Friday, February 22, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 8

I will be putting up reviews of a few concerts that I will be going to. The first of which will be the Veronica Falls concert coming up in March. The second will be Sigur Ros coming in April. The Bleached concert is coming up at the end of April. Last is the Man Or Astro-Man? concert in the beginning of June. I am very excited about all of these upcoming concerts and just as excited to write about them.

Next week the new Atoms For Peace album comes out.

On with the show...

This is the first album from Alex Clare. It was released in 2011. This is an exceptional album that makes use of sounds that have been becoming popular because of the dub step genre. I like the idea of dub step and the low bass notes that are distorted and waving. Add this idea to a pop vocalist and what you get is pop dub I guess. It is a great way to introduce people to dub step really. The music hits you in the chest but you can still understand the lyrics. It is because of this that the album has charted so well around the world. I was introduced to this album through the internet explorer commercial on the TV. The commercial was so prolific that I had seen it quite a few times in my limited standard television viewing.

There were 5 singles released from this album. The fist single is called Up All Night. It starts off with a distorted bass guitar playing fast and hard. The vocals come in and he has a forceful style. Then the big beat drums punch in. It is a great song that pushes frustration and not understanding to the front. It is a great song about what a guy does all night away from his girl.

The second track released from the album is called TooClose. In March 2012 the song was selected as the soundtrack to Microsoft's advertisement for Internet Explorer 9, released the following month. The exposure propelled the song to international success. Lyrically, the song describes the a man who is not ready for a committed relationship and he must end things with his love interest in good terms.

The next track released from the album is called TreadingWater. This is the slower track from the album. The drum beat is still super fast. This is the only track on the album that has a swear in the lyrics. He sings, “Maybe it’s another chance to make my self, maybe it’s another chance, I’m sure Ill f*** things up again.” There are some major soul influences in this track too. More so than some of the other tracks I think.

The fourth single released from this album is called HummingBird. The song starts off with bird sounds. They continue through the song in appropriate points. The song appears to be about a person’s significant other leaving like a humming bird. This track is not so dub step but does have some very deep bass sounds. The vocals are still very soulful.

The last single released from the album is called I Won’tLet You Down. This track Is just Alex Clare and a piano. It is simple in that respect. This song reminds me of something that The Avet Brothers would put on an album. The song has that same style with the exception of the climaxes that Clare pushes with his vocals. It is a good song but not a great song. I am not sure why it would have been released as a single to be honest.

This is a very good album. I would recommend this to anyone who has no interest in dub step to introduce them to the idea or to change someone’s mind about the genre.

This is the sixteenth album from The Beach Boys. It was released in 1970. Initial reception of the album was low. The album did better in the UK than in the US. My father-in-law had two copies of this album on vinyl. I usually get his duplicates when he has any. I also give him my duplicates when I get them. For what ever reason he had two brand new re-issues. He asked me if I wanted to look at the records to see which a better copy was. I told him no and that I trusted him that they were both in excellent shape. I listened to the album It was beautiful. There were no scratches and the record was absolutely silent in the dead spots. The cover looked as if it were just opened.

There were four singles released from this album. That is not bad for an album that didn’t chart well. The first single is called AddSome Music To Your Day. It is a good pop song about how much music means to the group and how it adds to anyone’s life to make it better. For me, it is a good song but not their greatest. They have written great songs but not this one.

The second single from the album is called Slip On Through. This song is so cool. The song never charted well but this is one of the songs that I think of when I think of the 70s. It has the coolness of such tracks as The Velvet Underground’s Rock & Roll or The Beatles track called Strawberry Fields Forever. It is a great track that I could listen to for a long time.

The Third single from the album is called Tears In TheMorning. This isn’t as good of a track for me. It is classic 70s music and I can appreciate that. The song comes off a bit country sounding lyrically, with all the crying that is sung about. The music is still very good though.

The last single from the album is called Cool, Cool Water. This song has two other names. It is also known as I Love To Say Da-Da and In Blue Hawaii. It is not a good song but it is certainly very interesting. The song has a two minute intro before it gets into the actual song. The vocals that happen in the song are so interesting. Each member sings something slightly different and then with the chorus they all come together. The third half of the track each member sings apart from each other.

