Friday, April 29, 2011

Album Review: J Mascis - Several Shades Of Why

This album has been out for a while now, but I've only just given it a first listen after never really being in the mood to give this a try. J Mascis lead singer from a band I quite like in Dinosaur Jr, releasing his third studio album. I've been a Dinosaur Jr fan for a while and have definitely loved the vocals of Mr Mascis, the dirty, grungy vocals he produces are wonderful to my ears and again they work pretty well on this album.

Disclaimer: Anyone hoping for something resembling a Dinosaur Jr album turn back now because what you will hear may bore you to death, this is some long fuckin BAS.

Surprisingly after finishing the album I notice it's a decent length at 41 minutes, although it felt like the album went on forever, it was bland musically, an acoustic fan might still dig this but J doesn't seem to produce anything that could be seen as worthwhile or different from the early tracks. The album meanders throughout and if it wasn't for the vocals which I love, would have definitely put me to sleep.

The positives are few and far between for this release and the vocals keep some sanity to it, but once you get past a couple of tracks you almost don't see the point in continuing, like a demise is being produced and all you end up with is boring acoustic shit, a waste of 41 minutes and the wish that you never have to listen to this again.

So if you didn't notice the last two paragraphs are essentially the same, the album bore me so much I couldn't really explain how bad it was and just kind of slipppppppppppped away.

Please Mr Mascis never make another BAS album

Yours Sincerely

Overall Rating: 5/10

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Don't worry, Sorbo ain't advertising a gig here although David Kilgour is playing tonight at San Fran (someone go for me). Anyway I have another story for you, thankfully it's from another unfortunate person with poor music taste. She shall remain nameless (as always) but works in and around the same area as me, anyway this is thy story

So there are two girls at work talking about a gig she found out about, "Hey you should come up to Palmy and see this dubstep gig with me". Now at this stage for me is bad enough, I don't care for dubstep it's terribly lame music usually associated with bros that wear singlets, shutter shades and flat brim hats. Now back and this is when it hits the worst, "It's going to be really cool, its called filthy step" for me I'm trying not to burst into laughter for two reasons, its still dubstep and secondly filthy step has got to be up there as one of the lamest possible names to call something.

But looking back on this I think, how the fuck does the title of the event in anyway make this great? it went further where she had no idea who was performing at this event so she most definitely was basing her whole intention to drive 2 hours to a gig to see dubstep artists purely  for the reasoning of the title. Next week she'll be wanting to go see another gig cause its called "The Best Gig Ever...Seriously Believe The Title".

So to finish this appalling blog post, have you ever gone to a gig purely on the fact that it had a "cool" name? If so who was playing? why you went? did you enjoy it? and what was the name?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Don't Put On Him, He's A Dick!!!

Another story from the drinking realm today, some might think I make some of this shit up cause I seem to have something relating to music happen weekly. I call this more luck than anything else, because my life isn't that interesting.

Anyway to the story, it's simple I was at a party and was trying to find something borderline acessible for all the ladies there that seem to only listen to Top 40 music, I chose Kanye's Power (from his latest album obviously), anyway it seemed to be going down a real treat with them until one of them who shall remain nameless because she also lost an argument badly to me, said "eww Kanye sucks he's a dick!" now my first reaction was fairly intoxicated was that how the fuck would she know whats good about music, after all by the looks of it the big music companies have total control of what she should like and listen to.

The second thought was what does that have to do with his music? after all errbody knows Kanye's a dick, hell even Kanye plays up the idea himself but if you just look at his music for what it is (that's music by the way!) then tell me whether it's good or not, I don't mind if you don't like his album if it's purely based on the album itself. But to pass judgement on the album based on something totally irrelevant to the music is something I not only don't agree with but shows how much of an idiot you are.

Now to finish on this story I should tell people that this girl after showing her feeling about Kanye, then went on to sing and dance to Chris Brown, now by her way of thinking she feels that beating up a female is alright. I didn't see the need to ask her this as I don't wish to risk being dumbed down further than I have already.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Big Ups Tuesday 26/04/11

Another Tuesday and it's a chance for you all to read about all the positive things I have to say about music, after all I ONLY CRITICISE MUSIC, I HATE EVERYTHING. Now we have that out of the way let me start with some more positive thoughts.

Big Ups 1. New Zealand Police

So I read an article here about Tiki Taane considering leaving the country, due to a recent arrest. For those that don't know who he is, youtube him, you'll probably find an acoustic track that got him famous in  "Always On My Mind" not a fan to be honest but some were.

If he does leave us thank you thank you NZ Police.

Big Ups 2. The Winter Weather

Today was probably the first tr00 day of winter, on my walk to work it was borderline freezing, this may seem shit but now I can go back to listening to Sunn 0))) - Black One multiple times a week cause it just sounds better in the cold.

Big Ups 3. Payday = Vinyl day!

