Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 10 Releases Part I of II

I found twelve albums this week to listen to, so I will review six today and six tomorrow.

Chatham County Line – Sight & Sound

4 of 5 stars

Tight playing of that high and lonesome sound with just a hint of contemporary style. Every instrument fits and fills its own space with confidence. About a third of the way in, the band really starts to put on a show, giving life to this live album.

Clare and the Reasons – KR-51

3 of 5 stars

Full of juxtapositions: high breathy-sweet soprano with dark arrangements, present acoustic with clean electronic instrumentation, moments of very sparse arrangement with passages of what seems to be every instrument under the sun. This all results in a pleasant if eerie sound with fantastic dynamic.

Dead Rat Orchestra – The Guga Hunters of Ness

4 of 5 stars

Strings and noise generators combine into a kind of music that could only exist today. Dissonance and noise underpinning profound melodies. Each movement emerges out of the last with sharp contrast along one axis at a time, resulting in a continuously changing stream of repetitive music.

Twin Shadow – Confess

3 of 5 stars

Another 25-30 year throwback. As long as I’ve been listening to music, there has been a trend towards throwing back about 25 to 30 years in pop music. Some acts do this really well like the psychedelic rock of Elephant 6 bands, others fail like the bands that sucked too much to remember. This album takes some of the better 80s cliches and adds some contemporary production touches to result in something that’s not too bad, but not exactly world-changing.

The Orwells – Remember When

3 of 5 stars

Well executed lo-fi rock and roll. I like the songs, and I like a good chunk of the sound, but some of the production really detracts from the end product. I know vocals are supposed to be mixed a little further back on a lo-fi track than normal, but they get lost in places. There was at least one guitar solo that sounded tacked-on, too clean, and too loud; a great reference recording on this would be the guitar solo in “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks. The transitions are cliches that distract from an otherwise quality song. This gets only three because of the production, otherwise I think it could have been a four.

Mission Of Burma – Unsound

5 of 5 stars

Big, raw rock and roll sound. This album has an edge and freshness to it. Every ounce here drips with confidence; it’s an entirely unselfconscious album that says to the world, “we could care less if you like it.” To which I must respond, “I love it!”

No comments: