Spoon | Transference

TransferenceSpoon is considered to be one of the great late bloomers when it comes to popularity. The Austin Texas based band has a career that extends back 17 years, Spoon only gained the attention of the mainstream a few years ago with the album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Songs from that album could be heard in the background of everything from car commercials to movie soundtracks. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga really seemed to resonate on a wide scale and for good reason the album was a testament to years honing diverse musical chops.
But what of their follow up album, Transference? Sometimes the success of a previous album can overshadow any follow ups and between the two albums mentioned comparisons are inevitable. Just to get it out of the way Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is an energetic pop-centric riddled medley of lyrics, delivered with equal parts gusto and style; Transference is all that but darker in overall tone but the desired effect is achieved, the listener is left with a feeling of satisfaction. One thing the listener may notice is the near absence of horns in Transference, one of the more identifiable aspects of the Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and its cuts. What you will be getting in Transference is singer Britt Daniel’s lyrics dripping with introspectiveness that would catch in the throat of most people finding themselves saying them without a melody attached.


Efterklang | Magic Chairs

Magic Chairs

Some bands lull you into a sense of comfort and joy while others stir the heart and mind. The Danish band Efterklang has done both with their third LP Magic Chairs. Perhaps it’s the horns or the orchestral sense of grandeur, but Magic Chairs offers the listener a complex set of tracks with nuances worth exploring. The strings remind one of Ra Ra Riot’s while the tone is more akin to friendly chamber pop. There is a certain bread of people who have a soft spot for all bands who incorporate even a little bit of a horns section into their music. Not too much but just enough to make it memorable, Efterklang’s new album does just that.


Bear In Heaven | Beast Rest Forth Mouth A Review

Beast Rest Forth Mouth Bear In Heaven a band whose origins stem from the southern states have come out with their second LP, Beast Rest Forth Mouth. Brooklyn seems to be drawing in the happy sort with psychedelic intentions on their musical minds. Silent League, another psychedelic styled band based out of Brooklyn NY. Their album But You’ve Always Been The Caretaker was a memorable note from late 09’. The same can and will be said about Beast Rest Forth Mouth, on the pop-ier side of the genre’s scale, this album manages to provide an upbeat yet understated experience for the listener. The tracks are textured throughout with a discreet distortion not unlike what The Big Pink did with their latest effort A Brief History Of Love. Overall, Bear In Heaven has produced a welcomed addition to the growing tome of Brooklyn based acts and we look forward to hearing more about them in the future.
Red Bloom of the Boom


Get Well Soon | Vexations Review

Indie pop can often be lost in the fog of over enthusiasm and dosed with a dreadful amount of pep. Get Well Soon may have a pop base but it’s hardly a one trick pony. Cantering from simplistic songs to more intricate ones from track to track this German band seems to take its cues from the likes of Fanfarlo or more famously, of a similar bread of band Arcade Fire. These bands seem to revel in the complexities of music, incorporating every instrument they can get their hands on into their music. With others bands who attempt the same, it’s not such a success. But in Vexations, the second album to come for Get Well Soon, the cacophony of noise makes for a pleasurable listen. The album itself has a cohesive overall tone, held together by lead singer Konstantin Gropper. The best tracks of the album are, Red Nose Day, A Voice In The Louvre and We Are Ghosts.


Adam Green | Minor Love Review

Crooning, garage band, roots rock is what Adam Green delivers in his new album Minor Love. Formerly of The Moldy Peaches, Green has created a more mature album in comparison this time around despite some mentions of flatulence in a song or two. Minor Love could be cast aside as a Lou Reed imitation, though the style may be similar the bones of the music are distinct and notably individual, with a relaxed indie folk tone at times the likes you would hear on M. Ward’s last album.
Lyrics for the ages may be lingering on Minor Love. Green delivers with the lyrics on this one, making the instrumental parts fade into the background like so much white noise in comparison. Perhaps inspired by the troubles the musician is going through, a divorce is never a pleasant experience but makes for an excellent set of bitter ballads. Lyrics that stand out are “Join the living obnoxious lullabies…” in Give Them A Token and “To all those special friends, slated to meet you, I’d new I’d never stay. I don’t believe you.” on Bathing Birds manage to capture the tone of this misanthropic album.
Friends Of MineIn the Buddy Bradley music video, which is the second of four videos shot by director Dima Dubson for Green’s new album, you can sense the distain Green has for normality as he candidly moves his way through city streets like an intoxicated busker. The reactions of the surrounding pedestrians as Green saunters his way through them mouthing the lyrics of Buddy Bradley, are very funny and if staged, were done so very well by director Dubson.


