Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Panic! At The Disco "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out"




Meh, if I didn't intern at their management company I would have never, ever, ever, ever given this band a chance. "WHY?" you may ask. A few reasons- 1) the album is released on Feuled By Ramen 2) and Decaydance (owned by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy) 3) the bands they have toured with, 4) The amount of under 16 "friends" on their myspace page

But since I had some sort of ties to this band for a short time I'll try and be as nice as possible. They can do something right though, had 5,000 per-orders for their first cd, used myspace to create a buzz, play catchy-as-all-fuckin-hell dance rock. I really liked the songs I heard until I actually read the lyrics. I think if I just let it be background music and not listen to the words, just the way they are sang, then I'd like it better. If you aren't into "quality" as much as you are into your "emo" wardrobe you will like this alot- obviously. Also, the singer has thee worst hair I've ever seen.

If you like Fall Out Boy or any other band referred to as emo now-a-days, you should already own this album.

Here are my favorite tracks (based on the music and the catchiness in which the lyrics are sang, not the actual words themselves)---- 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12

Horse The Band "The Mechanical Hand"



Horse The Band "The Mechanical Hand"
released 9/20/05

The name should catch you right away. If it doesn't, maybe the fact that they're referred to as "nintendo-core" will arouse your interest. If it doesn't, then maybe their second album being produced by Matt Bayles will help? If none of these apply, then screw you! JK. HORSE THE BAND (bitch!) is back with their second album "The Mechanical Hand" produced by Matt Bayles of Minus The Bear. This is more polished than their rough first release "R. Borlax"-- and it lacks a lesbianic-exploration skit as heard on track 6 of "R. Borlax."

None the less, this is more matured (musically only) than their previous release. "R. Borlax" was like being on the Batman ride at Six Flags thats shoots you out at 60 something MPH and doesn't slow down until it's over. "The Mechanical Hand" is more like a wooden roller-coaster in that there are multiple ups and downs, there's moments where they are fast and blurring, then slower melodic guitars and vocals. There's even an instrumental (track 5)!!

They're heavier on the keyboards this time around as well, probably because Matt Bayles had a say in that. It really sets them apart from all hardcore and metal bands. It's very hard to pigeonhole them and compare them to a band. They have been referred to as "nintendo-core" and I really think that's lame, but personally, I think most labels are lame. It does sound like, though, a couple of 20 something year old guys who are totally into aggressive music, chugging guitar riffs, and Metroid got together and started making kick-ass, innovative and prgressiv hardcore. After hearing this album, if you are not inspired to atleast check out how much you could get an original NES for on eBay!, there's something wrong with you.

Stand out tracks- 1) Birdo (the single on their myspace.com/horsetheband), 2) a million exploding suns, 3) Manateen, 6) softer sounds (which has the best bridge on the entire album), 7) Octopus on fire, 8 & 9 together) soaring quails (instrumental) taken by vultures, 10) a rusty glove, 12) LORD GOLD THRONEROOM (too nintendo for it's own good)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Wolf Parade "Apologies To The Queen Mary"

Wolf Parade "Apologies To The Queen Mary"
released 9/27/05



I never heard of this band until I saw them perform at a CMJ party mid-September. I was blown away. I visited their myspace page for about 4 hours every day for like 2 weeks clicking "play" until the album came out (www.myspace.com/wolfparade). I can get obsessive sometimes. Ever since this album came out I haven't gone ONE day without listening to it. I think I've posted like 4 or 5 MySpace bulletins alerting people of this awesome band. I can't stop talking about them..... needless to say, I really like this band!

So, this Montreal 5-piece released their album "Apologies To The Queen Mary" on Sub Pop records, produced by Isaac Brock (singer of Modest Mouse)- you can kind of get a jist of how they sound. They vary singers from track to track, and hardly share their vocal duties on the same track (except on track 4). The singer with a very weird, pitch-alternating voice is also the keyboardist (Spencer Krug), and the rockier/drug-addict sounding singer is the guitarist (Dan Boeckner). I also notcied the guitarist snarls his lip when he sings, similar to Elvis and Billy Idol.

