The Strokes - Room on Fire (2003)
The Strokes - Room on Fire (2003)
If the Pistol Annies songs were screamed by young men with loud guitars, I'd be willing to wager you'd find them very appealing. I like the album because they take a very real and punk approach to the crafting of a band and fighting through the monotony of touring and attempting to make a living off of music. But then again, I know that country, especially modern, pop-inflected country absolutely does not work for everyone.
P.S. Eve 6's first album was one of the first five CDs I owned. I still feel like it's a minor classic of the pop-punk genre.
Miniature Tigers - Fortress
Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground - Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground
I'm going to review something totally unexpected tomorrow. I've yet to hear the album in full either so not even I know what I'll score it yet. The only hint I'll give is that you may hear it at a sporting event to get the crowd going.
Jamey Johnson - The Guitar Song
Now Jamey Johnson is a true country musician. What a heartfelt album full of happiness, reflection, and sadness. The Guitar song is made up of the Black Album and White Album. Cover Your Eyes has very slick and smooth guitar that goes along to Johnson's sexy country voice. The way the drums crash really emphasizes the emotion in this song. Poor Man Blues is just as good, espcially the balance between the darkness of Johnson's voice when he hits low and high notes. The lyrics are well crafted in so many of these songs, Heaven Bound is a sad feeling song, but makes quite the ballad. All the acoustic guitars and the lead electric guitar just create nothing but beautiful sounds. That's How I Don't Love You is just another song I really enjoyed from the first album because it's your typical breakup song, but it the quality of the production is too good to ignore. I really like By the Seat of Your Pants as the opener for the White Album. It's a way more cheerful song and the guitar rhythm is some good old fashion stuff. Macon a real treat. The piano introduction into Johnson enchanting the listener with his words. The backup gospel singers are quite enjoyable too. Feel the Good Times is one of the best songs on this entire record. The way the piano and guitar are performed and the pace they move along with the tone and lyrics makes this feel like one of the ultimate reflection songs. Very rarely do I get so moved by country music, but to go out on My Way to You, the least I can do is give a standing ovation. The song to song transition never let me down, and not only did he have a great voice, but the lyrics were nothing but fantastic.
My rating: 9
Sixpence None the Richer - Sixpence None the Richer
Considered to be one of the greatest Christian rock albums of all time comes the self-titled album by Sixpence None the Richer. I thought they were just a one hit wonder pop band, but the song Anything is actually quite a pretty track. The violin and cello really add and element to this song that the nice guitar riffs and solo couldn't do on it's own. The main chorus is the best part because of the violin goes along with the notes hit by Leigh Nash. Then there's song Kiss Me, which was probably heard just about everywhere in the late 90s. The song is incredibly because the way she is able to say "Kiss me" just sounds so right. Matt Slocum was able to come up with the perfect guitar rhythm to go along with this track. That accordion is one of the most memorable parts too. As cheesy as this song is it is just genius and makes me happy. I Can't Catch You sounds like a legit rock song the way it opens up and then continues throughout. I enjoyed the guitar in this song as well as the singing and backup vocals. They try to go grunge with I Won't Stay Long, but it didn't really work. As the album is coming to a finish they add in The La's There She Goes. They actually do a pretty good job at covering it and I believe it goes on to be a pretty popular hit. Nash sings in a catchy way, and I think she is her own backup vocalist, while the guitar strums away. It's one of those songs where that makes you wanna run around. More use out of that violin and cello would have been nice because the band proves they can create some very polished tracks. A lot of it is just very poppy and I've never been clear what the minimum is that makes an album a Christian rock album.
My rating: 7
Go ahead and do the Rembrandts while you're at it.
Snow: 12 Inches Of
Frank Zappa - Hot Rats
It's pretty difficult to explain what genre Hot Rats falls under. There's so many differect techniques thrown together to thow together one jazzy progressive rock album. The opening moments of Peaches en Regalia are like an Italian song on acid. The work done by Ian Underwood done in this song really makes this a neat opening track with the flute and saxophone. The guitar is just a whole bunch of shredding. Son of Mr. Green Genes is a pretty epic track. I feel like I'm listening to the Rocky theme song, but this song came first. I just want to go running and punch meat. The guitar playing is just excellent, while the occasional saxophone added some spice. Zappa just straight jams and does this for a good 9 minutes. The saxophone destroys on The Gumbo Variations. The album was pretty entertaining, but wasn't thrilled by it. The music was definitely loose and going all over the place but still cool.