Pay Day is really tomorrow but I'm already excited, things on the menu this week are The already purchased (waiting to be delivered) LP by The Primitives - Lovely and myself preordering Tyler, The Creator - Goblin. These are only the tip of the iceberg as I plan to make another trip to Real Groovy with myself more than likely walking out with something.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Band Revisited - Kaiser Chiefs

Fuck Yeah blogging under the influence of alcohol makes shit mo easier, you don't realise the spelling mistakes you make and you think errthang you type is either really funny or fucking interesting. Anyway now act like I'm a sober nig, week 2 on the band revisited idea and I feel like I've got a really good one to use. The Kaiser Chiefs were never my favourite band but I used to have a soft spot for them and for the purpose of this blog used to will be an operative word.

Singles Never Miss A Beat and Ruby are probably the biggest songs in their armoury, Never Miss A Beat being the song that first drew me to the band, in retrospect I have no idea why but I thought they were great. The albums I was still listening to a couple of years ago were Off With Their Heads and Yours Truly, Angry Mob. Of f With Their Heads being my least favourite of the two but had songs like Spanish Metal and You Want History which for some reason I thought were great, unfortunately listening to them now I have no idea why I liked them cause they're all really boring songs.

Yours Truly, Angry Mob I really liked and again I have no idea now why I even bothered, nothing apart from one song for me is any good, the one exception is that of Loves Not A Competition (But I'm Winning) the lyrics are really great, the music behind it also pretty cool and simplistic to not over roar what is being sung about. Ruby, arguably the most famous Kaiser Chiefs song is the biggest zzzzzzzzzzzzz on the album, "Truly" boring some might say...

So in conclusion I really don't like the Kaiser Chiefs anymore and have very little idea why I liked them in the first place. Maybe this band just snuck under the radar for me and I never really realised i listen to them, either way I don't now and probably won't listen to them again sans one song.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sorbo's Easter Sunday Special Album Review: The Weeknd - House Of Balloons

Cot Dam (/Varun "Faggot" Sablok) it's the weekend and I'm reviewing an album by a band called "The Weeknd" hahahahahaaahahahaaha....(don't worry I didn't actually laugh about that) Also it's Easter Sunday, so Happy Easter to you all and here is your Easter treat from Sorbo another album review and an album that is certainly interesting and different.

This album is full of intriguing beats, I feel like this album is another great beats before vocals album. Nicolas Jaar's Space is Only Noise (1. Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise) is another that does this so well, don't expect this to be too similar to that though, cause this has a more slow jams/hip hop feel to it. After my top ten hip/hop albums post you should know I have mad love for the instrumental aspect of hip hop music and this has some great beats in amongst it all.

I've never been a slow jams fan, mostly because I don't care for Chris Brown, Neyo and all the other stupid commercialised faggots who put out boring music about the same chick album after album. This album moves away from being lead by the straining/sad vocals and concentrates of the music behind it and the vocals are there for the extra layer that brings it all together.

House Of Balloons at 50 minutes could be a lot to digest but the keeps you interested at every moment in the album, something that isn't very easy to achieve, but the large amount of different beats and electro noises work perfectly. A stand out track early on for me is track 3 Glass Table Girls, so much going on with the electro beats, the drum beat a little more buried behind this but not in any way being a negative.

I'm a sucker for a Beach House sample and thankfully for this album it has two, firstly track 6 The Party & The After Party sampling Master Of None and then later on with track 8 Loft Music incorporating my favourite Beach House song Gila into it.

Overall this album is great, so much going on musically and a great layer of smooth vocals produces an album that keeps me forever listening right until the end, it's hard to see the hate for this. Unless of course you don't want people sampling Beach House.

Rating: 8/10

Friday, April 22, 2011

Album Review: Cat's Eyes - Cat's Eyes

Sorbo doesn't believe that because most people have the day then so should he, thus I have another blog post for you, for some this might be the first read of this blog probably due to being so bored right now that you have decided this might make you less bored for just a few minutes. I'm sorry to inform you that you probably won't be any less bored, but if the small chance arises that you like this theres plenty more enlightening posts (and some less so) for you to make boring Friday...good...

Now to the album, I hadn't even heard Faris Badwan of the Horrors had another project in the works so while surfing rough trade looking at vinyl seeing an ad about pre-ordering this I immediately scoured the internet to find this release and thankfully it had leaked.

Before any fans of The Horrors get excited this sounds very little like either of the two albums which I do like a lot. This collaboration between himself and opera singer Rachel Zaffira under the moniker Cat's Eyes is extremely intrguing with two interesting voices. I hadn't heard of Zaffira's vocals before and this album definitely shows shes gtot quite the soft voice.

