Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Auditory Delights

I am continuing to move along at a snail's pace this year in trying to get my ears familiarized with new music, in fact I've only acquired four new albums so far. Fortunately, each of them has proved to be extremely gratifying and certainly worthy of repeated listens. Granted, four albums is a small list for almost being 6 months into the year, but when they're all of this high quality it's hard to complain. Besides, I'm sure I'll pick up the slack soon. Alright, so it's time to reveal my early favorites. They are...

Alcest- Écailles de Lune

The long awaited follow-up is finally here and it's a stunner. The return of black metal elements to the fold makes this a much more dynamic offering than the first album, possibly making it even better.

Les Discrets- Septembre et Ses Dernières Pensées

Wow, this is some of the most gorgeous music I've come across in awhile. This is practically flawless work and it's full of atmosphere that will sweep you away to an unknown time and place. This is easily album of the year material. For fans of Alcest, Katatonia, and Agalloch.

Fear Factory- Mechanize

The 2000s were a messy decade for this band, filled with ups and many downs, but Fear Factory have returned with a revamped lineup, including the return of Dino and addition of the legendary Gene Hoglan, and have delivered their most aggressive offering since Demanufacture. Believe the hype. This album delivers.

The Art Museums- Rough Frame

The debut from this California act, Rough Frames, is full of lo-fi goodness. This is a retro rock album that doesn't sound outdated, just updated. The Art Museums place themselves firmly in the realm of pure fun and catchy songwriting, and I highly suggest that all of you check them out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Deerhunter: Got Noise? (continued)

Well, it seems "very soon" turned into almost four weeks. I do apologize. It's difficult trying to find free time in between work and school. Also, my desire to want to write has been lacking somewhat lately. Hopefully I'll get back into a more consistent groove but we'll see. Back to the Deerhunter show from last month!

So, I believe I was just beginning to discuss how loud their music got at times. It wasn't fun afterward but the set was so enjoyable that I hardly cared. I was only familiar with the Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. album so I was happy to hear quite a bit of material played from them. The vocals were sadly a little low in the mix of sound at times which was disappointing because Bradford comes up with really good vocal parts. But they seemed to improve as they went on. Some of the songs I remembered that they played were "Little Kids", "Nothing Ever Happened" (a personal favorite of mine), and then when they returned for the obligatory encore they played "Cover Me (Slowly)" and "Agoraphobia", much to this writer's delight. Oh, and I forget which song it was they were playing but the entire band was getting really really into it (might have been the last song of the set now that I think about it), and the drummer ended up hitting the cymbal so hard that it fell off. Awesomeness.

Much of the between song banter was rather entertaining too. I unfortunately forgot most of what was said but Vampire Weekend happened to be playing that night (or maybe the night after) and Bradford had a funny joke about owing them money and that they might slash their tires too.

All in all, a really good show. And to put icing on the cake, I was able to snag a poster at the end and my friend Heidi and I got to meet the band outside after the show. They were actually talking for quite awhile too. They're very mellow and genuine people so that's always a joy to discover. Do be sure to listen to this band via their studio albums or live show, though preferably both. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Oh, and as a head's up, I was recently at the Mono show at the El Rey Theater so expect a review of that show in the days to come.

By the way, if you've never heard Deerhunter before then you'd be hard pressed to find a better song to get you introduced to the band: