Friday, September 30, 2011

Album Review: Mastodon - The Hunter

Its been a while since I did a legitimate album review, its not because there hasn't been albums there to review but because I've had diarrhea for over a week. Most of that time the last thing I could care about was listening to then writing about an album that a week later could disagree with everything I wrote. Anyway for the review, The Hunter is the fifth album by probably my favourite metal band to listen to right now Mastodon. This is the first album after my favourite release by them Crack The Skye but what I really love about them is how strong the discography is, the band evolves per album allowing for people to prefer the album with the sound they like the most.

The album starts with one strong riff coming from the track Black Tongue and immediately I get excited by what is to come from not only this song but also the whole album. Unsurprisingly the drumming is as powerful as usual, the songs very melodic and if anything its business as usual for these guys. Curl Of The Burl seems to be a track some are scratching there head about, its certainly an accessible sounding track and if anything a more hard rock than metal track, but its still distinctly Mastodon. A throwback to Mastodon in the Remission days is what we get on the track Blasteroid with some classic Brent Hinds Screams to what is a much more frantic song to most on this album.

One of the parts I really love about Mastodon is how beautiful songs sound, Crack The Skye had so many moments that build up to such incredible chorus moments of euphoria. The track Stargasm is my favourite on this album, starts up slowly the riffs are smooth as fuck while the chorus by Brent as he goes into the smooth vocals and hits "You're on fire". The album is still strongly prog, the riffs are exploring throughout the album tracks like Octopus Has No Friends shows this off, the drumming at parts is borderline ridiculous, something Brann Dailor does, it really does come off sounding great.

When I listen to this album its kind of like the smallest of pieces from the albums before this have all been incorporated and its formed with new ideas an incredible album. So many tracks that are so melodic and smoothly done, the riffs so precise and scarily some of these tracks are just catchy. One of those tracks is Dry Bone Valley its got a bit of hard rock appeal to the track particularly "I wish that I was still there/I want to keep on breathing".

The final few tracks feature something that really doesn't relate that well to the softer melodic nature of the rest of the album. Spectrelight is a total balls to the wall metal track, power, speed, screams, aggression on the track the riffs are chunky and less progressive but still sound great. This is easily the most raw sounding track on an album that has such clean production and songs that might be seen as far more accessible. Another track that moved away from the album was that of the album closer The Sparrow which was the most BAS song on this thing. The Acoustic guitar use which off the top of my head hasn't been done in this band makes this a curious track to end on.

The album is great, I love it, there's moments that I kind of feel its borderline samey, but overall its so fuckin great, the riffs are magic, the drumming frantic and fierce. The vocals a mixture at times of rough as fuck and beautifully clean. To end Metal Album Of The Year

Overall Rating: 9/10

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Top 25 Songs Of 2011, Are We There Yet?

Right I only realised a couple of days ago that the third quarter of the year is about up. I hadn't really been thinking about my lists for a while so the last couple of days I've been going through some tracks that I've really enjoyed the last three months. So whatever here it is.

1. Tyler, The Creator - Yonkers (Goblin)
People might be saying "nurrrgh this is played too much" that might be the case to them but then they probably also enjoy men. This song is still great and enjoyable to listen to and con8inutes to be my favourite track of this year.

2. Black Lips - Family Tree (Arabia Mountain)
Such a strong, fun beginning to what is one of my favourite albums this year the song hasn't dipped in listening at all with it only yesterday I was enjoying it.

3. Girls - Vomit (Father, Son, Holy Ghost)
A new arrival to the list and this is such a strong epic of a track, the lyrics so powerful on this track the emotion produced incredible.

4. TV On The Radio - Will Do (Nine Types Of Light)
Another emotionally charged song that can't be denied for its overall beauty

5. Yuck - Shook Down (Yuck)
This debut album has tracks that could easily be my favourite from time to time but this track never fails to deliver.

6. Joy Formidable - Whirring (The Big Roar)
I never really dug this album the first time I heard it but I listened to this again a couple of months back and this song was so powerful. This three piece create such a noise and the instrumental jam at the end is really cool.

7. Frank Turner - I Am Disappeared (England Have My Bones)
This is still the only thing worth listening to on this album, the song is really powerful lyrically.

8. Mastodon - Stargasm (The Hunter)
I haven't reviewed this yet but this track is just tits, the riffs are badass and the vocals are great love when Brent hits the "You're on fire"

9. The Strokes - Under The Cover Of Darkness (Angles)
The song is still fun to listen to, catchy as fuck and a classic sounding Strokes track worth listening to.