The music is heavily keyboard/other-electronic-device driven (I don't know the name of the instrument the one guy plays, but it is fuckin weird and amazing!!) indie rock. If you like Conor Oberst of Bright Eye's or Jello Biafra's of Dead Kennedy's voice, you will be able to appreciate the keyboardists vocals. It's an acquired taste. This album isn't 100% solid though, but the excellent tracks cover for the mediocre tracks. Maybe I haven't given the tracks I call mediocre enough attention to enjoy them. I am stuck on the songs I love and listen to them on repeat. When I put the disc in, I skip right to track 4, "We Built Another World" and let it play on to the next "Fancy Claps". I skip one to track 7- "Shine a Light" and let it run straight through to track 10 "It's a cure".

One bad note about the album is that it comes with no lyrics,-- not even a freakin official website. And it's kind of hard to decipher some of the lyrics.

As I look through the book right now I am realizing something- they had a second guitarist on stage the whole time, but he is not part of the band. It says he appears on tracks 4, 5, and 7, and is courtesy of Merge Records, his name is Tim Kingsbury. I don't know who that is. Hmmm, research should be done.

Tracks I recomend- #2, #3, #4, #5, #7, #8, #9, #10, #12

If you like Modest Mouse, The Arcade Fire, or anything released on Sub Pop, then you will like this album

Red Knife Lottery "So Much Drama"

Red Knife Lottery "So Much Drama"
released 6/14/05



I saw this in the store, and the sticker on the front said "For fans of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Pretty Girls Make Graves." So I bought it. Yep, pretty much sums up this cd. Take any release either of those 2 bands have had, add a little more female screaming vocals, and you have Rd Knife Lottery. It's not disappointing, but it's not ground breaking. If you don't want to hold your breath until the next PGMG or YYY album, get this it hold you over

Monday, October 10, 2005

As I Lay Dying "Shadows Are Security"

As I Lay Dying "Shadows Are Security"
released 6/14/05



As I Lay Dying are back with another in your face metal album. They are referred to as metalcore, but fuck that, I hate that label- it's quite dumb. It's fuckin metal! Anyways, I like this album alot better than their previous "Frail Words Collapse". It actually has melodies too! I skip those tracks, but it's nice to see they have diversified themselves somewhat. The album is consistent the whole way through, which is both good and bad, because it can become boring to listen to the whole CD through. The first 2 tracks segue into each other and sound like one epic metal song, which I love! This album is chock-full-o mosh pit inducing riffs... they are so fast and amazing that listening to this album on your headphones while walking down the street you may cause you to start a fight with an unsuspecting bystander. I think it's metal at one of it's finest points- very technical and talented individuals. I'd love to see them live and hear them pull it off! It kinda makes me sad that As I Lay Dying are a "Christian" band, but none the less, these Jesus-lovers know how to fuck shit up!! There are 3 things that can help get someone's day started in the morning- 4 cups of coffee, 2 redbulls, or blasting this album at full volume!

I say just put the album on and bang your had till your neck snaps, but if I had to choose favorites, I'd hafta go with track #1, #2, #3, #5, #6, #8, #9

if you like Atreyu but don't like their sung verses and choruses so much then you will love this album!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Death Cab For Cutie "Plans"

Death Cab For Cutie "Plans"
released 8/30/05



Death Cab For Cutie is back with a major label debut. They've endured alot of success due to their appearence on The OC, and Ben's side project The Poastal Service has gained more recognition and popularity than was probably ever intended. With that being said, this album has alot riding on it. It pretty much lives up to what I expected. The album's first single is not particulalry my favorite on the album, but Atlantic doesn't want to please me, they want to ride the success of The Postal Service. I'm sure this will be the first Death Cab CD MANY people will hear, and that's sad. This band's whole catalogue is very impressive... and excellent. I should stop bitching though, because they actually deserve it. Jimmy Eat World signed to a major label after releasing one indie album, and gained unearned commercial success, in my opinion. Death Cab For Cutie definitely deserve the success and exposure they are going to receive with this album.

So, to the music. The first song "Marching Bands Of Manhattan" is a great opener, with it's climactic last verse (chorus?) repeated over and over- great imagery too, when i hear it I really picture a faucet dripping. Track 2 "Soul Meets Body" is the first single off the album and kind of disappoints. It reminds me of another Death Cab song... I can't put my finger on it now though. I usually skip this one and head right over to track 3, "Summer Skin". After listening to that song, I was astounded. Because I have been there before. Where a summer fling ends with the peeling of a sunburn and the falling of autumn leaves. Too many times have I been there- truly one of my favorite songs on the album! And the music is great, I really love the baseline.

