Friday, October 18, 2013

Like Like The The The Death- Cave Jenny

So, I have this theory- bad band names result in better bands. I'm really sorry to start off with this, but "Like Like The The The Death" has got to be one of the worst band names I have ever heard. Heck, it's hard to even read that thing- and go ahead, try to say it. Out loud. Yeah, you see what I mean? ( Yes, as a matter of fact I have heard of the Silver Jews, what of it?)
However, the theory holds up- This is some good music. For me.  Your mileage may vary. See, the basic framework is this- take the spastic energy of one of the New Wave of New Wave bands from the early 2000's- say the Futureheads, or the Briefs, now apply that to grungy Noise rock, but don't let up on the punk-pop emphasis on simple melodies. Got that? Now have Rick Sims sing. ( I don't know if it's Kyle or Anthony, but one of them reminds me of Rick when the Didjits were new. And I would really like to hear them do a cover of either "Skull Baby" or "Plate in my Head" ) .For seasoning, play some math-y time signatures.  Then, slowly stew the whole thing so that more and more chaos creeps in, so that by the 9th or 11th track the audience will accept more dissonance and abstract, irregular, angular music than they thought they could. I think the wry, geeky humour helps, too. If you like just about anything on the noisy, speedy side, I think you'll like the ride. If you don't , you must be one of those Laughing Hyenas fans, or something.
Per my understanding, there's even a tie-in to the Almighty Die Kreuzen here.  Mark me as sold.
Now, I've seen the name before, but this is my first go-round with them, and I gotta say- between this, War Brides, Nonagon , Tyranny is Tyranny, etc- I really need to make a trip up to either Chicago or Wisconsin a priority. Something is going on there in terms of noisy rock.

Luder Adelphophagia

I was going to damn Luder with faint praise, and talk about how I liked them, but knew it was mushy, sugary ear candy, but then, I found myself listening again and again, and I started to realize they're really good.
 So, on the first listen, you'll hear a band that sounds exactly like Medicine meets Lacuna Coil. Yes, it's a hybrid thing, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't ( For example, I've seen several blogs going all runny over Watertank. Watertank are a great idea on paper- post-hardcore, a la Quicksand and Helmet meets Stoner  Rock a la QOTSA. In practice, the result is Nu Metal. Seriously, several tracks end up sounding like Taproot. I still think they have some talent, but, ultimately, they're not for me) . But, upon a repeat listen or two, I started to realize it was a bit more progressive than all that- more like Medicine ( Singer Sue Lott is a sonic dead ringer for Beth Thompson)  meets Isis, or maybe Pelican.  Yes, it gets a bit drone-y, and yes, they can beat a riff into the ground, but mostly, it's pretty engaging stuff. It takes some patience, but ultimately, I think what they could put up on the website would be " Luder is not Stoner Rock. Luder is rock that will make you stoned" .
So, despite the death metal title ( something to do with baby death in the womb) this isn't obscuro progressive, either-but, well, I can say this by way of a negative- one problem I have with psychedelic music is that most of the time, the band sounds like they're about to break into either "Tomorrow Never Knows" or "Sweet Emotion"- there's none of that here. More like they sound like they're going to beat up A Perfect Circle. If you're a hard sell, try starting with the crushing twisted metal cover of "I'm Afraid of Americans" then, try "Ask the Sky" then go back and listen to the whole LP- this is truly progressive rock, if that term is supposed to mean rock music that's going somewhere,  not just guys showing off how many scales they can play. I'm thinking , for example, of the difference between Jane's Addiction, and Phish. Both could be said to play "progressive rock" yet which one pushed things further? Luder are pushing things forward. I don't want to put down Small Stone, but give this band the kind of budget and push that Relapse and above can afford? They'd eclipse bands like Royal Thunder and Blood Ceremony.
So, despite my initial doubts, I'm really glad I gave this hybrid a chance to grow on me. What I'd really like now is to see them on tour...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Red Fang- Whales and Leeches

I'm sure you've read a review or two of this already. I'm not so full of myself that I think I'll have some big new revelation for you, or that I understand Red Fang somehow more. I just want to point out a couple of things about what they're doing that I like.
First, they have tightened up to an unreal degree- several songs on here have near prog-rock time signatures but you'd have to be a freak like me to notice because they're such an efficient machine. For guys noted mostly for beer and laughs,  this is like technical death metal. Even then, one thing I never liked about Metal is how often the song gets "broken" so that somebody can solo. Awkward key changes, sudden tempo shifts, and so on that just take me right out of enjoying the song as a listener, and suddenly I'm back at school learning scales. Well, there's none of that here- all the changes seem organic, and logical for the song.
Second, topics include vampires, despair, cannibalism, and family vacations- what, exactly could be heavier?
Third, and last- I'm blown away by just how solid this record is- I find myself listening to it straight through, sitting in my car for the two bonus songs, late for work, but trying to hear the whole thing, again.
So, yes, if you like tight, solid, heavy rock, you need this record. As for any more review, hell, the band do it best....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Paul McCartney - New

I cannot begin to pretend to review the new Paul Mccartney. It's good, and it reminds me of Muse and Death Cab for Cutie, at the same time.
But, there's plenty of places to get a review of it. I just have a thought about it- can you imagine the weight Paul McCartney lives with? He really does carry the weight of the Beatles- probably the biggest name in pop music since World War 2. Possibly, this biggest name in pop music, period. If he wants to release new music, that's the weight he has to carry. Alone. John and George are dead, and Ringo hasn't done anything new in years. But still, Paul soldiers on. How does one write a song that anyone can relate to, if that's the weight you carry? Then, yet more difficult, how does one please multiple generations- again, with that weight? So, my hat is off to the guy for even attempting a new record. That I find some value in it should say something- I'm pretty far afield from his target demographic, so that's some pretty broad appeal, there. All done with with this giant mountain of expectations and desires that the Beatles culturally represent. I'm impressed...

Monster Magnet-The Last Patrol

I think we all owe Dave Wyndorf. Before Kyuss, and alongside the Melvins, Monster Magnet basically invented the "Stoner Rock" thing.  Sure, you had your early 1970's influences- Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and The Stooges on the one side, with Hawkwind, Iron Butterfly and Blue Cheer on the other, but I really think it was Monster Magnet who first thought to filter all that through the lens of late 1980's "Alternative"- what made it something new is that Dave Wyndorf filtered all his early 1970's childhood through his punk rock experiences of his teens- so Monster Magnet was heavy psychedelic rock, with a Ramones/Misfits attitude. Everybody from Clutch to Kyuss to Rob Zombie took little bits from it.
So all hail- but do we need a new LP? I think we do. I think it's not enough to leave it with Mastermind, which was good, but not the end cap to a career as brilliant as Monster Magnet.  I don't really foresee an End Cap ... I don't think Dave is out of ideas, yet, either. I mean, I love Lemmy, and I own too many Motorhead LPs, and T shirts, but Lemmy hasn't really had a good, new idea since 1995. Dave is like Lemmy on Orgasmatron: still coming up with new ways of doing a garage proto-Metal take on Space Rock. What does that mean? Pure riffs, met with drones, and sound effects, played with enthusiasm, to support psychedelic/Science Fiction/ surreal lyrics. It's a bit more introspective, but this is still the psychotronic  Space Lord.  It's dynamic, and thrilling, and it'll make you think in small doses, and will switch your brain off, if you listen to the whole thing.  So get your mind blown.