Archive for April 2012

The New Kinetics “Contact”

April 29, 2012

Time for some straight-up indie rock a la old Yeah Yeah Yeahs, with a bit of a rockabilly edge. Tracks such as “Riffle Raff” must sound great live, perhaps with an onstage guest like Neko Case.
“Wind Me Up, Hear Me Sing” features Brian singing, and it makes me think of some old Bob Dylan, although his vocals are certainly clearer. “Cha-Cha” focuses on Birdy’s vocals again, and the result is fantastic.
A slower track can be found on “Polly Pocket.” It’s good as well, but the faster tracks are definitely the winners here.

Lux “We Are Not the Same”

April 29, 2012

This is what I’m talking about. When I hear songs such as “The Window” I am reminded that you can have synths and other fun programming, a la Book of Love, without anyone getting hurt. The backing vocals in the chorus are ethereal and can’t help but put a smile on your face.
“Little Cripple” may not have the most politically correct name, but the accompaniment has enough of a gothic edge to it that it makes me want to dance around a room with my hands behind my back.
If you want something more trance-like, “Cachexia” is more than a cereal served at Coachella. This one could end up on a movie soundtrack. I think of Cocteau Twins when I hear “1000 Airwaves,” specifically “Cherry Coloured Funk.”
The last track is “Blackout” and, after nearly three minutes of silence, really sends you off in a good way. It’s hard to believe this pair has only been collaborating for two years. Hopefully they will stick together for many, many more.

The Very “The Discovery”

April 29, 2012

They seem like really nice people. It reminds me of Run for Cover Lovers and Operation Makeout. The singing is a little off-key, and the instrumentation is all individually good, but when you put it all together, the pieces don’t fit.
The only song I really like is “Humdrum,” which describes the rest of the album. This one is kind of like Bis, but the woman’s voice is less frenetic. Not all the tracks have female vocals, but this isn’t just me being me. The other songs are just lacking.

Transitshop “Five Thousand”

April 29, 2012

Standard power-pop fare that will appease fans of the Gin Blossoms. The melody is a little flat on tracks such as “Life Goes On,” but the harmonizing and guitar make up for it.
“Pick Me” reminds me of the Icicles, only with a dude singing. And you get an interesting mix on “Come Through.” The guitar is similar to some old Cure stuff, but the rest sounds more like Three Doors Down.
After reviewing the Ed Hines Band, I never thought I would hear something like that again. But then I heard “Collective.” It’s a bit uneven in the chorus, but it’s not really that bad.
The other track with the mid-’90s jangle you’re looking for is “No Direction,” although the vocals are very abrupt and mixed too high for no reason. The next effort could be good, but a bit is left to be desired on “Five Thousand.”

Ceu “Caravana Sereia Bloom”

April 29, 2012

This reminds me of those halcyon days of April March, Stereolab, and Stereo Total. Tracks such as “Falta de Ar” are peppy and easy to digest. Somewhere Beck is smiling and nodding his head.
“Retrovisor” really brings the Stereolab comparisons to light. The organ and vocals are slightly trippy and dark — just what you’re looking for. Not recommended while riding a bicycle in London.
More of a reggae/dancehall sound can be found on “You Won’t Regret It.” The backing vocals really make this one notable. “Baile de Ilusao” is in Portuguese, I think. It has the excitement of a spy thriller.
Spooky synths make “Streets Bloom” sound a bit like Portishead. There are a lot of fun tracks on this record, and you’re not going to go wrong selecting one for your show.

Perfume Genius “Put Your Back N 2 It”

April 29, 2012

Another victory for androgyny on this record. The songs are slow ballads and mostly really short, and sometimes Mike Hadreas (it’s a one-man band) even does a waltz. “Normal Song” by definition isn’t because of the 3/4 time signature but whatever.
Hadreas and his piano are pretty much all you get in “Dirge.” This is one of the better tracks on the album. The title track is also very similar, with some strings added. It reminds me of Angelo Badalamenti.
All in all this album doesn’t offer a lot of surprises, but you can certainly relax a lot and listen to the poignant lyrics. I’m probably missing the point.

