Hullo chaps. This review is a co-blogging effort with the very very lovely Beckeye, who you may know from such websites as ThePopEye and StarPulse. Beckeye approached me a while ago with some ideas for a review. She had made a load of albums via the Random Album Meme that was going around a while back, and asked if I wanted to review them. She named the bands and records, designed album art, came up with song titles and named the bandmembers all using random methods involving Flickr, Wikipedia and other websites. Heck, the only thing she didn't invent were the release dates and barcode numbers. With such a wealth of information, how could I refuse? Here are the results of our collaboration. Please enjoy.
New Album Round-up
The urge to creativity is a strong one, and the wave of musical inspiration that flowed through Mozart, Lennon, Peter Cetera and the Vengaboys continues to bash against the rocks of artistic endeavour. New music is being released every day, like kidnapped bank tellers from a building besieged by snipers after a failed robbery attempt. This week I was sent some brand new music to listen to and appraise with all the flair and wit for which I am famous.
First up is veteran prog-punk dance-rock quintet Magnatune, with their umpteenth album Faith in the Future. Opening track ‘Symplectization’ is eighteen minutes of heavy-assed flute/glockenspiel cockrock shebangabanging, with brassic beats and bleary-eyed bassline thumpery added to the mix for extra mmmnice. It’s a great track, but sadly almost identical to the opening songs in their last four albums. In fact, all of the music seems to have been wholly taken from previous releases, including stand-out track ‘Health Insurance’, which is just ‘Cesar Catli’ from their debut record played backwards by an angry trumpet.
Verdict: Nice songs, but about as original as supermarket own-brand cornflakes
The term ‘Gutblasting Teutonic Chickrock’ is thrown around so much these days, but it has never been more warranted than in the case of Zündels Abgang, the latest German Grrrrlcore fembunch. Their debut album, Saying what we Know, is more rocky than Rocky Balboa eating Rocky Road ice cream while sitting in a quarry. From opening track ‘Dosinia Maoriana’ to closer ‘Flying Guillotine’, this album grabbed me by the balls and wouldn’t let them go until I’d given it all my sweets. The only down-note was ‘Languages of Australia’, a song that the band’s drummer, Carissa Cantu, wrote while under general anaesthetic.
Verdict: I like it, now can I have my bike back please?
Ask the average person on the street what they understand by the term ‘math-rock’ and they’ll probably run away because I forgot to put pants on. American Front’s new album, Hindsight is Always Twenty-Twenty should be their answer, though, because it’s the most clever, dorky and embarrassing album ever released, and as a result epitomises math-rock in a way no words ever could. When listening to songs like ‘Bachelor of Business Administration’, ‘Aradle Mental Hospital’ and ‘Swimming at the 1996 Summer Olympics – Women’s 200 Metre Butterfly’, I feel like I’m being pounded on the head by a musical calculator. It’s a disconcerting experience, because I feel like if anyone sees me listening to it they’ll wedgie me out of spite.
Verdict: 2 + 2 = Poor
Individual Computers Catweasel are a Brooklyn duo made famous by the fact that their song ‘Pando’ was featured in a commercial for Gap Jeans. Their new album On You Like Wolves is highly anticipated, and music lovers will not be disappointed. Timothy Dwain Huff and Ian Hughes have worked hard to ensure that every single song on this album will be suitable for car, computer and clothing commercials, from the gentle, swaying ‘Pacific Coast Railway’ (just right for a Toyota Yaris ad) to the rocking ‘List of Career Achievements by Tiger Woods’ (soon to heard when Apple try to sell you an iPod). The television commercial usefulness of this album would make Moby blush, so you might as well not bother buying the album, because you’ll be sick of the songs by April.
Verdict: Just Do It.