:: Thursday, May 11, 2006
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING
up this week for SPOZ's CD reviews - we got 2 geek acts, 1 pseudo german-pimp duo and 1 straight up no bollocks british act.. so, lets dive on in shall we? ;)
HARD-FI - STARS OF CCTV
in brief: no nonsense brit-rock
rating - 4 / 5
this band makes for a classic tale of the pissed off underdog that comes from out've nowhere like ROCKY with both fists punching the air, hungry as all hell, looking to make break the shackles of a life of sex, drugs and on the doll to make a play for glory.. with only $2000 of hard earned savings between them to throw into producing a record.. they somehow come up with this - an absolutely addictive straight rock record that damn near blows the roof off..
this is no bollocks.. straight up.. no gimmicks.. no jokes.. catchy as all fuck ROCK N ROLL.. complete with all the soaring sing-along choruses.. the epic stadium filling grunt.. the mock string sections.. all those heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics yearning for answers.. so much so, it sometimes sounds too over the top in it's earnestness.. yet.. it's this desperation, this "we gotta make a mark on the world before we die a failure" energy that makes these freaks damn near likeable.. sure, they don't seem to possess a sense of humour.. and perhaps they could lighten up a bit once in a while.. but, with a sound this unbelievably catchy.. you can kinda forgive them.. kinda like OASIS's first record roaring out've your speakers.. this album demands to be heard..
sure, it may feel a bit too overblown to some people.. and some of the songs really push the limits of drama to the point of operatic cheese.. but still, there's more than enough here to really make for one helluva potent record.. a real hit, go get it!
highlights - CASH MACHINE, MIDDLE EASTERN HOLIDAY, GOTTA REASON, HARD TO BEAT, STARS OF CCTV
MY MORNING JACKET - Z
in brief: spacey falsetto geek rock
rating: 3.5 / 5
this album sounds like the exceptionally goofy and dorky offspring of an orgy gone wrong between THE FLAMING LIPS' vocal stylings and sci-fi hippy weirdness, the surf rock wackiness and cheesy harmonies of the BEACH BOYS, the embarrassing geekness of PINK FLOYD's mid 70's sounds with all the crazy wurlizer organs of a bad 70's am-radio band SUPERTRAMP thrown in for good measure.. it really shouldn't sound like anything more than a mad science experiment gone horribly wrong, and yet.. it somehow still works.. whodathunkit?
this album works best when it really rocks out - when all the frankenstein textures combine to come crashing around your ears.. as you experience the full force of all them wacky noodling space organs, surf guitar grooves, psychedelic backwards sounds and glamrock cheesy falsettos making something truly transcendant and spaced out.. but then just when things are getting good.. the slow songs just ruin it all by making something so unbelievably cheesy and embarassingly dorky you wondered why you're listening to this CD in the first place and not something much "cooler" and rock, like the latest TOOL album or QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE or something..
so.. it might take a little bit to get into, the first few tracks will definitely throw you off.. but by about song 4, it picks up a vibe.. and you may just start to really like this nonsense.. it's an aquired taste sure.. but, a worthy offering netherless.. try it out (if you dare!)
standout songs - WHAT A WONDERFUL MAN, OFF THE RECORD, ANYTIME
THE PRESETS - BEAMS
in brief: krautrock pimp electro
rating: 4 / 5
if only this album was released in the 80's, it'd be the ultimate soundtrack for NEW YORK stockbrokers to get severly fucked up rotten to as they run riot on one of their mass murdering cocaine binges throughout the most exclusive nightclubs and sleezy stripjoints about town.. it's a ridiculously grimey, howling and hedonistic mix of german porn grooves, stabbing 80's minimal electro and disco wacky electroclash aggression.. it sounds so wrong.. but it so freaking ROCKS..
nothing about this album is subtle.. everything from the stabby stabby kickdrums, trigger happy handclaps, grinding and bleeping synths to the obnoxious megaphone yelling vocal hooks just screams howling hedonistic self destruction.. it's like the german BERLING LOVE PARADE took a really bad turn down the streets of BAGHDAD and got seriously fucked up in a mess of limbs and decapitated heads, all with cheesy grins on their faces..
it's not the most consistent record.. the harder tracks really kick with fuckoff dancefloor brutality but the quiet songs mostly just miss the mark as they lurch around all drunk and lost, hoping for one last grope.. but overall, it's well worth it.. coz when this cranks.. it fucking annihilates.. get it and fuckin' lose ya head! :)
highlights - ARE YOU THE ONE?, DOWN DOWN DOWN, GIRL AND THE SEA, I GO HARD I GO HOME
HOT CHIP - THE WARNING
in brief: geekrock electro fuzz
rating: 4 / 5
this album could very easily be considered part of a growing movement of geek rock / electro crossover acts spawned by the legacy of RADIOHEAD's "KID A" album; as it pioneered that ever so quirky signture blend of space-cadet vocals, glitching and tweaking synth insanity and fuzzing guitars.. giving birth to a whole generation of emerging crossover acts like THE POSTAL SERVICE, LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, DATA ROCK and MOBY's latest forrays into cheesier 80's nerdrock synth anthems that are infecting our airwaves in greater numbers of late..
thankfully tho'.. these guys are no cheap imitations or copycats.. but instead craft a damn near perfect hybrid of indie pop-rock fuzz with electro / techno-freaky glitches and tweak out that's greater than the sum of it's parts.. all smooth and catchy vocal harmonies and wacky guitar fuzzings blending with exceptionally textured schitzoid spastic beats, cutups, robot vocoders, 80's bleeps and dribbling squeals to make for a sound that's truly infectious and endlessly addictive..
it all feels quite disarmingly cheerful and light like the perfect sunday afternoon comedown record.. but it's not without it's little quirks and personality.. mixing everything from tinkly bells, chimes, spoons, spastic grooves and evil EURYTHMICS referencing 80's iciness.. and if you listen in to the lyrics you realise just how sarcastic and twisted it all is.. yet somehow, it still remains so charming and agreeably cruisy that it's damn near impossible not to like it all (no matter how weird it may appear on the surface).. so, if you wanna trip out to something really wacked out and flickering.. check this shit out :)
highlights - BOY FROM SCHOOL, COLOURS, OVER AND OVER, THE WARNING
well.. that's all for this week.. but tune in next week for more reviews of the obvious, the obscure and the obnoxious.. eeeeee!
:: Spoz 11:03 PM |