Saturday, June 4, 2016

Vol. 7 Episode 2

Star Wars score fans should be excited for the new hologram vinyl for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It is a double vinyl set with a tie-fighter on one and the Melinum Falcon on the other. As it spins it is supposed to give a 3D holographic 360 degree look at each ship. It can be preordered and you can watch a video on the concept at the Disney soundtrack page.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are going to be a part of a new project called Sounds Delicious from Turntable Kitchen. The project is a subscription service where a band or artist covers an entire album. The project is trying to get funding through Kickstarter right now with 26 days still to go. The goal is $20,000 and they are at $14,833 right now. It has not been clear what the order the releases are going to be but I am taking a chance that The Pains will be the first release.

Here we go...

It has only been a couple of years since this groups first album came out. It was a great fuzzed out shoegaze sound that for the most part was very slow and beautiful. On their second outing, the band has not really changed directions. The music is just as mesmerizing but I think that the difference on this album is that they have upped the tempo on about a third of the songs. This gives me the desire to tap my feet/making me feel good while listening to this album. Maybe I just really like what is on this album. There have been multiple different vinyl color pressings put out for this album. All of the colors that I know about are as follows: Black, Baby Pink / Bone White, Electric Blue, Olive Green, Blue Inside Milky Clear, Baby Blue / Bone White Merge, Blood Red, Grey, Orange Krush, Clear.

The album starts off with the track Fever Queen. It is a faster paced track that instantly locks you into what will be happening on the record. When the verse finally kicks in the music doesn’t slow down as much as the vocals instantly drag, slowing the song down. It makes a faster paced song become something warm and lovely. This is defiantly a favorite on the album.

The single from the album is called ACD (Abcessive Compulsive Dissorder). It is a classic styled male vocal shoegaze song. It is a song that you can lose yourself in and listen to over and over again and just mellow out to. I could listen to this album and easily fall asleep to it. It doesn’t need to be loud to get what is going on sonically on the album let alone this single.

I was very surprised to hear the song Everyone Is Happy. What really surprised me about this song is that the rhythm guitar is an acoustic. It gives a different flavor to the standard shoegaze music. I think that it enhances the genre. It is not that I haven’t heard shoegaze groups use an acoustic guitar but that it doesn’t happen very often and when it does it always seems to be something special.

Shoegaze music has always been associated with the wall of sound idea and full of noise. I think that this album proves the opposite is true. There is noise but it doesn’t need to be loud to be shoegaze. This is a wonderfully beautiful album.

This is a limited, 300 units pressed, 7” released on Night School records. This is the solo effort put out by Roxanne Clifford, guitarist/vocalist for one of my favorite bands; Veronica Falls (VF). I like VF so much that I have been trying to follow each of the members’ side projects. I was excited to hear that Roxanne had been working on something new.

The A side is called The Church. This song has a serious early 90s/late 80s feel to it. This is kind of a thing that has been happening I guess, the 90s revival thing that is. I really wanted to like the track but it just isn’t working for me. I think it could have been a great song if it had been arranged differently. I am not going to say that I could have done it better because what I come up with could be complete garbage but I do think that it could have been done differently and been something really single worthy.

The B side is done in the same style but with no drums and stripped back a bit more, for me just not all that interesting. I get what she was going for but it did not work for me on either tracks.

This is a new band on Slumberland Records. Slumberland actually turned me on to them before this release and I was able to get a live/demo cassette of the music that would be coming out from them in the future. I have to say I am expecting some great things from this group in the future.

The A side, Ariana, is a great song that has lovely chorus sound on the guitars and beautiful female vocals that flow so perfectly together. This is a song that I had already heard on the cassette. This is a song that I like and it becomes even better with this studio version. It is fuller than the live version and this is why I am expecting great things from this group. A live version is great but moving a song to the studio will do amazing things for a song and a group as a whole.

The B side, All That Heaven Allows, is a new song for me. I expected something great though with how Ariana sounded. I was not let down at all. This song sounded like a track that Bleached could have done if they were from the UK. It was fun, blissfull and above all else a great rock song.

I like this group a lot and want to hear more from them, very excited about this group!