Track 4 I usually skip over as well. It kind of falls below the standards-line for Death Cab- and the electro-sounding bridge I could have done without. The end of this song is very simliar to track 1 with it's repeated chorus over and over and over and over and over (you get it). "I'll follow you into the dark" is probably one of the sadddest songs on the album- which is weird. I read an interview where Ben said this song is a love song- but even when he writes a love song it's still depressing. It's about following your lover to purgatory. Track 6 spins the slow and dark mood around brought on by tacks 4 and 5 ,with it's upbeat acoustic guitar strumming and music accompanment! I think this song is about being a dreamer. Seeing and thinking about the possibilites of something that could happen if you made them. Maybe I'm hearing it wrong? Oh well, I still like it alot, and I really like the chorus.

Next is "Someday You'll be Loved" and is a song about moving on. Moving on from old relationships, referring to them as "bad dreams" and "a series of blurs" in the hopes that you will find someone- "your heart belongs to someone you have yet to meet"- A good solid track with mixed emotions- being sad yet having a hopeful outlook on the future. "Crooked Teeth" in my opinion is by far the most catchiest song on the album, and I totally love it. And for the most part I don't like really catchy songs. The song is clever, the chorus is catchy as hell, and the music is upbeat and great.

"What Sarah Said" on the other hand is quite depressing. With it's piano intro you can tell you are instore for a tear-jerker. It's about being in a waiting room at a hospital knowing the person you are waiting for is dying. Only bad thing I have to say about this song is that Ben uses the cliche "it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all" put in a different way. Cmon Ben, you are better than that. The last verse makes you think though "I'm thinking of what Sarah said: 'love is watching someone die', so who's gonna watch you die?" I wonder who's gonna watch me die =-/

At just over 6 minutes, "What Sarah Said" is the PERFECT lead into "Brothers in a Hotel Bed", who's last few words comprise the title. Probably the most beautiful song on the album (as described to me by their A&R Sam Riback), it's about getting older, both as a person and a lover. The second verse is probably my favorite verse on the entire album. The album should end there, but it doesn't. I don't think I've even listened to the last track enough to write about it. It's slow and mellow, but with track's 9 and 10 being both lengthy and slow/mellow, whyyyy would you put one last slow song. I don't even want to listen to it right now as I'm writing this. *hits the stop button at track 11*

So this album is not as good as Transatlanticism, or their older stuff, but I can accept that. They are nearing 30 years old, growing and broadening your music happens as you grow older. I noticed that Chris Walla was behind the piano ALOT for this album. I am going to see them in a few weeks and I probably won't even see what kind of pants Chris is wearing (not that I care what he's wearing). Also, Ben now has a girlfriend- which is the inspiration for cheerier songs such as "Soul Meets Body" and "I'll Follow You Into The Dark". All in all, it's a good album. I'd recommend listening to their olde stuff befor eyou jump into this-- unless you are one of those OC, trendy, mainstream media obsessed people- then get this and only this-- do not explore any independent music please. And if you love the Postal Service but never heard of Death Cab For Cutie, go to the nearest 10 story building, open the window, and jump out... or if you don't believe in suicide, just don't talk to me then.

Minus The Bear "Menos El Oso"

Minus The Bear "Menos El Oso"
released 8/23/05



I've been able to listen to this album for about 2 and a half weeks because I had a burned copy, but I am such a fan that I went out on Sunday and bought the album at Vintage Vinyl. Thanks to Jenn for letting me only spend $35 on the cd and the Death Cab For Cutie DVD instead of like 100 bucks (I love that place).

So anyway, for the most part, the album was inspired by a recent trip/tour in Spain. They loved it there. The booklet has all photos from the tour, most of the songs refer to places in Spain, even the album is "Minus The Bear" in Spanish. I have to say it is not as catchy as their last full length "Highly Refined Pirates" was, but the instrumentation was more technical. The album was produced almost entirely by Minus The Bear. All of the band members contributed to the album- Matt Bayles (synthesizer) mixed the entire album, Matt and Jake Snider (vocals, guitar) engineerd almost the entire album, David Knudson (guitar) designed the layout, and Cory and Erin (bass and drums) took all the photos for the album.