Speech Debelle “Freedom of Speech”

April 29, 2012

Speech Debelle’s a rapper from London. Strings and synths provide the texture behind this MC. “Elephant in the Living Room” has to do with no longer being willing to look the other way at injustice.
Acoustic guitar accompanies Debelle on “Angel Wings.” The neat thing about English rappers are the Briticisms that end up in the flow. “I’m With It” is a breezy number that I really liked. More R&B than rap as well.
If you long for the rap-rock days of Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock, “Collapse” will please you. It’s slightly angry and has very pronounced drums and electric guitar. The last track is “Sun Dog,” a somber one that completes the exhibition of depth that Debelle offers up on “Freedom of Speech.”
In a lot of ways this record is what you would expect, but you’d be remiss if you didn’t give it a listen and get a full understanding of what it’s all about.

Daughter “The Wild Youth EP”

April 29, 2012

Another male-female duo playing brooding indie rock. The woman leads the way on the vocals, and the first track is “Home.” Brood. Brood. Brood. “Medicine” is next and slightly noisier. The piano is more pronounced. Really, it’s a focus on singing and piano, like some old Sinead O’Connor work.
Shoegaze fans may prefer “Youth.” It reminds me of Mirah’s “Cold Cold Water.” The last track is “Love,” which has more pronounced percussion and is slightly haunting.

Circle “The Middle”

April 29, 2012

This trio is from Sydney and play piano-heavy indie rock. The title track is first and is fitting, in that something in the middle is likely less offensive. Male vocals complement the piano, and female backing vocals garnish the meal.
“Gorgeous” is just that. The female vocals are still not leading, but the la-la’s are infectious and sound like a childlike Cocteau Twins. Even the male falsettos are something else. I absolutely love this one.
The pianos become synths on “Hold” and have a Spandau Ballet feel. The ’80s feel is undeniable, and the result is another winner. “Half Race Girls” is kind of awesome because it is about mixed race women. I guess in Australia they call them that there. The ’80s style continues with bits of Belle and Sebastian and random progginess thrown in. It’s remarkable.
Modern synths infiltrate “Ready to Dance,” but it still has a distinctive retro sound, with Rebecca Shave sounding like Gloria Loring here. This whole album is rather amazing. I hope they tour locally.

Joel’s Hit Show, Episode 149, 25 April 2012 Playlist

April 25, 2012

Lost in the Trees, Tall Ceilings
Lisa Gerrard, The Rite
Girl in a Coma, Hope
The Chieftains, The Chieftains in Orbit
Girls, Life in San Francisco
The Godshills, Zoewie
You Say France & I Whistle, Our Spiderweb
Givers, Words
The Gits, Slaughter of Bruce
Fanfarlo, Tunguska
Go Betty Go, Unreal
Giant Value, A Good Thing
Ariane Moffatt, Mons Corp
Giant Drag, Blunt Picket Fence
Gigi, Some Second Best
Palomar, Red
Rachel Goodrich, Fire
Go-Go’s, Vacation
Foxy Shazam, Last Chance at Love
Juliana Hatfield, Evan
Gossip, Men in Love
Hot Toddies, Green and Gold
Nina Gordon, Number One Camera
Great Northern, This Is a Problem
Wild Belle, Keep You
Grand Lake, Louise (I Live in a Fantasy)
Grey Anne, Adelaide
Ani DiFranco, Amendment
Gravy Train!!!!, Ghost Boobs
Grass Widow, Tuesday
Now, Now, Lucie, Too
Go Sailor, Last Year
Ellie Goulding, Lights
AneBrun, Worship
Grouplove, Colours
Gringo Star, Jessica
The Men, Turn It Around
Larkin Grimm, They Were Wrong
Halou, Oceanwide
Pyyramids, Perfect Picture
Haight-Ashbury, Molitof
Petra Haden, Armenia City in the Sky
John & Tom, Lonesome Yodel Blues
PJ Harvey, A Perfect Day Elise
Handsome Furs, I’m Confused
Gemma Hayes, Don’t Forget