New Release Round-Up, 9/8/09 – 31 Instant Album Reviews

by Pouria Yazdi on September 11, 2009

Do farmers wear uniforms of matching plaid?

Do farmers wear uniforms of matching plaid?

I listen to a lot of music on Lala.com.  It’s a great way to find new artists on new album day.  But you have to sift through a lot of crap.  Since I’ve been wading in music-waste for the past few months, it was suggested that I’d be a great guide as to what to skip and what to enjoy.  These reviews will be by no means professional.  Just one dude listening to music and reacting.

Love Drunk by Boys Like Girls – Feels like an Nsync jam, maybe that is what passes as alternative these days?  Slipping in and out of auto tune noises makes me immediately disrespect this album.  “Love Drunk” (the second track) has a U2 vibey lick…but then sounds like it takes a page out Turkish pop songs.  “I used to be love drunk but now I’m hung over.”  That’s an actual line.  Lots of clichés.  You would love it if you were freshly entering high school and the girl you loved doesn’t even know you exist.

11:11 by Rodrigo y Gabriela – Starts off with a pretty sweet guitar.  Got a little bit of a Secret Chiefs thing going with how pronounced all the riffs are.  I dig it, a lot. Gets a little world music soundy at the 4th track, but the whole album rocks.

Phish Joy – Am I really going to listen to a Phish album?  Sounds too much like the Allman brothers for me at this moment.

Bomb in a Birdcage by A Fine Frenzy – Very sweet on the first track.  Like a subdued Jolie Holland song, until the rest of the band jumps in.  I was digging this album, and dug it even more when I found out how fine A Fine Frenzy is.

Popular Songs by Yo La Tengo – I have gone through life without ever listening to a Yo La Tengo.  Not that I was purposely avoiding them, but my life continued without ever having listened to one note.  I am listening to them and my life hasn’t really changed, but this album is cool.  Has some pretty trippy Sgt.Pepper spice happening and I like that.  The track titled “Periodically Double or Triple” is nice and funky and I approve of the whole album based on this track alone.

Sound The Alarm by Howie Day – Sounds like a Christian Rock Album.  I feel really inspired by Jesus when I listen to this album.  Pretty much makes me want to puke.

Everything Goes Wrong by Vivian Girls – I picture the perfect use of this album being listened to in your home, by yourself, in someone’s tighty whiteys, white socks, dancing around, kicking your feet hither and thither.

La Granja by Los Tigres Del Norte – Though I have no idea what good Latin music sounds like, any band called Los Tigres Del Norte is a winner in my book.  Also consider that they are all wearing the same outfit on their album cover.  Any taqueria rocking this would have delicious burritos

The Vault by Rascal Flatts – “Well I guess it’s in my jeans, not in horoscopes or cosmic things, these feelings run in my blood.  Always was and always is, comes on strong and never quits.  Never had to work that hard at love.” Ugh.  Next.

Pure Michael: Motown A Cappella by Michael Jackson – Supposed to be an A Cappella thing…but you can hear the instruments on some of these things…it’s weird.  How can we repackage his death?  Let’s remove the instruments and make an A Capella album!

Welcome To The Masquerade by Thousand Foot Krutch – Listening to this album is alright.  It just makes me want to put in a DIO album more than anything else.

Haih or Amortecedor by Os Mutantes – A Brazilian psychedilic rock band, no, really.  It doesn’t sound too bad at all…but I don’t know if you would listen to this in your car, or at home, or at work.  Maybe in a Woody Allen movie?

Two Dancers by Wild Beasts – Once the lead singer started I thought to myself “What the fuck is that?”…but in a good way.  I like Robert Wyatt and so I would like this band, in that it “Wyatt’s” every once in a while.

Legend Of The Black Shawarma by Infected Mushroom – An album title that makes you laugh, this is a good thing.  But the album is not a comedy album…I don’t think…I mean it has some helium inspired vocals….bands are so creative!  Even though I want to say this is a bad album, it’s not. Interesting samples and pretty heavy bass.

Masters of the Burial by Amy Millan – This is a good album because it’s got twang.  Good twang, none of that Nashville Grand Ole Opry twang.