10. The Weeknd - Loft Music (House Of Balloons)
I'm a sucker for Beach House samples and sweet vocals

Now for the rest

11. Manchester Orchestra - Virgin (Simple Math)
12. Cut Copy - Where I'm Going (Zonoscope)
13. The Kills - DNA (Blood Pressures)
14. Fleet Foxes - Sim Sala Bim (Helplessness Blues)
15. The Horrors - Still Life (Skying)
16. Fergus & Geronimo - Wanna Know What I Would Do?
17. TV Ghost - Cancor
18.Wilco - One Sunday Morning (The Whole Love)
19. ...And You Will Know Us From The Trail Of  The Dead - Cover The Days Like A Tidal Wave (Tao Of The Dead)
20. Battles - Ice Cream (Gloss Drop)
21. Toro Y Moi - Go With You (Underneath The Pine)
22. The Antlers - Corsicana (Burst Apart)
23.Liturgy - Harmonia (Aesthetica)
24. Cut Off Your Hands - Fooling No One (Hollow)
25. The Dodos - Going Under (No Color)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Don't Support Auckland Teams

Third day in a row I've neglected the music reviewing this week (I promise tomorrow I'll do one on the new Mastodon album) if you want some music I heard the new Yuck track and I thought it was pretty nice. But before I go back to music I'm going to pick up on something that's also sweeping New Zealand, the Auckland Warriors. Now I'm not going to take anything away from them making the grand final for only the second time in their history so I'll just say well done.

Now the bandwagon is starting to get pretty full, with the already tr00 fans (congrats), the usual bunch of "I've always been a big fan" but not big enough to admit it and those that are just excited by what they see as a "New Zealand" team doing well.

Before anyone bothers to tell me this is a "New Zealand" team just stfu cause it isn't, they rarely play games outside of Auckland (pre season doesn't count) and large parts of the teams are from Auckland. I've never been one to support one of my rivals (unless it favoured my team and even then it felt wrong) so what is a rival city Auckland I'm not going to start supporting. Australian provincial teams aren't real rivals to New Zealand provinces so yeah I did support the Reds against The Crusaders in the Super Rugby final (much to the anger of some watching with me).

Now my quick breakdown of the grand final

The Halfbacks:

Shaun Johnson

I must give the Warriors credit for holding back a certain superstar in Johnson for as long as they did because it wazs the right thing to do. Now hes ready to hit the big time and hes obviously shown that hes the real deal.

Dale Cherry-Evans

Forced to find another new Halfback after Hodkinson left and this guy has shone, he has great players around him already in Farrar, the Stewarts, Lyon that have made this really easy and another star has been made.

Trent Hodkinson

Manly would like to thank the Bulldogs for taking him off their hands, looking like a great signing for the Bulldogs...

The Coaches

Ivan Cleary

Cool, calm, collected

Des Hasler

Looks like a throwback to the 80's and 90's with that hair, pretty angry man in the coaches box


Don't worry this is in the right place, seeing as this sport is supposed to be faster than rugby union is there any chance they could also stop being robots? lets see players swap positions to confuse the other robot side, not always kick on tackle 5 and I dunno perhaps not bomb it in the corner to try score.


I don't really care, I'm sure a lot of NZer's will, which is why I've put $5 on the Warriors to win, theres always third time lucky.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Morning Quarterback

Yeah still no music review, although if you really want one I finally got round to listening to the new song from Atlas Sound (the third track) and unsurprisingly I love it. That album is shaping up to be one of the best this year, Bradford looking to get my number 1 album 2 years in a row (1. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest).

Now to what I've decided to blog about today is one of my favourite sports to watch Football, but this is of the American kind. I've been a fan for a long time and watched many games on TV, its always been great to watch for me and while I can't watch as many games now, I still try.

Minnesota Vikings

Its tough being a Vikings fan right now, Donovan McNabb!?!? Seriously!?!? guys past it and showing about that much. It's worse that I have no expectations to do anything then they go about blowing decent size leads the first three games of the season.

If we don't try to get Carson Palmer next season and use what will probably be a high draft pick to help our defence then we'll have to shut it down for another season. Ponder to be starting by mid season is my hope, to see if hes worth going with for next year.

New England Patriots

Oh snap they lost to the Bills, I don't think the Pats are a title contender this season anyway but the fact the Bills beat them shows that the Bills are fo real. Pats to be like the Colts a few seasons back all passing, no defence 40-30 wins and get caught out by teams who hold them to much less.

Fantasy Football

First time I'm doing this and unsurprisingly I'm blowing at it, 1-2 already this season and my running backs are screwing me up big time. Chris Johnson and Steven Jackson both struggling with injury, while Beanie Wells being a game time decision to not play left me a man down for this week.

Faux John Madden

This is the greatest thing on twitter right now, every NFL weekend the series of tweets that come from this are really funny hes a few of my favourites this week.

Faux John Madden

Bad news for the Eagles and Vikings this morning. Mike Vick out 4 weeks with broken hand and Donovan McNabb is perfectly healthy.
Faux John Madden

I haven't seen Mike Tomlin this pissed off since Dr. House pulled some of his usual shenanigans in the hospital.
Faux John Madden

Reggie Bush's first half numbers: 5 carries for minus-1 yards. It's probably not good if Jamarcus Russell has more rushing yards than you

Monday, September 26, 2011

Look I'm A Rugby Expert

Yeah no music related blog today, although I can give you a quick review, heard the new Lou Reed Metallica track and it sucks.

This shall be about the rugby it has consumed NZ, well most people I still remember the first opening match of the tournament, I was at work and got the pub for the second halfhad a few beers with some guys from work and don't remember watching the game. One thing I can tell you is I've probably seen less than 80 minutes worth of the World Cup so far cause nothing matters that much so far.

