Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Monster Truck - The Brown EP

RATING: 7.9/10

I saw Monster Truck opening up for a local band's EP release party. I thoroughly enjoyed the headlining act, but Monster Truck was Fucking badass. serious rock. I picked up their debut self-titled EP and recieved a free download of their most recent 4-track release... "The Brown EP."

At some point, all the legitimacy and seriousness of a hard-rock band gets called into question when the "rawkness" seems overly done and silly. Metallica and Nickelback are two prime examples of where the simple rough-rock sound can come off as phony - or just plain laughable.  Monster Trucks' EP, "The Brown EP," is fucking ridiculous.   In a good way. Not phony. The vocals are stellar but rough. The organ is sweet. The drums are simple, and the guitar/bass are doing a great job.

Monster Truck has a very "Mountain-meets-Zeppelin-meets-heavier-blues-rock/ZZ-Top" sound. This is the kind of rock music I would gladly play at a house party to get guests in a good mood. My only real complaint about the EP is that it's an EP and there aren't enough guitar solos. I think there's only one obvious solo in the whole record.

In any case, if you want good foot-stomping rock music. This is a killer release by a band from Toronto Canada.

Notable Tracks:
Out of the four tracks, all of them are great.
"Righteous Smoke" is fucking sweet!

Link To Artist:

Friday, 6 May 2011

Jonsi - Go

RATING: 8.3/10
If you haven't heard of Sigur Ros, then much of this brief review of Jonsi Birgisson's debut album (2010) isn't going to make much sense.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO SIGUR ROS.(Jonsi sings for SigurRos)
In any case, Jonsi has jumped away from sad and hyper-dramatic. Or so it seems... Vocals to Icelandic post-rock/ethereal band, Jonsi, lays off long swells of singing guitar and over-lapping sound for a shorter, more conventional, but still emotional, sound. The first track, "Go Do" is an example of this new sound... connecting Jonsi's falsetto voice,  sampling, strings and... Bird noises.

"Go" is still serious. The lyricism is deep and engaging. The instrumentals are complex but not nearly overdone. Jonsi still has a beautiful voice. It's easy to think of this record as a 'strange' Sigur Ros album, just because of Jonsi's voice... However you won't find screeching/ambient/lengthy melody on this record. You find catchy melodies, haunting vocal harmonies, and a lot of "flutey" sounds.

Are you looking for that sad Sigur Ros sound? "Go" has you covered.
Are you looking for singer songwriter songs? "Go" has you covered.
Are you looking for vocal talent? "Go" has you covered.
Are you looking for an album that flows? "Go" has you covered.
Are you looking for Cheery upbeat rhythms? "Go" has you covered.
Go seems to have everything.

Notable Tracks:
"Go Do" sets the theme for Jonsi's solo work from Sigur Ros. Catchy, powerful. Worth a listen or 10.
"Grow Till Tall" Sad, "nostalgic" and slow. Really beautiful.
"Tornado" Slow and sad.

Link to Artist:

Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

RATING: 7/10
For those who haven't checked out "Fight For your Right Revisited," the short film the Beastie Boys made to promote this album, then do so... It's hilarious. In any case, we find a lot of new stuff from the Beastie Boys on this record, and a lot of older stuff. The instrumentals are a big and noticeable on this record - They're heavy, grungy, sloppy and almost psychedelic... Which is saying a lot for a hip-hop group. The album altogether isn't necessarily ear friendly, and seems to mostly be comprised of really "classic" sounding rap styles and distorted drums.The album seems more inventive instrumentally than their record, "To the 5 Boroughs" (They have another release afterwards, but it's all instrumental... and sweet).Overall, the album leaves much to be desired in the way of a single... But kicks serious ass altogether.

Notable Tracks:
Just go watch the 30-minute youtube video I've posted and it gives an array of what the album has to offer.