This is really an album that has aged well.
This is the second release from Goldsn Grrrls. The first release was a split cassette with Boredom Boys. This release was to support their tour in 2011/2012. There are eight songs on the tape. This set of songs can be downloaded at a pay what you want price, including free, or you can go to their tumbler site and get a physical copy for four pounds plus shipping. Orders are delayed though because the band runs the site. I downloaded a copy of the tape for free because I also purchased the cassette from the band. The tape cost me a total of just under ten bucks. The cassette includes the two tracks from the groups first 7”, New Pop/The Red Sea and Billy from their split single with Sea Lions from 2012.

Since it is a tour release there really was no single released from the collection. There were tracks included that were previously released though. Here is what I previously wrote about New Pop/The Red Sea: The A side track, called NewPop, is a fun, fast paced track that comes off as a pretty punk track. It is a short track at about a minute and a half or so. I recommend giving it a shot. I guarantee it will not be a minute and a half you would desperately want back. You’ll be bopping in your seat just like I did.

The B side track, called Red Sea, is a bit slower than the A side but is just as pretty. I love the female vocal style. She reminds me of the vocalist for The Sundays but not so depressing. The male overlapped vocals still leave something to be desired in my head but I think I am getting use to them. It doesn’t bother me as much as it did when I started listening to the group.

And about the song Billy: The music starts off with a solid pop song. Then the vocals kick in. The male vocals just don’t sound right. The female vocals are in tune, I know that much. Its still a fun pop song though.

This is one of two albums and an audio book that comes from a project that the band put together called The Machine De Ella project. The first releases were put up in October 2012. Every two weeks or so after another track was put up on the web site for the project until the last tracks were released in the middle of February 2013. There is supposed to be a physical release for all three collections but no official release date has been given as of yet. The band has said that they are shooting for physical releases for the two albums about four months after all of the tracks have been released on the web site.

Midnight On Earthship is a very sad /melancholy album. I am not a fan of this style of music but I under stand the point of the music I think. I don’t really pay much attention to lyrics but the way the music is written it reminds me of a yearning and general suffering that man goes through to be closer to god. It is a beautiful album and I am very happy that I have bought into this project. There has not been any artwork posted yet for this album yet. I am interested to see what they come up with for the cover.

 That is all I have for now...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 7

Some interesting things have come up in the past week in support of various things. This will be a singles episode because of this.

There really hasn’t been much in music news since the Grammy’s disaster hit so we will just get on with it…

This is the third track to be released in support of NGen Internet Radio, the first two being the tracks Phenomenon and Chainsaw. Both of which you could buy on CD during Christmas. There may still be copies left at the bands web store if you are interested. In order to get this new track at the moment you need to download the NGen Radio app. There is a graphic when you start it up that takes you to a page to enter some information. Type in the information and check your email to download the track. This song also features a Christian rap artist from the UK calling himself LZ7.

Next Level is even harder and electronic than the previous two NGen Promo tracks. It talks about exactly what the title says, bringing “it” to the next level. The song comes from Christian artists so it is truly meant to push Christians to bring their best and step out from the shadows of their former selves.

With the re-release of the tenth anniversary edition (Loser Edition) of the album Give Up comes two new tracks. One of which has been pre-released to those that preorder the album A Tattered Line Of String. The second unreleased track is called Turn Around.  The backing vocals on the track are sung by the former Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis. She will be touring with the group on the up coming summer tour schedule with the group. As will, of course, the lead singer for Death Cab For Cutie, Ben Gibbard who is the lead singer for The Postal Service too. If you watch the video you get to see all of the potential colors of vinyl that may be released for the three record version of this tenth anniversary edition of Give Up. Edit: the vinyl colors will be red, white and clear

The song is a great track filled with the classic beeps and boops that the band is known for. The drums and synth parts are the foundation for the song. The added guitar work sweetens the deal with the lovely vocals from both Ben and Jenny. It is really a great track but I can also understand why it was left off the album.

This was a tour single that was released in 2009. It is the only single that All The Saints have released. When I first heard the track I could have swore that I had heard it before but it is not listed in the track listing on their first album. The track is just in such a similar style as the first album. I had never heard of the group These Arms Are Snakes before or since learning about this single. They are a post-hardcore group. After hearing this track I have no interest in finding out about more of their music.

The All The Saints track, Host, is a slow song that could have easily fit into their first album, Fire On Corridor X. It is almost a trip hop track except for all of the distortion and reverb soaked guitars on the track. I am very happy that I found a copy of this single. This track, like the album, is dark and filled with sounds from the beginning of heavy metal along with the sounds that inspire the idea of shoegaze music. This combination is awesome to say the least.

