- 9:48 pm - Wed, May 22, 2013
- 4 notes
2013 is a Santa Claus sack bleeding an endless amount of toys for good little girls and boys. My Bloody Valentine made a fantastic comeback, Qotsa are dropping a new record next month, Kanye and J.Cole are duking it out in the same month, the list goes on. One of the bigger toys, (at this point, the biggest) has to be Daft Punk’s 4th studio record, Random Access Memories.
- 11:38 am
- 3 notes
- 6 Plays
Chain Smoker | Chance the Rapper
- 12:05 pm - Wed, May 8, 2013
- 5 notes
Joining the likes of Wavves and MGMT, Vampire Weekend is along for the ride on a 2010-sophomore reunion among prominent indie-minded bands. Much like those bands, Vampire Weekend straddle a line between being well known yet still retaining an indie-skin relative to the likes of Mumford&Sons.
With the band’s third LP Modern Vampires of the City, the indie kingfish collective have both struck gold and a smattering of pyrite. With this album, the band stirs up a concoction that provides another creative jump in terms of stylistic ethos. The band’s jaunty baroque-meets-west Afro-pop-rhythms is recast with a distinctively old-New York aesthetic. Sullen pianos and dusty gramophone crackles are abundant on this album and decorate the core tenants of the band’s sound and proves to be inspired (and slightly restrictive).
This old-new york filter is exemplified in “Obvious Bicycle” which begins the album with a monochromatic minimalism which immediately contrasts the intricate work of the band’s last album, Contra. That song gives way to quicker, upbeat numbers like “Unbelievers” , and frontman Ezra Koeing’s spritely, pop vocals on “Finger Back” and “Worship You”. The crowning jewel of these catchy indie-glides is “Diane Young”. On this track, Koeing’s playful Elvis-inspired hooks match the great composition (no doubt owed in part to the work of fellow band member Rostam Batmanglij). It is the best track on the album, but like many fantastic momentum streaks on the album, it is cut by the lumbering pace of the albums general urban aesthetic.
Tracks like “Hannah Hunt” , “Young Lion ” and “Hudson” become chains that restrain the exuberant energy found in the album’s spots of peppery pop; these songs are a bit too sullen and pop-up a bit too often. “Obvious Bicycle” is refreshing minimal, but by the time “Young Lion” ends the record, it feels unnecessary. Certain slower tracks like “Step” and “Ya Hey” counteract this encumbering sensation and are actually act examples of how to slow down the momentum of the album without bringing it to a crawl and work quite well.
That said, Modern Vampires of the City is pretty diverse. The thematic glaze brushed on all the songs on the album come from a shared (most importantly consistent) DNA yet they’re all pretty different, which is quite a difficult balance to maintain. It’s an accomplishment this album achieves and deserves merit for it, despite the appearance of less stellar tracks.
Perhaps Modern Vampire’s molasses-like New York promenades are a slow burn. It is entirely possible, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that there’s a constantly great album here from start to end, yet it is slightly obscured by some big apple smog. Despite some momentum issues, Modern Vampire’s of the City is damn solid record that continues the band’s winstreak to 3-0.
★ ★ ★ ★
- 9:37 am - Tue, Apr 30, 2013
- 11 notes
Pixies — Distance Equals Rate Times Time
- 14 Plays
Distance Equals Rate Times Time | Pixies
- 12:58 pm - Mon, Apr 22, 2013
- 3 notes
It’s been 4 years since Phoenix’s breakout on their 4th album. 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, was a coming out well earned for these french purveyors of electronically-charged indiepop. Accolades from Pitchfork to the Grammys rained down on the group as if to reward them for their decade of steadily measured evolutions and noble modest attitudes. Enter Bankrupt!, a record that comes directly after their 2009 career climax. Almost expectantly, it delivers in the way Phoenix always has with their Batman-esque anonymity and intermittent stage presence.
Bankrupt! Begins with their blaring single “Entertainment”. Similar to a welcome back first day of school, Entertainment reminds you that Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was a special record, as this song is almost entirely created out of the reverberating synth mold that pervaded their last record.Oddly enough, it’s married to a sound that thinks it’s going Japanese.There are other eastern influences on the album that just prove Phoenix has spent their time thoughtfully drawing inspiration. As the album progresses, we see Phoenix charting new territories for their Wolfgang formula by retreating even further back into 80s new wave and synthpop than they have ever done.
“S.O.S in Bel Air” employs reorganized, dancey 80s synthpop driven by jumpy drum beats with the kind of pop-knack rhythm that has become endemic in Phoenix’s sound. Elsewhere, a glistening, yet chilled-out new wave number present’s itself in the infectious “Trying to Be Cool”. It’s the kind of song that speaks to the band’s slick, romantic sensibilities building upon a legacy that goes back to “If I ever Feel Better” over a decade ago.
However, the album’s eponymous track derails the record a bit because of how indulgent it is in regards to textures. This is a beautiful sounding, and incredibly ornate album, but its self-titled track (directly analogous to “Love Like a Sunset”) is a bit too sonically busy to provide any point of consistent ingress in its groove or lack thereof. Whereas the rest of the album is a natural beauty, this song feels a bit contrived.
After that bit of a record scratch, the album picks up again. Hitting high points again with the likes of “Chloroform”, a slow-roasting Rnb-meets-spritely-synth blend gently stirred by Thomas Mars croaky, yet romantically-suave vocal delivery.
The last leg of the album contains anti-consumerist and anti-bourgeois lyrical sentiments in “Oblique City” and (the aptly titled) “Bourgeois”. It’s subject matter almost entirely unexplored by the band and is welcome addition of emotional despondence to the band’s thematic arsenal.
Bankrupt!, much like My Bloody Valentines long-awaited M B V, starts with a winning formula and iterates on it continuously as the album progresses, and by the end the album it’s an entirely beast. Unlike the Strokes latest descent into botched New Wave integration on Comedown Machine, Phoenix has confidence in their sound and smartly know which parts of it are partial to a new interpretation.
Bankrupt! doesn’t drastically re-write the book written four years ,but why should it have to? The skilful iteration on here may not provide the outright hits rivaling “1901”, but Bankrupt! is an altogether more cohesive record than its predecessor and better for it in several ways.
*★ ★ ★ ★