Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Bands

I've been super slack with documenting all the stuff I have been listening to...

Bad Luck by Trophy Scars. I'm a massive fan of Native, and these guys were mentioned to me by Bobby Markos so you know, I just had to check it out. I loved it. They aren't similar to Native at all, but they bear a striking resemblance to La Dispute (in a good way, of course). In particular this album, I could hear some really complex metaphors interwoven with screams, yells and singing all bouncing into a sound wave. Track-by-track it also stands apart, with everything from a latin/acoustic sounding El Cowboy Red to an ear-shattering Nola. They have managed to pull it off. I just love it when artists aren't afraid to mix it up and experiment, rather than being plain and boring. Anyway, I enjoyed it. You can make your mind up. 3.5/5.

Sagarmatha by The Appleseed Cast. Funnily enough, I also enjoyed this. tells me that they actually used to be 'indebted' to emo bands like Mineral and The Gloria Record (two of my favourites), but here it is virtually impossible to pick. There's some really cool post-rocky noise going on, that is actually incredibly difficult to articulate. You'll just have to go and check them out. 3/5. (Yeah, I'm becoming more conservative with the ratings and all)

Entertainment! by Gang of Four. They are classed as post-punk, but I really don't agree. They've probably got that label just because they're from the late-70s and liked seedy clubs. That's where the comparison ends. I found it relatively boring, nothing fresh. Again, you'll have to make up your own mind. 2/5.

Fortress by Protest the Hero. Here comes the diversity. This is an exceedingly energetic album, with hooks, riffs and supa rad beatz that'll be leaving you disoriented. I'm mainly listening to them due to their impressive technicality, even though the vocalist sounds lame and poppy. Pretty cool, I've got 2 of their other albums which are awesome. 3.5/5.

Friday, February 12, 2010

General Listening

I had the download count reset a few days ago, so I'm back at download speeds of 900+ kb/s with a phenomenal amount of new music. I won't write them all down at once, but I'll spread them out over a few entries.

I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning by Bright Eyes. This is absurdly good, I've listened to it about 6 times back-to-back, and that's just today. There's some really great fusions of gutsy folk and blues, that are just shoe stompin' goodness. I love it when each track sounds different from the last, but on this album, each track has a different theme! Ah, man. Brilliant. 4/5.

Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons. I was a bit apprehensive about this at first, mainly due to the commercial outburst of 'Little Lion Man'; but surprisingly, I enjoyed it. I heard it for the first time on the bus today, and in all seriousness, the album moved me. I know it sounds 'wussy' or whatever, but I don't care. It just did. I'm reminded of an intensive epic poem when listening from beginning to end, experiencing a million emotions. I'm so, so glad. As soon as I get a chance, I'm buying this. Sadly, I think that with their next album, they'll break through as a commercial band...then we are faced with their music being played to death on every radio station/commercial/dumb ass kid's iPod. Oh well, in the meantime, enjoy it. 4.5/5.

xx by The xx. Kind of like being stuck in a sweaty, filthy indie club with little room to breathe and little room for individualism. Seriously, you aren't kidding anybody with hushed vocals. 2/5.

Monday, February 8, 2010

General Listening

I'm pretty stoked that I've got 100 views on this page already...haha, it might have something to do with all the shameless advertising I've been doing. I've got just a little experiment, if you are reading this; can you pretty please 'follow' the blog? I'd really like that.

Now, I've been tied up like a sexual deviant to the dominatrix of Year 12 lately, so much of what I've been listening to has been generally mellowed out study-music. Does that means it's terrible? Oh god no. I've even found a few new artists!

Too Much Too Soon by New York Dolls. I didn't enjoy it, although I have only listened to it once all the way through, and a few random tracks here and there. The repetition gets to me too much; each song is like the last. 2/5.

Broken Social Scene by Broken Social Scene. This album blew me away, no exaggeration. I never thought I could describe an album as sprawly and erratic, but absolutely love it at the same time. It's hard to describe their sound, but think experimental pop/post-rock/avant garde...and you might be getting close. The density of the album was what initially attracted me. I have no idea how many musicians are in the band, but in tracks such as 'Ibi Dreams of a Pavement' its nearly impossible to count the instruments. There seems to be a pattern with albums that I've been getting into lately, and this one perpetuates the trend. 3.5/5.

Argh. Right now it's 5 minutes to midnight and I've got to be up at 6am. I was initially intending to write more. Well, I guess its goodnight then.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Albums and the Like

Bitte Orca by Dirty Projectors. I found this on and yes, I did enjoy it. New York seems to be the place to be for the funky art-house kids like this experimental pop outfit. Some of the tracks like 'Temecula Sunrise' are magnificently crafted nylon-acoustics that drift of into euphoric highs. On the subject of instrumentation, I loved the amalgamation of digital sampling and the somewhat 'revolutionary' practice of playing an instrument. For me, it signaled an equilibrium between surrealism and realism; an absolute key for the genre. Similar artists that I also like: Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, Panda Bear and Atlas Sound. 3.5/5.

Grammatics by Gramatics. Pissy vocals. Misdirection. General shittiness. 1/10.

Romance is Boring by Los Campesinos! Yeah, I don't know. It's pretty much identical to the other two albums, seriously. As a test, I listened to all three this afternoon in one sitting and I couldn't tell where one album ended and the other begun. Also, the length is way out of wack - 15 tracks. Far too ambitious and overly-endearing. They seem to have fallen into the trap of contentment with their fan-base, and are just playing to them with little or no experimentation. 2/5.