The track from These Arms Are Snakes, Washburn, is hard and in your face. They don’t seem to say much though. I think I would rather hear from At The Drive-in than this group. There isn’t enough melody for me. It is hard to understand the lyrics too. It makes it hard to like the song and the band.

This was the first single that Golden Grrrls released. It is not the first release but the first single. It was released late in November 2011. Both tracks are fun indie pop. This single can be downloaded on a pay what you want price including free if you so choose from their BandCamp page.

The A side track, called New Pop, is a fun, fast paced track that comes off as a pretty punk track. It is a short track at about a minute and a half or so. I recommend giving it a shot. I guarantee it will not be a minute and a half you would desperately want back. You’ll be bopping in your seat just like I did.

The B side track, called Red Sea, is a bit slower than the A side but is just as pretty. I love the female vocal style. She reminds me of the vocalist for The Sundays but not so depressing. The male overlapped vocals still leave something to be desired in my head but I think I am getting use to them. It doesn’t bother me as much as it did when I started listening to the group.

That is all I have for now...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 6

I have let this set of albums sit on my mind for long enough. As a matter of fact I couldn't wait any longer to talk about them. My fingers were itching to write about them.

You can now preorder the 10th anaversary release of The Postal Service album Give Up from Sub Pop. It is a two CD or a three record release. The vinyl release is on colored vinyl if ordered from Sub Pop.

I have found out that you can get the two 7” records and the tour cassette that Golden Girrrls released as a pay what you want download from their BandCamp web page.

You can also download a set of rare tracks from White Laces from their BandCamp page but it will cost a minimum of nine bucks to get them. On the plus side they have put together some bundles with that download to sweeten the deal.

Man Or Astro-Man? have put up the tour schedule for the coming year on facebook. I feel lucky and proud that they will be coming to my neck of the woods. Tickets will not be on sale for a while yet.

Here we go...

This is the second album from Veronica falls. It was released, officially, Tuesday the twelfth of February, 2013. There are thirteen tracks on this album and it is a great album. Slumberland Records put out a white vinyl version for mail orders. There have been a few different versions of the album released for European countries including a version that comes with an additional CD of new cover songs. They are calling this the Covers EP Vol. 2. This will also be released through Rough Trade on vinyl in limited quantities and as a tour CD that you can buy if you go see them play live on the new tour.

There has already been a couple of singles released from this album. The first of those singles is called My Heart Beats. This was released as a 7” record in the summer of 2012. I thought that this was going to be a non-album single but it was included here on this album. I am a bit disappointed actually because I really wanted an official release of the song Back Page. You can only get Back Page on the US tour cassette which was limited. My Heart Beats is a great song. From Vol. 3 Episode 13, “The A-side of the single is My Heart Beats. This song is very happy and up beat, like most of their songs are. To me it is about finding the right person to live your life with. It asks questions like, “If we could dream together?” They still have that great 40s guitar sound that drew me to them in the first place.”

Teenage is the second single released from the album. It has gotten a physical release in the UK but Slumberland has not yet put the 7” for this song up for sale on their sight. The single is supposed to be up for sale on March 12, 2013. I am still waiting to get my preorder on for this single. The song still fits in the dark style that they have been known for but seems to be a little bit happier than anything from there first album. This is a much welcomed change for the group. This was a song that the group has been hanging on to for quite a while as they played it when I went to see them about a year ago now.

Buried Alive is another track that is very single worthy. The song was called Burry Me Alive for a long while as this is how the chorus is sung. I actually recorded the Insound session that they did for the music e-tailer back in 2011. I really liked this track. This is another dark track as you can tell from the title. It is about wanting to be with the one you love so much that you can’t live with out this person. In the lyrics they talk about wanting to get the same illnesses as their significant others. That is dedication to loving someone!

Last Conversation is the last track on the album. This is another track that they have been sitting on as they also played this track at the concert that I was at about a year ago. It is kind of a depressing song but still has a great pop feel. The drums are simple, I really like the simplicity of the drums too. The song is about the last conversation that a couple has had and that they may be ending their relationship because things are pulling them apart. The song is snot super specific about what happened but it conjures up images of a situation where one of the two has a job that is taking them away from the other.

