Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cowards- World Champions in Male Chastity (2014)

World Champions in Male Chastity
This album came out of nowhere.  I have seen almost no press for it whatsoever, and that is sad given how great this thing is.  I know nothing about the band, but rather than research them to give you background, I'm just gonna skip that step and describe this album.

World Champions in Male Chastity is a diverse album as far as noise rock goes.  the album features a male and female singer, but no tracks have them sharing vocals.  with the first few tracks, the male vocalist leads, with a mixture of spoken/sung words.  By the third track, "Butter Tooth", I was starting to fall into the groove of their sound and it begin to really sink in with me.  Once the fifth track, "Let's Talk About Our Feelings", came along I was thrown for a loop.  The female vocalist starts the track off with a great crooning sound, only immediately to start singing "I'll show you my parts, if you show me yours".  Over the next few tracks, this lady kills it and really changes the momentum of the album.  At times, like on "Daughters Touching Fathers" the group has an early Yeah Yeah Yeahs sound (with lyrics that reminded me of the great Yusef Komunyaa poem 'Stepfather: A Girl's Song).

For the final few tracks the album comes back to the sound of how it opened.  By this time, the change felt great, and "The Ballard of Low Looker and Button Eye" is a fantastic closing track.  Since I found this album I find myself coming back to it more and more.  I can almost guarantee this album will be in my 2014 list at the end of the year, so I suggest that you take a moment to see why.

Listen to the album Here, and support them any way you can, cause they deserve it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Public Housing- Public Housing (2013)

Robert Beatty
Public Housing is haunting.  Right from the get-go, "Modern Breathing" lets you know what you are in for; harsh, brooding music that marches on like a funeral procession.  For those that know Robert Beatty (Hair Police), the production here is very similar to his 2013 album, Mercurial Rites.  Musically, however, Public Housing have a much larger sound, soaking the background sound in constant feedback and squeals.  While this full sound is quite opposite of much of Mercurial Rites, overall the underlying feeling of both albums is quite similar.  Dread.

Another album from last year that begs comparison to Public Housing is Dreamdecay's N V N V N V.  From a songwriting standpoint both albums focus on a slower, drawn out presentation.  Moreover, the vocalists sound quite similar and sing in a very similar manner.

Over the course of its four tracks, Public Housing manages to become quite a daunting listen.  Side B starts with "Caskets", a track who stays straight noise until over a minute-and-a-half.  Even then, noise music is still probably the best classification of the sound on this entire track.

There is a good chance this isn't for you.  But if you are a fan of noise music, like some of the artists mentioned in this review, or are feeling a little adventurous, give it a try.

Stream and purchase the album Here.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Biscuit Mouth- Doing it Right and Doing It Well (2014)

Doing it right and doing it well
This album was a great surprise.  With vocals someplace in between Mclusky and Zebras, biscuit mouth is are the black keys of noise rock.  They really aren't the best, but the duo has created a solid album which captures the essence of the genre, is an easy listen, and most importantly is fun.

When I first listened to this album I was immediately blown away by the great acoustics of the vocalist.  To me, Biscuit Mouth is a band built around showcasing his awesome voice.  What's more, right from the opening track you see that the band isn't interested in verse, chorus, verse, chorus; rather many of the track keep a continual progression to the lyrics in a storyteller fashion.  Sure much of what he sings is indistinguishable, but the smooth, unbroken flow was a pleasant surprise seen all too little.

Once the third track, Gregory pointer, kicks in it becomes apparent how confident the singer is in his voice.  Absences of noise are filled with his crooning voice.  On my first listen it wasn't until this track that I realized how much potential this band really had.  While this isn't my favorite track on the album, it is one that showcases what the band does best; angular guitars, a harder blues style drumming, and entrancing songwriting.

From there, this album remained strong.  "You want something" may be my favorite track.  While it starts out relatively simple, the lyrics fit the sound perfect, and sound like Bob Dylan wrote them.  Moreover, at the 3:30 point the song style switch really kicks off the second half of the album.

If I had any one qualm with this album it would be that it is only two people.  Really, the band could benefit with a good bassist filling up the sound.  Moment of tracks like Sonny Mottram would have been much stronger if the guitarist could play while that guitar line was played by a bassist.

I found this album looking through random blogs with little visits.  If you stumble upon it reading my little blog with little visit, I suggest you take the time to give this a listen like I did.  I doubt you will be disappointed.

Listen to and buy it here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

White Suns- Totem (2014)

It took me a while to fully digest Totem.  On first listen I knew I loved it, but its a lot to take in.  Having listened to Sinews quite a bit, I was glad that Totem picked up right where that album left off. 

With "Priest in the Laboratory", White Suns are immediately showcasing their signature sound; harsh noise rock that swells up into a dissonant break for vocals to be yelled.

White Suns' are not a band for someone new to noise rock, and Totem pushes even further into the harsh noise territory than their previous albums with tracks like "Disjecta Membra" and "Fossil Record".  If you are a fan of bands like Air Conditioning, Aufgehoben, and Sightings, however, this album is right up your alley.

For most listeners, "Clairvoyant" will probably be the most memorable track, with its screamed out "My Guide's face is made of mirrors.  My Guide's face looks like my fathers." lingering on after the album is over.

I was fortunate enough to catch them last night, and quickly snapped this photo.  Their live set was great and I highly recommend you try and catch them next time they come to town.  You can listen to Totem Here, as well as purchase a copy of the album and see tour dates.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Greys- If Anything (2014)

If Anything
The Toronto band, Greys, debut album, If Anything, is a great addition to the 2014 noise rock/post-punk releases heard this year.  At the faster songs, like "Use Your Delusion" remind me of current bands like Metz, White Lung, and (now defunct) Shoppers.  Slower tracks, like "Flip Yr Lid", remind me of Nirvana.

This album probably wont make any top ten lists for the year, but that is okay; afterall, some of the funnest albums I have in my collection don't deserve to make any top ten lists.  And this album is fun, with tracks like "Adderall" really capturing the vocal sound of groups like Wavves.  Additionally, much of the album sounds like  Roomrunner's 2013 album, Ideal Cities, another album that finds that balance of accessible punk and harder rock while maintaining a fun vibe.

Why not check out a few of the tracks Here, and purchase the album while your there.