May 2003 Archives

The Mitchells - Hear Where You Are (Pigeon Records) [audio] [upcoming shows]

The Mitchells have made an indie-rock Calder mobile, a funky balancing act that defies gravity: matching woozy, discordant guitar textures with rockingly snappy rhythms as endearingly off-kilter lyrics flit in and out of the clouds of fuzz and clang. Complex without mathy polyrhythms, atmospheric without shoegazy pretensions, "hear where you are," is a solid slab of weirdly uplifting un-pop pop. In Bizarro-indie world, this is what you’d hear banging out of car stereos this summer.


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Cardia - (SilverThree Sound Recordings) [mp3] [upcoming shows]

Jeff Buckley's legacy lives on in this supergroup consisting of former members of Rival Schools, the Verve Pipe, 2 Skinee J's, and Shudder to Think. The results are moving, emotional, and, well, Buckley-esque - similar to releases by Ours and Muse (among others). There are many goosebump, shivering spine moments, from the dark and intense "Crash" to the majestic chorus in "Love Loss" which sounds like Buckley fronting Led Zeppelin. Die-hard Buckley fans will either love it or hate it.

Pinback - Offcell EP

Pinback - Offcell EP (Absolutely Kosher) [upcoming shows]

Any hipsters out there not listening to Pinback are probably the ones that skipped the final during Indie Rock 101. Pinback records seem to be a standard fixture of indie-rocker's CD collections, though they're rarely spoken of or written about. Their excellent new EP, Offcell, will probably appear on record store shelves with little fanfare, and yet, I'm fairly certain it will end up in a hell of a lot of CD players. It's understandable, actually, now that I think about it...I mean, what's to say, really? When the music is this good, who needs hype?

Kupek - Vanilla Dome

Kupek - Vanilla Dome [mp3s]

The band's website describes their latest EP as "Nintendo flavoured country raunch rock," which isn't that far from the truth. I'm still wondering how a 20 second intro of 8-bit music and the rock ballad that followed it managed to draw out nostalgia for a girl that I was always too shy to talk to in the cafeteria, while at the same time, Johnny sitting across from me tries to make me spew chocolate milk out of my nose. Nah, if I had to describe it, I'd say it's more like sad rock music for geeks. And I absolutely love it.

Calla - Televise

Calla - Televise (Arena Rock) [mp3s] [videos] [upcoming shows]

Mope rock lives! And, yes, it sort of rocks. Calla break out the depresso jams, bringing the tunes to life with lush, interesting production - melancholia draped with shimmering feedback and volume swells, punctuated by stabs of guitar. Indie rockers and old-skool goths, unite as one big, pale, misanthropic rock army! Lend me your torn black sweater and I’ll loan you my chunky glasses. Just don't do that weird King-Richards-Faire dance, and we'll be fine.

Wakefield - American Made

Wakefield - American Made (Arista) [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

I would have loved to review this CD, but the copyright protection encryption on the CD prevented us from even listening to it. It froze our computers, resulting in a PHYSICAL MEMORY DUMP and wouldn't play on our stereos. Seeing as we are in the business of reviewing releases, PROMOTING the bands that send them in and providing FREE publicity, I guess we're all potential THIEVES here. Wakefield can sleep tight tonight knowing they have outsmarted us. Judging from the layout, I can safely say that cookie cutter mall punk fucking sucks anyways.

Holding The Void

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Holding The Void (Joseph Arthur)

As a side project for the increasingly prolific Joseph Arthur, this is a straight-up rock album that stands apart from his solo act. Supported by a backing band, Arthur indulges in the occasional guitar solo and, more importantly, sounds like he's having fun the whole time. While the lyrics aren't terribly deep, it's proof that, underneath it all, everyone just needs to rock out every once in a while.

Alkaline Trio - Good Mourning

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Alkaline Trio - Good Mourning (Vagrant)

With another blast of punk rock that sounds like "What if Green Day had stayed as good as their early 7"s?", the Trio returns with more of a bruise than an album. Substance and emotional abuse, set to a backdrop of raging fire. It should have been easier to disappoint than impress after the great From Here to Infirmary, but resting on their laurels isn't their style, it seems. It makes you want to beat the shit out of the last girl that broke your heart, then torch her house."I touch myself at thoughts of flames," indeed.
The Ed Kemper Trio - How to Win a Sword Fight (Yawn Records) [mp3, mp3] [upcoming shows]

Noisy, basement rock that sounds like something Steve Albini would have produced, and AmRep or Touch & Go would have released, back in '91. It's bottled-up nervous energy, low-end skronk rock with bludgeoning guitars, a mildly jazzy rhythm section and very little sign of melody. It's the musical equivalent of a late night back alley rumble where somebody most definitely is going to get hurt. Duck or you might end up with a shiner.
Your American Math - Motors Into The Drink [mp3, mp3]

Motors Into The Drink has that first listen "Where have I heard this before?" feel to it, falling somewhere within Perfect From Now On-era Built to Spill, the fuzzed out drone of Windy & Carl, and splitting time between the hard rock bliss of Kinski and the drugged up mopiness of Bedhead. There's also brief white noise moments that will remind you of Psychocandy without reaching any extremes. Despite three of the seven tracks lasting over seven minutes, the album still seems too short.

The Forms - Icarus

The Forms - Icarus (Threespheres) [mp3s]

How serious can you take a band that sends out a press release that name drops Steve Albini about 643 times? It goes on to mention what bands they've played with (is that important?) and even goes on to namecheck Will Oldham. If your promotion company is trying to compare you to Slint, don't send the record to Louisville to get reviewed. Basically it breaks down like this: Slint = good. The Forms = limp, pretentious art pop. Needless to say, I took John King's advice and threw it out the window of my car.

Robbers On High Street

Robbers On High Street - demo [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

Sick of the "New York Scene" yet? Think all these new NYC bands are of such blandy-sameness that they can be expressed with a simple mathematical formula (L8 70s + 80s x 90s)? News for you: There's pure, sweet indie rock lurking in Gotham as well. Comin' off like an East Coast version of Spoon, The Robbers On High Street will bust your chops with their finely-honed indie rockin' skillz. I realize that the world is, as a general rule, an unfair place, but sheesh, somebody sign these guys already!
DJ Green Lantern - Shady Invasion II: Conspiracy Theory (Shady/Aftermath) [audio]

Getting mad at Ja Rule for being a punk is like yelling at a dog for licking it's genitals; however, this doesn't stop Em, 50 Cent and the G-G-G-Unit, and even a surprisingly hardcore Busta Rhymes from dropping lyrical bombs on everyone's favorite singing "thug." Fortunately, this quasi-legal compilation is more than just Hallie asking "daddy, is Ja Rule taller than me?" as Cypress Hill's DJ Muggs, Marshall's less-well-known protégé Obie Trice, and even the typically-lackluster D12 shine with their non-diss tracks too.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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