Monday, August 13, 2012

August 7 Releases

Totally forgot to publish this last week.

This week is a lot of music, so the review will go out late. In between albums, I’m listening to an awesome track from The Goat Rodeo Sessions featuring Aoife O’Donovan.

10 Years – Minus The Machine

2 of 5 stars

Fits squarely into the melodramatic metal space that I just have no tolerance for. I want to connect to an artist, and I just can’t connect with whiny “metal” like this. Combine vocals that sound on the verge of crying with a mediocre production, and you get this album. I’ll give an extra star to compensate for my bias against anything in this little sub-genre.

Antony & The Johnsons – Cut The World

3 of 5 stars

Well executed orchestral pop in a cabaret style. Emotive and evocative, but just a bit too heavily stylized to connect with the person behind it. Maybe I’m just not familiar with the genre enough to hear the nuance, but I hear more archetype than individual.

Ape School – Junior Violence

4 of 5 stars

Good songs, great arrangement. Hooks and grooves enough to keep things interesting. Songs have movement and interest with each section setting up the next very very well.

Buffalo Killers – Dig. Sow. Love. Grow.

4 of 5 stars

Simple and effective tunes with a timeless, big blues-rock production. There are so many layers in the recording (at least three guitars on some tracks) that it is hard to imagine what a live performance would be like. I suppose with such a big production in the recording, the live show must have an enormous amount of energy if it is to match.

Fergus & Geronimo – Funky Was the State of Affairs

4 of 5 stars

A clever little alien punk album. Fun songs interspersed with bits of spoken word interludes.

Los Straitjackets – Jet Set

5 of 5 stars

You can’t deny the power of good instrumental rock in the tradition of The Ventures. The melody is wonderfully forward, the bass has such fantastic grooves, and the mix is aggressive enough to really bring out the arrangement.

Niki & The Dove – Instinct

4 of 5 stars

Enjoyable electronic pop album. I particularly enjoy the juxtaposition of non-counterpoint, primitive vocal harmony with the synthetic texture beneath.

Opossom – Electric Hawaii

4 of 5 stars

Phantastic, bass-driven psych-pop. Songs move well. It’s a fun listen.

Redd Kross – Researching the Blues

4 of 5 stars

Solid rock album. Walls of guitars and vocal harmonies over a tight rhythm section drive the well-crafted songs.

The Reverent Peyton’s Big Damn Band – Between The Ditches

4 of 5 stars

I love the guitar work here. I only wish the vocals were anywhere near as pleasant; they just sound over-stylized and forced. It still gets almost a five in my book because the songs are great, the guitar is truly awesome, and the arrangements hold my interest.

Spider Bags – Shake My Head

4 of 5 stars

Hard-driving rock with punk flare. It’s a fun album with a good production aesthetic.

Stagnant Pools – Temporary Room

4 of 5 stars

Wall of cymbals and reverb-drenched guitar behind a brooding vocal. It stands out, and I like it.

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