Tag: 2006

Kylesa – Time Will Fuse Its Worth

ARTIST: Kylesa  220px-Kylesa-TimeWillFuseItsWorth

TITLE: Time Will Fuse Its Worth

YEAR RELEASED: 2006

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: If you were into underground-ish sludge metal, yeah. Otherwise…

LINEUP: Phillip Cope, Laura Pleasants, Corey Barhorst, Carl McGinely, Jeff Porter

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Fusing influences and sounds, the metal band forges its own place in the metal pantheon.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Adding a dual drumming combo, and coming up with intriguing mixes of sludge, punk, psychedelia, and classic metal, Kylesa forges its own sound and identity.

Riffs are there, of course. But tracks like “What Becomes and End” and “Hollow Severer” are varied and thrilling, and the record has a more open sound that enhances their musical adventurousness without sacrificing the riff or power. Psychedelic influences also abound within tracks, given the listener space.

A couple of tracks, though, seem like filler (“Intermission” and “Outro”, showing off their dual drummers) but for the most part, this is a killer sludge / stoner metal record that holds up.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: McGlinley and Porter were the third and fourth drummers for the band since 2001.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 

GRADE A-: A first-class sludge / punk metal record.

Cut Chemist – The Audience’s Listening

ARTIST: Cut Chemist                           220px-The_Audience's_Listening

TITLE:  The Audience’s Listening

YEAR RELEASED: 2006

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: The Audience Is Listening Theme Song, The Garden, What’s the Altitude

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Nah

LINEUP: Cut Chemist with guests Hymnal, Edan, Mr. Lif, Thes One

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: DJ record full of samples and beats that holds together better than most, and has some innovative raps intermixed.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Cut Chemist is a known DJ and mixer, and has spent time manning the turntables for groups like Ozomatli and the Jurassic 5. After leaving the Jurassic 5, he spent almost two years constructing this album.

It’s pretty successful for what it is, and it’s not really flashy or pandering to the masses. Tracks like “(My First) Big Break” will have you playing “What’s that sample from?” He makes it difficult by changing tempo and pitch of the samples (he did this especially with a Minutemen sample on that track).

DJ records aren’t for everyone, but this one is among the best of the bunch. It’s varied enough for repeated listenings.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: It took him a year to clear samples for this.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A Japanese bonus track.

 GRADE: B+: Clever and inventive DJ work.

The Kooks – Inside In / Inside Out

ARTIST: The Kooks                                220px-Insideininsideout

TITLE: Inside In / Inside Out

YEAR RELEASED: 2006

CHART ACTION: #165 US, #2 UK

SINGLES: Eddie’s Gun (#35 UK), Sofa Song (#28 UK), You Don’t Love Me (#12 UK), Naïve (#5 UK, #22 US Alt), She Moves in Her Own Way (#7 UK, #39 US Alt), Ooh La (#20 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not here.

LINEUP: Luke Pritchard, Hugh Harris, Max Rafferty, Paul Garred

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: UK modern rock band’s first album is a commercial success, and has some decent, if not memorable moments.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Though it was a little overshadowed at first by the Arctic Monkeys, the Kooks’ first album also became a world wide smash (not here, because, you know, the US does its own thing at times).

The reason is pretty clear, pleasing hooks and melodies and enough crunch to satisfy some rock fans. There’s nothing horribly new about the Kooks, but their music sounds good on the radio and really one song at a time may be the best way to hear them.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They decided to tour and write first right after signing their contract to work on their sound and songs.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, an extra US track.

GRADE: B:  It’s not revolutionary, but it’s a decent listen and the individual cuts sound good on the radio.

Eric Church – Sinners Like Me

ARTIST: Eric Church             sinnerslikeme

TITLE:  Sinners Like Me

YEAR RELEASED: 2006

CHART ACTION: #29, #7 Country

SINGLES: How ‘Bout You (#85, #14 Country), Two Pink Lines (#19 Country), Guys Like Me (#99, #17 Country), Sinners Like Me (#51 Country)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Before She Does

LINEUP: Eric Church and a whole slew of peeps

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Debut album shows a little songwriting prowess, but sounds generic compared to his later work.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The opening cut of Eric Church’s debut album falls definitely in the usual ‘southern country rock’ school of modern country, but with a lyrical twist that’s refreshing. Church’s writing helps break past the usual sound that’s plagued country music for a while.