The album is more than just two intriguing voices, the music behind this is great so many dark sounds in amongst the album work incredibly with Faris' vocals ala Strange House (it still doesn't sound like The Horrors though). It starts off very evil sounding, before quickly turning sad and dark, with moments of boderline depression. The atmosphere on most tracks rule particularly track 7 Sooner Or Later shows is amazing while the static bass line throughout meshes so well. The albums dark sense throughout is greeted at track 8 by an almost victorious sounding end to the darkness, like the album is a long trek with track 8 being the success point in the album. You can tell as you go through that this album is a story from start to finish and both singers play this off really well.

The operatic sounds fill this album, but to those that aren't fans of opera music, don't worry they aren't over the top and work perfectly into the whole scheme that is in play. Zaffira shows off a more rockier number in Over You which reminds me early on as something that wouldn't be out of place on an album by The Charlatans. Thankfully it soon has its on spin to keep it with what has been happening throughout the album.

Overall this album is short but incredibly interesting, while this isn't something I usually would indulge in, having an association with a member from a band I'm a big fan of made this easy to give a go, also it's 29 minute length makes it almost impossible to turn down. Both singers do a great job and hopefully we see another Cat's Eyes release in the future, I certainly would give that a listen.

P.S. If one of these songs doesn't end up being on the intro to a James Bond movie it will be a true travesty.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hey, I Need New Music Recommend Something For Me?

No, don't worry I'm not asking you to rec me some bands, that's the last thing I want...this post is on those stupid/lazy facebook stati that you get from people who are bored of the music they already have. I've seen this a few times and never have I given a serious recommendation (wait I think I rec'd Cut Copy once, good rec by the way!).

So now after writing the first paragraph, I've decided  that I'm going to turn this into a quick recommendation post of a bunch of different bands with yout00b videos to accompany these.

Cut Copy - Out There On The Ice
Synth Pop, Electro Pop, Electronic

The 2nd Cut Copy album is still my favourite and this track is the best they got, I still think this would go down well at a party, pretty bangin tune and not a bad way to start the discovering of Cut Copy.

The Strokes - Reptilia
Indie Rock

Before I talk about the song or the band, there will be those who ask for music rec's that haven't heard of The Strokes, so that's why they're on here, great track to start you off, after this you can just head to the album Is This It cause that's when shit will get real.

Kylesa - Scapegoat
Swamp/Sludge Metal

For those that prefer music in the heavier variety, this could really interest you, not the biggest name in the metal community but slowly building quite the following. The explosiveness of this track should get you head banging hahd, the rest of this album should help you along to really digging them.

Burial - Shell Of Light

I've been pretty critical of Dubstep in recent times, mainly it's cause of the annoying wub wub burrrrrb burrrrb noises attached to shitty remixes with PHAT bass. The other reason is because it's now ingrained in "bro" culture (I'll touch on this further at a later date) Anyway Burial is the only dubstep artist I care for so check this shit out bros.

Yuck - The Wall
Alternative Rock

Now for all you 90's Alternative fags, this band has really been a favourite of mine this year, Yuck's second album intitled "Yuck" is great and The Wall is probably the top of the bunch, though after this you'll probably want to check the rest out, which you should cause it's great.

Noisia - Split The Atom
Drum and Bass

Here's something that's for anyone into electronic music and something Drum and Bass fans might just fall in love with, the whole album also called Split the Atom is phenomenal, one I'm sure many will struggle to stop listening to, cause I one stage I did.

Foals - Red Sock Pugie
Indie Pop, Generic Indie Rock

The first Foals album was definitely dancey as fuck when it comes to Indie Rock and this is without a doubt the most dancey of them all, sure to be a fun track for those that enjoy Indie, but aren't big dance music fans.

Zola Jesus - Tower
Noise Pop

Cot Dam her voice is so sweet and for some reason when I first heard her I was reminded of Florence and the Machine, the voice more than the music behind it. This is much more moody and in no way similar to the music Florence sings over, still though the voice comparison should be enough for Florence fans to fall in love with Zola Jesus.

Tyler, The Creator - French
Rap/Hip Hop

I've already gushed over my Tyler, The Creator love and he's so close to being the next big thing in the rap game, his first album titled Bastard had some really nice stuff, French beiong close to my favourite. His new album is being released in the next month and if all goes to plan he and the rest of Odd Future are probably going to be massive.

Lawrence Arabia - Apple Pie Bed
Summery Indie Pop

Seriously this ended up my summer anthem, sure summers ending over hurr, but still check this shit out, its amazing. Little old Lawrence Arabia from New Zealand has been round a while now and I only heard his stuff early this year at Laneway Festival for the first time. This track cemented his set as incredible.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Album Review: Panda Bear - Tomboy

Now the hype for this album was huge, I didn't really care though cause I'm not the biggest Panda Bear fan and definitely no Animal Collective fan. I decided to hold back on this album till after release to avoid getting a shitty stream rip of the album to avoid saying "this would be cool but the production suxxxx!!!" thankfully I got it in 320(bro).

