Thursday, May 29, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 22

The Oh Hellos are coming back to my home town. Tickets are cheap so I may be going.

You can pre-order the new Linkin Park album at Best Buy.

As I mentioned in my last post, the new Family Force 5 album is up for pre-sale on their web page and digitally at your favorite etailer.

Here we go...

This is My Chemical Romance (MCR) second album. It was released in 2004 and repressed on limited red vinyl in 2008. The vinyl also came with a few extra goodies such as a sticker insert and the dueling guns logo as a stencil. The group signed with Reprise Records before releasing this record. The group had been dubbed Screamo at this point based on their first albums offerings but was much more than that in terms of genre. They used elements of emo but also used elements from metal, pop and punk music. This is an album that helped me through a tough time in my life with its dark themes and somewhat self help styling’s.

There were four singles released from this album. The first is the song I’m Not Okay (I Promise). The songs lyrics appear to be about a boy that is in love with a girl who already has a boyfriend. He is trying his best to be friends at the very lease with her but still trying to get her to be his girl. This issue is causing him to fall into a sever depression and is causing her to have great concern for him. In the chorus he continually tells her that he is OK but it slips out every once in a while that he is not OK. The music is high intensity to match the intense depression that is going on in the story. This is my favorite song on the album and marks a major depressive state in my adulthood that I went through. This is why it is my favorite song.

The second single from the album is called Thank You For TheVenom. This release was for Europe only. I had no idea that this was even released as a single until I did this research. The song has a cool sounding crispy distorted lead guitar sound. The vocals are very smooth with the exception of the accent points where they are pushed to distortion. The song appears to be about someone that continually does bad things. The person that loves him even though he does these bad things wants him to stop. He knows that he is doing bad things but can’t stop. He is willing to let her kill him because he is conflicted to a degree. The story is left open and we never actually know what the result is though.

The third single is called Helena. The song describes the lead singer’s feelings toward his late grandmother. The group considers this song as their root sound and as such was typically played as the last song of a concert. It also helped that a big part of the chorus the lyrics were sang, “So long and good night.” The song is good and has the sound style of loud soft loud, appealing to fans of post-punk of the 90s.

The last single from the album is called The Ghost of You. The song deals with the idea of fear of loss. The video for the song hit home for me more than anything else. The video is of an army scene that resembles the beaches on D-Day. There are also scenes that hearken back to the time before the invasion at a USO dance to blow off some steam. The song is good but is made even better with the video. I am not sure that the song would have taken off as well as it did with out the video.

This is a great album filled with hard emotion. It is the perfect album for someone who is dealing with loss or is in a depressed state and can’t seem to get out of it. It is a great album overall but not one that I want to listen to if I am not in either of those moods.

This is the new single from the new album called Upside Out or Hungry Ghosts from OK Go. The info on the track digitally for the album name is Upside Out. The band has called the album Hungry Ghosts on the internet. The album name could still change apparently. The band put this out to early pledgers on their Pledgemusic page. It appears to be track two on the album but since it is not finished yet this could change. The song smacks of early 80s sounds from Joy Division/New Order (Yes, I know that Joy Division never really made it past the 70s but posthumous tracks were released in the 80s).  The song is bass guitar lead with the guitars and synth adding to the songs background. The vocals are almost on the same level as the bass, just a little bit above the bass. This is a really great track that pays homage to a couple of my favorite bands. I can’t wait to get my hands on this album.

This is a split 7” record that I got in my craze to get all things Eternal Summers. I thought that it was out of print. Well, I guess that you could say that it is out of print but the record company, Funny/Not Funny Records, still has copies. I ordered directly from them to get a copy. I was confused when I started looking for this because Kanine Records has the graphic up on their page. I had to find the accurate information about what company put out the record on Discogs. I also found that there were 300 pressed on black 7” vinyl and that it was released way back in 2011.

There are four tracks and two bands on this record. The first side has two tracks from a band called The Super Vacations and the second side has two tracks from Eternal Summers. The first song on the A side is called Picnic. I get the feeling that this song sounds like The Rolling Stones back in their early days. That is the music is supposed to sound like that, the vocals just sound off. I am not sure if that is their thing or what. The music is great but the vocals don’t match the music tonality.

The second track is called Beer League. This song has the exact same problems and bright spots as the first track. The music is brilliant but the vocals are just wrong. The music has that cool garage rock sound but the vocals are just not in tune with the music. If this is what they were going for and they always sound like this I won’t be pursuing them.

On the B side, the Eternal Summers side, the fist track is a soft rocker called On My Honor. This harkens back to the sounds of any year really. There have always been slow soft rock songs being released by female lead groups. I really like that this song could have been released at any point in the past rock years. My first thought was that of the 70s and then as I listened to it I heard drops of the 90s and even the 00s when I didn’t really listen to female groups. The song crosses all those boundaries and sounds great doing it too.

The last track on this record is called Half The Time (Stripped Down Version). The funny thing is that I can’t seem to find a studio version of this track. That means that this is the only version of this track, stripped down or no. I thought it was kind of a funny but curious way to title a song. Anyway, the song is dreamy and sleepy but very sweet. It is one of those songs that belongs in a sleeping playlist. I like it a lot.

This is a 7” record that was released earlier this year on Steady Sounds Records. It is a 45 RPM Mono record. Not many records are released in mono any more. This record was pressed to 300 copies and early copies have a “Prmotional Copy Not For Sale” stamp on the label. For what ever reason I bought one copy and got two. I am not complaining. It is always nice to have two.

Both of the tracks on this record can be found on the demo cassette that I got directly from the band. The A side track is Make It Mine. The vocals are just a smidge distorted on the high end giving the vocals that bite. The guitar is classic with a sound that reminds me of the cheap guitars that The Rolling Stones used. The drums are super simple but do a fantastic job of elevating the music. I can’t bring my self to focus on the vocals because the music is so fantastic.

