Saturday, February 28, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 7

The second single from Death Cab For Cutie has been released and it is called No Room In Frame. If you have pre-ordered the album you get a free digital version of the song along with the first single, Black sun.

Squarepusher has a new album coming out on April 20th. The album will be called Damogen Furies and will feature only eight tracks. The first single is called Rayc Fire 2.

The Lead singer for Perfect Pussy has started her own label called HonorPress. If you like Perfect Pussy you may like the new band on the label called So Stressed. You can check out the first single from the album on the Bandcamp page.

The Hives have a new single called Blood Red Moon. I read that this was for a movie so I am not really sure if this also means a new album could be dropping this year or not.

Here we go...

I got this album when it was released back in October 2014 when it was released. I have been sitting on it for quite a while. I was a bit turned off by the opening tracks intro. The sound reminded me of the sound of the ultrasound machine. It is somewhat unsettling to me and I can’t describe why. I didn’t want to mark the album off so I just didn’t review it. The album was still sitting in my list of albums to review though. I knew I still wanted to talk about it. Last night I went to a concert to see them and it has since renewed my interest in the album. Side note: there will be a review of the concert to be posted sooner than later. The album was put out by Side One Dummy on CD, DL and vinyl. The vinyl was released in multiple color variants all in a starburst style. I ended up getting the red/white/yellow/black starburst record. It is absolutely beautiful for a bad color pairing, but the other color options are not that much better. I actually think that the colors represent the band perfectly though.

The first single from the album is called Separate Songs. This is the first song that I heard from the album and fell for the song instantly. The song starts off with hard hitting drums and a plinky guitar. It develops into this amazing track with organ multiple guitars and a beautiful solo guitar part. The vocals are confounding with clarity and grit fading in to each other. It is absolutely genius what Jon Loudon can do with his voice. The song does follow the loud soft loud style and it works amazingly. It is a song with feeling and I like those songs the most.

Misprint is the next single from the album. It is a slow burning track that leads into the song with a sweet guitar solo. The layers of guitar on this track are brilliant with each having a different riff and different tones. It is a beautiful song that reminds me of dusk on a cool night in spring or summer when the day is winding down and the edge of the skyline on the horizon is nearly purple as the sun fades of the edge of the world. It is a mellow track with some power behind it.

The last single from this album is called Tiny Prayers. This track is a bit more in your face. it is not a pop track by any means. It kind of grabs you by the collar with both hands and talks to you sternly. It still has the amazing layering of guitars and the bit of grit over the smooth vocals but the song has something it wants to tell you with a bit of force and concern. You better listen because it is serious about what it has to say.

This is a truly great album and I am happy that I have such a great album.
This is the latest EP from SubVibe. It is 100% free. It features seven hot dub step tracks that are absolutely amazing. The download if through MediaFire and you can get there through their Bandcamp page. The duo has done some extensive promo work to get the word out about the new EP. They had given out each of the tracks digitally before the full album release sort of like Weird Al Yankovic did with most of the songs on his last album. A “one track a week” ethic up until the release of the full EP. I have been into the group since I heard that they use the same software to write their music that I use. It was actually the company that makes the software, Propellerheads, who pointed me in their direction. I really like what they have done. I hope that they continue to make this great electronic music and I can’t wait for the day that they release a physical copy to the world. For me, that says that a band has actually made it as a group. I am not trying to push them but I wait in excitement for that day.

Any way, there are some awesome tracks on this EP and one of them has become my favorite electronic song to date. I am going to save that one for last though. The first track that I want to talk about is called StepBack. It is the first track on the EP. It starts off as a great standard dub step track but takes a great turn when the music takes a step up in key. It is totally unexpected and works incredibly well. It kept me interested in the whole track just based on this musical change. It is not like the track is monotonous either there are different parts to the song that take it through other changes before coming back to the loop that goes through key changes. It is inspiring to say the least.

The next track that I like is called Pillow Fight. It starts off with a cool synth part and hard hitting drums. The intro goes through a slow build and drops off with a guy screaming Pillow Fight but modulated to sound not human. The track then kicks back in and becomes more abrasive with heavy modulated melody. In the second drop the duo make use of a beautiful guitar sound that floats in the back ground like pink cotton candy clouds. It is truly an amazing track that has links to the electronic music, techno, which I use to listen to back in the 90s.

