viernes, 25 de diciembre de 2009

Alice In Chains - Jar Of Flies (1994)

Written and recorded in about a week, Jar of Flies solidified Alice in Chains' somewhat bizarre pattern of alternating full-length hard rock albums with mostly acoustic, ballad-oriented EPs. That quirk aside, Jar of Flies is a low-key stunner, achingly gorgeous and harrowingly sorrowful all at once. In a way, it's a logical sequel to Dirt -- despite the veneer of calm, the songs' voices still blame only themselves. But where Dirt found catharsis in its unrelenting darkness and depravity, Jar of Flies is about living with the consequences, full of deeply felt reflections on loneliness, self-imposed isolation, and lost human connections. The mood is still hopelessly bleak, but the poignant, introspective tone produces a sense of acceptance that's actually soothing, in a funereal sort of way. Jerry Cantrell's arrangements keep growing more detailed and layered; while there are a few noisy moments, most of Jar of Flies is bathed in a clean, shimmering ambience whose source is difficult to pin down, but is well served by Cantrell's varied guitar tones and even occasional string arrangements. And coming on the heels of Dirt, the restraint and subtlety of Jar of Flies are nothing short of revelatory -- though it was written and recorded in about a week, it feels much more crafted and textured than Sap. Perhaps Jar of Flies would have gotten more credit if it had been a full-length album; as it stands, the EP is a leap forward and a major work in the Alice in Chains catalog. Source: [AMG]

Alice In Chains - No Excuses

Track Listing
1. Rotten Apple
2. Nutshell
3. I Stay Away
4. No Excuses
5. Whale & Wasp
6. Don't Follow
7. Swing on This


domingo, 20 de diciembre de 2009

Bis - Social Dancing (1999)

As Bis' career progressed, the band's music changed ever so slightly. (Somehow, the word "mature" seems singularly inappropriate as far as this trio is concerned.) The D.I.Y.-punk influences faded into the background as kandy-colored, trashy new wave-dance roots took hold. Simultaneously, the bandmembers' calls for Teen C Power rescinded, leaving them without any message, genuine or manufactured, outside of pop music and fun (or something along those lines). Nevertheless, when it came time to record its second album, Social Dancing, Bis teamed with producer Andy Gill, best known as part of the socialist post-punk band Gang of Four. Following its transformation from a band of underground activists to Casio-driven bubblegum practitioners, Bis turned into the kind of group that would have been in direct opposition to Gang of Four in the early '80s -- all the more ironic, since Gill's production makes Social Dancing sound uncannily like a period piece. That turns out to be a blessing, since his shiny retro sounds make the album go down, even when the trio's kiddie choruses deteriorate from charming to annoying. Consequently, the record is more cohesive than the band's debut, but it never feels relevant -- and at one point, that's what Bis was all about. Arriving at the tail end of Brit-pop, Bis' first EPs seemed fresh, original, part of a new zeitgeist. But since that zeitgeist was all about youth -- and the fact that the members of Bis were teenagers pining for the golden age of elementary school -- sealed the fate for the trio; Bis was of the moment in 1996, and when that year was gone, the band would never again sound hip or relevant. To their credit, they figured out how to move on, entrenching themselves within new wave, and they have made an album that's pretty entertaining. But that triumph is compromised somewhat by the fact that the album ultimately sounds as good and is as substantive as a Haysi Fantayzee record. Source: [AMG]

Bis - Eurodisco

Track Listing
1. Making People Normal
2. I'm a Slut
3. Eurodisco
4. Action and Drama
5. Theme from Tokyo
6. The Hit Girl
7. Am I Loud Enough?
8. Shopaholic
9. Young Alien Types
10. Detour
11. Sale or Return
12. It's All New
13. Listen Up


domingo, 13 de diciembre de 2009

The Chemical Brothers - Exit Planet Dust (1995)

The former Dust Brothers make oblique reference to litigation averted on their debut full-length. The Chemical Brothers' sound is big on bombast, replete with screeching guitar samples and lots of sirens and screaming divas. A breakthrough album of sorts, Exit Planet Dust was, upon its release, one of the few European post-techno albums to make any sort of headway into the stateside market. Source: [AMG]

The Chemical Brothers - Chemical Beats

Track Listing
1. Leave Home
2. In Dust We Trust
3. Song to the Siren
4. Three Little Birdies Down Beats
5. Fuck Up Beats
6. Chemical Beats
7. Chico's Groove
8. One Too Many Mornings
9. Life Is Sweet
10. Playground for a Wedgeless Firm
11. Alive Alone


domingo, 6 de diciembre de 2009

The Lazy Cowgirls - Ragged Soul (1995)

Ragged Soul was the first album in five years from the Lazy Cowgirls, and from the first blast of D.D. Weekday's guitar on "I Can't Be Satisfied" it's obvious that this band was ready to make up for lost time. Against all odds, Ragged Soul sounds like the band's best album ever; the twin-guitar punch of Weekday and Michael Leigh offers plenty of kick with no clutter, the rhythm section (Leonard Keringer on bass and Ed Huerta on drums) drives the songs forward without crowding anyone in the process, and Pat Todd proves he's one of the greatest unsung frontmen in rock, pouring out fire and passion on every cut. The material is top shelf, too, especially the bitterly anthemic "Frustration, Tragedy and Lies" and "Bought Your Lies." Tough, furious, loud and proud -- Ragged Soul is roots-smart old-school punk at its finest. Source: [AMG]

The Lazy Cowgirls - Who You Callin' A Slut

Track Listing
1. I Can't Be Satisfied
2. Much Too Slow
3. Frustration, Tragedy and Lies
4. Who You Callin' a Slut
5. Everything You Heard About Me Is True
6. Never Got the Chance
7. Too Much - One More Time
8. Time and Money
9. Another Long Goodbye
10. Now That You're Down One Me
11. I Can Almost Remember
12. Still on the Losin' Side (A.K.A. Snake Eyes)
13. Take It as It Comes
14. Bought Your Lies


sábado, 28 de noviembre de 2009

Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral (1994)