Waiting For Something To Happen is the title track for the album and has a great beat to it. I am not sure if it is single worthy but it is a great danceable song. It seems to be about being not sure about what to do in a given situation. The chorus sings, “ Everybody’s crazy, what’s your excuse baby, standing in the middle, waiting for something to happen.” It reminds me of middle school dances when they use to have video screens up. I remember everyone dancing and I would just stand there watching some of the videos play. All of my friends would try to get me to dance but I couldn’t really dance anyway.

This is the third album from My Bloody Valentine. It was released on the second of February, 2013. One can purchase the album from the groups’ web page in three formats, CD, LP or download. The server crashed the day the record went on sale because of the amount of people purchasing the album. It has been about 23 years since any serious release has come from the group. The last album, Loveless, has become an iconic release in music. This album is not a big change from that direction. It has been only about five years since I have been getting into this type of music but to have a major player “come back from the dead” and release a new album that advances the genre and validates all of the new bands that have come on the scene is amazing to say the least.

There hasn’t been an official single released but my local radio station has been playing the song New You. This song is a bit of a new style for the group but still uses the sounds that fans have gotten use to. The double eighth note on the first beat of the measures for the bass line is a really cool style for the group to use. That bass beat is also distorted which the group has not done before. The female vocals float like cotton candy in the wind with this track. It is very pretty. The guitar part uses a auto tremolo sound that grounds the vocals to the bass and drums. It is truly a beautiful song.

My personal favorite after New You is called Only Tomorrow. This song uses the same style vocals, well, the vocals are similar through the whole album really. The guitars are distorted but they seem to have a fluffy distorted sound about them sort of like the late 70s rock sounds or the some of the 80s hair band distorted guitars. The bass on this track is just a good solid support as are the drums. What I really like about this song is the guitar solo that happens at the last half of the song and continues to the end of the track. There is something cool about the sound of the solo guitar. It is like a male vocal part as it is deep and throaty but easily followable. I strive to make solos like this in my own music I think.

I think that this will be one of the best albums of the year and 2013 has just started!

This is the nineth album from New Order. It was released in January 2013. The tracks on the album were recorded during the production of Waiting For The Sirens’ Call. The album was released after the group reformed in 2012 and released only in the UK. Peter Hook, the original bassist is currently not a part of the group. The album was released as a CD or LP. The US only saw the release of this album as an import. A CDr promo version of the album was released in the us but the common fan would probably not have seen that. Because the album was recorded back in 2004/2005 the album still has the sounds that were on Waiting For The Sirens’ Call. Similar to the MBV album, the original sound is still there, and sounds just the way that I remember. The group has always been into adding the electronic dance feel to their music. I love this about them along with the intensity that the group has always brought with the tone of the vocals and the lyrical content.

There has not been an official single release from this eight song album release, but there are some great songs contained on the album. My favorite track from the album is called Sugarcane. It has a really cool disco feel with a distorted walking synth bass line and drums. The guitar is a clean sounding guitar that works well with the song. The chorus uses a classic 80s new wave sound.

Hellbent is another track that some critics have said is a great song. It really has a 90s alternative sound. This style has become popular recently so this song really fits into the current environment of music. For me, it is a good song but it just works on the album not so much as a single.

The third song that is very good on the album is called I Told You So. The song is driven by the drums. The guitar is monotinuous to say the least. The bass line is what moves the song. It is a slower song that drives on. The only other good part of the song is the guitar solo. The song comes off as kind of a tribal beat really but is still good.

This is another good album almost better than its predecessor. 

This is the second single/7’ the group has released. The record was pressed in limited numbers on the Night School label. You can get this single as a download from the groups BandCamp web page.

The A side track, Beaches, has some really cool sounds. I have always liked the female vocalist in this group but I think that the male vocalist needs some lessons. The song has some really cool distorted guitar sounds and really makes the song in my opinion.

The B side track, Date It, is a happy track that reminds me of Heavenly. The call and response femail vocals work so well. The verse section with the addition of male vocals seems to work better with this track than on Beaches.

This is a pretty good single that probably most folks haven’t even heard. I hope this changes for them in the future.
That is all I have for now...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 5

Here it is, a day early!

I got my copy of the new Veronica Falls album a week early! It is a really great album on the first few listens. Slumberland posted that they found an extra box of the white vinyl. If you are into that get them while they are hot!

You can now preorder the upcoming Golden Grrrls album from the Slumberland Records website. It is available on limited white vinyl.

