Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stand Before The Firing Squad - Noise Machine

Like the prior post, you could easily let the album art speak for itself - distorted images, a blended hue of themes; utter chaos. The sound is one and the same, going effortlessly from smooth Jazz to Grindcore. Not to mention the numerous genres in between - the album starts off with a soft surf sound, and goes on to hit folk-influenced and more worldly sounds. And of course, thrown into the mix is the harsh Grindcore sound Stand Before The Firing Squad is best known for. Noise Machine is a healthy dose of a great number of musical stylings, especially for those of us who like something a little heavier.

Stand Before The Firing Squad - Noise Machine

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Frames - Burn The Maps & The Standard - August

If the album art is the perfect expression of the music, what is there to say about the sound?

If you wanted to make an exploration into how sound and images are reflective of each other, you probably would be hard pressed to find better examples than these two album covers.

The music for both albums is dark, barren and depressing, as well as more than slightly beautiful. Everything about these two releases can be summed up by how perfect their album art is.

I guess all I can really do is let the albums speak for themselves. Each has a rather flawed beauty, but is definitely worth a listen.

The Frames - Burn The Maps

The Standard - August

*Note - this is Mr. Manchuria's post, though due to account issues, I'm posting it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bocce - Hi Birdbear / Can't Reason Do It?

Certainly has been some time since a post...
Guess I'll start things back up with an album that embodies the good times...

Bocce is an Indie/Punk Dance group, with an uplifting sound that just doesn't stop growing on you. Though less derived from the contemplative, they make example out of sound alone. Each track has a steady flow to it, which makes their music easy to love. Though their sound is carefree in a sense, it is quite complex. Each track is a melody of multiple keyboard lines, backed by driving drumlines and the occasional vocals. The wide range of textures and styles found across their sound bring a lot to the album, and allows the band to delve into different ends of electronica.

Bocce's sound is driven by keyboards and synthesizers. They themselves say "The band uses keyboards, more keyboards, fake keyboards, omnichords, voices, drum machines, percussion and a rock and roll drum kit to create sounds." to describe the wide range of sound found across their style. They make great use of driving rhythms from the kit, which go well accompanied by complex tones put out by the many keyboards, and the occasional vocals. The vocals themselves aren't quite anything beautiful, but they fit the music perfectly in this sense. They're fast, upbeat, and carefree. The lyrical content also suits the band's sound, being focused on anything but depth. Fun lyrics, more or less. Couldn't quite quote any of it, since any portion of the lyrics are intertwined with the entire song in a way that makes cutting out a piece here or there impossible.

The greatest thing about Bocce is that they're able to make happy, upbeat music without being cheesy, annoying, or generally lame. At this point, they're probably one of the only upbeat bands I enjoy this much. Bocce brings a feel-good sound that is just that - something that feels good to listen to. It's to the point that even when I listen to their music in excess [for example, this album 3 or 4 times a day], it doesn't grow trying in any way whatsoever. Their music is easy to listen to, and makes it impossible not to move along with the rhythm. The entire album is wrapped in a sort of feeling, one which pulls the feeling that went into the music, which in the end, translates to the listener. You can't help but feel the music when you're listening to this.

Bocce's something feel-good and danceable, with a strong sound.
Any Electronica fan will get a lot out of this.

Note on the album art -
There kinda sorta isn't any? When my friend bought this album from Bocce, they tore a page out of a history book, spray painted "bocce" on it with a stencil in gold, and wrapped the CD in it. Not quite sure if there's any official album art, aside from the stencil. I like their way better, anways.


Bocce - Hi Birdbear / Can't Reason Do It?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Elliott BROOD - Ambassador

It's apparent that his parents never loved him at all.
He's a second son of the friend of a chosen one.
Now he's threatening to fall.

A stern piece of music for a solemn night alone. The genre of music termed as "Country" is often misbegotten by all but those who claim to be the musically elite. It's viewed as being one of the foremost tools in the spread of regression in music. This isn't without credence, I probably would have trouble telling you, with a straight face, that the likes of Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts deserve more than contempt, but if you look at the genre it does have its own redeeming qualities, which brings me to Elliott BROOD.

Elliott BROOD is a Canadian country trio that plays a different kind of country. Their music has been termed as "Death Country" due to its dark themes and harsh sound. It's very much a more traditional brand of country than what most of the mainstream produces these days, relying heavily on the use of the banjo, rather under done production and lyrics that tend less towards hokey and more towards angry. This isn't to say it sounds old fashioned or retro, but it's a lot more honest than any of the numerous other country albums to have been released in the past 15 years.

If you've never tried out country before, and thought that their wasn't a possibility in hell of you ever enjoying the genre, this is probably the album for you, it has enough rock to be considered energetic, enough soul to be considered legit and enough wit to not disappoint of lyrics and delivery.

Also, with them releasing a new album in two days, it's an opportune chance to hear some older stuff before you look for the new album (which I'll have to wait between a week and a month to attain a physical copy of, it sucks not having money).



Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Thirds - Planet Of Me

Well, I was wondering what to do for my first blog entry, luckily I happened to be given this gem recently and it is well worth my attention and love.

Falling's easy
but you're not the man
for keeping the closest people
the furthest that you can

If there was ever anything wrong with sounding like The Verve, I fail to see it (especially considering that The Verve recorded some of the most soulful pop music of the 90's not to mention the album A Storm In Heaven). In an age where soft rockers seem to be a dime a dozen these days and 90% of them seem to be little more than cheap Coldplay ripoffs who grew up listening to a steady dose of Madonna and Elton John, it always fills me with joy to see that the spirit of the under appreciated stands firm.

The Thirds successfully fill out my every alt. rock fantasy I have ever had, vocals that sound eerily like those of Richard Ashcroft, music that has experimentation without being overly pretentious, and smooth and melodic guitar riffs. Pure bliss, no? If it has any flaw it's that it is too calm. Yes, I know a good sleepy tune is usually 100 times better than good energetic tune, it's almost like people can't convey any depth through their own excitement (this doesn't mean I won't still buy every new Les Savy Fav record that comes out, nor does it imply that you're utter shit if you can only express anger and excitement, but I must say, a good soulful tune is always relevant).

Instead of me just droning on about how much slow music > fast music, I'll let this album speak for itself.

The Thirds - Planet Of Me


I See You Hearin' Me

A spot for elitist musings and sharing by a couple of dudes who shouldn't be elitists, but are and are just pretentious enough to force their own ideologies and tastes on the poor surfers who stumble upon their little corner of the internet.