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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:

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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!

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

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

Yeasayer, Odd Blood Album Cover

Yeasayer are an “experimental” band from Brooklyn, self-described as “Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel”. I tend to associate Brooklyn with gangsters and strong accents, so its refreshing to have something so unusual come out of there.

Yeasayer seem to slot perfectly into the Indie genre but seem different from everyone else if only for their versatility. There is a sense of madness mixed with good solid back-to-basics musicianship. A sense that psychedelic rock can be pop yet remain true to itself.

This is an album that is jumpy and twitchy, boppy yet relaxing. “Rome” wants to be a party in a box with driving rhythms, quirky solos and punchy runs. The lyrics are the grounding while this mad bouncy music happens all around you.

“Ambling Alp” is a song you can listen to over and over. I knew I needed to get more into this album because I kept finding myself going back to Hype Machine and re-playing this track – either early in the morning when I just got to work, or when I was relaxing with my SO, or when I was amping myself up to go out. It rambles, it shambles and it just wants to be listened to. Fun-folk psych-pop.

“O.N.E.” seems to be the track getting the most airtime from this album and it is probably the most fun light-hearted track off the album. Its accessible and its almost hard to accept its a break-up song (according to wikipedia it is about breaking cocaine addiction). You feel like grabbing a maraca and shaking along. Its a moving on song, that feeling you know you don’t need to see that person ever again.

“Madder Red” feels like it approaches the Arcade Fire in layers and epicness. I don’t want to move to this song, I close my eyes and picture all the instruments dancing around my headphones. I am frustrated by how much is happening but then it all stops and I feel teased. I have a feeling this will be my favourite track soon, but I’m not yet comfortable with the pace of change in this track.

Yeasayer feel like they have the potential to create a huge catalog of music to me. This album feels raw and honest, I have a feeling the next one will be more layered, more polished and more epic. This is a good listening here in the meantime.

8/10

Buy Odd Blood on Amazon for $5

Finally. With much anticipation and feeling very nervous about what I was going to hear, the second album from The Wombats was before me. I had already heard “Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)” and knew that the much-loved harmonies that were prevalent throughout the first album were on the way out, which was to be expected.

The album kicks off with “Our Perfect Disease” which makes it very clear that these boys have moved on since 2007. It’s a dark way to kick off an album and reintroduced a few of the tools that were really effectively use on Guide. Lyrically, you can feel the anguish in this song with “I need you” being a resonating through the song.

“Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)”, which I first heard somewhere around July last year, should require no introduction to ‘Bats fans. Following from OPD, it feels as though you are waking up the next day after something tragic. When I first heard this track I wasn’t a huge fan, but now it has a real familiarity to it which does assist in getting acquainted with this album. It is quite heavy on synth however it does this in a professional manner and the song possesses good balance.

The darker side returns with “Jump into the Fog” and the song possesses a very gloomy feel, with the keys that are being used and as the song progresses the vocal contrasts well off it, while maintaining that angsty feel that ruled “Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation”. This is a real deep song from a band who were all about pop and the fears of teenagers only 4 years ago. The drumming on this song is much more involved than on their debut which was a lot more vocal centric. The sound used with the keyboards gives that musty feel of fog horns across a bay that provide a strong backdrop for the optimism that grows through the vocal trying to find a way out. It is obvious that this stage that this release is the yang to the debut albums yin in terms of mood.

The violins that open “Anti-D” have a very morbid feel to them especially of the back of Fog. As I try to comment on this song I can only think one thing…..wow. This is not at all what I expected while day dreaming about this album. Someone must have been constantly chewing on prozac while writing this track to get the feel just right. By this point it is quite evident that these guys are determined to drop the pop rock tag, however, I get the feel that this may not convert into chart success, but then that’s only one of many reasons to write an album. “Last Night I Dreamt…” follows this and makes no attempt to change the tone of the album. Not my favourite song on the album, yet it warrants its place providing the ebb and flow of emotion that rolls through the album with a release of confused feelings, “I tend to cry in a room full of laughter”.

“Techno Fan” is oddly named and it is not at all what you might expect, I pictured a funny song making fun of techno fans, but it actually turns out to be an enjoyable little pop song. Not too far removed from their debut album in terms of the techniques that they have employed, although in this instance the backing vocal being implemented seems to be feminine to work with the softer feel of the synthesizers. Unfortunately, I don’t like the use of synth as much on “1996” which I really don’t understand, it sounds a little too boy-band mainstream in parts.

By the time the intro of “Walking Disasters” comes around I am starting to get over the electro sound a little. Just when you are thinking that it is over it returns through the chorus, there are elements of this song that are enjoyable and it could have done with a little more work and a stronger chorus. “Girls/Fast Cars” is full of background noises which I find are not contributing to the song which disappear as the song progresses and it feels a little Muse inspired with the sci-fi feel. “Schumacher the Champagne” ends the album in an odd tone leaving the listener a little confused as to the two sides of the album, the dark and gloomy and the last few tracks which kinda just happen and drop any mood that was built.

This album makes you want to crawl under your doona (duvet/comforter, I make no excuse for being Aussie) and find a reason to feel sorry for yourself. The album feels like a journal of what seems to have been not the standard rise to fame for a group of young lads hitting the big time. It full of anguish and emotion and the most grim album I have heard in a long time. Having said this there is a real beauty and elegance to the songs, it’s just too bad it just doesn’t carry it for the full ten tracks.

ALBUM RATING: Very different/dark output from a very versatile band, worth the wait

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