:: Thursday, April 27, 2006
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING
either I've been beaten stupid over the head with a series of blunt objects of late.. or, it appears that we're are now living in a golden age of music.. where once the record store shelves were filled with nothing but the decaying stench of washed up stadium acts, pillmuncher techno, shitty whore-me pop singers, over hyped derivative garage rock, bling bling "in-it-for-the-cash" R&B / hiphop acts and the worst of kiddie punk and retarded rap metal.. now, we're spoilt for choice almost to the point that we're getting avalanched with the shit..
but.. with all these new acts and bands popping up on a daily basis.. how do we know if any of it's any good or not? listen to the hype? take a chance on buying the CD with that ONE song you like only to find the rest is utter shite? start listening to EMO!?
narrrr fuck that! thanks to some *cough* illegal downloading and a voracious appetite for new music.. SPOZ will do all the hard work for ya, as he presents his latest weekly feature - reviewing the latest and greatest releases and the weirder more obscure recent classics.. so you can effectively filter out all the shite and get to the good shit.. enjoy!
THE GRATES - GRAVITY WON'T GET YOU HIGH
in brief: spastic fuckpuppet rock
rating: 5 / 5
listening to the new GRATES album is rather like being sexually violated by an over exiteable shaggy-haired retarded poodle who is waaay to ridiculously happy to see you.. thankfully since this poodle looks like PATIENCE HODGSON, nobody really seems to mind.. and wot with her wacky caffeinated multiple orgasm explosions over live stages for the past year or so, this perhaps accounts for part of their success.. however, look past all the of this and you actually might find a seriously well crafted pop rock record.. who knew a bunch of idiots jamming out in a garden shed could produce THIS piece of brilliance?
equal parts self destructive garage rock and frisky well polished 60's fuzz-pop.. with it's jangling pogo riffs, woopin' n hooting vocals and jumpy beats.. it comes at ya like a spastic dose of prozak, all braindamaged, horny and ridiculously catchy like if the YEAH YEAH YEAHS or the DRESDEN DOLLS were all goog'd up on E's and amphetamines raring to go for a night of hedonist idiotic carnage about town.. and yet, despite the chaos it's also surprisingly well produced, crisp, hi-fi and punchy.. with rarely a dull moment.. this album is near perfection from beginning to end (even if it IS so embarassingly damn near likeable) so if you need a hardcore dose of big dumb happy, go get it.. well worth buying!
highlights: LIES ARE MUCH MORE FUN, 19 20 20, TRAMPOLINE, FEELS LIKE PAIN, SUKKAFISH, LITTLE PEOPLE
THE STROKES - FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF EARTH
in brief: retro rock goes pro-tools
rating: 4 / 5
remember back when these guys were hailed as the saviours of rock? when they ushered in a whole new era of hype and hyperbola over any ridiculous new retro rock band wannabe jamming away in their garage with a "THE" in their title? back when "IS THIS IT?" was hailed as like the best freaking album since NIRVANA's "NEVERMIND"? yeah.. back in the early naughties, those were some crazy times weren't they? and then the inevitable backlash came after the 2ND album was rushed out sounding JUST like the first album.. only.. more mediocre.. and no sooner could you say "YAY, it's THE WHITE STRIPES!" they were dumped by everyone and relegated to the trashcan of history.. yeah.. funny how these things happen.. and yet.. here we have album #3, the make or break album.. and to everyone's surprise.. it's actually really really good!
this album is just like THE STROKES you knew.. and yet, it's much more so.. with a much clearer, punchier sound.. much chunkier guitars and bass, more driven juggernaut beats, whilst lead singer JULIAN CASABLACAS actually sounds emotionally engaged with his vocals this time (instead of just sounding half asleep like he used to do) and with all this coming at ya with all guns firing, the overall effect is it FUCKING rocks! kinda like those ads they used to run on tv when DVD's were first coming out, where they showed 2 pictures - "THIS IS YOUR MOVIE ON VIDEO" (with a tiny muddy looking screen) "and now HERE'S YOUR MOVIE ON DVD!" (cue a psychotic widescreen explosion with a sound that'd blow eardrums off in a 1km radius).. this is how the album compares to the previous 2..
and yet, just like a DVD directors cut, it also suffers from way too much content.. if only they edited it down by at least 10-15 minutes, this album could've EASILY punched above weight on their first.. and yet, even so.. as it stands.. it's still a more than worthy return to form, just for the first 3 songs alone that hit you like a runaway train.. this is some quality shit! well worth getting..
highlights: YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, JUICEBOX, HEART IN A CAGE, VISION OF DIVISION
THE VINES - VISION VALLEY
in brief: brain casualty twitch rock
look.. let me begin by saying, I was one of the few people who actually really LIKED the 2nd album.. despite NME and everyone else trashing it.. I thought it wuz freaking brilliant.. and then you add all that shit with lead singer CRAIG NICHOL'S mental breakdown, the band trashing late-night tv sets and everything else self destructing on stage? "YOU ARE ALL SHEEEEP! CAN YOU SAY BA-A-A-A-A-AAA?" freaking hilarious maaaan! there SHOULD be insanity in rock n roll dammit!
but since then they go all self-help.. he gets diagnosed with a mild form of autism, he gives up the dope, the band stops touring, they go all clean.. and then they all return with this.. their lean and clean "comeback record" with a nice forward thinking healthy attitude.. and yet as much as I would like to support the rehab.. duuude.. yer album is FUCKING SHIT!
so imagine if you will a 13 track album that barely scrapes over 30 minutes, featuring song after song of inane droning and screaming.. all cut abrupt at the 1 to 2 minute mark before it gets to the good stuff lest CRAIG suffers a "relapse" from working too hard and fucking it up for everyone.. as a result, none of this album is really given ANY room to breathe.. all yer left with is a whole bunch of hastily abandoned ideas in short sharp rock like they're covering for CRAIG NICHOLS mental issues too much by not pushing him crazy enough.. and yet crazy wuz JUST wot made them cool in the first place.. I mean, yeah.. I know I sound insensitive.. but if all the chronic dope smoking and autism was what made them brilliant.. what happens when you remove that? you get a seriously mediocre band.. sorry..
highlights: DON'T LISTEN TO THE RADIO
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE - SELF TITLED
in brief: bittersweet hippie pastiche
rating: 4.5 / 5
listening to this album is kinda like waking up on a lazy sunday afternoon after a heavy night's drinking, drugs and self destruction, only to find y'self lying in a field of green grass next to a beautiful naked woman asleep with a blissful smile on her face whilst warm summer sun streams in dappled through the trees, and then wondering to y'self "waaait.. how the FUCK did I end up here!!??"..
it's a messy collage of noodling 60's psychedelia, fluffy textures of flickering electronic beats and light mashing breaks, occassional soaring orchestration and briefly intersperced with flourishes of playful light vocals singing sweet nothings and "oohs and aaaahs" into your ears.. somewhat like if they got all the loose stoner elements of GERLING, THE AVALANCHES, ARCADE FIRE and MODEST MOUSE and threw them together into a chaotic summer of love hippie blender..
sure it may sound like a complete mess at times, and perhaps occassionally hard to understand.. but it's such a blissful cheerful mess.. so it's really hard not to be totally charmed by it.. making it the ultimate cure for even the most violent of screaming hangovers.. so go get it, it'll bliss yer skull out!
highlights: 7/4 SHORELINE, FIRE EYE'D BOY, HOTEL, BANDWITCH
phew.. so there we have it, stay tuned next week for more album reviews..
:: Spoz 12:08 AM |