Surprise to everyone, My Bloody Valentine released their first album in over 20 years last Saturday! You can download it from the bands website for a nominal fee or buy it on CD or vinyl. Both physical copies come with a download in your choice of format.

Alright, on with the show...

This is the fourth and final album from The Smiths. It was released in 1987. From Wikipedia, “The sleeve for Strangeways, Here We Come, which was designed by Morrissey, features a murky shot of East of Eden co-star Richard Davalos. Davalos is looking at James Dean, who is cropped from the image. Dean was a hero of Morrissey's, about whom the singer wrote a book called James Dean Is Not Dead. Five years later, when designing the sleeve for WEA's Best compilations, Morrissey again chose Davalos as a cover star, and Davalos is looking at Dean, who is once again cropped. On the title, Marr has said "I've learned to love the title... it was a bit overstating things somewhat. A little bit obvious. But it's OK. I was always intrigued by the word Strangeways. I remember as a kid, when I first heard that the prison was really called that, I wondered had it not occurred to anybody to change the name? It's still befuddling, really." Morrissey has also stated, "Really it's me throwing both arms to the skies and yelling 'Whatever next?'"

There were four tracks released from this album. The first is called Girlfriend In A Coma. The single was the last to include newly recorded material on the B-side. It holds the distinction of containing the last recorded Smiths song, "I Keep Mine Hidden". Also included—and recorded at the same session—is a cover version of a Cilla Black song, "Work Is a Four-Letter Word". Morrissey's insistence on recording this song incurred the wrath of Johnny Marr who apparently left the band not long afterwards. The song is interesting with a good pop beat.

The second single from the album is called I StartedSomething I Couldn’t Finish. The song was released after the band had announced their split. The song has a good beat and great tonality but it is the standard slow beat that most of The Smiths songs have and can bet a bit boring because of that. The track features an outtake during the fade-out at the end, with Morrissey asking "Okay Stephen (Street, the Producer) shall we do that one again?" This is an interesting little sound bite that can be heard if you are listening for it but easily missed.

The third single released from the album is called LastNight I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me. The introduction consists of a piano playing against a backdrop of crowd noises from the miner's strike. The minor strike could be described as such: from Wikipedia, “The UK miners' strike was a major industrial action affecting the British coal industry. It was a defining moment in British industrial relations, and its defeat significantly weakened the British trade union movement. It was also seen as a major political victory for Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party. The strike became a symbolic struggle, as the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was one of the strongest unions in the country, viewed by many, including Conservatives in power, as having brought down the Heath government in the union's 1974 strike. The later strike ended with the miners' defeat and the Thatcher government able to consolidate its fiscally conservative program. The political power of the NUM was broken permanently. Ten deaths resulted from events around the strike: six picketers, three teenagers searching for coal, and a taxi driver taking a non-striking miner to work.” This is another slow song that doesn’t really appeal to me but the two leaders of the group, Marr and Morrisey, site this as one of their favorite tracks that they have recorded.

The last single released from this album is called Stop MeIf You Think You’ve Heard This One Before. The song was originally supposed to be released as a single and a music video was filmed, featuring scenes of the group-iconic Salford Lads Club and surrounding areas being bicycled through by the lads and friends. Because of a reference to "plan a mass murder" in one lyric it was banned from daytime airplay by the BBC because of the then recent Hungerford massacre, so the band decided not to release it in the UK, however it was released in various other regions including North America, Europe, Australia and Japan.

About the Hungerford massacre: from Wikipedia, “The Hungerford massacre occurred in Hungerford, Berkshire, England, on 19 August 1987. The gunman, 27-year-old Michael Robert Ryan (b. 18 May 1960), armed with two semi-automatic rifles and a handgun, shot and killed sixteen people including his mother, and wounded fifteen others, then fatally shot himself. A report on this incident was commissioned by the Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, from the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, Colin Smith. It remains, along with the 1996 Dunblane massacre and the 2010 Cumbria shootings, one of the worst criminal atrocities involving firearms in British history.

The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 was passed in the wake of the massacre, which banned the ownership of semi-automatic centre-fire rifles and restricted the use of shotguns with a capacity of more than three cartridges (in magazine plus the breech). Ryan's collection of weapons had been legally licensed, according to the Hungerford Report.” 