The one track on the album that I don’t like so much is called Ape Squad. It has a brilliant intro that is similar to Pillow Fight but the instance it is done the song starts with this sound that reminds me of a dog barking and it never changes pitch. It is constant with the rhythm that it makes and is totally a turn off for me. That doesn’t mean that the song doesn’t have its merits. The parts of the song that don’t have this barking dog sound are absolutely amazing. I just wish that there was something more done with this monotone sound in the song.

Lastly, my favorite song on the EP is called Can We Talk AboutThe Mail. They took a skit from the TV show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. It is the mail skit from season 4; episode 10 called Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack. Now, I am not a fan of the show but this skit taken out of context is absolutely hilarious. For the duo to put this high tension skit to high tension electronic music is absolutely genius. I can’t get enough of this track and they way that they put it to music. Not only were they able to amp up the tension of the skit they also added to the comedy of the skit using music. In the chorus of the music they make a sound bite of Charlie saying the word “Shit” and added this bubbly blip sound right after it accentuating the word making it even more funny than it was for example. This song has now taken over the top spot in my electronic favorites list over District 78 – Game On and The Glitch Mob remix of The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army. If you know this skit or like electronic music you have got to hear this track, it is awesome!

This guy is the guitarist for the band Fucked Up. I have never taken the time to listen to anything from that group but Slumberland records has taken the time to put out a solo mini album from the guy. After hearing the smooth sounds from the first single, I had to get a copy for myself. After reading up on the guy, Ben Cook, I found that he has penned numerous songs for the likes of Sum 41, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, a few Canadian Idols, Snow, Maroon 5 and one or two OVO affiliates (Drakes Canadian record label). He is behind the scenes for the most part basically. The album doesn’t officially drop until March 10th but you can pre-order at Slumberland Records. The vinyl comes in a limited sky blue color if your interested in that sort of thing.

The first single from the album is called Wrong Crowd. It is a long track running at nearly seven and a half minutes. This is unexpected for me as most initial singles from new bands are short to get the listeners attention and get them to want more. This track doesn’t drag out but instead drags you in. There is an awesome bass line loop that walks all over my 80s loving synth heart through the long chorus sections. and the verse sections that are very short through some change into the mix so you don’t get bored with the smooth bass line and simple vocals. The addition of the sax solo in the middle of the song doesn’t come off as 80s TV show sound track either, just kidding, it totally does and I think it works amazingly too.

The second single from this mini album is called Crawling Back To You. This is a great rocking track that reminds me of the late 80s rock bands like Cutting Crew but with the vocals from groups like Starship or Prince. It is a great combination that seems to work amazingly well. I like all of these bands that I have listed and to have something that sounds so similar to all three of these favorite bands fills so many holes in my desires for music.

I really hope that this album catches on and that he keeps on with this solo effort because the music deserves to be heard and loved by the masses.

That is all for now. Expect that Restorations concert review soon though...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 6

Surfer Blood have signed with a new record label, JoyfulNoise, and will have a new record out in May of this year called 1000 Palms. There has been a single put out called Grand Inquisitor. There has been a limited CD single put out for the song that has a lathe cut on the outside of the CD so that it can be played on a turntable and or a CD player. I wish I could have gotten a copy but they were mailed out only to members of the record club.

Passion Pit will also have a new album this year called Kindred. There has already been a couple of singles released from the album, Lifted Up (1985) and Where The Sky Hangs. iTunes has it available for preorder and I think that Amazon has just put it up for preorder too.

Apparently, New Order will have a new album out this fall. I am interested in what the line-up changes will be since Peter Hook is not with the group any more.

Blur will also have a new album out in the end of April. I am excited to hear that album. This will be their first full album release in twelve years. The album will be called The Magic Whip.

Here we go...

This is a small record label with a small back catalog. Their physical store is found on Storenvy and digital is on Bandcamp. This four way split comes in multiple color options (cloud, swamp, bubblegum seaweed, deep sea, root beer river, lavender, mermaid, moss, emerald, volcano, lake water and grape pop). None of which show a color example so I was really guessing as to what the colors of the vinyl could actually be. I took a shot at the volcano and ended up with an interesting maroon swirled with hints of black and transparent. It looked gorgeous wit a light source behind it. With all these colors available there are only 318 copies pressed of this record.

