs themselves are outstanding. They’re anthemic without being grandiose. They’re fast without being angry. They’re poppy without being weak. Many of them seem to have been written with a live performance in mind. The way the vocals and music hit together during the choruses of “How to Live Here” and “Hey Matt” is just begging for DIY kids to pump their fists with each beat. But you don’t have to see them live to believe Matt Tobey when he sings, “Oh the feeling/It’s burning up to the ceiling/When the band plays everyone’s favorite song.” Little of the energy is lost on these recordings.

The most prominent figure on this album is the guitar of Matt Tobey. It is the first and last sound you hear and it doesn’t let up anywhere in between. From the unique melodic tapping of “Man on Fire” to the noodly “West Side Ride” (yes it is necessary to use that word multiple times in describing this band) to the outro solo of “1001 Open Hands” the guitar is on the forefront of the instrumental side of the music. But that’s not to say the other members don’t contribute. Ginger Alford has a knack for knowing exactly when to shift her attention from rhythm to melody and drummer Mike Harpring’s jazzy style always matches the intensity of the music.

Into Lake Griffy
is an accessible album that anybody who appreciates punk can enjoy on first listen, but the songs are just nuanced enough to stay fresh. I’ve been listening to this pretty solidly for almost a year straight and I’m not even close to being bored. Do yourself a favor and give Good Luck a listen.

Try it.
Buy it.

Julian Casablancas - Phrazes for the Young (2009)

If you’re expecting this to sound like The Strokes, you’re in for a surprise. Frontman Julian Casablancas’ solo debut, Phrazes for the Young, has none of the lo-fi, riff-driven classic rock characteristics that his band is well known for. What Julian does retain is that recipe he has for making simple, catchy pop music. Phrazes for the Young makes use of heavier bass, keyboards and synthesizers, combined with hints of Strokes-like guitar licks and basic drum beats, while also experimenting with slower, more mellow music using more instruments and sound-techniques. If First Impressions of Earth was an expansion of The Strokes’ sound, then Julian’s done the right thing by making his solo album something different altogether.

The 40-minute, 8-track album kicks off with the 2 most Stroke-esque songs on the album, , ‘Out of the Blue’ and ‘Left & Right in the Dark’, a couple of happy-sounding songs with catchy backbeats, faint guitar-licks and lyrics about women troubles. They’re enjoyable songs for what they are, enjoyable enough not to skip past anyway. The album starts to hit its stride with the lead single ‘11th dimension’, a song about accepting your identity with a central theme of isolation. Julian tries to get a bit deeper with the lyrics on this song, but it coincides nicely with the song’s uplifting nature. Phrazes also does well to add some more expansive and slower elements to the album towards the end, with tracks like ‘Glass’ and ‘Tourist’ incorporating multi-instrumentation into some rather beautiful segments of music.

Phrazes for the Young is a very well balanced album, with an even split of catchy pop songs and mellow undertones. Julian has done well to vary up the sound and tone of the album while preventing it from dragging on too long. The album is nothing amazing or unique, but it’s a solid first effort for a solo record and he’s made a fair effort to establish his range as a songwriter.

Try It
Buy It

Monday, August 9, 2010

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - F♯A♯∞ (1998)

"The car's on fire and there's no driver at the wheel, and the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides, and a dark wind blows. The government is corrupt, and we're on so many drugs, with the radio on and the curtains drawn. We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death. The sun has fallen down, and the billboards are all leering, and the flags are all dead at the top of their polls."

If one were to picture the apocalypse, this album would be their soundtrack. This is the kind of music you listen to while reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Dark, somber, and hauntingly beautiful, the music that G.Y.B.E. has crafted defies categorization, using sounds, lifting string sections, voices, and musique concrete to create a compelling sonic landscape that will send chills down your spine. My favorite parts of the album are probably the spoken word monologues, especially the one on Dead Flag Blues. It’s touching and almost unsettling. The band plays like a mini-orchestra; the guitars, violins, and percussion working together as an organic part of one collective unit. The music itself is full of calm, eerie silences followed by loud crescendos that can creep up on you unexpectedly. The three songs are split up into multiple movements, each movement musically separate from the other but emotionally fluid. Turn off your lights, play this album, and crank the music up LOUD.

