New Release Round Up, 10/20/09 – 42 Instant Album Reviews

by Tony Butterworth on October 21, 2009

Undisputed winner of the holiday value for money championships

Undisputed winner of the holiday value for money championships

“Fill in for Pouria” they said, “yes” said I.  Little did I know what I was in for. Of course being someone who appreciates Hannah Montana but not the super-cool indie bands this could be a little different.

I’ll start by saying I wish I could have done this last week when the Editors In This Light and On This Evening was released.  I loved their last album and eagerly awaited this one, I planned to write a full review but in the end could only muster one word (or perhaps many versions of one word) – unlistenable (which may, in fact, not even be a word).  So there you go, I managed that review.  Now onto this week:

Southern Voice by Tim McGraw.  I’ll have to admit that I’m not totally opposed to country, I don’t own any but I’ll turn CMT on if I need something to listen to.  Then again I’m not sure this even is country, a number of songs here would fit nicely on a Backstreet Boys or Idol winners album.

The BQE: The Motion Picture Soundtrack by Surfjan Stevens.  The soundtrack to a movie I have never heard of.  Oops, where are the songs, this is a classical style score.

I Told You I was Freaky by Flight of The Conchords.  I like these guys and enjoy watching their show. There’s some great songs on here like “Hurt Feelings” and “Sugar Lumps.”  There’s also a bunch of junk (and not the sugar lumps kind).

Natural Forces by Lyle Lovett.  Never been a fan of Lyle’s. Someone should probably recommend that Tim McGraw listen to this if he wants to know what country actually is.

One Fast Move Or I’m Gone Music From Kerouac’s Big Sur by Ben Gibbard and Jay Ferrar.  OK I’ll cope to cheating here, I’ve already heard this and I like it.  It’s VERY mellow and laid back but I always like Gibbard’s voice and that doesn’t change here.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The sound of teenage girls screaming.  Twilight soundtracks try way too hard to be cool and hence turn me off.  Even the appearance of Death Cab (admittedly performing a dull song) and The Killers can’t make me interested in this as a whole and they did include a new Editors tune hence making it unlistenable.

Lungs by Florence and the Machine.  Time to be cool, all the cool kids like Florence and two weeks ago I would have told you I did also, even though I had actually never heard anything from her at that point.  Well I did hear a couple of songs in the last two weeks and I liked them.  I really like this too, this one is definitely recommended.

It Is Well by Kutless.  First one so far that I’ve not heard of, they are in the genre of “Christian and Gospel” but they look like rockers.   Pretty in-your-face Christian lyrics played as MOR style rock.

Declaration Of Dependence by Kings of Convenience.  Clever title and clever name, always a worrisome sign.  They are described as alternative but really it’s quirky acoustic guitar pop with an indie twist.  Add more sugar and you’ve got Jason Mraz.

Logos by Atlas Sound. The sound of someone trying too hard to be cool.

Tarot Sport by Fuck Buttons.  Basically this one just had to be included here. A mostly unlistenable suite of ten minute synth tracks but such a cool name.

The Bridge by Melanie Fiona.  Two first names has always been a red flag to me.  Smooth Canadian R&B, give her some rock backing and form the Noisettes 2.

Axe To Fall by Converge.  The first thing to rock this week. Again they call it alternative but this time it’s pretty straightforward metal, with a song title like “Worms Will Feed, Rats Will Bleed,” how can you go wrong.

Cycles by Cartel. Take two spoons of Jimmy Eat World and one spoon of The All American Rejects, mix thoroughly and you have Cartel.  A glossy indie pop/rock style that I quite like but it’s nothing out of the ordinary.  As I listen more some of these riffs sound like direct rips from Jimmy Eat World.

Thankful by The Whispers.  They lied, they doobie doo’d in loud voices, no whispering to be found here.

Fits by White Denim.  Rock, garage, soul, I don’t know it’s all just music to me.  This really is a musical mix of different styles.  A double album no less.

Love Is Not Pop by El Perro Del Mar.  Spanish name (“Dogs of The Sea”), Swedish singer and pretty nice to listen to. Described as “low-fi twee pop” and who can argue with that.