The Downward Spiral positioned Trent Reznor as industrial's own Phil Spector, painting detailed, layered soundscapes from a wide tonal palette. Not only did he fully integrated the crashing metal guitars of Broken, but several newfound elements — expanded song structures, odd time signatures, shifting arrangements filled with novel sounds, tremendous textural variety — can be traced to the influence of progressive rock. So can the painstaking attention devoted to pacing and contrast — The Downward Spiral is full of striking sonic juxtapositions and sudden about-faces in tone, which make for a fascinating listen. More important than craft in turning Reznor into a full-fledged rock star, however, was his brooding persona. Grunge had the mainstream salivating over melodramatic angst, which had always been Reznor's stock in trade. The left-field hit "Closer" made him a postmodern shaman for the '90s, obsessed with exposing the dark side he saw behind even the most innocuous façades. In fact, his theatrics on The Downward Spiral — all the preening self-absorption and serpentine sexuality — seemed directly descended from Jim Morrison. Yet Reznor's nihilism often seemed like a reaction against some repressively extreme standard of purity, so the depravity he wallowed in didn't necessarily seem that depraved. That's part of the reason why, in spite of its many virtues, The Downward Spiral falls just short of being the masterpiece it wants to be. For one thing, fascination with texture occasionally dissolves the hooky songwriting that fueled Pretty Hate Machine. But more than that, Reznor's unflinching bleakness was beginning to seem like a carefully calibrated posture; his increasing musical sophistication points up the lyrical holding pattern. Having said that, the album ends on an affecting emotional peak — "Hurt" mingles drama and introspection in a way Reznor had never quite managed before. It's evidence of depth behind the charisma that deservedly made him a star. Source: [AMG]

Nine Inch Nails - March Of The Pigs

Track Listing
1. Mr. Self Destruct
2. Piggy (Nothing Can Stop Me Now)
3. Heresy
4. March of the Pigs
5. Closer
6. Ruiner
7. The Becoming
8. I Do Not Want This
9. Big Man With a Gun
10. A Warm Place
11. Eraser
12. Reptile
13. The Downward Spiral
14. Hurt


lunes, 23 de noviembre de 2009

Redd Kross - Born Innocent (1981)

Originally issued in 1982, Born Innocent was the debut full-length release from Redd Kross, a band of suburban L.A. youth fronted by brothers Jeff (guitar, vocals) and Steve McDonald (bass). Aged 18 and 14, respectively, the aspiring punks are aided and abetted here by rhythm guitarist Tracy Lee and drummers Janet Housden and John Stielow as they attack these 16 songs with all the patience of over-stimulated teens and all the subtlety of a slasher flick. The average song length falls below the two-minute mark, during which time Jeff McDonald's whine is rarely coherent above the clamor of his band's brutal rock assault. The punk negation of titles like "Kill Someone You Hate," "Look up at the Bottom," and "Notes and Chords Mean Nothing to Me" couldn't be more appropriate descriptions for this music. "Solid Gold" is a slice of dislocated blues while "St. Lita Ford Blues" disintegrates from a stop-start punk party (complete with jubilant screams) to a raucous three-chord blur. Included for good measure are tributes to both actress Linda Blair ("Linda Blair") and serial killer Charles Manson ("Charlie" and a cover of Manson's own "Cease to Exist"). Though subsequent releases found Redd Kross cleaning up their act, this debut captures them in all their youthful glory; documenting the sound of the McDonalds and company unleashed on an unsuspecting set of guitars, bass, and drums. Source: [AMG]

Redd Kross - Linda Blair

Track Listing
1. Linda Blair
2. White Trash
3. Everyday There's Someone New
4. Solid Gold
5. Burn-Out
6. Charlie
7. Tatum O'Tot and the Fried Vegetables
8. St. Lita Ford Blues
9. Self Respect
10. Pseudo-Intellectual
11. Kill Someone You Hate
12. Look on up at the Bottom
13. Cellulite
14. I'm Alright
15. Cease to Exist
16. Notes and Chords Mean Nothing to Me


sábado, 14 de noviembre de 2009

Pavement - Wowee Zowee (1995)

With its vast array of musical styles, Wowee Zowee isn't as accessible as Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain or as immediate as the bracing, noisy pop of Slanted & Enchanted. Pavement never abandon their warped pop aesthetic, they simply expand it, incorporating elements of folk-rock, English music hall, soul, jazz, country, as well as adding asides to such contemporaries as Suede ("We Dance"), Ween ("Brinx Job"), and Stereolab ("Half a Canyon"). Alternating between majestic epics like "Grounded" and ragged narratives like "Rattled by the Rush" and "Father to a Sister of Thought," to song fragments like "Brinx Job" and the punkish "Serpentine Pad," the record might seem disjointed at first. After repeated listens, the songs play off each other, creating a dense collage of '90s rock & roll that recasts the past and present into one rich, kaleidoscopic, and blissfully cryptic world view. Source: [AMG]

Pavement - Rattled By The Rush

Track Listing
1. We Dance
2. Rattled by the Rush
3. Black Out
4. Brinx Job
5. Grounded
6. Serpentine Pad
7. Motion Suggests
8. Father to a Sister of Thought
9. Extradition
10. Best Friends Arm
11. Grave Architecture
12. AT & T
13. Flux = Rad
14. Fight This Generation
15. Kennel District
16. Pueblo
17. Half a Canyon
18. Western Homes


domingo, 8 de noviembre de 2009

Helmet - Betty (1994)

With the corporate rock cognoscenti frothing at the mouth to sign the next Nirvana, in 1991 a seemingly "nerdy" band from New York by the name of Helmet was about to set the world on fire -- at least on paper. Seemingly overnight, the Amphetamine Reptile faves had a fat check in their pockets and an astounding major-label debut by the name of Meantime. Eschewing Cobain's neo-punk/power pop instincts, Helmet opted instead for a more a minimalist approach, whereby rhythmic tension over 4/4 melodies reigned supreme. Now poised to step into their role as future darlings of a sound that can only be described as bludgeoning aggro-punk-atonal-rock, the band was propelled by a massive hype campaign and heralded as East Coast tastemakers du jour. But for all its accolades (mostly well-deserved), Meantime's commercial success sadly fell short of expectations and, by 1994, Helmet was giving it another try with Betty -- its second effort for Interscope. Label pressure notwithstanding, Betty had a lot more riding on it than even perhaps Hamilton was willing to admit. Lacking some of the tightly focused ferocity of Meantime, Betty appears to be an almost too well-thought-out affair and, ultimately, its songs miss out on some of the discreet melodic accents that had served to underpin even the most bludgeoning noise-fests on Meantime. Songs like "Wilma's Rainbow," "Biscuits for Smut," and especially "Milquetoast" have their moments, but don't quite live up to expectations. And although Helmet's tuned down, stop-go-stop dynamic (originally pioneered by New Yorkers Prong) would go on to influence hundreds of up-and-coming acts, their complete lack of image or star quality (a key ingredient to Cobain's magnetism, as much as he himself despised it) would play a major role in eventually doing them in. Betty initiated a commercial spiral for the quartet that not even the return to form and progress displayed by 1997's massive sounding Aftertaste could reverse. Source: [AMG]

Helmet - Milquetoast

Track Listing
1. Wilma's Rainbow
2. I Know
3. Biscuits for Smut
4. Milquetoast
5. Tic
6. Rollo
7. Street Crab
8. Clean
9. Vaccination
10. Beautiful Love
11. Speechless
12. The Silver Hawaiian
13. Overrated
14. Sam Hell


martes, 3 de noviembre de 2009

The Devil Dogs - Saturday Night Fever (1994)