The Minnows

They're always great to have at the world cup cause we all need a few teams to make up the numbers. When they face off we even get the chance to see why both teams blow but with neither team being embarassed on the scoreline.

Top sides beating up on minnows

These games mean nothing to top sides, anyone that reads into anything from these games is an idiot.

Players worth mentioning

Cory Jane:
Justin Marshall admitted he was wrong this morning but again, pretty good player huh?

Sonny Bill Williams:
People don't think he should've made the All Blacks, but aren't willing to name someone to replace him. Just stfu hes just impact off the bench.

Adam Thompson:
Heard he played well at number 8, surprised he didn't replace Jane on the wing though...

Ronan O'Gara:
Dude knows how to finish a game when in front, pretty good for an old man

New Zealand Vs France

Was anyone actually surprised we dominated? WE'RE FUCKIN NEW ZEALAND we are the best in the world no shitty pack of frogs are going to be able to touch us, if anything they were lucky it was that close.

Samoa Ain't A Threat

I know its like a thing that commentators like to build up the opposition so people watch but Samoa aren't going top upset anyone, they ain't that good. Merely the best of a bunch of average Pacific nations

Argentina The Overrated

Nice solid International side, but don't expect them to be within 20 of the All Blacks

No Need To Worry

We will win the world cup its as that easy, no team is near good enough to beat us. I ain't jinxing shit cause only people worried about losing care for that. We'll walk it, unless of course the country continues to be scared of being confident in our side taking it.

Finally my ranking of rugby writers so far:
1.every writer except Justin Marshall
20,000. Justin Marshall

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Album Review: Active Child - You Are All I See

You Are All I See is the second album by one man (Pat Grossi) project Active Child, I never listened to the first release (probably never will either). I heard it wasn't that great and so after being shown a coupole of tracks found on his Soundcloud account I was suddenly interested in what he had to offer. I know this has been out a  while now but I completely forgot I had this so have only just got round to listening to this.

The title tracks starts this album one that produces beautiful sounds and some really nice vocals to match this. There is definitely a dreamy kind of vibe in the music to this the chimes give it a nice feel as the dream pop vocals finish the song off. The second song on thye album reminds me more of a Weeknd kind of thing, with the song heavily beat driven with the beautiful RnB vocals some of the sounds from the first track creep into this one nicely.

The album goes from beat driven RnB to more dreamy moments throughout the album, I actually prefer the more RnB sounds purely because the beats hes produced on this album are pretty cool. What I also liked about this album were the vocals they of course were really strong and definitely hit a strong RnB influence most of the time. One moment that was really more electronic was the track Shield & Sword, if anything it shows that hes good enough to make song of both genres. I felt like the track Hanging on shows off the best Active Child has on this album, strong beat, beautiful vocals and nice touches of electronic pieces thrown in there to make the songs beautiful, experimental and overall great.

I do like this and found most songs at least enjoyable, but there are some stale moments on this album, High Priestess and Ivy were a couple of tracks I didn't care for at all. Also the fact he didn't just do RnB leaves me wishing he did as he has done that so well on this album, even with this in mind its still a solid release.

Overall this is a solid album by Active Child, the beats/ electronic music throughout this album is really good, the vocals are amazing nd soar to beautiful heights throughout the album. With that being said its clear to me that he is great at doing RnB songs and I would prefer he make more of these. The album is strong but is at times stale and kind of whatever which are only minor errors in a good album.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tour Rumours

I'm sick as fuck so haven't listened to anything, but I have dragged myself out of bed for this here blog. I thought what was there I could talk about off the top of my head that takes only a small amount of research...RUMOURS!!!!

Anyway I've decided to at least attempt to start my own as most sites do without any idea of them being true (Blink 182 aren't playing Big Day Out sorry)

Big Day Out rumours

this year someone has made a twitter account leaking the bands he had been sent in an email, now some are obviously going to believe him/hope they're true cause they like what they see.

Rumoured band 1 - System Of A Down

Now I think this band blows, always have, always will but it does make some sense for them to tour on Big Day Out. BDO love recycling bands and they would easily take the second to last spot on the main stage (like Rammstein this year)

Rumoured band 2 - Odd Future

Before the spy released this there had already been a strong clue to suggest they'll be here thanks to Hodgy Beats tweet a while back.

Rumoured band 3 - Radiohead

Seriously when did BDO decide to bring over a truly great band as their headliner? it's been a while since a strong headline act (probably the first time Tool came over) was announced. You could almost sell this thing out in Auckland (almost cause NZ fans are terrible when  it comes to going to shows). But my only problem is why now?

Rumoured band 4 - Soundgarden

Everyone had Soundgarden headlining this year and they were wrong, why? because Tool were signed up before Soundgarden had even got back together. So why not this year? makes sense another recycled band that would surely have people wanting to see them.

