Wavves | King of the Beach Album Review

The San Diego based band Wavves will be releasing their latest album King of the Beach August 3rd 2010. This being their third studio album Wavves has managed to smooth out some of the ruff edges to their sound and seems to have found their grove. Known for their distortion heavy contributions to the music world Wavves has painted a hazy humming picture of the California landscape curtsey of song writer Nathan Williams. This band may be based out of San Diego but you could swear the songs off of this album were written with L.A. in mind. Any sheen this album could have is dimmed, coated by the same mixture of fine desert dust and smog that collects on the body as you wander around the city of angels. It’s not so much in the lyrics that this scene of irreversible jadedness is revealed but in the music. The drone aspect of Wavves’ music creates a kind of California Grunge, every fiber of the lyrics screams good times in the sun whereas the melodic backdrop acts as a stark contrast, dulling anything to shiny or sweet.

If you are feeling slightly nostalgic for The Caesars, Wavves may do it for you as well. They sound very similar to The Caesars.


The Like | A Review of Release Me

The L.A. California based band The Like are set to release their sophomore album Release Me on June 19th . Their first was a bit of a flop back in 2005 but the band has returned with a few new members and a more refined sound. With a style reminiscent of the 60s (some guitar riffs feel like they were stripped straight out of The Beatles anthology), that isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. The retro feel of this album should not come as any surprise to those paying attention to the more impressive contributions of the L.A. music scene. Last year the freshmen act, Dawes came out with a roots rock album called North Hills, which could replace one or more favorite classic rock road trip albums in your collection. And like Dawes, The Like have taken their cues from a more glorious time in music with Release Me. What makes this album worth listening to? It’s simple… because it works. Put the girl band thing aside for a moment and think about the music, it’s well put together, it does justice to the era it is drawing influences from and most importantly it’s good.

Note: About the girl band comment: Call it what you want a Girl band or a Lady Band, the fact is it needs to be addressed because the comparisons that can be drawn from other such bands. Take for instance another Lady led band Magneta Lane; a group of young women hailing from Toronto who are putting out music comparable to that of The Like. The only things that make them comparable is that they are both comprised of an all female group, both take their inspiration from past glory of other eras and both make for an appealing musical experience. The comparison would have never been made if it had not been for the all lady line ups in both bands. So there.


Wild Nothing | A Review of Gemini

Jack Tatum the man behind the musical stylings of the band Wild Nothing has recently released the album Gemini. The Virginian native seems to have taken it upon himself to reintroduce the listening public to the sounds of a decade that is both loved and hated by many, namely the 80s. Gemini is heavy on the synth and light on the vocals coalescing in a kind of haze of synth drum kit riddled nostalgia. (There is nothing like banging out a drum loop on an electronic drum kit, like playing whack-a-mole without the mallet.) Nothing really new here, the sound is a lot like Jesus and Mary Chain or The Human League. What the album lacks in vocal execution it makes up for with a rather good showing when it comes to the melodies. Synth drum loops and wonderfully retro sounding keyboard parts are hypnotizing, drawing the listener in and not letting go until the very last track. Tracks to look out for on Gemini are Pessimist, Bored Games and Chinatown. For anyone who misses the 80s and needs a little fix without having to dust off the vinyl, Wild Nothing is the way to go.


The Henry Clay People | A Review of Somewhere On The Golden Coast

The Henry Clay People an L.A. California based band is set to release their newest album on June 8th of this year called Somewhere On The Golden Coast. The band’s founding members are brothers Joey and Andy Siara and the brand of music they have chosen to embody is an attempted combination of old school rock with a heavy punk influence. What you end up with is something that sounds similar to The Thermals but more like if The Thermals had a love child with The Beach Boys. That is how you could describe the overall impression of The Henry Clay People, a kind of endearing throwback to classic rock while maintaining a certain level of frustration with the modern world as only can be expressed via punk.


Thoughts on Arcade Fire’s New Single “The Suburbs”

Arcade Fire is set to release their third LP this August called The Suburbs and the first single is now out under the same title as the album. In comparison to what we have heard from this Montreal based musical group The Suburbs is less sweeping than say Windowsill or Neon Bible. The track has more of a gentle feel to it as if the band has moved passed their, “I’m an angry artist” phase and have begun their “I’m an awesome rock star!” phase. Withholding any final judgments on the album, but if the single is any indication of what is to come (and it usually is) we are in for a different kind of Arcade Fire.