Amesoeurs – Amesoeurs

Posted in Metal on July 11, 2011 by evilpacman18

Post-Black Metal; 2009

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Hey. Sorry it’s been 10 days. To be honest the first 8 of them just went by without me thinking about it, and then the last two I’ve had a lot on my mind but finally found some time (and some will) to do this. I’ve noticed I haven’t been listening to very much Metal lately, which made me kinda sad, and I still haven’t but this is an album I’ve known about for a while. I really haven’t listened to Metal since Nadja. I oughta find some new stuff. Anyway. This is French, as you’ll be able to tell by the song titles. The genre is one you may not have heard of but it’s fairly self-explanatory. It combines Post-Rock and Black Metal. Well. It can be argued that the album is mostly Post-rock with certain tracks containing HEAVY Black Metal influence. Track 7 (I won’t bother with the title) for instance is clearly a well-produced combination of the two genres whereas a lot of the tracks on the album contain minimal Metal influence, only taking the most melodic bits of Black Metal (lol?) to use. That’s ok though, Post-Rock is better than Black Metal.

This is another good female singer, I’m noticing I like more of them than I thought. The growled vocals that only appear in one or two songs are done by a guy and the rest are sung pretty sweetly in French by this girl. It’s actually a fitting language for the music, like I can’t see English working with these instrumentals, at least not as well as French. This is pretty upbeat for either of the two genres, it’s nice that this isn’t a generic genre combination. They bring something unique to the table. They’re a hard band to describe. In fact, I think I’ll just leave you to it.

1. Gas in Veins
2. Les Ruches Malades
3. Heurt
4. Recueillement
5. Faux Semblants
6. Trouble (Éveils Infâmes)
7. I XIII V XIX XV V XXI XVIII XIX ˆ IX XIX ˆ IV V I IV
8. Video Girl
9. La Reine Trayeuse
10. Amesoeurs
11. Au Crépuscule de Nos Rêves

Stand-out tracks:
I XIII V XIX XV V XXI XVIII XIX ˆ IX XIX ˆ IV V I IV
Amesoeurs
Au Crépuscule de Nos Rêves

-Jerry

Th’ Corn Gangg

Posted in Hip-Hop on July 1, 2011 by evilpacman18

This isn’t an album post. This is a “you need to be aware of this band even though they barely exist” post. The Unicorns. I fell in love with them when I heard them. Busdriver. Same reaction to his music. After I had had my share of Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone (the only album they released, if you look at it in a certain way) I decided to look at their EPs and Demos (a band has to be REALLY good for me to look into their EPs and Demos) and what they did after they broke up. Two bands were formed. One of The Unicorns went on to form Clues with an ex-member of Arcade Fire and some less important people. The other was Th’Corn Gangg, which was a Indie Pop / Hip-Hop crossover supergroup featuring the two Unicorns (and other instrumentalists) on instruments and rappers Busdriver, Subtitle, and Vic Booz on mic. It’s simultaneously bizarre and beautiful that this stuff exists. Unfortunately, however, it’s impossible to find studio recordings of their stuff anywhere. Th’ Corn Gangg were short-lived, and eventually those two members of the former Unicorns transformed into Islands. The Islands debut album has a track called Where There’s a Will There’s a Whalebone that was originally played by Th’ Corn Gangg and features Subtitle and Busdriver on it. That’s as close as we may ever get to a studio recording of Th’ Corn Gangg’s songs (although Wikipedia claims they exist, I’ve found ZERO evidence and the article it cites 404s when you click the link). Another Th’ Corn Gangg song, Swans, was turned into the opening track of Islands debut album but the rap parts were removed. It’s all Indie Pop. I think I’ll post that album soon, it’s fantastic. But anyway I have links to a live performance of that song, of the studio version of Where There’s a Will, There’s a Whalebone, and of a live version of an unknown song that’s my favorite of all the videos I could find of these guys making music together. Enjoy.