The album has a great opening track, very catchy but it's also pretty trippy. Track 2 has a great guitar riff and it's very upbeat and dancey. Track 3 starts to drag the album down because of it's length, but it is patented Minus The Bear lyrics and energy. The opening riff of "The Fix" drove me crazy and annoyed me for a while, but after a bunch of listens it grew on me. It grew on me alot. Now I can't wait for track 3 to end so I can hear it! Excellent guitar solo too, it's probably Dave- he is amazing! Track 5 is kind of a drag- it's mellow, and the lyrics/ theme of the song is so depressing. From how I interpret it, it's about a little girl who was murdered. It was written excellently, but still, that's a weird subject for a MTB song!

"Pachuca Sunrise" is one of the top 3 songs on this album. It is catchy, dancey, mellow, has great guitar riffs, and near perfect lyrics! Such a great song. "Michio's Death Drive" is very reminiscent of something you might hear on "Highly Refined Pirates", and this is one of the few tracks where you can really hear the synthesizer, instead of it being drowned out by the other instruments. Track 8 was the first song released on their myspace page, and I fell in love with this song. It's the 2nd most catchy song on the album, and again, great lyrics! It brings back memories of childhood. It has a great chorus and it makes me feel good when I hear it. Everytime I hear this song I can just picture a snow covered street with snowballs being thrown all over the place.

"Fulfill The Dream" really reminds me lyrically of "Lemurs man, lemurs" from "What I Know About Being Gigantic", and it's one of the louder/rockier tunes on the album. It also has a great guitar bridge. "The Pig War" is probably one of the most beautiful songs I've heard in a while. It's so simple, yet so moving! This one was definitely inspired by a night out on the Mediteranean during their stay in Spain. Everything about this song is perfect! "This Ain't A Surfin Movie" seemed lame to me at first, but it grew on me. The music/lyrics are sub-par for Minus The Bear, but I still like it alot, and the last verse has me shouting at the top of my lungs everytime-- "I know we won't want for much, it's just you and me and a bed and a shoreline!"
I was kind of disappointed by the lack of silly track titles that didn't make any sense, or didn't refer to the movie "Starship Troopers", but oh well.

Fav tracks- 1-The Game Needed Me, 2- Memphis & 53rd, 4- The Fix, 6- Pachuca Sunrise, 8- Hooray, 9- Fulfill The Dream, 10- The Pig War, 11- This Ain't A Surfin Movie

fans of Hot Hot Heat, Sharks Keep Moving, and Death Cab For Cutie will appreciate this album

Some Girls "The DNA Will Have It's Say"

Some Girls "The DNA Will Have It's Say"
released 5/10/05



Well, by the time I'm done typing this review I could have played this album twice. I've read lot's of reviews on this album, and no one commented on the fact that its a 7 song EP and clocks in at a little over 6 minutes. But coming from Three One G records, you know what to expect. Something fast, loud, angry... and fast. Some Girls is like a super group, containing members from The Locust, The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower, Give Up The Ghost, and Unbroken. Nothing really spectacular on this album, not to say it's not a solid EP. The vocals are shouted, not screamed. There's two singers, one of them is form the Locust, I'm not sure who the other singer is from- possibly Give Up The Ghost. Track 4 features the very sexy Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. If I had to skip around and pick favorite tracks (which isn't needed, its only six minutes for christ's sake) I'd start with track 4, then go to 1, 2, then 7... but they are all good. Too hard to distinguish the songs. I know when I hear Karen's screaching that it's half way through the CD.

If you like the Locust or Give Up The Ghost I would recommend this. It's not as noisy and weird as the Locust, it's more straight up hardcore.

Circa Survive "Juturna"

Circa Survive "Juturna"
released 4/19/05



This is the looong awaited debut album from Circa Survive on Equal Vision Records. As many people know, Anthony Green, the singer of Circa Survive, was the driving force behind his last band SAOSIN. The band made such HUGE waves in the music scene with just one 5 song EP. So, there was a tremendous buzz behind Circa Survive before the release of this album. It features ex-singer of Saosin as well as 2 members of the defunct THIS DAY FORWARD (equal vision records).

