Monthly Archives: July 2013

Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt

Katie Crutchfield, better known as Waxahatchee, has graduated from her bedroom recorded debut to a more whole feeling effort. That effort is Cerulean Salt, and despite it being a fairly bare and stripped arrangement it still packs a punch.

‘Hollow Bedroom’ leads you in serenely with only vocals and some gentle electric guitar, like the soundtrack to a Zach Braff movie, but swiftly steps up a gear. ‘Dixie Cups and Jars’ adds a pounding bass drum and constant – if simplistic – bass to march on with. While the lyrics across the album are lent a quaint feeling in their delivery Crutchfield can be quite cutting in her remarks “you’ll remain and I will find a way to leave gracefully”.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Bosnian Rainbows – Bosnian Rainbows

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez doesn’t know the meaning of taking things slow; the man never stops. With around 30 solo releases alone, the Mars Volta man has put his main band to bed – for now – in favour of Bosnian Rainbows, much to the disappointment of Cedric Bixler-Zavala.

This self-titled debut, then, is to be judged on the band as a whole. Of course, there are shades of Mars Volta but singer Teri Gender Bender is the star of the show, with her proggy, Kate Bush vocals smoothly twisting inside your ear canals. ‘The Eye Fell in Love’ is the catchiest track vocally, while measured guitars swim alongside foreboding synths.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Middle Class Rut – Pick Up Your Head

If Middle Class Rut had gears then their new album, Pick Up Your Head, would truly rip the gear box out in a psychotic rage. Where No Name No Color had a tempered and balanced sound, there is now disarray and a chunkier vibe. ‘Born Too Late’ begins with a thunderous stampede of drums, but locks into their socio-political lyricism once more.

It’s the obvious but brilliant next step for the band who told America to “lock up their shit” and that “the enemy” was outside the door. Fear abroad and at home bred their debut and made it a scorcher, now the focus appears to be on the lost generation. ‘Sing While You Slave’ owes its message to the underappreciated workers and soldiers, while ‘Aunt Betty’ strains the question, “Why don’t you believe in me?”

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Empire of the Sun – Ice On The Dune

On their mixed bag of a debut, Walking on a Dream, Australian duo Empire of the Sun gave themselves room to play and express their creative, and slightly silly, ideas. The follow up is as bad as anyone could have hoped for. The story attached to this album is that the Emperor and the Prophet find a precious jewel stolen by dark forces and thus they travel once more to reclaim it.

As a metaphor it works, but the real missed-trick is that they don’t use this as a basis for their songs. Success with singles ‘We Are the People’ and ‘Walking on a Dream’ have led them to chase that all important hit single. So rather than writing an album of imaginative and explorative songs (as we know they can from their previous projects), they decide to have twelve shots at making another ‘big’ single. Sadly, none of those efforts stick.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,