Try It

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Static Age- I/O (2009)

The Static Age are a post-punk band from Burlington, Vermont consisting primarily of Andrew Paley and Adam Meilleur. they got their name from a Misfits album. I/O starts with Damages and it's nice from beginning to end. It has an 80's feel to it from the synthesizer to the electronic beats and dripping effects. The repeating of the words "they will keep you safe" could send chills down your spine. We then transits to Already Dead, an almost Phil Collins reject song, the vocals and lyrics are soft and the style it has, it made me think of Phil Collins. Now if that's a good thing or bad thing is up for interpretation. Overall I really enjoyed this album but it's almost more of an EP with only 6 songs on the album roughly over 4 mins each equaling out to about 25 mins.

Going forward Daughters and Sons takes a new direction, the guitar sounds change and we lose some of that electronic feeling but the vocals are still soft and echoing. The chorus is the real strength of this song. it just brings the song together. These Days is next up and is another solid song. It has more of an old school rock meets new school alt rock feel. I really liked this song as well and it sticks with the 80's vibe of the album as well. Closing of the Year is probably one of the best songs of the album. It's just a mellow delicate song, Andrew Paley really brings this song together with his vocals. Rorschach, the albums closer is another Phil Collins esque song in it's style and execution, it's the perfect closer for this album. The Static Age are a very good band and I really enjoyed reviewing this album. Whatever they're doing, it's working for them. I/O is a great example of what post punk should be. I look forward to what the Static Age has for future endeavors.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Air Formation - Daylight Storms (2007)

Shoegaze is quickly becoming one of my favorite genres of music. The slow, gentle singing is not only relaxing, but in a way it's very absorbing, almost like its taking you into another world. Air Formation is no different. Their soothing lullaby grabs you in a way almost comparable to how Slowdive had stretched out on our couches drifting between sleep and consciousness back in 1993 with their sophomore effort. Air Formation is an English shoegaze and space rock band. The band's rich, vivid sound will literally leave you feeling "Adrift" which is the title of one of the better songs on the album. The opener "Cold Morning" is a slow lull that leaves you with that hungry feeling you get when you want to hear more. That hunger lasts all the way through to the final track, a bass ridden departure from the album that leaves you excited for the band's next LP.

Try It
Buy It
Last.fm | Official Site | Myspace

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Johnson&Jonson - Powders&Oils (2008)

(Wtf is up with the red baby...)

How ya doing everybody. My name is Coreo, and I'm a brand new contributor to this fine establishment. I hope to be here for awhile and steer some people in kool new directions. On that lovely note...

Johnson and Jonson is the name of the hip hop duo consisting of the critically acclaimed underground rapper named Blu and the producer Mainframe. Blu has always seemed to win me over with his powerful and sometimes humorous lyrics and this time it's no different. For a long album like this (clocking in at 21 tracks) there aren't that many filler tracks so you definitely want to give this a listen.

According to HipHopDX, Blu is unveiling his unreleased album "Her Favorite Col(u)r" and his most recent project "TheGodLeeBarnes LP" is being packaged with it. The release date is August 24th so be on the lookout.