Now that you have an idea of how this band should sound... throw it out the window. This is hardly compariable to Saosin, and waaay on the other end of the "kickin ass" spectrum as This Day Forward. Way toned down from Saosin and This Day Forward. Not to say it doesn't have it's heavy moments, but even those could fit flawlessly in a Dashboard Confessional song. This is not what I would have expected, but it is no dissappointment. It still has Anthony's somewhat whiny, under-aged pitch to it that gave Saosin's singing moments their power. I don't believe there is any screaming on this album (think Saosin screaming) but there is some yelling, not the same, but it wasn't needed on "Juturna". The songs are powerful enough in themselves. The arraingment of the music is very intricate and groovy at points. This album is slick, that's all I can really say, it reminds me of a cd you put on when you're ready to be intimate with your lady friend. I know that sounds lame, but it's just got that "lets make love" vibe, not the "let's fuck!" vibe. Anthony also has an acoustic song, track 11. ... and stay tuned for the secret song at about 8 minutes in

Negative points about the album: 1) It's not as heavy as I would have hoped, I must admit I really do miss hearing Anthony's screaming voice, it was so perfect. 2) The album is lenghty and sometimes seems to drone on, I can't sit and listen to the whole album. 3) It took a few times around to warm up to the album

All around, it is a very solid debut from a band that will be growing across the country. So if you don't know Circa Survive, you better know them now before they blow up and you are accused of getting on the 'trendy train'

I saw them perform the day after the release at Vintage Vinyl in NJ, it was an excellent performance. Anthony got into it, but it was not as energetic as say,a Saosin performance would be, but it's not Saosin. I really need to stop comparing them to Saosin, they are not Saosin, and never will be again. I think this is what alot of fans are thinking too.... I got to see the guys from Equal Vision again at the show, which was cool. I was chattin with them, telling them I'm trying to be a publicist. Dan, the A&R guy, and the guy who basically runs the label, told me he'd send me the Weerd Science cd, which is Josh from Coheed and Cambria's side rap-project, but thats a different story. So the show was good, as energetic as it could be, and while the band packed up Anthony played his acoustic song, its was excellent!

When I put this cd in, I skip right to track 2, then 5, then I start it from the beginningStand Out Tracks- 1) Holding Someone's hair back, 2) Act Appalled, 4) The Glorious Nosebleed, 5) In Fear and Faith, 7) Stop The Fucking Car, 8) We're all Theives, 11) Meet me in Montauk


OK, SO I WROTE THIS REVIEW WHEN IT FIRST CAME OUT. AFTER MONTHS OF LISTENING TO IT, I CAN NOT STOP!!!! IT IS AMAZING... SO MUCH BETTER THAN SAOSIN WAS. I GOT TO MEET ANTHONY AT WARPED TOUR AND I TOLD HIM THAT CIRCA SURVIVE WAS THE ONLY BAND I CAME TO SEE (WHICH WAS TRUE) AND HE WAS FLATTERED... HE ALSO COMMENTED ON MY MINUS THE BEAR T-SHIRT

The Mars Volta "Frances The Mute"

The Mars Volta "Frances The Mute"
released 3/1/05



ok, so, if you are expecting to hear At The Drive-in because Cedric and Omar of ATDI are the frontmen of this band, then stop reading. There is soo much to say about this album, I don't even know if I can think of it all right now to put in this review. It's 77 minutes long, there's 5 "songs" put onto 11 tracks, 12 if you want to include the last song which is actually the first 50 seconds of the first track. But to be honest, this album could be considered one long 77 minute song because they flow so perfectly together that if the little track indicator number thingy on your cd player wasn't there you probably wouldn't notice the track changes

So as soon as you pick up this album you know you are in store for something you never heard before. The album cover is man driving a car with a red velvet bag over his head.. it has no band name or album name on the cover, if you didnt know what the album looked like you wouldnt know it was the Mars Volta's cd (as i experienced) You turn it over and it reads like a classical album's track listing, with each song being so long that its broken into segments. I was scared at first.

After my first listen I didn't dig it too much, but now I'm hooked. I knew this would be an album you would have to sit down and listen to fully and not just hear snippets in the car like I did at first. Lots of guest appearences on this album, a few very talented musicians who play Latin music, and Flea appears on this album too, but on trumpet this time. So, if you didnt know Omar and Cedric (Omar's brother is also in the Mars Volta lineup this time around) are Puerto Rican, and from El Paso TX, and their latin roots really show on this album; bringing in experienced Latin musicians, putting salsa grooves to many of the songs, and singing half the album's lyrics in spanish.