My rating: 7.25
I did the Pistol Annies and Jamey Johnson requests together for a reason: I find Miranda Lambert and Jamey Johnson to be mining similar fields lyrically, but I much prefer most fo Johnson's music. That guy has a voice like an Abrams tank and the vision to really drive his music to the next level. He's the best country musician around right now, and I completely agree with that review.
That Lonesome Song, his previous album, isn't quite as far-reaching, but it's more consistent and it has In Color, one of those songs that could be total cheesy country crap but instead is a profoundly moving song about generational development and familial struggle. I LOVE this guy.
Fantomas - Delírium Córdia
Mike Patton is back in the review thread. Delírium Córdia is a concept album/song. It's a 74 minute song, which is pretty close to length as a film. I believe he's going for the horror theme of receiving surgery with anesthesia because the beginning is very creepy. There's some breathing and sound effects to make it sound like a heart is pumping. Some chanting comes in maybe they represent the doctors.. At the 9 minute mark some horror movie level piano music and some death metal sound effects offset each other. Then it just gets suspenseful off and on. The 20 minute mark brings back the creepy effects again. There are shrieks pounding away. It feels foggy out and a drum beat down. Then there's some more heavy breathing, and it sounds that there are bats flying around. At the 24 minute mark the piano makes it feel like we're falling down a staircase. At one point during this record I take a two minute nap. The last 20 minutes was either an error on my audio file, or just meant to be awfully quiet yet you could still hear something spinning. The metal moments are probably the most thrilling parts of this album. The last seconds just jump out of nowhere. I dig the concept but it was kind of boring.
My rating: 5.5
Swans - Soundtracks For the Blind
This is the tenth studio album from Swans released all the way back in 1996. 2 hours and 20 minutes spread across 2 albums of experimental ambient post-rock. The first song that I really admire is Helpless Child because of it's relaxed and eery guitar with the dark vocals and droning background effects. Late into the song it becomes something special with the drums coming in making the crashes emotional, and the guitar starts to really shred, while the keyboard adds beauty to it as well. The way they spread out that song results in it being very effective and part of a movie scene or something. The Beautiful Days is spooky ambient music that is just flat out creepy with the girl chanting about a sunny day. The sound effects seem to be taken straight from a horror movie. I picture a dark foggy scene with an abandoned house. Volcano is just straight up techno. The shift is so unexpected, but this track is amazing. Animus goes from a calm vocal driven song to being taken over by these black hole sucking guitar riffs. The song turns into utter chaos but yet that's what makes it mightily impressive because of all the different musical sounds. The Sound is just another song that has this intense moment of what would go great to a fighting scene. Empathy was another cool song, while I Love You This Much was just raw and gnarly. Pretty obvious this album would play an influence on bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor. What goes on behind the scenes is beyond me. For the most part I have no idea what they're using to create these sounds.
My rating: 8.5
Eve 6 - Eve 6
Power chords, fast tempo drumming, and energy best define what goes into the pop punk band Eve 6's music. Not bad for a debut album, and it sounds like the band is giving it is all. How Much Longer provides a quick explosive beginning. While, Inside Out will always be part of the catalog of the greatest 90's alternative hits because of it's catchy lines, thrifty guitar, and quenching that thirst for rock. When all the instruments stop and Max Collins sings, "Find nothing but faith in nothing," is a memorable part of the track. The outro goes out on a high note as well. Superhero Girl is another energetic track I like because I like the way it's sung. The guitar is a little sloppy when they strum after Collins is done singing a stanza. The power chords during the singing, and the guitar solo isn't great but at least they have one for a song that should have one. Tongued Tied has some of the best bass and guitar where they just jam and it all comes together into a pretty cool song. The last few songs of this album seem to lose momentum. Small Town had such a slow start that finally broke out, but even then it wasn't amazing. I don't consider Eve 6 a guilty pleasure because they do reflect that era of rock and are no more embarrassing than blink-182, Green Day. Eve 6 just never experienced the same success.
My rating: 6.5
Someone recommend this guy a John Fahey album if it hasn't happened yet.
Bill Orcutt - How the Thing Sings
In all fairness it took me about a year before I was able to appreciate this album.
Hoping for a fun review, or the tiny sliver of a chance that it clicks.
