:: Thursday, May 04, 2006
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING
in this week's reviews we delve into a whole host of cold new wave, goth, synth and artrock vampire bands.. just the sorta soundtrack to play at your next uber cool upper-eastside NEW YORK gallery opening when all the red wine, darklights and cocaine aren't quite working the vibe well enough.. and if you just so happen to be lucky enough to be on the door list, and dont register an auidible pulse then all THIS could be yours too.. so, dive on in and ENJOY!
SHE WANTS REVENGE - SELF TITLED
in brief: metronome goth-electro hybrid
rating: 2.5 / 5
for all those people out there who thought INTERPOL just weren't damn well dark enough or serial killer creepy, then THIS is the party fun-time band for you! as SHE WANTS REVENGE brings you the ultimate black fingernail soundtrack for your winter of foul discontent.. borrowing influences equally from the electroclash, goth and heroin 80's new wave scenes, they're yet to really find a unique sound of their own but do a DAMN good job of aping others.. with "I DONT WANNA FALL IN LOVE" sounding like a deadringer for FISCHERSPOONER, "MONOLOGUE" like DEPECHE MODE and "RED FLAGS AND LONG NIGHTS" and "TEAR YOU APART" sounding very much like INTERPOL paired back to a grisly skeletal frame..
they're a brutally minimal act, replacing much of a normal band's raw vitality with sparse and well measured metronomic stabbing drum-machines, electronic bass, icey synths and maybe the occassional flourishes of triggering guitar reminiscent of THE CURE.. the vocals are very much in that droning JOY DIVISION, GARY NUMAN vibe singing all these poetically perverted lyrics of dark lust and twisted imaginings on the dancefloor.. overall effect of this is something that just about sucks the life and temperature out've any room.. but, sometimes you'd actually invite that..
when this album works, it works brilliantly.. "TEARS YOU APART" has gotta be one of the coolest songs I've heard in a long while and the lyrics of "OUT OF CONTROL" are truly twisted beyond all measure, but the rest of the album tends to drag and plod along in such a cold consistency that you tend to get drained white by the whole experience.. ideal for an ugly breakup or your suicide soundtrack.. but for anything else.. best to enjoy in small doses..
highlights: RED FLAGS AND LONG NIGHTS, SOMEONE MUST GET HURT, TEAR YOU APART
EDITORS - THE BACK ROOM
in brief: interpol's twin brother
rating: 3 / 5
this band could easily be dismissed as a note for note INTERPOL clone (yes, yet ANOTHER one), as they have the same monotone droning vocal delivery, the same hammering reverbed guitar riffing, the same stabby metronome drumming, pretty much the same overal feel right down to the black shirts and thin white ties.. almost to the point you could call them twins.. the only real difference really is I'd say these guys are just a tad more hammering and dancefloor friendly (but maybe I'm just splitting hairs)..
but as much as they're a deadringer tho', they're still a bloody good one with some truly brilliantly crafted songs amongst the mix - "MUNICH", "BULLETS" and "BLOOD" are damn near perfection in driven urgency.. so much so, you'd wish the rest of the album would carry this same momentum coz then you'd have an absolute classic on yer hands.. but.. unfortunately, over the full length of the record the feel is quite uneven and schizophrenic.. for all the cool jamming dancefloor tracks that get you buzzing, there's a tonne of other slow and languid FILLER that do nothing but put you into a coma and kill the mood (pretty much the entire 2nd half) maybe if the song order was rearranged it'd make for sense for energy flow.. hmmmm..
as it is, it shows promise as a first album release.. quite possibly one to watch for their second or third release.. but, untill they find their OWN voice I think they'll just be limited to the "ME TOO!!" box..
highlights - MUNICH, BLOOD, BULLETS
MOVING UNITS - DANGEROUS DREAMS
in brief: ridculously addictive 80's style dance-rock
rating: 5 / 5
this album sounds like what would happen if you combined DAMON ALBARN from BLUR with some maniacally tragic early 80's throwback postpunk party band.. it's got the same sense of fun that BLUR had in their earlier records.. throws in all the requisite 80's swinging bassline funkriffs, handclap beats and manic energy of THE CLASH, MADNESS or THE SPECIALS, adds a tiny sprinkle of cheerful goth sado-masochism into the mix.. to bring you something quite demented yet damn near impossibly likeable..
from beginning to end this album is sublimely crafted, fashioning meticulously polished britpop sounds and precision dance-punk through and through yet twisting it all up with a gleeful sense of playful anarchy.. it's like all the drilling guitars, deep grooving swing bass and the slappy beats that make the BLOC PARTY so haunting, urgent and spooky but in the hands of these guys, they make the same ingredients an absolute piss load of party crazed fun.. so much so you really can't help but flipflop around the room or dancefloor like a loon fresh from one of them JOHN HUGHES' 80's films..
this album is damn near perfection with never a dull moment.. they should be freaking huge (it sure beats FRANZ FERDINAND).. so go get it.. you'll thank me later
highlights - EMANCIPATION, GOING FOR ADDS, ANYONE, BRICKS & MORTAR
YEAH YEAH YEAHS - SHOW YOUR BONES
in brief: artrock chaos reigned in with a leash
rating: 4 / 5
for all of you out there familiar with the YEAH YEAH YEAHS, fans of their first album with their distinctively schitzy anarchic shrieking art-rock sounds and exploding feedback wailing chaos.. then you may be in for a shock here.. they've gone and changed all their shit up on their 2nd album.. which is quite a bold move considering most bands just play it safe on the 2nd album (*cough* THE STROKES, FRANZ FERDINAND) fearing they'll fuck anything up if they take even the smallest risk..
so, gone is all the freeform madness.. the out've control hammering energy.. the madenning and howling violent streak threatening to break your eardrums.. and in it's place, we now have stabbing precision, surgical sharpness and a whole host of sublime indie rock polish and metrenomic chugging control.. it's like someone strung up the band like puppets in straitjackets and got them to dance a military beat to put them all in line.. yet, despite what you may think.. if you give it a few listens to get over the shock, you'll find you'll really start to like this.. and the more you listen, the more you'll also realise all the chaos you loved hasn't actually gone at all, it's just better managed now..
there's still KAREN O's distinctive piercing vocal here, there's still the howling ghostly guitars wailing unholy echo's into the night.. but it's all been pulled into order.. making for damn effective hybrid between refined down-the-middle rock and howling artrock experimentalism.. somewhat like mixing the churn of TOOL or the brutal martial crunch of latter day NINE INCH NAILS (especially in the songs "FANCY" and "PHENOMENA") with the more mainstream sound of GARBAGE.. yet, regardless of all the polish.. they still can't help but make KAREN O's voice sound freakingly annoying in large album sized doses (but maybe that's just me)
fans will likely hate this album on first listen, but give it some time and you'll seen really start to enjoy it (and they might actually win a whole host of new fans with this one).. yup, the new sound may be a risk, but it sometimes it can really pay off.. so go get it, it's good shit!
highlights - GOLD LION, FANCY, PHENOMENA, CHEATED HEARTS, DUDLEY
well, that's all for this week.. if you have any crazy suggestions for shiny shit I should check out in the following weeks, lemme know and I'll hunt it down.. cheers :)
:: Spoz 12:22 AM |