The vocals are great, Cedric's voice fits perfectly to the weird/trippiness of this album. Omar is basically one of the most talented guitarists and all around musicians, or person in fact, that I've seen in a while. He wrote and directed all the music of this album, and produced it as well. And his guitar playing and style are just amazing. Lots of production-- spacey synths and samples, and vocal modification (i don't know the technical term for it)

Now to the actual songs. Track 1 is 13 minutes long and is one hell of a song. It starts very soft, but once you hit 45 seconds into the song be prepared to be like "what the fuck?" It goes into some of the most sparatic music I've heard. Very funky. The album mellows out at track 2, but it's intensity comes back at track 3 which is my favorite of the album. It's sung mostly in spanish, but the guitar riffs and vocals are so fuckin catchy that I don't care if I can't understand what he's saying.... and the slow salsa breakdowns are incredible-- it makes me want to pick up a MENUDO cd (jk, nothing could make me want to do that) but it does really make me interested in hearing some real latin music. Track 4 "Miranda that ghost just isn't holy anymore" with it's 4 sections features Flea's trumpet playing skills and clocks in at a little over 13 minutes. The culmination of the album begins at track 5 and goes till track 12 and lasts for over 30 minutes total, so needless to say dont start track 5 unless you are willing to stay with it until the end, and when you do you will be very pleased that you did. Lots of time changes, musical style changes, and "freestyling" even though it was all composed anyway. It's the type of 'roller coaster ride' song that makes you want to get to the end so that you can start it over again.

This album was also inspired by a diary found by late bandmate Jeremy Ward. I just read that and figured I'd put that in here. So I'm sure I missed so much about this album because it's way too complex to analyze after only owning it for a day.

If I had to pick favorite tracks I'd say 3, 5, 7, 11... but just listen to the whole thing through

If you liked At The Drive-in and are ready to accept their break up and are ready to move on then you will like this album. Also, if you are a fan of Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin you will appreciate the music. As far as comparing it to an arist.... I can't do it

Death Cab For Cutie "The John Byrd EP"

Death Cab For Cutie "The John Byrd EP"
limited edition

First off, it's Death Cab For Cutie. This is a 7 track, 8 song EP (there are 2 songs on track 7) Anyway, this was mixed awesome, because these tracks were recorded from 3 different shows. If you didn't look at the inside booklet you wouldn't have known, it was really done well. I would've preferred other tracks on this ep, but oh well, it's still good. They were entertaining between songs, not too much talking and boredom, kept it flowing, which was good. My ideal 8 track Death Cab live cd would be as follows; 1- The New Year, 2- Title Track, 3- company calls epilogue, 4- 405, 5- Photobooth, 6- We Laugh Indoors, 7- Title and Registration, 8- for what reason-- 3 of these are on this ep, and I did get to see Death Cab perform all my songs when I went to see them in Oct. Track 5, We Looked Like Giants, is 7 mins and 33 seconds long, they go into a freestyle jam kinda during the interlude, very excellent. Track 7, Blacking out the friction/brand new love, is a medley. They break into Brand New Love mid-blacking out the friction. If you haven't seen Death Cab for Cutie and would like to hear them live then I'd say buy this cd... they are near perfect.

Favorite Tracks- 1. we laugh indoors, 2. why you'd want to live here, 4. photobooth, 6. 405, 7. blacking out the friction / brand new love

Bright Eyes "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning"

Bright Eyes "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning"
released 1/25/05



What can I say that hasn't been said about this album before? Probably not much. In the month of January you couldn't pick up a music magazine or a New York magazine without Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes being mentioned. This is the album I've been waiting 2 years for, since their last great full length release "Lifted, or the story is in the soil, keep your ear to the ground." There are alot of the same common Bright Eyes themes through this album such as God, measuring time, drug use, language, but this album has alot more political references than any other Bright Eyes release- possibly due to his appearence on that anti-Bush tour with Bruce Springstien. (which probably boosted his popularity and acceptance into mainstream magazines).

Anyways, back to the album. To me, it's not like any other Bright Eyes album I have heard before- the music isn't as experimental as it is on say "Fevers and Mirrors" or "Lifted..". I hate to say the songs sound the same, because they don't, but this release has the most similar sounding songs than any of the other releases. Not to say it's bad, because it is different than other releases in that he has embraced alot of his Midwestern influences, ie country music. People who have sat in my car with me who have never heard Bright Eyes before keep asking me if this is a country album, and of course I say "No way, it's Bright Eyes son".

