Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Album Review: Sleigh Bells - Treats


From the get-go, Sleigh Bells' new album is an assault. A very, very fun assault. Combining crunchy guitar lines that could scrape the rust off of junked cars, bombastically overblown beats n' synths, and summery girl vocals, it is easy to see where M.I.A. drew the inspiration for her new song. Though not quite as punky (or NSFW) as their label-creator's new material, the group comprised of a Bronx schoolteacher and an ex-Poison the Well guitarist shows their uncanny ability to create a wild, energetic soundtrack to summer 2010. The previously leaked tracks (Crown on the Ground, Ring Ring, Beach Girls) are here, though two have been reworked and retitled-- I am happy to note, though, that "Ring Ring" (now "Rill Rill") has held onto its sample of Funkadelic's "Can You Get to That,"a nice mellow touch to album that is mostly devoid of anything that could be construed as remotely chill. Alexis Krauss, the female half of the band, does a good job of avoiding direct impersonations of M.I.A., save for introductory chant of "A/B Machines;" one still cannot help envisioning this album also existing in an alternate reality where Maya Arulpragasm grew up in Brooklyn listening to girl-group pop and instead of meeting Diplo, joined forces with the lovechild of Slash and Timbaland. What this album lacks in depth and clarity, it makes up for in sheer noise and fun. I mentioned before that this would be a great summer soundtrack, but I think it would be better served for the nights you spend at pyromaniacal beach bonfires. So grab some scrap wood, a deserted beach and some homies: let the good times commence.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One of the sickest songs I've heard in quite a while


Found this track on P4K the other day. Apparently this dude is out of nowhere (aka Phoenix AZ) and in some other band (The Young Friends), but all that really matters to me his how insanely dope his debut track is. If you like things that are poppy, reverb-y and/or awesome, this one's for you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Best of 2010's First Quarter

25 Songs:
Broken Bells- The Ghost Inside
Drake- Shut it Down (Feat. The-Dream)
Fang Island- Sideswiper
Gorillaz- On Melancholy Hill
Hot Chip- Thieves in the Night
Laura Veirs- Wide-Eyed, Legless
Local Natives- Wide Eyes
MGMT- Congratulations
The Morning Benders- Excuses
T-Pain- Reverse Cowgirl
Toro Y Moi- Talamak
Vampire Weekend- I Think Ur A Contra
Yeasayer- ONE

5 Albums:
Beach House- Teen Dream
Fang Island- Fang Island
Gorillaz- Plastic Beach
Vampire Weekend- Contra
Yeasayer- Odd Blood

Friday, March 26, 2010

New LCD Soundsystem: "Drunk Girls"

I've always been more of a fan of the electronica-based LCD Soundsystem than their exuberant, punky alter ego. Sure, "Daft Punk is Playing at my House" is a timeless classic, but LCD's other "rock songs," including this new one, do not match the quality of the other half of their catalog. When I first saw the title of this song, I was hoping for a cover of the similarly-titled Kanye song, but alas, all I got was this... hot mess. What confuses me is that you hear all this talk about James Murphy being a connoisseur of sound, a perfectionistic recorder etc, then he releases a new single that really causes you to question where all that energy is going. And then there's the subject matter. I'm all for party anthems, don't get me wrong, but a song has to be impressive to begin with before you try to drop lines like "drunk girls wait an hour to" [switch to falsetto] "peeeeeeeee!" With the new LCD album all ready to go, I have to worry if what is awaiting me is jumble of fuzz-rock in this vein, a terrible prospect. Please, just make a two-track album called "Someone Great and All my Friends, Pt. 2," and I will be satisfied. Oh and kick Free Energy off of DFA while you're at it, they're a bad influence on your sound.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some new tracks

Wolf Gang- "Back to Back"


What starts as a cross between The XX, The Big Pink and MGMT expands into a riff-tastic and falsetto-fueled head nodder. Here's the video, enjoy.

Drake- "Shut it Down (Feat. The-Dream)"


As seen a few posts below, I'm not Drake's biggest advocate, but I am a huge fan of this song. The main reason is because it's really only a Drake song for the first half, before Terius Nash (AKA The-Dream) takes it away. Nash relieves the young MC of his usual multiple-octave duties, which is fine by me, as I have already noted that this tendency slightly irks me. Oh, and it is Drake's best vocal performance as well. It's kind of a 90s slow jam with the added atmospheric elements of most Dream songs. Love it.

The Radio Dept.- "Heaven's on Fire"

Pickup lines don't get much better than the opening line "When I look at you, heaven's on fire," turning the "hell freezes over" cliche on its head. Take that, Eagle's reunion album! What starts with an annoying Thurston Moore audio clip about "youth culture" and "big businesses"
etc., turns into a sunny pop gem. A Ben Folds-y piano line and sax solos ensue. It's a good time for sure.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Album Review: Fang Island- Fang Island


I feel like Fang Island is something that evolved out of an intense love for playing "Rock Band." But aside from that comparison, it seems as if this idea was spawned purely by the raw desire to have fun. Three guitars attack like the Blue Hornets from every side and accompanied by ELP-y organ progressions and rollicking hair-metal drums, make an impressive assault. Anthemic Queen-meets-Fleet Foxes group vocal sections pop up every now and then, only adding to the grandiose feel of their debut album. "Treeton" sounds more akin to the indie rock of today, almost folky despite an amped-up, rollicking coda with which it closes. At times the almost Dragonforcey guitars lines get a bit obnoxious, and you might wonder how this band maintains its constant state I like to call "epic party mode," but this eponymous album from yet another Brooklyn buzz band gets my vote. Prog on!