Friday, August 17, 2007

Reviews 18/08/07

Panda Bear - Person Pitch

After releasing the amazing "Feels" just last year, Animal Collective member, Noah Lennox, has gone out alone this time under his AC moniker, Panda Bear, producing more acid pop tripping sounds with his latest piece, "Person Pitch".

If the Beach Boys recorded the likes of "Pet Sounds" under the influence of mind altering drugs then maybe they would have beaten Lennox to punch, but as it happens Panda' has thrown samples, a loose production and a sweet sounding voice all into the indie pot and has managed to come up with a musical gem.

The cornerstone of the release definitely lies within the 12 minutes 30 seconds of the wonderful 'Bros', with it's busy sample attack and sugar sweet melodies from Lennox himself. Other highlights include the aptly named crescendo journey of 'Take Pills' and the epic wing man to that of 'Bros' in 'Good Girl'.

He proved that he's a modern genius last year with his involvement in the Animal Collective. Now Lennox has proved he can go out on a limb and create wicked fried soundscapes on his own. If running through the daisy fields whilst under the influence on acid is your thing then "Person Pitch" just might be the sound track to your life.


Jesu - Conqueror

With the impressive "Silver" EP hitting shelves last year, many were anxious to see what Justin Broadrick had up his sleeve for the new Jesu release. You want jaw dropping? Look no further than the newest chapter of the former Godflesh member's catalogue; "Conqueror". Although different to that of "'Silver", the brimming elements that Broadrick injects into this project ooze with musical brilliance.

The guitars are a sludge attack that almost fail to squeeze out each note but all of a sudden a shift in gear occurs, transforming into a shoegazing noise that transcends above everything else to knock you to the floor. 'Transfigure' is a shogazers dream, as the guitar tremolo and effects are awe-inspiring, while the brooding soundscapes of 'Medicine' and 'Mother Earth' write a new chapter in the Jesu story altogether.

This is a truly beautiful experience that quite frankly has the ability to be the metal version of My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless". The term 'shoegaze' gets misinterpreted a lot, however this is as close to the genre as any other band has produced for some time and it's only ironic that a band known largely in the metal/industrial circes taps into this array of sound.

Deerhunter - Cryptograms
In the calender year, there's always a band that you've never heard about, who make an album that truly satisfies your musical taste. In a sense, that's the whole process of finding new music. However, with Deerhunter, it feels different. Why? Because these guys are just that. Different; enigmatic, even.
Kids who have some well rounded knowledge on indie music will lick their lips when the sounds of Deerhunter's second album, "Cryptograms" find its way onto the stereo. This is a slice of everything from that true indie sound where 'Lake Somerset' advances, to the head-fucking shoegaze delight that is the title track, to the psychedelic and throb of 'Spring Hall Convert'. What's that I hear you say? "All angles covered?"
It seems to me like these guys have come out of different corners, respectively, indulged in each others record collection for a couple of years and the end result is this very well accomplished album that posses timely build-ups, lush interludes and raw sonic beauty.

If you run a fine tooth comb over "Cryptograms", you'll find more influences than you can poke a stick at. Seriously, this is the most diverse indie album you'll hear this year. I don't even think the band itself know what they are and to be honest I hope it stays that way!

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Baby 81

Ditching the gospel sounds that their previous outing "Howl" bathed itself in, Sanfran's coolest leather jacket sporting trio are back with perhaps their most accomplished effort yet, in "Baby 81".

Back are the sounds of psychedelic white noise that made their first two albums so contagious. The guitars ooze with noise during album highlight 'Berlin' while 'Weapon of Choice' is as emotionally fuelled as Peter Hayes and Co have ever delivered.

More solidarity from the BRMC who, if truth be told, really haven't made a classic in their short career, but they've far from made a dud either. Four solid albums in an era that has seen mediocrity rise to an all time high. Like their previous three albums, "Baby 81" continues the pattern of musical strength which we continue to associate this fine band with.


Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times

Wine with Eddie Vedder, rubbing shoulders with Bono. Yeah, that's all "cool", but can you make a decent album after being in the limelight with so many of the music industries main players? In the Kings Of Leon's case, well - to put it quite bluntly - no. Unless I'm missing something, "Because of the Times" is their most weakest effort yet, however irony will play it's part and this album will most likely be the band's best seller (That's always the way isn't it?).

Gone are those dirty southern fried riffs and in are the over produced sounds that have plagued other good bands in the past. Maybe this band is better working under pressure, as the production of "BOTT" has had the largest time span of the three. Or maybe the association of the stadium rock gods rubbed off on KOL's a bit too much? Either way, this album won't be cop too much of a belting on your respective Itunes playlists.

A lot of rubbish has to be sifted through to get to the good bits (Look no further than 'Knocked Up' while 'On Call' isn't too bad after half a dozen listens, either) and if you're like most music lovers, other sounds in your musical catalouge will be waiting in the wings of your playing media to worry about the latest effort from the KOL.


Simon K

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