This is the new single from Beck, digital only at this point. This is an interesting R&B/rap track from an upcoming album. The album still doesn’t have a title or an official release date but Beck is thinking it will be released this fall. This is a lot of time between the release of this single and an upcoming album with a vague release of the fall. This is not a strong track too. The rhythm part of this song is a sliding synth flute sound that sounds so lame and sickly. I really hope there will be a stronger single released to keep fans interested. This is nothing like last summers big hit from beck called Dreams. 

This is all I have for now...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Vol. 7 Episode 1

It’s back!  I am going to start writing again. After a year off to play video games and just take my mind off of life for a bit, which ended up being a year plus, I am back and excited to get into this again.  I have changed jobs and sleep schedules but more importantly Radiohead have a new album and have released two singles from it!

There has been a fourth pressing of the first and second singles from the Man or Astro-Man? album, Defcon 54321, in a purple splatter. I misunderstood the tweet that I read from Chunklet and bought all three singles again thinking that all three were in purple splatter but to my surprise the third one came in clear with black streaks. I have only seen one other record that was clear with black streaks and that was a special version for a fellow blogger. I have no idea on the rarity of something like this or if it is even worth anything. I think it is still unique and it will not be leaving my collection.

Anyway, here we go…

This is the new album from Radiohead. There are a few different formats available to purchase. There are the standard versions; Vinyl, CD and DL (WAV and MP3) along with the special versions; a box set of vinyl, CD and DL (Your choice of WAV or MP3). There is also a colored vinyl edition that was only available through record stores. The special edition also comes with a second CD with two additional tracks and a section of tape from recordings that range from Kid A to The King of Limbs. The tape is a length of ¾ of a second. They are cutting this tape up because it is degrading and it is cool to give this kind of thing to the fans.

This new album is very warm but very depressing. There are eleven tracks on this, their ninth album. Some of them are old songs made new and some are completely new songs.  I think that all 11 of these songs have been live tested all the way back to OK computer/Kid A eras. The first single, Burn The Witch will be talked about below with the 7” record for the single. The second single is Daydreaming. It is a soft song that reminds me of the songs that are used on the 70s summer camp movies when the lead roll takes a walk in the woods to reflect. I usually dislike these slow songs but Radiohead seems to find the right sounds in a slow song that still makes me happy.

I really like the track Identikit. The song reminds me of something from Kid A. I really like that album and this track sounds as if it is pulled directly from that album and made just a little bit more current. There are not really any electronic sounds on this track to make me think Kid A but it is more the way that the vocals flow.

My other favorite is this studio version of True Love Waits. I really liked this song the way it was presented on I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings. This version was with Thom singing and playing the acoustic guitar. I was afraid that they would make this new studio version something that I would hate. I was happy to find that this was not the case. The song was slowed down and the acoustic guitar was replaced with a piano playing arpegiated notes. I actually like that the song is slowed down from what I remember. It almost becomes an adult lullaby. It is such a depressing song but I always feel so happy when I listen to it on both versions of the song.

I am very excited to get my hands on this album but the special version doesn’t come out until September. As a consolation if you get the special version you get instant access to the download. I did also get the colored record store copy that will be released June 17th. I will also probably get the CD too.

Radiohead – Burn The Witch
This is the new 7” that has been put out for the new album, A Moon Shaped Pool. This record was only released in record stores world wide.  There were only 2500 pressed. I was lucky enough to get a copy from my favorite record store. The record did come with a download but, unlike most records that I have gotten in the recent past, there was not a card included in the sleeve. The download information was printed on the inside of the sleeve.  Like most Radiohead things that have been put out there was a special web page to get the download.

The A side is Burn The Witch. This song uses a string section as the rhythm part. The strings played staccato notes all the way through the song and tension grows all the way to the end through that part of the music. Thom’s vocals soar through the chorus as he sings the title of the song. The bass is a standard saw tooth wave that sounds so cool with the organic sounds from the strings section. I truly is a wonderful weave of classic sounds and new electronic sounds.

