Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spiritualized - Songs in A&E

When it comes to writing bad ass songs about doing drugs and Jesus, there isn't a single musician that can top Jason Spaceman. It's been nearly half a decade since the last Spiritualized LP dropped, so I had big expectations for this record. Songs in A&E tops 2004's Amazing Grace in damn near every way, and strikes a perfect balance between that album's straight ahead rock sound and the more orchestrated compositions of the prior two LP's. When Spiritualized inevitably tours to support this record, make sure you check them out. I caught them a few years back, and it was one of the best shows I've ever been to.

- Steve

Download Songs in A&E

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Howlin Rain - Wild Life

Howlin Rain's entry in the Oscillation III series from Lobed Records. Slightly more Comets on Fire than Howlin Rain, and Ben Chasny of Comets on Fire donated some lovely guitar work. Both tracks were recorded live. The first track is "an improvised meditation on Paul McCsrtney's original song", and the second track is a "completely improvised piece." I had my face completely rocked by them last night. It was depressingly empty, with maybe 15 of us watching. Maybe because it was in Pontiac and not Detroit, but it was sad to see the shitty opening band with more support than Citay or Howlin, and even sadder to hear the guitarist of Howlin tell me "I'm glad some people decided to stick around for our set." It wasn't an unspeakably amazing show like the first Comets on Fire gig I went to, but it's likely I'll never see a show that good ever again. Ethan Miller is a really nice dude, and I demanded him to repress the first Comets album on vinyl. He seemed pretty blown away when I told him the original always sells for over a hundred bucks on ebay. He cracked up and said "that's awesome, it literally took me $5 to record it." I bought this CD and a T-shirt from him, seeing as I need to make up for the 700 downloads of Magnificent Fiend that this blog provided. Anyways, lovely artwork brought to you by Miller's wife.

- Dan

Download Wild Life

Monday, March 24, 2008

Thee Oh Sees - The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spening A Night In

(LINK FIXED 3/28/08)

Thanks to bubba for posting this one in the shoutbox, but my first listen was so enjoyable the first time through, I figured it deserved a legitimate post. The new album is a step up from last years Sucks Blood, in my opinion. They've decided to move on from the strangely entrancing sleepy-psychedelia perfectly demonstrated by the last album, and have decided to make a more old-fashioned and mildly surf-tastic rock 'n' roll record. Although a few tracks show the same nonchalant rhythms of Sucks Blood, The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In will definitely get your hips swinging. I enjoy both albums, but I think this record will give the band the attention they deserve, and is likely to score well when Pitchfork decides to review it. You can quote me on that one.

- Dan

Download The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In

Sunday, March 23, 2008

V/A - Within The Church of Thee Overlords II

Nothing says happy Easter like a compilation from Southern Lord. I picked this up a few weeks back when Dan and I were in Chicago. It was in a big box marked "Free" so I don't think anyone will mind me posting this. If you have even a passing interest in ridiculously heavy music, this is a great listen. Well worth a download.

- Steve

Download Within The Church of Thee Overlords II

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dev/Null - Lazer Thrash

If you like your breakcore heavy on the break, heavy on the core, and in quadruple time, then Dev/Null is your dream come true. His attention to detail is fucking ridiculous, and his tracks are endlessly entertaining, slightly demented, perfectly abrasive, and entirely badass. This guy is not as well known as he deserves to be, so support the man, buy his album, add him as a friend on myspace, catch one of his shows, tell your drugged out raver friends blah blah blah. Certainly my favorite release from Cock Rock Disco.

- Dan

Download Lazer Thrash

Monday, March 17, 2008

Comus - First Utterance

This is easily one of the greatest albums of the entire 1970s, and Comus' popularity has skyrocketed in the last few years. I randomly came across a review of the album a few years ago, and had a hell of a time trying to track it down. Now there's numerous active links across the internet, and their listener count on has jumped nearly 10,000 in the last year. Comus creates some of the most intense folk music you may ever hear, sounding as if it would have been enjoyed by any pagan of the Middle Ages. It's without question acid folk, but is considerably heavier than any other band or artist of the genre. Comus released another version of the album with 3 bonus tracks, but I prefer the original 7 track release seeing as this is the way the band originally wanted you to hear it.

- Dan

Download First Utterance

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Animal Collective - Water Curses EP

This just popped up on the internet recently so I haven't had much time to digest it or even find the actual album cover. After a couple of listens, I can definitely say that these four short tracks are in no way disappointing. The title track in particular stands out, and just might eclipse "The Purple Bottle" as their most instantly accessible song. Enjoy.

