U2 are a Christian band giving you a gift called “Songs Of Innocence”.  Why you wanna be so shitty?

U2 are a Christian band giving you a gift called “Songs Of Innocence”. Why you wanna be so shitty?

Songs Of Innocence U2 Album review by Keith Hartel

U2biquity is nothing to fear.

ALBUME REVIEW: Here’s how Christian I think U2 is: I think they’re the benevolent equivalent of Mel Gibson, or, expressed more economically: Bizarro Mel Gibson. They take the title of their new album from William Blake, who can be described as a “Christian mystic”. Do you think U2 put a lot of thought into what they call this thing they’re giving to half a billion people? I’m gonna guess the answer is yes. So what’s a mystic? The way I’d describe is it is a mystic is someone who experiences the divine as subjective reality . Throughout history, there have always been nay-sayers who find these people insane. Sometimes they even kill mystics. Assuming Jesus Christ was an actual historical figure, one could make an argument that he was not literally “the son of God” any more than anyone else, but his mystical experiences convinced him that he was, and he went around talking about it. Big mistake. And now they wanna kill U2 too.

William Blake and U2 Songs Of Innocence

In terms of how much attention each of their new albums receives upon release, I believe U2 may be on top of the longest winning streak in rock and roll history. Last I heard, U2 are Christians (except for Adam Clayton, which is why he’s the one that went out with Naomi Campbell, I guess.) Since they’re Irish, religion isn’t simply a comforting aspect of their lives, or such is my speculation. What’s impressive about this to me is they don’t advertise or emphasize their spirituality but it has always been reflected in their work. This means they are in the faith, hope and love business, rather than the anger and selfishness business. For the most part, all my favorite artists are geniuses at expressing negativity, from John Lennon all the way down. I love that shit. If Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen or Elliott Smith of Kurt Cobain (extra points for suicides!) are selling darkness and despair I will put mustard (alcohol?) on that shit and gobble it down. But that’s the easy way. BTW: I gotta mention Cohen and Cave have also written many powerfully uplifting songs that express real feelings of transcendent sacred hope. Here’s an interesting snippet of Jim Morrison talking about where I’m going with this:

“A PIECE OF MUSIC IS THE PURE EXPRESSION OF JOY (1968) – JIM MORRISON

Apple and U2 have colluded to revolutionize what it means when a new album comes out, at least this once. What I’m interested in is what they have decided would be the thing they give to basically every person in the civilized world. So U2 being U2 and Apple being Apple, I believe careful consideration has gone into what they’re dumping into everyone’s library. A band doesn’t end up in U2’s position by accident. U2 always worked hard towards the aim of being being the biggest band in the world. U2 in general and Bono in particular have been committed to using their powers for good to the point of near absurdity. I find the reaction to their new free album to be cynical and jaded beyond all rationality, but that’s probably just because I’m looking at my Facebook feed, which consists primarily of crabby old punk rockers in their 40s and 50s who are living in the year 1983 (like myself). But boy, oh boy, do people love making wisecracks about U2 giving them an album they never asked for. The sheer effrontery of this grand gesture has got legions of middle-aged men acting like the snotty adolescent older daughter on all my favorite “golden age of TV” cable serials. It’s just another thing coming at you over the computer, get into it or ignore it or delete it but if you’re complaining about it it’s because you LOVE complaining. I love complaining. Complaining reinforces the ego with beautiful efficiency. But for me, this is no such occasion. I find “Songs Of Innocence” to be inspiring and uplifting and it gives me hope for the future of rock and roll and for humanity.

U2 have the elements of a “real” band. You can really hear the contribution of each of the four members on every song. Like the Who, each member has an idiosyncratically individual musical personality expressed through their style but like the Ramones there is no virtuosity, no element superfluous to the expression of the song. This is consistently the case throughout the album. Bono in particular is singing as beautifully Bono-like as ever but he sounds more interested in the song than he is in his own Bono-nature. He’s not going a step past what is needed. On any other U2 album from “Unforgettable Fire” onward Bono gets a little too rich for my blood, but never on this album.