The B side is the song Spectre. This song was composed and intended to be used with the last James Bond movie of the same name. It was not chosen so the band decided to put it out for the fans. This song was originally released before the new album, A Moon Shaped Pool. One could get it as a download through the Radiohead Soundcloud page. I did get it as soon as I heard it was available. This 7” is the only way to get a physical copy of this song at this point. The song itself is fantastic, slow and very emotional feeling. I thought it was perfect for the opening credits of the movie, Spectre, until I saw the song put to the credits. The credits are done in two colors, blueish grey and gold. I found that the song didn’t work for me when the gold color was present. I have an idea as to what I would change but that is not for me to change. It is still a great song on its own and that is probably why they released the song anyway.

Lush – Blind Spot 
This is the first release from Lush since Topilino back in 1996 which was more of a B side compilation. That is 20 years since the last release from Lush (I am not counting the best of compilations though). I found out about this EP late though that I didn’t get a signed copy. There were 200 copies of this EP on vinyl that the band had signed and was put up for sale on their web page.  I am disappointed that I missed out on this but at the same time I am happy that I have a copy on vinyl. This EP was also released on CD and as DL. 

There are four tracks on this EP and the first track, Out of Control, was released as the single. I really like this song as it soars and takes its time to tell the story of teenage love. It is like the group didn’t have that big gap in time because this track sounds like it was written right after Scar in the early 90s. The song is absolute Shoegaze perfection. It is not that loud noisy shoegaze, it is wonderful soft and smooth with beautiful female vocals.

The other three tracks on this EP are very similar sonicly but don’t quite have that special something that would make them a single in their own rite. I will say that this is a great EP if you wanted to get into the shoegaze genre.

This is the latest release from The Pains. It was originally released as a DL only. It was later released in Europe for Record Store Day as a 7” EP on black vinyl with two tracks and an additional two tracks with the DL. It was also released as a CD in Japan a bit after the original release but before Record Store Day with a couple of demo tracks that were both tracks that I had never heard. My point is that if you have gotten the CD and the 7” you would wind up with six new tracks. The 7” will be released later this year on ox blood (dark red) and black splatter vinyl for the US.

The title track, Hell, was the single. I think this is a good song but lacked the something that made it a great single like Simple and Sure or Until The Sun Explodes from the previous album.

What I really liked was the cover of the James song Laid. It changed the male vocals for female and used more distortion than the original or at least a different version of distortion giving the song a slightly different flavor. I find this version so much more pleasing than the original just to imagine a lesbian relation ship. It fits so perfectly. If James heard this cover I could only imagine that they would be happy too.

I like this EP but the way that it was released was a little abnormal.  There wasn’t a standard CD release and it was kind of a surprise with the Record Store Day release being only in Europe and a later US release (7/29/16) on Creep Records. The US release will have four tracks as opposed to the two track European RSD release. 

This is all that I have for the come back episode...

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Break Time

If you haven't already guessed, I am putting this project on temporary hiatus. I have put five plus years into this and am feeling a bit burnt out. I enjoy it but need a break. There is still lots of music coming to my door so there is no shortage of music to write about but I may be a bit more infrequent to post, as you may have already seen.

Thanks for all your support if you gave any,


P.S. I do have some really great stuff that I want to write about so there may be a post coming up soon anyway.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 12.5

OK Go at First Ave in Minneapolis MN on April 2nd, 2015.

There was supposed to be an opening act but they canceled about a week prior to the show. I got an email that they had canceled. I thought that was fine because that meant more time with OK Go.

The doors opened at 7PM. I think we got there a little after 7. OK Go was supposed to take the stage at 8:30 because the opening band had canceled. Apparently there was a technical issue that they were working on and they didn’t take the stage until 9.

This was OK because we always go over the merchandise booth to check out what was for sale. We went over there and saw that the only thing out were t-shirts and tote bags. There was a piece of cardboard that had items and prices on the table. It did list CDs and vinyl on the cardboard but they were not out at the time. I was a little disappointed because I wanted to pick up a CD. I have all of their albums on CD and all albums that have been pressed on vinyl, not all of there albums have been pressed on vinyl. I was lucky enough to get in on their Pledge Music campaign and got their latest album on vinyl signed by the group. Anyway, the new album or any other music they may have had for sale was not out when I was at the merch booth so I didn’t get anything.

