Placebo: Battle for the Sun 2009

Through a fortunate circumstance, I have been able to obtain a prerelease of Placebo’s upcoming album, Battle For The Sun on June 8th. First impressions of the follow up to Meds are surprise for one. In the song entitled Ashtray Heart you can hear the effects of the New Order synth beats, with a style of song the band has not yet used, clap clap sing sing the band all sing together as vocals. It sounds fitting with the vocal styling of the lead singer, like they should have used the technique all along. A name pops up throughout the album, most likely in reference to the subject of the first track on the album Kitty, the name reappearing in Speak in Tongues and indirectly referred to in others. Having listened to all of their albums many times, a new addition to the discography is welcomed company among the rest. The melancholic undertones seem more subdued in this addition, filled with fast paced rhythms accompanying the sorrowful lyrics. Songs to keep an ear out for, Kitty Litter, Devil in the Details, Speak in Tongues, The Never-Ending Why…I think you get the point. If you are a fan of this often Overlooked-In-The-Americas band then this album should not be missed, but if you have never liked Placebo then this album might be the one that wins you over.
Battle for the Sun: Release Date June 8th 2009
Track List:
1. Kitty Litter
2. Astray Heart
3. Battle for the Sun
4. For What It’s Worth
5. Devil in the Details
6. Bright Lights
7. Speak in Tongues
8. The Never-Ending Why
9. Julien
10. Happy You’re Gone
11. Breathe Underwater
12. Come Undone
13. Kings of Medicine


Kings of Leon: Discography Retrospective

“The first shall be last and the last shall be first”, a fitting, possible prophetic beginning to a complete rundown of the Kings of Leon Discography. This is the introduction to a complete rundown of every Kings of Leon album from Youth and Young Manhood to Only By The Night, in order to provide a more complete picture of the band’s music. Before that I thought I should offer a bit of a history on the band so to provide some perspective on its origins. If you are not well acquainted with the band you should know that they have one of the most interesting back stories of any current rock band. Raised on the road by their father who was, like I said, a preacher, the boys were taught to look upon the world as a place of sin. “To be in the world but not of the world,” is a popular phrase among religious types, this type of mentality is reflected in the music of Kings of Leon in a kind of bitter sweet way. The change came when the boys’ father lost his faith, then stopped his preaching and started drinking. This meant that the world they knew as the inner circle of a religious community, was over and a new chapter in their lives had begun. Every song in their catalogue is a reflection of a true rock life style, seen, felt, and expressed through the eyes of, raised to be, true believers. During an interview with the lead singer Caleb, given by the CBC, he spoke about how he always knew that he was going to be something that would be bigger than himself. Caleb thought that he would be a preacher like his father, spreading the good word, heal the masses, convert the sinners and prepare for the end of days. During the same interview Caleb told the interviewer what the first rock song he ever heard was, he said that growing up he and his brothers were not allowed to listen to popular music and it was only in his teens while driving with his uncle that he got his first taste of rock music. The song, Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells, this would change the singer, opening him up to a new world filled with Wawa and Distortion… and killer hair. What is often over looked and some what downplayed by the bands public face is that the band is truly a family affair, the band is made up of three brothers, lead vocals, bass, drums and one cousin lead guitar. This fact is probably overlooked by most media types so as to not encourage comparisons that could be made to other family bands. Think if people were comparing the Kings of Leon to the Hansons or The Ozmans, the comparison alone would be detrimental to the image of the band. Nonetheless, one thing is for certain the world has responded to this band’s music, formed out of a truck spot pulpits and country gospel song books, just waiting to be given that spark of life while traveling along the Mason-Dixon Line, in a pickup truck. This is what the Kings of Leon are about. Check back tomorrow for the album Reviews. First Up Youth & Young Manhood.


Kings of Leon: Holy Roller Novocain EP California Waiting & What I Saw EP Talihina Skies

On these EPs you will find some great Kings of Leon tracks that you most likely have never heard of or at least not in the state that they are found here. Any true Kings of Leon fan would find these alternate versions of some of their older songs like Holy Roller Novocain, or a stripped down California Waiting and even the hidden track from Youth and Young Manhood Talihina Skies, a great addition to their music liberary. On hearing these songs you will no doubt make comparisons to the album versions and some of you may like these versions better. These EPs are a must have for any Kings of Leon Fan. Unless you are one of those Only By Night fans that only listens to Sex On Fire over and over again. If you are that kind of Kings of Leon fan then you will probably not be too interested in these EPs, they are only for the KOL true believers (or so to speak).


Black Kids: Partie Traumatic

An excellent mix of old and new in their major release Partie Traumatic. Black Kids is one that is able to combine a number of genres together in order to create a new musical beast all together. As an East coast American band one can almost hear the entire spectrum of music which led Black Kids to find their own unique mix of New York pop/rock and roller disco dance music from years gone by, with just a taste of Supremes thrown in for good measure. As relative unknowns, the band and its members are able to make a fun energetic album loaded with fantastic songs. You can really feel the originality in the lyric and the composition of the music. What makes this band so much fun (if I haven’t already hammered it in already) is how different they sound. Songs to keep an eye or in this case an ear out for would be; List to Your Body Tonight, I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend To Dance, and I’ve Underestimated My Charm .


Handsome Furs

A husband and wife duo from Montreal, their first album entitled Plague Park was and remains relatively unknown and off of the mainstreams radar. It’s a pity given the albums unique blend of dark and thoughtful vocal style accompanied by seemingly effortless rhythms. This is not straight forward rock by any means; it is more of a hybrid between Montreal indie rock and at some times Eastern European Electro. This may sound like a strange combination but does in fact provide a pleasing result a sweeping album that is worth multiple listens. Hate This City, Cannot Get Stared and Sing! Captain are some of the best songs on the album have really establish this band as something peculiar and wonderful. Click on the link to watch the Music Video for Dumb Animal another good song off of this album. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LitP_0wutqc&feature=related

With their sophomore album only being out a few mouths now it is hard to say this band is something of a newcomer. While watching an interview with the band for their most recent album Face Control and interested fact popped up regarding the bands beliefs surrounding copyrights. When asked about touring and how the lead singer Danny made poignant comment regarding to future of the music industry. He made reference to the futility of trying to commoditize music albums and how the digital revolution in music will directly affect how bands earn money. Essentially, since almost every album is readily available to anyone with an internet connection for free then the only way to make money as a band in the future will be to earn it through performances. Watch the interview and a performance from the band’s new album Legal Tender. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35Jfc1PGCg8&feature