I will be putting together a review of Mars Volta – Noctourniquet once I get a chance to sit down and have a proper listen. Check out the lead single/release here:

Cute track from Gossling … she looked way hotter under bad lighting at Oxford Art, just saying is all

First single before the upcoming Monkeys’ album, seems like Alex and co are getting things back on track with some dark and unforgiving guitar work on “R U Mine”

Those nutters have done it again.

Check out the 2manyDJs website for a collection of pretty much every good riff ever – one after another. Its exhausting but awesome!

The album artwork has not been included in this post for reasons relating to its stupidity and shortage of “art”. My first impression of this album came from “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” which is highlighted by the idiodicy of the title that is very deliberately annunciated throughout the track. Following up from “Humbug” which was my least favourite album which Alex Turner was involved in writing, not to suggest that the album was poor, just that it didn’t strike me as his other works had.

“She’s Thunderstorms” continues this this annoyance relating to lyrics which seem lacking in direction yet appear be emphasised through the vocal with “She’s Thunderstorms” almost being looped. The song is a gentle way to open the album with strong connections to Last Shaddow Puppets sound coming through and this all seems to be a little blurred where one band starts and the other ends. This is not how I would ever have picture the Monkeys opening an album pre LSP however it’s a nice track. The concept is quite simple, but the execution is very elegant.

I can’t say that I know what a “Black Treacle” is and I refuse to waste thirty seconds googling either (maybe I did).  This is a song that has grown on me a little, but it just seems to drag with no visible sentiment or emotion being involked. The guitar work seems bland and the drumming took the day off during recording on that day. “Brick by Brick” finally starts talking some sense to me. The tempo changes through the song and the drums actually make a contribution. There is finally a sense that the music is challenging my ear and the boys finally introduce us to a fun 70’s inspired and interesting song. There is a strong QOTSA vibe that grows the more that you listen to this track, especially in the deep backing vocal used.

“The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala” once again confuses the borders of Monkeys and Last Shaddow Puppets while reintroducing us to some checky little bass work and more meaningful drumming although the song does get a little lost in the middle. It displays the best song writing of any track on the album with Turner using several different vocal techniques through the song to entice us to sing along and support from some percussion which has been well thought out. This is followed by the most drab and boring song on the album which I would prefer it if it didn’t  draw any further attention from this review.

“Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair”,  sorry but I must reinterate that this is probably one of the oddest track names/lyrics used in recent times. It’s really hard for me to get past the vocal on this song and I have really tried and for a band who were lyrically one of the absolute best through “Whatever People Say” and “Favourite Worst Nightmare” with tracks like “Yellow Bricks” and “Mardy Bum”, take your pick basically. This is an ok song musically it’s just too distracting lyrically and vocally it is dull. “Library Pictures’ takes us on a journey back to where I remember these chaps residing back in 2006. There is a real bleakness to the song and the guitars are alive for the first time on the album, however the countdown in the song should never have been allowed. The song is short and sharp yet suceeds in delivering a strong message.

“Reckless Serenade” and “All My Own Stunts” fail to introduce anything new or exciting and I am just left waiting for something to happen and by this stage songs are starting to all feel  the same, with the exception of “Piledriver Waltz” I am left looking for something to grab hold of but am finding myself cluthing at thin air. There is just too much emphasis on the vocal and it is not doing anything for me. Personally many of my favourite Monkeys songs were the ones with big, juicy bass riffs and drumming that had me bashing my stearing wheel out of shape. There are no film clips centred on drumming (The View From The Afternoon) coming from this album.

I have read through NME’s review to see if maybe I was a little harsh and to be honest it was a rather pompous in it’s attempt to tell me that I was not sophisticated enough to appreciate the sound or the use of big words like “paean” to try and make feel little. I shouldn’t need a thesaurus and the song lyrics printed out to understand the intensions of the song writer. I honestly don’t know the lyrics to many of my favourite artists well known tracks yet I can get what the song is about and I don’t get that here or from NME.

http://www.nme.com/reviews/arctic-monkeys/12113

What I don’t like about this album and “Humbug” is that they have extracted the edge from the soul of the vocal by slowing it down. There is enough song writing ability in Turner’s big toe to sink five ships to make it work on the odd occasion however without an understanding of what made them the voice of a large portion of young males with their witty lyrics and edgy tones. 2011 Arctic Monkeys would never write a song about fake tales or vampires in bars and it is that raw emotion which is missing and also what made them what they were (others may argue: are). If I am feeling nostalgic in a pub in ten years time and put a few dollars in the jukebox, I highly doubt that any of these songs would get selected over any song off the first two albums. If you like the clip I have added then you will probably disagree with me.

ALBUM RATING: One for the bandwagonners….Do me a favour and stop flattering yourself

Check it out. Am not even going to attempt to write a review on this. These guys come out with some crazy/amazing stuff. Haven’t figured it out yet! Here’s a sample:

There aren’t many people on the planet who haven’t heard “Pumped Up Kicks” and for good reason – It’s a boppy, happy shower-song that you can listen to over and over again. Listening to this album I was initially skeptical thinking either the whole album would be fluff tracks, or fillers with one or two hits. Thankfully “Torches” has no track that I would classify as a filler, and after listening to the  whole album five times in four days I can say that the accessibility of this album does not mean it lacks depth. It sucks you in on the first listen, and it gets better the more times you listen to it.

