Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Unsane: Visqueen (4/5)


Year: 2007
Genre: Post Hardcore Sludge
Label: Ipecac
TRT: 42:08

Unsane has been around for close to two decades, but I just recently checked them out. As often happens with a band that's been around for so long, one loses the urgency to investigate, and they slowly get lost on an endless list of bands "to check out". So when I saw this cd for $4, I was interested, but when I flipped it over and saw they were now on Mike Patton's label, I was sold, and I bought it.

What I was immediately impressed with was the clear, upfront and meaty basslines found on this disc. Very heavy and mean sounding. The vocals are not usually something I'm fond of, but the throaty yells of Chris Spencer really feel at home here, and fit perfectly. The combination of those things paired with mid-paced and methodical drumming over sludgy, driving guitars make for an experience with an unexpected groove that makes you want to nod your head to the beat, while raising your fist in protest of...anything and everything.

01 Against the Grain
02 Last Man Standing
03 This Stops at the River
04 Only Pain
05 No One
06 Windshield
07 Shooting Clay
08 Line on the Wall
09 Disdain
10 Eat Crow
11 East Broadway

Search Amazon for Unsane

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Steal the Prize: I Want to Talk to God (5/5)

Year: 2009
Genre: Psychedelic Rock
Label: Self-Released
TRT: 52:29

These guys are young, talented, brilliant, and hard working. Every song has been perfectly crafted to stand the test of time. The band looks for the big picture when writing songs and I think it comes across nicely especially with the lyrics complementing the vibes sent out through the songs.

The album is a concept based around the lives of the guys in the band...starting with the first song you get the idea that the band has control by making a catchy hit with lyrics about feeling crazy. By the second song you will start to understand this is going to be a psychedelic album.....and believe me, you wouldn't be more right, this album is soaked in the perspective and oneness that come from psychedelics.

The band overall if I had to categorize them would be a sweet fusion of Led Zeppelin & The Beatles. You might have an idea of what you think they sound like from that mix but it'll be different because this band is truly one of the most unique new bands out right now. They aren't just taking the styles that worked in the 60's and 70's and working it into their music like a lot of bands these days, but they are making their own music from their own standards not necessarily caring about what the masses might think.

This is an album about doing and being......


01 Some Things Don't Translate
02 The Opposite of Space
03 You're My Moment
04 You Go Left, I Go Righteous
05 If These Walls Could Talk
06 Us or Me
07 All the Pretty Ladies
08 Outrun the Sun
09 Let Me Know
10 Pledge Allegiance to Planet Earth
11 The Skeptics Were Right
12 Born Again, Again

Monday, April 13, 2009

Small Brown Bike: The River Bed (4/5)

Year: 2003
Genre: Emotional Post-Hardcore
Label: Lookout
TRT: 40:33

I heard about this band way back in the day, but never got around to checking them out. Their break-out album Dead Reckoning was released right around the time contemporaries Thursday and Cursive released their own contributions (Full Collapse and Domestica respectively), and they actually did a split with the latter.

Fast forward to a local indie music store going out of business and having a massive sale. I see this album for $7 and think to myself, why not? I had an idea of what to expect from them, and they delivered handsomely.

Their final release, coming two years after the album I'd heard so much about in 2001, is presented in a more mature way, both musically and lyrically. Very catchy songs with interesting drumming, and heartfelt vocals that make you want to stand up and shout along. If you're a fan of any of the bands or albums I've mentioned, you will dig this hard.

01 Deconstruct/Rebuild
02 Safe In Sound
03 A Declaration Of Sorts
04 Scream In The Silence
05 Day And Nightmares
06 Tragically Ending
07 Sincerely Yours
08 What's Missing Is Dead
09 The Outline Of Your Hand Still Remains On My Hand
10 A Lesson To Remember

Search for Small Brown Bike on Amazon