Archive for November, 2010

Deep Puddle Dynamics – The Taste of Rain…Why Kneel

Posted in Hip-Hop on November 25, 2010 by evilpacman18

Abstract Hip-Hop; 2000

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Deep Puddle Dynamics was a group of obscure white rappers from random states. Sole and Alias from Maine, Doseone from Idaho, and Slug from Minnesota. If they were to reform, I would call them a supergroup but in 2000, they weren’t established enough to earn the title.

The production value is relatively low here, it sounds like the drums were recorded live, not on a machine, so the quality is pretty poor and all the beats sound a bit muffled. This doesn’t affect how all four rappers’ voices sound, they’re clear enough to understand (except maybe Doseone but that’s just cuz of his voice). Unlike Busdriver, what earns it the title “Abstract” Hip-Hop isn’t the production, which is fairly run of the mill, so it relies entirely on the lyrics. From the first track, you can tell you’re in for a trip. Deep Puddle Theme Song is 7 minutes of seemingly random lyrics with some lyrics that zoom over your head with ease. “Row, row, row your reel gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a sinking feeling” they all chant in a creepy round for the last minute of the song.

Lyrically, all four rappers are just about on par. They all have distinct voices and styles, again, Doseone sticks out the most. He’s extremely nasally and he takes time saying his words. The way they work together is interesting. In some songs they’ll each have verses and just take turns going, while in other songs they’ll each say a line in turn and kind of split a single verse between all four of themselves. They also frequently rap different lines at the same time or all rap the same lines. Given more time with this album, I’d love to check out if there’s any connection between the lines that they all rap or just kind of figure out some of the similarities between each rapper’s parts on different songs to help figure out some of the themes on this album. This album has some really high intellectual value and I always enjoy listening to intelligent rappers, these are some of the most intelligent I’ve heard.

1. Deep Puddle Theme Song
2. The Candle
3. Thought Vs. Action
4. Where the Wild Things Are
5. June 26th, 1998
6. Rainmen
7. I Am Hip-Hop (Move the Crowd)
8. Heavy Ceiling
9. June 26th, 1999: A. Slight
10. June 26th, 1999: B. Exist
11. June 26th, 1999: C. Purpose
12. June 26th, 1999: D. Mothers of Invention
13. Rainmen (Remix)

Stand-out tracks:
Deep Puddle Theme Song
June 26th, 1999: C. Purpose
I Am Hip-Hop

-Jerry

Electric Wizard – Electric Wizard

Posted in Metal on November 19, 2010 by evilpacman18

Doom Metal; 1994

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Electric Wizard are very well known among Doom Metal enthusiasts, but not so much for this album. In 1997 they released “Come My Fanatics” and then in 2000 they released “Dopethrone” (their most popular) and those two are considered the two that are godly and changed Doom Metal but I think there’s just something about this one that I prefer. It’s supposedly very “generic for Doom Metal of the time” but still, generic for Doom Metal is very very good. Come My Fanatics and Dopethrone are MASSIVE albums that will blow you away, and that’s why they’re so famous. Electric Wizard grew into this sound that mixes Doom Metal with Space Rock and Drone Doom and those sounds aren’t so prevalent here. So you’ll hear more melodies, more acoustic solos, and just more musicality in general, and even though this album is still super heavy it doesn’t seem like the sole purpose of it is to hurt your ears with the volume like their next two works.

Lol so I’m burnt out on writing reviews after my massive  review of 10 Songs so forgive me for making this one short.

1. Stone Magnet
2. Mourning Prayer
3. Mountains of Mars
4. Behemoth
5. Devil’s Bride
6. Black Butterfly
7. Electric Wizard
8. Wooden Pipe
9. Illimitable Nebulie
10. Mourning Prayer, Pt. 1

Stand-out tracks:
Electric Wizard
Illimitable Nebulie
Mourning Prayer

-Jerry

I Hate Myself – 10 Songs

Posted in Rock on November 18, 2010 by evilpacman18

Emo/Screamo; 1997

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KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaa…..