Laneway Festival

I've only read one rumour for Laneway and that's Battles which would be great, Gloss Drop is a really strong album. Expect this to be filled with bands such as Destroyer, The Horrors, Girls or similar.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Album Review: Blink 182 - Neighborhoods

I enjoyed this about as much as Travis Barker likes flying

Overall Rating: 2.5/10

Monday, September 19, 2011

Album Review: Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls

This is the first album for surf rock band Veronica Falls, I had heard of these guys a few months back and found three tracks which ended up on various compilation albums those tracks were Beachy Head, Found Love In A Graveyard and Starry Eyed. Only Beachy Head and Found Love In A Graveyard made this album, one that had some catchy moments.

The album starts with one of the three tracks I had heard before this album was released, Found Love In A Graveyard, this song is catchy as hell and got stuck in my head pretty quickly. I love the uptempo surfer pop that this song has and subsequently the rest of album. The interaction between the male and female vocalist is solid and mixes it up perfectly, while combining some nice surf rock riffs with some slightly alt rock ones.

The next track Right Side Of My Brain is a nice fun track, these songs definitely have a summer feel and aren't surf pop albums even slightly similar to Vivian Girls - Share The Joy or Best Coast's Crazy For You. this album is far more in your face than those while still being dreamy as fuck the songs are much more adventurous instrumentally allowing for songs to not really being similar to those before them.

Stephen is a track I really enjoy on this album, I love the bass line being so high on the mix and dual vocals are perfectly worked into this song. This as a slower song on the album works so well, the summery riffs that get incorporated and just the general care for the instruments to blossom on this and almost every other song on the album.The other of the three which were on compilations that made this album Beachy Head and this too is catchy as fuck, definitely the most surf rock song on the album, also one of the best on this album.

This album has moments of tiredness, while finding a way to be more instrument influenced in this summer album they still at times seem a little boring after a while. Thankfully at less than 40 minutes this album doesn't get too boring and still keeps with you till the end with what is still a solid surf rock album with a handful of quality tracks.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Friday, September 16, 2011

Album Review: Opeth - Heritage

Heritage is the tenth studio album for Swedish death/prog metal band Opeth, a band I'm quite the fan of. There mix of death metal with prog metal has produced at least a couple of fantastic albums (Still Life, Blackwater Park) and easily a couple more that are on the cusp of that status (Deliverance, Ghost Reveries). The weird thing is about this band is that while I think the band is great, I'm very rarely in a mood to listen to them but with a new one out I felt it was time to get back into listening to them.

This album to me is just to cut it short, boring as hell as the album is just straight up prog rock and really slow at that. The album starts with the album title track Heritage a piano piece to begin the album very nice sounds and a solid beginning to the album. After that you think the albums really going to come out and show us more of the Opeth fans have loved for a while, instead we get bursts of music from the band. At least the second track keeps it going throughout with a decent prog rock track which does show off Mikael Akerfeldt's vocals really well. The guitar and keyboard trade off each other well also.

I Feel The Dark continues the prog rock sound they're clearly going for on this album, it starts off quite full in sound and slowly drops down to again do its bursts of sound thing. With its borderline BAS moments the songs are really slow at times and definitely stripped back.The album totally drops to walking pace through the middle of this album with tracks like Nepenthe, Haxprocess and Famine all really slow working songs, very patient listening needed for these tracks, they're alright but they just aren't anything to get excited by. Famine is probably the pick of the slow songs but that's not really saying much as these songs are pretty boring overall.

The only track I dug on this album was The Lines In My Hands, which didn't look to slow down too much, the bass line is sick and the drums aren't as boring as they were earlier. The guitar in this reminds me of spanish mariachi players so theres another positive on this song, to go with an electric guitar appearance late in the track. The album again goes back to slow prog tracks that do nothi8ng at all for me, by this stage I've basically lost interest in hearing these types of tracks.

This album is just really "meh" theres very little to take from this album as an Opeth fan. None of that death/prog metal that made them a great band in my opinion, maybe they just wanted a change in sound for an album, I hope so cause this can't be the new direction for the band. Please!

Overall Rating: 5.5/10

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Album Review: St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

Strange Mercy is album number three for Indie Pop singer song writer St Vincent, after a couple of solid releases (Marry Me, Actor) she back. I've never been a massive fan but heard good things about this album before I grabbed it so was intrigued by what all the fuss was about. It's been a fairly strong year for female artists about a week ago I reviewed the debut album by Kimbra and thought it was great so I was hoping for another strong female release.

The album starts with the track Chloe In The Afternoon, which is definitely a quirky beginning to the album, her repetition of the title throughout the chorus was a nice touch. I found the song really cool and the scuzzy sounds from the guitar were a welcome addition. Cruel was a much less experimental song with a much simpler beat which allowed St Vincent to soar off some beautiful moments vocally, again the guitar is nice in this really making this a fun track.

A couple of slower tracks in Cheerleader and Surgeon, these songs are nice and a little dream pop, with Vincent really showing her softer vocals off. They songs are nice and sweet and while minimal in the music her vocals are on shows in all its glory. I did enjoy how during Surgeon the song picked up a little later in the song to only fall back be a little bit more experimental in sounds. A favourite of mine on this album is the album title track Strange Mercy its slow, flows beautifully throughout and St Vincent just brings it all together vocally I like the mood of the song as its just eerily there at times without you realising.

