Reviews


Brand New – Daisy

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 by Eric Loose

It’s hard not to have a strong opinion on Brand New”s brand new release, Daisy. The colossal wave of hype surrounding this album wasn”t replicated by any other band this year. Jesse Lacey and the rest had their destiny decided for them. Because of the expectations, Daisy was going to be a massive hit or a disappointment. Please excuse me for thinking that it doesn”t live up to either of these labels. Daisy, first and foremost, is what Brand New does best- progression. From the pop-punk of Your Favourite Weapon, to the emo-tinged Deja Entendu, to the masterpiece The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me, Brand New have managed to adapt and improve their sound while still remaining appealing and interesting.
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Touche Amore – …To The Beat of a Dead Horse

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 by Eric Loose

Touche Amore”s … To The Beat Of A Dead Horse, is a record to take seriously. One look at the ominous cover can tell you that. A harrowing black and white cover complete with trite symbolism in the form of a foreboding rain cloud certainly displays a feeling of danger, ominousness, and even foreboding doom. Touche Amore are just one of the many recent bands to integrate emo and hardcore music. The most striking aspect is that no song hurdles the 3 minute mark. Short and pithy, … To The Beat is a screamo-influenced modern hardcore record with a melodic twist. Too much genre?… my apologies, but … To The Beat Of A Dead Horse really is a superb blend of genre-bending qualities. (more…)



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The Disco Biscuits – Planet Anthem

Thursday, March 18th, 2010 by Eric Loose

Planet AnthemA Philly jam-band with an energetic live show, The Disco Biscuits transcend the live setting surprisingly well on Planet Anthem. The album is an interesting fusion of electronic and rock music overflowing with effects and a two-sided atmosphere. Rather than centering Planet Anthem around single material, Disco Biscuits choose an interesting concept for their sound- an album that works together as a whole. Ultimately, it’s this decision that makes Planet Anthem worth a listen and perhaps a little more likable than it should be. While listen one and listen two might have you expressing some surprise over how enjoyable you find Planet Anthem, it’s not until multiple listens that the Disco Biscuits’ latest really reveals itself. As Shrek would say, Disco Biscuits are “like an onion.” They have layers. They may be a little stinky at some points, but Planet Anthem is a surprising success if only for the fact that it’s better than your first judgements may indicate. (more…)



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Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 by Ryan Nisley

After a five-year period following the release of “Demon Days” in 2005, let me say: “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach.” The Gorillaz, everyone’s favorite virtual band, has finally created a new album that has been highly anticipated. The album is packed with sixteen tracks that incorporate the usual range of genres from Hip Hop to Electronica and Alternative/Pop Rock. One aspect of the Gorillaz that catches listeners’ attention is the various artists featured on each song. For instance, the song “White Flag” features two rappers and the National Orchestra for Arabic Music, all on top of a simple electronic piano loop. What is interesting to me is that somehow all of those parts fit together to make a very unique song. Meanwhile, the song “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach” features Snoop Dogg and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble presenting this new realm that the Gorillaz have created. The album art effectively brings the listener into another world, especially with the cover. (more…)



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La Verite – Elephant

Monday, March 8th, 2010 by Eric Loose

No matter how extensively I listen to purely instrumental music, I don’t think I’ll ever stop being surprised at how resonating an effect wordless music has on me. I’ve always been a sucker for lyrics. They often make matters simple, providing a context for me to spill my reactions and feelings. To say that instrumental music provides a little more freedom would be an understatement. Elephant is the proof. Upon constructing a musical soundscape both devoid of and teeming with life and energy at disparate points, La Verite have proven themselves to be surprising masters of their domain, providing the first not-so-subtle post-rock behemoth of 2010. (more…)



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Suis La Lune – Heir EP (2008)

