September 2003 Archives

MxPx - Before Everything and After

MxPx - Before Everything and After (A & M)

MxPx are punk veterans. By punk, I mean producing perfect music for tearing out of the mall parking lot after losing your job busing tables at the Newport Creamery. At their best, they sound like Green Day. At their worst, Good Charlotte and a million other over-produced Hot Topic boy bands overcompensating for a lack of creativity by coating themselves in an abundance of tattoos and piercings. Musically, they arent rebelling against anything and the song lyrics stick to girls and how much they hurt boys.

Drive-By Truckers - Decoration Day

| 1 Comment
Drive-By Truckers - Decoration Day (New West Records) [audio] [upcoming shows]

Here in the American south, decoration day refers to placing bouquets of flowers on loved ones' gravesites. A more fitting name couldn't be found for this brilliantly crafted collection of songs covering dour and depressing topics with southern boogie, insightful lyrics and country wisdom. Whether it's a song about an incestuous brother and sister ("The Deeper In"), an ode to a father and his advice to an unheeding son ("Outfit") or the reaction to a friend's suicide ("When The Pin Hits The Shell"), "Decoration Day" manages to flesh out its stories while never losing its dignity.

Centro-matic - Love You Just The Same

| No Comments
Centro-matic - Love You Just The Same (Misra Records) [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

With at least eight full albums under different names, Centro-matic's prolific output is only matched by their versitility, performing as the backing band for Edward Burch and Varnaline, while also serving as the opening act. This collection of songs may not have the immediacy of past works and while the production sounds better than ever, Will Johnson's gruff vocals split time between heartbreaking ballads and yelps over full-blown orchestrated rock songs. Expect to be humming along with the choruses on the second listen.
Phosphorescent - A Hundred Times or More (Warm)

The last thing the world needs is another young, white, anguished poster-child for anti-depressants. But fuck that. This is the album the others wish they could write. It melds Rex, Fevers-era Bright Eyes and Palace Brothers, including a sing along in which it is obvious not everyone in the chorus was given a copy of the lyric sheet. The sequencing is the one complaint - it takes until track three to get the ball rolling, but this is the album that proves Lifted... was a complete pile of shit.

Alta May - Dark Days

| No Comments
Alta May - Dark Days (Glazed Records) [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

Young men need that one record to push them from their adolescent listening habits into adulthood. In '91 Nirvana's Nevermind pulled me out of my glam rock past in and opened all new doors. Alta May's latest should be the catalyst for many young men looking to expand their horizons. With ferocious guitars and a driving rhythm section, this testosterone-driven release sounds like the greatest riffs of Mudhoney, Nirvana, QOTSA, Local H, and Sonic Youth thrown into a blender and put on "slow grind."

Big Noyd - Only The Strong

| 1 Comment
Big Noyd - Only The Strong (Landspeed Records) [audio]

Few people could take a Domino's Pizza-ruining elf as their namesake and still keep it gully as fuck; even the pastiest of emo kids will start to feel bulletproof after a few spins of "Shoot Em Up (Pts. 1 and 2)." Noyd's time-honored Queensbridge flow isn't the most original in the world, but on an album blessed with some of the Alchemist's finest and most head-noddingly ominous creations, it more than gets the job done.

Folk Implosion - The New Folk Implosion

Folk Implosion - The New Folk Implosion (iMusic) [audio/video]

­If the songs on The New Folk Implosion were melted down, and magically converted into a person, he would be skinny, pale, a little sweaty, and deadly earnest. His record collection would consist entirely of Joni Mitchell and Black Sabbath LPs, and he'd lie awake most nights composing poetry aimed at all the people who wronged him that day. He wouldn't be a bad guy, but then, you probably wouldn't want to spend a whole night playing Dungeons & Dragons with him, either.
Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer - Jalopy Go Far (Eyeball Records) [mp3] [upcoming shows]

Summer albums are supposed to be fun and carefree, full of catchy songs that you can sing along to as you zip around in a convertible while heading to the beach. This album captures the summer spirit with bouncy songs that incorporate the pogo-pop of Superchunk, the spunky feminine touch of That Dog, and the blasting synth style of The Rentals. Rachel Minton's peppy punk rock cheerleader vocals will leave you wishing that summer were a year-round season.
The Long Winters - When I Pretend to Fall (Barsuk) [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

A collection of songs that give you the bittersweet feeling of overhearing some guy at a party tell stories you can feel in your heart, then right as you decide you're going to talk to him, some completely hot girl drops in his lap and says "Are you ready to go?" An indie rock star studded record for those who like records you can leave on repeat.

Ambulance LTD - Ambulance LTD EP

Ambulance LTD - Ambulance LTD EP (TVT Records) [audio] [upcoming shows]

This charming debut EP from these rail-thin NYC hipsters brings to mind sounds of the 1990's British shoegazing movement (My Bloody Valentine, etc) coupled with a knack for swirling melodies reminiscent of bands like Ride and Teenage Fanclub. Ambulance LTD fit somewhere in the middle of the NYC music spectrum, less jumpy and forceful than Interpol, yet eons dreamier than the throngs of nü-dance bands emerging from the depths of the Hudson. More 1960's than 1980's, it's a familiar sound with a fresh dose of quality.

Tora Tora Torrance - A Cynics Nightmare

| 1 Comment
Tora Tora Torrance - A Cynics Nightmare (The Militia Group)

Despite a trebly recording, underneath is a solid rhythm section that's equal parts slow and heavy Jesus Lizard-ish bass grooves and clockwork-like drums. The songs, which are littered with Modest Mouse-type guitar licks, speed up and slow down but consistantly remain abrasive. Also popping up are bits of piano, cowbells, bursts of trumpets, backwards tracked drums, synths and annoying as a compliment vocals (think the Peechees). Perfect if you're in the mood, don't expect to make many friends by claiming to be a fan.
7 Heads R Better Than 1 - No Edge Ups In South Africa (Seven Heads)

A wonderfully diverse compilation, the 7 Heads LP features jawns that span the entire spectrum of indie hiphop, from J-Live's peerless boom bap to the soulful house of Djinji Brown; even the Soulive's jazzy, live instrumentation gets some love. No offense to Pharell, but we can all use a little break from space-age keyboard rap sometimes; this emotive and organic disc (think early Tribe Called Quest) is a keeper.

Superchunk - Cup Of Sand

| No Comments
Superchunk - Cup Of Sand (Merge) [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

It just ain't right for a band to release a double CD of b-sides and out-takes and have it end up being the best album they've released in eight years. I really don't understand how this album can be so good (especially the first disc). I'm shaking my head, confused, but happy. The stereo is jumping. My neighbors are pounding the walls. Cup Of Sand defies the odds.

Monthly Archives


Powered by Movable Type 5.02

About this Archive

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

August 2003 is the previous archive.

October 2003 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.