Anybody who’s ever even had the slightest interest in the Dragon Ball series knows exactly what that is and for those who don’t know, it’s the iconic energy wave that Master Roshi came up with, most famously used by Goku. The singer yells it at the end of the first track, “This Isn’t the Tenka-Ichi Budokai.” The title is another allusion to DB, Tenka-Ichi Budokai is the name of the show’s World Martial Arts Tournament in Japanese and literally means “best martial arts tournament on Earth.” As a big DB fan, this is obviously my favorite song on the album, not only because it’s the best musically but because I loved the references to the shows.

Onto the music itself, I hope everybody will get over that “ew, Emo” mentality long enough to give this a shot. There’s so much emotion in this album. I was reading up on them a bit, it seems that there’s a good chance this band was almost satirical of Emo music with some of their lyrics, and even the band name is a bit hard to take seriously. But I don’t wanna discount this as just funny, there’s too much pain in every song for it to be entirely fake.  The lyrics are so amazing, particularly in “…And Keep Reaching for Those Stars” which is about the speaker in the song wishing his life wasn’t so mundane. He has aspirations to be in a motorcycle gang, “on the back of a Harley, leather-clad and bad and driving 55.” My favorite line in the album is a bit of a bridge between the two verses and then the final section. He says “I’m going nowhere, I’d rather go somewhere instead” and then the haunting, quiet guitar riff that could easily make your eyes tear up stops for just about a second before the singer wails “DON’T CRY WHEN I SAY GOODBYE” and the music plays loud again, a lot heavier and on the lower notes of the guitar, the drums are loud, and the bass line isn’t muffled by any of the instruments, it’s just as important a part of the despair as everything else. They force emotions to do their will with ease. Every song has this slow sad guitar riff and every bass note is a part of the best bass performance on an album since Paul Simon released Graceland.

This is masterfully done, it doesn’t matter how serious they are. The vocals, sung, and screamed, and somewhere in between, they’re all good. The guitar riffs set the tone, the drums add intensity, and the bass is there for melodies. The most impressive thing about this album is just how many different levels the three musicians are in sync on. And allow me to clarify that a bit, what I mean is that the three musicians abandon any semblance of selfishness and instead focus entirely on contributing to a whole. Music doesn’t often seem to have a goal besides to sound good, but this music has a goal and they achieve it. Unless you’re listening for the purpose of reviewing, you’re not gonna say “hey that guitar is the best thing about this album” or “man, that drummer is awesome.” It’s just the song. They make music that is whole. Imagine when you make a puzzle, even when you’re done, it still looks like it’s been pieced together. If most music is that puzzle, a whole bunch of different sounds fitting together to make something, this band is more like the picture on the box. I can’t even explain it well enough, but let’s just go with “they mesh well.” Just do yourself a favor and check this out.

Btw, the vinyl has 10 songs but the CD has an eleventh. If I recall correctly, To a Husband at War is the missing song on the vinyl, which is unfortunate for whoever bought that, since it’s one of the best songs on the album.

1. This Isn’t the Tenka-Ichi-Budôkai
2. Urban Barbie
3. Polar Bear Summer
4. …And Keep Reaching for Those Stars
5. Caught in a Flood with the Captain of the Cheerleading Squad
6. Kind of a Long Way Down
7. Not Waving but Drowning
8. Destroy All Monsters
9. To a Husband at War
10. Conversation with Dr. Seussicide
11. Secret Lovers at the Heaven’s Gate Ranch

Stand-out tracks:
This Isn’t the Tenka-Ichi Budokai
…And Keep Reaching for Those Stars
To a Husband at War (Quite possibly the best bass line ever)

-Jerry

Even more thoughts and updates

Posted in Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 by evilpacman18

Hi again. I haven’t done as much as I’d like to for the blog in the past week. Along with work keeping me semi-busy, I’m doing this thing on the scorehero forums where I’m listening to two albums a day that people suggest for the whole month. I’m pretty behind because of laziness, work, plus playing way too much Final Fantasy XIII and Tekken 6, so I’m tryna burn through that today. It’s my last day of three days off from work too so I’m trying to post at least three albums. Two amazing albums I got as suggestions on Scorehero are definitely going up today along with something for people who may be looking for some “Real Rock” (since everybody’s heard Among the Living, most people are averse to Napalm Death and I’m not really sure what anybody thinks of the Hella album I put up, the last undeniably real Rock post I made was King Crimson which went up in September) and then we’ll see what time of day it is once I’m done with those and if I can put anything else up. Those three would be