Try it

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Boris - Akuma no Uta (2003)

Boris is a brutal delicacy, that rare concoction that does all things for all people. If everyone knew it and consumed it in extremis, though, it would stop being a delicacy, right? Oh well, everyone else's loss. _Akuma No Uta_ is a drop-dead masterpiece, from the punishing drone of the opener to the gong-inititiated reprise of the intro on the last song, the title track (translated as "The Evil Song.") They can do it all and just about better than all the competition:
--Sludge? I don't hear anyone who can blend a blaring punk melody with sludge in such a truly sickly-sweet manner as Boris does on their upbeat tracks;
--Drone? To say the least, but that doesn't stop them from rocking like mad when they choose to push their own boundaries.
--Psychedelic? Believe me, when you turn _Akuma No Uta_ up as loud as you need to, there are few more mind-and-body-altering experience than this one (really your body churns!!!);
--Punk? Yeah . . . we can call this band punk as fuck. To those who like their music in boxes and think that punk as fuck means the latest Exploited retread, well, Boris is too punk for you. For the rest of us, Boris may be the band who can cash in on the late, great Refused's promise of _The Shape of Punk to Come_. Like the Refused, Boris takes any style and makes it their own in their awe-inspiring music machine (minus the jazziness of the Nordic screamers, but plus the sludge, drone, psychedelia, etc. . . .). Also like the Refused, Boris are forward-looking, taking the listener on a gleeful death ride that leaves you absolutely free. It doesn't get more punk than that, kids.
When you take into account that Boris are Japanese and rock harder and better than pretty much any of us in the Anglo world, it's clear to see where our eyes should be turning to discover where the future of rock lay. I realize that I've talked them up more than I've reviewed the songs, but words can hardly describe. I'll just say that it compares 100% favorably with their newest opus _Pink_, just more succinct. Oh, did I mention they play their instruments to within an inch of their literal existences? (I don't think I've heard an amp abused as much as on _Akuma No Uta_). Wata is one wicked, original, and visceral guitarist. I could go on and on, but I'm just gonna let you buy this album; wait for it to come in the mail; put it on your stereo's highest setting (jack up the bass!!!); and feel your perception, and hence your life, change.

Try it

Twin Sister - Color Your Life (2010) [EP]

This New York 5 piece have recently been making a name for themselves by making dreamy, funk influenced pop music. Building off their debut EP Vampires With Dreaming Kids the latest EP from Twin Sister is a breezy collection of 6 great tracks. The lead vocalist of the band, Andrea Estella, has that classic whisperery, ethereal voice that some may say is essential to a dream pop band. One of the unique qualities that Twin Sister possesses is a blend of styles, funky, psychedelic, dreamy, they are a hybrid band and with each song they seem to be getting closer and closer to mastering their sound, which only means that the hype surrounding their debut album should be sky high. The EP starts with The Other Side Of Your Face which builds from distortion to beauty over the course of 7 minutes, it is the EP's longest track. Next is the fantastic one-two punch of Lady Daydream and Milk & Honey, both equally majestic and one might even say confident. Then the highlight of the EP, and perhaps one of the best songs of the year All Around and Away We Go, which is basically the bees knees, great for 4 am listening, and I could see it being pretty nice on the dance floor. The EP closes Galaxy Plateau, a song that is probably the EPs low point, it could be seen as filler and there should be none of that on an EP, however the last song Phenomenons more than makes up for the brief misstep, it's a great closer and about as poppy as Color Your Life gets. All in all this is a damn good EP chalk full of beautiful moments, and is perfect for late summer nights.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Alkaline Trio- This Addiction (2010)

This Addiction, Can't Seem To Live Without You, This Addiction, Now Going Clean. This is in the chorus of the album's title song This Addiction. This Addiction is Alkaline's Trio follow up to Agony & Irony. This album is a better effort to match Alkaline Trio's older work. It's a solid album. This Addiction is Alkaline Trio's seventh album. It's from there new label Heart & Skull in collaboration with Epitaph Records. The albums gains inspiration from the band's personal lives. The album takes on love, addiction, death, drugs, divorce, grief, suicide, politics, and war.