The first track is from Reservoir called Crawling Space. It is a deep brooding song that relies on the bass guitar to carry the song. The drums are sparse but clean up into a flowing beat later in the song. The guitars are sparse but use long soaring notes. The song is a slower song that makes me feel like the way that Pig Pen dances in the Peanuts’ cartoons. The song picks up just a bit in the last bit of the song and makes me feel a little better. I probably wont be searching this group out based on this track though.

The second track is from a band called Summerpunx called Local Bands. This song reminds me of the first album from Weezer. It is fast and poppy with distorted vocals. It is also over in the blink of an eye with a running time of 47 seconds. With the shortness of the track I get Tony Molina as well. I like this track a lot but want so much more from the song.

The third song is from Runaway Brother called Sap. This was the reason that I got the 7”. It is a fun track that reminds me of Restorations if they sang in an emo style. I really don’t know why I am attracted to this band because when I listen to them there is nothing special going on but I feel good listening to the group. It may be that this was the style that I was listening to in the beginning of the 00s and it transports me back there to some degree to the positive side of that trying time for me. Either way, I enjoy the music that this group puts out even though they are not super star quality yet.

The last track from this split is from Secret Grief with a song called Scandinavian Casual. I am not sure what the title of the track has to do with the song but this is another song that makes me feel happy even if it is a downer song. It is also a shorter song running at just over two and a half minutes. I think it hits me as a saves the day style song. I really like Saves The Day and thus I like this track a lot as well.
This is the latest album from The Dodos. It was released on January 27th on vinyl, CD, DL and cassette. The vinyl was released on red (limited to 600) and orange. I got a copy on red and there are still some available at Polyvinyl Records web site. This record was written and recorded right after their previous one, Carrier. They didn’t waist any time getting this one down. It is a shorter album though maybe because they didn’t have as much material available. On the other hand, if you had enough extra tracks to make another album and they are polished up and ready for recording, why not.

There have been two singles released from the album so far. The first is called Competition. The duo make some very attractive music and it shows with this poly-rhythm rocker. Again they have chosen to abandon the acoustic guitar with not only this track but the whole album. The track is a smash that should rival what Vampire Weekend are doing but the group just hasn’t met the public’s eye yet.

The second single is called Retriever. This track uses a bit more distortion and picks up the pace a bit more than Competition. The vocals soar over the speedy music sort of slowing down the song. It is a very cool contrast in the track though. Fast paced drums and speedy fingering guitar work with smooth slower vocals. I really like this track but still have yet to hear them on the radio. It is disappointing.

Last week I mentioned that the group put out a new single for free download, Hold Your Hand. Here it is for me to talk about. It was a free single put out for Valentines Day last week. I know that the track is up on iTunes now but I am not sure if the link that I put in to last weeks post will lead to the free download link any more. The song features the classic synth keys sound that they have used in the past. It is a sweet song about exactly what the title of the song states, holding hands. It is kind of in the young love vein. It is cute. It could also be construed as walking with God through life. This is also a good thing though. It is a good song that is heart felt and moves at a moderate pace. I like the song and hope you all do as well.

That is all for now...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 5

Family Force 5 have released a new single called Hold Your Hand. It is a free track that you can get from their web page.

Joanna Gruesome have a new album out soon. Slumberland will have preorders up soon. The album is called Peanut Butter and will be pressed on purple and green swirl vinyl. The first single from the album is called Last Year. The album will be in record stores in June.

Hot Chip will also have a new album out on May 19th. This album is called Why Make Sense?

The new band Runaway Brother will have a new album out called Mother. It will be released on Tiny Engines records.  It will be released sometime in early 2015.

Jason Graveface has started a second record label/video rental store called Terror-Vision. There will be record subscriptions as with Graveface Records. It is a bit higher to opt into this record club as they really need the funds to get going. I am interested in some of the soundtracks that are going to be pressed though and I will be keeping my eye on what they are doing.