New York garage punk trio the Devil Dogs could usually be counted on for consistency, but 1994's Saturday Night Fever is a hair below most of their other albums in the entertainment department. Most of the problem is in the production, which takes that fatal half-step from authentically raunchy lo-fi to just plain bad: most of the record sounds like it was recorded at the bottom of a fairly deep well. Even aside from that, however, there are fewer of the Devil Dogs' great snotty pop-punk classics, and too many songs sound like half-hearted rewrites of what had come before. Although it has a fun early-'60s pop parody feel to it, "Get On Your Knees" isn't much more than a rewrite of "Suck the Dog," the early Devil Dogs' slice of punk misogyny later recorded by both Billy Childish and the Italian punks the Singing Dogs. One highlight is a swell cover of Gene Pitney's "Backstage," but too much of the rest of the album is simply passable at best. Source: [AMG]

The Devil Dogs - Once Around The Block / C'mon Little Baby

Track Listing
1. Big Fuckin Party (Pt. 1)
2. Dance With You Baby
3. Gonna Be My Girl
4. Once Around the Block
5. I Don't Believe You
6. Backstage
7. Back in the City
8. 6th Ave. Local
9. It's Not Easy
10. Sweet Like Wine
11. Stuck in 3rd Gear
12. Alright!
13. Big Fuckin Party (Reprise)
14. Get on Your Knees
15. Hellraiser
16. Burnin' Love
17. So Young
18. Long Gone


jueves, 29 de octubre de 2009

The Dirtys - You Should Be Sinnin' (1997)

With nothing else to do in Port Huron, Michigan except drink, listen to the Stooges and start a bottle breaking, obnoxious rock troupe. At least that was the case for Screamin' Joe Burdick (bass/ vocals), Nick Lloyd (drums), Larry TerBush (guitar/ vocals) and Marc Watt (guitar) when they got together The Dirtys in early 1996. Known for their destructive stage presence and getting themselves banned from the occasional bar, Crypt Records took a liking to these guys and released their first album You Should Be Sinnin' in 1997. The Dirtys attempt to resurrect the spirit of classic rock & roll on You Should Be Sinnin'..., fusing Chuck Berry-esque riffs with considerable bad-boy attitude for maximum raunch. Source: [AMG]

Track Listing
1. Midnite Till Noon
2. I'm on Fire
3. Rock It Out Tonight!
4. Alive
5. Born to Lose, Live to Win
6. I Ain't Cheatin'
7. Grind Baby Grind
8. Shanty
9. Sex Pain
10. Dirtys Boogie
11. You Should Be Packin' Mama
12. Pistol Packin' Mama
13. You Belong to Me
14. Ain't She Sweet
15. Drink, Fight...Fuck!


miércoles, 21 de octubre de 2009

Pizzicato Five - Made In USA (1994)

Although it's not billed as such, Pizzicato Five's stateside debut, Made in USA, is actually a compilation of tracks from their 15 or so albums. You need a taste for irreverent sampling and ironic deconstruction of lightweight pop idioms to dig this. But within that narrow field, Pizzicato Five are as good as it gets. They devise fare that's both funky and funny, made more human than most such projects by Maki Nomiya's fetching vocals. Source: [AMG]

Pizzicato Five - Magic Carpet Ride

Track Listing
1. I
2. Sweet Soul Revue
3. Magic Carpet Ride
4. Readymade FM
5. Baby Love Child
6. Twiggy Twiggy/Twiggy Vs. James Bond [mix]
7. This Year's Girl #2
8. I Wanna Be Like You
9. Go Go Dancer
10. Catchy
11. Peace Music


lunes, 12 de octubre de 2009

Soundgarden - Superunknown (1994)

Soundgarden's finest hour, Superunknown is a sprawling, 70-minute magnum opus that pushes beyond any previous boundaries. Soundgarden had always loved replicating Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath riffs, but Superunknown's debt is more to mid-period Zep's layered arrangements and sweeping epics. Their earlier punk influences are rarely detectable, replaced by surprisingly effective appropriations of pop and psychedelia. Badmotorfinger boasted more than its fair share of indelible riffs, but here the main hooks reside mostly in Chris Cornell's vocals; accordingly, he's mixed right up front, floating over the band instead of cutting through it. The rest of the production is just as crisp, with the band achieving a huge, robust sound that makes even the heaviest songs sound deceptively bright. But the most important reason Superunknown is such a rich listen is twofold: the band's embrace of psychedelia, and their rapidly progressing mastery of songcraft. Soundgarden had always been a little mind-bending, but the full-on experiments with psychedelia give them a much wider sonic palette, paving the way for less metallic sounds and instruments, more detailed arrangements, and a bridge into pop (which made the eerie ballad "Black Hole Sun" an inescapable hit). That blossoming melodic skill is apparent on most of the record, not just the poppier songs and Cornell-penned hits; though a couple of drummer Matt Cameron's contributions are pretty undistinguished, they're easy to overlook, given the overall consistency. The focused songwriting allows the band to stretch material out for grander effect, without sinking into the pointlessly drawn-out muck that cluttered their early records. The dissonance and odd time signatures are still in force, though not as jarring or immediately obvious, which means that the album reveals more subtleties with each listen. It's obvious that Superunknown was consciously styled as a masterwork, and it fulfills every ambition. Source: [AMG]

Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun

Track Listing
1. Let Me Drown
2. My Wave
3. Fell on Black Days
4. Mailman
5. Superunknown
6. Head Down
7. Black Hole Sun
8. Spoonman
9. Limo Wreck
10. The Day I Tried to Live
11. Kickstand
12. Fresh Tendrils
13. 4th of July
14. Half
15. Like Suicide
16. She Likes Surprises

[Download Part 1]
[Download Part 2]

domingo, 27 de septiembre de 2009

The Verve - Urban Hymns (1997)

Not long after the release of A Northern Soul, the Verve imploded due to friction between vocalist Richard Ashcroft and guitarist Nick McCabe. It looked like the band had ended before reaching its full potential, which is part of the reason why their third album, Urban Hymns -- recorded after the pair patched things up in late 1996 -- is so remarkable. Much of the record consists of songs Ashcroft had intended for a solo project or a new group, yet Urban Hymns unmistakably sounds like the work of a full band, with its sweeping, grandiose soundscapes and sense of purpose. The Verve have toned down their trancy, psychedelic excursions, yet haven't abandoned them -- if anything, they sound more muscular than before, whether it's the trippy "Catching the Butterfly" or the pounding "Come On." These powerful, guitar-drenched rockers provide the context for Ashcroft's affecting, string-laden ballads, which give Urban Hymns its hurt. The majestic "Bitter Sweet Symphony" and the heartbreaking, country-tinged "The Drugs Don't Work" are an astonishing pair, two anthemic ballads that make the personal universal, thereby sounding like instant classics. They just are the tip of the iceberg -- "Sonnet" is a lovely, surprisingly understated ballad, "The Rolling People" has a measured, electric power, and many others match their quality. Although it may run a bit too long for some tastes, Urban Hymns is a rich album that revitalizes rock traditions without ever seeming less than contemporary. It is the album the Verve have been striving to make since their formation, and it turns out to be worth all the wait. Source: [AMG]

