May 1, 2012

Brief Music Reviews

Occasionally I do CD reviews for the radio station and share them here. They need to fit on the front of a CD so they are brief and to the point. The Richter Magnitude Rating Scale key is on the right side of my blog.

Artist: Twilight Sad
Title: No One Can Ever Know
Label: Fat Cat
Genre : Rock
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale: Strong
Review: Analog Synths! Programmed Drums! It's the late '70s meets the '80s meets '90s! They are still very Scottish, moody (emotive) but channeled through a whole new filter; less noisy but no less dramatic. Now a trio on their third album, they are Suicide 2.0 while still managing to stay true to their Arab Strap heart on the sleeve doom and gloomery. (That's a word, right?) Perfectly under-produced by Andrew Weatherall, I give this a solid B+. Next time when I am in the mood for Fad Gadget or Cabaret Voltaire, I am grabbing this instead.
Recommended tracks: 6,1, 8, 3, 4 ,5

Artist: La Sera 

Title: Sees the Light
Label: Hardly Art
Genre: Rock
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale: Minor.2
Review: Let's agree to disagree. If you are like everyone else out there in the music critic world, you probably found this record to be a delightful, pleasant Pop romp but I find this 30 minutes of music to be annoyingly average and all rather sound-a-likey. Katy Goodman who exited the Vivian Girls a few years ago has moved just slightly away from her garage rock Wipers meets '60 girl group concept and moved into soundtrack work for romcoms and shampoo commercials. Rather than carry the expressive power of Blondie, these songs are compressed into flatined BLAHndie.
Recommended tracks: 3,9, 4, 2, 6 (since I have to pick some for on air play)

Artist: Breton
Title: Other People's Problems
Label: Fat Cat
Genre: Electronic / Rock
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale: Moderate to Strong
Review: So what does a bunch of UK filmmakers gone musicians named after the father of the surrealist movement Andre Breton sound like? Apocalyptic glitch-hop party music where some of the crew has taken some brown acid so it doesn't exactly sound like a good time. It sounds paranoid, disjointed and at their more commercial moments, like The Streets. With three well received EPs under their belt from the label that brought us James Blake, there are several moments of greatness (see reco tracks for the hits) and luckily those aren't diluted by the misses of which there are a few of as well. 
Recommended tracks: 3, 5, 7, 8, 10

Artist: Feedtime
Title: Sampler
Label: Sub Pop
Genre: Rock / Blues
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale: Moderate for me, Strong to the Northwest
Review: For those looking where bands like Mudhoney (and so many other early Sup Poppers) get their primal raw chainsaw slide guitar sound from, look no further. This '80s noisy Australian trio churns out rock that is rooted in Blues but sounds more like Birthday Party or Flipper. Barely melodic, file under heavy uneasy listening that Sub Pop is reissuing to give a whole new life. Makes sense as this will appeal to those who appreciated the bands who helped put Sub Pop on the map as well as followers of Amphetamine Reptile Records or that Chicago chunky bass sound ALA Shellac. 
Recommended tracks: 6,1, 4, 7, 9 (straight up blues)

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