The album begins with "At the bottom of everything" and a classic Bright Eyes intro that is weird, this one consisting of Conor telling a story about a plane trip gone arry. "We are nowhere and it's now", track 2, features guest vocals by Emmylou Harris. Track number 3, "Old Soul Song (for the new world order)", is about an anti-war protest Conor attended in NYC. Track 4 "Lua" is about a junkie ex-girlfriend and it's the slowest song on the album, with just Conor and his acoustic guitar. "Another traveling song", track 7, is a ho-down, knee-slapping, jug-blowing, kiss yer sister, straight outta Omaha country song.... and I love it! "Land Locked Blues" is a very mellow song featuring Emmylou Harris again, and it has a great quote "If you're still free start running away, because we're coming for you"- this quote only being one of many Bush bashing lyrics on this album. Track 10, "Road to Joy" uses the same melody from that song "Ode to Joy"- at the end they put a little rock n roll to it too. "I could have been a famous singer if I had someone else's voice, but failure's always sounded better- let's fuck it up boys, make some noise!" When I saw Bright Eyes, they closed with this one and after that line they really did fuck shit up- drums were being thrown, guitars were spread across the floor, symbols were being smashed, it was a great experience.

With all of his references to God I am still unsure if he believes in God or everything he says is just to mock people of faith, I don't even know. Listen to the album, there a few references to religion and God, I can't even tell.

Also, I bought this and "Digital Ash in a Digital Urn" at Vintage Vinyl the day before it came out and I recieved a limited pressing vinyl with new stuff on it, I think.. I haven't had a chance to listen to it.

Favorite tracks- 1- at the bottom of everything, 3- old soul song (for the new world order), 4- Lua, 6-first day of my life, 8- land locked blues ... but all of them are amazing. If you haven't head Bright Eyes ever before I'd say pick up "Fevors and Mirrors" or "Lifted..." before this one.

If you like Death Cab For Cutie, Johnny Cash, Rilo Kiley, or Cursive you'll like this album.

Conor Oberst has been called the greatest song-writer of our generation, and blah blah blah- there was so much riding on these 2 albums he released by all the mainstream media magazines that I don't think we'll be hearing from him for a while. I think Conor will just lay low until he's forgotten about and then he'll be free to make music without the fear of becomming the new savior of music- somehow I see him not wanting any of this attention he's been getting. He's still on Saddle-Creek, I'm sure he got lot's of offers and I'm glad he didn't accept them.

Zolof The Rock And Roll Destroyer "The Popsicle EP"

Zolof The Rock And Roll Destroyer "The Popsicle EP"
released 9/16/04



By the name it sounds like the album cover should have a diesel greek god smashing the shit out of a monster with an axe shaped like a guitar, but in actuality the album cover should really look like the powerpuff girls fighting mojo jojo. This album is so damn pop that I LOVE it!! It's so friggin cute, I can't even describe it. I swear, music hasn't made me smile in a while, and if this album doesn't make you smile then you must be the most depressed person in the world. Its lead by a female vocalist, and has lots of keyboard/synthesizer. Awesome lyrics you don't have to think hard about to interpret and great music to go along. Track 4 by far is the poppiest song I've heard in a long time and I love it. Track 1 is still my favorite because it's about sex and has my favorite lyric "you're so cute and put out too". This band sounds like a japanese techno-pop group playing synth-indie-pop music, i dunno, it's weird but it totally works.

Fans of Red Hot Valentines and Aqua (the Barbie Girl song) will like this album

Stand out tracks- #1. argh.... I'm a pirate, #2. this was all a bad idea, #3. oh william, #4 crazy= cute

Hot Water Music "New What Next"

Hot Water Music "New What Next"
released 9/21/04



I've been a HWM fan for a few years and I have to say this is my favorite release of theirs. Alot of people will laugh at that, but I think it's great. From the first second when you hear Chuck inhale for a deep, cigarette scarred breathe, you know its HWM, and it will rock. It's a little more melodic than their other releases, and theres even singing, weird. But it sounds great, you still get the roghness of Chuck's voice. The only reason I would smoke cigarettes is to be able to sing like him. Theres a few things that suprised me about this album, like track 5 has a funky baseline. All in all, most HWM fans don't like this album, and if you have never heard them I'd say get this one first to ease yourself into the older material. I give this one 2 thumbs way up

For fans on Gunmoll, Alkaline Trio, Bouncing Souls

Stand out tracks- #1. Keep it together, #2. End of the line, #3. Bottomless seas, #5. Ebb and flow, #6. monkey wrench, #7. Under everything, #8. ink and lead, #10. early grace

The Velvet Teen "Elysium"

