Friday, 12 December 2008

Discovery - A little Catch Up (Part Two of Three)

Part One

So, here is the next set of newish albums and bands. Some in here are a bit more... me, but still different.

Max Tundra – Parallax Error Beheads You
6 years can be a long long time in music – I mean, in 2002, Franz Ferdinand were only on the horizon and Arctic Monkeys had only just started playing guitar, and that was when Max Tundra’s last album hit the shelves. He then set to make one of the most complex pop records ever and… well, he mangaded it. Parallax… is one of the oddest, most interesting albums I have listened to this year, even making it into my top 5 albums if you ask me at the right time of the day. It is filled with the techno-like blips and bleeps of the afore mentioned Crystal Castles but is filled with the smart melodies of a canny song writer and the gorgeous production of an artist that understands the craft of a great sounding song. Also, in the album, there are some fucking great tunes that get my tapping my feet – and that can’t be said of many bands these days.
Max Tundra (Myspace)

My Latest Novel – Wolves
So, you might be wondering where are my Scottish bands that I have been shouting about for ages, and also where are my regular Indie stylings gone with all this hiphop and glitch rock? Well, look no further than My Latest Novel, a fantastic band from my neck of the woods… and another, like Aereogramme, I totally missed out on when I lived down there. They are similar to Blur’s later years with the darker pop songs, similar to Arab Straps gloomy wordings and twisting vocabulary, but mostly they share their sounds with this years Scottish band of indie types, Frigthened Rabbit. The dark, soulful, almost folky sounds of the album push them into the forefront of a pack of bands from the central belt that are taking over from the old crew. Along with We Were Promised Jet Packs, My Latest Novels’ new album, due in 2009, should be one to watch.
My Latest Novel (Myspace)

God is an Astronaut – God is an Astronaut
Post rock, huh? Surely nothing can be done more than the sprawling Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the short but rocky Mogwai, the fullforce heavy 65daysofstatic and the simple melodies of Explosions in the Sky? Surely with Slint and Do Make Say Think everything is covered? Well not quite as this Irish trio really have made me realise that you don’t need to be dark and dreary to emote through post-rock and in this album there are some absolutely stunning examples of why the band should be more revered in the Post-rock community – the liberal use of piano and strings are welcome, and the effect is a grand scale only matched by th longer periods of Godspeed’s Life Yr Skinny Fists Like Attenas to Heaven, but am I comparing the two? Well, that is like me saying the most recent pop album from a recent act holds it’s own to Sgt. Pepper, and that is high praise indeed.
God is an Astronaut (Myspace)

Discovery - A little Catch Up (Part One of Three)

It’s been a while since I posted about new bands that I have recently been getting into so here is part one of quite a large list of them that should let you get back up to speed with where I am musically at the moment. I went on a bit a new music binge the last few weeks… and it has been bloody brilliant. Anyway…

Sunn O))) & Boris – Altar.
This is way left field for me and is the frist drone/doom album I have listened to for any length of time. Basically Sunn O))) (ignore the rather pretentious punctuation, call them Sun) and Boris are two bands that collaborated on an album that is held by some as the seminal record in both doomrock and dronerock. However some see it a quirky footnote to the band’s careers… and I don’t know yet. The album is something of an ordeal and an experience, being nothing like I have listened to before. There are no discenrable structures and no real “song” parts as it is uses guitar drums and production values to create an epic wall of sound that only really be described as Lightning Bolt without the riffs and the lyrics. The track at the middle of the album is stunning, “The Sinking Belle”, but is it easy to listen to? No. Is it like anything I have listened to before? No. Will people like it? Probably not…

Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
Glitch computer electronic trance dance rock. As many descriptors as I can give and it still doesn’t make up what Crystal Castles are like – their debut album is made up of sketchs of ideas and short pieces with distored vocals that make the voice sound more like an instrument than a lyrical line of words and that effect is something that I have loved on The Knifes album. Here is works with the Mega Drive / Atari blips and bleeps that make it sound like nine people are playing different games of Mario Land, Tetris and Paperboy in a dark room with lasers and smoke blasting the atmosphere with a punctual demounr like a scattering spray of shotgun pellets into fabric. The album is different again and is something that I have grown to love.
Crystal Castles (Myspace)

Why? – Alopecia
I missed this the first time round, even when it was being rammed down my throat by hundreds of screaming fanboys and glowing reviews. I perceived them to be either rocky like Johnny Foreinger or indie like British Sea Power, but what I was not expecting when I popped the album in was a trip-hop rock band with some of the greatest rapped vocals I have heard since Beastie Boys’ in the heyday of the Jurassic Five. I am not big a fan of rapping to be honest… but the melodies here are strong and the lyrics are downright incredible… “I lost the first game of Chess I ever played” and “I saw to guys fucking in a dark corner of a basket ball court” being two choice examples, and the way that they are wound around the music, performed by a live band, make for a very compelling album and a worthy investigation. Pushing for my favourite find this month.

Why? (Myspace)