-Jerry

VV Brown – Travelling Like the Light

Posted in Pop on June 23, 2011 by evilpacman18

Indie Pop; 2009

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Don’t have too much to say about this album. She’s a British newcomer who only sounds like it once you’re told she’s British. She’s a she. Which is rare for my reviews. Only other album with a female vocalist I can think of reviewing on here would be Alexis Krauss from Sleigh Bells, (who released the second best album of last year) which is better than this but VV Brown here is certainly the more talented singer. She’s got a good voie. Every song on the album is about love. Amazing love or failing love or broken hearts. Most of the songs, apparently, are about a single relationship she was in. It’s a solo singer’s Pop album so this should come as now surprise. However she’s not without talent musically. She wrote every song (a few are credited to other writers along with her) and played most of the instruments. The sounds on this album cover more than just Indie Pop. Perhaps the biggest contrast is between two juxtaposed tracks, I Love You, which is a soulful piano ballad, and L.O.V.E. which is an upbeat, driving song with a Rock & Roll inspired drum beat. Back in Time is my favorite on the album; it’s inspired by a much older era in music. I can’t find the word to label the sound with but one exists. Shark in the Water is a fun song and there’s a reason it’s one of the most popular songs on the album. Great pick for a single. It was the song that got me interested in her, it came up on my best friend’s shuffle and I was like “what is this, I wanna download it immediately.” If you’re into lyrics you’re gonna hear her whining about this one bad relationship through the whole thing and it will get tiring quickly. Just enjoy her voice. Her range is limited but within it she has a styles she covers. Perhaps this album got labeled Indie because there wasn’t anything better to name it and cover each track. It’s a multifarious mix that I think expresses her love of music from all around and all different times and a desire to share it with the masses by giving it her own twist (making it more accessible). The album doesn’t cross the line into GREATNESS, persay, but I’m picky and I do have something against most female vocalists that aren’t Alexis Krauss or Janis Joplin, unfortunately. There’s a good chance you’ll like this quite a bit more than I do, which says a lot since I liked it enough to post it.

1. Quick Fix
2. Game Over
3. Shark in the Water
4. Leave!
5. Bottles
6. Crying Blood
7. Back in Time
8. I Love You
9. L.O.V.E.
10. Everybody
11. Crazy Amazing
12. Travelling Like the Light

Stand-out tracks:
Back in Time
Shark in the Water
Everybody

-Jerry

I Wrote Haikus About Cannibalism in Your Yearbook – Discography

Posted in Rock on June 17, 2011 by evilpacman18

 Screamo; 2010

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Don’t let the release year throw you off. This isn’t that new. This band (not typing the name out again) apparently formed in 2005-ish? It’s so hard to find any information on them at all. I’m working off myspace info and a post I found on another blog. But that’s not important except it’s interesting that they hit the Screamo scene fairly late for how traditional, I guess I can say, their sound is. It’s not a million genres inside a screamo shell like other mid-2000’s Screamo bands have been (I Would Set Myself on Fire for You, for instance). It’s Screamo. Different from I Hate Myself though, it’s less emo and more violence.

By the way, I’m not sure if I mentioned this in my review of I Hate Myself, which you should read, but Screamo isn’t Metalcore and it’s not Hardcore and it’s NOT an umbrella term and not all music with screamed vocals is Screamo. In fact, very little of it is. Just had to get that off my chest. Screamo literally has to be one of the most misused terms in music and I hate when people use it wrong.

Back to this. It’s a discography album. Every song they ever released. Some of the songs are re-recordings or rewrites of earlier songs on the album. Actually scratch that. The sound quality actually gets progressively worse on the album. I wanna say that the later songs are older than the earlier songs. The production is bad, which is really just mandatory for any Screamo album, I’m beginning to understand. It doesn’t affect the songs in any negative way. Songs like 19 and its re-record, 12, are different and one has better production than the other but I’m sure there’s opinions of which one is better all over the place. (Btw, I use those two as an example because they have the best lyrics on the album and I want to mention them even though neither will make the stand-out tracks). Now this is difficult to recommend considering the nature of the vocals on this album, but seriously, listen to the lyrics. Every single one of these songs BURNS WITH THE INTENSE FLAME OF A HUMANIZING TRUTH. According to a seemingly random description sentence on their last.fm editable biography, their music is feeling and their words are thinking too much and out loud. I hope thinking too much is something we can all relate to. It’s always the best way to hurt more after being hurt. And some of the songs are all about that hurt. There’s a couple of songs that are just a few words or lines long. The lyrics in 6 are “I didn’t cry at my father’s funeral. I couldn’t.” Other songs are about love. When it goes well and when it goes badly. 3 opens with “I will commit suicide at the very peak of our desperate love so it will never get the chance to weaken or fade.” It’s dramatic, sure, but who cares? You never hear love songs like this.