A more traditional song like the title cut serves Church better. There’s some modern flair to it (the more distorted guitars and drumming) but at this stage he’s better in the traditional milieu.

He got a feather in his hat when Merle Haggard sang with him on “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag”. Of course, who wouldn’t pledge allegiance to Merle?

NOTES & MINUTIAE: He was kicked off the Rascal Flatts tour for playing too long. Poor snowflakes.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B:  Generic sounding at times, but the songwriting saves a lot of it.

 

Get Set Go – Ordinary World

ARTIST: Get Set Go                    getsetgo

TITLE:  Ordinary World

YEAR RELEASED: 2006

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Die MF Die, I Hate Everyone

LINEUP: Mike TV, John Wood, Pat Flores, Amy Wood, Dave Palamaro, Nate Greely, Eric Summer, Ryan Maynes

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A long song-cycle released from an almost brand new band except for Mike TV, based on TV’s life during and after addiction and rehab.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: With song titles like “Die MF Die” and “I Hate Everyone” among others, you’d think this was a raging, angry punk rock record. That’s not what this is.

A lot of this is acoustic based, with melodies, with keyboards, strings, and nice arrangements. There’s a sadness and melancholy that permeates the music, especially when the song is angry at its core. It’s more of a world-weary anger than anything.

It’s a long record, 21 tracks and over an hour, but it doesn’t seem overstuffed nor overlong. That’s a feat in itself. TV really released his demons and thoughts with this album and made it enjoyable to listen.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Some of these tracks have been on television show soundtracks.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: A-: Sometimes demons are exorcized in a tuneful and melodic way.

Battles – EP C / B EP

ARTIST: Battles                                                      220px-Battles_-_EP_C_B_EP_-2006-

TITLE:  EP C / B EP

YEAR RELEASED: 2006

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: TRAS

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: None

LINEUP: David Knopka, John Stanier, Ian Williams, Tyondai Braxton

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Complex, complicated, mostly instrumental experimental rock that utilizes loops, repeated patterns and effects. 220px-Battles_-_EP_C_-2004-

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The term ‘math rock’ is an interesting one (said in a Minnesota way), but it almost works for Battles. The band does take a cold and calculating view toward music and their work.

This is the compilation of two separate EP releases into one album, with no real duplication between tracks. Heck, no real titles for the most part either, with tracks name “B+T”, IPT2”, etc. The music is rigid at times, but complicated in its rhythms and patterns.

Battles is a band that is trying to challenge and push forward in their own style. This means it’s not always easy listening, nor compelling. But challenging is always good in of itself.220px-Battles_-_B_EP_-2004-

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Both of the EPs were released in 2004, but I’m treating them as one release here.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: B: I get what they’re doing. Casual fans may not want to dive in right here, but it is intriguing.

Spring Awakening – Original Broadway Cast

ARTIST: Original Broadway Cast Spring_awakening

TITLE:  Spring Awakening

YEAR RELEASED: 2006

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They fit the context of the song, so I don’t know if any leaked out on pop radio

LINEUP: Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele, John Gallagher, Jr., Lauren Pritchard, Skylar Astin and more

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Contemporary musical about the coming of age in a restrictive, conservative society in 19th Century Germany. It’s not a happy one.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Spring Awakening was a smash hit. It was full of sexuality, longing, disappointment, and death. The music, though, rises above the sometimes difficult subject matter, and tells the story without being too maudlin.

It’s got folk elements, rock elements, and definite show tune elements. The performances, especially by Groff, Pritchard and Michele, are top notch. Pritchard’s Ilse especially has an integral role, and she, I think, is the best performer in terms of her character and songs.

Duncan Sheik wrote the music (Steven Saiter wrote the lyrics and the book), and the music is what comes through loud and clear. It’s varied, and fitting, and you can follow without seeing the show.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Groff and Michele were on Glee, but you knew that.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: A-: It’s not the happiest story, but it’s performed well without being bogged down in the subject matter.

