Thursday, February 23, 2006

Quite Possibly the Most Earth Shaking Album of the Year

I know that a lot of records have yet to be released this year, but I am absolutely trippin' out over the new Liars record, Drum's Not Dead. I heard three new releases this week; Prefuse 73's new Security Screenings, which blows my mind, and Mastodon's epic re-release package Call of the Mastodon, which gives new meaning to the term "metal", by the way - but no album has grabbed me like the new Liars album.

This record is larger than life. It is everything you could possibly hope for from a band, from music, from a collection of songs, from a group of three iced-up dudes who climbed the social ladder in the "dance-punk" scene and then did everything they could to break away from it...this band astounds me. They Were Wrong, So We Drowned was brilliant. Drum's Not Dead makes it look childish in comparison.

I simply wish there was something I could say which would encapsulate this record for me, but I am simply at a loss for words. Tribal percussion dissolves in and out of the forefront of the mix, a noise influence is at work - you can tell the effect that Wolf Eyes has had on the indie world - but, for the most part, we are noticing a definite homage to the post-punk music of This Heat. Interestingly, Liars manages to wear this influence on their sleeves without dulling the original bombast of one of the world's best-ever bands. They take the This Heat sound and refresh it, hopefully forcing thousands of fans to pick up the soon-to-be-re-released copy of Deceit.

This will be the album of the year. It undoubtedly is so far.

Here are the two tracks that really stood out for me:

Download "Drum and the Uncomfortable Can" off of Drum's Not Dead **EXPIRED**

Download "The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack" off of Drum's Not Dead **EXPIRED**

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This Is! Reissues This Heat Back Catalogue

It's about damn time that someone released the back catalogue of one of the finest bands of all time. Allegedly, This Is!, a new label set up by Charles Hayward and Charles Bullen from the seminal post-punk band This Heat is releasing their former group's entire back catalogue. I know this for a fact, because I saw the first This Heat release - the blue and yellow self-titled album - on the shelf at Listen two days ago. Apparently, Deceit will be dropping soon, and so will the amount of money in my bank account.

I can't stress enough the sheer greatness of these first two records, particularly the former. Deceit has stood the test of time, proving to be the a rare example of the type of album that could be released tomorrow and still be ahead of its time, in terms of complexity, innovation and intensity. Its relevance has been overshadowed by no one, and the greatness of the band has never been met before or since.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Don't Believe the Hype

Now that the initial shock of living in a country where women's rights and gay rights are constantly running the risk of falling off the proverbial political cliff has worn off, I move on to my next calculated and studious outrage. Which is, of course, the Arctic Monkeys, the latest hype factory from the UK. Shall I inform you of how I feel about this band? I think that the amount of ass-kissing done by the NME has created a hickey so gargantuan that it is removing all the blood from the heads of these young lads - only then can a group of young dudes make rock and roll sound this bad.

Allegedly this album now holds the record for fastest selling debut in the UK - 100 000 copies on its first day - and I have decided that it is my birthright on Earth to discount this band and their songs for nothing but trash and drivel. It is boring, manufactured, pre-packaged rock and roll which would be nothing without the magic of the studio. I kid you not.

The last thing we need is another band like this. How boring. It wouldn't surprise me if they're all in cohorts with the Test Icicles, Britain's other shite band of the moment. Avoid, avoid, avoid. Don't even download this garbage. Let it rot on the shelves of HMV.

Do Believe the Hype

On the complete other side of the good and bad musical spectrum lies Supersilent, who have just recently released their live DVD 7. I haven't seen it yet, because I haven't had a chance to buy a copy yet, but I have complete faith that it will blow my mind and the minds of those around me.

Supersilent features Helge Sten, better known as Deathprod, who is responsible for one of the finest ambient albums ever made - Morals and Dogma. This man is groundbreaking, not only for his work in Supersilent and Deathprod, but also for his magic hand on the production of albums like List of Lights and Buoys by Susanna and the Magical Orchestra. As a band, they are untouchable. If you listen to the entire Supersilent catalogue, ranging from 1 to 6, you will hear the evolution of a group of improvisers so skilled that they seem to simultaneously break the restraints of every kind of experimental music genre ever. While every record can be and is considered free jazz, elements of every imaginable artistic statement drift in and out of their porous textural improvised experimentation.

My personal favourite Supersilent studio album is 6. It truly is a phenomenal record, pushing boundaries, challenging its listeners, and defying expectations consistently. From the soothing, emotional and disjointed synths and samples of the opening track to the pounding toms which drift in and out of the record, this is a magnum opus, a modern masterpiece, and a destroyer of convention. All the more reason to appreciate it.

Buy 6 from

There's No Hype to Believe

Unfortunately, nobody is really talking about Mouthus. They're really well known in the No Fun Fest crowd, those New York hipsters who go to the Thurston Moore curated event every year, featuring numerous chart-toppers such as Wolf Eyes, Nautical Almanac, Birds of Delay, Dead Machines, and other bands I really doubt that your mom likes.

This band is really interesting. All I've heard is a collaboration record with Valerie Allen. It sounds like the end of the freakin' world. It's as epic and monumental as that too, with voices, guitars, and drums seeping in and out of an electronically modified, effects pedal mindjob. Check out this band.