When the band finally got ton stage there was this cool montage that played where they took lots of different clips from movies over the years where actors said the words OK and or Go. It was really cool and at the end of it Kermit the Frog introduces the group. They started with the hard hitting Upside Down & Inside Out. They were playing behind a white sheet. There was some cool video being played on the sheet of each of their heads singing the song with digital distortion. It was a lot of fun.

I was surprised to learn that they used two bass guitars on the song The Writing’s On The Wall. I always liked it for the Joy Division/New Order sound that they achieved. I know that the sound originated with the bass and certain pedals that Peter Hook used but OK Go have somewhat side stepped this with the use of two bass guitars. It is a creative way to get the job done but that also means that there is no guitar in the song as Damian is making the synth sounds happen while he is singing. Either way it is still a great song that I love for the heavy influences of Joy Division/New Order.

After the song I Want You So Bad Damian told us a story about the first single that changed his life, Herbie Hancock – Rocket, then an even shorter story about Prince – Purple Rain. Last we had a little question and answer session because of the technical issue, this was resolved fairly quickly and then they went on to play Obsession.

I really like the song Obsession because of the synth drums that are distorted. As they played the song they had over emphasized the synth bass part on this live version and it totally took be by surprise. It was amazing how that bass sound rolled through the crowd. It made my pants vibrate with the sound but it didn’t go through my chest. In my experience a low blast like that would roll through my whole body. This was somehow directed only at the lower half of my body. I don’t know how it worked out that way but it was unique and made the low bass more tolerable.

The song There’s A Fire was done in a very cool way. I had actually seen a live clip of this song being played and knew this was going to happen this way but, they asked the crowd to help make the drum machine sounds for the song. They asked us to make the bass drum, the snare and both the hi-hat open and closed sounds. We couldn’t seem to get the closed right, someone kept screaming, so Damian made the sound for that part instead. The other instruments were tiny synth boxes that were so cute. The song ended up being a very stripped down version from what the studio version is.

Next, the band left the stage except for Damian. He came into the crowd with just an acoustic guitar. He played the song Last Leaf. It was very difficult to hear him as he did not come out with a mic. The guitar was plugged in though. He played half of the song to one side of the crowd and then turned to the other side of the crowd so they could hear the other half. It was very cool and very intimate.

I really liked the cover of Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog. They sounded near perfection to the studio version that Led Zeppelin recorded way back in 1971. The difference, of course, is that they are doing a cover and that some of the sections are stretched out. I was taken aback by the detail in the lead guitar part. It was so detailed and not sloppy at all. I know that every kid who has picked up a guitar has played this song in Guitar Center and I have heard many renditions just being in that store. The version that they played during this concert was so much better, clear cut perfection.

The first song from the encore was A Million Ways. The group came out in white suits and lip synced/danced to the song. They recreated the dance they did for the video of the song. I was so cute and funny at the same time. If you want to see what they did then you can check out the video for the song on YouTube.

For White Knuckles the backlights were turned on and suddenly their white suits were glowing brilliant colors. It was pure genius and took the whole crowd by surprise. It was an easy way to make a great song even better.

They then played the latest single I Won’t Let You Down. It was a great rendition of the song. I wasn’t let down by the song but I have seen the video so much, my two year old loves the video, that I almost expected to see them do something with umbrellas while they played the song. That is just my problem though. The song was still sung perfectly.

Set List:
OK Go Montage
Upside Down & Inside Out
You’re So Damn Hot
The Writing’s On The Wall
I Want You So Bad I Can't Breathe
This Too Shall Pass
There’s A Fire
Last Leaf
I’m Not Through
Get Over It
The One Moment
Do What You Want
Cover: Led Zeppelin – Black Dog
Turn Up The Radio

OK Go Video Montage
A Million Ways (Lip Sync/Dance)
White Knuckles
I Won’t Let You Down
Here It Goes Again

Vol. 6 Episode 12

If you're in PA, Decyfer Down will be playing City Rock Fest this year.

The Faith No More album will be delayed in the US for pressing issues.

You can catch the in studio performance from OK Go now on The Current web page.

Here we go...