One things clear on this album and thats St Vincent kills it vocally, its every bit sweet vocally and totally spot on, a lot of the tracks are dream pop sounding which is cool while still having the incporporation of indie pop as the basis of every song to run off. A few dancey track thats experiment more sound wise, otherwise its pretty slow with minimal backing. My favourite song on the album is Hysterical Strength as the intro sounds like an old school cop chase movie, its borderline hilarious but actually creates a great beat for the track.

I really do enjoy this album and it doesn't outstay its welcome at just under 40 minutes, if anythingthe songs are all pretty good but nothing standout that could make this album elite status for this year anyway. But as a St Vincent album I found this to be the best so far and if the improvement continues we could be in for something truly great from her one day.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Album Review: Kasabian - Velociraptor

Velociraptor is album four from the band from Leicester Kasabian, when I heard they were calling their new one Velociraptor I immediately thought wtf would they be calling it that. I was a late starter in liking this band, I never really dugthe first two albums apart from the odd track on them, I did however really like West Ryper Pauper Lunatic Asylum.

Usually when I listen to a new album from a band I've heard before I go in without any expedctations of what I'm going to hear. There might be an early release single or two which wet the appetitie but with this one I don't think I listened to it (Switchblade Smiles). I did however watch an interview of theres and they talked about being more electronically influenced on this album which I found quite interesting. Early in this album we have none of this electronic influence the opening track Lets Roll Just Like We Used To is a pretty safe Kasabian track solid album opener but doesn't have the impact of say Underdog off the last one.

The album does have a bit of a retro feel to it particularly Days Are Forgotten and Goodbye Kiss. Goodbye Kiss is a really nice slower track with some great orchestral backing, overall its just a really sweet track. after these the album starts to creep into electronic territory with the subtle keyboard that is brought into La Free Verte, this is a nice pleasant  song but not what I'm looking for on this album. After hearing the strong run at the beginning of the last album and tracks like Fire and Vlad The Impaler later on I was hoping for something to match it in terms of quality it doesn't do it like that. However at the halfway stage and the track Velociraptor comes in we get some of the less serious funner tracks I like about Kasabian, borderline dance music at times.

This is the introduction to the album of tronic music and its something i had expected to hear much earlier. The most obvious tronic influence in this album is that of I Hear Voices which is pretty minimal throughout and keyboard lead throughout, pretty chill sounding track but nothing special. It seems like every album by these guys has a big arena rock anthem that the fans will go crazy over, the first had Club Foot, the second Shoot The Runner, the third Fire. This album is no different with the track Switchblade Smile one that will surely get people going crazy live, a really cool track if less rock than the previous ones.

I guess I have mentioned throughout some dislikes as a few of the tracks fell a little lame on me but what is still there is that swagger of we're the best around Tom Meighan has in his vocals hes really the part of this band I love the most. Wiht this in mind I feel like this is still a strong release cause nothing is bad, some really good, the rest good.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Album Review: Dream Theater - A Dramatic Turn Of Events

Well its certainly been an eventful 12 months for Dream Theater, with the departure of founding member and drummer Mike Portnoy. Fans of this band were probably confused as to what was next for the band, I myself didn't htink this would ever happen to the band but it did and it didn't really bother me that much. The main reason I didn't care for the departure was that Portnoy was ruining the band at times, particularly the terrible backing vocals from the last two album. I've been a massive fan of the band over the years and caught them live a couple of years ago one of my favourite shows ever infact with some of my favourite tracks played that night.

Now to this album, on drums we have Mike Mangini as soon as Portnoy left it made sense to bring him in, obviously hes a strong drummer but also had already worked with James Labrie on his solo albums. Unfortunately he didn't write the drums for this album Petrucci did and while its a little weird it makes sense for this release. The drums on this are great not as over the top as they used to be, whether its just because Portnoy isn't there turning it up on the mix or the drumming is much more subtle I like it.

One thing you can expect from this band is cheesy as fuck lyrics so I didn't really have a problem with them they were merely just a normal thing for their album. Labrie however does do a great job vocally, some hate his vocals, some like them I'm certainly on the side that most of the time when hes on form he really does sound great. It's weird I usually feel like I'm going to have to deal with heaps of over the top shit on this album but thankfully it's not really the case whether thats cause Portnoy isn't there and the drums aren't so obvious but the songs all floow nicely.

The album does have some annoying moments from Jordan Rudess' keyboard playing but it isn't the whole album so one can be forgiven. The album opener and track released early On The Back Of Angels when I first heard it had me worried that this would be really bad but its grown on me to become at the very least a solid song on this.

I think this album isn't anything too special it does sound at times like Dream Theater of old and some of the jams are pretty cool. Theres no track to me that blows me away and has me wanting to listen to this album over and over. The album is also long as fuck which is a little frustrating 77 minutes is just too long for this four 10 minute tracks is one too many in my opinion.

Overall this isn't a bad album but more a decent release, its definitely better than Systematic Chaos and probably a couple of other recent releases. This is just too long of a listen, but if your a die hard fan of this band you will definitely like it but I'm not sure how much.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Monday, September 12, 2011

Album Review: Wilco - The Whole Love

The Whole Love is Wilco's eighth studio album, after the last album titled Wilco was released some people thought that this band was losing it a little. I never understood the criticism of that album cause I think that album is great (listened to it again after this and it still hasn't changed). For those of you who might have never heard of this band they're an alternative rock band from Chicago with only two members singer Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirrat being the only remaining original members.

