Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mazes - A Thousand Heys

Manchester’s Mazes’ influences are from just across the border to the North: Teenage Fanclub and Yatsura noise-pop infiltrate their sound. Sometimes they fall back on the influence of those bands: Pavement. It is no wonder they have signed up with the briljant Fat Cat Records label that has already given us We Were Promised Jetpacks, Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit. Songs like ‘Most Days’ should be in all the alternative radio charts. A short powerful uptempe song including woo-hoos. ‘Boxing Clever’ doesn’t even try to not sound like a “Slanted & Enchanted” song, not even in the title but do we really care? These guys have found that hard to find gift of blending shambly pop with indie sentiments.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Brave Irene

Brave Irene. Brave indeed, unpretentiously slinging 8 new songs into the world. This is one of those fun bands that gives us absolutely nothing new but it still worth listening too. Fuzzy guitar at fast speed accompanied by organs/keyboards, and not always trained vocals harking back to Phil Spector girl groups. Future of the band seems to be uncertain, and that’s a bad thing.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie - Codes & Keys

Death Cab for Cutie has gone through a R.E.M. type of development. From small and slightly scruffy to well crafted indie pop songs. From a mediocre post-grunge group they became one of alternative rock’s shining beacons. Codes & Keys is their New Adventures In Hi-Fi: an album that goes into a new direction but not one that’s immediately a better directions. Granted, Codes & Keys still has some songs that are instant indiedisco hits like “You Are A Tourist” with it’s incredible guitar riff. But in songs like “Doors Unlocked and Open” a certain something is missing. Were Gibbard and consorts always able to touch some emotion , the steady beat and staccato guitar leading into to a halfbaked chorus gives us nothing lasting. The aforementioned “You Are A Tourist, the steady and mellow “Monday Morning”, jumpy “Portable Televion” end closer “Stay Young, Go Dancing” fortunately lift the album slightly above the mediocre music coming out these days, but DTFC have for now lost touch with indie rock teens.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Airborne Toxic Event, Aquabats, Darlings

Airborne Toxic Avent – All at Once

The first Airborne Toxic Event album is still one I regularly play and I was much looking forward to the second. ATC’s crispy indie rock has remained for the most port, but at sometimes they veer dangerously into John Mayer territory.
But let’s start with the positives: some of the songs easily fit into the ATC canon, the brilliant singles “Numb” and “Changing” or the ballad “All For A Woman”. “All I Ever Wanted” needs some time to get to you but the chorus is vintage ATC.
‘All at Once’ is a more political album than the first one. “The Kids are ready to die” is about soldiers and the war. They with strong lyrics it’s too much a Bruce Springsteen/The River song, and you know he will do a much better version. “Welcome To Your Wedding Day” is a song about a bombing at a wedding. Same goes here, strong lyrics but this time they have figured out a way to combine the Dropkicks and the Arcade Fire, unfortunately with slightly disastrous results turning the song into a mediocre Green Day song.
The music is the most disappointing aspect of the album, when they’re not busy copying others they are poorly covering themselves, “Half of Something Else” is a halfbaked attempt of re-recording “Sometime Around Midnight”. I don’t think it’s too late for the Airborne Toxic Event to get back to the refreshing songs they made and get more attention than so far, but “All At Once” is hopefully not they direction the band is going in, they are too talented for that.

Aquabats – Hi Five Soup
If you don’t like these guys you have no sense of humor. Funny but never vulgar the superheroes describe their fight against sharks, their friends, fangs, hugging and grandma’s money in very catchy punkpop songs. Nerf Herder sans the sad losers.

Darlings – Warma
This 5 song EP contains some catchy fuzzy punksongs, down to a My Bloody Valentine like front cover. Lo-fi indie rock albums keep being made of high quality and this isn’t any different. Now if they could only find a more unique sound…

Monday, August 8, 2011

Martyn's Playlist for August 8th

OK, 15 songs and a YouTube feed, deal with it.

1. Beirut - East-Harlem
2. Best Coast - Gone Again
3. Bright Eyes - Jejune Stars
4. Chase & Status - Hitz ft. Tinie Tempah
5. Cloud Control - This Is What I Said
6. Two Wounded Birds - All We Wanna Do
7. The Wombats - Techno Fan
8. Yuck - Get Away
9. Times New Viking - No Room to Live
10. The Leisure Society - This Phantom Life
11. The Black Angels - Haunting at 1300 McKinley
12. Grouplove - Naked Kids
13. The View - Grace
14. THE WoWz - Bubbles in a Bath
15. Death Letters - Temporary Frame