Once again this is a solid album especially in the punk rock genre. This is also Alkaline Trio's highest ranked album reaching #11 on the Billboard 200. Highlights of this album for me include the opener and song for the album's title. One of my favorite line's comes right in the opening. Matt Skiba sings this line 'You hit me just like heroin, I feel you coursing through my veins, I once tried to kick this addiction, I swear I'll never kick again, won't ever kick again, no." Later on the song he sings "Well those others were like methadone". You realize this song is about love and how your love can be an addiction and when you move to a new love, it's like a new drug. His Wife was heroin but compared to her, the others are like methadone. My favorite song has to be The American Scream which is actually about suicide. The chorus is what really gets me. "And that's where they found me, in the cemetery, a smoking gun in my hand now, I'm damned for the land of the free, sing with me, the american scream". It's such a beautiful song when you hear it. The final song I'd like to highlight is Off The Map, where Dan sings about rowing his boat back to shore. It's really good. Check this album out. For Your Health.

JJ Grey & Mofro - Orange Blossoms (2008)

Do you like soulful, blues-eqse music with a bit of a funky and country twang? What? You don't? Well, you're missing out then. If you do, then this one might be for you.

JJ Grey is the lead singer for the band hails from Florida; Jacksonville, to be precise. One listen to a few of their songs and you will realize right away that they love the state they are from.

Although not as prominent on this particular album (pictured above), the band talks about a myraid of things including small towns in Florida, how the state is being overrun and turned into a concrete jungle, and how Grey craves to return to the days of open swampland, cane fields, hot summers, and carefree fun and frivolity.

They have a few other albums out including a new album dropping August 24th that have all been fantastic up to this point; however, whenever I yearn to listen to their music I seem to gravitate more towards this album for some strange reason.

The opening track, "Orange Blossoms," talks about love and what people will do for it when they are young. Promises are made about never forgetting that one person's name, but, as the song says, years later, that name is forgotten. "Everything Good is Bad," is another great tune that Grey sells well. "The Truth," is a slower track that really accentuates Grey's voice, which fits the tone of band's sound perfectly.

JJ Grey's lead vocals really sell the feelings about the topics he chooses to sing about; it's sincere and refreshing. It's almost a throwback in a way. You can just imagine him sitting on a front porch somewhere in the middle of the Everglades just jammin' out and singing his true emotions on whatever comes to mind.

The River Empires - Epilogue (2010)

As a kid, I always had something against Bluegrass music. I believe that stems from my 2nd Grade teacher and his habit of playing musicians like Doc Watson or The Dillards. Because of that I never really explored the genre, let alone go out of my way to buy something from it. However, this album changed my view on the genre as a whole.

The River Empires is a Bluegrass & Cinematic sideproject, created by members Jessy Ribordy and Josh Shroy of the Post-Grunge band Falling Up, with a little help from Casey Crescenzo from The Dear Hunter. The album has a sort of Illinois feel to it in a way that its a folkish sort of album that sounds slow and beautiful for the most part, with a few points of interest such as "A Toast To The Snake King" where the pace really picks up. Even as a 1 and half hour long album it manages to keep your attention the entire way through. It hardly seems as long as you'd originally think. The album is part of a series of albums covering the films The River Empires 1, 2, and 3 (Which I believe are yet to be made). However this, as the title suggests is the epilogue to the albums. It has a reflective kind of feel which adds to the feel and beauty of the album, and it inevitably sucks you into the story. The thing that might stand out the most to you though, is its lack of guitar. Throughout most of the album the main instruments you'd hear will be the piano and drums, but it doesn't really detract from it's sound, in fact it's sparse guitar work adds more to it's sound. Casey also plays a huge role in that sound, as you can in hear his influence of every damn track. Solid album as a whole, with stand out tracks like "Overture In Thales Summer" and "The Marching Of The Clocks", the latter of which is probably the highlight of the album.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Cruyff in the Bedroom - Saudargia (2008)