One thing that is obvious on this and every other album by Wilco is that Jeff Tweedys voice is just great, its sweet and works so well with their sound. The album starts with the track Art As Almost which is introduced with electronics something the band has incorporated many times before. This track explores sounds really well, Tweedy's voice is heard very little on this track and I loved when the drums build up after the 5 minute mark and we get some great guitar sounds from Nels Cline.

I forgot to mention I had the chance to catch these guys last year and it was an incredible gig, everything they did that night was beautiful. Nels Cline killing it on guitar really getting into it while Jeff Tweedy confronted an annoying fan who was talking through their set. Probably the best show in terms of banter I've ever been to while the bass was being retuned we had Tweedy just look at the crowd and did an awkward sooo... Oh and getting the crowd to sing Jesus etc was amazing.

Anyway back to the album, I Might is the albums first single and I feel like its a good choice as the track is a strong poppier alt rock track. It's definitely an acessible track for the listener while the country alternative sounds of Dawned On Me are really strong. Black Moon is such a powerful slow track on the album the way the music just improves everything on the song, the sounds produced with Tweedy producing a spot on vocal performance as the track just dissappears at the end.

As you can tell I really dig this album tracks like Black Moon and Open Mind are a couple of brilliant slower tracks on this album and show off that side of the band so well. While tracks like I Might and Standing O show off the modern rock edge that this band has and has in abundance. The band also has the ability to show an experimental rock side as well with the opening track Art As Almost and the album finale (personal favourite also)  One Sunday Morning. The band has such versatility without ever really distancing itself from the sound that this band has become known for and what has made them successful.

Obviously theres very little to me thats wrong with this album if anything and I'm struggling at this point is that the album doesn't produce any instant classics. Theres no Jesus etc or I Am Trying TO Break Your Heart on this album but instead theres still an album full of really strong tracks.

Overall this is a fuckin great album and I'm definitely in agreeance with the bots face himself that this album is the best since Yankee Foxtrot Hotel. Tweedy again does it vocally while the rest of the band continues to create beautiful music and a band I would love to see again.

Overall Rating: 9/10

Friday, September 9, 2011

Album Review: The Devil Wears Prada - Dead Throne

Yeah its a slow news day on the blog, I would've gone with the new Wilco album (its great) but I only heard it for the first time early this morning. So I've gone with something else that has recently released onto the internet the new The Devil Wears Prada album Dead Throne. This is the bands fourth album and I'm sure the high school kids all over the world are hotly anticipating this album to "get down" to.

God damn this album is really boring, like when I'm hearing this all I think of is this being a band that anyone over 18 probably wouldn't like at all. The faux brutality in these songs is terrible I get they're trying to be brutal and all but I feel its not even possibly believable. So many of the riffs on this are chunky and fat cunt as fuck with little substance, pretty cliche metalcore stuff.

Now obviously its not all metalcore but has some melodic metalcore in it also unfortunately it just reminds me of a really poor version of In Flames which after the last album is saying something. The moments in which they attempt to show emotion in the songs don't really come off that well and perhaps while portraying it aren't at all  interesting or believable.

Obviously there aren't many positives from this album that I could find and as its very very samey throughout the album I could only find one, the albums only 40 minutes long.

Overall Rating: 1.5/10

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Album Review: Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know

This is folk singer song writer Laura Marling's third album and the first I've heard, I had heard of her but when I saw her new album was released I thought now was the time to give her a shot. At only 21 and releasing her third album she has already a nice body of work behind her at such a young age which leads me to think one thing she must have some talent.

The album starts with the track The Muse which almost immediately reminds me of Norah Jones who while talented isn't a musician I'm interested in. However as the album strays away from that and isn't just a straight BAS album, the next track I Was Just A Card which incorporates horns to begin the track and slowly builds to show more instrumentation to allow a much more full folk sound to the song.

I found this album was really nice, not over the top for a folk album if anything really straight and simple to enjoy, Laura's vocals are really nice and the whole album goes over really pleasant. I think she suits a real subtle sound as her voice is very tame and soft which meant the track The Beast was just a little weird as the raw electric guitar riffs were kind of over the top of everything and didn't to me work at all.

While I prefer the fuller folk tracks I found as the album went on the BAS tracks suited Marling more, particularly Rest In Bed which had a cool darker atmosphere to the track something that wasn't as apparent on the rest of the album. My favourite song on this album is Don't Ask Me Why the third track on this album, with a slow start the track sways along and changes up nicely a few times while being just overall a beautiful track.

Now while Marling has an incredible voice and the songs are pleasant overall its just a solid album, with a bunch of nice sounding tracks. This album just doesn't do enough to be something I'll be listening to a lot in the future as there aren't any tracks that are memorable.

Overall this is a nice album but nothing to go crazy about, Marling obviously has talent and at 21 the future is still bright. Her voice is beautiful her songs a repretty sweet sounding and theres a nice subtle folk element to most tracks on this. It's just a shame that nothing on this album really stands out and keeps it from being something great.