This is the eighth album for Death Cab For Cutie. It was released on March 31, 2015 on Atlantic Records. The album was put out on CD, Vinyl, Cassette and DL. I pre-orderd the vinyl edition and received the colored version with one solid gold and one white record. There were only 5000 made of the records in white and gold though. I am happy that I got the colored version still. The D side, it is a double LP with only three sides being used, is etched with the most minimal etch I have ever seen. The Etch is of the outline of the cover graphic and the name of the album underneath the outline. In my opinion, if your going to do an etch, make it extravagant. The whole graphic is in black and white. The etch could have been of all the black parts. It would have been a lot more substance. On the other hand it is the same graphic that was put on the CD as well.

There have been four singles released from the album already. all were digital only singles though. I always find this disappointing as I like to track down the B sides. At the same time, because bands are releasing the singles digitally it usually means that there will be an EP released later with what would be the B sides from a new album.

The first single from the album is Black Sun. When the song was released the official video wasn’t ready so the record company released a lyric video and later released the official video. The song has a good beat with not so overwhelming drums. The guitar part is what has me on the fence though. the guitar part is picked notes. I feel like I want to hear whole chords being played with distortion. Instead, I am getting mostly picked fragile notes. It is not until the last third of the song that I get to hear what I want and that is just in the bridge and it is gone. I want to hear more of that sound on this track and it isn’t there enough for me. It is still a beautiful song and I am glad to have it in my collection.

The second single from the album is called No Room In Frame. The song starts off kind of slow with some odd noises. Ben’s vocals come in with a simple guitar part. The drums come in and the song falls into a smooth beat that feels nice. The song slowly builds into something that is warm and fuzzy like a teddy bear clutched to a child's chest. The song isn’t over bearing but instead wants to be your next love. It is sweet and loveable. I could get used to this song easily.

The third single from the album is called The Ghosts of Beverly Drive. This song has a quick beat and sings about a car accident and the feelings of a spot where that accident happened. It talks about the emotions that one goes through with the aftermath of said accident. It is kind of weird putting these feelings on a song that is so danceable. Ben has done this kind of a thing in the past though so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised with this song. I like the song though so I can look past the bizarre lyrics and into the music.

The last single that has been released from the album, there may be more singles later, is called Little Wanderer. This track is a bit slower but seems to sit well like No Room In Frame does. The chorus is super catchy and the lyrics are easy to follow and sing along to. It is also a sweet song about someone that goes away because they have wanderlust but he always wants her to come back because he misses her so much when she leaves. He only hopes that she messes him as much and has a desire to come back to him.

This is such a great album. I hope that there will be more singles released that will reach so many more people.

This is the first physical release from Big Data. It was released on March 20, 2015 under Warner Bros. Records. Previous releases, 1.0, 1.5 and 1.6, were released only as downloads. This album was released on CD and DL only. The album overall deals with new world issues such as hacking and invasion of privacy by overreaching governments and corporations. I found out about the album from a new local radio station called Go 96.3. This used to be the local R&B station. Either they changed formats or they sold out. I haven’t bothered to look into it because it doesn’t matter enough to me. I still listen to 89.3 The Current but it is nice to have an alternate station to switch to when I don’t want to hear what is on The Current. Anyway, the album was put together by a producer named Alan Wilkis. He has his own record label, Wilcassettes, and this is why the project was put out under, not with, Warner Bros.

There have been two singles put out off this album so far, the album is really good and I am hoping for more off of this album. The first of those two singles is called Dangerous. The vocalist for this goes by the name Joywave. The bass guitar in this song is super heavy and is a real slap in the face. The vocals are stark and fit with the bass guitar sound. The drums are simple and unobtrusive. The chorus is just a bit louder with added synth parts to get the listener even more interested in the song. It is a perfect blend of drum and bass.

The second single from the album is called The Business ofEmotion. This song features White Sea. She has a beautiful voice that seems to go well with the electronic sounds that are featured on the song. She has a way of being stark but beautiful with all of the harsh sounds that are going on all around the song. Hard hitting bass drum sounds with repetitive synth bass sounds. It is a great dance track and would fit in well at a dance party or a club anywhere.