Now the album for me starts a little zzzzzzzzzzzzz the electronics are nice and all but its hardly inspiring stuff to avoid the pre album hype from being completely wrong. thankfully by track 3 with Slow Motion the album starts to take shape with the hip hop background beat being quite prominent. The electronics sounding great, with the vocals accompanying it superb, maybe things were looking up? the short answer to this was yes, yes it was.

The albums after this is pretty great throughout and makes the train ride while listening to this a lot more interesting. Surfer Hymn was next and you definitely got a surfer rock feel in the vocals, with the vocals including what seems to be waves crashing as well as some other interesting nuances in the electronics section.

This album definitely has a lot and I mean a lot of cool electronic noises that make the atmosphere of this album incredible, the vocals help back this up perfectly, setting up a really strong release though not the the Person Pitch standard. If anything my only gripes are the first couple of tracks and a slight amount dragging of the album near the end, other than that I was very surprised at how good this was. One not to be disappointed about, a strong release and at least most of the pre album hype seems vindicated.

Overall Rating 7.5-8/10

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Big Ups Tuesday 19/04/11

I do like to be negative about music and my interaction with it, whether it be bad albums, bands or weird annoying things people do with music like constantly changing the music which has been discussed already. So this post is going to be as positive as I can, so I'm going to try make this Big Ups Tuesday for all my positive music thoughts, listening's from the last week.

Big Ups 1: 
Coachella/Youtube/5 Gum

Coachella happened over the weekend and I've never been but thanks to Youtube, Coachella and 5 Gum they had a live webcast with 3 different channels showing bands play. I didn't get the chance to check out that many bands or many live but they did thankfully replay the acts after it was finished. Day 1 I caught Warpaint who were amazing in the sun, the chilled out music worked perfectly and the crowd really looked to be enjoying it. Following this I saw Ariel Pink's haunted Graffiti (another band I caught at Laneway Festival) who seem to have gotten even tighter as a band since I saw them in January. Twas a shame though Ariel got screwed over by a ridiculously quiet mic and he kind of pulled a tantrum on stage which some fans didn't like or really understand his frustration which is a shame cause of how good it was. He even refused to sing during Fright Night but we did get a great version of Round and Round a great track.

Day 2 I got the chance to check out Foals and they were pretty sweet, the band has a couple of incredible albums in Antidotes and Total Life Forever. The most recent Total Life Forever making up most of the set, but ending with Red Socks Pugie and Two Steps, Twice which to me are great Indie dance tracks sure to get the crowd going. this was only band I saw from day 2 as The Kills replay was on just a little too late for me.

Day 3 I caught The National walking off stage which was a shame, I switched over to see Ellie Goulding who I'd never bothered to listen to before today and was pleasantly surprised, her Elton John cover was great, as was the song which included a sample of the Kanye West song Power (0MG SHE SAMPLEZ A SAMPLE!!!!!) would trade again. Next up were The Strokes who I was sceptical about, but were amazing playing a lot of the hit songs and a few from the new album, killing it live for sure. Thankfully an encore of The National's set came on next and was great, ending with Terrible Love was one of the great Coachella moments for this year I think. Next up was Kanye and I only got the chance to see the first 3 songs but they were pretty over the top, the Pretentious Meter was off the charts for this one, no t going to explain it, just find it on youtube it was beyond great.

Since this post I've caught bits from Best Coast's and Death From Above 1979's day 3 sets and they were both pretty cool.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Band Revisited - Jay Reatard

Thinking of starting a weekly type of thing where I look back on a band I haven't listened to for a while, whether it be ten years or even a single year. I'll probably just go through the music I have and find something or you if you want recommend something and if I used to listen to it will blog about why I love it or even if I still do!

The other day I was watching the trailer to the Jay Reatard documentary (RIP Mang) why? I don't know and it got me thinking about revisiting his albums that I hadn't listened to since Nam' those being Blood Visions and Watch Me Fall. The documentary looks great and includes a couple of great quote from Jay "people think you have a certain amount of songs before you dry up or whatever, I tend to think it's amount of time, so I'm racing against the clock constantly" this meaning even more now he's gone.

The other "I'm convinced that at this point in life if I wouldn't of found music I'm sure I would've been a petty criminal" both of these show how important music is to so many people, the socially awkward ending up on stage producing great music but being socially incapable of communicating with the average dude.

Anyway the albums, Blood Visions is my favourite without a bad track to be seen, songs like My Shadow, Death Is Forming and Oh It's Such A Shame being my personal favourites. The quick modern-distorted-pop-punk-garage rock track are just amazing and hit you pretty hard throughout. The other album Watch Me Fall which seems like an appropriate name in relation to it being his last album is nearly as good as the first but has some incredible strong songs, using a similar formula with incredible energy without and a cracking finale in There Is No Sun. It's probably my favourite Jay Reatard song, his vocals are really sweet and the lyrics very strong making this softer song finish his final album even more beautiful. When the instrumental part ends and he merely sings "There Is No Sun...For Me" and the instruments slowly rise up again takes this song to another level. Again Beautiful.