Overall Rating: 6.5/10

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Album Review: Cansei De Ser Sexy - La Liberacion

It seems as though in terms of releases this band had gone completely off the map, with the band being around eight years this is only the bands third full length album. The last album Donkey was truly bad unlike the first album titled CSS which while I'm not a massive fan of has at least a couple of tracks I really love (Off The Hook, Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above). I guess what really brought me back to this band was the fact I caught them at this years Big Day Out Festival and one thing was for certain at that show they were all about having a good time playing.

This album thankfully isn't Donkey, the songs on this are much better than that, but at the same time I don't really enjoy the songs more than I did on CSS. The album starts with the track I Love You which is one of the best on this album, it really is a CSS kind of song, heaps of keyboard, full on party type song but without it having to be high tempo throughout. This song is borderline weird at times which is great cause I find CSS to be a little weird in lyrical content and sound so at least they haven't strayed from what they have already done.

The song on this that is easily my favourite is Hits Me Like A Rock the song has a cool Brazilian/Caribbean feel for almost the whole track until the back end of the track which features the bit that really makes it my favourite. The weird moustache man gets in and then the acoustic guitar makes this song mo better. While I liked the acoustic in that track I felt like the band moved further away from their unique and became more indie pop at times. I still think that theres some really nice tracks  on here You Can Have It All which I think is signature CSS is great. While La Liberacion the track is completely different in its guitar heavy indie track that has Portuguese lyrics that is easily its most rocking track to date.

I found the top half of this album great however the second half was at times a little "meh" tracks like Partners In Crime, Ruby Eyes and Rhythm To The Rebels to be boring indie pop tracks that lend almost nothing to the rest of the album. A shame because up until this point in the album there was very little that I thought was anything near a bad track. The album ends with Fuck Everything which brings the album back to what the band are known more for, having fun and not giving a shit.

Overall this is a solid album by CSS, theres definitely some cool tracks on the album and if you are already a fan of them you'll probably dig this one. It's if anything a slight drop on their self titled release but will still bring for the most part the fun and weird sound that they have made their own.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Album Review: The Drums - Portamento

The Drums are back with another album, just over a year since their Self titled was released theyv'e given us an album titled Portamento. The retro indie pop rock band from Brooklyn is a band I've even seen live, opening for Florence and The Machine I found them to be a very fun band they looked to really enjoy what they were doing. This album is further progression and maturity from the last release and earlier EP releases.

As I said its definitely a more mature and clean cut release, the sound is very similar to the last album and it doesn't seem like they're interested in moving away from this pop sound. Book Of Revelation is a strong start to the album the song is smooth as fuck and still shows them to be the band people loved from the earlier stuff (or disliked). You almost instantly get a feeling that this band has certainly grown alot over the last year musically and this has allowed for much more mature sounding songs.

One part of this album I love is the fact they've kept that surfer pop edge they had to them. Obviously the track I wanna Go Surfing off self titled was one that made clear they were interested in this route, but more the sound on that album had its moments. I found that even the track like Days had the lazy summer surf pop sound in it which was helped along by the minimal instrument sounds that accompany this album.

Another aspect of this album that is great is the album is just full of fun tracks, the songs are great to listen to minimal upbeat tracks that are brought together by the sweet vocals of Jonathan Pierce. He once again does sound great and combining that with some much mature lyrics allows this album to surpass the last. While the maturity is apparent it is great they aren't too mature and allow the fun to continue on, particularly with my favourite and single from the album Money. When this was released early it was almost like an assurance by the band that they were going to sound almost exactly the same and that the fun times would continue.

Obviously this album is one I like but it can be a little bland after a while with the tracks being so similar at times and at 51 minutes can be a little too much to listen to. They're all solid pop tracks thyat not only liken themselves to surf pop and retro pop with some success.

Overall this is a solid album and definitely a slight improvement on the last album. This is a pretty simple album and if you dug the last album then you should enjoy this one as it keeps to a similar formula to the last. At the end of the day its jsut a fun album to li9sten to in the sun.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Monday, September 5, 2011

Album Review: Kimbra - Vows

Until about a week or so ago I had never heard of Kimbra, I was then shown this female vocalist and her talent over Facebook. After hearing a single song I was immediately prompted to listen to more and as I had heard the whole album was out on the internet I grabbed it straight away. This is Kimbra's first album and the New Zealand born artist based in Australia has certainly shown on this album she has a weird taste in what it she wants to sound like.

The album starts with the track Settle Down this is one of the best on the album the music behind this is great, this combined with Kimbra's quirky sounding voice at times makes this a strong track to start with. Another aspect I picked up which I really liked was the really sweet, soft vocal parts she reminded me of another New Zealand Vocalist I've been digging recently Ruby Frost, maybe its helped by the accent.

The more I listen to this album the more I'm reminded of one of my favourite albums from last year Janelle Monae's ArchAndroid. The full sound on that and the different kind of beats/instruments like horns on both give it that feel. This isn't Monae status which isn't necessarily a disappointment as this is still great stuff. She shows off a slower less beat driven track in Two Way Street which has a beautiful surround of music while Kimbra really goes deep lyrically.

