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Artichoke - Bees - Cute indie pop/rock with a childish side. The whole album revolves around the theme of bees but takes many different perspectives. The vocalist reminds me of Without a Face or possibly Colin Meloy of the Decemberists. Definitely worth giving a try if you’re into indie. Try “The Commune” or “Melissa”
Gold Panda- Lucky Shiner- An artist from the UK, Gold Panda creates an electro atmosphere with a hip hop background. The synths are well-placed and not too heavy. The songs seem to have more of a structure than just continuous beats, making the whole album danceable, but also capable of being played while relaxing. “You” and “Snow & Taxis” are great examples of music to kick it to, but I’m more partial to “Same Dream China”
Erland and the Carnival- Trouble in Mind- Softer contemporary rock with a heavy Franz Ferdinand vibe. The keyboard and guitar riffs make for catchy music that’s easy to listen to. The single, “Trouble in Mind” is a softer track that plays it safe, while “My Name is Carnival” takes a bit of folk and successfully blends it with rock to create an elegant track.
Guster- Easy Wonderful- The first track is “Architects and Engineers,” how much more appropriate can you get? This album mixes 60s pop and modern indie into an upbeat collection of tracks. No gimmicks, just music, which makes it seem very pure. If you’re already a fan of Guster, you’ll appreciate their newest effort. If you’re not familiar, try it out, you may just like it. “Do You Love Me” is my favorite.
Tango in the Attic- Bank Place Locomotive Society- The first track emanates Vampire Weekend, but as the album progresses you start to break into a more Brit Rock-inspired indie sound. The Scottish accent gives the songs a slight hint of character that you don’t get from other records. Check out “Off to…”, “A Healthy Distraction,” and “Jackanory”
The Orb feat. David Gilmour- Metallic Spheres- If you’re a fan of the Orb already or happen to enjoy Pink Floyd (see David Gilmour), you’ll like this album. Two thirty-minute tracks divided into subsections scream stoner rock but are very melodic and can be appreciated by the substance-free listener. Basically, if you like Pink Floyd, you’ll like this album.
IMA Robot- Another Man’s Treasure- Heavily electro-sized, IMA Robot seems to be the digital man’s U2. The beats are thrown at you in a jumbled mass, so if you’re not ready for the eccentricity, wait a little bit and come back. I could appreciate “Ruthless” and “Sail With Me” but the rest was a little too awkward for me personally to handle. Oh, I also might add that if you’re one of those folks who loves Edward Sharpe, he happens to be IMA Robot’s leading fella.
Bleu- Four- Rock with a slight hint of country (not enough to scoff at though) that emphasizes the message in the lyrics. It seems so simple, yet I can’t help but enjoy listening to it. Try “B.O.S.T.O.N” on for size.
The Superions- Destination…Christmas!- Fronted by Fred Schneider of the B-52s, The Superions definitely reflect the same oddity the B-52s inhabit so well. This album brings a whole new perspective on Christmas by taking the simple things and pizzazzing them into Superion-worthy tracks. Check out “Fruitcake” if you’re ready.
Zach Hill- Face Tat- Famed as a drummer, Zach Hill proves he can make it on his own with this album that utilizes his drumming talents but does not put all of the weight on them. The songs go through a range of hard rock and simple melodies and everything seems to reflect an organized chaos. I think you’ll appreciate “Memo to the Man”
We got a collection of Loud Rock/Metal in, but I don’t feel equipped to properly review it. So, if you feel like giving any of these albums a listen, feel free to do so and send me a review at firstname.lastname@example.org . Your thoughts will be shared with errybody out here.
National Overdrive- Welcome to the Nation
Oceansize- Self Preserved While the Bodies Float
Baptized in Blood- Baptized in Blood
Ethan's msc rvws fr ths wk.
Sweet Nasty - Life on Fire
Not a bad jam-rock album. Features a very intriguing and engaging rhythm section with plenty of cool instrumentation, like every jam band should, with some western/country flavor mixed in. It’s worth a listen and on-air time if your looking for a laid back/mellow sound.
RT # 2, 3, 4
The Jezabels - Dark Storm
Very mellow, laid back rock with a strong female vocalist. The backing instruments can be described as darker and ambient. Highly recommended for those wanting to listen to a good pop-rock album with a prominent female vocalist
RT # 1, 2
Rockapella - Bang
You don’t really hear about modern A Capella groups very often, which is why this album was very refreshing. This album features a very cool, semi-modern RnB feel(I think of Fresh Prince when I listen to it). I recommend that you check it out.
RT #1, 2, 14
Late Reviews for the Week
Don’t get too excited….
Clea Roddick- Songs of the Year: Vol. 1- As soon as the first track started playing I immediately thought of Regina Spektor. Soft female vocals with a piano accompaniment, it’s cute and upbeat. Check out “Astronomy” and “Chickadee”
Small Black - New Chain- Fairly eclectic for a synth-pop album, Small Black mixes 80s- inspired beats, colorful synths that make me feel like I’ve entered the mind of Willy Wonka, and ethereal melodies. The vocals are your typical synthesized high-pitched indie boy sound, but I think the background makes up for it. “Photojournalist” is by far my favorite.
