Monday, June 28, 2010

Spoke a bit too soon

Found three things today that are worth a little bit. I still don't think they're necessarily all that exciting, but I gotta admit I enjoyed 'em, and think they are worth a post:
1. Studebaker's Blacksmith- Nebula
The Good- They lock in some excellent stoner-hesher jams that are hypnotic enough to get the desired effect, but not so utterly retro that I'd just as soon be listening to a Blue Cheer record. They've got some kind of connection to the mighty Pandora's Box, so they must be good people. The recording is rough enough and deep enough that it sounds like Rocknroll, not fireworks.
The Drawbacks- Kerstin, the singer, has succumbed to European female hard rock singer disease. She's a bit too stiff and formal. I can hear a good voice in there, but she seems like she's trying to hit the note, not feel the music. Like I said- this is fairly endemic, and you can hear it in nearly every female vocalist in a hard rock band in Europe, so, if you're used to that, you might not mind. Me? I prefer the girls who sing just as raw and hard as the guys. Also, the lyrics aren't so great. Maybe if they were in German? Basically, I bet the band is much better live with a good crowd. If they really let loose, I could see them being as good as Hammerbox
2. Deterior- Primitive Circuitry
The Good- For a Sludge/doom/ambient one man metal band there are for-real hooks! I realize that goes against what sludge/doom bands are going for, but endless downtuned howling can get boring. So, unless it's infused with something, such music becomes wallpaper to me. Sure enough, on previous releases, Deterior was basically sonic wallpaper to me. But, I'm kinda retro on this- I'm more a Killing Joke/Head of David/Godflesh guy than a Thou/Eyehategod/Earth guy. Again, he's got some good friends- his myspace lists Crashworship, who are absolutely transcendent. You cannot front on someone with taste that good. So, this is sludge metal bordering on Stoner rock, like Kylesa and Baronness, so yes, I like it.
The drawback- Some of us have voices made for that throaty growl. Some, like me, do not. This guy? Does not. Every time he goes into "that voice" I cringe. It's distracting from the groove. Seriously he should leave the growling to guys like Randy from Lamb of God. Also, it gets a bit proggy with the time signatures, and riffs. Proggy is cool for other folks, but me? I prefer the straight machine motorik. I find a band like Swans or Godflesh far more heavy because the beat is unrelenting, even if it's a crawl.
3. Battle Flags- ColourEngine
The Good- Very nice, exotic flavored minimal electro pop. Picture if Owl City listened to the Ruby Suns. I like pop music, and a good summery hook makes my day, even if the cool, smart kids think it makes me dumb. This has that kind of a hook. I can hum along as I do my laundry. As far as pop music goes, this also hits enough artsy and glammy spots that is seems au courant and hip.
The drawback- it does get a little samey and derivative. If you have been listening to indie pop there's a good chance you'll have heard a hook or two somewhere else. I mean some of it goes all the way back to Tom Tom Club. You also might not like pop music, or the little exotic flourishes, but hey, I do. Also, this guy likes him some treble, and it can get on the shrill side a bit. There are a few notes sung or played that are icepick sharp, so crank the bass for better enjoyment.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Post 50

Fiddy posts? That's it? Well, I'm not trying for quantity, nor quality. I'm trying for honesty. When I've got something to say, I'll say it. Even if it's stupid, and when it's redundant.
The Big Takeover hit 30 years with the latest issue. This is a magazine that publishes every 6 months, and sometimes, that's not enough, and sometimes (like now) it's too often. I trust Jack Rabid and company- they're honestly trying to put out the highest quality music mag they can, I just think that time isn't on anyone's side. There are long stretches of time where there really isn't anything new that is worth a damn, and there are times when it's all good.
I don't want to be negative, but right now I'm not excited by anything new. I'm still digging the old. I've been listening to stuff on my Ipod, I've been watching DVDs I already own, and I have been reading books I have read before.
Speaking of all that- you can read my preferences in my profile- but as I get older each of those things that I love, I love for different reasons. For example, the poppy, thrashy punk rock that I still profess to love? I wouldn't even dream of getting into the pit, these days. Way back when, that was a good percentage of my reasons. Now, it's mostly because I appreciate the economy and obvious structure of the music- Thrash is to rock and roll as tents are to buildings. So, even without pressing forward, I'm still in motion.