Genius: Beaches…sand seeped into the sun-soaked, bologna and mustard sandwich…

Genius: Beaches…sand seeped into the sun-soaked, bologna and mustard sandwich…

Beaches

Genius is a band from South Korea but going for an American sound heard many, many times before, yet not easily definable.   If pressed for comparisons with Western counterparts, I would say somewhere between the Night Marchers(San Diego),  maybe even Spoon-like (Austin), even coming off vaguely Violent Femmish (Milwaukee) at times.

Overall Beaches, their 3rd full length album, is not bad but doesn’t stick either.  While some songs like “Simple and Normal”, “Catch A Job” or Thanksgiving” catch your attention, interest quickly wanes like a roller-coaster reaching the crest before the inevitable plunge to quickly finding something else to listen to.  After a couple of struggled listens, I can’t tell if Genius’ tedious, lackadaisical approach is deliberate and they are just too cool for school for everyone (especially themselves), or just plain lazy.

RIYL: Teengenerate, Nine Pound Hammer, Empty Records

Related:
Spoon- Don’t Make Me a Target
Violent Femmes – Promise

Made Violent: Buffalo Gone Beautifully Violent….

Made Violent: Buffalo Gone Beautifully Violent….

inside-out Made Violent - single
SINGLE REVIEW: Made ViolentBuffalo is your typical sleepy, usually cloudy, upstate NY blue collar type of city and was once my old stomping ground, when I attended SUNY Buffalo in the early to mid-90s.  No, not “Buff State”, where besides some cool friends, Fugazi and Quicksand played once, and oh yeah, the Chili Peppers actually played a show in a classroom and being steps away from the coolest record store on the planet  (Home of the Hits-RIP) were the only things going for it.  And no, not UB’s sterile, Greek-infested North Campus.  Classes? yes! Live? Fuck no…

Us cool cats lived in University Heights, an eerily quiet neighborhood near UB’s South campus where many working families lived but never seen.  Rent was dirt cheap and the houses were this close to being condemned.   We were dirt poor, but said “fuck it anyways” and lived on booze/pot,  4/$1 mac-n-cheese and 5/$1 packages of Ramen Noodles when on sale at Tops.  

It was a time my wife’s boyfriend bar-tended with Johnny “Goo” “and Nevermind” was righteously ripping the music world a new one (buying my own copy with 100% financial aid funding).  It was a time when the school’s entertainment section of the newspaper (Prodigal Sun) discreetly revealed where that weekend’s loft/house parties were and what bands were playing because a party without at least 3 bands simply did not happen.   Bands like my housemates in Every Thirteen Days and Kindergarten and Tugboat Annie, and Spavid were playing constantly and Cash Cow Records were pumping out 7 inches at breakneck speed (all RIP).  “Larger” acts like Versus and even Rochester’ power pop darling’s Muler (thankfully, still alive and kicking)made a couple of road trips the City of Good Neighbors.  And despite the Goo’s starting to wear leather pants and, to our collective dismay, declaring on MTV’s 120 Minutes (RIP) that one didn’t exist, Buffalo DID have a kick ass music scene at that time.

But does it now?

So judging from above, you might think you are going to have to seriously impress the fuck out of me, especially if you are a Buffalo band twenty years on.  Ummm yeah, but then I was recently introduced to Made Violent.  3 young lads sporting the 90’s look (flannels and Westerberg-ish, moppy hair) but not necessarily the sound.  “Doolittle” and “Spiderland”aspirations of the past century has given away to a confident, robust, updated Strokey sound.  I could easily say “eh, already heard…next…” but their songs “Inside Out” and “Wasted Days” caught my attention, made my head bob, my foot tap, and “liking” their Facebook page

DOWNLOAD: Made Violent Inside Out MP3 – Single

If Made Violent is what is currently going on in the Queen City, sun rays have broken through those usually pesky clouds and hopefully will shine down for quite some time…

RIYL: Made Violent is totally recommended if you like any of the bands below…

DOWNLOADS:
Tugboat AnnieYou Want It To Be Bad MP3 from Superfriends* (1997) As great a pop band as Nada Surf IMHO
Every Thirteen DaysBride Stripped Bare MP3 from E’Tant Donne’s(1994)
KindergartenHere Don’t Eat Our Friends from Iphigenia (1995)
MulerSuite Marine MP3 from Hope You Found a Home
SpavidShe Uses It For Bird Poison MP3 s/t (1997) – This totally sounds like later era fugazi.

RELATED:
Free Singles + MP3s by Pedal Distorsionador, Arc Rev One, Martin Van Ruin, Saintseneca, Emil and Caroline
7″ Review: Don’t let this name fool you. Vomitface are awesome.
LA Music Scene: criminal hygiene withdrawn 7″ review