The Verve - Lucky Man

Track Listing
1. Bittersweet Symphony
2. Sonnet
3. The Rolling People
4. The Drugs Don't Work
5. Catching the Butterfly
6. Neon Wilderness
7. Space and Time
8. Weeping Willow
9. Lucky Man
10. One Day
11. This Time
12. Velvet Morning
13. Come On/Deep Freeze

[Download Part 1]
[Download Part 2]

sábado, 12 de septiembre de 2009

The Posies - Amazing Disgrace (1996)

The Posies let their true power pop colors fly but with a tougher edge by steeping the songs on their fourth album in punk rock and '70s metal. "Throwaway" is a big guitar rocker with a harmonious chorus — the kind that became the band's calling card. The band invited Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander to sing along on "Hate Song." Unfortunately, the elder pair's charms were lost in the mix, though "Daily Mutilation" would be a good choice of cover for their own band. "Everybody Is a Fucking Liar" takes a trip back in time with its histrionic guitar parts. Naturally, "Grant Hart" and "Broken Record" are punk rock. "Song #1" and "Will You Ever Ease Your Mind?" are the kind of gorgeous pop songs on which the band grew their reputation. Whether they tackle punk, hard rock, or soft rock, the Posies' brand of songcraft is extraordinary, though, sadly, it would appear this was their swan song. Source: [AMG]

The Posies - Daily Mutilation

Track Listing
1. Daily Mutilation
2. Ontario
3. Throwaway
4. Please Return It
5. Hate Song
6. Precious Moments
7. Fight It (If You Want)
8. Everybody Is a Fucking Liar
9. World
10. Grant Hart
11. Broken Record
12. The Certainity
13. Song #1
14. ¿Will You Ever Ease Your Mind?
15. Terrorized


martes, 1 de septiembre de 2009

Girls Against Boys - Cruise Yourself (1994)

Having fully made their case with Venus Luxure, Girls Against Boys kept on course with the equally fine Cruise Yourself. The hints of lounge and Vegas were even more explicit here -- the cocktail artwork on the CD, the fact that one particularly bitter number is called "My Martini." Again, though, these weren't the gauche clichés of characters like Combustible Edison, but signposts of a vicious, cutting quality in lyrics and music. McCloud's purring rasp again serves as one of the band's chief qualities, perfectly suited to the sassy, snarling burn of songs like "Cruise Your New Baby Fly Self" and "The Royal Lowdown." Though backing vocals aren't specifically credited, it's Janney adding the high parts here and there, such as the effectively creepy chorus of "Explicitly Yours." Ted Niceley and Janney once again handle the production/engineering combination, and, unsurprisingly, the whole album is a tightly wound effort that sounds like it's going to explode every second. In an interesting switch, and a demonstration of the band's increasing reach, Temple took over the duties with the sampler, while Janney concentrated not only on his own bass work, but organ and vibes as well. "Kill the Sexplayer" was the arguable standout, and while again many critics saw McCloud's slurring sneer as being the new incarnation of Mark E. Smith, that's a lazy connection. McCloud's singing oozes its own attitude, while the band isn't reinventing art/rockabilly as much as finding its own fast, bass-led charge. Certainly, though, the German motorik touches both bands share have their place on Cruise Yourself -- half the time on "Psychic Know-How," Fleisig is laying down a smart Krautrock chug and both Temple and Janney are right there with him, especially with Janney's keyboard glaze. And at one point -- "From Now On" -- McCloud's distorted rasp does for once sound exactly like the Mancunian master. Source: [AMG]

Girls Against Boys - (I) Don't Got A Place

Track Listing
1. Tucked-In
2. Cruise Your New Baby Fly Self
3. Kill the Sexplayer
4. (I) Don't Got a Place
5. Psychic Know-How
6. Explicitly Yours
7. From Now On
8. Raindrop
9. The Royal Lowdown
10. My Martini
11. Glazed-Eye


lunes, 24 de agosto de 2009

VV.AA. - Revolution Come And Gone (1992)

Nirvana - The Money Will Roll Right In

Track Listing
1. Tad - Jinx
2. Six Finger Satellite - Weapon
3. Rein Sanction - Creel
4. Beat Happening - Revolution Come and Gone
5. Thw Walkabouts - Maggie's Farm
6. Truly - Heart and Lungs
7. Mudhoney - The Money Will Roll Right In
8. Supersuckers - Caliente
9. Reverend Horton Heat - Marijuana
10. The Dwarves - Fuck Em All
11. Bullet Lavolta - Rails
12. Green Magnet School - Throb
13. Hole - Dicknail
14. Steven Jesse Bernstein - No No Man Pt. 2
15. Seaweed - Baggage
16. The Monkeywrench - Call My Body Home
17. Afghan Whigs - Miles Iz Ded
18. Love Battery - Foot
19. Codeine - Cracked in Two
20. Mark Lanegan - Woe
21. Earth - A Bureaucratic Desire for Revenge, Pt. 1

[Download Pt. 1]
[Download Pt. 2]

miércoles, 19 de agosto de 2009

Buffalo Tom - Big Red Letter Day (1993)

Buffalo Tom proved that their palate was a lot broader and their reach a lot farther than anyone might have expected on Let Me Come Over, and while the following year's Big Red Letter Day didn't show the same sort of growth, it also proved the band hadn't forgotten any of their tricks along the way. Big Red Letter Day sounds a bit poppier than it's immediate predecessor, though that seems largely a function of the production by the Robb Brothers, which features a bit more body and a significant amount more gloss than the leaner, cleaner tone of Let Me Come Over, and to these ears the strong, infectious melodies of the songs (and the tight ensemble playing by the group) hold up well to such treatment. And while the palpable angst of Let Me Come Over was obviously sincere but a wee bit samey by the end of that album, Big Red Letter Day cuts back on the rueful self-examination just a bit, and the hopefulness of "Dry Land" and "Anything That Way" was a welcome touch from a band that often had a hard time embracing their happiness. Unlike their last two albums, Big Red Letter Day didn't display much in the way of unexpected new sides to Buffalo Tom -- it just found them doing what they do very well indeed, and anyone who loves the band will enjoy this record. Souce: [AMG]

Buffalo Tom - I'm Allowed

Track Listing
1. Soda Jerk
2. I'm Allowed
3. Tree House
4. Would Not Be Denied
5. Latest Monkey
6. My Responsibility
7. Dry Land
8. Torch Singer
9. Late at Night
10. Suppose
11. Anything That Way


jueves, 13 de agosto de 2009

Dinosaur Jr. - Without A Sound (1994)