The first song is “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)”. They come out pushing all the right buttons for U2-80s-new wave nostalgia. They’re coming at you with the “whoa whoahs” and the moody minimalist piano vibes of “New Year’s Day”, then the Edge comes in sounding more crunchy and lo-fi than ever. This guitar is loud and distorted and rocking hard and obnoxious but NOT Ramones-like, which is a good choice. When the groove kicks in I like to imagine they were thinking of Adam and the Ants. It has the stick clicks of “Antmusic” and the “Whoah whoas” associated with Adam and the Ants (and also U2, of course). A little of the old military snare. They always were good at using the snare drum to remind you of a military band and thus the underpinning haunting subconscious knowledge of the ongoing inevitability of the never-ending horrors of war. It’s an Irish thing, these people didn’t just discover terrorism over the last 15 years. This is the first of many songs that evokes the “War” album for me, which is the best U2 ever were. Take into consideration once again, the demographic they’re appealing to is EVERYBODY. Also, most people who like U2 at all have liked them for a REALLY LONG TIME, decades. These guys have been around the block enough to know what side their bread is buttered on. All of us Gen-x-ers grew up with U2, whether we cared to or not. What I like about this song is it seems to say “remember that feeling, it has always been there”. No music gets under your skin like the stuff you got into when you were 14. Ask the surviving Beatles and Stones, who have always embraced this truth. This song is about connecting with what it means to find the healing powers of rock and roll at the most painful and confusing part of life, the transition of adolescence. It’s also a sexy and exciting time, full of the feeling of possibility and the FUTURE. I think this song expresses all of that. For me personally it does somewhat remind me of my favorite band when I was 13 and this song in particular:

and also around the same time I was way into this:

And the hook for the first song on their latest and biggest new album contains the lines:

“Everything I ever lost now has been returned, the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard”

That’s very beautiful to me. It takes me back to when music really was the thing that made sense out of the world. Before I grew up and “figured it all out” and worked out my “philosophy of life”. What’s REALLY deep about it is this: from U2’s Christian perspective, “everything I ever lost” can only mean the connection to God, or the collective-consciousness, “the higher power”, the ONE, the thing bigger than yourself, the thing that the so-called “soul” is said to be hooked into. The pursuit of ecstatic connection triggered by the mysterious powers of music (like, how does it work? Why does it DO that to us?) is an expression of this spiritual longing, just like the booze and drugs and sex and all the other good stuff. Television, for Christ’s sake! ANYTHING to feel connected and immersed in something larger than yourself that you can lose yourself in. So this song and this chorus contain for me all that is needed to show that U2 is back and they have something worthwhile to say to us. Remember, they’re old too, they’re in the same boat. This is a line that fits and is simple and contains the whole meaning of life. And it’s catchy and it has a good beat. The Edge does not lean on special effects here and he’s playing some real satisfying punk rock rhythm guitar. I’m assuming this song had to have been written and recordedy before the recent death of Tommy Ramone, which triggered a wave of nostalgia ultimately resulting in the canonization of the Ramones as second most important band ever. If this is indeed the case, U2 has their finger on the pulse in a way that continues to be SPOOKY! They do a great job of making an anthemic rocker that doesn’t in any way attempt to sound like the Ramones. “Vertigo” sounded more like the Ramones than this one does. They got good taste.

The second song is “Every Breaking Wave”. This song is shamelessly evocative of “With or Without You”, but faster, more driving, which only takes it slightly past the excitement level of “Every Breath You Take” by the Police, but I’m really digging it. As a matter of fact, because you can easily picture Sting singing these verses, for the first time ever I know for a fact that I find Bono a million times less annoying than Sting. But this is a cool, middling Police-type song. I like the line, “Every gambler knows that to lose is what you’re really there for”. I’m not a gambler, but I’m familiar with the concept, it’s a big part of the psychology of self-destruction. Contrary to Bono’s assertion, I’m sure there’s a lot of gamblers out there who think they want the thrill of victory but Bono’s talking about the self-examining self-destroyer, who really knows he’s his own worst enemy all along. That’s a lot of extrapolation from one simple lyric and a great example of the strength of Bono’s words on this album. From the unique perspective of the Christian rock star, I find this to be a line that expresses sincere empathy and compassion, without judgement. You don’t get as big as U2 without making a deal with the devil, and I believe Bono is quietly and non-self-aggrandizingly grappling with his own demons, whatever form they may take. This song is about not waiting for the next big thing to make your life worthwhile. “To be swept off our feet and stop chasing every breaking wave” and “I thought I heard the Captain’s voice, it’s hard to listen while you preach” are examples of Bono sharing moments when he discovers humility is where fulfillment lies. “Are we so hopeless against the tide?” Good fucking question the song is asking. This is a song about strength in spiritual surrender, which is the only strength there is that won’t ultimately result in eating yourself alive, somehow. “We’re in love with defeat” has to do with the human condition in general. Did I say this song is about surrender? Bono uses a sweet falsetto that uncharactistically makes him softer at the peak of the melody. The message I take from this song is “the kingdom of heaven is within.” It’s catchy, it’s got a good beat.