The B side track is called Movin’ On. This track can also be found on the demo cassette. This song is a bit smoother than the A side. I also think that the chorus is catchier than Make It Mine. I could see this track as a radio single over the A side. The super viby sound on the guitar part makes this song smack of the 70s flower power sound. I like what this track sounds like mainly because of that guitar sound.

This one is a 7” record released earlier this year on Hidden Volume Records. This one is a 45 RPM record in stereo. The sleeve for this record was specially screen printed and the record was only pressed to 300 copies. The music on this record has been called blistering. I call it fantastic and maybe over the top but fun 60s styled garage rock for sure. Both tracks can also be found on the demo cassette.

The A side of this record is called Sick and Tired. The song is just slightly distorted all around. It just gives the song that crispy fried sound, like they pushed all of the levels just past where they should have been. It is not that the song doesn’t have dynamics, it does, it is that sound where nearly everything is almost too loud though. It is good and has a great hook.

The B side, Cut Me Down, is my least favorite song from the group. It is slow and that is hard to listen to when every other song is whirlwind fast. I guess this allows me to focus on the lyrics a bit more. The song appears to be about a rough neck boy who likes a clean cut girl but all the clean cut boys want to date her. This makes him sick and as much as he likes her he can’t even approach her. It is a good song but a drag that it is the only slow song on the cassette.

If you're interested in what The Ar-Kaics have to offer, check out their Bandcamp page.

I can’t wait for Windian Records to put out this LP record. It is taking them so long to get it out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 21

With the new video/single release from Family Force 5 comes the announcement of a pre-order going up for the new album on the 27th. Check your favorite etailer or go directly to the bands web page for special packaging.

Here we go...

I have finally gotten my copy of the album. I opted to get the deluxe CD version instead of the vinyl version. The deluxe CD comes with five bonus tracks and Louisa signed some the deluxe copies (my copy is signed). I still don’t understand why the album was released so long after the album was recorded let alone back in February after Louisa had signed all of these deluxe editions. This is the first full length album from Foxes. It was released on scheduled to be released on the 28th of February but was pushed back to 12th of May 2014.

There has been quite a few singles released from this album The first of which was the song Youth which was originally released on Neon Gold Records before she was picked up by the majors back in 2012. It was then re-released on Sony/Sign Of The Times in 2013. The version on the album is slightly different from the mix on the Neon Gold 7” but both sound good. I had this to say about the song back in Vol. 3 Episode 33, “[Youth] starts out with her vocals only with the music fading in slowly. There are lots of synth strings and a low under current bass line and light drums. It builds into a bass driven track with glitch drums that sound really good. The song drops this all off with only her vocals about half way through the song. The piano comes in slowly and then everything picks back up. It is a great song with great song craftsmanship in my opinion.”

White Coats was also included on the album. This track was originally released on the Warrior EP and is the reason that I got into Foxes in the first place. I had this to say about the song when it was originally released back in 2012 also in Vol. 3 Episode 33, “White Coats, has some really cool digital backing vocal samples that are very intriguing. It has that mountainous feel with tympani drums used in the chorus and the sampled vocals having a nice clear echo on them. She sort of has a bit of a whine in her vocals. Some people may not like this sound. For me, listening to Thom Yorke for so long, it is all right.”

In Her Arms was also included on the album but as one of the extra tracks on the deluxe version. This is another track that was originally included in the Warrior EP. I talked about this track in Vol. 3 Episode 33 as well. I had this to say about the track, “This track has a really awesome big distorted bass drum sound. The melody of the song sounds like it is coming from a set of pipe bells that are all bent out of shape. They have a slightly out of tune sound that works so well with the song. This track is one of the two that are only available on the download version of the EP [at that time].”

The B side to the Youth 7”, Home, record was also included on the new album, also as a extra track on the deluxe version. I had this to say about the track also in Vol. 3 Episode 33, “This track is much simpler. It starts out with her vocals and a music box sounding melody behind. The drums pick up with a slow big sound. There is also some synth parts that support the music box sound that continues through the verse. There are some strings that pick up in the chorus to pick up where the music box leaves off. It reminds me of a child moving with his or her parents from town to town. The child in the story almost never gets to make any friends. It is a heart wrenching story that rings true to me through some of my friends who have had to live like that.”

Beauty Queen was also released as a digital single. I wrote about the song in Vol. 4 Episode 23. I had this to say about the song, “This 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.” It is still a good song but not as strong of a contender as some of the other tracks already released as a single.

The song Echo was also released as a digital EP. It was really a single with remixes of said song but what ever. I wrote about this song in Vol. 3 Episode 48. I had this to say bout the song, “It is done in her usual style, electronic style drums with a good beat, synth backgrounds and bass with twinkly sounding piano. It is a really great song that I like a lot.”

The album also included a studio version of Let Go ForTonight. I had previously only heard a demo version of the song from the download version of the Warrior EP. The demo version is scaled back compared to this new studio version. This new studio version packs a punch and is so much more energetic. It also has drums adding to the dramatics of the song. I really like how the plucked strings and the bowed strings interact with each other as well. I can’t say that one version is better than the other. I think that it is just that this new studio version has more in it. I like both versions but I think that I would opt to listen to this version first.

The last song that has been released as a single is called Holding On ToHeaven. This track was only released as a digital single in the UK. The song is a great dance track with a speedy verse and a somewhat slowed chorus. The song is not so deep with bass as much as it focuses on the vocals, both backing and multi-tracked lead vocals. The lead singer sings about holding on to the last important things in life to keep her going. The song is very good and I am happy to hear new music from Foxes.

I hope that Foxes will gain some traction here in the US. She is doing great in the UK though.

This is the groups sixth album. It was released through Parlophone/Atlantic records on the 16 (UK) and 19 (US) of May, 2014. The album is partially inspired by Chris Martin’s rocky relationship to Gwyneth Paltrow at the time of the recording. It is a concept album that tells the story of a man going through a dramatic and sudden breakup, with the narrative following the man's various emotional states leading up to his eventual acceptance of the situation. The album revolves around a central theme of "opening yourself up to love", and accepting that love does not last forever. In the US, Target released a deluxe version with an additional three tracks.