This is the first album from EMF. It was released in 1991. The album name is a pun on the name of the popular sweet Sherbet Dip and the 19th-century composer Franz Schubert. This album was released at the end of an era in music before it was changed by the grunge movement. The album is heavily electronic/sample influenced. For me it was between this album and Jesus Jones first album. I went with Jesus Jones. The reason that I have this album today is that I found it for a dollar at a local shop used. I almost had this album last summer but the case did not have the CD in it. I have always wanted this album but it was never enough of a priority for me.

There were four singles released from this album. One was a major hit and the others not so much. The first single released from the album is called Unbelievable. This is a great song that uses some well known samples from comedian Andrew “Dice” Clay. The song also samples a lesser known song called Spin That Wheel by Hi-Tek 3. The song features the artist Ya Kid K. Hi-Tek 3 is a side project from the group Technotronic. The song is great. I especially like the breathy male vocals on the track. They make it unique for the time and a great dance track overall. I remember listening to this song often on the radio, especially on trips back from camping as we usually listened to the top 40 show on the way back from our camping trips on Sunday mornings. It was a great time but it also marked the upcoming end of these summer weekend trips that my family took.

The second single that was released from this album is called I Believe. This is more of an up beat dance/rock track. It has the same style vocals as Unbelievable but it doesn’t really work for me on this song. It is an interesting song but not a good enough song.

The third single from the album is called Children. This track has a slow fade in synth intro that makes use of what sounds like an asian styled motorcycle speeding past the mic. The rest of the song makes use of police sirens at different pitches. The track has a nice distorted guitar sound that works very well with the track. The police sirens are annoying to say the least. Other than that the song sounds very good.

The last single released from the album is called Lies. This is a slower track that works pretty well. The beat that the bass line carries through the whole song is fun and interesting. The other instruments also take their turns playing the rhythm keeping my interest in the song. 

This is the sixth album from Blindside. It was released in the summer of 2011. I wasn’t sure that the group was still together with such a big gap between releases, about six years between this release and the previous. Although, there was an EP released between full albums. I did not even know that they had released this album until a year after the release. I didn’t purchase the album until recently. After spending some time with this album I find that it takes some notes from the previous album, The Great Depression. The alum makes appropriate use of electronic and synth sounds. I always like it when a hard rock band can be creative enough to make use of electronic sounds and still make powerful music. The lyrics for the songs that this group has produced lean towards the Christian ideal. Although, the songs don’t seem to relate directly to the bible they do talk about Christian ideas. This is one of the reasons that I got into the group and continue to follow them as much as possible.

There was one digital single that I am pretty sure was played on radio/internet. That song is called Monster On The Radio. The track starts off with a 808 drum beat that makes me think of 1988 rap. It is funny to me and makes me giggle a little on the inside. The song then kicks in with the verse and it is a hard rock track again. The verse is a bit louder and comes off as an arena rock track. The bridge uses the 808 and brings back the verse. The song is about writing music for the radio to get the advertising out to then make the money. It is kind of tongue in cheek because they know that they are writing this music to get the Christian message out there.

I think that the rest of the album is actually better than the single. If you like your music hard and have an interest in exploring Christian music this may be a band that you should check out. I think they have the same energy as the likes of My Chemical Romance but sing about better things and living better lives than MCR would. 

This is the last in the 7” series for Conventional Weapons. It was released February 2013. I think they saved the best for last. These final two tracks are a couple of the best tracks that I have heard from the group since Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. They have released good music since but these two tracks tap into the sound that made me interested in the group in the first place. I have also received in the mail the physical product. It is a great slip-case box with a large poster and all five 7” singles sealed inside the box. Each record is a different color. The poster is a graphic of a shooting range poster.
The first track is called Surrender The Night. It is a moderately paced song packed with energy. There is some great sounding distortion with picked guitar that sounds just wonderful. The verse vocals sound glassy and clear and the chorus vocals are pushed to near breaking and sound great. The little flourishes that are added to the song from all instruments make that song that more interesting. It is a great song that I will be listening to a lot.

The second song is called Burn Bright. This is another song that I really like, not only for the Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge sound but also for the guitar picking that sort of reminds me of 80s jangle pop in the opening of the track. I have always liked their use of staccato notes in their music too. I like when the whole band hits notes together and leave big gaps of dead air between them. It makes it easy to bang your head to as well.

This is two great songs that should have been released a long time ago!