The Soft Pack | First Impressions of The Self-Tilted Debut LP

The Soft Pack has managed to create a memorable experience with their debut LP. This catchy California garage rock is a pleasure to listen to, being accompanied by the obligatory ramshackle vocals of any self respecting garage band. The band has found itself in good company of late touring with the UK breakout group White Lies over the past year. Oddly enough, The Soft Pack found success under a different name, The Muslims not to long ago only to rebrand themselves The Soft Pack. The reasoning behind the changed seemed to be based on the shear amount of negativity the band faced in certain, less sophisticated circles. Under any banner The Soft Pack make an impression infusing elements of garage bandpop with long winded guitar solos. The album plays out like a casual encounter of the best kind where all parties concerned walk away satisfied.
The Muslims


Vampire Weekend | First Impressions of Contra

The self-titled debut album of Vampire Weekend was widely accepted among indie band aficionados and average music lovers alike, having a style and freshness that we really had not seen in quite some time. With the incorporation of intricate piano parts and a little bit of harpsichord, Vampire Weekend made a unique impact on listeners. As a kind of intellectual’s reggae rock with its’ sweeping visuals and vocabulary more akin to a foul mouthed English major than a pop artist, Vampire Weekend captured the attention and adoration of fans, and those fans would go on to help propel the band to further success via personal blogs and websites. Vampire Weekend had “gone viral” by the end of the summer in 08’ and was plastered all over prestige music magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin, all claiming Vampire Weekend as thee band to watch out for.

Flash-forward to January 2010 and the release of the album Contra, it may be the band’s sophomore LP but is far from sophomoric. To be direct, Contra is as good as the first self-titled album, the reggae indie rock influences are still there as well as the mass appeal. Yet the tracks off of this album feel looser and reflect an attempt at a more intimate musical experience in comparison to their self-titled LP. This can be heard in the cuts Taxi Cab and the deeply orchestral I Think UR A Contra. As before the lyrics reflect the expressions of an unreformed academic, combined with antiestablishment undertones, think of the lyric from the track Run “we mostly work to live, until we live to work”. Other cuts off of Contra like California English, provide an interesting Auto-Tune performance from Koenig. As well the track Give Up The Gun has an enveloping intensity that other songs from the Vampire Weekend catalogue sometimes lack.

Side note: Does anyone know if that is Katherine Heigl on Contra’s cover?

Update (July 23rd 2010): It turns out that the model on the cover of the Contra album is Ann Kirsten Kennis and she is claiming damages upwards of 2 million dollars for the unauthorized use of the photo. The picture was taken all the way back in 1983 while Kennis was still a young fashion model. Vampire Weekend and company insist that they paid for the use of the Polaroid. But all that aside, at least we now know who the polo shirt sporting Contra cover girl is.  

Contra is due out Jan 12th 2010

Track List:

1. Horchata

2. White Sky

3. Holiday

4. California English

5. Taxi Cab

6. Run

7. Cousins

8. Giving Up The Gun

9. Diplomat’s Son

10. I Think UR A Contra


Sharko | Dance On The Beast

As a band based out of Belgium, Sharko has found indie notoriety in countries like France, Japan and the U.K. However they have gone unnoticed for the most part across the pond, for what ever reason. Perhaps their sound which is an interesting collection pop rock, doesn’t translate well to North American listeners as with Placebo. That doesn’t change the fact that both bands deserve due attention. Dance On The Beast as an LP combines a hard line synth base style and captures a playful mood with its lyrics. It is a generally uncomplicated and to the point sort of music, that envelopes itself in pleasantly distorted undertones.


The Flaming Lips | The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs With Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon

After having a great year The Flaming Lips topped it off with a full length tribute album of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. Also, as the album’s title suggests that other bands have contributed to this remake, namely, Stardeath, White Dwarfs and the Peaches. Some might say why mess with a classic album like Dark Side Of The Moon, while others would say why the fuck not. It’s fun to play tracks off of that album. It’s an admiration project displaying each contributors’ love of Pink Floyd and their most well known album. And that’s how it feels when you listen to the slightly re-envisioned rendition led by The Flaming Lips. If you are a fan of Pink Floyd and The Flaming Lips this album is a must have.

You can buy The Flaming Lips latest album Embryonic by clicking on the link.