There have been three singles released from the album at this point. The first single released is called Midnight. The song is based on an incomplete unreleased track called The Fourth State II. This music that is used is very simple and majorly electronic in nature. There is piano added over the top of this ambient music and a vocal from Chris that sound like there was a lot of fun with a vocoder. It reminds me of what Bon Iver did but turned around to make it electronic instead of acoustic. It is a new view of what can be done. I like it a lot.

The second song from the album is called Magic. The vocals are super clean, no extras on Chris’s vocals. The same can be said about the backing vocals. The drums are slightly muffled giving an almost electronic sound with the decay on the snare being cut short. The piano and guitar work are done very well too. Because the music is straight forward this leads me to actually listen to the vocals. Even though I can sing along they are just words. With this song I saw the video. The video brought more emotion than the song did. It depicts a magician, his helper and her abusive husband. The magician learns to float himself and then others in the air as if they were weightless. He then sends her abusive husband up in the air to never come down. That is where the video ends though and we never find out if the magician and helper have a serious relationship or if he was just protecting her because she needed it.

The newest single is called A Sky Full of Stars. This song is the groups big dance track. It enters into the realm of EDM (Electronic Dance Music). A piano-centric song, the track opens as a piano ballad, with progressive house-influenced electronic music that plays out in between verses. The track is full of good feelings and pushes the idea of what can be a rock song. It is a lot of fun and reminds me of the mid to late 90s house music.

Overall, this is another good album from Coldplay. I think that the concept works as well, aiming to teach people about what love is and how it really works. It shows that it is not a fairy tail and that it can crumble for no reason at all but it will come back.

This is the second album from Gold-Bears. It will be out on June 3, 2014. It will be released on standard formats; CD LP & DL. The limited edition vinyl is pressed on white and green swirl and comes with a hand numbered green screen print. As written on the SLR web page for the new album, “Gold-Bears' second full-length, Dalliance, is a record about regret…Gold-Bears' second full-length, Dalliance, is a record about regret. [The album] is more focused and abrasive than that 2011 debut, combining their noise-pop influences…with shades of the post-hardcore, emo and post-punk on which the band all cut their musical teeth. This is not to say that Gold-Bears gave up impossibly catchy song-writing, just that their signature indie punk anthems are now even sharper, the guitars even more slashing, and the songs even more harrowing and heartfelt than ever.” “Gold-Bears cover a lot of territory, musical and lyrical, in Dalliance's 32 minutes and by the time that we reach the miniature epic of closer "Fathers And Daughters" we realize that we're watching a band and a song-writer hit their stride, turning in an album that's exciting, thoughtful and infectious.”

There have been two singles released from the album digitally so far. The first song is called Yeah, Tonight. The song is nothing like the Yeah, Tonight that is the last song on the first album. The new Yeah, Tonight is filled with distortion noise and feedback and hard hitting drums, All the things that make good noise pop. The song sounds like it could have been lifted from the first album though. This is not a good or a bad thing, merely just an observation. It is still a good song that I am happy to have a copy of.

The second single from the album is called For You. This track is a new view of music from the group. The vocals have become sharper and cleaner than they ever have before. The bass can actually be heard on this song and the drums have been dialed back a bit adding to the clarity of the song. The guitars still have that wonderful noise and little bits of feedback popping in every now and again, maintaining the sound that I have come to expect from the group.

On a side note, I can't get over how much the song From Tallahassee To Gainesville sounds so much like the music created by The Pains of Being Pure At Heart track called The Pains of Being Pure at heart. I like both songs but thought that it was curiously interesting.

I hope that the song Death With Drums will be released as a single. There is something special about that song. Over all the entire album is a great jaunt through the different sub-genres of punk music. It is so much fun.

That is all for now...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 20

The new video for the first single, BZRK, for the up coming Family Force 5 video is out today. Check it out!

Jonsi has helped out on the new single from the up coming How To Train Your Dragon 2 movie. I can’t get the song to play on Soundcloud but maybe you all can.

The first single has been released digitally for supporters of the new OK Go album. Download it now if you have contributed at Pledgemusic.

Here we go...

This is the latest album from The Black Keys. It was released on the ninth of May, 2014. This is their eights studio album. Dangermouse is sited as co-writer for the album and has been working with them since their fifth album, Attack And Release. This new album has a darker feel to it, probably due to the fact that the lead singer had just gone through a divorce before the album had been finished. The album shies away from the straight blues-rock sound and heads for a more psychedelic and soul sound. There are eleven tracks on the album. As I have read in other articles, the group did not go into the studio with a bunch of songs in their back pocket. They create the music in the studio on the fly, so to speak. This just shows how creative they really are. The cover art was influenced by a Twitter dispute with Justin Bieber fans in which he was recommended a movie called The Peanut Butter Solution. The movie focuses on Mind control, hence the spiral on the cover. The title of the album is a shout out to Ghoulardi, a fictional TV character/announcer for horror television in Cleveland, Ohio.

There have been two singles released from the album so far. The first single is called Fever. I talked about this song in Vol. 5 Episode 12. I had this to say about the song, “With the announcement of a new album from The Black Keys, a new single has been released called Fever. You can get an instant download with the preorder from The Black Keys web page. The song is fun and takes the group in a new direction. The first time I heard the song I was a bit hurt because it was not the sound that I was expecting from them. On further listens I have opened up to the idea that they can branch out into different avenues of old school blues music and use keyboards in a star roll for example. The song lets the bass take the lead for the most part on this track too. I think that Danger Mouse taking the producer position helps to advance this group in those new ways again. I am very excited to get my hands on this album when it is released!” It still stands as a good song

The second single is the title track from the album, TurnBlue. I talked about the song in Vol. 5 Episode 14. I had this to say about the song, “I actually like this track better than the first single. The both of these new singles have been released together in CD format. The CD single comes with a discount coupon for the new album. It is a unique little something that I have not seen. The new title track song, Turn Blue, has a really smooth blues feel that I like a lot. The drums and bass combine to make this awesome sounding drive. There is also this digital distortion that floats in the back ground that I really like. The guitar work on the track reminds me of the old school R&B sounds. This track really works well and I am excited for the new album based on these two new tracks.” I still really like this song especially the distorted buzz that floats in the background.