I love an album that puts the best song 3rd, and for me this is clearly one of them. On “California” they kick into my favorite groove which my friend calls “The Sex Pistols beat” but I think of it as “the ‘Funtime’ beat” and here’s a couple favorite examples:

IGGY POP – THE IDIOT – FUNTIME

DAVID BOWIE – RED SAILS

But it makes me want to dance like this:

SCENE FROM FOOTLOOSE

Now I’m really digging this album. It is building momentum, the tempo is faster, dancier, but still rocking and the message is super-duper Christian! “There is no end to love”. As far as I’m concerned, that’s up there with “All You Need Is Love” and “The love you take is equal to the love you make”, as far as I’m concerned at the moment. This is a great song about Universal Cosmic Love. Warning: this Love does not disintegrate haters, it absorbs them. We got us a new Van Morrison here, Irish mysticism expressed directly and simply. That may be wishful thinking on my part, but there’s no denying this groove don’t quit. This is some super-entertaining new wave power pop. The synths in the chorus sound warmly soothing in a way that reminds me of Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” (again with the 80s retro), but there’s also some subtle tasty string arrangement sounding stuff and then the Edge takes a melodic guitar solo that is more straightforward in expression of simple and loud and fat melody than I can ever remember hearing him do, he sounds like more like Television and the Skids, which he always credited as primary influences. Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton (from here on in referred to as “the rhythm section”) are appropriately propulsive. There is no song ever written where it is more obvious when you’re hearing The Hook and I mean that in the best possible sense. My favorite “whoa-whoahs” on the album. It’s real catchy and has a really good beat. Unfortunately, for me it’s all downhill from here. Plenty of quality U2 for the next 40 minutes or so, but I could listen to “California” all day. I hereby declare it is my favorite U2 song of all time.

This next “Song For Someone” starts with a nice acoustic Edge guitar. This is sort of a nice new “One”, if you want that kind of thing. I like it better than “One” which, again, is a little rich for my blood. Yet another “classic-U2″ sounding song on the album. Again, in his guitar solo, The Edge evokes his primary original influence, Stuart Adamson of the Skids:

THE SKIDS – CHARADE

Stuart Adamson went on to further refine his bagpipe-like melodic guitar style with a band called Big Country. He’s dead now.

“Iris” has the band as one rhythm unit. This is real old school U2, “Where The Streets Have No Name” with a little of the mood of the “War” album style but faster and leaner and meaner. The Edge has got his delay back and he remembers how to use it. Not a bad song, but maybe the closest they get to doing “U2-by-numbers” on this album. It’s a fairly silly love song (some people want to fill the world with them). I like the ending tagline “Free yourself to be yourself, only you can see yourself”. Positive energy!

“Volcano” starts with bass and drums, almost like an old Pixies tune. The chorus reminds me a bit of Siouxsie and the Banshees with maybe even a little REM “This One Goes Out To The One I Love” thrown in via the guitar line at the end. The 80s mood continues, this is the point of the album where I’m starting to suspect they front loaded all the really good songs, but that’s no crime. Total album track, not bad. There’s some nice guitar on here, as always. Single note-lines rather than chords makes it sort of modern-sounding.

“Raised By Wolves” builds tension through the first two verses with some typically minimalist U2 style piano, gradually increasing in volume. This song is about growing up in the urban blight of war-torn Dublin, and the tension builds until the chorus bursts out : “Raised by wolves, stronger than fear”. And what’s stronger than fear? Conventional wisdom says the answer is love, but they don’t come right out and say that, sneaky Christians that they are. The pattern of evoking nostalgia for the classic, early, “innocent” U2 is continued. On this track it’s a nice little bit of “New Year’s Day” style piano. So we’re back where we started once again, pretty much in a good way.