Sun Airway- Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier- It’s always nice to hear electro beats that aren’t extremely in your face. This album creates a melodic atmosphere while maintaining a decent rock sound. RIYL Animal Collective, The Killers.
The Companies - Keep Me in Mind- Best described as post-punk alt rock, this album makes you feel like you’re in the London underground scene. And just when you think you really understand them, they pull out “Mami,” which is half rock, half salsa. Check it out if you enjoy The Cure.
The Extra Lens- Undercard- Smart folk rock reminiscent of They Might Be Giants minus most of the quirk, Flogging Molly minus most of the Irish, and Simon and Garfunkel minus most of the Simon. Led by John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, it’s definitely worth a spin. Check out “Communicating Doors”
Short Reviews by E
Uz Jsme Doma - Caves
Progressive Rock - Uz Jsme Doma is one of those bands that has a sound that is so hard to place. Fans of King Crimson’s older work, Magma, and any progressive rock band from the 60’s and 70’s will feel right at home with this album, Caves. The album features odd rhythms, a very prominent, upbeat horn section, and a very unique vocalist. I can’t say too much more other than I really dig this album and plan on playing it heavily on my show.
Recommended tracks- # 2 ,5 ,6 ,8
Personally recommend- # 2, 4, 8
Leyla Fences - Liars, Cheats, & Fools
On Leyla’s website her music is described as “Traditional Honky Tonk County”. After a listen through, I can hear what they mean. Though I would add that she does incorporate modern pop-country/country rock heavily into the mix. Worth a listen to if you’re into that kind of thing.
Recommended Tracks- # 1, 3
Alessi’s Ark - Soul Proprietor
Folk-pop- Alessi Laurent-Marke really created something special with this one. By the time it was over I was wishing for more. The album had a very cool, mellow, sweet, and, for the lack of a better word, “real” feel to it. It wasn’t overly produced nor was it redundant with its musical themes. Awesome addition to the library.
Recommended Tracks - All (there are only four tracks, though track two had a profound effect on me.)
KNUCKLES STRIKES AGAIN
Pigeon John - “Dragon Slayer”
The perennially awesome master of self-deprecating rap (think the ANTI-dick
swinger) is back with new album and a title that seems like he’s
dropped the shy, unlucky guy image for more of a heroic one. On “Dragon
Slayer” Pigeon John has indeed tried to reinvent himself a bit, but
thankfully he hasn’t dropped the mister-nice-guy-finishes-last persona
that has made his music so refreshing in this age of ‘screw them hoes’
style gangsta rap.
Pigeon has decided to maintain his image while exploring his general
song-writing abilities more, creating a rap album that exudes wit and
warmth. His mood changes throughout, while staying in an almost ambient
mood that serves to draw you into the narratives he chooses to create
with his lyrics. He ends up singing most of the time instead of rapping
over backing vocals as he has done before, and at moments he lets the
music swell and push him off stage in a very indie-pop manner.
Thankfully all his humor and character as omnipresent as his other cd’s. His
version of a ‘I come from the streets and had to work for this sh**’
song, “Buttersoft Seats” rebels against the gangsta-rap cliches by
describing how he never got Rolex’s, only Casio calculator watches, but
it’s all okay now - he has a brand new truck with buttersoft seats. His
version of ‘aw hell, it’s about to get real’, “Dude, It’s ON”, is a
mellow, slow-swelling song about a fight outside a motel where the music
speaks more than he does. “Davey Rockit” is about the son of a failed
and abusive DJ, but Pigeon manages to create full and dynamic characters
in this short track that makes you truly care for the people he sings
Really, most of the album plays like a very good indie rock/pop album with only
mild electronic instrumentation. The main difference is that Pigeon
John has the ability to write in a more MC style, and his knowledge
allows for a better story to be imbued into each track that drives the
album to higher levels than his previous releases - which is saying
something for a guy who regularly gets top ratings from critics.
Best of all? He still comes off as the nicest MC you’ll ever hear.
Shrt Rvws By E
Underworld - Barking
Electronic/trance - Underworld is the collaboration of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, both of which have been producing music since the early 80’s. Though I have not listen to much electronic music in my day, I can certainly recognize the catchy appeal of this album and I’m sure that those wanting to put new electronic/trance into their libraries should pick this album up.
RT #1, 2, 3
Suuns - Zeroes QC
Experimental rock/pop - Suuns, a minimalist rock group from Montreal, caught me off guard with this album. Being a progressive rock, jazz, metal guy I usually get turned off when I hear the word “minimalist”, but this album features some pretty sweet tunes. The first track “Armed For Peace” has some especially cool riffs and rhythms.
Other RTs #3, 7, 8
Evolett - For Your Consideration
Rock - Fans of rock bands with a female lead should listen to this album up. It has a very strong Paramore, Evanescence, Fly-Leaf pop-rock feel. That is all…
RT #3, 5, 8