Friday, July 28, 2006

Best of 2006 so far...

AllMusic weighs in...

Completely agree with Tim Sendra's comment about Camera Obscura...

If the album were nothing but "Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken" and 40 minutes of ceiling fan hum, it'd still be a treasure.



Monday, July 24, 2006

Human Television

If you've got a penchant for 80's-inspired jangle-pop, whether it's R.E.M. or C86 bands, I'm pretty sure you'll like Human Television. I read a review of their debut album Look at Who You're... in the latest issue of Magnet and the next day, heard one of their songs on RadioK. Serendipity. Embarrassingly, I soon discovered that I had downloaded a song from an earlier EP some time ago and forgot about it. Insound.com has 3 free MP3s to offer; the band's MySpace page has 2 additional songs for download (not counting 2 that overlap with those on Insound).

Several reviews I've read mention some similarity to My Bloody Valentine and other bands from the epic Creation record label. None of the songs mentioned here for free download have much of a shoegaze feel, but the songs RadioK played (wish I knew the name) definitely sounded like mid-period My Bloody Valentine, by which I mean Ecstasy & Wine through Isn't Anything. We tend to forget that Kevin Shields actually jangled...

Monday, July 17, 2006

Tokyo Police Club

I'm really enjoying Lesson in Crime, the debut 7-song EP from Tokyo Police Club. Recommended if you like Pavement, Sonic Youth, Yatsura, and to my ears, bouncier noise-pop purveyors like The Legends (see our earlier post). Good angular indie rock--think the aforementioned Pavement if they had been charmingly peppy instead of charmingly slack. You can download their single Nature of the Experiment from Insound.com or hear more of their songs at MySpace.com.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Back to The Futureheads

After wringing my hands about the potential for a massive sophomore slump, I would be remiss if I didn't say how much I like the new Futureheads album, News And Tributes. Ultimately, I think they just chose the wrong song to be their lead-off single. I've come to like Skip to the End, but it's not my favorite song on the album. There are plenty of songs that are a logical extension of the first album (the first 3 tracks on the album, Yes/No, Cope, and Fallout, for example). Plus, there are other songs that are more of departure, like Burnt and Back To The Sea. Back To The Sea may be my favorite song on the album. A review I read somewhere suggests that the band now sounds more like English Settlement-era XTC instead of earlier White Music or Black Sea XTC. The Futureheads DO have their own distinct sound, but the XTC influences are very tangible, particularly during the skittery moments of Favours For Favours. All in all, a very good album - sorry I doubted them.

Asobi Seksu

Asobi Seksu is a New York-based dream pop band whose first album I really enjoyed and posted about last year. Their name apparently means "playful sex" in Japanese. While the My Bloody Valentine / Sonic Youth, influence is still there, they remind me more of dream pop bands like Lush and February. The Allmusic.com review also mentions The Primitives, which actually makes sense in some places (can you imagine The Primitive's Crash sung in Japanese?). Along those lines, their bouncy noise pop moments also remind me a bit of The Legends, which we posted about here. You can download 2 songs, Thursday and New Years, from the band's website. (Thursday is also available from Insound.com here.) Asobi Seksu's website also offers the 4 songs from their first album that I posted about previously, in case you want to explore the band further.