J Mascis fired longtime drummer Murph before the recording of Without a Sound, which came as a surprise to Murph. Naturally, the change in personnel hasn't changed Dinosaur Jr.'s sound much; the only difference between Without a Sound and Where You Been is a more pronounced country leaning (particularly on the album's high point, the rollicking "I Don't Think So") and shorter, more concise performances. What hasn't changed are the overpowering fuzz tones of Mascis' guitar, which tend to hide his more expressive vocals; it also makes digging out the gems on this album a little more difficult than necessary. Source: [AMG]

Dinosaur Jr. - Feel The Pain

Track Listing
1. Feel the Pain
2. I Don't Think So
3. Yeah Right
4. Outta Hand
5. Grab It
6. Even You
7. Mind Glow
8. Get Out of This
9. On the Brink
10. Seemed Like the Thing to Do
11. Over Your Shoulder


jueves, 6 de agosto de 2009

Sugar - Beaster (1993)

Sugar's Beaster is actually outtakes from their previous dynamite album, Copper Blue. It comes off as some kind of deranged, ugly sister of that sparking album, a yin to Copper's yang, a violent, angry, and seething wall of aggression with (this time) little concession to Bob Mould's pop prowess. Perhaps the most densely recorded, heavy trip the man has produced since Hüsker Dü's Metal Circus in 1983, Beaster is what you might get if Mould had been in the mood to construct a full album of songs like "Slick"'s insanity instead of "Helpless" and "Changes"'s monster hooks. Not that it doesn't still make for great listening once one gets used to the change in focus. "Feeling Better" could have made Copper, with its hooky base (more so than the others here), and the best song, "Titled," is ferocious, fast, furious, and a total knockout, the most aurally exciting post-Hüsker Dü track yet. Again, David Barbe and Malcolm Travis are such a superior rhythm section to Grant Hart and Greg Norton, Sugar is a better update rather than nostalgic reinvention, and bits of Zen Arcade and Black Sheets of Rain aside, Mould has never come off so twisted and out of his gourd. "Come Around"'s "vocals" are all but demonic, and "Judas Cradle" matches metal pounding with MBV/Sonic Youth brutal tones slashing out of the guitars, which gives way to "JC Auto"'s meld of "The Act We Act"-style pounding into a thundering, insane, heavy chorus. When Bob starts seething "I'm your Jesus Christ, I know, I know, I know," you wonder what exactly inspired these straitjacket fits! Man, that's something. Now, there is one major flaw: all the songs need an editor, as with excessive length they approach overkill from too much repetition. Never mind. This is a pretty killer experience more than a record. Whereas Copper Blue made you want to sing along, Beaster makes you hide under the bed. Can't say they didn't warn you; Beaster is well-titled. Source: [AMG]

Sugar - Tilted

Track Listing
1. Come Around
2. Tilted
3. Judas Cradle
4. JC Auto
5. Feeling Better
6. Walking Away


sábado, 1 de agosto de 2009

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Acme (1998)

Part of the reason the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is so distasteful to the legions of blues purists is that Spencer cherishes not the mythology of the blues or the songcraft, but the groove, the actual sound of classic blues records. He could care less about songwriting or technique; what's important is the feel and the grit of the performance, whether it's on-stage or on record. Often, that means that the Blues Explosion's records are better when they're playing than they are in memory, but there's no question that ever since Extra Width, the New York trio was exceptionally shrewd in crafting albums that pack real sonic force. They also were sharp enough to subtly explore new territory with each album, gradually moving from the Stonesy blooze of Extra Width through the funky Orange and gutbucket Now I Got Worry to Acme, where pure sound matters more than ever. Like the Stones, the Blues Explosion never abandon their signature sound, even when they're branching into new territory. No matter how many electronic bleeps, hip-hop loops, or cut-and-paste arrangements rear their heads on Acme, or how many producers or remixers are employed (including Calvin Johnson, Steve Albini, Suzanne Dyer, Alec Empire, Jim Dickinson, and the Automator), the primal, two-guitar racket remains at the center of the Blues Explosion's sound. But the electronica and hip-hop flourishes aren't folly, either -- they confirm Spencer's ultimate goal of sound over structure, force over sense. And while there are only a handful of songs to latch onto -- the slow, sexy "Magical Colors," the gonzoid rant "Talk About the Blues," the Jill Cunniff duet "Blue Green Olga" -- the dynamic explosions of sounds guarantee that Acme is a captivating listen, at least the first time through. While frequently exciting, the sonic experimentations sound cerebral instead of primal. Source: [AMG]

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - High Gear/Talk About The Blues

Track Listing
1. Calvin
2. Magical Colors (31 Flavors)
3. Do You Wanna Get Heavy?
4. High Gear
5. Talk About the Blues
6. I Wanna Make It All Right
7. Lovin' Machine
8. Bernie
9. Blue Green Olga
10. Give Me a Chance
11. Desperate
12. Torture
13. Attack


miércoles, 22 de julio de 2009

Supersuckers - The Smoke Of Hell (1992)

In the midst of the grunge revolution, The Supersuckers released this largely unnoticed album, The Smoke of Hell, which begins with a song that can not only be praised for its muscle but also for its psychic prediction -- "Coattail Rider." The band perked things up a bit since their dreary early singles. Songs like "Luck," "Caliente," and "Hot Rod Rally" rapidly surge with electric power chord fury, while the band brings it down some for the blues ramble of "Hell City, Hell." Source: [AMG]

Supersuckers - Coattail Rider

Track Listing
1. Coattail Rider
2. Luck
3. I Say Fuck
4. Alone and Stinking
5. Caliente
6. Tasty Greens
7. Hell City, Hell
8. Hot Rod Rally
9. Drink and Complain
10. Mighty Joe Young
11. Ron's Got the Cocaine
12. Sweet 'N' Sour Jesus
13. Retarded Bill
14. Thinkin' 'Bout Revenge


jueves, 16 de julio de 2009

Ash - 1977 (1996)

Two-thirds of Ash were born in 1977, which means that their latter-day punk-pop isn't very Catholic. Instead of sticking to the rigid rules of American punk-pop -- which means you can't stretch the song past three minutes -- Ash take a cinematic approach to their songs, throwing in elements of power pop, glam, post-Nirvana grunge, and post-Oasis rock. It's a melting pot of pop styles, basically because the members of the band are so young, they haven't conformed to the standards of the indie and punk subcultures. Sure, Ash still use loud guitars -- they're all over 1977 -- but they create a distinctive, melodic, and energetic sound that's equal parts heavy grunge and light pop. And while they may indulge in jamming a bit too much, they remain a pop band at heart, capable of turning out epic guitar pop like "Goldfinger," punk-pop like "Kung Fu," and the lovely but loud "Girl from Mars" with equal flair. Source: [AMG]