And another shogaze post. Much like the circumstances of their formation, Cruyff in the Bedroom has a lot of field to play with here. Formed in the year of Japan was announced to host a World Cup and named after soccer/football legend Johan Cruyff, this Japanese band, although certainly encapsulating the thick atmosphere that defines shoegaze, does a lot to try to create a sound that works as their own. While this album is certainly dominated by the fuzzy guitars and walls of sound, there are plenty of moments to lose those shackles. Frequently they slide to a softer soothing sound, occasionally they add somewhat of an "electric rock" feel or maybe falling towards Shibuya-kei, and with the very good Hakuchume, as well as it's following song, a section of orchestrated strings bring a welcome change.
A bit interesting shoegaze album, and there are certainly some nice tracks abound. I definitely feel that the standout is comes from the third track, Hakuchume, as it starts with hectic, fuzzy guitars and it falls into lush strings, but this is an album with several very strong tracks, ranging from fuzzy pop hits to wonderfully executed shoegazing that we all know.

Secret Shine - Untouched (1993)

Someone on the boards asked for shoegaze, so I thought I'd oblige. Not much to say here really. Mostly just another band that rides the wave of early 90 shoegaze artists. There is a certain amount of room for character, however, and I think they do well to fill that space, without cheapening the sound. They do, however, add more of a unique sound with their latest release, All of the Stars

Also, look out for their next album, dropping this year. Maybe I'll post it on here.

Current 93 - Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain (2009)

Through his musical project, Current 93, David Tibet has become known over the years for his visionary songs of the apocalypse. Perhaps inspired by his split-EP with Om, Tibet has embraced a much heavier sound than his previous work, echoing both the genres of doom metal and stoner metal. This new direction that Tibet has taken his band in has also created their most unique, unpredictable, and powerful release yet. Tibet sings of Aleph (an Adam-like character), murder, and destruction as a huge cast of musicians and vocalists create a backdrop worthy of his vision.

The lineup for this album proves to be one of the best yet for the band . Layers and layers of guitars, feedback, and distorted vocals play while Bill Breeze’s viola and John Contreras’ cello sound almost regal amidst the grinding fuzz that the rest of the group are pouring out. Doom metal riffs and face-melting blasts of guitar solos take center stage later in the album. This is probably the first time I've felt like air guitaring to a Current 93 song. Intense, exhausting, and filled with emotion, Tibet proves his genius once again with Aleph.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Univers Zero - Clivages (2010)

It's been thirty-two years since the RIO (Rock in Opposition) movement began from the minds of the England-based Henry Cow. Under their festival created for their ideas, they invited 5 other bands from around the continent under the tagline of "5 bands the record labels don't want you to hear", and, among those names, was the 4 year old, Belgian chamber group Univers Zero. Spearheaded by drummer Daniel Denis and influenced by Bela Bartok, Igor Stravinsky as well as jazz and rock bands of the day, Univers Zero led themselves into a unique place as one of the most complex, dark bands with as sound explained as "If Stravinsky had a rock band, it would sound like [Univers Zero]...".
And now, over 30 years later, they're continuing that sound. With Clivages, Daniel and his band take us back to the wild days of RIO while managing to still keep things fresh. The dense sound-scapes are still there, and 57 year old Denis can still crash or dance depending on the mood. As horns float, bass grooves and strings flutter, his drums steady the frantic rhythm, keeping the upbeat sound in tact, and when shredding guitars enter, and those basslines begin to chug as the strings get more and more dense, that steady drum track turns into a flurry of crashes and rolls. This, however, should not be confused for an improvisational cacophony. This group of composers has meticulously planned each and every movement from their competent hands. Nothing is out of place and there are no mis-steps. As all the sounds come together, you get the perfect sense of what this band wants to create, and what they have been creating for 30+ years.
This is consistency at it's highest form. It's a considerable achievement to create an album like this even once. Even as they did in the seventies when they were 20somethings just entering the scene and creating a sound of your own. And it's an achievement to make an album with this ferocity when you're reaching your sixties, ages that they may have seen as passed the age of rock and noise. Univers Zero has done each of those, and everything in between, and this certainly show no signs of a loss of the same opposition they were a part of so long ago.