Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 23

There will be a review coming up for the Man or Astro-Man? concert later this weekend.

The new Man or Astro-Man? album will be arriving next week, baring further complications, as will the Sigur Ros album.

I am also still awaiting the arrival of the Golden Grrrls tour cassette. I will have to contact them about that one.

Here we go...

This is the second full length album from indie rock group Surfer Blood. It was released this past week (June 2013). It is a short album, clocking in at just over a half an hour. It is also a very good album. I have been listening to it over and over for the past few days. They have really continued where Tarot Classics left off two years ago. The changes on this album are subtle but noticeable. The inclusion of screams in a few tracks and A bit more edgy grit in the guitars is specifically what I saw different than what they have done in the past. I actually like it a lot. The album was not available in any kind of colored vinyl and there was a CD included with the vinyl instead of a download. I was disappointed that there was not a color option but the CD was an added bonus. This is the groups first time on a major label if you can call Sire, owned by Warner Bros., a major label now.

The first single released from the album is called DemonDance. This single was put out as a 7” three colored record for Record Store Day 2013. I wanted to get it but it was one of the two that I couldn’t get a hold of on the day. I guess I wasn’t too disappointed about that as both the A and B sides were from this album. 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.

I am not sure if Weird Shapes will be released as a single or not but it was up on the groups web page in the beginning of this year to preview. The song starts off with a multi-layered guitar with drums backing. As the rest of the song kicks in it starts to remind me right away of the song Miranda from 2011’s EP Tarot Classics. I think what is really different about this one is the addition of the screams. It is a really cool way to differentiate that this is a new way of music for the group even with the smooth Ooos. It is a cool way to showcase both sides of the group in one song.

This album is really great and I think that everyone should give it a shot. It will only take out a half hour of your day and you won’t be disappointed.

This is the tenth album from the duo. It was released in the fall of 1981. It was a major leap forward for the group as the album contains two big charting songs along with an additional top ten hitting single. After Kiss On My List went Number one the duo decided to do their best to write more songs like this and the songs on Private Eyes were the result. This album and its follow up helped to develop the sound of the 80s. This was done specifically with the synth and other electronic sounds that were new at the time. This included the electronic drums that helped sound out their sound.

The first single released from the album is the title track, Private Eyes. It is a great single. The use of actual drums and electronic drums really help to make the song unique. The synth piano that holds the song in place is not only functional but also is a unique sound to the 80s. The video for the song is not really spectacular but was created within the budget of an early MTV generation.

The second single released from the album is called I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do). This song is very pretty. The elegance comes from the background vocals combined with the synth piano part. The saxophone solo just adds to the songs general sound. The chorus is more staccato and helps to break up the soaring sounds in the verse parts. Both of these two singles should be in any 80s fans song list.

The third single from the album is called Did It In A Minute. This was a top ten single but did not reach number one in the charts. It just did not have the right content to make the number one slot. The chorus has a cool hook but the verse sections were not unique enough to get it there. The verse reminded me of something that Billy Joel could have written at the time not a group that was helping to make the sound of the 80s.

This is a good album but not essential. On the other hand the first two singles released from this album are essential. At least listen to them if not buy them. They are exceptional tracks!

This is the second digital single released by foxes since her last 7” EP. It was released in May 2013. I am really confused by the change in release style with her music. I think that this is Sony Music doing what they do worst. I don’t think they have realized that she is an indie electronic artist and her fans are expecting physical releases. That was part of why I got into her music. Her music had been released on physical records. What ever she puts out is absolutely gold but I have not seen any advertisements for the latest two singles except for what Louisa has pushed via twitter. I feel that the majors are not doing any favors for these new lesser known artists. I hope that the partnership turns out well for her but I am not holding my breath.

This single is just that. It is one song, Beauty Queen, and a remix of that song on the “B” side (it is a digital single after all). The first track is a poppy, almost marching, song that talks about the true beauty in each and every human being. She sings about beauty being only skin deep and that true beauty comes from within. It is a good dance track but I have heard better from Foxes.

The second track from this single is Beauty Queen (Jack Beats Remix). The remix is a lot more fun than the original version. The beat is four on the floor. Her vocals are super echoy and the keys are fun electronic, almost hardcore. The vocals are cut up quite a bit for the remix but the point still comes across.

The song is good as is the remix but I am still waiting to hear news about the upcoming album.

That is all I have for now...

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