The new single from the new Death Cab For Cutie album is out and is called Black Sun. There is a lyric video and a regular video out there for your viewing.

Record Store Day 2015 is about two months away. The ambassador for this year has been announced as Dave Grohl. He is quoted as saying, “These places became my churches, my libraries, my schools. They felt like home.”

Kip Berman, who makes up basically all of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, wished me a happy Birthday last week. I was so struck but then I saw that my wife asked him to do so. It still means a lot that he actually did. Thanks again Kip!

 Here we go...

This is the groups first release from back in 2012. It is a seven track mini-album. It was originally self-released on CD but was later released as a split 12” vinyl record with Secret Grief. They have a sound that reminds me of emo/screamo music from the early 00s. I guess you could call it a revival but Saves The Day, one of my favorite emo groups, just put out an album two years ago. I guess that means it is not really a revival as much as another band that can call itself emo? Any way, they are still selling the CD on their bandcamp page. Go pick one up if you’re into that type of music. I am excited to get the new album, Mother, which is coming out soon.

There was only one single released from the album that I am aware of. That is the first song from the album called Blueberries. It is a catchy track with stunning breaks and great guitar solos. The vocals are amazing and the bass has a fun line that strikes when you least expect it to.

The second track on the album and the one that I most like is called We Don't Have to Go Home Anymore. It is a song that shows independence and some of the responsibilities that go with it. It is a fun song that features acoustic guitar on the rhythm guitar part. I personally like that a lot. Electric guitar is all over everything these days and to showcase the acoustic over the electric gives a new dimension on music. There aren’t many bands that are doing this. With acoustic guitars now having the ability to be electrified or the old school way of micing the guitar it should be a no brainer to use this fantastic instrument in a rock n’ roll way.

It is a great album that deserves a listen especially with a new full length soon to hit.

This is a complete remake of the album. The album was remixed and the tracks were reordered from what the original album is. It is all ten tracks but in a different order. The album art is completely different as well. This new version was pressed on blue vinyl. The limited edition vinyl was hand poured and, in some cases didn’t have a label on the record. Because the limited version was hand poured this means that every record is completely different from any other. My record doesn’t have the label and is colored maroon with white and black. I did write about the original album way back. If you’re interested in what I had to say you can check it out, from Vol. 3 Episode 12.

The group say that this is the way that they wanted the record to sound. They don’t really give a reason why the original sounds the way that it does but this is the way that they wanted it to be. Personally the re-arranging of the songs doesn’t really mean much in a world where people can arrange the songs the way that they want any way. I get the remixing of the songs. I can only guess that they were pressured in to keeping the songs smooth and clean to sell the record. The remixed version has a lick of distortion over all, where as the original had a smooth clean sound over all. It is actually hard for me to listen to the new version simply because I am use to the order of the songs on the album. I expect to hear Junebouvier after Reverse because that it the way that I have heard the album so many times. I am tempted to make a playlist of the Redux version with a song order like the original version. I think that I like the sound of both versions as they do have their merits but, like I said, that playlist is really tempting.

So, a while back for the tenth anniversary of 89.3 The Current, the radio station put together their first record. This is not to say that they haven’t put out a compilation record every year for the past eleven years plus. This is really a record with only to bands on it; it is a split record after all. I think what they are trying to get at is that when a group puts out a record it is just that one group. This is just that, although it is a split record which does happen frequently too. Although I don’t really like either group it is something that The Current has put out so I can’t say no. It is a 10” record with the cover being hand stamped by members of the radio station. All tracks were recorded in The Current studios or from a concert that The Current put on. It is cool that they put out a 10” record for their ten year anniversary though. The Hold Steady have four tracks on the A side of the album and The Suicide Commandos have three on the B side. It should be still available from your local record shops in Minnesota. You can buy it on line through their web pages. I got my copy on line at the Electric Fetus web shop. Here is a list of the shops that got the record to resell.

Agharta Records
Cheapo Records
Down in the Valley (3 locations)
Electric Fetus
Eclipse Records
Know Name Records
Orange Records (Fargo)
Treehouse Records

That is all for now...