Mister Pop by The Clean – Mixed feelings about this album.  At times it’s Malkmussy and at other times it just sounds like drab, ho-humness.  I particularly like Back in the Day.

In Search Of Solid Ground by Saosin – After about 10 seconds of the first track it felt like I had been listening to this for far too long.  Not in a mean way, but honestly it felt like I had been listening to this album over and over and I had to stop.

East Of Eden by Taken By Trees – This album is a chill-back album.  If you’re not familiar with a chill-back then you haven’t lived in Santa Cruz.  Mixes in world music with Swedish pop.  The only thing that comes to mind is that this album feels honest…as hokey as that sounds.  Good album.

In Prism by Polvo – Once the band starts I think, “Rock.”  There is nothing else you could think while listening to this.  It’s sweet.  Gets kinda boring by the end though

Ignore The Ignorant by The Cribs – Initially I thought this may be an MTV produced album, a compilation of all the people on Cribs.  I was wrong, it happens.  This band sports a newly joined Johnny Marr and 3 actual brothers from England.  They don’t sound like Hanson. Sound a little bit like Good Shoes with the choppy guitar playing.

Crazy Rhythms by The Feelies – Rerelease of an out of print album.  If all bands of today sounded this good, it would be an awesome time.

A Certain Distance by Lusine – This is music for hip tea bars.  Or it might be played after a particularly significant night out with friends, during the quiet drive home, and with pensive passengers.  Or if you owned a really spacious loft and used minimalist furnishings.

Teeth Lost, Hearts Won by The Grates – My ears are always piqued by cutesy sounding front women…this chick sounds like she’s proving to her high school friends she doesn’t care if she wasn’t hot, she fronts a pop band.  Do not dig this album.

The Bear by Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers – I love when albums start off with counting, and then the counting is backed up by a foot tapper.  Unfortunately the rest of the album doesn’t have the same feel as the first song.  A little disappointing as it turns into a whole bunch of love songs.  Guh.

Chasing Hamburg by Polar Bear Club – I really dig this album.  It’s been really up-tempo, good vocals, a little punky, and a little indie.  Great combo.  Plus they have pretty cool T-Shirts.  I am thinking about checking this band out when they hit the city.

The Hot Melts by The Hot Melts – A band from the UK.  It’s pretty produced and has a lot of pop going on, but still fun to listen to.  Plus, who doesn’t love self-titled albums that make you want food?

Good Morning Jokers by Mi & L’au – The story on these guys is pretty cool.  Basically they were cool European traveling Parisians, one a model and one a soundtrack composer, then they moved into a cabin in the woods in Finland.  The music is really simple.  At times it’s almost like not listening to music.

The Sub Pop Years by Damon & Naomi – I didn’t think I liked this album, until I realized I really like this album.  It’s music that sounds good and is easy to listen to.  It looks like a compilation or something, but I can’t be bothered to do the research.

Barbecue Bob in Fishtown by Glenn Jones – I have a weakness for acoustic guitar albums, especially when they are really good.  If that album title doesn’t “lure” you in, I don’t know what will.

Kearney Barton by Wheedle’s Groove – This is a compilation album of some funky-ass rarities from Seattle. Do I need to say more?

ForPlay by Saint Motel – Oh puns!  They are fun.  This EP is too.  Give it a listen it may surprise you.  It did for me.

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Pouria Yazdi blogs about stuff at ilivewithmom.com

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandy September 11, 2009 at 9:17 am

Nice! Love what you said about “La Granja by Los Tigres Del Norte.” made me giggle.

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Dakin Hardwick September 11, 2009 at 9:52 am

I am really happy that you gave props to Los Tigres Del Norte… So Good!!!!! This video is really fun, too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckS31hwGE5g

Older song, and I still have that cell phone…

Reply

Vanessa Romero September 11, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Apparently The Tigers of the North are the band to talk about on this list, but they are probably one of the most popular “bandas” in Mexico. Thumbs up!

Reply

Joel September 15, 2009 at 8:57 am

Amy Millan is in the rotation at KSCU. I think I played her last week.

Los Tigres del Norte have San Jose ties of some sort, but I also can’t be bothered to do the research. I used to watch them on Caliente, the best TV show ever.

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