“Cedarwood” is all over the place. It’s got some incongruously non U2-like heaviosity that reminds me at times of Soundgarden’s “Spoonman” of all things and some great melodic bass playing from Adam Clayton. This song seems like it was built out of leftover parts that were too good to be thrown out. Every part is stylistically different, but it sounds like it should be four different developed songs instead of one string of different ideas. It’s all good, except I don’t think it works as a song.

“Sleep Like a Baby” has nice minimalistic synth work. These sounds reminds me of stuff like U2’s early contemporaries: Yazoo, early Depeche Mode, Heaven 17 and good old Human League mores than U2. Bono’s singing in a style and using some sort of vocal phasing effect that makes him sound like Marc Bolan, which is pretty fucking cool. The song ends up sounding almost like a cross between U2 and the Eurhythmics. Bono hits an incredibly high falsetto in this tune, so high it’s like he almost disappears into it. And the outré solo-is super rude and fuzztonish. Nice groove and sound, not a great song.

“This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now” sets up some nice vibes with acoustic guitar, more classic-style U2 piano and a group vocal that makes me think once again of the “War” album. Getting towards the end of this album, I’m thinking U2’s own “songs of innocence” culminated on their third album, “War”. Remember, they had the picture of the same little kid on the first album and the third album (and a handful of import singles, and the video for “Two Hearts Beat As One”). “War” was the end of the innocence for these boys. That was the album where they hit their stride stylistically and became big rock stars in America. Say, I wonder if that’s presently being rereleased on iTunes, in remastered form? (along with the rest of their catalogue) Wouldn’t that be something?

Now all of a sudden, at the last song, the plot thickens! Is U2 trying to edge themselves into the Beatles/Bowie/Stones/Elvis Costello category of artists who can sell you their old classics over and over again? The reason I ask this is I gotta say, I loved the first three U2 albums when I was a kid but I have never owned them since the advent of the compact disc, because I was too cool to buy U2 records when their latest hit was consistently omnipresent all throughout MTV’s entire music video playing era. But I’m starting to feel like I want to own those first three albums again, and it’s this album that is making me feel this way. You gotta be a certain age to get the urge to buy albums, or a weirdo. And that’s why Ace Frehley is at number 2 in the charts and Bowie releases a new old album every year.

So I digress, the second last song’s got “Soldier, soldier” in it and when U2’s got a gang of voices singing about anything to do with war, it’s gonna remind you of “War” in some way or other. The Edge is doing some great, semi-Radioheadish electric guitar in it in the intro. Or is it ZZ Top? And then it goes disco. A more 70s version of “Achtung-era” U2, another winning period for the group. As a matter of fact I’m gonna say it’s got “Achtung” verses and “War” choruses. The Edge is playing some real cool spiky single note rhythms on this. Even with all these assets the song seems to deserve it’s placement as second last song on the album, a traditional dead spot. Not that anyone’s ever gonna listen to the whole thing all the way through. AND it’s the longest song on the album! Nice touch. I guess it just HAD to have that superfluous acoustic breakdown!

So finally, the last song is a long, slow, boring thing called “The Troubles”. Starts out with some female voices. It’s a moody song that maybe gets into that mood of “One” but with a different approach. I’m not loving these lady vocals at the end of the album. This song starts from a low place dynamically, but really seems to try to have “moments”. Seems like all icing. At least they give The Edge the last word, with a long strong outré solo that is very traditionally Edge-like.

It occurs to me this album could actually be great it if it were 15 minutes shorter. The 35 minute album! That’s what I really miss and it’s one of the reasons we used to listen to entire albums. Overall, I enjoy this U2 album. It’s got all the elements I like about them and a few great songs. I don’t think they owe anyone an apology.

RELATED: What is going on with Tom Petty that he feels a need to rock so fucking hard at this specific time?

YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO FACEHOOKERS

Gillard’s New Album ‘Parade On’ is Guitardedly Good.

Gillard’s New Album ‘Parade On’ is Guitardedly Good.

Doug Gillard Parade on Album Review

Parade On – Out 4/8 on Nine Mile Records

ALBUM REVIEW: Some of you know who Mr. Doug Gillard is even without actually having his phone number in your contacts or perhaps you got his digits from his previous release Call from Restricted. If we lead you to any record this year please let it be his latest and greatest Parade On as it’s guitardedly good.