I feel like the song that Rivers Cuomo contributed to, Snowed In, would be perfect for a third single. A) it is Rivers Cuomo and B) it is super catchy electronic dance music and C) Rivers Cuomo is from Weezer, i.e. instant recognition.

This is a great album for anyone who likes EDM (Electronic Dance Music). I find it a really fun album and am lucky to have heard a track on a local radio station. Go check it out.

This is the second single released for the upcoming album. It was released as DL and 7” record on March 23, 2015. There was apparently a misprint with a part of the pressings where the B side label is on both sides. It is unknown how many of these exist but they are out there. I did not get a misprint personally but there was an official apology not only for a delay in the release but also for the misprint.

The A side is the song Superhero. The song is heavy with hard hitting drums a low sounding rubbery bass guitar and thick distorted guitars. The song is cut with piano to slightly lighten the song. Mike Patton still has that amazing vocal style where he can growl and have that clear vocal tone a second later. The song uses a sample of mike singing “Go!” over and over in different notes. It gets kind of old but helps the song along at the same time. I can’t say this is a great song but it is also what I would expect from the group at the same time.

The B side is a remix of the song Superhero by Battaglia. I am going to start off by saying that this remix is nowhere near as good as the A side track. I think that they tried to take this song in the same place as the remix for the previous single. It just didn’t work at all. The use of the reed instrument was a big fail in my opinion. That is the big stumbling block for me. I think that over simplifying the track didn’t help this song either. It is like looking into a sink hole. It isn’t going anywhere and you hope that it isn’t going to take everything in with it. Luckily, it is just a remix and will have nothing to do with the rest of the album.

Just get the DL on this one if you have any interest.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 11

The new Mumford and Sons single is out there now. It is called Believe.

There will be a new split EP from Dott and Night School released for Record Store Day.

There is a remix for the Family Force 5 song Let It Be Love on iTunes but probably on other download sites too.

You can listen to the new Death Cab For Cutie album on NPRs First Listen now.

You can also listen to the new Runaway Brother album on AV Club.

Here we go with an all Surfer Blood episode...

This is the second official single from the upcoming album, 1000 Palms. I say official because technically the tour split that the group did before the album was talked about has a song from the album, NW Passage. It was released on the tenth of March. I found out a bit late but still got a copy from the record company. It is a 7” single cut at 45 RPMs. The single was pressed on olive and bone white vinyl. It is also limited and hand numbered out of 1000. I got number 124. The single comes with a download as well. I got an email from Joyful Noise Records with a download because I ordered the single with them. I also got a download card that came with the record. I am actually happy that I got the email because I got to hear the music before I got the record in the mail. That’s about five days of listening before I actually got the record.

Obviously the first track from the record is the song I Can’t Explain. The song is pretty mellow, as has been the case with the last single. I kind of get the feeling that the new album is not going to be as great as the last one was. I have heard a few tracks now from the new album and they have not been the fun poppy indie tracks that I liked from their sophomore album. I get the feeling that they are going to mostly be mellow and sort of depressing.

The B side of the single is called Death And The Maiden. I think that this song has a good catchy chorus and a great beat overall. I really like the chord progression in the verse a lot too but the cadence of the vocals in the verse is not quite as fun. It seems like a lot of square pegs in square holes. Where is the octagon pegs and the pentagon pegs? It is still a great song though. There is even a circus bridge in the song that is so much fun and completely unexpected.

Both are good songs but the B side takes it for me.

This is the first and only single released from the album of the same name. It was released for Record Store Day 2013. I actually tried to get a copy on Record Store Day 2013 but my local record store, Down In The Valley in Golden Valley MN, did not get a copy in for the special event. It wasn’t until two years later that I actually got a copy of the single. It is a tri colored vinyl pressing in white clear blue and dark blue. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It is housed in a clear plastic sleeve though to show off the colors. There were quite a few pressed, 4700 to be exact.

I talked about the song, Demon Dance, in Vol. 4 Episode 23. I had this to say about the single, “The song starts out with a nice clean electric guitar sound and a soaring high pitched distorted guitar sound. The organ sound kicks in at the start of the first chorus and sounds great floating in the background. I was very surprised when at the second half of the song after the breakdown there was an addition of screaming/growling that sort of works for the song. It is a new facet to the groups’ bag of tricks that I like.”

The B side to the single is called Slow Six. It also comes from the album Demon Dance. As the title leads me to believe it is a slower song. What I do like about the song is the distorted guitar long notes that get bent and seem to soar over all of the other music that is happening in the track. It reminds me of a distorted red laser that is somehow able to be bent in an arc over the top of the group. My imagination, I know. The song has a pretty sweet burn to it over all too. I like the addition of the piano to the track as well. It gives it a nice grounded feel contrasted to the soaring distorted guitar part.

I am glad that I finally got a copy of this single. I know that I already have a copy of the songs on the single but the record itself is so pretty.

This is the first single from Surfer Blood. It was put out in 2010. The first single from the album Astro Coast, put out on For Us Records. Originally released as a 7” only on limited clear vinyl and white vinyl, there was a promo CD put out too. You can get Swim, The A side, as a download but I haven’t seen the B side available as a download anywhere common. There were only 300 copies of the clear edition and I haven’t seen a count on the white version or the standard black. The CD promo version only has the album version and the radio edit for Swim. I really like the art work on the cover for this single as it pulls from the cover of the first Joy Division cover and changes it just a bit, making wave peaks in the lines. It is really a genius change to a classic graphic.

Swim is the A side of the 7”. The vocals use a lot of echo making it seem, to me, like the vocalist is the swimmers coach and he is yelling over what ever body of water the swimmer is swimming in. The music in the song is actually kind of fun. It is like the new surf music style. I am not sure if that is an actual movement in music but that is what it reminds me of.

The B side is a remix of the song done by Allen Blickle. This remix puts the vocals back in the mix some and pushes the distorted bass line up in the front. I am not sure that I like this so much. It is kind of an assault on my ears. The bass is turned up more than it should be I think. I guess if the bass were not so upfront I would like this remix a bit more. It is a good version of the song overall though.

This is the second single released from the album Astro Coast. It was also released in 2010. It was released on white vinyl. It was officially the first single rleased through Kanine Records. The first single from the album was released on For Us Records. This was also the first single to follow the art style that the full length album used. This art style is also being used on their third album which represents a return to their roots.

The A side, Floating Vibes, has nothing to do with vibes. It has a great beat in the drums and a great rhythm in the guitars. I really like the pretty melody that is used not only in the guitar but also with the vocals. The song talks about surfing a lot but that doesn’t matter as much as the great music that is happening in the song. It is one of my favorites from the album Astro Coast.

The B side track is called Twin Peaks (Allen Blickle Remix). It is obviously a remix of the track Twin Peaks. I like the addition of electronic drums and the cutting bass line change. It gives the song a more sterile approach. I also like the addition of synth keys in the song. It is not really a dramatic change it just cleans up the messy edges of the song.

I have heard a few of Allen Blickle’s remixes for the group and like what he has done with the songs.

That is all for now...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 10

The Incubus EP, Trust Fall (Side A) has been delayed until May 12th. The guys in the group did a little twitter blaming each other for the delay.

SXSW is happening at the moment so most places are totally on hold as they are down in Texas making an appearance. This means there isn’t much in the music news for the rest of the world.

Here we go...

This is the second release from Echo Lake. It was released at the beginning of March 2015. This time Slumberland Records did not take part in the release from this group. I wish they had but I am sure they have their reasons. The album was released on CD and vinyl. There was a special CD version with a bonus disc that included some demos, a couple of instrumentals and a couple hard to find singles that were released between these two albums. I am currently trying to contact No Pain In Pop to find out more about this bonus disc CD version. I did get a copy of the album on vinyl though. The album as a whole is short on tracks but not short on time. There are only seven tracks but the album clocks out at about 45 minutes. This means that some of these tracks are six plus minutes and the last track is over ten minutes long. This is an album that demands that the listener listen to the whole record. I don’t think that this is a “headphones” album though. It doesn’t command the left right feel that I think other “headphone” albums do. I think that the album is beautiful and even more so in an open room setting.