Summer of Fear by Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson.  Actually I just wanted to type that really long name.  A kind of mellow beach rock is to be found here.

Another Heist by Camp Lo.  I suspect this guy owns a lot of Jay-Z records.

Before Nightfall by Robert Francis.  Melodic angst rock.  Pretty good really though calling a song “Mescaline” kind of loses him brownie points.

Never Rest In Peace by Star Fucking Hipsters.  OK I’m a child and I admit it.  I guess this is Ska-punk, with female and male vocals.  At first I was ready to skip on past but it’s actually pretty tuneful.

The Conformist by by Doveman.  Is that title irony or not ?  Another example of attempt be super-hip that at it’s core is just middle of the road music.  OK I’m listening more and I guess I am a fan of super-hip middle of the road music.

Accidental Experimental by Inara George.  It is my trouble-making opinion that there is too much twee female vocal based music around these days.  It’s all very nice but they need to make more effort to be different from each other.  More of that to be heard here.

Yo Gabba Gabba Music Is Awesome – Yo Gabba Gabba.  A wonderful mix of songs like “Party In My Tummy,” “Brush Brush Brush” and The Shins ????   Who’d a thunk it.

Chomp More by Pylon.  I was looking to be woken up by now and the name, plus the dinosaur on the cover, got me excited.  The music was OK I guess but I still felt like a nap.  Too much music not enough song.

The Neighborhood by Tokyo Sex Destruction.   Surely these guys will wake me up.  They did but not really by rocking.  They keep a good beat but I just kind of like them.  Not sure if they are Brits or not but they’ve got that trendy Brit throwback rock sound.

Holiday and Hits by Nat King Cole.  Fifty tracks ’nuff said.  Not to be confused with Holiday and Hits by The Chipmunks (44 songs) or Holiday and Hits by Dean Martin, also out this week but that only contains 43 songs.  Of course there’s the Frank Sinatra (35) one and the Celtic Woman (33) one.  Nat King Cole offers value for money.

Raw And Live by The Sex Pistols.  Ahh those were the days.  The studio albums were over-produced but this is fantastic stuff.

Kill by Electric Six.  How did these guys get buried down here in the basement of this weeks releases?  This is great stuff, somewhere between The Scissor Sisters, James Brown and The Foo Fighters.  I actually know this band from Rock Band so all hail Rock Band, this is fun for sure.

Karma by Winger.  What ? Why did no one tell me Winger were still releasing new music ?  I guess releasing music is what you do if you can’t get a job on a reality show.  Actually there’s nothing wrong with this other than the fact that it’s 20 years past it’s sell by date.

The 2econd Coming by Mali Music.  Dammit I missed the 1irst one.

The Legion Swimmers by Great Lake Swimmers.  Melodic indie folk, I just love all these genre’s.  Really quite good, pretty upbeat for melodic indie folk.

Tina Live by Tina Turner.  Pretty awful to have to release an album to prove that you still live.

Crownsdown by Themselves. These guys would definitely benefit from listening to too many Jay-Z albums.

Picture Perfect by Soil.  This is what might happen if Nickelback got really angry with you for making fun of them.

Signs of Infinite Power by Fu Manchu.  Clearly a band that invests heavily in fuzz pedals.  Not too bad, it’s been kind of a mellow week of releases and there is some attitude to be found here.

Hors d’Oeuvres by Tickley Feather. Perhaps the best band name of the week.  Distorted female vocals and strange synth noises does not a listenable song for me make (so says Yoda).  They almost win the song length challenge but the last track went over four minutes and let them down.

We Come from the Bright Side by 60 Watt Kid.  This has a cool vibe and was one I really wanted to like but ultimately it did nothing for me.  More noises, distorted vocals and plink plonky synths (that’s a musicians’ technical term by the way).

Well there we go, this was fun and hopefully I’ll get to do it again.  Not a huge selection to pick from but I guess I’ll go with Electric Six as my pick of the week.  I liked Florence at first but even after two days it’s worn on me.

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