Link to Artist:

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Adele - 21

RATING: 6.5/10
"21" is Adele's second studio album, and maintains just as much of the catchy soulful hooks that were featured on her debut record, "19." Upon my first listen of "21," I was a little let down. The first track. "Rolling in the Deep" is infectious and immediately causes one to stomp their feet. However, the later tracks seem a little contrived, if not boring. Each song on the album affirms the vocal talent of Adele, as well as excellent songwriting skills, though some tracks are stellar and some tracks are not. We're presented with some Piano/Vocal ballads heard on "19" but there seems to be a more of an American blues/country/rock feel on this record. As noted by tracks like "Rolling in the Deep," "Hiding my Heart" and "I'll be Waiting." Overall, the album is an excellent and catchy collection of singer/songwriter tracks coupled with smooth instrumentals and a great voice... Even if her previous album was simply "better" in my opinion.

Notable Tracks:
"Rolling in the Deep" is the first track and is quite different than any of Adele's other music, in a good way. The song is catchy, contains excellent lyrics, and soulful.

"Turning Tables" is very reminiscent of "Hometown Glory" (A single from her first album). Catchy, Slow, and ballad-y. A great example of what's to find on "21."

Link to Artist:

Protest the Hero - Scurrilous

RATING: 8/10
Scurrilous is Protest the Hero's third full length studio album. Following the success of the other two records, "Kezia" & "Fortress," Scurrilous definitely has something to prove to it's two older brothers. Overall Scurrilous heads to a more "prog-rock" region of PTH's repertoire, and does it well. Each track is more manic than the last, leaving you asking what you were just listening to. However, like all Protest the Hero records, there's plenty of room for awfully catchy hooks... This has been the reason people either love or hate PTH. Scurrilous isn't really a serious Prog-rock album, It's not a serious metal album. It's not a pop album... What is it? It's terrific. The lyrics and overall songwriting have been seriously improved - though the song structure is sometimes hard to identify. Instrumentals are as technical as ever, though it's not as flaunted as it was in "Fortress." My only bone to pick with the album is the switch from one track to another. One of the reasons "Kezia" was praised was for it's cohesiveness as an album. Everything fit so well together. Scurrilous maintains short tracks, and not as much cohesion as I would appreciate... Though each track is excellent.

Notable Tracks:
"Termites" Contains some of the best vocal work on the album, and slows some stuff down.

"C'est la Vie" is the opening track on the record and sets the tone for the whole album.

:Links to Artist:

Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Rating: 6.5/10
Being a fan of Explosions in the Sky, and having owned two of their previous records, I was excited about the release of this. "Take Care, Take Care, Take Care" is their sixth studio LP, and for a band who has so much under their belt, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of change or variation in this record compared to previous LPs. Take Care just doesn't seem to have the explosions that previous albums had - That tense build-up and dramatic release, intended to wash you away in a wall of pure sound. That's not to say that the album is bad. On the contrary, Take Care gives you beautiful and warm melodies the whole way through. Pieced together by Guitar, Piano, string sounds, and possibly some horn, Take Care delivers a mellow sound in a full way.

Notable Tracks:
"Last Known Surroundings" is memorable and is a great way to start of the album. The track really lets you know that simple, but clear, drums are going to be an essential part of the record.

"Be Comfortable, Creature" is absolutely fantastic. With clear groovy drums and soothing melodies, the track never gets to be "explosive," but it doesn't need to.

Links to Artist:

An introduction.

Hey folks,

I've created this blog as a means to help myself stay on top of music. I enjoy reading reviews and blogs about music - ALL music - but too often I find there is a "niche" market attached to every reviewer. Be it Metal, Hip-hop, Indie, Pop etc... Most blogs/reviewers are attached to a genre, and will seldom stray from reviewing other music.

I created this blog with the intention of reviewing any and all kinds of music as well as posting entries about my thoughts on music (I consider myself the average listener). I will try to review anything from Avant-Garde Jazz, to top 40 chart music. Having said that, I do have a musical preference... Much of which discriminates against Top-40 music, but this does not mean I can't enjoy it.

I will do my best to keep up with new-release albums... But I plan on throwing in my thoughts on older records on a regular basis.

Suggestions for music to review is more than appreciated...  
REQUEST ALBUMS I WOULD OTHERWISE NEVER HEAR ... I'm here to expand my own musical taste.