This is an EP from The Chemical Brothers that was released in 1996. From Wikipedia, “The title track, Loops Of Fury, exemplifies the squelching synth lines and hard-hitting drums that became The Chemical Brothers' sound of the late 1990s, and would be the blueprint of their tracks for years to come. It was included on the bonus disc of Singles 93–03, and as a B-side to the Japanese edition of Setting Sun. Because the song segues into the next track on the EP, and fades out on various artist compilation albums, the ending is different on Singles 93–03 and features a vinyl scratching sound at the end.”

The second song on this EP, (The Best Part Of) Breaking Up, is absolutely amazing and completely boring at the same time. The song uses a record scratching sample in a rhythmic beat that plays for about four minutes and twenty-five seconds. The end of the song uses the same beat but changes the instrumentation. This last one minute and fifteen seconds is pure electronic gold. I love this part of the track and would listen to if over and over if it were not attached to the first part of the song.

Brilliant EP from the group if you can find it get it. I was lucky enough to get it for a buck on one of my pawn store trips.

That is all I have for now...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 4

Although you can’t yet preorder the new Bleached album they have put up their tour schedule. They may be coming to a venue near you. I will be going to see them! Although, I can’t get tickets quite yet as they have not gone up for sale yet.

I did finally get the record in for The Late Virginia Summers LP called Porcelain. It is on a pretty red with black and white swirl. The record company also sent me a test press of their first 7”. It is nothing great but it is my first 7” test press and always good to hear new music.

I should receive the new record from Veronica Falls and the 7” box set from My Chemical Romance – Conventional Weapons next week. This will mark the end of the 7” series for the album. I will also get the download for the last two tracks on Tuesday.

You can now preorder the next single, Judge Jury and Executioner, from AMOK, the Atoms For Piece album, from Radioheads' W.A.S.T.E website. It is a 12” record that will cost you just over 20 bucks.

She & Him will be putting out a new album this spring. It is going to be called Volume 3 (of course). It is scheduled to be released in the beginning of May. The strokes will also put out a new album this year called Comedown Machine at the end of March. Lets hope that it is not as bad as their last album.

On We Go...

This is the sixth album from Level 42. It was released in 1985. This release marked a transition from their jazz-funk beginnings to the funky pop they are best known for - a transition which eventually resulted in the departure of drummer Phil Gould subsequent to the release of their follow up album Running in the Family. The cover photo is Hafnarfjall, mountain in West Iceland. The American versions of the album feature a re-ordered track listing, as well as the substitution of the tracks "Hot Water" and "The Chant Has Begun" (both of which had originally appeared on the band's previous album True Colours) for "I Sleep On My Heart" and "Coup D'Etat." The vinyl U.S. version of the album featured the single versions of both "Hot Water" and "The Chant Has Begun," while the full-length album version of "The Chant Has Begun" did appear on the U.S. CD edition. ("Dream Crazy," which only appeared on certain European versions of the album did not appear on any of the North American versions).

All of this information did not apply to me as a kid. If it didn’t make it into the top 40 I probably didn’t hear the track. There were three tracks that were released from this album as singles. The first, Something About You, was the single that I remember as a kid. I was ten when it was released. It was another one of those songs from the 80s that was so cool it remained on my radar until I hunted it down just a week or so ago. For me synth pop done right is time less. This is one of those tracks that I could listen to over and over. Every one should hear it at least once to make that decision.

The second single from this album is called Leaving Me Now. This is a ballad track that talks about someone who is saddened about their significant other walking out on them. For me it is sappy synth that all the girls loved and all the boys hated. There is a cool piano solo but that isn’t enough to save the song. It does have a good chord progression but that is still not enough to make the song good enough to listen to by itself at least.

The last single from this album is called World Machine. It is obviously the title track to the album. The song is known for its hard tribal beat. It makes for a great dance track. It just doesn’t have the catch that I love from Something About You. It is still a good song though.

Since I have the US version of this album I will also talk about the two singles that were included on this album that were released from the previous album. The first of those two is Hot Water. This song was released as the US follow-up single to the song Something About You. I don’t think it was released in the US prior to this. It has the same great production values as Something About You but did not seem to chart as well.

The other track included on the US version of World Machine that was also found on their previous album is called The Chant Has Begun. This track also has a tribal beat that is very cool. This track has a chant that happens in the chorus that sings, “The spirit of the people.” It is a good beat but not really that great of a song.