I have heard rumors that Bullet In The Brain will be the third single from the album. This track is a slower track than the first two singles and has a heavy acoustic feel to it. Although Danger mouse is all over it with synth sounds. I really dig the bass guitar sound when you can hear it on its own during the verse parts. The song really follows the loud quiet loud ethic with the verse being the quiet part. The song has the potential to be a single if that is where they are going to go with the song.

The following song on the album, called It’s Up To You Now, has a great rhythm and keeps that rhythm through the song. I think this song is really amazing with the rhythm, chords and instrument play that happens on the song. The guitar solo is especially sweet. This is very unique for the band as Auerbach is not known for the solos in The Black Keys music. I hope that this is a new addition to the sound of the group on albums to come.

The last song on the album is called Gotta Get Away. The song is completely different from the rest of the album. It smacks of southern rock brought into the 2010s. It is good but, for me it doesn’t seem to fit the album at all. This is actually what the group was after. They intended it to be a pallet cleanser of sorts. Patric Carney said, “Actually, I think it works well at the end, too. It erases your brain from whatever heavy elements there are in the record. I think maybe it encourages you to go back and listen to the record again.”

Sea Wolf – Song Spells No. 1: Cedarsmoke
Not much information has been released about this album as of yet. It has been released to the Kickstarter funders early, May 14, 2014, in digital format and will be released digitally to the rest of the world at a later date. The physical formats and other perks will be sent out to supporters as they are finished. I did get the colored and signed version of the album. This is a kickstarter only deal and will probably take some extra time as Alex, the lead singer, will be signing these limited colored versions. I will make sure to keep you all posted when the items start coming in the mail. I am not positive but when I get the record there may be a few extras in the box. The albums sound goes back to the roots of the group. This is because of the stripped down nature of the album. It is very meloncoly and reminds me of the first album that Sea Wolf released, Leaves In The River. This is my favorite album from the group but this new stripped down version is going to give it a run for its money. It is not a happy album but I feel good after listening to the album. The album consists of ten tracks.

I have no idea if there will be any singles released from this album as it is the first time that Sea Wolf has done a crowd funded album. There are some exceptional tracks on the album though. The second track on the album, called Rams Head, is one of those exceptional tracks. The song is basically just Alex and his acoustic guitar. The chord progression on the song is perfect simplicity. There is an additional acoustic guitar and backing vocals during the chorus and an additional instrument that I am not sure of that comes in toward the end of the song. This is one of my favorite tracks from the album.

I also like the track called Young Bodies. The song uses some synth sounds in the background to add some atmosphere. There is also an electric guitar that floats behind the acoustic guitar to give the acoustic some depth. I have never heard this done before. I think it is a pretty way to get focus on the acoustic guitar over the electric. I also like the finger picking that Alex does with this track. The sound of the guitar has a grounded earthy sound that works so well with his vocals. The first time that I heard the song I thought that this was the title track since he uses the name of the album, Cedarsmoke, in the lyrics. when I went back to figure out what track was what I realized this was incorrect and that the title track was a music only song.

The track Whitewoods also stands out for me. The title alone reminds me of a birch forest. There is a squeeze box of some kind used in the song. I am not usually a fan of this sound but since it was used on the first album, I have kind of gotten use to the sound used within the confines of the group. The instrument is used mainly as a background sound but it works very well. This is more of a full band track and very sad sounding. It gives me the feeling of a birch forest in the middle of a rain storm that can bee seen through a hand made glass window in a log cabin from across the dirt road. I don’t think that I can give a clearer picture. It is a very pretty song.

The last song that I really liked from this new album is called The Water’s Wide. It is a quicker song that is pushed by the drums and the picking of the acoustic guitar. The bass that is the link between the drums and the guitar works just as hard as the guitar and the drums with the finger picking that is done on this instrument. It is really amazing to hear these instruments interact. There is also an electronic guitar that is used very sparingly. It gives some atmosphere as does the strings that are playing at the end of the song. There is something special about this chorus. It may be that it reminds me of the song that I use to sing at church that talks about the river being not only wide but deep giving reference to god’s love for us all.

I can’t recommend this album enough to those that have any interest in Sea Wolf or in the new alt country movement that has been going on for a while now. If you had any interest in the first album this one will sit well with you.

This is the third album from The Pains of Being Pure At Heart (The Pains). It was released on May 13, 2014 through a new record company called Yebo Music. This release is labeled YEBO 001, so I have to go with the idea that this is the first release from the record company. InSound records put out a color variant of the vinyl release calling it bone white. It is more of a pastel yellow in my opinion but is still a pretty color. There were only 500 copies pressed in this limited color and, as of this typing, there were still a few copies left at InSound. Jen Goma, of A Sunny Day In Glasgow sang back up vocals through the album along with singing lead vocals on two tracks (Kelly and Life After Life).  

Kip Berman leaked a black and white video prior go the release of the first single of him playing the first song on the album called ArtSmock. This was the first clue that there was going to be a new album. The song is super simple with, primarily Kip singing and playing acoustic guitar. The accompaniment is super simple with a soaring light synth chord in the background and a synth xylophone accenting the important points. There is an electric guitar playing in the background as well but it just adds to the ambiance in the background of the track.

The first official single is called Simple And Sure. I talked about this track in Vol. 5 Episode 10. This is what I had to say, “The music for the song is happier than the music that has been released from the group in the past. It is for sure more pop and I think that is what Kip is aiming for. The specific parts are more bright and different as his backing band line up has changed since the last two albums.” I really like the fact that there is a physical release, 7” record, for this song. I hope that there will be releases for the other singles that have been released from this album too.

The second single from the album is called Eurydice.  I hear everyone calling this 90s pop. I can’t remember anything that sounded like this in the 90s. I think it is more late 80s pop than anything anyone has mentioned yet. It is gorgeous music though. The synth layers combined with the thumping bass track and drums make this one of my favorites on the album. The chorus, although noisy, has a wonderful lush sound with that Pat Benatar styled backing vocal. It is a great sparkling pop track that makes me feel good.

