Friday, September 26, 2008


Costello Music-
The Fratellis
Status-Out as of 2006
Rating-4 Feathers

When a new band launches their way onto the scene, and they’re from Scotland, you may think that their sound may be equipped with bagpipes, maybe a tin whistle or two. Well, not quite. The Fratellis, three Glaswegians who got their start in a pub, however, do use horns and basic guitar to create an old-fashioned pubby sound that is ‘Costello Music’. It launches with ‘Henrietta’ which is a very twangy brit-poppy sort of song. The horns and the guitar create such an unmistakably captivating sound and energy that truly makes it a great beginning. ‘Flathead’ is definitely not boring; it even sounds like they’re having a blast playing it. The pub type of feel and backing vocals really help it fall into cohesion with the rest of the album. ‘Whistle for the Choir’ is not original, at all. It’s calm, quiet, and a bit dumb. The structure and chord progressions sound like they’ve been done several times before. ‘Chelsea Dagger’: Even if you’ve never heard of The Fratellis, I can guarantee you’ve heard this one. It sounds like it could easily be sung at a soccer game or chanted in a pub. The scat chorus is what makes the piece so enticing. ‘The Gutterati?’ is a bit messy. The vocals are extremely in-your-face, which is a major turn-off. It sounds too all over the place so it makes it almost un-listen-able. It’s the shortest song on the album, but it definitely feels like the longest. The only nice part is how at the end they break out into cheers and start clapping, which adds to the pub feel. ‘For the Girl’ is alright, but the electronica la-la’s and guitar really kill it. It honestly ‘makes you sick in a bad way’. That part detracts so much from the rest of the song, that that’s all you can think about. ‘Doginabag’ which, after you’re done throwing up from the last song, calms your stomach with a nice mellow feel. They could’ve improved it by making his vocals a little more low-key. ‘Creepin Up the Backstairs’ is a tad little bit darker sounding, but it’s so much better than the last couple of songs. When they get into the ‘creepin up the backstairs’ bit, the song reaches a sound much needed in the previous songs. ‘Vince the Loveable Stoner’ sounds like surf music with a Scottish twist at first, but the happiness stops there. The chorus is very, very drab and dull which completely annihilates your attention span for the rest of the song. ‘Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night’ is very reminiscent of ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’ by The Clash. The bridge is very similar to that of ‘Flathead’ too. The song is alright, not great, and too long. ‘Baby Fratelli’: They managed to create a wall of sound when the chorus come through, but what’s nice is that wall doesn’t sound like one weird drone. The basic guitar riff is quite catchy, but when every one starts yelling ‘and it’s alright!’ is very goose bump inducing. ‘Got Ma Nuts From a Hippy’ develops a different sort of sound than what was heard before. It becomes this sort of dark-retro type thing that sounds very similar to the album Magic and Medicine by The Coral. ‘Ole Black’n’Blue Eyes’ is alright. It’s not very satisfying in the sense that you hoped this album would go out with a cliff-hanger, something that makes you want more, not something that makes you think this is the last. The only real good thing about this song is that he actually figures how to control his voice so that it actually fits the tone of the song. In general, the first half of the album is more powerful and more of what we’ve come to expect of The Fratellis, but overall, they’ve still managed to create their own, very unique sound. Though there are few ear bleeders in their, by and large there are enough hits in there to land them on the map. They have a promising future in their mist, if they can duplicate this ‘Superior Sound Recording’.

"It's the only thing I've ever wanted to do since I was, like, 15."-Jon Fratelli

Video for Henrietta

The Fratellis Official Website
Note: I'm very sorry for my lack of posting reviews being that this blog is meant for CD reviews. I plan on getting out more reviews soon and quicker than I have been. Also, I noticed the one's I've wrote recently were a bit dull compared to my first few so I hope you like the writing in this one. Thank you!

The Friday Thing: Slow Hands by Interpol

When I saw this performance on TV of Glastonbury 2005, I was very pleased when I heard the opening notes to one of my favourite Interpol songs: Slow Hands. Just looking at how much Daniel and Sam get into the performance really makes the whole thing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Slow Hands

(sorry for the lack of reviews)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

MER DE NOMS-A Perfect Circle

Mer De Noms-
A Perfect Circle
Status-Out as of 2000
Label-Virgin Records
Rating-3 Feathers