The Velvet Teen "Elysium"
released 8/3/2004



Alternative Press gave this album a bad review but fuck that, I like this album. Bands are allowed to evolve and they have. A new drummer, a new sound. They have traded in their guitar driven tracks for all piano/keyboard tracks. The album clocks in just over 45 minutes but theres only 8 tracks, and the last track is 1:30, so as you can see there are some long songs. Track #4 is just under 13 minutes! If you like long, melodic, piano driven, catchy songs then you'll dig this album. The booklet is really weird. It has random pictures and the lyrics are printed on them but in a clear ink so you have to tilt it so the light hits it right. It's creative but a pain in the ass. Track #3 reminds me of a Bjork song. Tracks #2 and #3 are the best ones on this album.

Fans of Bjork, Death Cab for Cutie, and Karate will like this album

Stand out tracks: #2. Penicillin (it doesn't mean much), #3. A captive audience, #4. Chimera Obscurant, #5. Poor Celine, #7. We were bound (to bend the rules)

Bjork "Medulla"

Bjork "Medulla"
released 8/31/04



I love Bjork. She is so good, very weird, but always moving forward and ahead with her music. The Icelandic Choir makes appearances on 6 tracks, and the London choir performs on one track, so you gotta expect some great back up vocals... and it lives up to expectations, and beyond. There are some very weird tracks, but that's Bjork for you. One song is sung in Icelandinc, so you can learn something and be entertained. Great lyrics, a little out there though. Best lyrics on "Constellation" and "Oceania". Get your groove on on track 14, reminds me of "Hyper-ballad"

Stand out tracks- #1. pleasure is all mine, #3. where is the line, #4. vokuro (Icelandic song), #6. who is it (carry my joy on the left, carry my pain on the right), #8. constellation, #9. oceania, #12. mouth's cradle, #14. triumph of a heart

It's Bjork, I can't compare her to anyone.. if you don't know who she is then smack yo-self

Quantice Never Crashed "Quantice Never Crashed"

Quantice Never Crashed "Quantice Never Crashed"
released 10/26/04



Aside from being my younger brothers band, i fuckin love this band! The music is great and intense. The song writing and lyrics are great, it's just a solid hardcore album. I love Philly, the singer's, voice; He's got alot of power behind those young vocal chords. The guitars are technical, and i love the transitions between heavy to mellowness of the songs.

Fans of Hope Conspiracy, Hot Cross, and Thursday will dig them

Stand out tracks- #1 The physical setting of a dream (instrumental), #2 WIlliam Shatner's powergun, #3 paper airplanes, #4 shaolin casonova, #5 and 6- Any port in the storm and Lighthouses #7 Running Man, #9 good to the last drop, #10 Two bullets and a gun

Hot Snakes "Audit In Progress"

Hot Snakes "Audit In Progress"
released 10/5/04



I heard good things about this band, and bought the cd based on those words. Its a straight forward rockin cd with an artsy, garagey rock sound to it. The music is simplistic yet stupendous. (That sounds gay, I was trying to sound clever). It's just a very catchy punk rock cd. Their artsyness comes out on songs like "Kreative Kontrol" with lyrics like "I'd drink piss for Kreative Kontrol, I'd cut off my dick for kreative kontrol" You can tell they wanted to have total control of this album =-P Also, the singer (i believe it's the singer) is in Rocket From The Crypt

Fans of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will dig this album

Stand out Tracks- .1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10

Blood Brothers "Crimes"

Blood Brothers "Crimes"
released 10/12/04



At first I thought this album rocked, but the 3rd song mellowed out the album. After a first listen i was disappointed, I thought "Where did the crazyness of these motherfuckers go?" True, I believe this album is a lot more toned down than their other releases, but this is my favorite. I'm all more artist's maturing, but only when they are still making great releases, and this is an example of that. It's a very diverse album that goes from harsh guitars and shrieking vocals to singing and clean guitars. The shrieks are ear shattering but I love it. It is a very solid diverse album, thats all I can say. Listen to it a few times if you didn't like it at first.

Fans of Fear before the march of flames, Arab on Radar, and Hot Cross will enjoy this album

Favorite Tracks- #1 feed me to the forest, #2 trash flavored trash, #3 love rhymes with hideous car wreck, #4 peacock skeleton with crooked feathers, #6 rats and rats and rats for candy, .# crimes, #8 my first kiss at the public execution, #9 live at the apocalypse cabaret, #10 beatiful horses, #13 devastator