This is a B-side and remix album put out to support the album Demon Days. It was released in 2007. This release is similar to the G-Sides release of remixes that supported their first album, Gorillaz. The Creature on the cover of the album is called Pazuzu. In Assyrian and Babylonian mythology, Pazuzu (sometimes Fazuzu or Pazuza) was the king of the demons of the wind, and son of the god Hanbi. He also represented the southwestern wind, the bearer of storms and drought.

I have known about this collection since its release but never got around to getting a copy for my collection. This is dumb to me that I haven’t done it. I am not sure why I kept ignoring the set. I ended up finally getting a copy of the deluxe edition a few weeks ago and have enjoyed it since. None of the tracks were released from the set though. This is different from the way that G-sides went down. There were actual tracks released as singles with G-sides. Maybe this is why I did not get it when it was released. I never heard any of the tracks from the collection. The set is split up into two CDs. The first is a B-sides disc and the second is a remix disc.

There are a few cool inclusions in this collection. From Wikipedia, “The song Rockit, like many songs on the album, was intended for inclusion on the Demon Days album, though was later pulled from the track listing. People is an early demo version of DARE, which doesn't contain as many instruments and does not include Shaun Ryder on the track. The album features a reworking of the song Hong Kong, which was originally featured on the War Child charity album Help!: A Day in the Life; this newer version adds a string section and studio effects to the previously sparse arrangement. The Dirty Harry remix appears in the 2010 remake of the film The Karate Kid featuring Jaden Smith. Also, Stop the Dams was featured on a 2011 Google+ commercial.”

My Favorite track from the B-sides collection is the song 68 State. There are no lyrics on the track. It is a B-side to the Feel Good Inc. single. It is a simple bass line with a good drum beat. What I really like about the song is the call and response routine that the guitar and keyboards have in the “verse” parts and the guitar solo on the chorus parts. I also like the dreamy soundscape on the bridge back to the verse.

The track that I like from the remix disc is called DARE (DFA remix). It may as well say LCD Soundsystem remix because that is basically what it is. I think that this remix is part of why James Murphy (singer and instrumentalist for LCD Soundsystem) was asked to be a part of the Do Ya Thing single. This remix is so good. I really did not like this song at all but this remix is truly awesome.

This is a strange album from Squarepusher. It is his album but he also put to gether this band, Shobaleater One. I guess that means that the album title is actually d’Demonstrator? Squarepusher has put out a couple of oddball albums reciently, this being one of them. The other was Solo Electric Bass 1. Both are interesting but not his best work. Here on the Shobaleader One album he brings together a “group” to make a band. None of the band members are named though so it could be all in his imagination for all we know. The album comes off as a Daft Punk inspired RnB album. There are lots of electrified vocals that sound like slowed down Daft Punk vocals. I like it but it is almost to little to late. It has already been done by many other artists. I think that this is why it did not get much press.

A friend of mine keeps asking me, “What is the album by Squarepusher that has all the heavy metal tracks on it?” I think this is the album he is talking about. The fast tracks and some of the slower tracks have a super heavy distorted guitar sound on it. This doesn’t make it a heavy metal album from Squarepusher by any means though. A lot of the tracks have what most would consider heavy metal sounding guitar parts though. I don’t see it that way though because Daft Punk, Ratatat and even Justice use distorted guitar sounds in their music.

I don’t think that there was a single released from this album. There are a couple of cool tracks on the album though. Plug Me In and Laser Rock are the better of the tracks on the album and give a good introduction to what is contained on the album.

This is a remix album from the group. It was released in 1981 six months before the Mesopotamia EP. On the original vinyl, this six-song collection contained songs from their first two albums remixed and sequenced to form two long songs, one on each side. This is not the case with the CD though. This set of six tracks is basicly their hits from the previous two albums, Wild Planet and the self titled album remixed for the clubs. I really like the group. I bought the record just so I could have the versions of the tracks and I like the fact that they run together as one track on each side. I usually hate this but since I have the original versions of the tracks already this is a unique way to collect these versions of the songs.

This is a single off the groups’ third album called The Innocents. It was released in the fall of 1988. The song has heavily synthesized instrumentation and is accentuated by acoustic guitar and the use of falsetto in the chorus. The lyrics are an empowering plea to a lover to show compassion and respect. There are four different versions of the track included on this version of the single along with the B-side called Like Zsa Zsa Zsa Gabor. This track, A Little Respect, is very nostalgic for me as I was in middle school and these cool synthpop tracks were played at the school dances. It also reminds me of the school dance scenes in movies like Sixteen Candles for the same reason.

That is all I have for now...