We mean this with all affection and not a single bit of sarcasm; this is a bus you must get on. Doug’s passion for manipulating a 6 or 12 string guitar is on the same level as Johnny fucking Marr; strum for strum and we never met that Brit. He’s a band leader who will lead you down a path with several possible outcomes. One, inspire you to make your next record greater than good and NOT just ok,  but great. Two, in the process make you pay attention to the details, or you will do us a favor and quit playing music so the good stuff can bubble-up. Three – you’ll take a deep dive into the depths on a download binge 30,000 feet of stacked records. Four, sell some off your guitars (Maybe you’ll donate one to a charity like The Project Matters ‏@TPMNJ) while you mull over the second option. Actually you might NOT have to do any of this because this one stands all on it’s own. However, if some of you actually happen to step foot into a record store (even if just on record store day next week) and look up the likes of Nick Lowe, XTC, or Death of Samantha. Some of you may consider seeing him play with his band or taking the leads in Nada Surf. The two shows he’s playing with GBV are sold out so your out of luck there.

The pointed point is this is his third solo full-length coming out on Nine Mile Records strewn out over a few years of being a professional musician. I can’t even count all his other releases he’s played for you but it does not matter that is what wiki is fucking for. If I were record clerk (I vowed never to do so this) — this is the album I would literally point you towards besides the song “I AM a Tree” he recorded once with Guided By Voices. There I said it and it only. Took me two, three whole paragraphs. After that you are on your own.

We interviewed Doug Gillard last year, even played a show with him at the Asbury Lanes and enjoyed him nerding out talking about his guitar set-up. There is enough exploratory timeless guitaring on this album set forth as a reminder the guitar neck is an expansive and mysterious place. Dudes can play guitar and makes all the tones sound effortless while allowing you to hum along with vocal melodies. Our faves on this album are all of them. “Your Eyes” is the most Smiths like one, the opener is another classic similar to XTA or Nick Lowe with something off of Labour of Lust (1979) but don’t let us bore you with our shallow knowledge record store clerkdome. This one is going directly to our top 10 of 2014.

RELATED:
MP3s: New Guided By Voices 7″ on Fire Records
For nerds: Doug Gillard’s Guitar set-up
Donate a Guitar to The Project Matters to help teens stay out of trouble and learn a trade. Like professional rock musician. Contact TPMNJ on facebook to learn more.

Cassette Review by El Terrible – EP

Cassette Review by El Terrible – EP

el-terrible MUSIC REVIEW: El Terrible is band/project by Terry Ashkinos from Fake Your Own Death and Rob Easson ex-Rogue Wave. Goth 80’s inspired alternative with dark baritone vocals like the fall. The short of it is if you took some of the washed out sound away from interpol and swizzled in some cutting guitars it would sound like these guys. Seriously a lot of bands come to mind. It’s sparse enough and even throw in some female vocals sung by Sierra Frost to give it something whimsical. Four great tracks Brought to you by the fine folks at Breakup Records february 7th digitally and on cassette!

DOWNLOAD:
El TerribleCut MP3

BONUS RANDOM STUFF:
The FallMr. Pharmacist MP3 from Bend Sinister
Sisters of MercyHeartland MP3 Temple of Love 12″
Les Negresses Vertes Zobi La Mouche MP3 (sire/wb) from Mlah very weird accordion indie sounding folky stuff from France. For Neutral Milk Hotel fans.

Single of the Day: “Bird” by Tim Foljahn

Single of the Day: “Bird” by Tim Foljahn

Tim Foljahn Kiam records slow rocker
SINGLE OF THE DAY: People meet Tim Foljahn. If you don’t know him already know from his haunted past with doing Two Dollar Guitar with Steve Shelly from Sonic Youth or the myriad of other guitar work with Cat Power, to the noise of the Boredomes; he’s been there hacking away on six strings for a long time. He is the original slow guy of rock music bringing you something new on Kiam Records called “Bird” with backing vocals by Amy Bezunartea and Bass guitar and drums by Jeremy Wilms. Song written by Alexa Wilding. This new material will be available December 10, 2013. Is it a song about a bird or something else? You tell me. I think of it as the music behind the painting that watches you walk by. What is the art thinking or feeling exactly? This music is that feeling personified. His catalog is deep and full of slow jams like this so catch-up with Tim and his epic handle on sitars from his 2012 release Songs For An Age Of Extinction which we can only described it’s as if Nico was a strange man with a dark voice arising in a poppy field of mysterious dreams.