Here's the trailer:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mini Mini Mini Mini Mini Mini Mini Mini Mini Mini...Reviews!!!!

Aight so first half of the semester is over and now I can go back to spending my afternoons and nights listening to music. Even if I've cut my listening down this week i still had the chance to give a few albums a listen so I've decided to do some more mini reviews.

Sonny and The Sunsets - Hit After Hit

Oh lawdy what the fuck is this thing, I'd never heard of this band before and as for some reason couldn't find out much about this album what so ever. Now to the album, this thing explores rock, indie and even surf rock, some of it is done well some not so well. The album opener is infectious titled She Plays YoYo With My Mind and has an almost monotone vocals which is pretty solid. I kind of get a poor mans Best Coast vibe without a chick singer, the singer isn't a reason of dislike though, he does a solid job. The album is short at 29 minutes so it's just a quick "hit".

Overall Rating: 6.5

Battles - Glass Drop

I gotta say first that this album leaked early as fuck, but I'm not complaining cause this is great. New album by super group Battles and its another great release, with similar weird sounds that they explored in Mirrored. At 54 minutes it worried me that this was going to go on forever, but surprisingly it felt a lot shorter as the album flew by very quickly. The weird sounds start immediately with Africastle, with track two Ice Cream's gay porn sounds being the most disturbing, however the weird sounds make this band that much more interesting. To me this is a slight improvement to the last one which I also liked, definitely be getting multiple listens in the near future.

Overall Rating: 8/10

The Raveonettes - Raven In The Grave

This is the fifth album by indie rock duo The Raveonettes, its definitely different from the last album In and Out Of Control which was a lot more upbeat and fun. This album is Dream Pop as fuck (which I love by the way!), with a sadder mood throughout it's still really different and interesting, this has had a lot of listens recently and will continue to one of my favourites this yeah for sure. The stand out for me is track 8 Evil Seeds is completely different from the rest, less sadness but still mixes well with everything else, top stuff!.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Top 10 Rap/Hip Hop Albums OF All Time

Yeah not a lot of album listenage still, I should have some time tomorrow so I'll review an album I did get the chance to listen to last night, wasn't a bad album either. There hasn't been a lot of positive reviews for my black (and occasional white) people music, more to do with weak rap albums to start this year although Goblin will be here soon and I'm hoping that will be a hit. So here it is my top 10 rap/hip hop albums of all time:

1. GZA - Liquid Swords
Damn this thing has been my number one for a while and my essential rap album, GZA kills it from start to finish with standout tracks for me being Cold World, 4th Chamber and Shadowboxin'

2. Beastie Boys - Pauls Boutique
Another well constructed album and probably my favourite rappers of ALL TIME, so much is great on this album but a few that standout for myself are Egg Man, Shake Your Rump, Hey Ladies and B-Boy Bouillabaisse

3. Dr. Dre - The Chronic
Not only is this album great but it has one of my favourite covers, so great that when I saw you could get the cover on a shirt I immediately bought it, great portrait of Dre to accompany a quality release. Favourite tracks being Fuck Wit Dre, Nuthin' But A "G" Thang, Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat and Bitches Ain't Shit.

4. Wu Tang - Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers)
Seems like all I've done so far is pick classic albums and the reason for this is they're ridiculously great. I always try and get in a couple of these tracks at a party and the looks on some of the "mainstream" listeners faces is priceless. Bring Da Ruckus, Shame On A Nigga, Clan In Da Front and Protect Ya Neck.

5. Outkast - Aquemini
Oh yeah, love this album easily the best Outkast album even if some of the other albums are also top notch, Big Boi and Andre are great on this. Without a doubt Rosa Parks is my clear favourite with Y'All Scared and West Savannah being my other two fav's.

6. DJ Shadow - Endtroducing
Sure a lot of his later releases suck but Endtroducing is to me the greatest instrumental hip hop album ever, so many interesting samples after all Shadow made this album entirely from samples, good work indeed. Favourite tracks Midnight In A Perfect World, Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt and Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain.

7. MF Doom - Operation Doomsday
I've mentioned my MF Doom love before so this shouldn't be a big surprise if you're a regular reader of my blog (YOU BETTER BE!!!!!!!) anyway great album, great live. my favourite involving Doom. Doomsday, The Finest, Red and Gold

8. Kanye West - Late Registration
Even after My Dark Twisted Fantasy dropped this was still my clear favourite by him and clearly one of my favourite albums in the genre. So many stand out tracks and the skits work well in the whole damn thing. Gone is my favourite on the album and favourite by Kanye full stop, while Touch the Sky and Roses are two that help make this amazing.