Ash - Girl From Mars

Track Listing
1. Lose Control
2. Goldfinger
3. Girl from Mars
4. I'd Give You Anything
5. Gone the Dream
6. Kung Fu
7. Oh Yeah
8. Let It Flow
9. Innocent Smile
10. Angel Interceptor
11. Lost in You
12. Darkside Lightside / Sick Part


sábado, 11 de julio de 2009

Morphine - Cure For Pain (1993)

With their cult following growing, Morphine expanded their audience even further with their exceptional 1994 sophomore effort, Cure for Pain. Whereas their debut, Good, was intriguing yet not entirely consistent, Cure for Pain more than delivered. The songwriting was stronger and more succinct this time around, while new drummer Billy Conway made his recording debut with the trio (replacing Jerome Deupree). Like the debut, most of the material shifts between depressed and upbeat, with a few cacophonic rockers thrown in between. Such selections as "Buena," "I'm Free Now," "All Wrong," "Candy," "Thursday," "In Spite of Me" (one of the few tracks to contain six-string guitar), "Let's Take a Trip Together," "Sheila," and the title track are all certifiable Morphine classics. And again, Mark Sandman's two-string slide bass and Dana Colley's sax work help create impressive atmospherics throughout the album. Cure for Pain was unquestionably one of the best and most cutting-edge rock releases of the '90s. Source: [AMG]

Morphine - Cure For Pain

Track Listing
1. Dawna
2. Buena
3. I'm Free Now
4. All Wrong
5. Candy
6. A Head With Wings
7. In Spite of Me
8. Thursday
9. Cure for Pain
10. Mary Won't You Call My Name?
11. Let's Take a Trip Together
12. Sheila
13. Miles Davis' Funeral


domingo, 5 de julio de 2009

Bracket - 4-Wheel Vibe (1995)

California-based Bracket -- comprised of vocalist/guitarist Marty Gregori, bassist Zack Charlos, guitarist Larry Tinney, and drummer Ray Castro -- got together in the early '90s and first showcased their power pop and punk sensibilities on the self-released 7" Giant Midge EP. Playing all around the San Francisco area, they signed to Caroline Records and released 924 Forestville St. and 4-Wheel Vibe to a growing fan base. Bracket somehow manage to combine catchy choruses, fantastic melodies, and a quirky sense of humour effortly into 4-Wheel Vibe. From the very first to the very last song on the album, Bracket seem able to write songs that still feel punk, but have an inescapable "sing-a-long" charm to them. Source: [AMG-Amazon]

Bracket - Circus Act

Track Listing
1. Circus Act
2. Cool Aide
3. Happy to Be Sad
4. John Wilke's Isolation Booth
5. Tractor
6. Green Apples
7. Closed Captioned
8. Trailer Park
9. Fresh Air
10. P.C.
11. G-Vibe
12. Warren's Song, Pt. 4
13. 2 Hot Dogs for 99¢
14. Metal
15. Pessimist
16. Lazy


jueves, 18 de junio de 2009

The Swingin' Neckbreakers - Shake Brake! (1995)

Equal parts Ramones, Rivieras and Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Swingin' Neckbreakers deliver straight-up rock & roll on this spirited outing. Fueled by the genre-faithful songwriting from bassist/singer Tom Jorgenson and a keep-it-simple rhythm section of drummer/brother John Jorgenson and guitarist Don "Shaggy" Snook, the Neckbreakers play a straightforward brand of rock'n'raunch that critics hate but nonetheless resonates perfectly with the average Joe who just wants to shake it down. Split evenly between strong Jorgenson originals "Action Kid," "The Answer Is No," "Wait," and "Help Wanted," and obscure punk and garage classics like Glen Barber's "Ice Water," Bobby Fuller's "Shakedown," and the Underdogs' "Get Down On Your Knees," this thing doesn't let up for a second. Fans of the Ramones will find much to love here. Source: [AMG]

The Swingin' Neckbreakers - Wait

Track Listing
1. Wait
2. Mighty Mack
3. Ice Water
4. That's the Way My Love Is
5. Help Wanted
6. Shakedown
7. The Answer Is No
8. I Wanna Be Your Driver
9. Action Kid
10. I'm in Love With Me
11. You're Gonna Make Me
12. A Thousand Times a Day
13. Get Down on Your Knees
14. The Girl Can't Help It
15. Brown Eyed Girl


martes, 9 de junio de 2009

White Zombie - La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1 (1992)

Perhaps co-defining the future of heavy metal, White Zombie's major-label debut nearly equals fellow classics Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction, the Cult's Electric, and Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger in significance. With a funky rap-metal undercurrent, these metal monsters combine Black Sabbath's riff sludge and Metallica's rhythmic intensity, a combination that would again resurface in the late '90s. On La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1, Zombie and co. take listeners on a hokey carnival ride capable of inducing vomit yet provide an exhilarating, heart-throbbing metal experience. Tactless and continuously shocking, lyricist Rob Zombie reveals blatant tales of muscle cars, sleazy encounters, and Fangoria-mustered fantasy, clearly paying homage to vintage trash culture. Complemented by Russ Meyer film soundbites and demonic aura, Zombie ridicules middle American Leave It to Beaver values and insolently challenges the politically correct. Diabolical manifestos such as the barbaric "Soul-Crusher," macabre "Spiderbaby (Yeah-Yeah-Yeah)," and sexually indiscreet "Thrust!" will intrigue those yearning for lewd explicitness but may offend traditional hard rock enthusiasts. "Thunder Kiss '65," an ode to Russ Meyer's 1965 busty B-movies Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Mudhoney, remains this album's most listenable and enduring highlight. Along with perverted lyrics, Rob Zombie's vocal snarls and the band's muscular metal thunder produce the furious concoction that secures La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1's place in heavy metal history. Weak appetites for raunchy, tongue-in-cheek decadence need not apply. Source: [AMG]

White Zombie - Thunder Kiss '65

Track Listing
1. Welcome to Planet Motherfucker/Psychoholic Slag
2. Knuckle Duster (Radio 1-A)
3. Thunder Kiss '65
4. Black Sunshine
5. Soul-Crusher
6. Cosmic Monsters Inc.
7. Spiderbaby (Yeah-Yeah-Yeah)
8. I Am Legend
9. Knuckle Duster (Radio 2-B)
10. Thrust!
11. One Big Crunch
12. Grindhouse (A Go Go)
13. Starface
14. Warp Asylum


domingo, 24 de mayo de 2009

Today Is The Day - Today Is The Day (1996)

Having subtracted bass from Today Is the Day and added keyboards, noise rock auteur Steve Austin thereby altered his outfit stylistically, moving from the warmth and emotional appeal of Willpower to an icily digital landscape of painful, high-frequency tones, screeched vocals, and even more painful guitar. Today Is the Day is a brutal record, owing a bit of its industrial nature to acts like Skinny Puppy and Merzbow. However, this is hardly textbook industrial music. Still utilizing guitar and organic drums, Today Is the Day is not driven by the keyboards so much as augmented sonically by them. The keys produce more of an atmospheric than a melodic effect, thereby leaving the essential constitution of Today Is the Day intact and guitar-driven. Source: [AMG]

