Tag Archives: rock
So that thing where Justin K Broadrick of Jesu was going to compartmentalize his creative output lasted, oh, let’s say two years. At one point Broadrick had planned to keep Jesu as the home for his guitar-driven work while Pale Sketcher would house his compositions which were more electronic in nature. Now, according to The Quietus, the new Jesu album, I Get Closer to the Light From Which I Came (9.23 Avalanche) will include aspects of dub, post-punk, and electronic music.
Granted, “Homesick,” the first cut released from Broadrick’s latest may not be the best example of the expanded reach of Jesu — It treads the well-established path of shoegazer metal that Jesu helped define. And for the record, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, either.
Death Grips are dicks. They’re geniuses, too, but dicks, nonetheless.
While I can appreciate the punkness of the noise-rap duo playing a “show” without ever planning to be present for the “show,” I would have been amused for five minutes then pissed if I had bought a ticket to their no-show show.
There is no such dickishness in their latest track, the innocently titled, “Birds.” It’s an uncompromising and unsettling mix of street smarts and street drugs, hip-hop and experimental psychedelic rock.
The long-threatened bubble gum pop album by The Dirtbombs is now less than a month away from being a reality. The sweetly named, Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-blooey!, is for real, gonna be out 9.17 on In The Red Records, and wouldn’t you know it? From the sound of “Crazy for You,” the first track from the album, it’s gonna be sweet, too. It may not have the crunch of Dirtbombs doing soul, garage rock, or even techno, but Mick Collins is one singer with soul and that voice of his can carry any tune he chooses.
Unlike those from other music towns, rockers from Cleveland don’t carry an open disdain for the sporting world. The rocker versus jock hatchet was buried a long time ago in this town. Hell, I’ll so far as to say if you find yourself in a bar with Cleveland rockers and are struggling for small talk, go ahead and bring up the Browns, Indians or the Cavs. You’ll be surprised to how many people in the scene are just as wired into the sports as they are into the newest sounds.
With that being said, to hear Cleveland noise-rocker, Obnox (Lamont “Bim” Thomas of This Moment in Black History), cover “Hang On Sloopy,” the theme song of Ohio State football fans, those rowdy, loud and obnoxious fans who like to sing at bars with flat-screens and themes on Saturday afternoons (or any time, and any place, really), was still a surprise. Obnox the Buckeye?
Once you get over the shock and novelty of the track, it still has staying power. Thomas has covered this thing in grime and hiss and piss, yet, his vocals during the verses are as smooth as top-shelf bourbon. During the chorus, things get rowdier still with the guitars clanging and screeching over every track of the mix. Really, The McCoy’s couldn’t have done it any better themselves. Obnox’s cover of “Hang on Sloopy” can be found on the Canabible, Ohio EP on Black Gladiator Records.
Diarrhea Planet don’t care what you think about their shitty band name. If they did, do you think this band of Nashville shredders would have chosen the name Diarrhea Planet in the first place?
Diarrhea Planet has a one item agenda, and that action item is to rock the fuck out, truly and forever, like those arena rock legends whose prime passed before their birth.
Sure, you can get your throwback rock fix from any number of bands these days. That duo, Japandroids, from Vancouver have an unironic love of the American anthem, too. Hell, you can even see sixty-somethings on those same arena stages with the laser light shows and pyro. What sets Diarrhea Planet apart, however, is their conviction. Watch this video for “Ghost with a Boner,” from the band’s first album, for example.
Ghost with a Boner
This band lives it and believes it. Ok, maybe they don’t believe the part about a spirit unexpectedly poking people with an invisible, throbbing member. That’s silly. But they do believe in rock. They believe in turning it up, man. And, they believe in a little more everything from the sound man, then a little more guitar.
In many ways, “Separations” is the Diarrhea Planet song. It’s a throwback anthem sent threw the blender of ’70s punk and ’90s grunge and contains the band’s mission statement right there in the lyrics: “Cuz right now is the best time/Dumb and young/And full of fire.”
“Field of Dreams,” has more of pop-punk feel to it. “Kids,” meanwhile, is one of those cigarette lighter, hold your lady tighter, kind of ballads. And, “Babyhead” combines the simple one-two-three-fours of the Ramones with a relentless number of guitar solos.
You see, in the Diarrhea Planet universe, there is no good or bad rock music. A top jam is any one which can transform a dive bar or a DIY joint into Madison Square Garden for a night and any one which can take away the pain during that awkward stage of life where age says your an adult, but the daily grind says otherwise. Meaning, with an album full of top jams, I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams is the bitchin’ Camaro in the drive, a case of Busch Light in the fridge, and front row tickets to Kiss on the Friday your heart was broken. You gotta admit, even without the babe, it’s still pretty sweet.
Jinx, the sophomore album by the NYC via San Francisco band Weekend, is one of the most complete recreations of late ’80s and early ’90s UK dream pop and shoegaze you’re likely to come across. Not one whoosh and not one whir is out of place. Drums, vocals, keyboards and guitars are instruments in the dictionary sense of the word: tools needed to reach a specific end. Every touch of reverb and every extra bit of echo was contemplated and coordinated to fit within the band’s vision of a blurry early morning, the time when the boundary between conscious and unconscious is at its least secure.
Jinx is the work of perfectionists. Measured sounds effortlessly fade in and out, moving from the whisper of a light drizzle to the crack and flash of a thunderstorm. And, at various points throughout its ten tracks, you’ll encounter moments which bring to mind such luminaries as New Order, The Stone Roses and My Bloody Valentine.
Still, something is missing. As dazzling as Jinx can be, on both the home hi-fi and a quality pair of headphones, the individual tracks, themselves, never stand out from the whole. It all moves by pleasantly and rather anonymously, making it difficult to connect Jinx to a specific band or even a specific era. For Weekend, a little personality would have gone a long way into making their music more than an exact replication.
I’m comfortable enough with my lack of indie cred to admit that I had no idea who Superchunk was during their heyday in the 90′s. It wasn’t until the early 00′s that I heard them for the first time. I have been a huge fan ever since.
I Hate Music, Superchunk’s tenth full length album over their illustrious 20 year career, releases Tuesday on Merge Records. It’s an excellent album, sure to please the longtime fan and grab a hold of those who are new to their music. Check out “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” (below) it’s a 2 minute, high-energy, power pop ride that ends way too soon. It’s classic Superchunk and you will like it.
Superchunk – Me & You & Jackie Mittoo from I hate Music (2013)