Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rough Trade Album Club - November Pack

Every Month I receive three cd's from the Rough Trade Shops and I can't help feeling a surge of excitement when the parcel arrives.

This Month I got

The Acorn - Glory Hope Mountain + 6 track cd - 9/10
Girl Talk - Feed The Animals - 10/10
Brightback Morning Light - Notion to Reform - 8/10

I'm satisfied and the records are great - HOWEVER I did sort of want the Headless Heroes album as I'm a huge Alela Diane fan.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Love Ends Disaster!

Nostalgia Moment : I remember the day when Love Ends Disaster's first ep dropped into my lap. To say that it blew me away is an understatement. Five flurryous tracks of epic guitar goodness (well with some electronic touches chucked in) I played that cd so many times I'm sure my cd laser drilled some kind of hole in it.

That was in 2005.

Three years later, the band have released some more singles and whereas the peers they were compared to in the beginning ( Bloc Party, Interpol) all sounded a bit stale, LED! have improved on their craft and have gotten better, stronger and even more anthemic. Each release is becoming a new high point in their discography.

Finally the band are recording their debut and when that is unleashed, I hope their time will come cause they sure deserve it.

Love Ends Disaster's! Myspace page

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jeremy Jay - Review

Jeremy Jay – A Place where we could go (2008)
K Records

The idea of the outcast plays a big part in music. The idea of the lonesome weirdo writing out poetry and offbeat music is appealing. Thus we have characters like Jonathan Richman, Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes) and Jeffrey Lewis cropping up.

You could say that L.A. born and bred singer songwriter, Jeremy Jay is a descendent from this batch. After all he sings about being in love (the title track for starters) or he places girls on high pedestals ‘Beautiful Rebel’. ‘Hold me in your Arms Tonite’. But ironically there is some swagger in what he does so he’s no wimp. Neither does we want to be some smarty pants a la Morrissey. It’s definitely mood that he’s after.

Within this debut album’s brief 30 minutes, Jay takes the listener on a stroll through 50’s imagery, French pop, basically a time when things were innocent and simple. Furthermore, and this is more important, he manages to do this perfectly. None of these songs are drippy with sentimentality but they do convey feelings.

‘A Place where we could go’ was produced by Jay’s label boss and Beat Happening founder Calvin Johnson and, so naturally there is a sparse production. Every instrument breathes (and by that I mean big gulps of air) but it’s suits Jay and helps the poignancy of his lyrics stick out, and like Johnson’s most famous band, there is a coy dancebility lurking all throughout.

Some people may gripe about the album’s shortcomings, especially the no frills production or lack of energetic songs (in fact there’s only one here, the jaunty Escape to Aspen) but with many spins things to make sense and Jay’s romanticism unfolds, Personally I don’t find anything wrong with this stuff. It’s soulful, melodic, a bit humorous and contains oodles of charm. How can one find fault in these things. At the moment Jeremy Jay is the last of the great romantics and if you understand what his world consists of then you’ll be glad that he seduced you into it.

Rough Trade Album Club. October Package

Every month I receive three wonderful cd's, courtesy of The Album Club. With the exception of one album, I haven't been disappointed once. Here's October's package :

El Guincho - Alegranza - 9/10

Department of Eagles - In Ear Park - 9/10

Phantom Slasher -Key to the Tripod - 9/10

another sterling month

Deerhoof Review

Deerhoof – Offend Maggie (2008)

Kill Rock Stars

Ever since 2004’s opus Milk Man, San Francisco’s Deerhoof have been moving closer to more melodic (poppy even) waters and I just know that some time in the future they will release the ultimate guitar anthem record. It’s in their blood and with each release they edging towards it.

Last year’s ‘Friend Opportunity’ had the band experimenting with a less muddled sound, thus making their tunes (they always had those from day one) upfront and also lead singer Satomi Matsuzaki’s voice had lost it’s shrilly edge and evolved into child-like cooing.

Needless to say that latest release ‘Offend Maggie’ is a progression from ‘Friend Opportunity’, thankfully there aren’t any twelve minute dirges this time around either. Now a four piece, the band have beefed up their sound and made a no-nonsense straight on guitar record and yet it still has those quintessential quirks that makes it undeniably Deerhoof.

Offend Maggie kicks off with ‘The Tears and Music of Love’ and the listener is practically given the blueprint of the whole album. The song itself consists of a crunchy stop start riff, which becomes elasticky and floaty during the rather beautiful chorus and grounds itself very quickly. This happens quite often throughout the album’s progression. The group have become tighter and it is welcome.

The amazing thing about Deerhoof is how they manage to have the Wire-esque ability to create a great song within a short space of time. The average two minute Deerhoof song feels doesn’t feel like some short forgettable blast but develops nicely. One of the highlights of record, ‘Basket Ball, get your Groove Back’ demonstrates the band’s ability to use brevity to their advantage. Same with the frankly awesome title track.

Most of the album alternates between these two song styles, Personally I don’t have any gripes with this record. In fact I have been listening to Offend Maggie more than I should really. It’s overall catchiness and sweetness just make me press repeat as soon as the whole thing is over. As well I just can’t help feeling that the BIG album is going to happen very soon.