RIYL: Jason Molina, Slow Jams, Glen Hansard

Other MP3 treats:
Country Leaver (Early Mix) MP3 by The Dandy WarholsThirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia
Can’t Hardly Wait(cover) MP3 by Deer Tick Live

Related Articles:
RIP: Songs for Jason Molina – a compilation for your good karma
More from Kiam Records – Mass. Grave by The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries
SINGLE REVIEWS – Esom vs New Manic Spree
New Single – Mazzy Star “California” + The Dplan

Video of the Day: Broken Anchor “Always”

Video of the Day: Broken Anchor “Always”

Broken Anchors - Fresh Lemonade  Always Video of the Day
VIDEO OF THE DAY: Multi-instrumentalist dude Austin Hartley-Leonard may or may not be a serial killer hanging out on random street corners in LA. We don’t mean to make fun of dudes with three first names but just want to make sure we distinguish him from the pack of talented serial killers you may run into. Review Stalker presents Broken Anchor to you with this video of a very hot chick (Nicole Steinwedell) pretending to fight and do normal boyfriend/girlfriend stuff. He’s not exactly a country singer although he does have an ability to tell a good story lyrically with a soft serrated knife in his own hybrid alt-americana way. While we also don’t think he could pull off Gram Parsons Flying Burrito Brothers outfit (that would be too obvious if you ever saw the flick Mariachi) that we normally associate with serial singer songwriter types. He does sound similar to Gram. Austin’s music and voice is as smooth as a cello in heat and you should check it out on his full length called Fresh Lemonade to cool yourself off. Which is probably why the girl fell for him in the first place although we don’t know because it’s not a talkie. Go for a deep cut like “Head Is A Hole” and “My Marie”. The “Always” video is a good intro track to a nice solid and well produced release.

RIYL: Gram Parsons, Beach Boys

BUY Broken Anchors: iTunes | Bandcamp


Yea this is what I am talking about…

Chokebore reissues Anything Near Water and Motionless

Chokebore reissues Anything Near Water and Motionless

Chokebore Anything Near Water & Motionless re-releases

So it’s CMJ and we honestly don’t give a flying fuck. Fans of real awesome sadcore as was coined back-in-the-day and was brewed when the 90’s were a confusing time in rock history may have missed Chokebore all together in the same way. This band originated from Hawaii and then migrated to Los Angeles and was soon championed by Tom Hazelmeyer on Amphetamine Reptile Records for a bunch of releases. Now the French Label Vicious Circle is re-releasing two must have albums on vinyl because they too know something about real fucking music and don’t need some confusing festival to tell them so. Their albums Motionless (1993) and Anything Near Water(1996) came out right when Nirvana were bigger than the sum of their parts and dwarfed any body else trying to make a dent. These guys made records we looked forward too and were cut from the same tree of bands like Melvins and Jesus Lizard that got to open for them. We really dug their live performances a whole hell of a lot too. Which we don’t see many bands like this any more playing guitars like they mean it. It’s all these internet band bores. On stage the two brothers Kroll had  a burst of musical energy led by the rock crooning being bellowed by singer/guitarists Troy Balthazar and all together they came across like a exploding tsunami made up of passion and bong resin all up in your ear holes.
Troy Balthazar Chokebore Maxwells Hoboken

Anything Near Water and Motionless are two bongeriphic albums. We said a few times in our old fanzines that we were once appalled by the vocal delivery on one 7″ but quickly noticed it’s the sum of this very organic musical thing we realized there was much depth once we got to get into it. Anything Near Water is super moody and what really drew us in about them.  I don’t think bands like this get made by any one entity, especially our then narrow view of the world, with a then readership of like 100 people. That number has grown over time now in the 10’s of thousands but that is not important. The real important part which this is one band we would pay to go see again is Chokebore. Don’t take our word for it. Let your ears do the listening because like we were saying. Not a brooklyn band comes even close to this music but if you are in Europe in November you have a chance to check them out. The band recently went back “online” after a fairly long hiatus and on the very short list of bands we would like to see back in action this is one of them.

Chokebore Metro New Jersey Photo by Review Stalker

BUY Motionless or Anything Near Water.

