Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Band: Why?

In this new open-minded attitude I'm trying to adopt, I decided to take some baby steps and dabble into some alternative/indie/hip-hop. At first it might seem at little ambitious to fuse such genres together, but I really enjoyed the product; that is, product of Why?

Now for the music (haha, it's becoming a bit of a catchphrase!). The following are the albums I have sitting in my library:

1. Elephant Eyelash
2. Alopecia
3. The Early Whitney EP
4. Miss Ohio's Nameless
5. Rubber Traits EP
6. Sanddollars EP
7. The Hollows

All in all, it's a fairly impressive discography if I might say so. In particular, Elephant Eyelash contains some interesting experimentation that doesn't particularly have an orthodox feel for a hip-hop/indie record. They are eager to chop from lo-fi, avant garde, prog, I guess it's suiting that they're signed to AntiCon Records.

Lyrically they also stand out from the crowd. The traditional lyrical rulebook for hip-hop is thrown out the window for a more refreshing taste of a genre that seems to frequently be coming under the spell of generic 'homeboy' type clones.

Apparently there are several projects by the members of the band, so I'll have to locate a few records by 'em and write up some reviews.


Several Albums

Since my fairly recent foray into the wonderful world of blogspot, I've been discovering several unheard of and fantastic-o math rock/noise bands. So, for this entry, I will dedicate my discoveries solely to obscure music.

How To Survive a Sneak Attack by Wild Catting. These guys are very much unheard of from Michigan, and you'll probably only be able to find them through blogspot. They've got some really cool noise/post-rock ambiance about them combined with strong mathy jams. I really enjoyed this. All of the song titles are verbs, which I also thought was pretty cool. 3/5.

Victorialand by Cats And Cats And Cats. Watch these guys; they're going places very quickly. I found this to be a lyrical standout with melodic backings that make me want to drift off to a faraway land (in a good way, of course). Like the Wild Catting album, I'd class it as post-rock/math rock, just because of the complex riffs and melodic vocals. I can't really emphasise just how great the vocals are on this band when combined with strong sampling effects. 4/5.

Of the Body Prone by Ahleuchatistas. Here's some real good avant-garde stuff right 'ere kiddies. I found this long EP/album to be tightly composed, topped full to the brim with impressionistic textures and completely unpredictable with spontaneous changes in time signatures and direction. Think early Captain Beefheart. 3.5/5.

Demo by Zorch. I really didn't enjoy this, at all. They are just too reliant on sampling/laptops. It seems too forced, too fake and a pitiful attempt at being 'cool'. 1/5.

Church Gone Wild/Chirpin' Hard by Hella. Another one of Zach Hill's musical endeavours, I really like this guy. His work is becoming increasingly popular, and here in this dancetastic math-rock collective, I can see why. This album is incredibly technical and intricate, yet highly spastic and eccentric. I love how they can minimally arrange this album and retain a highly idiosyncratic melody. 4/5.

I think that's enough for you, all two of my loyal readers. Now go forth, and spread the seed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bare Arms

As good as it gets, seriously. This band has me dancing for joy for the future of post-hardcore! Finally, a p/h group that doesn't sound exactly like 1000s of other 'bands' like A Day To Remember, Alesana and all that rubbish.

As a bonus, they're local too. Unsigned and unheard of - WIN WIN WIN!

Now, for the music. They've only released a self-titled five-track EP and a few demos, that are awash with lyrical complexity, bass oriented direction, and a kick ass female lead singer that shreds hard.

Of particular note is the track 'The Refrain' on the self-titled EP. I've pretty much had this on repeat for four days now and it amazes me. The opening crescendo and bass line gives me shivers.

I've heard along the grapevine that they might just be touring in my town, so that'll be pretty awesome

I've posted two links, from which you will be able to find their material as free downloads.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Band: Reatards

Well, Hughie needs to get with the times. This garage-punk outfit rock as hard as I could hope for with catchy riffs, wailing vocals and lyrics that make me cringe - 'did he just say that?!'

Apparently, the front man, Jay Reatard, died fairly recently. I'm upset about this and yet I've only been listening to them for a few days. For me, I think that's a strong indicator for a good group; getting attached and dragged in a short period of time. Hardly any bands do that to me.

Now, for the music. The various melodies, loops and riffs remind me heavily of an angsty second-coming of Ramones. This is a winner. I really can't be bothered writing up a review for each individual album, but here's a list of what I've got sitting in my library (listed in order of preference):

1. Not Fucked Enough
2.Grown Up, Fucked Up
3. Teenage Hate
4. Bedroom Disasters

I'd imagine there'd be more material floating around cyberspace, but hey, those albums are an excellent starting point. I put Bedroom Disasters last as it isn't particularly compact; it seems to be like Sonic Youth's Dirty -just a mashing of tracks with no direction.

One facet of their work that I really like is the song length. For me, length is everything. I have the attention span of a fourteen year old on Viagra when it comes to music, and with an average song length of 1-2 minutes; I am suddenly calmed down.

Also, the dude that died - Jay Reatard, has solo material. I'd get on that shit too.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

#01 Exploding Head By A Place to Bury Strangers

[I just realised I have misspelled the URL of this blog, oh well, I'll live]

A Place to Bury Strangers (alongside My Bloody Valentine) are the band/s that prompted my fascination with the genre of shoegaze. Now enter the new album, Exploding Head that was released on the 12th of October 2009. It was an album that I have truly enjoyed and, I would even love to see them perform live in their upcoming tour, but, I've got other commitments. I know I'm a bit late, but hey, you can't rush it.

Now for the music. In this album APTB certainly to not abandon their reputation as 'New York City's loudest band'. I really love how they whisper their lyrics alongside a heavy sound that leave your ears stunned. It's a real treat.

Below I've posted a link to what is, in my opinion, the best track on the album. It reflects the overall feel of the album in it's entirety.

On a negative note, I really feel disconcerted that Exploding Head is so similar to the previous Self-Titled album. For me, it signifies no progression and exploration of sound. This negative aspect is offset by the sheer experimentation of APTBS, which I find as being a truly admirable trait in any band.

As a final verdict, Exploding Head does live up to it's heavy, loud and rhythmic name that concludes in a sensory overload.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oh Man! Not Another Elitist Blog!?

Well, here we are...yet again. I've tried my hand at blogging, but I never seem to be able to sustain it regularly, but I'll try with this one.

As you might have gathered from the title, this is a blog dedicated to chronicling bands that I like, or that I've discovered. And you know, it'll help sharpen my creative writing. Sure, if I go to a few gigs, I'll be sure to write up a review.

What music tastes will this cater for?

Well, it'll obviously cater for mine. So if you like noise, post-punk, hardcore, alternative, indie, lo-fi, folk, blues, avant-garde and really weird shit - this is for you.

So yeah, that's all I have to say for the moment, but stay tuned.