Cold War Kids – Robbers & Cowards

ARTIST: Cold War Kids                220px-Cowards_and_Robbers_Cover

TITLE:  Robbers & Cowards

YEAR RELEASED: 2006

CHART ACTION: #173 US, #4 Heatseekers, #15 US Indie, #35 UK

SINGLES:  Hair Down, We Used to Vacation, Hang Me Up to Drive (#122 US, #26 US Alternative, #57 UK), Hospital Beds (#140 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I don’t think so….but you could surprise me.

LINEUP: Nathan Willett, Jonathan Bo Russell, Matt Aviero, Matt Maust.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Kinda indie band releases interesting debut album with some highlights and some songs that seem auto-piloted in.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: “We Used to Vacation” and “Hang Me Up to Drive”, the lead two cuts, use a pleading vocal and dissonance in guitar and piano to add to tension and give a unique sonic sound to what’s just generic alternative rock.

While that’s a good start, the rest of the 10 cuts are hit-and-miss. Not to say there aren’t highlights, but for the most part the highlights are hidden in songs; songs that seem to be re-hashes of the first two cuts or moves into a copy of My Morning Jacket complete with echo.

New artists and debut albums sometimes get into the rut of everything kinda sounding alike at times. I think that’s a normal outgrowth of a stage act and seeing what works and doesn’t. Listening all the way through, you notice it. I did here.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They release three EPs before this album came out, but none are streaming as far as I could find.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but there’s one of those infernal hidden tracks.

GRADE: B: I can probably live without it, to be honest, but it’s decent enough that I can live with it and play it once in a while.

Silversun Pickups – Carnavas

ARTIST: Silversun Pickups 220px-SSPU_Carnavas

TITLE:  Carnavas

YEAR RELEASED: 2006

CHART ACTION: #80 US, #5 US Indie, #161 UK

SINGLES: Lazy Eye (#102) (#5 US Alternative), Well Thought Out Twinkles (#9 US Alternate), Little Lover’s So Polite

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Future Foe Scenarios, Dream at Tempo 119 both got some airplay.

LINEUP: Brian Aubert, Nikki Monninger, Chirstopher Guanlao, Joe Lester.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Full length debut from Southern California band that combines several genres and make it their own.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first thing I noticed was the guitar sound – which reminded me of the Smashing Pumpkins. But on closer reveal, the guitar also had elements of shoegaze and other elements of other movements in it. Plus the songs sound dreamier, a la the shoegazers.

This isn’t shoegaze though. It’s a unique sound. The lazy sounding vocals and distorted haze sound sleepy, but there’s a great buzz and somewhat of a joy to listen to. The melodies are seductive and worm their way into you head.

Some of the tracks get a bit long, but they all work. It’s a great debut; a new sound for the mid-00’s which desperately needed it.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Lazy Eye” was used in a supermarket ad campaign in New Zealand.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Two bonus Japanese tracks.

GRADE: A: It’s a great record, and something the scene definitely needed (and still needs).

The Sword – Age of Winters

ARTIST: The Sword 220px-TheSword_AgeOfWinters
TITLE: Age of Winters
YEAR RELEASED: 2006
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Freya
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: You may have heard Barael’s Blade and Iron Swan on American Dad!
LINEUP: JD Cronise, Kyle Shutt, Bryan Richie, Trivett Wingo
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Metal band combines the doom of Sabbath using twin guitars and modern production to make a sludgy feast.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: With guitars detuned, riffs coming at you from every direction and tempos below the breakneck speed of thrash (heck sometimes at mid-tempo), the Sword’s debut made an impact in the metal scene.

The sound is a throwback, with emphasis on the power of the dropped tuning guitar and the heavy riffs resulting from that. Guitarists Cronise and Shutt work well as a tandem, adding the right textures to their riffs and the solos, which fit with the song and aren’t flashy for flash’s sake.

There’s some really great riffs all throughout. The main issue is that the songs are all very similar at times, and a lot of that is due to Cronise’s vocals. They’re pretty much all in the same range and the melodies are very similar. He’s not a shreiker by any means. Yet, this is a guitar band though, and the doomy riffs are the thing that keeps you coming back.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Freya was also released on an EP in 2005 that resulted in the band being signed.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: In Japan there are three bonus tracks.

GRADE: B+: I could listened to the doomy riffs all day, but the vocals need to get out of a rut.