CHokeBore In Concert:
07/11 KARLSRUHE (G) Jubez
08/11 BIELEFELD (G) Forum
09/11 LE LOCLE (CH) Lux
10/11 MILANO (IT) Lofi Club
11/11 BOLOGNA (IT) Freakout Club
12/11 YVERDON (CH) Amalgame (+ Shannon Wright)
13/11 ZURICH (CH) Güterschuppenwollishofen
14/11 FEYZIN (LYON) (69) Épicerie Moderne (+ Olivier Depardon)
15/11 TOULOUSE (31) Connexion Café
16/11 SAINT-JEAN-DE-VÉDAS (MONTPELLIER) (34) Victoire 2
18/11 PARIS (75) Trabendo
19/11 RENNES (35) Antipode
21/11 BORDEAUX (33) iBoat
22/11 LIMOGES (87) La Fourmi
23/11 MONTBÉLIARD (25) Moloco (Festival Génériq)
24/11 KORTRIJK (BE) De Kreun
25/11 BRUXELLES (BE) Rotonde (Botanique)
04/12 HAMBURG (G) Hafenklang
05/12 LEIPZIG (G) Werk 2
06/12 DRESDEN (G) Beatpol
07/12 BERLIN (G) Privatclub
08/12 PRAGUE (CZ) Lucerna Music Bar (+ Girls Against Boys)

Yes sad face is the name of this album

Yes sad face is the name of this album

Great American Novel album review - emoticon

ALBUM REVIEW: The genre emoticon tunes on this record are as catchy as a cat caught in a blender in heat. Now I don’t know if you would actually love to watch this sort of thing but the music is pretty unforgivingly pop which is being propelled out of the band called The Great American Novel‘s third full length release.

Wait for it.

“:(” Yes this happened but at least they can spell sad emoticon instead of smile because I was feeling, i don’t know, I really don’t speak much more tween than that myself so there is no code to debunk. Sarcastic. Yes we are… So no negative points there because millennials don’t get so easily bent. We a do applaud them for their efforts. You might like to know we think their tunes are strong and better than The Front Bottoms although we can’t stop to think about the time we tortured your plastic barbies and GI-Joes. (Another chapter for another time.)

Anyway, While we don’t want to be starting any wimpy bro wars and have some half drunken cans of PBR flung at us. You may disagree but this music is A-fuckin-OK even if they use keyboards like Eddie Van Halen plays guitar. Time will tell if they can keep this level of energy up which we like and it seems they have like a million of their dearest and closest high school friends singing along on the record. We already have the Vampire Weekend’s and crap they were only good for two songs — max. We do love the artwork which was done by Casey Roonan so that is a positive thing. It’s actually art work. Not lame steamer instagram photo. The best tune on this one for us is “Whatevering” and “Wish You Were Beer”. The lyrics are entertaining and speak hip for sure. The music is fun jangle jangle college alternative pop and cheeky like CamperVan. Check it out and follow them facehookers / twitter.

RIYL: Vampire Weekend, Bigger Lovers, Fountains of Wayne

Empty Chairs space pop for Caveat Emptor

Empty Chairs space pop for Caveat Emptor

Empty Chairs Caveat Emptor single review
MUSIC REVIEW: Mystic strums of magic created for laptops is the quick summary of the whimsical pop performed by Empty Chairs on Caveat Emptor. This is the kind of music that should be animated into a film feature or laser show. Lots of different movements in the track “Eyelashes”. Their video for the track “Akira” is weird as it has a character which resembles Woody Allen’s Sleeper robot that a girl keeps in her closet to do her chores. Don’t blink too soon or the trip will be over as this is the music dreamscapes are made of in outer space. For people who don’t like drugs this might be a good way to explain what tripping is like. Like a sight seeing person trying to explain what sight is like. This is what that experience could sound like. Very Beautiful music created by Peter Spear originally as solo project into his fold he has added Whitney Broadstreet on synth/vocals and percussionist Matthew O’Koren. Give this sexy dream pop a go. Comes out in Nov so don’t say we didn’t tell you first.

RIYL: Air, flaming lips, stereolab

Single Review: We Are Scientists “Something About you”

Single Review: We Are Scientists “Something About you”

We Are Scientists Single Review Something About you 7inch review

MUSIC REVIEW: oh this band… Lots of harmonies and nice guitar with subtle touches alla Johnny Marr; are what is We Are Scientists. This new A-Side is strictly for indie pop fans. “Something About You” is coming out on heavy 7″ wax via 100% Records and it sounds the most like Death Cab for Cutie to us. It’s the tenor of the versus that on first spin this is made clear. 2nd listen you hear all the little stuff that makes them cool. In particular off the album Change I guess. Granted there are only 3 chords in most recorded rock music and so many notes you still can’t help but dig their sense of happy song. You know if Nada Surf were ever happy about a potential relationship or Gedge were not a pompous ass you would get music like these guys make. It’s not shout out for Glee happy with rainbows shooting out of your ass. The vibe does make think a little bit of when your girl was blowing bubbles at you. That feeling – you know happy. Not sure about the B-Side on this one. So can’t tell you anything except it’s called “Let Me Win”.