A Perfect Circle originated in California when guitarist Billy Howerdel recruited Tool singer Maynard James Keenan as the singer for his new band. Now deemed as ‘Tool’s side Project’, A Perfect Circle balances a combination of metal with sounds in tune with art rock. Mer De Noms goes on with ‘The Hollow’. It’s heavy drumbeat that quickly moves into a heavy guitar riff truly pulls you in. What’s nice about it is it won’t deflect ‘calm’ music lovers for the fact that Maynard’s voice is very melodic. ‘Magdalena’ is calmer than the previous, but the bass keeps it heavy. Whatever filter it is that his voice is going through really gives it a nice effect. ‘Rose’ is very industrial sounding. After the ‘I am I will’ part comes, it gets less industrial and more dark. The strings at the end sound awfully weird, but they help in transitioning into the next song. ‘Judith’ is perhaps one of A Perfect Circle’s better known songs. The song is about how Maynard’s mother is so religious that even after she had a severe stroke, she continued to be very religious. He, however, is angry at both God and her because he doesn’t understand how He could let something like this happen to her even though ‘it’s not like (she) killed someone’. The song is similar to ‘The Hollow’ but a bit heavier and a lot angrier, and Billy’s backing vocals help add to the going mental mood. ‘Orestes’ is much calmer and softer than the last song, which gives it a lighter feel. It’s alright, but it sounds a bit nasal and I don’t like the repetitiveness. ‘3 Libras’ is also quiet like the last, but the gist is a little warmer. The chorus is more powerful than the rest of the song, which makes it very enjoyable. ‘Sleeping Beauty’ is a bit too lengthy for me. They try to make it a calm powerful sort of deal but it doesn’t really work. The end is real nice, however. ‘Thomas’ sounds a bit off. It’s all over the place structure wise. It’s commanding, but not great. ‘Renholdër’ is very spacey, in a mysterious dreamlike way. It’s very artsy, not quite in tune with the rest of the album. ‘Thinking of You’ is one of those songs that when you have a nightmare, it’s the song playing in the background. He sounds downright creepy and the part where he’s whispering ‘thinking of you’ all breathy really sends you into a paranoid state. ‘Breña’ is more serene than the last and helps you regain your composure from the last song. ‘Over’ finishes off the album with a solitary Maynard backed by a vibraphone-like instrument and a grand piano. It ends the album nicely, but I’d hoped that the album would end with a wham rather than a ping. Although they’ll probably be the only thing close to metal that I listen to, they have one of those very appealing sounds that was missing before they came on the scene. Even though there are a few moments that make me realize why I’m far from a metal fan, there are enough times in there that make think they’re proficient at their craft. They’ve got quite the journey ahead of them.

“I can’t tell you where it comes from, it just comes out.”-Billy Howerdel

Video for Judith

A Perfect Circle's Official Website
Note: Sorry for the lack of reviews, I'm going to try to get out at least two a week and The Friday Thing. I hope you guys like this review. Your comments are very much appreciated! Stay tuned for The Fratellis, The Strokes, Muse, and more!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Friday Thing: Mansard Roof by Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend, though somewhat surrounded by hype, is not all that well known. Those who heard them seem to absolutely love them. I chose this performance because when I saw their set on this episode of Later...With Jools Holland (Mansard Roof, Oxford Comma, A-Punk), I went out the very next day and purchased the album based solely on this performance. Their sound just pulled me in and I had to hear more. I hope you enjoy!

Mansard Roof

(I'll have some reviews out this week)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rick Wright (1943-2008)

I don’t really know how to properly write an obituary, but here goes nothing. Richard ‘Rick’ Wright of Pink Floyd died yesterday at the age of 65 from an undisclosed cancer. Rick Wright is best known for his keyboard arrangements in the psychedelic-progressive Pink Floyd. In my opinion, some of the best examples of his keyboard genius can be heard in such songs as ‘See Emily Play’, the majority of Dark Side of The Moon, ‘Set Controls for the Heart of The Sun’, and ‘Arnold Layne’. One of the lesser known members of Pink Floyd, Rick seemed to stay neutral in the feuds going on between Roger Waters and David Gilmour. To me, he seems like one of those extremely underrated musicians who was not given enough credit for the perfection of his craft. Rick will be missed by friends and fans, and he will be missed by the music industry as a pioneering keyboardist.

Though he's not playing keys in the video, he's the one in the hat who 'starts-up' the others.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

