Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mouth to Mouth to Mouth - 2/LIVE/RMX

When we last left MTMTM.... on The Plenty and the Swordsless!

Yes Ithaca NY's very own sons of the time change are back with their newest release (two brand spankers, a live track and remix's) Right out of the gate we are smacked upside the head with dizzying drums and guitars that are dangerously close to a miss step on the tight rope followed by a blissfully distored , all inclusive breakdown (re: AWESOME). It's these kinds of risks that I appreciate the most on these new songs. Where as in their first EP the argument of keeping the guns holstered could have been made they are fully drawn and taking head shots here. You come to really appreciate a math rock group that has both rhythm (drum, bass) and lead (guitars) at a point where neither are wrestling for the spotlight. It makes for that much better of a listen especially in a genre such as this. The occational vocal addition, notably in track two, are tastefully done and keep the intensity high. In my estimation a hopefully forthcoming full length will tie in their excellent balance of chaotic shuffling and lock step vocal specked math. The remix's all do a great job of creating a new song with flecks of the old but all in all I would handily trade three remix's for one more new track :) Really really pleased with this showing and seeing these four progress at this level. A must for any well rounded math head.

Edit: the remix's grow on you be warned


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

L'viv - Compare and Decide (2012)

Pure unfiltered full flavored....ugh..math rock yes math rock is what we have on tap this evening. After Franklinton DC's previous post of the excellent Arc and Sender it got me thinking:

Dark, Thoughtful, Exciting maybe something new as well... and then I remembered stumbling on L'viv.

See L'viv feature on guitar a previously posted fellow, Alexander Litinsk (A.M Overcast) Impressive considering that he easily shifts into a completely different ilk of math mayhem without nary a stumble.

These Canadians lay it on thick and heavy. You need not worry about fret tapping mumbo flumbo. This is some straight dish Math Metal riffage with some razor edges and dime dropping time shifts. The best I've heard in a good long time. Tempo is slow to mid range, which for modern math rock is a bit of a black sheep these days. This is not a negative however. The melodies are strong enough and the drums interesting enough to carry along the songs. Fantastic guitar tones also.

What this automatically reminded me of was some 90's type shizz in a great way. No vox by the way, you won't find yourself missing them either. This is a must have for everyone, in case you didn't catch that by the above nonsensical writing.

Compare and Decide

Arc and Sender - S/T (2005)

Arc and Sender play dark, contemplative, math rock that heaves through atmospheric passages punctuated by huge riffs.  The format of drums, bass, and baritone guitar is accompanied on a few tracks by violin and saxophone for extra spiciness.  The compositions are sprawling.  I usually prefer the songwriting to be a little tighter, but in this case everything is so heavy that too many changes might sound strange.

This band is relatively unknown, at least as far as I can tell.  They started off as a studio project, released an album, played a few shows, then faded from existence.  For such a short band lifetime, the quality of the product is excellent.  We were super lucky to play with them at a DIY joint in Baltimore in 2008.  They slayed.  I believe that this was their final show. 

Check out "WWJLD" (What Would Jesus Lizard Do) on their Myspace, then download their self-titled debut album here:

Arc and Sender - S/T (2005) 

This Music Moment- Belle and Sebastian (2007)

When I mentioned Belle and Sebastian in my post on Two Door Cinema Club, I recalled this particular Music Moment very vividly and instantaneously; I believe I compared Two Door to them because of the instant perking of ears that occurred in both cases when I heard a particular song of theirs.

Belle and Sebastian was a band name I was familiar with, but at the time I could not honestly put a sound to the impression I had of then from their name. Naturally, I thought they were a duo, playing who knows what kind of music. But in summer 2007, I was living in New Hampshire and commuting 70 minutes to Boston to paint the interiors of vacant apartments with my two roommates, Jacob and Claytor. It was a grueling, tough day for us, and I was exhausted for our long drive home. I put on some college radio station to add a little variation to the usual sounds of NPR we listened to most of the time, both driving or working; I just wanted to hear some tunes. After a few songs went by, this one track popped on and I instantly woke up, befuddled and excited, wondering who the hell was making this great, harmonic, classic sounding pop music. The broadcaster didn't mention the band after the song ended, so I had to go home, check the radio stations website and their playlist timeline, and after a long while I finally found what I was looking for. Wrapped Up In Books, track 8 off their 2003 release, Dear Catastrope Waitress:

Naturally, I picked up Dear Catastrophe Waitress, and I was not disappointed. Linkage: It starts off hilariously with a Zombies-style ode to sex with Step Into My Office; they follow that up with the superbly produced title track, a love song to people working dead end jobs with high hopes; their first single from the album, I'm A Cuckoo, is neat but, to me, Wrapped Up In Books is the lynch pin of the album. Further listening comes from their follow up studio album (after a singles and eps collection and a live album), 2006's The Life Pursuit: Act of the Apostle starts it off great; Funny Little Frog is just classic, wonderful, happy go lucky pop song about the idolization of romance. Enjoy, Slingers.

dear catastrophe waitress

the life pursuit

Monday, June 11, 2012

In Oceans - Jack the Lad (2012)

 Riff's ahoy! UK group In Oceans pound their way through their new 5 track album invoking the ghost of post-hardcores past. Isn't there a lot of similar stuff going down? yes but It's just some good solid rock with above average sense of rhythms. plus its pretty fun and well produced. who's not down for a little fun?

Jack the Lad (2012)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

This Music Moment- Flaming Lips (2002)

Recently, I was looking through a huge book of CDs that I bought when I had just begun listening to my own music in middle school, through high school and into my early 20s. It was full of random crap with a bunch of gems and all the while completely nostalgic. While I was flipping through it, random memories would pop up about these albums I was spending time to investigate deeply, and I spent a few hours trying to remember why the hell I had bought one album, or how much I missed and had forgotten about another. Very soon, I flipped to a page that had two Flaming Lips albums: 1999s The Soft Bulletin, and its follow-up, their 10th album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, and I immediately remembered my first exposure to their contents.

My girlfriend, circa 2002, had bought me some concert tickets as a birthday present that summer of my senior year in high school. It sounded like a good show, though I was only somewhat familiar with the bands on the bill. There was some forgotten, neat opening band, The Flaming Lips, and Cake as the headliner. Sweet, I knew a couple of songs by Cake, but I was pretty apathetic about The Flaming Lips. I remembered that a friend in middle school had given me whatever album of theirs it was he was listening to, and it had their single at the time, She Don't Use Jelly. That track is just some silly pop in the style of grungy rock, and it was the only reference I could use to put a sound to the name. Basically, I was unprepared for the show that followed.

There was one thing in particular that blew me away about this show. I had recently seen Battle Royale with metaghost, and during the concert, the Lips had a huge movie screen behind them playing random video clips to go along with every song, and for a decent few they were playing scenes from Battle Royale to accompany their music. It was dark, violent film to go along with the mostly psychedelic electro pop music they were playing, but somehow it totally worked; the show was a complete visual and audio spectacle, with dudes in woodland creature costumes at the sides of the stage blowing up giant glitter filled balloons to pass into the audience, awesome crowd participation, and other high-profile hijinks. It was a seriously well done show, and it completely sold me on what these guys were doing.

Yoshimi and Soft Bulletin are pretty darned nice; they seemed to only play hits from both albums at the show, and it made for a wonderful concert. Link time: Race to the Prize is an awesome way to kick off Soft Bulletin; The Spark That Bled is a bit more moody and varied as the albums third track. Yoshimi is full of hits; Fight Test kicks things off proper; the title track rocks electro pop socks off, and its basically moot to mention that it also features the culturally-absorbed and now discarded Do You Realize, though it sure holds up well.

Track 2 is what I want to share though. I forgot just how awesome this song is (especially its bassline- yeah buddy) until I uploaded the albums to my computer and revisited it. It has a great blend of electronica, spaced out vocals and tight production. Not to mention that bass, again:

Awesome show; a big time Music Moment. One of those great carefree summertime memories brought back from revisiting old tunes.

yoshimi battles the pink robots

the soft bulletin