9. Madvillain - Madvillainy
Already mentioned multiple times on the blog I love this thang, in my top 50 of 2000-2009 and was mentioned in my MF Doom love posts. This collaboration between Doom and Madlib is baller as fuck and a definitive album. America's Most Blunted, Accordion and Fancy Clowns my favourites.

10. J Dilla - Donuts
Another instrumental release, with this released three days before his death and on his 32nd birthday J Dilla produced my favourite release by him, so many interesting parts that form such a massive album as a whole, no standout's as it all works as one.

Honourable Mentions:
A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
Raekwon - Only Built For Cuban Linx...Pt1 and Pt2
Quasimoto - The Unseen
Public Enemy - Fear Of A Black Planet
Method Man - Tical

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Albums I'm Looking Out For In The Near Future

There's some pretty cool bands releasing some new albums in the near future and because I'm a little slack with the blog this week with Uni commitments these blog's are more Hendrix's than ever before. Now obviously I have no idea if these albums are going to be any good but god dammit I hope they are.

Arctic Monkey - Suck It and See
Release date: June 6

Another album for the Arctic Monkeys, this being the fourth from the dudes from Sheffield and I really hope its another strong release, after all they haven't disappointed me yet. There's a track already out on the internet and the first single being released on Record Store Day titled Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair.

The Antlers - Burst Apart
Release date: May 10

Again another band who hasn't failed me yet, I'm pretty excited by the release and hoping it'll become "available" very soon, no one wants to get there first impression of the album from a live bootleg so I've held off giving that a listen. But people have definitely giving it the thumbs up from those that have seem them play the album in full live.

Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part 2
Release date: May 3

So the Beastie Boys have decided to release part 2 first after the band were halted from recording last year due to MCA getting cancer, thankfully he's recovered and after listening to the track Make Some Noise which will appear on the album I'm very hopeful its another great release.

The Horrors - Album Title TBA
Release date: July

No official date for this release but accordig to singer Faris Badwan they're looking to release this some time in July. The change in sound from the raw garage rock sound of Strange House to the cleaner more electronic induced album that is Primary colours showed that not only can they experiment with sounds and do it well, but they aren't to be pigeon holed into one type of sound. What can we expect to hear? I nor most would have any clue.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Worst Of 2011: The First Quarter

So I did a top 25 of the albums I thought were great after the first three months, so now I feel like I should recognise the worst albums so far, again they don't have to be officially released but I've only had to have heard the whole album. Thankfully this won't be a list of 25 because I've been lucky enough to not hear 25 bad albums.

1. The Strokes - Angles

Everything The Strokes built from the superb album This Is It was officially destroyed (well what was left of it after First Impressions On Earth), the album doesn't feature much of the signature Strokes sound and the portions that do are the only shining lights. Unfortunately those lights are few and far between and makes this my worst (and most disappointing) album of 2011 so far.

2. Lupe Fiasco - Lasers

This was tough to put at 2 and you know why? cause it could easily be number 1. The album has nothing that resembles a Lupe album and instead we get a watered down, slow jams, commercial hip hop album with political lyrics my answer to this is simple zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, its just too boring and I don't see why anyone from the O.G. Lupe supporters would be digging this commercial shit anyway.

3. Raekwon - Shaolin Vs Wu Tang

Firstly I loved Only Built For Cuban Linx Pt 2, so this was a big shame as it totally doesn't work for me. Another rapper moving away from his bread and butter (not using RZA) he's produced a flop of an album in my opinion and something I won't be revisiting any time soon.

4. The Decemberists - The King Is Dead

I'm quite a fan of The Decemberists and when I saw their album was "available" I was pretty excited, after the first listen I was still kind of indifferent about it with only the knowledge that it was better than Hazards Of Love (not a tough feat to be fair) However after multiple listens I just came to one positive about the album. It's better than Hazards Of Love. Colin Meloy's voice is very much a love hate thing for fans and until this I still dug it but it grates me throughout, a real disappointment.

5. Foo Fighters - Wasting Light

I wrote a big old review for this album here and it wasn't favourable to the radio rock darlings of today. Dave Grohl and his merry men produced another boring radio rock album that this time tries to recapture the old sound but doesn't work that well. It'll still be a hit, but its nothing fresh or interesting, best leave this one in the don't bother to listen to again pile.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Super And Not So Super Groups

Last night I was listening to the new album from Battles (good album by the way!) and I got the idea of today's blog to be about super groups. There seems to be a few super groups out there Battles being one of them and there's definitely some good and some really really bad, here's a list of the good and bad.

Them Crooked Vultures

Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones create Them Crooked Vultures a band that was kept quiet for a very long time, the band has one album a self titled release which I thought was pretty solid. The album had a really nice rock sound throughout with tracks such as Reptiles and Dead End Friends being stand outs for me. I even took the opportunity to go and see them live January 2010 which was a decent enough gig  although the sound was terrible (the venues fault not the band) which made the gig a little indifferent but still overall this super group gets a pass mark.

