martes, 27 de abril de 2010

Girls Against Boys - House Of GVSB (1996)

House of GVSB saw the band continuing its winning streak, and while arguably it contained no real surprises after the powerful one-two punch of Venus Luxure and Cruise Yourself, it still showed the quartet at the top of its considerable game. The Ted Niceley/Eli Janney partnership once again took charge with no worries, and every last drum hit or aggro bass roar makes its considerable mark. As with the previous albums, some tracks were the unquestioned high points, in this case the opening roar of "Super-Fire," with some of Scott McCloud's best guitar work ever, a controlled blast of riffs, and "TheKindaMzkYouLike," which gives everyone the chance to break out the funky fresh beats in their own style -- feedback and all. The overdubbed chorus of "I'm sinking fast!" followed by another McCloud feedback drone makes for one heck of a conclusion. There are also the sly rhythms of "Disco Six Six Six," which not only benefits from Alexis Fleisig's playing but Janney's strong work on keyboard and McCloud's delivery, which -- instead of mostly being attractively belligerent -- actually shows a tender side. On the seemingly lighter side, the credit for "drum assistance and 808 supplied by Ken Tondre" becomes clear with the skittering opening beats on "Vera Cruz," Janney's squelching keyboard line amusingly offset by McCloud's regular low sighing groan and the full band adding in mostly on the choruses. Janney again has extra fun with falsetto backing vocals at various points, often to gently comedic effect -- the wordless "ah-ah-ah" part on the brutal swing of "Cash Machine" adds a wonderfully strange contrast to McCloud's regular piss-and-vinegar approach. The last track, "Zodiac Love Team," throws in a final curve ball with its echoing, clattering drum loop, almost a throwback to the industrial-tinged origins of the group, but here set in the middle of the band's own film noir feedback style. Source: [AMG]

Girls Against Boys - Super-fire

Track Listing
1. Super-Fire
2. Click Click
3. Crash 17 (X-Rated Car)
4. Disco Six Six Six
5. Life in Pink
6. Thekindamzkyoulike
7. Vera Cruz
8. Anotherdroneinmyhead
9. Cash Machine
10. Wilmington
11. Zodiac Love Team


miércoles, 21 de abril de 2010

American Music Club - San Francisco (1994)

Will I fall into a cool, cool river?/Or will I fall into a frozen lake?" sings Mark Eitzel on American Music Club's seventh album, summarizing the band's chipper MO: You're gonna fall – just where is the question.

San Francisco follows 1993's major-label debut, Mercury, but this time around the Bay Area quintet offers a more seamless sound, avoiding some of the arty confusion that plagued that record. The songs now flow naturally on dark and weighty pop lines instead of scattering inside "clever" musical arrangements.

Eitzel sings about love, love and more love: "I don't need anyone's love/I couldn't afford it anyway/With my penny's worth of hope/It's not funny, but it's a joke." His deep, breathy voice bends awkwardly in frustration and bottoms out into whispered loneliness. Lines such as "Twist the light so it shines down on us/And wait together for the touch of something more" expose the idealist at the core of every cynic. But SF holds more than just the stuff of daily journals. Eitzel lets his cheap-apartment romanticism ooze in slick, detached vocals. The simple pop lines and slow ballads are filled with stunning guitar work – from spare and distant acoustic to surreal pedal steel and slide to caressing feedback. The rhythms are delicate and sad (occasionally evoking Joy Division), then cocky and catchy, riding freely under the effects of winding bagpipes, jangly tambourines and rushing wind.

AMC's San Francisco does not signal the second coming of Van Morrison or even the Replacements. Instead, it's just pretty music for emotional down-and-outs who still harbor a penny's worth of hope. Source: []

American Music Club - Hello Amsterdam

Track Listing
1. Fearless
2. It's Your Birthday
3. Can You Help Me?
4. Love Doesn't Belong
5. Wish the World Away
6. How Many Six Packs Does It Take to Screw in a Light
7. Cape Canaveral
8. Hello Amsterdam
9. The Revolving Door
10. In the Shadow of the Valley
11. What Holds the World Together
12. I Broke My Promise
13. The Thorn in My Side Is Gone
14. I'll Be Gone
15. Fearless (Reprise)


martes, 13 de abril de 2010

Sonic Youth - Dirty (1992)

When DGC Records signed Nirvana in 1991, one of DGC's A&R reps expressed the opinion that, with plenty of touring and the right promotion, the new act might sell as well as its labelmate and touring partner Sonic Youth. The surprise success of Nevermind upended previous commercial expectations for Sonic Youth (among other established alternative rock bands), and when Dirty was released in 1992, it was seen by many as the band's big move toward the grunge market. Which doesn't make a lot of sense if you actually listen to the album; while Butch Vig's clean but full-bodied production certainly gave Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo's guitars greater punch and presence than they had in the past, and many of the songs move in the increasingly tuneful direction the band had been traveling with Daydream Nation and Goo, most of Dirty is good bit more jagged and purposefully discordant than its immediate precursors, lacking the same hallucinatory grace as Daydream Nation or the hard rock sheen of Goo. If anything, Dirty finds Sonic Youth revisiting the territory the band mapped out on Sister — merging the propulsive structures of rock (both punk and otherwise) with the gorgeous chaos of their approach to the electric guitar — and it shows how much better they'd gotten at it in the past five years, from the curiously beautiful "Wish Fulfillment" and "Theresa's Sound World" to the brutal "Drunken Butterfly" and "Purr." Dirty was also Sonic Youth's most overtly political album, railing against the abuses of the Reagan/Bush era on "Youth Against Fascism," "Swimsuit Issue," and "Chapel Hill," a surprising move from a band so often in love with cryptic irony. Heard today, Dirty doesn't sound like a masterpiece (like Daydream Nation) or a gesture toward the mainstream audience (like Goo) — it just sounds like a damn good rock album, and on those terms it ranks with Sonic Youth's best work. Source: [AMG]

Sonic Youth - Sugar Kane

Track Listing
1. 100%
2. Swimsuit Issue
3. Theresa's Sound World
4. Drunken Butterfly
5. Shoot
6. Wish Fulfillment
7. Sugar Kane
8. Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit
9. Youth Against Fascism
10. Nic Fit
11. On the Strip
12. Chapel Hill
13. JC
14. Purr
15. Créme Brûlèe


martes, 6 de abril de 2010

Spin Doctors - Pocket Full Of Kryptonite (1992)

After nearly a year of solid touring, the Spin Doctors scored a huge, unexpected success with the incessantly catchy "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong." The rest of Pocket Full of Kryptonite will please fans of that song; the album is full of the loose, leisurely three-chord pop/rock jams the Spin Doctors specialize in. It may be unfair to compare them to the Grateful Dead, but the Doctors often suggest a lighter, more pop-oriented version of that band. While all of the best tracks were issued as singles ("Jimmy Olsen's Blues," "Two Princes," and "Little Miss"), there are still enough good moments on the rest of the album to please anyone who loves the hits. Source: [AMG]

Spin Doctors - Little Miss Can't Be Wrong

Track Listing
1. Jimmy Olsen's Blues
2. What Time Is It?
3. Little Miss Can't Be Wrong
4. Forty or Fifty
5. Refrigerator Car
6. More Than She Knows
7. Two Princes
8. Off My Line
9. How Could You Want Him (When You Know You Could Have Me?)
10. Shinbone Alley/Hard to Exist
11. Yo Mamas a Pajama
12. Sweet Widow
13. Stepped on a Crack