There were no official singles released form the album but there are a couple of  high points on the album. The first song I want to talk about is called Waves. It is a paced rocker that will drive you on an emotional wave of love, excitement and at the same time a lack there of. It has a great beat but the vocals seem to keep the song tempered down. This is sort of like the excitement of love and the time that is life for me. I really like this song and will be listening to it more in the future.

The other song that has been talked about is Dröm. The song has an incredibly long build before the full band kicks in. That build is done with a distorted guitar that slowly fades in on the same chord. It takes about a third of the song. Once the song comes in fully though it is mind blowing shoegaze at its near best with distorted bass and beautiful guitars with reverb and echo all over them. The guitars remind me of a cotton candy sun set with hard edges to the clouds. The vocals only add to the effect with their own reverb, echo and even layers. The vocals are also high pitched and airy. The track reminds me of something Lush may have put out. This is for sure a favorite from the album.

This is a non-album single, like most singles released from the group are. It was released only in the UK on March 16th from Market Square Records.  I preordered a copy and, because I live in the US, it took about a week to get here. The record came with a numbered postcard with a slightly fuzzy picture of the band on it. The release was limited to 300 copies. If you are interested in this release, Windian Records did get a few copies for sale here in the US at a slightly higher price because of overseas shipping but they were so limited that they only offered the release through their email. Market Square may still have copies though. The single came in a 7” plastic sleeve with a plane brown paper 7” sleeve too. There was also a sticker from Market Square Records.

They have billed it as a double A side record. The A side of the record is Always The Same. It is a hard hitting slow burn track. The drumming reminds me of Meg Whites’ style but the rest of the music that this song has to offer is still that awesome 60’s vocal and music style. I don’t know how they do it but it is a smash. I think it has something to do with the equipment they are using let alone their own style of writing.

The second track on this release is Let Me In. It has a slower feel but is actually about the same. The drums are a little smoother with this one. The guitars have this cool vibey effect on them that give off this cold feeling. This is built on with the vocals, as the lead singer sings, “It gets cold, the colder it gets” in perfect clarity multiple times through the song. There is also a cool sort of solo from the lead guitar that is vibey and built on feedback. It is totally original sounding. At least I have never heard anything like it before. There is a difference between feedback to be loud and feed back to be musical. They hit the musical part and it sounds amazing in the song.

This is the first release from Restorations. It was put out in 2010 and it actually completes my Restorations collection up to date. There were 420 pressed on black vinyl and 200 pressed on clear vinyl. I was lucky enough to get a copy on clear at a reasonable price. The plastic sleeve that the record comes in has a sticker that lists both of the bands names. The back has the track names printed on the exterior paper jacket though. There is also an insert that has the lyrics for both tracks. It is a 45 RPM record although it is not listed on the printed materials anywhere. When did companies start taking that off anyway? Moving on…

The A side is from Rosetta. They are a heavy metal group mainly. This track, So Warm A Solitude, is more on the experimental side though. The song is a slow burn that has the lead vocals mashed in with the music. I don’t have a problem with this but there is also a part of me that wants to hear what he is saying as he sounds so painful and emotional, at least that is what is seems like from what I can hear of him singing anyway. This is a great song though and the song is so dreamy and atmospheric it just works. I have had dreams were there is music happening in the background and this is what it sounds like sometimes. Not this song in particular but like this style. No, when I wake up the radio is not playing. The only problem with the song is that it is twelve plus minutes long. If your not ready for the length of the song it can be a problem, i.e. never hear the end of the song because it is so long and it may get skipped half way through the song.

The B side is from Restorations. The song is called F#. This was from when they were listing their songs with next to no meaning for fans. This song is a bit heavier than most of the songs that the group has put out. This doesn’t make the song bad though. It is kind of a loud soft loud kind of a track. It is a good rock song that also follows the slow burn style. The quiet parts are sweet and the loud parts are intense with Jon’s lyrics staying on top of it all. There are extra vocals that come through on the loud parts from the other members of the band that add so much to the song. The layered guitars are a fantastic addition to the song and the group makes sure that every instrument is heard and has its own piece of the song. It is a great track and I am glad I found a copy.
That is all for now...