Recommended Listening (6/26)

Here are a few independent rock songs that are certainly worth checking out: Continue reading

Kings of Leon – “Aha Shake Heartbreak” Review

Aha Shake Heartbreak

Aha Shake Heartbreak

The Kings of Leon have exploded onto the mainstream scene with their latest album “Only By The Night.” Sex on Fire, in it’s prime, was heard on every major radio station in North America, or at least it seemed like it. But before this quartet of Tennessee-born rockers made it big, they had 3 albums under their belt. First coming was “Youth and Young Manhood,” a real southern sounding hard rock album, with indecipherable lyrics. Their second album, which we will be going into depth later, is titled “Aha Shake Heartbreak.” It’s my favourite of all, filled with catchy riffs and short, to-the-point songs. Third in line was “Because of the Times.” It was seen by many as an attempt to break into the mainstream, and failed, to a point. It was regarded by critics as a good album, but didn’t sell as expected. Although it contains many solid, Kings of Leon-style tunes, it didn’t achieve the success that was built up around it. “Only By The Night” is their latest, and I’m sure many of you know how that album has done. As a long time KoL fan, I still see it as a decent album. They stayed true to their style in many of the songs (and stayed true to the “5 syllables per album name” rule), they just developed their sound a bit more, and made some tweaks in order to appeal to more people. But now, lets break down the album “Aha Shake Heartbreak.”
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Black Moth Super Rainbow’s Upcoming Album

The track listing and song lengths of Black Moth Super Rainbow’s new album “Eating Us,” which is set to be released on May 26, 2009, have been leaked onto the internet via their label Graveface’s profile. Here they are:

  • “Dark Bubbles” – 3:09
  •  “Born on a Day the Sun Didn’t Rise” – 4:03
  •  “Iron Lemonade” – 3:29
  •  “Twin Of Myself” – 3:20
  • “The Fields are Breathing” – 3:34
  • “American Face Dust” – 3:19
  • “Tooth Decay” – 2:02
  • “Gold Splatter” – 4:14
  •  “Untitled Hidden Track” – 8:02
  •  “The Sticky” – 2:09
  •  “Bubblegum Animals” – 1:40
  •  “Smile The Day After Today” – 2:33

I, for one, cannot wait for this album to come out. If you’re like me, and need something to pass the time until this album gets released, I have prepared a special package for you. Two tracks that I have scrounged up on the internet. First one is a live version of the new song “Born on a Day the Sun Didn’t Rise” and the other is a remix of the song “The Fields are Breathing.” Definitely worth picking up for a bit of a sneak peek. You can download it here.

CD Review: Apologies to the Queen Mary

Band: Wolf Parade
Released: 2005

1. “You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son” – A heavy drum and rangy vocals dominate this song about a father who left his home. Grade: 9.3

2. “Modern World” – Perhaps the most casual fan friendly track on the album, it features a great guitar solo in the middle which leads to a great finish. Grade: 9.5

3. “Grounds For Divorce” – One of my favorites off the album, this song features an inspiring little electronic sequence that gives way to a more stable, upbeat and edgy rhythm. Grade: 9.8

4. “We Built Another World” – A bit harsher on the ears and less catchier than many of the other tracks on this album, this still is excellent for those who crave a sound closer to punk than “indie”. Grade: 9.0

5. “Fancy Claps” – Yes, yes, there is clapping in this song. Up tempo – lyrically and musically – the whole way through. Features a nice blend of electronics and strumming. Grade: 9.2

6. “Same Ghost Every Night” – Slow, ghost-like, and windy…that’s all. The best part is Boeckner belting out a “oOoOoO” in a ghastly spirit. Grade: 9.7

7. “Shine A Light” – You’d expect “Shine A Light” to be a slow one wouldn’t you? Not at all. Boeckner again is excellent and his supporting crew is even better. Grade: 9.5

8. “Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts” – A very chill, slower sing a-long that is always a live favorite. Grade: 9.4

9. “I’ll Believe In Anything” – One of the best stretches of lyrics all-time in a song:

and I could take another hit for you
and I could take away your trips from you
and I could take away the salt from your eyes
and take away the spitting salt in you
and I could give you my apologies
by handing over my neologies
and I could take away the shaking knees
and I could give you all the olive trees
oh look at the trees and look at my face and look at a place far away from here

Krug wants to keep a relationship in tact, but it is over and both parties know damn well. Grade: 9.9

10. It’s a Curse A catchy post-punk revival-esque beginning simply demonstrates the variety and determination to try new things the band possesses. Grade: 9.3

11. “Dinner Bells” – Perhaps a bit more apropos as an album finale than the second to last song, in this track Krug addresses the effects of global warming and death. This is perhaps the most well-written and accessible track the album offers. Grade: 10

12. “This Heart’s On Fire” – “This song is about my mother…. who died….. Three years ago…. today….” Boeckner said in an interview. This concluding track represents a complete volte-face from the first track “I Am…” Grade: 9.6

Final Grade: 9.5

CD Review: Forth (The Verve)

1) “Sit and Wonder” – A spacey opening leads to horns and electronic noise. Ashcroft’s vocals recall Thom Yorke’s earlier productions. Grade: 9.3

2) “Love Is Noise” Reminds me of Bloc Party except a bit more accessible. This track was definitely the most hyped of them all and for good reason. Grade: 8.9

3) “Rather Be” – Slower, more vocally dominating than the first songs, this song almost has an R&B feel to it. Grade: 8.8 Continue reading

CD Review: Person Pitch (Panda Bear)

1. “Comfy In Nautica” – A nice little clap along mixed with the ambient and exotic sounds that have made Animal Collective an experimental staple. Grade: 9.5

2. “Take Pills” – The title leads you to believe that this song is a song promoting drug use. Maybe that’s so, but regardless it makes you feel like you’ve taken one too many. This is an ideal song to start the children on. Grade: 9.6

3. “Bros” – As one YouTube commenter put it: “This song is insane while tripping on acid.” When not on acid, it is still quite insane. Add a little Tornadoes and a little Cat Stevens and you’ve got the song’s main riff and a secondary guitar part. That, of course, combined with epic noise elements. Grade: 9.8 Continue reading

Band Spotlight: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

History: CYHSY is the brainchild of Lee Sargent, who had aspirations of starting a band in 2004. The band, comprised entirely of Connecticut College alums, officially formed in 2005. They self-released their self-titled album that year. In October of 2005, they signed to Wichita.

Years Active: 2005 to Present

Wichita Recordings Continue reading