March 19, 2008

B(l)ogged Down, Pt. 4

The Loved Ones - Build & Burn
Verdict: Like ()
Smart Yell Punk with a softer side (on occasion).
The Loved Ones - Pretty Good Year
The Loved Ones - Brittle Heart
The Loved Ones - 3rd Shift

Abney Park - Lost Horizons
Verdict: Like ()
So, put every bit of pride you have aside, like when you were a kid or a teenager or if you have no pride now then you're on the right track, and then listen to these songs. They're unabashadly ridiculous and, to my knowledge, completely serious. Abney Park is the first Steam Punk band to ever exist (that I've heard of anyway [though I guess I did hear of a band that used steam-driven piano thingy's, but seeming how that's all I heard, I have my doubts]), and with that comes some serious fantasy-playtime-ridiculousness, (especially since they use synthesizers, which are very non Steam Punk). Man, it's campy, but if you can get yourself in the mood, it's fun and strange and makes you laugh at yourself a little bit. Indulge the Steam Punk inside yourself:
Abney Park - Airship Pirate
Abney Park - Sleep Isabella
Abney Park - The Secret Life Of Doctor Calgori

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Calibration
Verdict: Like ()
I really wonder whether or not the term Avant-Garde even applies to music like this anymore, because, when one breaks down the term and thinks about it in terms of the music, one realizes that this kind of strange music has been done before, and that it's really not as inventive as it used to be. Granted, this album couldn't even really be called all that Avant-Garde, but I've heard it described as such, and it just makes me wonder. I liked it, but I hope I didn't just like it because it was weird and, at times, hard to follow.
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Calibration
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Sidewalk Fins
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - El Monte T'ai

KMFDM - Brimborium
Verdict: Didn't Like (ΓΈ)
Was there ever a time when these guys were good? I'm sure there was, but remixing their stuff probably isn't going to bring back those days. Time to retire or create a new song KMFDM, you've been pimping out that same one for quite a while now... (even Combichrist couldn't make me interested in the song he remixed).
KMFDM - Tohuvabohu ((Ms 20 Mix) By Combichrist)

Tift Merritt - Another Country
Verdict: Like () +
Let it never be said that I don't branch out. This album is Country. Not even Alt. Country or Indie Country or Country-in-the-vein-of-The-Watson-Twins (though I've heard the arguments for these classifications). That said, it's no Toby Keith. Tift sings from the heart, which is good not only for what it is, but because that's kind of a staple of the Country music scene. I have a hard time understanding what made me listen to this album, and what made me like it, but I did, and, I guess, there you go.
Tift Merritt - My Heart Is Free
Tift Merritt - I Know What I'm Looking For
Tift Merritt - Mille Tendresses

The Whigs - Mission Control
Like ()+
It's a groovy and nice album, it is, but I'm just not drawn to listen to it over and over again, stand out songs aside. The guitar is hecka fun, and the drums are dancy, and the bass line makes your booty shake, and the singer has the right stuff, but I'm thinking that maybe it's just not what I'm looking for.
The Whigs - Like a Vibration
The Whigs - 1,000 Wives
The Whigs - I Got Ideas

The Used - Shallow Breather
Verdict: Like ()-
You know, I had all but given up on the Used. Their first album was a bombshell of strange, and that's what I loved about it. Then the second album had a few good songs on it, but all in all showed them going down a conformist's path, which is so sad. Then the last album they did was just atrocious. I couldn't even get through it. So I was skeptical going into this album. But it's not bad. While the energy and awkwardness present in the first album is no longer really hanging about, they've resurrected a bit of it's ghost, and it makes minor appearances here and there. This album, even though it's a B-Side collection, is a bit of a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, I postulate that this is that last of the Used material that I'll take even minor enjoyment in.
The Used - Dark Days
The Used - The Back of Your Mouth
The Used - Slit Your Own Throat

Air Traffic - Fractured Life
Verdict: Love More (<3)
This album was so weird. I listened to it a lot because I kept forgetting to take it off my mp3 player and I really really really like the Charlotte song, so I'd end up listening to the full album over and over and you know what? It grew on me. I didn't like it all that much at first because not all the songs were like Charlotte, but then I grew to like the songs for their own individual reasons. Nicely done Air Traffic.
Air Traffic - Charlotte (one of the best songs ever)
Air Traffic - Time Goes By
Air Traffic - I Like That
Air Traffic - Come On

OOIOO - Taiga
Verdict: Love (<)
side Um. Heck in. I'm project? duh. Boredom's yes

Be Your Own Pet - Get Awkward
Verdict: Love (<)
Granted, it's more poppy than the last album, but it still has the playful childish punk values that the last album had, but, in some areas, expanded on. My friend Heidi saw that they were on MTV and said to me something like "oh great, that means you (referring to me) can't like them any more." In some cases the sell-out sound does correlate with an appearance on the M, that's not always the case. Sometimes pop culture takes notice not (just) because they see something they can bastardize, but because the music is genuinely good (in some way). Well that's Be Your Own Pet for you. They've not lost their love for music, and I'm glad their fan base is expanding and they're getting recognition in any form, because they deserve it. I, however, honestly wonder what BYOP talked about on MTV, because I bet it was hilarious.
Be Your Own Pet - Black Hole
Be Your Own Pet - Blummer Time
Be Your Own Pet - Zombie Graveyard Party

The Grand Archives - The Grand Archives
Verdict: Like ()
Five vocalists? what is this the next boy band? I jest, I truly do, because this album has more depth and emotion than any epic love ballad. It's soothing in an unfamiliar way. It's like a trip home for the summer (if you that's a good thing that is) to visit the good ol' boys down at the local non-denomination-pub. More than gimmicky, having 5 singers really seems to give the music a sense of love more than a great many things may be able to do.
The Grand Archives - Miniature Birds
The Grand Archives - George Kaminski
The Grand Archives - Sleepdriving

Hawk Nelson - Hawk Nelson Is My Friend
Verdict: Love (<)
Reminiscent of Sum 41 and all those power pop punk bands from the Odd 1 and 2's ... which is probably why I like it so much. A few of the songs are almost complete rip offs, but those songs aside, the album may not be inventive, but it's just a fun trip down memory lane. If you're making a 90's teenage angst film, this is what would play during the make-out-party scene.
Hawk Nelson - Friend Like That
Hawk Nelson - Just Like Me
Hawk Nelson - You Have What I Need

Ida - Lovers Prayers
Verdict: Like ()
I guess you learn something new everyday. Apparently the name of the genre that this band makes their music in is called Slowcore. I'd've described it as soft epic alt. rock folk, but slowcore works too I guess. It's just a nice sounding album.
Ida - Worried Mind Blues
Ida - Gravity
Ida - Kora

The Lackloves - Cathedral Square Park
Verdict: Like ()
The Lackloves - Another Kind of Girl
The Lackloves - Marlena
The Lackloves - On My Way

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