The newest single to be released from the album is called Until The Sun Explodes. There has been a big deal about this song since its release because of the video. The video totally reminds me of the cartoon from the 80s called Jem with a logo at the end that resembles the He-man logo from that cartoon. So much nostalgic fun, it is ridiculous. The video works so well simply because the song fits that 80s aesthetic of cartoons that sold action figures. I would totally buy the action figures of the characters that are in the video. Maybe Kip will read this and try to get something going in that department. I mean Korn did it as did Kiss. Why couldn’t The Pains!

This is a genius album that I would never have expected from The Pains considering the pattern of the first two albums. I hope that this trend of 80s indie pop continues or at least merges with the ideas that were on the first two albums. All of the music that they have created is pure bliss in my opinion. Keep it up Kip!
That is all for this week. I think that next week will be a double post for the holiday...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 19

The stripped down album from Sea Wolf has been released to supporters of the Kickstarter campaign as a download. Check your email if you contributed. The physical copies still need to be pressed and will take another four or more weeks for that to happen. Review coming soon.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart have put out a video for the third single from the new album, Days of Abandon, called Until The Sun Explodes. The video totally reminds me of the cartoon from the 80s called Jem with a logo at the end that resembles the He-man logo from that cartoon. So much nostalgic fun, it is ridiculous.

Family Force 5 has a new video for the song BZRK. I am assuming that this is a song from the upcoming album. The video is just a teaser for the new album but I believe that the song clip is from a song on the album and it could be the lead single.

Polica are putting out a 10” record of the extra tracks that were on the deluxe edition of the last album. I will probably get a copy. It will be released June 23 and is called Raw Exit

Windian Records have posted a new track from The Ar-Kaics; I don’t even have a copy of the song on the cassette the band sent me, from the upcoming album, to be released in June, on soundcloud called This Time Tonight. This song features a little more clarity than previous songs and is a bit slower. I like it a lot and am excited for the new album.

The Marshmallow Ghosts will have a new EP just in time for Halloween, October 14, 2014.

Here we go...

This is the first and only album released from Summer Cats. This album was released in 2009 on Slumberland Records. It was released on CD and vinyl. The vinyl version was on a hazy clear vinyl with multicolored splatter. The vinyl also came with a down load card. This was pretty edgy for 2009. The album pays homage to the past classics of the 90s and early 00s indie scenes while still looking forward to current and future pop.

There were two singles released from the album. The first is called Wild Rice. The song is simple and slow pop sounding. I like the organ that is used on the track. It is a slower song with female led vocals. There is an acoustic guitar with a clean but toned down guitar following the vocals. It is just a really great pop song.

The second was Lonely Planet. This is a bass guitar lead track. The guitar has that kind of 60s rock sound of a cheap guitar. There is also an organ in the back ground on this track too. This is also a slower track but with that 60s vibe it works very well. It is mainly because of the organ that I get that 60s vibe. It reminds me of the popular Vox cheap organ with the reverse colored keys.

Other songs that I really like from the album are Super. This track is up tempo from the two singles that were released. It is a fun fast paced track that breaks up in the chorus to break the monotony of the verse parts. The song moves very smoothly and I can just envision the crowd doing the pogo to this track as it was played live. It is so much fun.

Hey You is another faster paced song. It is kind of bla until the break before the chorus which is fast strummed muted chords. It reminds me of something that I would have done or may yet do on a song. I feel that this is the part of the song that I really like but it doesn’t diminish the rest of the song. I think it actually helps me stay interested in the song really.

Christopher Wren is a beautiful song that uses distorted organ and, my favorite, a Rhodes keyboard to lead the melody of the song. The melody is supper catchy and runs through all of the verse not the chorus. For me this makes it even easier to stick in my head. The wonderful female vocals follow the melody making a ear worm that one could only dream of. The track is pure ear candy.

The last song I wan to talk about is called Maybe Pile. This tracks vocals are lead by the male singer of the band. He has a wonderful lower tone that reminds me of the Psychedelic Furs. The way that he sings the primary line in the chorus is intoxicating. He sings, “Chuck me on the maybe pile.” It is just wonderful to hear that lower tone in a lead vocal sometimes.

This is a great spring/summer album. If you don’t have it give it a shot.

This is a compilation record released through Slumberland Records. It was reciently repressed on white vinyl with black and red splatter. I had stayed away from the group feeling that it was too noisy for me. It was not until I started getting into some of the noise groups like Joanna Gruesome or Golden Grrrls that I came back to Black Tambourine. This release compiles all of their releases up to the 2010 release date. Since the release date they have put out two new releases. A double 7” called OneTwoThreeFour and a promo picture disc with a remix on the A side and a B side track that I have never heard. Actually I have never heard either track but I know that the record exists.

There are quite a few tracks that I really like from this compilation. The first track on the album is called For Ex-Lovers Only. I am actually not a fan of this version as much. There is also included in this compilation a demo version of this song. This version has less noise/cleaner sounding than the studio version. The demo version lets the vocals stand out more. This is a good thing as The female vocals sometimes need space to breathe and with a cleaner sound they can soar.

The second track that I like is called Can’t Explain. The track is bass lead with a nice light distortion on the bass. The vocals are back in the mix a little. This is nice because the vocals become more musical and I don’t need to focus on the lyrics as much. The guitar has a kind of cheap guitar sound that makes me want to pick up a Danelectro. It is a cool unique sound that a lot of indie bands have but maybe not intentionally.

I also like the track Throw Aggi Off The Bridge. This is also a bass lead track with that light distortion thrown in for good measure. The bass line reminds me of something that Joy Division would have written. It could also have been a spin from a Joy Division song even. Either way, it is a fun track.

Drown is the one slow track on the album. It is based on an R&B sound but with the noise of indie rock thrown in. The ride cymbal is what leads the track. The vocals musically remind me of something from the movie Grease almost. The guitar part is just noise in the background. It is a fresh take on R&B but I don’t know if it will take off ever.