I found that this album looks at breaking into different genres throughout, some quality pop tracks on here but genre's like rnb and soul gets moments into this album. The album during the middle slows down but the overally quirkiness of the the album is not lost this is due in part to Kimbra's voice and the continued progressive of different but interesting beats keeping it altogether. I found the last track on the album The Build Up was my favourite its slow patient and beautiful from start to finish.

This is really cool although the fact I compared some of it to a lesser ArchAndroid made this lesser to that phenominal album. I also at times was a little confused by the mess it became track to track the more listens of it though allowed me to appreciate that and realise it was more of an element to the album.

Overall this is a solid album, the music behind it is full, different, experimental and very much interesting if you enjoyed ArchAndroid last year then some of these songs you'll definitely appreciate. Kimbra's quirky sound explores throughout the album and her voice is just so sweet.

Overall Rating: 8/10

Friday, September 2, 2011

Album Review: Bombay Bicycle Club - A Different Kind Of Fix

This is the third album from indie rock/folk act Bombay Bicycle Club, the band unsurprisingly isn't from Bombay but instead London England. Again this has been a strong year for Folk albums and while this isn't a direct folk album per se theres some high standards in the folk albums this year. The band's first two releases are mixed for me, the first album I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose was pretty cool, Flaws not so much so this was almost a make or break for me.

The first reaction I had about this album while listening to it for the first time was that the album was pleasant. The vocals of Jack Steadman are the main reason for this, his voice isn't the most powerful but its definitely nice to listen to in this kind of music. The minimal guitars during the verses particularly on the song Your Eyes really does allow his voice to shine through. Your Eyes is one of the best on this album the way it builds up late in the song "Your eeeyes, your eeeyes, your eeeyes".

Theres some definitely generic English indie rock moments in this album, Take The Right Ones reminding me of English bands of the past few years. The song was still good but perhaps just a little whatever for this album. The more up beat tracks on this album are what keeps this album from becoming tired and boring, tracks like Bad Timing and Shuffle are definitely different to this album.

This album is weird, like theres Indie rock tunes and then some Indie folk stuff, like the album start with the track How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep its more of a folk track and then after this we only get small moments throughout the album. You could say the track Fracture has and to a lesser extent as does Favourite Day which really does include some cool as fuck drumming. The album ends with Still a track that brings the whole album down to sadness, the slow piano notes the soothing voice with emotion pouring from it. Kind of like that track on its own but don't like the way it ends the album, just doesn't work for me.

I kind of feel like the band is in two minds Indie rock or folk, the album certainly touches on both and they have the ability to do both reasonably well but I wish they'd stick to one sound over the other. Its kind of start with a folk track then bam we ain't playing anymore folk songs. Its a shame I'm sure there could be some way of balance but on this album it isn't there for me.

(Overall this is still a solid album, most of the songs I like as songs but the album at times is a little messy for my liking. One thing is for sure though the album is just pleasant as fuck so nice to listen to some of these tracks particularly Still and Your Eyes.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Album Review: The Weeknd - Thursday

So we have another release from The Weeknd, we've already had House Of Balloons earlier this year which I liked quite a bit (review here). That album was a surprise to me, I didn't expect to like it but there was so much to it I liked that was from a sound I've never really enjoyed. Don't worry no Weeknd on the weekend jokes this time or Rebecca Black related get down on Thursday jokes (I haven't heard the song, the Friday one that is) But yeah I'm doing a review of an album called Thursday on a...THURSDAY pretty smart huh?

Anyway to the album again this is so chill much like the last album starting with Lonely Star we are met with a sample and a solid beat with the killer vocals entering (I guess I'll refer to him as Weeknd). Weeknd's vocals are really really dreamy on this album but to me the beats are still the most important part of this album. As I guy I work with said "vocals are the most overrated part of music", I kind of agree with him.

Some of the beats are hit and miss on this album and the track Life Of The Party is one of these for me, I mean they're cool but the beat forces a different type of vocal delivery one I didn't enjoy as much. Not to mention the overall beat is just a little to plain at times apart from the chorus. The best part of this album to me is The Birds Part 1 and Part 2 which are my favourite tracks on the album. The intro to Part 1 is bad ass and the power the song builds up to near the end with a mere slow acoustic fade out which works perfectly. Part 2 also brings together another solid beat and unsurprisingly his voice continues to soar, I loved how the middle section kind of falls off and slowly brings itself back to what it was.

There are plenty more moments that I really enjoyed on this album, I quite enjoyed the acoustic being incorporated again in the song Rolling Stone. I also quite liked the final track on the album Heaven Or Las Vegas which is just  over the top at times and brings to end a solid album. I say thins is a solid album and while it is I found parts underwhelming and its definitely a step down from the last release.

Overall the album isn't as good as House Of Balloons but there are still some standout tracks that I enjoyed enough to enjoy this album overall. Tracks like The Birds Part 1 and 2 plus the end track Heaven Or Las Vegas are all quality, we still get the killer vocals and cool beats but at times lacks the really cool samples I liked on the last release.

Overall Release: 7/10

I want to touch the mans face