Today Is The Day - Marked

Track Listing
1. Kai Piranha
2. Marked
3. Bugs Death March
4. A Man of Science
5. Realization
6. Black Iron Prison
7. Mountain People
8. Ripped Off
9. The Tragedy
10. She Is in Fear of Death
11. I Love My Woman
12. Dot Matrix


lunes, 18 de mayo de 2009

Big Star - Third / Sister Lovers (1992)

A shambling wreck of an album, Big Star's Third/Sister Lovers ranks among the most harrowing experiences in pop music; impassioned, erratic, and stark, it's the slow, sinking sound of a band falling apart. Recorded with their label, Stax, poised on the verge of bankruptcy, the album finds Alex Chilton at the end of his rope, sabotaging his own music long before it can ever reach the wrecking crew of poor distribution, indifferent marketing, and disinterested pop radio; his songs are haphazardly brilliant, a head-on collision between inspiration and frustration. The album is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, each song smacking of utter defeat and desperation; the result is either one of the most vividly emotional experiences in pop music or a completely wasted opportunity, and while the truth probably lies somewhere in between, there's no denying Third's magnetic pull -- it's like an undertow. Although previously issued on a variety of different labels, Rykodisc's 1992 release is the initially definitive edition of this unfinished masterpiece, its 19 tracks most closely approximating the original planned running order while restoring the music's intended impact; in addition to unearthing a blistering cover of the Kinks' "At the End of the Day" and a haunting rendition of Nat King Cole's "Nature Boy," it also appends the disturbing "Dream Lover," which distills the album's messiest themes into less than four minutes of psychic torment. Source: [AMG]

Big Star - Thank You Friends

Track Listing
1. Kizza Me
2. Thank You Friends
3. Big Black Car
4. Jesus Christ
5. Femme Fatale
6. O, Dana
7. Holocaust
8. Kangaroo
9. Stroke It Noel
10. For You
11. You Can't Have Me
12. Nightime
13. Blue Moon
14. Take Care
15. Nature Boy
16. Till the End of the Day
17. Dream Lover
18. Downs
19. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On


jueves, 7 de mayo de 2009

The Makers - Howl (1994)

Garage punk outfit the Makers formed in Spokane, WA, in 1991, originally assembling frontman Mike Maker, his bassist brother Don Maker, guitarists Tim Maker and John Maker, and drummer Jay Maker. Famed for their anarchic live dates and for traveling from show to show in a 1965 Pontiac hearse, the group signed to Sympathy for the Record Industry to issue their debut 10" Hip-Notic; the exit of John Maker coincided with a move to the Estrus label for the full-length follow-up, 1993's Howl! The Makers' debut is full of the pounding, garage punk madness that built the Spokane band a small but devoted following. Unfortunately, that following was built largely on live antics and didn't translate terribly well to record. Blunt production, indecipherable lyrics, and too-tense rhythms keep the listener firmly at arm's length, while the band charges full throttle through song after song, oblivious to everything around them. A good record for people who like to zone out, jump around, and throw glasses, but the Makers' later albums offer much more rewarding and enjoyable music. Source: [AMG]

The Makers - Matter of Degrees

Track Listing
1. I Just Might Crack
2. Think About Your Man
3. I'm Hurt
4. Like a Diamond Ring
5. Allright, Allnight, Allright
6. Memphis Chillun
7. Don't Cross Your Man
8. Explosion
9. Ricky Ticky Tock
10. Try to Cry
11. Your Daddy Drives a Big Car
12. Let Him Try
13. Death of Mr. Monster
14. Sometimes, Sometimes
15. Cool, Clear and Sheen
16. Howl


viernes, 1 de mayo de 2009

DM3 - Road To Rome (1996)

Power pop fans have occasionally pointed to this, Australian outfit DM3's sophomore release, as one of the best pop albums to come out of the mid-'90s and one of the cornerstone albums of the '90s Australian pop movement. Both may be true to varying degrees: Road to Rome is possibly the "classic" disc in the late-'90s Australian power pop scene, which included similarly talented bands like Ice Cream Hands, Even, Challenger 7, and Michael Carpenter. While the debit of Australian power pop is that it often favors slavish imitation over solid songwriting, Dom Mariani's ear for a hook is what makes Road to Rome stand out. Well, that and Mitch Easter's arena-ready production. Sounding like the Plimsouls playing with Badfinger and the Who, Mariani cranks it to ten more than a few times here. It lends songs like the excellent "Please Don't Lie" or the riff-heavy "Soultop" a glossy, almost '80s stadium rock vibe -- in a good way. Sure, sometimes DM3 can get a little derivative and rest on their skinny tie-shaped laurels, but for the most part the chunky riffage and Easter's boomy production will be more than enough to please anyone who is motivated enough to seek this album out in the first place. Source: [AMG]

Dom Mariani & Rippled Souls - Foolish

Track Listing
1. Can't Get What You Want
2. Please Don't Lie
3. Speed Freak
4. Second Floor
5. Pleaze You
6. I Thought That You Were Foolin'
7. Show You
8. Dead Stars
9. Something Heavy
10. Soultop
11. Fairweather Friend
12. T.V. Sound


domingo, 26 de abril de 2009

Teenage Fanclub - Thirteen (1993)

Unjustly savaged by fans and critics alike upon its initial release, with the benefit of hindsight Thirteen has revealed itself an eminently worthy follow-up to the classic Bandwagonesque; though not as consistent or refreshing as its predecessor, the album takes simultaneous steps backward and forward, retreating to a darker, sludgier guitar sound reminiscent of their debut effort A Catholic Education even as it blossoms to incorporate lilting string arrangements and glowing harmony vocals. Despite taking its title from Big Star's most gentle and optimistic moment, the record not only expands its horizons far beyond Alex Chilton-inspired pop but also maintains an emotional tenor that's largely bitter and disillusioned -- titles like "Song to the Cynic," "120 Mins," and, especially, "Commercial Alternative" reflect the band's disenchantment with both its former flavor-of-the-month status and the growing creative malaise rampant throughout the alt-rock community (then at its commercial zenith). Although Gerard Love and Raymond McGinley make memorable contributions, Thirteen is first and foremost a showcase for the peerless pop genius of Norman Blake -- the should-have-been hits "Norman 3" and "Ret Liv Dead" boast a crunchy, lumbering sound heavily indebted to Neil Young's records with Crazy Horse, while the soaring "Commercial Alternative" evokes vintage Byrds, a reference point further driven home by the epic closer "Gene Clark." [Original pressings of Thirteen included no fewer than six unlisted bonus cuts assembled from British singles -- the material is consistently excellent, highlighted by the McGinley original "Golden Glades" as well as reverent covers of Phil Ochs' "Chords of Fame" and the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Older Guys."]. Source: [AMG]

