Monday, August 18, 2008
Posted by lex dexter
Neil Halstead Oh! Mighty Engine Halstead is the vaunted ex-Slowdive guy, as well as a longtime singer/writer for 4ad's absolutely gorgeous Mojave 3. This is his second solo album, and it's effortlessly conversant with your Jansch and Chilton references. Also, it's released on Jack Johnson's label?
I cannot say enough about Halstead's entire body of work, and this is a great new installment. That said, deep down I yearn for some more sonically diverse, electric installments from Mojave 3. Sort of like the Thurston and Gary Louris' recent records, tho, I think I'm embarassed to have presumed to release a solo acoustic album when there's stuff this good out there that totally sassifies my listening needs. This is not my job. My job is to write incoherent screeds about ballot initiatives.
Breeders Mountain Battles Recorded by Albini at Electrical, thank you. The best moments on this album have the same creepy, lilt-y dynamics as those displayed on the Breeders' totally crucial, totally underrated Pod. The second-best moments have Kim Deal belting out nicotine and wine-flavored bubblegum over brilliant, self-evident power chords. The third-best moments come when Kim carries slim songs off on the back of her own, ineffable persona. She continues to grow as a frontperson/protagonist in my mind, which I cannot say for Robert Pollard, for example... Some of the "songs" on this aren't much, but Kim and the amazing band interplay and the creepy vibes and Albini sounds are enough to transcend that small problem.
And some of the songs are just wonderful. Like "we're gonna rise," for example. For example, ...
Also, I cannot get over the album art. I love it.
Walkmen You & Me
Last time I mentioned my love for this band, I mentioned fugazi and faces; well today I wanna mention royal albert hall-era dylan/hawks AND late-Cale/early-Yule-era velvets.
Pitchfork is right to name the "cavernous" guitar tone as a definitive Walkmen thing - as a long time believer in bass-y Fender tube tones, i must admit to wetting myself upon hearing the opening, muted gtr notes of the album-opener, 'Donde Esta La Playa.'
It will take a while to see if the highs of this alb match those of my beloved 100 miles off, but rest assured this is Top 5 of 2008 - i can tell that much now, and the thing isn't even officially released yet, except over here on mp3!
Electro Group A New Pacifica Most exciting, melodic indie guitar band i have discovered since Giant's Chair! This is the music that I need to survive: sonic youth-y, shoegaze-y, unwound-y gtr punk. Also this album features the most interesting, melodic and tough bass playing of its kind since Barlow on You're Living All Over Me. Mebbe that's hyperbole but as you can tell I'm excited.
A Sunny Day In Glasgow Scribble Mural Comic Journal This is a very, very damaged 'pop' record featuring a very fractured combination of digital/analog sounds and euro-punk-y, chanted sloganeering by an Icy Lady Duo on vocs. The vocs are what I would've figured''d've turned me away from this, but in fact the vocs have really captivated me. It's not as offputting as Dagmar Krause or anything, mind you - but this is plenty weird. I like this record, I think. Very dense, further proof of the worthiness of (some) laptop music that my Doubting Thomas nose needs.
(okay, download a mini-tape. walkmen aren't included because you should be downloading that whole alb for a meager $5 as part of their benefit.)
Posted at 14:45