Musically, there’s a lot. It’s hectic. The drums are all over the place, lots of guitar effects and fast picking and when there’s actual guitar melodies, they lack a legato that makes them feel breathless, like the emotions in the song. The screams are high pitched – shriek is a more accurate definition – and CAN NOT be healthy for the vocalist’s voice. Songs like 10 are more about the rhythms than the melodies to be musical, which is an interesting concept. Reminds me of the intro to Bloodmeat by Protest the Hero, for some reason. The chords are all dissonant. It’s sort of experimental, really. This isn’t very accessible. I remember when I wrote about I Hate Myself one of my loyal readers (hah) commented that I made the album sound way better than it actually was. This may be the case here.

1. 1
2. 2
3. 3
4. 4
5. 5
6. 6
7. 7
8. 8
9. 9
10. 10
11. 11
12. 12
13. 13
14. 14
15. 15
16. 16
17. 17
18. 18
19. 19
20. 20
21. Chop Chop, Goodbye

Stand-out tracks:
11
2
13

-Jerry

Emil.RuleZ! – Zazie az ágyban

Posted in Jazz on June 12, 2011 by evilpacman18

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Alternative Jazz; 2001

Let it be known, I don’t believe Alternative Jazz is a real genre and I’m using it because I don’t know my jazz subgenres well enough to label it myself. This is Hungarian jazz, sang in the Hungarian language. I know people HATE Smooth Jazz but it does have some of the qualities of that subgenre. It’s got that drum beat that’s more typical for R&B in some of the songs, and there’s the HEAVY Latin music influence. I think that makes this so good though. The biggest difference between this and Smooth Jazz is probably that this is actually song-based music, where Smooth Jazz and most other types of jazz are improvisation-based. Their most famous song isn’t on this album, it’s on their second album (this being the debut), which is just as good. The song is called Hello.Tourist! and I’d suggest giving it a listen before any of the songs on this album. It’s the only song by them I’m aware of sung in English, and it’s pretty funny. It’s about a Hungarian student who barely speaks any English giving tours of Budapest to make some money. It’s also possibly the most blatant Latin rip-off they’ve written, it’s 100% Salsa. But Salsa is freaking fantastic, and combined with Jazz, it’s so relaxing but never boring.

None of this is instrumental, it’s all sang and again, sang in Hungarian. I’ve been told that it’s worth learning Hungarian JUST to understand these lyrics and with how clever Hello.Tourist! is I’m sure that has some truth to it. Hungarian is a WEIRD language, one of the stranger ones I’ve heard, probably. I’ve met people who couldn’t listen to music that they didn’t understand. I’m not that big on lyrics. But yeah don’t be like them and miss out on good music. I’m under the impression that all of their songs are at least mildly funny, maybe in a Steely Dan way if not more, biting and true and not that funny unless you actually think about it. But again that opinion is based on a single song that’s not even on this album and the title of one of the tracks on here “Szexplaneta” which isn’t that hard to translate.

What you’ll get hear is something similar to stuff you’ve heard but probably never listened to (with all the Salsa and Swing influences) but at the same time COMPLETELY brand new. I mean it’s Hungarian Jazz. Can you honestly say you’ve looked into that before?