Fits by White Denim. YES! Finally, here comes the positiveness! This record is a refreshing listen to (what I think) is a re-vamping of the garage punk genre. Some really complex, brain shattering riffs. Great experimentation on 'Radio Milk How Can You Stand It?'. Wonderfully crafted. 4/5.

Yep, that's it for now...more to come.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Gig: Youthie

I went to the Youthie last night, mainly to watch a band made up of friends. They're called Romeros, and yeah, they are pretty good. The venue is starting to get a little small given the fairly recent influx of dumb-ass scene kids. All in all, I had a pretty good night, even though I was feeling incredibly sick. This year is going to kill me.

Oh well, three bands played last night:

1. Romeros
2. Red Letter Day
3. Four Degrees Hotter

Four Degrees Hotter were absolutely woeful, that is, if you actually enjoy out-of-time/shitty ACDC covers. From memory I think they played two originals, which were also terrible. Why were they terrible? Well, other than having a vocalist that sounded like Kurt Cobain with laryngitis, they couldn't hold down a decent beat, and just can't write music, at all....let alone play. I got so frustrated I went into the back room. 0/5.

Red Letter Day were also terrible; they also played out of time, out of tune, got lyrics wrong, and were generic. I couldn't really get into it. It was kind of awkward how everybody else was dancing, yet I just couldn't bring myself to move - even the lead singer (forgot his name) yelled out, 'Hey kid in the Sonic Youth shirt, why aren't you dancing?!' Yeah, good. The set was sloppy and I could barely distinguish the separate sounds of the different instruments - that probably had something to do with the fact that three microphones were positioned on each amp...great, eh? 2/5.

Romeros were very good. That isn't coming from someone that has such close ties with the band...I really mean it. They are starting to mature really well. They're even starting to get some noisey/ambiance about them...I'm excited. They even played the two new demo tracks that I wanted to hear. I also finally got around to purchasing their EP, even though I already have a digital copy - I'll write a review...and yes Dean, I might do one of the Crouching 80s EP as well. You'll have to keep reading this because I'm not going to be on facebook for a while.

Speaking of purchasing music/being a cheap bastard, I think that I'm going to change my philosophy. From next year, I am only going to buy music...and that's a promise. I think the experience of going to a dimly-lit record store is far more enjoyable than waiting 5 minutes for a download to complete.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Genre: Emo

Wait...I'm gonna talk 'bout the good kind of emo, not the shitty My Chemical Romance type. I've been listening to stacks of first and second wave emo music lately, maybe it's because I'm a miserable bastard. Here's a few albums by various artists that have been passing through my headphones (yes, headphones...not the awful ear-bud ones).

American Football by American Football. This is their first and only full-length, which is a real shame because they're one of my favourite 90s emo bands. Overall the tone is soft, and almost surreal. You can really hear depth in the lyrical quality, almost multi dimensional as it entwines at various stages with the music at melodic highs. This is a great album to listen to just before going to sleep, or in my case, trying to go to sleep. 4.5/5.

Analphabetapolothology by Cap'n Jazz. This band is pretty awesome, but this particular album is more of a retrospective of their complete recorded works. Full of sporadic moments that pound the ears, and nourish the mind. Absolutely loaded with incandescent genius and hyperactive brilliance. 4/5.

Split by Moss Icon and Silver Bearing. Moss Icon are one of my favourite bands of all time, but I hadn't heard of them doing a split with Silver Bearing...and even worse I hadn't noticed it sitting in my library, staring me in the face. It's a unique fusion of the angsty early-hardcore elements of Moss Icon, with the obscurity of Silver Bearing. I can find it at times to be a little overbearing, and perhaps the frequent breakdowns do seem a little self-indulgent. 3/5.

I've been listening to way more, but school work is really starting to catch up on me. Stay tuned

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Band: Trash Talk

Now I'm really showing the diversity of what I've been listening to lately; yesterday it was mellow indie/hip-hop, and today it's fast paced hardcore. Now, for those that know me fairly well, you'll know that I absolutely love hardcore in just about every form ('cept most generic post-hardcore posers). The crowd that hang around hardcore gigs are generally dickheads, but I try to ignore them the best I can.

Now, enter Trash Talk. This is bloody fantastic material. I've yet to discover any band (even some of the all-time faves) which have managed to rack up 200+ plays in just a few days. They are defined by their pace and aggression which just makes me want to crack a bottle on someone's head and wreak havoc. Pretty cool, eh?

Well, here's what I've got sitting in my library:

1. Walking Disease EP
2. Self-Titled
3. Plagues
4. Steel Trap/Trash Talk Split
5. 2005 Demo
6. Live at United Blood 2008

What really sets Trash Talk apart from the rest of the angsty hardcore kiddies is the song length. Now, song length is key for music of this intensity. Each track on Walking Disease EP and Self-Titled sits at around 40-60 seconds, which really helps to condense a piece of work which can actually be listened to from start to finish without having to pause and conduct relaxation techniques.

I also found the lyrics to be quite exceptional as well, since they compliment the strong (to say the least) riffs and drumming to a full extent. You'd love lines like 'rip me, stab me, pull me, fuck me...' too, yeah?

I wouldn't recommend listening to their material if you're fairly new to hardcore as this is pretty much as heavy as it gets before crossing into trashcore. Seasoned listeners are required.