This almost seems like a throw-back, back-to-the-basics album for the Deftones. “White Diamonds” features druggy and sludgy guitar tones that shred with stoner rock ferocity amid Chino Moreno’s trademark out-of-this-world lyrical content delivered via screechy screams, fast spitting almost-raps, and softly sung spoken words. Still as atmospheric as their past releases, each tune seems to build off of one another delivering a true ‘album’ feel that the iTunes geeks won’t understand unless their playlist is the entire album beginning to end. Love the low-end bass tone on this album too; which is a great nod towards Chi who suffered a debilitating brain injury who sadly was absent but everyone is pulling for him to have a full recovery. I almost think that losing one of their brethren for this long-standing band is what helped craft such a fun, enlightening, and engaging album. “Rocket Skates” sounds like it was just lifted from a b-side from “Around the Fur” with its chunky guitar riffs that are perfectly fit for Mastodon fans. “White Diamonds” is at once dreamy and steamy with sultry vocals whispered and crooned by Chino and then counters all of that with caustic screams and yelps of dismay amid churning guitar distortion, weird sample atmospherics from their turntablist, and crisp rhythms and crashing cymbals. It’s not what I was prepared to hear from one of my favorite bands who I thought were on an unfortunate downswing and yet again proved me wrong. Love it.
Posts tagged alternative
Young Livers evokes post-hardcore gritty dank guitars that drop bombs similar to seminal outfit Drive Like Jehu. “Of Misery and Toil” burns no bridges as they embark upon a steady diet of breakdowns, odd song structures, and tinkering with what we’ve all come to expect from post-indie rock outfits. Mid-range rhythms with some blasts of devastation that are few and far between remind me of a Far that doesn’t deploy a melodic singer (think Hot Water Music) and nods firmly in the direction of punk rock. Each song evokes an immediate attention span quadrant that scans the horizon looking for something better but comes up empty. I swear they are a few decades removed from the DC hardcore scene.
Fresh off their “Hootenannies” tour in support of their third self-titled album, often referred to as “The Red Album”, Weezer kept that spirit strong by quickly putting pen to paper and releasing “Raditude”. What the band captured best was the spirit and drive discovered on that tour, a tour that often had the band inviting fans (sometimes hundreds) on stage to learn and play Weezer songs similar in vein to old folksy sing-a-longs made famous in the simpler and more open age of the ‘60s. That became the inspiration for the entire “Raditude” album, and indeed became their new “attitude” if you will. Cuomo himself has dubbed “Raditude” as feeling “like the greatest realization of my musical goals”. And if that’s what it is, holy cow what a goal it was. Finding the true standard of Weezer’s gift of infectious melody song after song while keeping things loose and unwittingly surprising, “Raditude” features such surprise gems as “Can’t Stop Partying” with rappers Lil’ Wayne and Jermaine Dupri and “I’m Your Daddy”’s intriguing electro glides. Sleekly produced, the album is once again rich in Cuomo’s intelligent but playful songwriting; Rivers himself knows he can’t take himself nearly as serious as some of his critics and cult-like fans insist he is. It is funny to see to what degree Weezer is willing to bend towards, just to tease everyone that thinks this group is only capable of writing a simple harmonious pop song that you’ll forget as soon as the next one hits rotation. The first single and beginning of the album is the illustrious and gigantic “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” (watch the video here). Featuring a MoTown glitzy rhythm, handclaps, three-part harmonies, and lyrics like “The Slayer t-shirt fit the scene just right”, it tells the tale of young love growing old together – interestingly perfectly befitting an old original Weezer fan following the group since “The Blue Album” was the first installment of the mighty self-titled Weezer muses.
With bass as thick and deep as an Orange 9MM album, The States remind one of a college alternative band from the late 90’s that made it as far as the highest stages in college would bring them. But there weren’t more opportunities that manifested, what a shame, right? “Our Time is Up” is pure dissonance with guitar effects that would blush a fully engaged Edge (U2). Good upfront rock ‘n’ roll that is bouncy and engaging.
Dude. Synth-pop with melodies so infectious they spread faster than HIV at a swinger’s party, Hooray for Earth just is dripping wet with fucking awesome choruses. The Boston-based group plays fun-filled and energetic melodic pop-rock that’s a clear alternative to all of those bland woe-is-me singer/songwriters that seem to dominate the underground scene these days. I love that their guitars sound as big as Lady Liberty. Amazingly tight and a complete uniform good time. Sweet!
Not really sure what the album title is about? Well who cares, it’s all about great indie/alt. country damn it. The passion of indie music got it right, and so shall we. Easily an album that one can point towards the influence of Johnny Cash (those deep vocals are truly zany) and The Velvet Underground, “Victory Shorts” by Absentee is an album rich in romantic ideals and poor in easy to chew pop nuance for which we’re abundantly thankful. Produced, engineered, and mixed by Nick Terry whose recent notables include the Libertines and Bernard Butler, “Victory Shorts” is a mediation on the mind and body’s odd quirks via smart lyrics and careful composure. Great for those of you unsatisfied that the Cure isn’t making good music anymore who can’t stand that Snoop Dogg was allowed to remix Johnny Cash.
Power pop chords chug away with infinite harmonies leaking out and forming a swirling lollipop around which this Baltimore-based pop icon Edward Joseph Neenan forges dynamic songs. He brings to E. Joseph and the Phantom Heart his crafty ability to build bridges between divergent melodies amid smooth grooves in uncanny. The album opener could very well be heard throughout mainstream pop radio with killer guitar hooks and a seminal nod to retro alternative pop-rock. Power-pop this golden needs to be shared with anyone who will listen. Essential.
Cheap Girls debut full-length’s title “Find Me a Drink Home” sounds like it was some side project of Brett Michaels back in the ‘80s. But I assure you it is far removed from that cheapened hair metal. Using poetic lyrics that are far from sober but far from titty bar drunken, Cheap Girls write pop-rock melodies with sweeping power-pop anthems that are guitar-centric and fun-filled but not much else…but isn’t that enough these days?
Besides their silly attempt to play dress up and look like some cast-off fifth Beatle, Coldplay’s most recent foray into the music world finds them teaming up with oddball ambient man Brian Eno as producer. Eno paints a vivid portrait of incredibly intricate pop music whose choruses soar and verses lay tender hooks alongside drenching wet melodies. There’s a lot of world-beat influences as well as off-beat keyboard work throughout this album whose title was siphoned from renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Is it as good as it gets for Coldplay? Probably not, but it delivers where “X+Y” faltered and this band doesn’t seem to stop impressing, even if the U2 references (iPod commercial, much?) are getting a bit tired. To summarize properly though, I leave you with:
David: “You know how I know you’re gay?”
David: “You like Coldplay.”