Overall Super Group Rating: 7/10


Chad Gray, Greg Tribbett (both Mudvayne), Tom Maxwell (Nothingface), Bob Zilla (Damageplan) and Vinnie Paul (Pantera). This for me is the strongest example of a shit super group, the bands music is truly bad and I even had their last release Stampede as the worst album of 2010. Vinnie Paul looking for another meal ticket in another super group? living off the greatness his brother has in the metal community? either way this band blows and I still don't know why anyone wants to see what they do, its really cheesy/embarrassingly bad southern metal.
Overall Super Group Rating: 0.5/10
(only gets that high a rating because the lyrics are hilariously bad)


Two of the lesser known  members of Van Halen in Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar + Joe Satriani (solo) + Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) =  a forgettable super group. The band to me was a strange formula in the first place and the band produced nothing more than forgettable music, there will be people that dig this band if its just for Satriani's guitaring or Hagar's vocals but as a whole there's very little that's memorable being produced.
Overall Super Group Rating: 4/10

Heaven And Hell

Arguably this isn't even a super group as this is just the Black Sabbath lineup of 1980 - 82 but they renamed themselves Heaven and Hell so to me they're a supergroup and a pretty fuckin cool one. the band consists of Ronnie James Dio (Elf, Dio, Rainbow and Black Sabbath), Vinny Appice, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) the band made one album before Dio's recent death (RIP) and I was quite the fan of this, such a shame I missed the chance to see them live a few years back also, a group of legendary musicians that did something worth listening to.
Overall Super Group Rating: 7.5/10

Broken Social Scene

Band formed by Kevin Drew (KC Accidental) and Brendan Canning (By Divine Right) is a super group that consists of these two and a gazillion other musicians. The band are a hit with the indie hipsters and I too enjoy the music they play. The part I love about this band is the sheer weight of instruments used to create such a large amount of interesting sounds, all these albums are well received with You Forgot It In People being the greatest of the four releases.
Overall Super Group Rating: 8/10

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

Nick Cave with a plethora of other musicians created Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Now There's very little that needs to be said about this super group 14 albums and not a bad one in the bunch is enough to tell you this band is more than a success but more a yard stick for bands that start a super group should be looking at.
Overall Super Group Rating: 9/10

Friday, April 8, 2011

Album Review: The Middle East - I Want That You Are Always Happy

The new album from Australian Indie/Folk group The Middle East can best be described by me as "errrr alright" this is the bands second album but the first of there's I've checked out so it was going to be interesting to hear what this bands sound is like.

The first impressions didn't give me that much interest, the songs were a little slow and boring with the idea of spending just over an hour listening to this didn't seem all that appealing any more. Thankfully track 4 titled Jesus Came To My Birthday Party was a great change, the male/female dual vocals are great and the up tempo beat really gets you into the song showing that this band has something that will grab the listener. The messier instrument breaks are also quite nicely incorporated, while the fading out of the song definitely helped make this my favourite song on the album.

Three more strong tracks in Land Of The Bloody Unknown, Very Many and Sydney To Newcastle followed to continue a strong resurgence in the album for me. Sydney To Melbourne particularly nice with it being a great piano interlude, just a shame there was no bogan reference as we all know Newcastle is just a bogan hick town. What comes next is probably my second favourite on the album in Mount Morgan, shows off some great BAS its gloomy, yet fullish sound makes this an incredible track through headphones with much more than just an acoustic guitar being played.

The album unfortunately stalls after this, which is a shame and only shows any glimpses of something promising in the ten minute track Deep Water. All inbetween seems like boring album filler stuff that could've easily been rid of and made this not only a strong album, but one that doesn't show any signs of lag. Unfortunately with the incorporation of these tracks the album goes on far too long and makes myself borderline sleepy.

Overall promising album, some great stuff, some bad stuff, some boring stuff

Overall Rating: 7/10

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Band You Probably Should Have Listened To Sooner

Ever had bands, people have told you to listen to? or even bands you thought you'd dig but never got round to listening to them for no real reason other than you couldn't be bothered? well once again this has happened to me, this is a big reason why I try to keep up with releases from as many bands as possible just in case I hear a bands third, fourth, fifth album and it be my first experience in listening to them. While it might not be there classic album it gives you an idea of what to expect (sort of) from the rest of the discography after all its better late than never right?...RIGHT!?!?

A couple of bands that have done this to me recently are the new albums from Elbow and from PJ Harvey. I had heard bad things about PJ Harvey's last album and pretty positive stuff about her newest release Let England Shake, after the first listen I was blown away by how good it was and if you go back a few posts to my top 25 you'll see how much I like it, after the listen I felt partially embarrassed I hadn't listened to any of her older stuff, stuff that could be seen as better than this release. The similar situation happened with the new album from Elbow, heard it was great then saw how many other albums I'd missed before this.