One of the shortest tracks on the album is called Pam’s Tan. It is music only, no lyrics. The music kind of has a slightly warped feel. It is a repeated riff that doesn’t really go anywhere for just shy of a minute and 20 seconds. It is a great break in the album.

Lastly, the track Lazy Heart goes back to that Joy Division/Ramones bass lead sound. The guitar in this one is fuzzy and follows the bass very closely. The vocals are in a lower tone to come closer to the tone of the bass. They are also double tracked and two toned. The musicality of this track is really amazing.

I am really surprised that this group is not more popular than they actually are. I guess they are a little bit ahead of their time seeing as they started way back in 1989.

I have finally gotten my hands on the new single from The Pains. The cover is a section of the cover of the full length album. The vinyl is olive green and there is, of course, only two tracks. It is a 45 RPM record that comes with a download for the two tracks. Slumberland Records put out this single for the group. I am not sure if Yebo doesn’t do singles or if it was some other reason that Slumberland and not Yebo put out the single.

The A side of the record is Simple and Sure. I had this to say about the song when it was released digitally in Vol. 5 Episode 10, “The music for the song is happier than the music that has been released from the group in the past. It is for sure more pop and I think that is what Kip is aiming for. The specific parts are more bright and different as his backing band line up has changed since the last two albums.”

The B side track is called Impossible. This song comes off just a bit darker than Simple and Sure but reminds me of songs from movies like Say Anything or The Breakfast Club. The song features picked chords over strummed and vocals over drums in the break. This song is a lot of fun even if just a bit depressed. I like the horns that are used at the end of the song as well. It slightly increases the tension when they are on their own but brings the tension back down when the rest of the band kicks back in. It is strange how this happens but it seems to work well in the song.
That is all for now...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 18

Flowers will have a new full length album coming out on Kanine Records at some point in the future. This is why the new song was on the Non Violent Femmes compilation album.

A new band called Camera Shy has signed on with Run For Cover Records. The group features the ex-singer from Whirr along with members of Nothing and Whirr. No information about a release as of yet.

You can listen to the full new album from The Pains of Being Pure At Heart called Days of Abandon on YouTube now.

OK Go will have a new album out this year along with a tour to support the album. You can get your preorder on now at

Spoon will also have a new album out this year. This is why they will be at Rock The Garden this year.

I have also heard that Joanna Gruesome will have something new from Slumberland Records in the near future.

Those of you who have contributed to the Sea Wolf album last winter, the artwork has been completed and the download will be released this Wednesday.

On with the short show...

This is the first album from Eternal summers. This album was released in 2010 through Kanine Records. The album came with a download card. They don’t seem to hit that surf feel with this album. It is still a very good album. It is more of a fun indie rock female lead group. Overall this album is pretty mellow. It has a good beat and moves along well but has a mellow vibe that makes me feel warm inside. It is a album to be listened to on a lazy summer day.

Because it was released in 2010 and I only just recently got the album I have no idea what the singles should have been from the album. There doesn’t seem to be any documentation of an official single released from the album. I will just highlight a few songs that I like from the album because of this.

The first track that I really like from the album is called I Know Now. It is one of the faster paced songs on the album. The guitar picking is a lot of fun and it makes me want to work on picking myself. If a song makes me want to play something like this I think it is a pretty good track. The chorus has the guitar strummed and fits the song for a good change from the picking.

The next track that I liked from the album is called Running High. The song starts out with staccato chords. It makes me feel good with the dead air between the drums and the guitar. When the lyric come in the chords are strummed but they are allowed to ring out instead of a continuous strum. it is a great contrast to the opening staccato intro. This is probably my favorite song from the album.

The last song I want to talk about from the album is called Salty. This is the slowest track on the album. It has a lounge music kind of a feel to it. The chord progression is sweet and makes me relax feeling like life is good even if I am having a tough day.

This is a great album with lots of feelings across the composition. Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

This is the first album from Withered Hand. It was released in 2012 in the UK on a couple of different record companies and on Absolutely Kosher Records in the US. The album seems to push Christian values as Dan Wilson, lead singer for the group, was raised as an evangelical Christian through his life. The vocals on the album have kind of a whiney aspect to them. This somehow adds to the personality of the music instead of detracting from it. It is mainly an acoustic album, using instruments such as a banjo and a pump organ. This gives the album a down to earth feel musically even though he sings about Christian beliefs and values.

I really like the track New Dawn. It is fast paced and keeps my interest more so than the frist half of the record ever could. It uses eighth note chords strummed through the whole song. There are additions of violin and backing vocals. The drums even cut out at one point in the song. The songs’ ending is fitting with all of the instruments just cutting out very abruptly.

The only other track that I have any real interest in is called No Cigarettes. The song has a good fold style with a beat that keeps the song moving. I like the use of the banjo over the top of the guitar in the song. The drums are used very sparingly. There is also an upright stringed instrument used. It is a fair song but not the best.

I can’t say that this is a good album in any way. He later found his stride in the singles that followed this album. The second album works so much better than this one.

That is all I have for this week...

Friday, May 2, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 17.5

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart with opening acts Ablebody and Fear of Men at The Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis MN on April 29th, 2014.

I preordered tickets to the concert as soon as they went on sale. This was to be a sort of date night for my wife and I. My mother-in-law came over to the house to watch the baby. We were going to have dinner at Chipotle near home but changed our minds. We decided to eat somewhere closer to the venue. This meant that we were going to be early to the venue and were able to park behind the building. We walked about a block and a half before deciding on a hole in the wall gyro joint. My wife had a gyro but I wanted a burger. The burger was sub par but was elevated by the addition of the spice mix that they put on the gyros.

After a cheap dinner we went back to the venue and waited for the doors to open. It was just a matter of minutes before they opened, not a big deal. I picked up a promo poster on the way in. We went to a table on the main floor and sat down. There is a line of tables at the back of the main floor and behind them on the upper floor is a bar like structure with seats facing the stage.