I Hate Myself – 10 Songs (Emo/Screamo)
Sleigh Bells – Treats (Noise Pop)
and either Electric Wizard – Electric Wizard (Doom Metal)
or Camel – Mirage (Prog Rock)

I’ve yet to decide on which “real Rock” (and I can’t stress the quotation marks enough) album I’ll be doing first. Don’t get me wrong, I hate to subject myself to these ridiculous stereotypes that some elitist Rock fans decide on, but at the same time, I don’t wanna alienate anybody and I know that a good chunk of the people who actually read my crap are from the Rock & Pop section of Yahoo! Answers, which has a big problem with people in that mindset.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about. I’m not sure if I’m biased or what but I’ve noticed that I sort of lean towards preferring the earlier songs on an album to the ones later on it. I’m not about to be the one to count but if I took all my stand-out tracks, the number of stand-out tracks that are in the first 3 tracks on the album would FAR outnumber the stand-out tracks that are on the last 3 songs of the album. I never post an album without listening to the whole thing at least 3 times so it’s not like I don’t get that far. It may be that I lose interest but I think that’s unlikely too because I only post albums that I really like so even though there may be a weak track here or there on them, I never only like a few of the songs. I seriously can’t figure out what it is but I just usually prefer the preliminary tracks on any album I’m listening to. So take my track recommendations with a grain of salt or something.

Seriously though, Tekken 6 is awesome.

-Jerry

Yelawolf – Creek Water

Posted in Hip-Hop on November 13, 2010 by evilpacman18

Hip-Hop; 2005

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I’ve been absent for awhile due to a fire which destroyed a lot of the area I live in. My house and internet service were damaged in the incident, but I am back now so I decided to spit a quick review of an album I’ve been listening to lately to you.

Okay, well I believe we all know who Yelawolf is by now. He’s had a feature on Big Boi’s album, spit with the likes of Raekwon and even Jay Electronica (who was signed by Jay-Z a few days ago), and he’s been well know in southern states. I’m still trying to decipher if I like him though, so this is my review of his “Creek Water” album. First off, I’ll start by saying the introduction is great; it starts with some spoken word, continues on with some singing and leads into the first “real” track by Yelawolf entitled “Creek Water”. His style is probably the closest to OutKast, lyrically though he’s more of a Big Boi than Andre 3000… “Creek Water” is a great introduction to this album though. He spits about the south and the horrible events that go on down here, it’s a very nice song. Next track… “G.A.D”, it’s a simple track about money and where he’s from and the good times, a simple southern rap track.  The next is a spoken word track straight from the vein of Big Rube. Amazing. The next track, “Won’t Stop” is great, from the chorus to the chill flow and lyrics. I really think Yelawolf could fit into Dungeon Fam without a doubt, this track just screams them. I can’t stop thinking about how he would sound over Organized Noize production. Anywho, on to the next… “DareHeGo” is a track where Yelawolf introduces himself, it’s almost a G-Funkish sounding song… maybe it’s the beat or just Yela’s flow (he sounds a lot like Warren G on this), none-the-less it’s a dope track. After such a chill song, “Make Up” comes on, which is optimistically heartfelt, Yelawolf speaks about his saddening experiences. Next is an interlude, which is just that… an interlude… so I’ll skip it. “Breathe” is the next track, it displays Yelawolf’s fast rapping skills. Technically, it’s not “fast” but a fast song compared to his first few tracks. Anyway, it’s nice… I have nothing bad to say about it but nothing good either. The next track “Ridin’ Down The Highway” I really don’t care for, I skip it everytime it comes on… it’s just filler to me. After that though, “Bible Belt” comes on and it’s back to what I believe southern rap should be like if you’re going to rap about the area. Then back to another spoken word interlude/track… it’s not like the first one this one is nice though too… it shows how much Yelawolf likes lyrics, they are amazingly detailed in this track. “Sleeping Beauty” is the next treat after the poetry slam interlude… Yela speaks on his life and how he started rapping… REALLY saddening if you listen into it. Next is the track is “Fifty” which is just a nice track to bang in the car. I love to do what I said it’s good for, banging in your ride. Then we get close to the album ending with “Soul Everyday”, which is a nice track with a R&B chorus. Yela, again speaks in his strong-suit… life. I love this track, probably the most off the album. “It Ain’t Over”, is ironically the ending track to the album… which I mean, it isn’t… his career is still going strong today and he’s gotten crazier to me on more than just this album. But overall, this album is amazingly a great freshmen debut southern rap album.