1. Winkler és Eldée a hajóra mennek
2. Nagy Fenekű Nők Napja
3. Kerti Parti
4. Zazie az ágyban
5. Térerő
6. Szexplanéta
7. A lány, aki csak derékig látszik
8. Bell
9. Hupikék
10. Az a nő
11. Veled utazik Zazie
12. M323

Stand-out tracks:
Zazie az ágyban
M323 (Starts off slow but has an AMAZING outro)
Winkler és Eldée a hajóra mennek

-Jerry

The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Posted in Pop on June 6, 2011 by evilpacman18

 Dream Pop; 2002

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Another supposed concept album (although I can’t seem to remember reviewing any other concept albums where this is the case, I feel like I have) with no concept except for in the 2nd – 4th tracks (one of which is an instrumental). It involves a bunch of evil robots, except for one who actually learns to love and I’m fairly certain he’s the speaker in the next song, which talks about Yoshimi’s training processes to prepare for defeating the evil robots. According to a post on songmeanings.net (which claims some other site as its source) the robot in love with Yoshimi is a gladiator that’s supposed to fight her in an arena and the instrumental track, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 2 is that actual fight taking place, with Yoshimi coming out as the victor, perhaps because the robot in love with her refused to fight her.

Musically this is very much Alternative Rock in very many ways but with a lot more guitar distortion, and a drum machine, plus a dreamy synthesizer, hence Dream Pop. The guy’s voice (didn’t bother learning the band members’ names) is high and light but not falsetto. I like his vowels, to be honest. His vowels are never forced. Little stuff like that really does make music so much better. A couple of interesting bass lines on here. Particular One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21 and It’s Summertime. This is something I’m usually not a fan of in Rock genres just because I like instruments to be the main focus in my music, not a background to a voice, but most of these songs are very chordal, and the melody is provided by the singer. Basically, if you try to hum one of these songs, you’ll be humming along with what the singer is singing, not any of the instruments. Again, this is what makes it Pop as well I guess. It’s a really sweet album. The 3 songs that actually go along with the album’s concept are real gems and there’s not a bad song on it.

1. Fight Test
2. One More Robot / Sympathy 3000-21
3. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1
4. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 2
5. In the Morning of the Magicians
6. Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell
7. Are You a Hypnotist??
8. It’s Summertime
9. Do You Realize??
10. All We Have Is Now
11. Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)

Stand-out tracks:
One More Robot
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (both parts)
Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon

-Jerry

Nadja – Touched

Posted in Metal on May 30, 2011 by evilpacman18

Drone Metal; 2003

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I’ll get to the point. Stays Demons is the reason to listen to this album. It’s Drone but it’s almost a combination of Drone and Shoegaze. It’s actually musical. It has a noticeable melody and it’s a beautiful one, even if it is only 3 chords repeated on the guitar for 10 minutes. This is music. People have tried to tell me it’s not. (Well not Nadja, they were referring to Khanate) But it’s music for patient people who can really appreciate intricacies. It’s 10 minutes of mostly the same two sections of the song’s structure but each time a section is repeated it’s slightly different. Noticing all the musical twinkles and glitter is what will make this enjoyable. Notice how the hi-hat (if I’m actually using my drum terms correctly here, which is unlikely) is slightly off-tempo every now and then. Notice that single note in the higher synth registers that doesn’t change for the whole song and marvel at how it manages to sound good time. Notice how the whispers of the lyrics (the song has one line: “the touch of your hand on my brow stays demons.” I get so much out of that one line with how life is for me right now) add to the ambiance the song creates. So the reason I pick this song out of the 5 as the most important track is because of how it manages to be Metal but beautiful. That’s not a word you’ll often use for Metal. But this. The song is pure Drone Doom. No doubt. I think it’s the fact that it’s in a major key (C Major, to  be specific) is what gets me. There’s very little Metal you’ll hear in major keys and most of it just doesn’t sound quite right. This does. It sounds so right.

The rest of the album. Again, there’s 5. Tracks 1 and 3 are the incessant waves of guitar feedback and no melody but still good songs. Tracks 2 and 4 are the here’s a very prevalent and very awesome melody that we’re gonna play over and over with only the slightest variations in sound and you’re gonna love it without even knowing why tracks. Track 5 is Untitled and unimportant. Frankly, listen to Stays Demons. I don’t care if you listen to the whole album. Just listen to Stays Demons and if you’re interested then go for the rest of the album. I love it, or I wouldn’t have posted it. But maybe without Stays Demons I would love it quite a bit less.

1. Mutagen
2. Stays Demons
3. Incubation/Metamorphosis
4. Flowers of Flesh
5. [Untitled]

Stand-out track:
Stays Demons

-Jerry