IS THIS IT-The Strokes

Is This It-
The Strokes
Status-Out as of 2001
Rating-3.5 Feathers

With the release of the ‘Modern Age EP’ this New York band became one of the biggest things around which sparked record label wars and a great schism between fans over their newfound hype. Soon after this release, they signed to RCA and released their debut album ‘Is This It’. ‘Is This It’ commences the album. The beginning electro-sound effect thing is pretty catchy, but it quickly turns to an old-time-y drum beat. Due to the fact that the song is a tad dull, it doesn’t really set the proper tone for the album. ‘The Modern Age’ is by far my favourite song on the album. Tough it’s a bit repetitive, the twangy delivery is definitely a plus. The semi-strange guitar solo in the middle of it adds a sort of flair that it was previously missing. Even though the song is good, ‘Soma’ like the others,is very redundant. You must be thinking by this point on the album ‘Do they like to pick on riff and play it over and over without end?’ The basic tune is alright, just nothing special. ‘Barely Legal’ also has recurring melody, but it’s infectiously catchy. What really makes the song is the quasi-chorus bit where he starts ‘And all together it went well’. ‘Someday’ is a retro-twangy tale about ‘the good old days’, ‘when (they) was young’. It’s one of the better songs off the album, but as I said, the basic song structure doesn’t really vary too much. You cannot deny the hooks, though. At first, you think ‘Alone Together’(s) going to be great, but when he sings, the instruments backing the vocals are downright obnoxious. As he said, ‘we all like it a little different’, and I must agree. ‘Last Nite’: now that’s one of those songs where if you haven’t heard it by now, you’re very far from reality. It’s a real poppy tune, which you can easily see how it’s the hit of The Strokes’s career, but I personally feel it’s just a bit long. ‘Hard to Explain’ is not very good, especially the god-forsakenly annoying drum-line. I cannot stand it mainly because it sounds far over processed and it sounds like a drum machine, not proper drums. Julian’s vocals are unquestionably the only reason why this song ever had hopes of becoming a hit. ‘When it Started’ sounds like a rock band that was trying not to let the 80’s influence effect their music. The unfortunate part is that it did over come this song, but in a clean, simple, and almost likeable way. It surely sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the album, but it’s a lot better than the previous. ‘Trying Your Luck’ is nice and calm, but as usual, it’s too repetitive. After listening to it, you don’t realize you were supposed to be listening to something, which doesn’t lead to that great of expectations. ‘Take It or Leave It’ is the absolute perfect way to close this album. The guitar line, though very simple, is the work of a brilliant man. Julian gets extremely into it, which helps the album go out with a bang. As you can see, I’m one of those fans who proper understands that the band deserves a big chunk of the hype that was surrounding them, but who doesn’t understand why they were the ‘next big thing’ for a while. The Strokes really just have to learn to vary their song structure a bit, instead of, in the words of Jim Morrison, make it ‘recurring eternally forever’. Their sound is very original and retro, so let’s hope this isn’t it for them.
"It's so easy for people to jump to the wrong conclusions when they've only heard one three song EP. While we are really appreciative of some of the comparisons we have been given, it is not the full picture. Hopefully when the album comes out people will realise it isn't just some New York thing and that it is a lot more universal than that."-Fab Moretti

Live performance for Last Nite

The Strokes Official Website
Note: As you noticed, I didn't put on the official videos for the video things because I really didn't like any of them, at all. I chose the performance for Last Nite from Later With Jools Holland because I thought it was really good and the Official video for Last Nite was a live performance anyway. Over the next few days/weeks I'll have a review put for A Perfect Circle, The Fratellis, and the next Strokes album. Maybe i'll have others. Stay posted and I hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Friday Thing: Time is Running Out by Muse

Back when this song first came out I was enthralled by it. I don't know why. This performance is absolutely fantastic. The way they've managed to get the crowd so hyped up and their stage presence makes for a very entertaining performance. Even the awkward screams he does through out make the crowd go crazy. I hope you enjoy!

Time is Running Out (The guitar bit at 1:36 is my favourite part)

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Friday Thing: Can't Exist by Joseph Arthur

While I was watching an older episode of 'Later... With Jools Holland', this guy came on about halfway named Joseph Arthur. He's one of those artists who records all the sounds right then and uses looping machines to create a unique, electronic, and very entertaining feel. This episode of 'Later...' also saw the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Tinariwen, and The Hold Steady so for him to stick out from these, you know he's sure to impress. Enjoy!

Can't Exist

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Leave Before The Lights Come On-
Arctic Monkeys
Status-Out as of 2006
Rating-3 Feathers

Instead of coming out with another single from the debut, Arctic Monkeys have released a completely new song with two covers and decided to call that a single. ‘Leave Before The Lights Come On’ tells the story of two people who ended up together and don’t know why or how. As usual, Alex Turner has such a captivating way with words. Matt’s drumming is brilliant and the way Alex sings the song adds to the emotional part of a seemingly hopeful sound. It sounds like it could have easily been on ‘Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not’. ‘Put Your Dukes Up John’ is a cover of the song by The Little Flames. Compared to The Little Flames version, it’s much more upbeat sounding and the part where the rest of the band chant ‘Change your tune and change your hair or you’re not going anywhere’ sounds angrier and bit more forceful. Though it sounds similar to original, they still made it their own and gave it an Arctic’s flair. ‘Baby I’m Yours’ is also a cover, but of the song by Barbara Lewis. Featuring the singer of The 747’s Oisin Leech on lead vocals along with Alex, this song has a very soft and fuzzy feel to it. It sounds a lot more clean and slightly over processed compared to the original. The fact that it’s a bunch of young men singing a song sung by a woman shows they’ve got guts. When you first hear it, you think you might have the wrong disc in or something due to the fact that it definitely not what you’d expect. Now, only if you’re a die hard Arctic Monkeys fan would I suggest you buy this album. Being that the title track is the only ‘original’ song, only people with refined tastes would truly appreciate this. To rate it honestly, I'll give it a 3 for that fact that the covers are nothing special and the original stuff isn't anything innovative or new; it's just three sound songs.
“'Leave Before the Lights Come On' feels very much like it could be on the album. So we're going to put that out as a single. I remember it's the last song that I wrote about that sort of time, going out and that. My life's not really like that any more."-Alex Turner

Video for Leave Before The Lights Come On

Arctic Monkeys Official Website
Note: Sorry for my not recent posting and sorry for all the Arctic Monkeys reviews in this blog, I really like them. Someone suggested that I review this so I gave in and did. This'll be one of the few singles reviews I do for the fact that album and EP reviews are much more fun to write. I hope you enjoy, and BTW, isn't the video creepy?