Rating: 8/10

-Logan

Saul Williams – Saul Williams

Posted in Hip-Hop on November 12, 2010 by evilpacman18

Hip-Hop/Spoken Word; 2004

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It’s been quite a bit since I posted a Hip-Hop album (and Logan is still absent but I have a feeling we’ll be hearing from him fairly soon) so I’m really excited for this one. Hopefully all the Hip-Hop heads I have reading enjoy this one.

Saul Williams is an extremely pretentious poet with lyrics that’ll leave you scratching your head  (hint: he’s probably complaining about the current state of Hip-Hop). As far as flow goes, he’s definitely not the best. It’s kinda non-existent at times, since he does a lot of spoken word too. And to be honest, he’s not that lyrical either. You can tell he’s a poet at heart. For instance, in Hip-Hop, rhyme schemes often go AABBCC, (except you might have AAAAAABBBBBBCCCCCC or something like that) whereas something like ABAB is very rare. You’ll see it in poetry so much more often, which means you’ll be hearing rhyme schemes like that frequently here to. Also, he just doesn’t rhyme at all a lot too.

Basically, the appeal of this album lies entirely in the lyrics themselves (which you’ll have to judge with a different set of criterion than what you would use for most Hip-Hop) and the production, which is done mostly by Saul Williams himself, and is very original on every song on the album.

1. Talk to Strangers feat. Serj Tenkian (of System of a Down) on piano
2. Grippo
3. Telegram
4. Act III Scene 2 (Shakespeare)
5. List of Demands (Reparations)
6. African Student Movement
7. Black Stacey feat. Isaiah “Ikey” Owens
8. PG
9. Surrender (A Second to Think)
10. Control Freak
11. Seaweed
12. Notice of Eviction

Stand-out tracks:
Telegram
Surrender (A Second to Think)
List of Demands (Reparations)

-Jerry

The Drums – The Drums

Posted in Pop on November 8, 2010 by evilpacman18

Indie Pop; 2010

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I was on Yahoo Answers and I saw that Morbid (Logan) had asked a question. “What albums feel optimistic on the surface but are very pessimistic in depth?” It was asked in the Rap/Hip-Hop section so I named an album by Busdriver, but I really wanted to say this album, one of my favorites to be released so far this year.

Listening to the instrumentals on this album, you’d expect any lyrics that were added to be specifically for the purpose of making you feel good. Surf Rock-esque songs with quick tempos, plucked guitar melodies, lots of whistling, synth lines that sound like shiny twinkles, etc. And yet, the first line on the album is “You were my best friend but then you died, when I was 23 and you were 25, and how will I survive, survive, survive?” And it continues from there. Some of the songs are a little happier. Let’s Go Surfing, for instance, but it’s a bit of an odd man out.

I hear they sound like The Smiths. Don’t kill me, but I’ve never listened to The Smiths. They must be good.

I think this album sticks out because of the singer. He’s really great, very emotional, even though he’s no Corey Glover, he does have a good voice.

1. Best Friend
2. Me and the Moon
3. Let’s Go Surfing
4. Book of Stories
5. Skippin’ Town
6. Forever and Ever, Amen
7. Down by the Water
8. It Will All End in Tears
9. We Tried
10. I Need Fun in My Life
11. I’ll Never Drop My Sword
12. The Future

Stand-out tracks:
Down by the Water
Best Friend
Me and the Moon

-Jerry