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Vol. 6 Episode 4

Check out the new group Them Are Us Too. They have been compared to 4AD and Creation Records sounds from the 80s with direct comparisons to Cocteau Twins. They have two tracks out on soundcloud that sound amazing. I will be keeping my ears on this duo.

OK Go have contributed a new song called You’re A Fucking Nerd And No One Likes You to the Hot Tub Time Machine 2 soundtrack.

You can now preorder one of two EPs scheduled for release this year from Incubus over at their web page. The two EPs will complete the full album for 2015.

Foxes has started working on her second album. Not much more info than that though.

Here we go...

This is an EP that came from the Graveface Charity series. It is a 7” released on black, brown or double mint/gold vinyl. The proceeds went to the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. When this series was new I got a triptych of these singles. The series didn’t sell all that well and you can now get these as separates. I recently got into Haley Bonar and purchased her charity single in the limited double mint/gold color.

The first track, Baby In The Water, is an amazing track that sounds like it could have been on her latest album, Last War. It has a really cool underlying string section that is absolutely beautiful. The lyrics convey urgency because there is a baby in the water and a snake in the grass but the music isn’t that fast giving a bit of confusion. Will she get to the baby before the water takes the baby or the snake bites? It is a beautiful song with built in tension.

Be My Kazoo is a sweet song about a relationship. She is willing to be whatever it takes to be the right thing for the relationship but at the same time they don’t need to try because they are so perfect together. It is a fun love and friendship song.

the last song comes off a bit redneck. there are no actual lyrics except Do-del-le-do. It is still a bit fun when I listen to it and it shows me where some of the stuff for Gramma’s Boyfriend came from. By the way I am excited for a second album from that group too!

First off, Perfect Pussy (PP) are a hardcore female lead punk group. The group was originally formed to create a song for a movie called Adult World. The group continued working on new music after the song was created. The result of that was this EP that was self released by the band. The EP was originally released on cassette and later as download. Just recently it was also pressed to vinyl through Captured Tracks. The vinyl is single sided with the bands logo etched on the B side.

Meredith Graves is one of the most punk people I have ever seen. Her vocals sound threatening but unintelligible for the most part and she still dresses like a girl. Good or bad it’s cute as hell. She is also tattooed like a sailor which is kind of funny to me, more important than all of this is that the lyrics to these songs are positive. If feel happy and lighter when I hear her sing “I am full of light, I am filled with joy”

There are four tracks on the EP, each labeled with a roman numeral (I, II, III, VI).
Each of these four songs on this EP are unique and fun with an underlying pop feel under the noise that is noisy punk rock with the screamed lyrics found somewhere in the middle of the pop and noise music that is PP. There is something that attracts me to this group and I think that I just nailed it. I am not going to decrypt this EP as I want to like it for its face value. I will get into their full length at a later date though as half of the EP is on the full length anyway.

This is some of the best punk music that I have heard in a long time.

Third Man Records has put out the third installment of the Sun/Third Man represses. This time all three of them are from Roy Orbison. While he is better known for his pop hits from Monument Records, these three singles have some great pop sensibility with some classic clean sounds that make you want to move and groove.

Chicken-Hearted has some great slide guitar sounds that are fragile sounding with the treble turned all the way up. The saxophone solo parts are raw and sensual. Orbison’s vocals are so smooth and clean it is hard to say no to this single, it’s hard not to dance too.

I Like Love smacks of Jerry Lee Louis’s Great Balls of Fire but sounds so good with Orbison’s vocals on the track. Although it sounds like Louis the song is still a great rocker.

Sweet And Easy To Love shows the softer and slower side of Orbison. It is a sweet and slow love song that had to have the girls crooning for the man. It does get a bit repetitive with the chorus though.

Devil Doll is another slow song about an x-girlfriend that dumped him. It depicts this story about a high school couple. He wants to warn the others about her wily tricks but he also still wants her back at the same time.

Ooby Dooby is basically a dance song showing you how to do a dance but with out being specific. The song has some great ululation it is even in the song title. The guitar solo is so cool sounding. I could see the cool kids getting down to this in the 50s.

Go! Go! Go! is a quick song about not stopping. It is a great song that moves and is designed to get you on that dance floor and move it. I think it does it very well.
That's all for now...