New CDs at FuriousSound:
Doves / Some Cities – Doves occupy a niche between old Motown records and modern Britrock. Their previous album, The Last Broadcast, is a favorite of mine. This one has some great songs, but isn’t as fleshed out sonically, or in terms of song development. It has some characteristic sounds though; most every song has a part, usually guitar or piano, that has been processed to sound like it has been sampled from old wax. Several songs have a warbly treble line (keys or vocals), which I am not a fan of. Maybe 3/5 stars or so overall.
My Chemical Romance / Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge – A cool record, plus the kids love it. The best thing about it is that MCR is telling a story; they’re not trying to share their diaries (weak) or send a message (pretentious). Three Cheers… is like a noir comic put to tape. Plus, it’s fast, catchy, and is filled with dynamic arrangements and voicings.
Ben Folds Five / The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner – Mary was the BF5 fan in our house, so I’m only slowly picking up their records for myself (though I know them by heart – same with Foo Fighters). I get the idea fans didn’t like this one as much, but I love it.
Bloc Party / Silent Alarm – Bloc Party has been a buzz band for a bit, but I didn’t listen to them until NPR broadcast their show from the 9:30 Club in DC (later, it was available for download). Silent Alarm deconstructs U2 into constituent parts (driving, organic drums / edgy guitars / a bit of sonic sweep) and reassembles them nimbly. I love the production on this record; all the instruments sound like instruments! Natural, warm, and with good bite.
Nine Inch Nails / With Teeth – This album feels like a victory. The packaging is completely minimal (simple art, a tracklist, and a photo of Trent decomposing into digital lines) placing emphasis soley on the music. Production = awesome. Did you know that Mr. Reznor has an inner James Brown? He channels it regularly here, writing soul-metal songs, using weird vocal “hey!”s and tics, and creating an entire performance by turning the phrase “with teeth” into four syllables; “with-ah! teeth-ah!”
Radiohead / OK Computer – I’m lame because I’m just getting into OK Computer… I didn’t really love Radiohead until Cory and I listened to Kid A on Thanksgiving break of freshman year. Since then, I’ve been a latecomer to every album since, and am just now beginning to work backwards. Thom has said their albums split in 3’s (Pablo Honey, The Bends, OK Computer / Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail To The Thief) so who knows what’s next.
Other FuriousSound Update: I am tracking guitars for echoes’ Be A Ska Rat and XMAS songs, and am almost done. I may (?) do demos for another EP (Ventura) at this time too. After they are done, I will move some gear to work (where it is quiet at night) to do vocals and a few acoustic parts. Also, a Benjamin Axeface session in KC has been discussed briefly; file it under “rumor.”