The Strokes - Room on Fire
Room on Fire has a lot to live up to. No Strokes fan wants Is This It to be the only it. Their second album is less raw, but The Strokes take it a step further with all the guitars. What Ever Happened is one of the theme songs of my life. The guitar riffs are really special, while the track keeps thst raw indie flavor with Julian Casablancas just flat out doing what he does best and that' singing in his tone where you can't tell if he's upset or just a little drunk. That songs ends and then we get this thunderous bass that starts off Reptilia. Nick Valensi's work on the guitar is some his best stuff yet, while Albert Hammond, Jr provides the essentials to make it a signature Strokes song . The rhythm of it makes you move around, while Julian sings some great lyrics that are about chaos, and when he yells "Please don't slow me down", I love how the tempo picks in such a perfect manner. One of my favorite parts is when the guitar is the only thing going until it's joined by the bass and it all leads into the chorus . There's a reason this song made it on Guitar Hero. More good shit in Autmatic Stop with great lead and rhythm guitar throughout. 12:51 is easily my favorite off this album. My Friday night is often lonely. The guitar is so surf rock pop like. The singing is fun and the tone of it all makes it appropriate for all bitches. I love You Talk Way Too Much too. This song always goes off in my head when someone just says more than they should. The drum beats and strumming that set up the chorus is just too good. Then the lead guitar playing some high notes back into the second half which leads to some yelling by Casablancas is all too great. Not a huge fan of what comes after, the song Under Control is pretty boring, but at least The Way It Is has a lot of anger in it. I Can't Win sometimes feels like another outcome that affects my life. The guitar and bass are back on the level of what made the start to this album basically flawless. The main parts of this song are all so smooth and the transition throughout is great. Room on Fire doesn't disappoint me one bit. I don't want The Strokes to be predictable and keep a consistent sound, and I honestly believe that by staying outside the comfort zone they put out some amazing work
My rating: 8.25
Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures
2/9 SISU @ Echoplex, 2/14 Spiritualized @ Ace Hotel, 2/16 Kyary Pamyu Pamyu @ Club Nokia, 2/24 Cibo Matto @ El Rey, 3/21 St. Vincent @ Wiltern, 4/11-13 Coachella, 4/27 Ghost B.C. @ Fonda, 4/30 Mono @ Troubadour, 5/3 I Break Horses @ Bootleg Theater, 5/28-6/1 Primavera Sound, 6/22 Janelle Monae @ Hollywood Bowl
Miniature Tigers - F O R T R E S S
Mansion of Misery is a really exciting song to begin this album. It has all kinds of sound effects going on, a fast drum beat and solid vocals. Turns out to be totally different from a lot of the other songs on this record. Dark Tower is good laying on a pillow music, and just staring at the ceiling thinking about nothing. You can hear the fingers sliding across the strings. Very moving rhythm and delicate sounds like rain drops. Egyptian Robe is very has a very happy sound to it. The second half is more of a trip, while the singer just goes on and on. Lolita had some power and flavor to it, but the vocals were kind of weak. The piano introduction was tight. The song starts off kind of slow but builds up. Out of nowhere they get really loud and then quiet again. They totally remind me of opener kind of music. Sometimes you got to save the best for last and I think that's exactly what they did with Coyote Enchantment. The rattling sounds and the clapping add a thrill, while the upbeat tempo and lazer gun sound effects are pretty cool. There's less of that high singing voice, and a more medium sounding level, which I like better. This album was alright, but nothing special. What's up with the parrot?
My rating: 6
Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground - Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground
Alright Hey Momma' is pretty cool. It starts off like a simple song with all kinds of vocal ranges. Cool melody that's pleasant with a cello & violin or something really adding to the background There's a xylophone I'm pretty sure, which is thrown in there that goes off in this one part. The song breaks into this guitar jam and some chaotic feeling with a cool drum beat, then goes back into a calm singing solo. I feel like time freezes twice in this song. There's this crazy horn outro too like you'd hear in the early 20th century. Bowie the Desert Pea is a great song off this album. The singing is kind of like James Mercer status. The instrumentals are really well done, and the song feels like one big spectacle. Bass can be heard, drums are crashing away, the horns and stringed instruments, and the piano all come together. Simon Courage Flee is really good as well. Swan Ink makes me kind of sad. The mood of it is pretty down throughout. Sword and Sorcery is one strange final track. It sounds like someone is hammering a nail into some wood during random parts. There's all kinds of experimental noises and spacey stuff. The track is far different than anything else and is kind of a troll compared to the rest. Very fun and clean feeling album with all kinds of instruments, emotions, and style choices.
My rating: 7.5