Monday, March 1st, 2010 by Eric Loose

As much as it pains me to admit it, my music of choice lately, as a whole, has its restrictions. Based on chaotic energy, dynamic guitars, overwhelming emotions and the like, “screamo” tends to be a bit off-putting because of the sheer tenacity and overwhelming nature of the music. It’s a large generalization, of course, but it’s fairly accurate when judging the music known for its ravenous screams. Enter Suis La Lune’s Heir EP. A mere quartet of songs, the Heir EP claws and digs its way into the ranks of the lofty, holy classics of the genre. (more…)



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Crime In Stereo – I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone

Monday, March 1st, 2010 by Eric Loose

It’s one thing to discover a band through their recorded material and consequently see them live, but it’s a whole ‘nother deal to be introduced to a band live and accordingly hear their album. Well, this is the case for me, at least. The whole system of expectations is just a bit out of whack. Sometimes sound and energy translate, many times it doesn’t… well, there’re just many more variables and uncertainties that leave me a little uneasy with the experience. This was the case with Crime In Stereo. Opening for Thrice and Brand New is no easy task, the frontman made himself memorable with his shrill screams amidst the post-hardcore-esque flurry of guitars. Anyway, going into the Long Island natives’ 2010 LP, I tried to keep an open mind, but I have to admit I was a little excited. And what happens when I get excited about something again?… oh, that’s right! I get let down. (more…)



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Hot Chip – One Life Stand

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 by Eric Loose

Quirkiness is a funny quality. I mean, seriously, attach that label to music and attention will be paid- I guarantee you. This undoubtedly stems from what most eager music listeners strive for: something different, but not too far out of their comfort zone. Hot Chip fills this description fairly well. The dance-oriented band from the United Kingdom has been considered catchy enough for the mainstream but still satisfying for the more refined tastes of electronic enthusiasts (for something fun, at least). Hot Chip possess that “quirky” quality- a little hard to define, but definitely that ONE song or sound that sends your radar off a little. One Life Stand is satisfying in this sense. It leaves you with a little grin and your head bobbing whether you’re that audiophile with the Autechre discography or my little sister. That being said, don’t expect anything even close to consistency, because, once again, Hot Chip fails in this paramount aspect. (more…)



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Bat For Lashes – Two Suns (2009)

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 by Eric Loose

Two SunsListeners of every variety seem to be enthused by the unstable and the demented, don’t they? David Bowie with an alter ego- Cool! Thom Yorke as an unstable recluse for Kid A- Interesting! A heartbroken Justin Vernon alone in the wilderness- Intriguing! The success of these unstable releases from equally mad artists ultimately comes not from the unfortunate condition of the artist but from the art.  Bat For Lashes mastermind Natasha Khan is a bit weird (no offense to the songstress, of course). Unfortunately, Two Suns cannot withstand its own ambience and minimalism and ends up collapsing in on itself. Her sophomore album certainly doesn’t fail at creating a lush atmosphere; the moodiness of Two Suns gets tiresome and (dare I say?) boring after the listener realizes that Bat For Lashes simply doesn’t have enough worthwhile material to make Two Suns an engaging experience. It might seem interesting at first, but after several subsequent listens, the soft, 80’s-esque music with haunting vocals fails to deliver more. The gaping hole in Khan’s work is her inability to create anything worthwhile beneath her ethereal musings and moods. (more…)



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Ke$ha – Animal

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 by Eric Loose

It was only a few days ago that I was reading a newspaper article about how “empowered girls” are becoming more assertive and seducing boys into having sex with them. The reporter outlined studies and observations that could be summarized as girls (predominately ages 16-24) becoming more like men, in the sense that they’re much more sexually aggressive. With her raunchy debut, Animal, there’s no doubt in my mind that Ke$ha (money sign purposeful) adds fuel to this fire. It’s not difficult to imagine teenage girls in ridiculous attention-getting outfits with bright colors (maybe a nod to Lady Gaga here or there) dancing with fruity liquor galore calling dibs on the guys that present themselves in the night ahead. It’s particularly easy to imagine, actually, because it’s a scene I witness every weekend- but this review isn’t about me. No, let’s keep the focus on Ke$ha, her sex-infused lyrics, surprisingly catchy pop beats, and her expectedly atrocious debut, Animal. (more…)



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