While the band works out the details for their next release they are giving you this. Bassist Chris Cain mentions in the press release:

“The new album’s finished, but we’re taking our time setting up the release, and we wanted to get something new to fans on the sooner side.”

“I guess ‘charity single’ is the wrong word for this,” said singer Keith Murray, “since none of the money generated will go to a good cause. But in the sense that we did this because we knew some of the fans desperately, desperately needed it — in that sense, yeah, it’s a charity single.”

Non US Shows:
20th July – Super Bock Super Rock Festival, Meco, Portugal
22nd July – Thekla, Bristol – SOLD OUT
23rd July – Wedgewood Rooms, Portmsouth – SOLD OUT
25th July – XOYO, London – SOLD OUT
26th July – Club NME, Koko, London
27th July – Kasbah, Coventry
29th July – Oran Mor, Glasgow – SOLD OUT
30th July – Gorilla, Manchester – SOLD OUT
31st July – 53 Degrees, Preston
2nd Aug – Indiependence Festival, Cork, Ireland
3rd Aug – Limelight, Belfast

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EndAnd from BRKLN vs the massive The Young Leaves

EndAnd from BRKLN vs the massive The Young Leaves

EndAnd vs The Young Leaves

It’s Saturday and sometimes music just collides. We get a lot of crap all day long and we politely say we’ll check it out. We do believe in that courtesy. We know from experience pushing our own damn band though most blogs and clubs just don’t give a fuck to do even that; because they have it worse. So the importance of the words you use to describe your group better ring big ass bells or we’re hard pressed and too damn stressed to find the time to have the pleasure of listening to a band we might actually like. We might forget 5 seconds later too. Let alone after 100’s of release emails we’re churning through on the bus. If we’re awake or after after a cocktail or two. But never mind our issues.

MUSIC REVIEW: One trigger is the Album itself. With a title like Mechanics & Energetics of Stilt​-​Running which clocks in at 21 minutes by the EndAnd. Says hey they have cut out the parts you don’t need. It’s noise rock/punk the description goes. It’s better we say than this. Schizophrenic for sure but the kind of noise metal milieu riffs that start off with anthems and give you heart-attacks after a long run with the cops chasing you. The good shit that you can feel in your ferrel bones. Apparently they are popular but what the hell do we know. We work in a cave up on the 14th floor. Too tired to Click play but when we do make the time we’re glad we did. A bunch of guys from Brooklyn, blah blah blah. They have a fuck-load of Facehooker fans etc but that shit is meaningless if you can’t deliver; in particular if you get to name your price. The opener “At Fault’s End” and third tune “The Detach” are stand-out tracks. Start there if you too are in hurry like us. “I’m One Of Three” has this messy Sorry Ma forgot to take out the trash thing. Anyway… we don’t care too much for some of quick tapping kick-drum prog stuff because it’ starts to sound like Alice in Chains trying too hard but as a whole this band is great. I’m sure it’s all awesome live. Thanks to James from I.M.P for sending this along without people like him everything would be silent and dull around here.

RIYL: Botch, Iceage, Propagandhi

Next up is band we’ve been following for years. Sludge pop-punk this guy said from The Young Leaves back in 2009 and Christopher from Holliston, Mass has not gone away from the original thing we liked at first when got an actual CDR in the mail. Yes! We say to this latest single Alive and Well​/​The Love Song Single. If you like loud songs with more melody in one chord than your average boy band. Then give this trio a free download. They even have the token chick bass player which we like to see. But seriously, grow some internet balls. They are coming to NJ on 6/28 and 6/29 Smithtown, NY. So check out some live music. Get the Deets from them my dear facehookers on their page and if you are not already fuckin’ stalk us back already. What the hell is wrong with you.

RIYL: Leatherface, Dino Jr, Jawbreaker

Related Articles:
The Young Leaves Singles review (2009)
The Young Leaves Life Underneath (2011)