Teenage Fanclub - Radio

Track Listing
1. Hang On
2. The Cabbage
3. Radio
4. Norman 3
5. Song to the Cynic
6. 120 Minutes
7. Escher
8. Commercial Alternative
9. Fear of Flying
10. Tears Are Cool
11. Ret Liv Dead
12. Get Funky
13. Gene Clark


domingo, 19 de abril de 2009

The Vandalias - Match V (1995)

The Vandalias, from Minneapolis, play good power-pop with great harmonies, driving guitars and exceptional hooks. Following the single Build This House (Tenpop, 1992), debut album Mach V (Big Deal, 1995) is successful at what it does: copy the originals (Byrds, Big Star, Raspberries, Cheap Trick). Such is the evocative power of the humbly crafted toe-tappers that these popsters deliver.... The Vandalias high concept--a madcap band of cartoony heartthrobs bounce through zany adventures involving muscle vans and mini-skirts--is pure guile. But the music is so smartly composed and cheerfully presented, the whole shebang actually achieves an intoxicating celebration of teen-dom. Plus, it rocks wicked good.

Track Listing
1. In
2. Hey Now (Motor City)
3. Build This House
4. Have You Seen Mine?
5. Mach V
6. I'd Be a Boy
7. Knife
8. Watch My Baby Cry
9. Mighty Song of Joy
10. Fall Girl
11. Cathy's Back
12. Sky High
13. Done for You
14. Wait and See


martes, 14 de abril de 2009

Oblivians - Soul Food (1995)

On Soul Food, Jack Oblivian, Eric Oblivian, and Greg Oblivian trade off on guitars and drums (no bass) in a 30-minute album of guitar chicken scratching with bent note solos, some church organ, spitting vocals, and thud-and-crash drumming. The songs are delivered like a fire-and-brimstone preacher who dabbles as Mr. Hyde on weekends, full of spirit and depravity. Few bands sound as possessed by the belief in the power of rock & roll. Like similarly veined groups the Cramps, Tav Falco, and the Gories, the Oblivians often sound deranged in their preservation of the raw shaking beat of pre-Elvis manic and dark blues. The Oblivians honor the same canon of musicians, opening the record with a stomping cover of Lightnin' Hopkins' "Vietnam Blues." A legacy to the past is established but the party has just begun. The lonely screaming anthem "No Reason to Live" elicits both sympathy and a pumping fist in the listener. No one wants Greg Oblivian to end it all, but it sure is fun to bomp around to this track. Testimonials of faith in the culture and music that they love continue in "Never Change" and "Static Party." "Sunday, You Need Love" and "And Then I Fucked Her" would have some people looking for dust on the needle if it wasn't a CD. The bare-bones live production heightens the urgency; the Oblivians are desperate to get these songs off their souls. The Oblivians ignore the speed, grunge, and artsy angles bands pass off as the next stage of rock. They are dedicated to a sound: "Never Change" declares, "Like a broken record/I play the same sad song." Production and perfect playing are overrated; Soul Food's greatness is found in emotion and devotion. Source: [AMG]

Oblivians - She's A Hole

Track Listing
1. Viet Nam War Blues
2. And Then I Fucked Her
3. Big Black Hole
4. Jim Cole
5. Mad Lover
6. Sunday You Need Love
7. Never Change
8. No Reason to Live
9. I'm Not a Sicko, There's a Plate in My Head
10. Blew My Cool
11. Cannonball
12. Nigger Rich
13. Bum a Ride
14. Any Way You Want It
15. Static Party
16. Ja Ja Ja


miércoles, 8 de abril de 2009

Hüsker Dü - Candy Apple Grey (1986)

Moving to a major label doesn't affect Hüsker Dü's sound greatly -- although the production is more full-bodied than Spot's razor-thin work, the Hüskers don't change their blazing attack at all. Much of Candy Apple Grey charges along on the same frenzied beat that propelled New Day Rising and Flip Your Wig, and both Bob Mould and Grant Hart are in fine form, spinning out fine punk-pop with "Sorry Somehow" and "Don't Want to Know If You Are Lonely." However, the sound is beginning to seem a bit tired, which is what makes Mould's two acoustic numbers, "Too Far Down" and "Hardly Getting Over It," so welcome. Demonstrating that punks can mature without losing their edge, Mould inverts the rules of conventional confessional singer/songwriter songs with these two haunting numbers, and in doing so, he illustrates the faults with the relatively staid post-hardcore punk that dominates the remainder of the record. Source: [AMG]

Hüsker Dü - Eight Miles High

Track Listing
1. Crystal
2. Don't Want to Know if You Are Lonely
3. I Don't Know for Sure
4. Sorry Somehow
5. Too Far Down
6. Hardly Getting over It
7. Dead Set on Destruction
8. Eiffel Tower High
9. No Promise Have I Made
10. All This I've Done for You


lunes, 16 de marzo de 2009

The Feends - Freek Show (1993)

Outside of their love of '60s surf, garage, bubblegum-pop and '70s punk, the Feends also took their surroundings of the beach as a major musical aspiration. Accompanied by their matching thrift store attire, the line-up of Ian (guitar ), Danni (bass ), Sam (keyboards ), Kent (vocals ), Will (guitar), and Henry (drums) first made their splash in 1990. Following three years of playing throughout their native coast of Western Australia, the band hooked up with the small independent label Spinning Top Records, resulting in their 1993 debut, Freek Show. Source: [AMG]

Track Listing
1. Only Loved One Fish Before
2. On The Prowl
3. RPM
4. Bats
5. Supernatural Feet
6. No More
7. Freek Show
8. Haunted Sea
9. Ghost Train
10. Space Girl


Matthew Sweet - 100% Fun (1995)

Clocking in at 45 minutes, Matthew Sweet's third record of guitar-dominated, hook-laden power pop runs through its 12 songs at a classic speed, piling up songs that lovingly conform to the three-minute pop tradition. Richard Lloyd's gnarled guitars save Sweet's melodies and harmonies from being saccharine or sappy. Behind Sweet's bright hooks lies something darker -- the self-loathing of "Sick of Myself" and the mental manipulation of "We're the Same" aren't evident from the sound of the record, which obliterates any hidden meanings with its chiming guitars and driving rhythms. It might not have the consistent barrage of great songs like Girlfriend, yet it tames the wilder impulses of Altered Beast into an album that rocks its worries away without ever getting rid of them. Source: [AMG]

Matthew Sweet - We're The Same

Track Listing
1. Sick of Myself
2. Not When I Need It
3. We're the Same
4. Giving It Back
5. Everything Changes
6. Lost My Mind
7. Come to Love
8. Walk Out
9. I Almost Forgot
10. Super Baby
11. Get Older
12. Smog Moon