“Houdini” would be my favourite track from this album. It has the pop of “Pumped Up Kicks” but has more variation and pace changes. It layers and builds, getting increasingly frantic in its message to focus on your ability! It’s a song that resonates with you throughout the day. “Call It What You Want” is some kind of pre-emptive attack against pretentious reviews that could attack this album for being too pop.

“Helena Beat” is designed for the remix kids and sounds like its already been remixed. On its own its fun but overly bland almost inviting you to take it and play with it. “Miss You” is a song that you can listen to over and over again.

This entire album plays well from start to finish and you could put it on right now in a party only to have people respond “Hey I love this song” to multiple tracks from the album. This is pop done right, there are times I wanted more from the band but its like a can of coke you can’t be angry at it for being sweet.

8/10, This is a great album. I hope the next one has the layering, complexity and pop of “Houdini”.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=soufle-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=B0050N8N0Q&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Here is a link for the Splendour sideshows for all of the kiddies out there. Personally I am waiting for Wild Beasts at OAF.

http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/musicnews/s3208277.htm

No messing about with an intro, cause this album does mess around. The album opener “Lion’s Share” is an incredible track to open the album with. It has strong paternal qualities which are carried by the lyrics and the vocal which is allowed to ebb and flow through the song by a very simple musical backing. The emphasis is definitely on the vocal, however the piano despite being quite simple, in contrast with the drum machine/synthesizer which is being quite effectively used are quite enjoyable.

“Bed of Nails” starts with a very strong electronic sound which for a while had me cringing about what I was going to hear next due to the obvious pop beats that were being used. The drumming continues to provide a simple platform and with the introduction of guitars and keys create a very busy song which the singing floats across elegantly. “Deeper” takes you in a different direction as there is a stronger guitar influence and piano offering more of a supporting role. The busy-ness of the song is quite contrasting to the slow tempo of it which gives you different toppings to explore with every bite. The vocal has a kind of Pete Murray feel to it, but the “shortness” and “burstiness” make it very invoking in a way that Pete Murray could only ever hope to be.

“Loop the Loop”, ah man. I just have to leave this track alone because any description that I would have would sell the song short, truly magical. Same goes for “Albatross” for that matter.

“Plaything” has the unfortunate task of following “Loop the Loop” and sees the drumming take control with some graceful keyboards give the song great depth. This song is the epitome of the enormity of this album as it could easily be overlooked as being more of the same yet is so capable of carrying any other mediocre album on its back. “Invisible” exemplifies the great contrast in this album as it is capable of being so much but is not what the album calls for and is cut somewhat short. The guitars are again used in an unorthodox fashion and really grab your attention. Despite the brief nature of the song, the vocal actually feels like it’s in a rush,which really works well in between the neighbouring songs on the album. “Albatross, ah, “Albatross”, what a song.

“Reach a Bit Further” brings the punch to the album with some really punchy punchness to the vocal. This song sums up what WB was trying to achieve with everything that they have brought to the table with this piece of work and it’s over in a heartbeat. “Burning” and “End Come too Soon” do a wonderful job of maintaining the emotion and passion that is generated through this album. The piano work through the album seems to reach a peak here without ever being complex or challenging.

This album has great power through the control of tempo through the vocal over very busy and often simple keyboards and percussion which are used to great effect. I often forget that the guitars are even there at times. The songs seem really complex and well written without being hard to listen to. The vocals are amazing. Best vocal I have heard in a long time, it controls every song and pulls each track in directions that feel obvious yet it can disappear at times to allow the music to take over. Each song seems to grow on the last and there is no let down in the quality of the work, every song fulfills its role in relation to the album.

It always intrigues me to look at bands’ Wikipedia pages and to see what genre’s they are listed as. I remember one listing being “Math Rock” (I thought it was Muse but I seem to be wrong), however “Art Rock” and “Dream Pop” are two of the funnier listings. But that is the thing with Wild Beasts, they defy common classification. The very correct, traditional sounding vocal which makes it difficult to pigeon hole Wild Beasts as rock. Personally I don’t agree with trying to label bands, however to recommend bands you often need to. Wild Beasts on the other hand should be experienced by everyone regardless of personal musical tastes. Having said that though, I doubt that they will appeal to everyone. As mentioned, the vocal won’t be for everyone, but the album doesn’t falter. If they ever reach mainstream I will shed tears. I can’t say enough in favour of this album, so I say adieu.

ALBUM RATING: A moving musical odyssey. Absolutely amazing. AOTY material, without doubt.

Headliners: Van Halen, Alice Cooper, Hole, Sisters Of Mercy, Danzig, Kevin Devine, Bad Religion, Machine Head and Alter Bridge.

Full line up over at triplej