- Steve

Download Water Curses EP

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mount Eerie - Black Wooden Ceiling Opening

(LINK REMOVED 3/11/08)

Mount Eerie is Phil Elvrum who used to perform and record under the moniker of The Microphones. With The Microphones name, Phil created some fantastic (and at times, really creepy) lo-fi folk music. After switching to the Mount Eerie name, Phil seemed to lose his touch. I'll be honest, until this release every Mount Eeerie record put me to sleep. With Black Wooden Ceiling Opening it looks like the collective snoring of his fans has inspired him to try something a little different, and by a little different, I mean unlike anything anyone would have expected. Halfway through the first track, I don't many people would argue against labeling the song as metal. The remainder of the record, for the most part, follows suit. The strangest thing about it is that it works. This record is loud, fuzzed out, and doesn't seem the least bit forced. Chalk this one up as the biggest surprise of 2008.

- Steve

The Clean - Anthology

Courtesy of Amazon:

"Over the last 24 years, New Zealand's The Clean have influenced countless bands with their unique blend of homemade garage rock, hook-filled melodies, and psychedelic experimentalism. This double CD documents the band's development from the late 70s to the early 90s and includes out of print and hard to find singles, EPs, and tracks from the first three LPs"

I saw a request for something Australian and decided to just upload this because it's fucking awesome and New Zealand is close enough. The Clean make perfect pop songs, which is quite an impressive feat when you're one of the first bands from your country to actually play original material. Most songs are stripped down to the absolute bare essentials-- power chords, a simple drum beat, and the occasional organ melody. You won't come across many other groups that can do so much with so little. The Clean were also the foundation of the influential Flying Nun label, as well as an inspiration for the likes of Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, and countless others.

- Steve

Download Anthology Disc 1

Download Anthology Disc 2

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Joseph Nothing - Dummy Variations

It's possible that Joseph Nothing makes the most uplifting electronic music out there. I typically only listen to him when I'm already in a good mood, but this album is definitely capable of putting you in a good mood even on your worst days. You'll know what I'm talking about as soon as you hear the very first sound. I wish he made more tracks like track 1, as he does his best work with actual drumkit samples, but it's a solid album, and his other releases are equally impressive. For fans of Boards of Canada, µ-Ziq, and Squarepusher.

- Dan

Download Dummy Variations

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Woods Family Creeps - S/T

I've been addicted to this album lately, and I just downloaded their release from last year, and I'm highly enjoying that as well. The duo known as Woods decided to become a trio known as Woods Family Creeps for this release. Woods create some lo-fi, backwoodsy, and strangely melodic pop-ish tunes that get stuck in your head almost immediately. The cassette-tape hiss and high-pitched vocals give Woods a sound their own. Woods' At Rear House, released last year, has a few active links around the net, so after checking this album out, I suggest tracking that one down as well. If you're looking for a comparison, they're sound reminds me of a mix of The Ohsees and Phosphorescent albums I posted awhile ago.
- Dan

Download Woods Family Creeps

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Of Montreal - The Gay Parade

Whenever I'm looking for something good to post I check to see what albums are missing or no longer have active links within the blogosphere, and since I just received this LP in the mail today, I thought I'd give it some attention here. It's impossible for me to rank the Of Montreal albums that preceded Satanic Panic in the Attic. I love them all equally, but this might be my favorite album to sing along with. It's traditional pop genius, but requires a little patience and a few listens to realize it. Although the music itself is catchy as hell, it's the lyrics that are likely to hook you. Each song tells a story that is both huggable and well... kinda gay, but it's one of the best releases to come off Kindercore Records in my opinion.

- Dan

Download The Gay Parade

Monday, March 3, 2008

Solar Coaster - S/T

This self-titled debut from 1998 is Solar Coaster's only release to date. After this album came out, their label folded and the band dropped off the face of the earth. Once you get past the band's borderline cringe worthy name, this album will really hook you. Solar Coaster is the only band I've ever come across that has successfully blended shoegaze with punk rock. The result is 20 solid songs in less than an hour that often sound like something the guys in Swervedriver or Ride might have made if they spent a weekend slamming Red Bull and snorting speed.

- Steve

Download S/T

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Lesser - Suppressive Acts I-X

Every time I listen to this album, I wonder why I don't give it more plays. Although Lesser has become better known for his collaborations with Bjork, Matmos, and Kid606, his solo experimentations of sound is easily his most interesting work. What makes his sound so appealing to me is his unpredictability. Just when you think you've got a hold on his looping rhythms, he switches it up on you. This isn't your conventional glitched beats and slippery drum and bass style. I find myself nodding to his beats mentally rather than physically in fear of making myself look like a complete jackass. When you listen you'll know what I mean. It's similar to 606 in ways, only it requires a little more concentration.

- Dan

Download Suppressive Acts I-X