So yeah basically the question is, have you ever shown up late to the party and totally felt stupid for not checking sooner? I know I have, the bands stated and the slowness of finally giving bands a chance (Husker Du being a prime example of taking forever to listen, but I'm still not gay)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Album Review: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead - Tao Of The Dead

This albums been out for a while now, but I've only just gotten round to giving it a listen and to be quite honest I wish I had got to this sooner as its another great release by these dudes. I hadn't gotten back into listening to these guys again till recently when I gave Source Codes and Tags a listen for the first time since Nam' I forgot how much a really dig this band, the guitars are bombastic and the drums intertwine so well with everything. Once I realised they had a new album I was pretty excited by what they had next, the problem was I couldn't stop listening to Source Codes and Tags to give it a first listen.

Now to the album, it's such an explosive album, like others they have produced with Prog rock elements throughout at times it cruises over different types of rock music. If it isn't a small riff that reminds me of classic Rolling Stones, its hitting the Progressive sound that wouldn't be out of place in a Tool track and some quality Alternative rock sound included. The band has done so well in keeping with the signature sound, but at the same time moving in a different direction to at least make it sound a little different to what other offerings have served up.

The Guitars are again magic, the real showcase of the band in my opinion, there really isn't any particular track that stands head and shoulders above the bunch, this is a complete album, one that flows perfectly throughout. As I've said the songs are great the only small criticism I have is while the songs are all really good, none of the songs reach the level that my favourite Source Codes and Tags hits, it's a shame, but at the same time the album is still immense and shouldn't be seen as a disappointment  at all.

Overall this is a pretty good album that will definitely get more listens in the near future, an old fan of these guys should definitely check this shit out cause it's worth it.

Overall Rating 8/10

The Death Of Real Groovy

So it was confirmed recently that Real Groovy Wellington is going to be closing at the end of May and its definitely a sad moment for myself and for many others who used to and still go in there, a lot of people have fond memories of the place and certainly don't want it to go.

Real Groovy is part of the dying breed that is record stores, the place had such a range of music, dvds, video games and magazines. With it closing it leaves just Slow Boat Records as the main locally owned record store left and hopefully it doesn't leave any time soon, after all I've been eyeing up the sealed Husker Du - New Day Rising vinyl for a few weeks now, not to mention the Stereolab, Rush and many other vinyl's I've seen when recently there.

Now back to Real Groovy, I've spent a lot of time and a decent amount of money in there, the boxing day trek from Wainuiomata with mates to spend up Christmas money (I'd usually end up with a Real groovy voucher from someone) Some of the albums I bought in there include Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos, Enter Shikari - Take to the Skies, In Flames - Come Clarity and many more. Recently I've gotten much more into vinyl and even some really bad ones, the Real Groovy collection is great with boxes and boxes of terrible vinyl's for very cheap prices.

I went in on Saturday days after the announcement and the place was fairly full, I spent a good hour in there looking at anything and everything and ended up buying The Charlatans - Then 12" single and Warpaint's Exquisite Corpse EP a 12" also. It's going to be a shame when it closes next month but I'll be sure to go once more before it closes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Album Review: Foo Fighters - Wasting Light

There's definitely something wasted when listening to this album, not talent, not skill, but my time, cause quite frankly this is an album that is just another boring, bland and more of the same Foo Fighters release. Now I will admit I've never been a big fan of the Foo Fighters, I did dig the early stuff when it was much more fresh sounding. I also didn't mind the odd song off some of the albums after the early albums, but this band to me isn't moving in any direction and has been static for many a years.

I do have another problem with the band and that's the pedestal the fans have put Dave Grohl at. He's a solid musician who has been in two popular bands playing a different instrument in each (I'm not going to even bother stating these bands) What I feel puts him over as a musical "God" to some fans is that he's very charismatic, no real relevance to his musical ability whatsoever.

Now to the album, starting the album is the track Bridge Burning and it just oozes radio rock, the drumming is slightly decent but the lyrics and general sound of the song is monotone Foo Fighters. Next is the first single (I believe) Rope, again very simple formula and it keeps with what has made the Foo Fighters so popular over the years, you can't fault them for staying in this sound when people will still go out and buy the album no matter what. Perhaps this is the U2 of our generation? you know the whole saying that U2 could get Bono to read out names from a phone book and people would still buy the album.

The album continues this route throughout, this album produces the slightest of glimpses that songs might creep away from their signature sound, but just when you think it's going to get away, it gets dragged back in. This album to a die hard Foo Fighters fan will be another great album I'm sure, it will have a good handful's worth of songs that will make it's way to commercial radio at some stage. But the casual fan or someone who isn't big on the radio rock scene probably won't dig it.

lastly this might just be a dodgy rip that I ended up with but at 320 (bro) it sounds terrible, hopefully this isn't the case with the actual CD otherwise it's definitely another point off the rating.

Overall Rating: 5/10

Try again Foo Fighters...or not