After we had procured our seats I went up to the merch table co see what they had. There were albums for both of the opening bands but nothing for The Pains of Being Pure At Heart except for a T-shirt, I didn’t really like the graphic, and some micro pins. I was very saddened that there was no music to support The Pains on this stop of the tour. There wasn’t anyone at the merch table at this point so I went back to sit down and wait for the show to start.

The first opening group was Ablebody. They are a three piece group that could have done with an additional member or two. I say this because there were pre-recorded tracks with each song. I did like the vocal style, the way that the lyrics were sung and the tone of the singers’ voice. It reminded me of some of the 80s music that I like. I can’t say that I am going to search out their music but it was a good start to the concert.

After the Ablebody set was over I saw that Kip was manning the merch booth. I went up to talk to him. I asked him why there weren’t any of the new single for sale. He said that they sold out of them very quickly and weren’t going to get any restocked until they got to Seattle. I was bummed out. I was looking forward to getting a copy at the concert so he could sign it. He did tell me that the single Eurydice will probably get a 7” release in Europe though. I am excited for that. I showed him that I was the writer of this blog. He said that he read all the posts that the pains were a part of and that he didn’t know that I was from Minneapolis. Then one of the photographers at the show stepped up and had a bag of music for Kip to sign. I never want to be that guy but at the same time I totally want Kip to sign all of my Pains records too.

I went back down to listen to the next band, Fear of Men. They were a four piece group with female vocals. The vocalist has a very pretty voice. She also played a beautiful metallic green Fender guitar with a tortoise pick guard. I had never thought about this color combination before but that night it struck me as a very pretty color combination. The group was the right choice for an opening act. It helped that they had released an album on the day of the concert. I was actually annoyed by and enjoyed the strange gyrations of the lead guitarist for this band. He played simple picked chords but the way that he moved while playing the chords had to make it difficult to play the notes. It was a good set but I was not interested in the group enough to buy their music either.

Kip took the stage by himself for the first song. He played his new black on white Fender Telecaster. This was the first time I had heard this new guitar live. For a long time I hated what the Fender electric guitars sounded like. I changed my mind and bought on in 2008. I was happy to see that Kip had done the same thing. I feel that it has given the new music a new dimension, especially with this new track, Art Smock. This song being just Kip and the electric guitar the song has a fragile sound and is very sweet.

After Art Smock ended members of the two openers came out to fill out the rest of the band. The bassist and the guitarist from Ablebody and the lead guitarist from Fear of Men came out to play keyboards and backing vocals. Also the drummer from Fear of Men came out. The following track had a miscue but restarted quickly. The song, as with all of the new songs I found, had a different feel from the past two records. The distortion seemed to be lacking or not even there at all. It gave the song a cleaner sound and came off with a more pop feel than ever before. It was awesome.

The next new song that was played was sung by the vocalist for Fear of Men. This is a completely new angle for The Pains to go in. I like the idea a lot. It opens up more avenues for the group to move in. It is super poppy and reminds me of the music that I liked growing up as a kid in the 80s with the synth sounds that were played on the keyboard especially.

The next song is the first single that has been released from the forth coming album, Simple and Sure. This is the song that I was hoping to get on 7” at the concert. The song sounded fantastic and very near to what I have heard from the studio recording. I think that it is very amazing that this rag-tag group can come together to make a near exact sound live. I always think that is an amazing feet.

There was a little bit of a pause between Young Adult Friction and Life After Life where he talked about snow in May and how sucky that is. He also talked about the pop feel of the new music and compared it to Mmm Bop. Then they went into the next song Life After Life. This was the second track that was female vocal lead. There was a pre-recorded track with this one that had a trumpet or french horn being played. It is a sweet song about relationships, spiritual and physical.

The next new song, Eurydice, is the newest single from the band. The chorus in this one really grabs me. The song has a good beat but the chorus really kicks butt. I am so excited for this to be put out on a 7” record, even if it is only released in Europe.

The last new song was played as the first track of the encore. That song is called Coral and Gold. I can’t say that this is my favorite track that I have heard from the new album but it is good. It is a bit sad in the chord progression. It also doesn’t stand out like Eurydice or Simple and Sure. After the song Kip talked about his dad going to the show in Chicago. He said that the show was sold out so his dad left. He thought it was odd that his dad didn’t say he was going to the show. Kip could have easily put his dads’ name on the guest list if he knew he was coming.

All in all, this was a really great show. I am sad that there wasn’t any music to buy. I am also kicking myself for not bringing anything for Kip to sign but not knowing that there were not going to be any records or CD to buy from The Pains what could I have done?

Thanks to Able Body and Fear of Men for supporting the tour and for helping out The Pains (Kip) to fill out the band. Thanks Kip (The Pains) for coming out to Minneapolis again. Also, Thanks to the Triple Rock for having the concert.

Track list:
Art Smock
Until The Sun Explodes
Heart In Your Heart Break
The Body
Simple and Sure
Come Saturday
Young Adult Friction
Life After Life
This Love Is Fucking Right!
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

Coral and Gold
Everything With You

City Pages did a review of the concert also if you want to see someone else’s point of view.

Vol. 5 Episode 17

Hidden Volume will be releasing the next Ar-Kaics single next week.

There will also be a new album from Whirr coming out in the future on Graveface Records. No official release date yet.

Joanna Greusome latest album, which has been out of print for a while, has been repressed in a new color variant. It is now on clear with a mint green center over at slumberland records.

Spin did a little featurette on Kip Bermans apartment called Spin: In My Room. It is really funny and you should check it out.

Here we go...

This is also a special release from RSD 2014. It is limited to 4000 pressings in a gatefold double vinyl set. It is a live album with recordings taken from various points on tour with the Magik * Magik Orchestra. This album features tracks from all across DCFCs seven plus albums. I thought that this would be a great selection of albums but it seems that it comes off very sleepy. Quite literally, I will probably not listen to the album unless I can’t sleep. This is very good music, it’s just that it puts me to sleep.

