Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World (2014)

I don't know an awful lot about this band. What I do know, is that their Wikipedia page states that they are "a Canadian punk rock duo".

And once again, Wikipedia proves itself a harbinger of bullshit.

There's no way that this band is "punk rock". They are an overproduced band. Their music is more metal than punk, and the singing style has more in common with Motley Crue than it does the Sex Pistols.

This is radio ready, hard rock music. Yes they are a duo, and isn't that quaint and precious. But seriously? This is tripe. I wouldn't eat it if it were covered in pussy.

Waste your money here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ex Hex - Rips (2014)

Mary Timony has been around for a long time. If one was tuned to indie rock in the early 1990s, they’d surely have heard of at least one of the two bands she contributed to (Autoclave and Helium). 24 years into her career, she has had the time and talent to put out great records consistently, whether as part of a band or as a solo artist. 

Recently, she fronted the superband Wild Flag along with Sleater Kinney/Portlandia star, Carrie Brownstein. A flash in the pan, perhaps, as Ms. Timony has now formed a new band… a power pop, punk rock trio called Ex Hex (which was also the name of a 2005 solo record). Their debut record, Rips, does just that. The music on Rips is upbeat, fun, and has the attitude bands from early 1980s bands like The Buzzcocks or The Beat. It's no frills rock music… chugging instead of pirouetting, unpretentiously dishing up straightforward rock n’ roll without any garnish that might point to the fact that you're in the presence of one of underground rocks most talented guitar players.

You might say that going back to basics is a regression, as 2007 saw the release of the Mary Timony Band’s “The Shapes We Make”, a definitive high watermark for her, showcasing her growth as a songwriter and a simply awe-inspiring guitarist. Indeed, Rips seems almost like it should've been the very record by her very first band. It has a fresh exuberance one might attribute more to a 20 year-old musician, not a 44 year-old musician. But to me, and maybe I’m showing my age here, I think it’s an admirable step. 

Ex Hex is Timony showing she can wear any hat she wants as an artist. 

Ex Hex is kinda what I wanted Wild Flag to be … but wasn't ... and that makes it even better. I guess that’s one good thing about Portlandia popularity… it distracted Brownstein away from Wild Flag, allowing Ex Hex to rise from it’s ashes.

Pre-order and listen:

Ex Hex - Rips

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Laetitia Sadier - Something Shines (2014)

I have a brother, and my brother is still alive. French songwriter Laetitia Sadier, front woman of the glorious band Stereolab, had a sister .. who is now dead.

Look, Laetitia has been through a lot and understandably doesn't always want to make the bop-pop swingin' good times music that Stereolab makes all the time. She has experienced a severe loss. And rightly so, her sister still makes appearances in the lyrics of Laetitia's solo music.

On her latest solo record, Something Shines, there are lush orchestral arrangements. It also has Laetitia's iconic, clean, and unwarbling voice. And for those things, it's fine.

And I think it's important for artists to grow and to try new things. But Stereolab... I mean WOW. That band... sheesh. That's where Laetitia's talents ACTUALLY shine.

There just isn't anything here I want to listen to a second time. There is just too large a wonderful body of work, previous to this record, that warrants more immediate attention and, I'll put my joey on this, will stand the test of time (see Stereolab - Dots And Loops).

If I did attempt to listen to this record a second time, I'm afraid it'd make me a little Sadier, quite frankly.


Laetitia Sadier - Something Shines