There are some great songs that are on this album that are made even better with the addition of Magik * Magik though. All of the songs are played in a minimalistic style to give the orchestra the most impact. Most of my favorite tracks from this album are on the second record with the exception of Different Names For The Same Thing which is on the first side of the first record. This track comes off as a beautiful slow track with soaring strings in the background. Ben’s voice comes off as smooth as silk which only matches the tones of the strings. The two instruments play off each other in perfect harmony.

Grapevine Fires makes use of my favorite instrument, the Rhodes keyboard. The orchestra is on the track but hidden so that the keyboard can take the stage over the strings. Again, Bens’ voice is so smooth. The addition of the echo or room ambiance, not sure if it is a real echo from the performance hall or an effect, gives his vocals a more dreamy effect.

Sycamore is another track that I really like from this album. It features the band more than the orchestra. When the orchestra comes through it just makes the bands sound that much sweeter. The orchestra is used very sparingly in this song but that is what I like about it. It is a less is more kind of a thing.

I like the acoustic guitar that leads the track I WillFollow You Into The Dark. Again, the orchestra is used very sparingly with this track. It is basically a solo track for Ben where he sings and plays the acoustic guitar. So, to add a string orchestra to a song that is already sweet and personal just ads to the emotional effect that comes from the song.

This is a very beautiful album but is not something that I plan on listening to frequently. I will be happy to listen to it to aid me to get to sleep or if I am in the right mood but otherwise I will not be listening to the album.

This is the vinyl version of the concert that is on disc two and three of the DVD/BD set from Shut Up And Play The Hits. This vinyl version was released for RSD 2014 (April 19th, 2014). It is a five record box set with all of the records being double sleeved in the set. It is limited to 3000 copies and finally puts the last concert in a stereo format. It is unabridged so there is nothing missing that is on the video version of this release. Although, the track listing between the two releases, this box set and the Shut Up And Play The Hits release, are slightly different, the music appears to be the same. In the runout of each record is one word. When you put those words together it reads, “New York I love you but you’re bringing me down.” This is also the title of the last track from the concert. The set came with a digital download card but it is not redeemable until May 20th. I believe that the rest of the world will also have access to pay for the digital download at that time as well. One of the stickers on the shrink wrap of the box set says that James Murphy, the lead singer for LCD Soundsystem, mixed the audio for this release to ¼” analog tape before putting it to vinyl. This is supposed to give it a better sound for vinyl records. I do think that this does give the records a better sound. I have some Jimmy Hendrix records that were repressed a few years back that were mastered from the original tapes and I think that those records are some of the best sounding records that I own.

With five records this set has 28 tracks. There is no single released from this set as the concert has been out on video since 2012. There are some songs that were played live for the first and last time at this concert. Some of those tracks were from the first release that LCD Soundsystem ever released. Those releases were from the 45:33 album. Two of those tracks are some of the funniest and strangest tracks that I have ever heard. They were played back to back because of the interplay between the two characters in the songs. The songs are called Out In Space and Ships Talking. I don’t own 45:33 but have an interest in getting it because of these tracks.

There is a third track that is featured from the 45:33 album that features Reggie Watts. I first learned of Watts from the show Comedy Bang Bang where he is featured as the band on the show along with adding to the comedy of the show. He does the vocals for the track called You Can’t Hide(Shame On You). It is a old style R&B track. I especially like the backup singers. Reggie’s deep vocals and the female back up singers make this play on a R&B song work so well. The band only ads to the funk of the track, boosting the track to stand up to some of the greatest R&B tracks in my opinion.

My favorite two tracks from this groups history were played during this concert. Someone Great is one of those two tracks. The song starts off with the synth part opening. It kind of gives a bit of play before the song fully kicks in. Once the song does kick in it becomes this little piece of perfection. Then the lyrics come in and all is good in the world. Having this song in a live format actually gives the song a fuller sound. It could be that the conversion from digital multitrack to stereo added to the fullness of sound or it could be that the slight variation in creating the sounds for the live version of the song has gotten better since the studio recording. Either way I think that this live version of the song sounds better than the studio version.

My other favorite song from LCD Soundsystem is called All I Want. I like this song for the blatent use of the Eno/Bowie sound of the 70s. The way that this is achieved in the live setting is that there is more than one person playing the lead guitar part at the same time. They are both playing Gibson Les Paul guitars to give them that same duplicated sound. I don’t know what model of the Les Paul they are playing or if they are exactly the same. I would have to assume that they are using the same pedal and amp set up though. The unison that the guitarist display is near perfection. With the slides and the lengths of each note, this song just makes me feel good.

I don’t know if this box set will be released on vinyl for the March 20th date but I do know that it will not be put to CD. As I mentioned before, it will be available for download.

This is an EP that was released in april of 2011. There were 500 copies pressed on white vinyl and was released through Kanine Records. I got this EP because of the single that was on the Kanine Records compilation called Non Violent Femmes. It is actually a pretty good EP considering it is my first introduction to the group outside of the song on the Non Violent Femmes compilation.

The EP has only four tracks and all are very short except for the last one. The first track is called Cog. This track has a great pop bunk sound with staccato notes being played in a fun rhythm across the whole song. I really like the whole female vocals across the board.

The second track on the EP is title track, Prisoner. it is a fun track with eighth notes being played through the whole song to give it that punk feel even though it is a very light feel. It kind of reminds me of Joanna Gruesome or Golden Grrls a little. Of course both of these groups cam out after Eternal Summers.

The third track is called Childs Mind. This song has sort of a B-52’s sort of a feel. This could be because of the lower tones used with the guitar and bass together playing the same notes. The chorus picks it up a bit with the drums taking the lead a little bit. This is a very fun track that I like a lot. This will be on my frequent listen list for a while.

The last track, Pure Affection, slows the music down dramatically. The song pulls from the chill era and the lounge eras both. I like the song for that reason. The merging of two different genres that came from a need of the same slow sounds.

I like this EP and hope that you all check it out.

That is all I have for this post. Be sure to check out the follow up, to be posted with in a few hours, of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart concert earlier this week.