Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse (In The Red, 2012)

Ty Segall Band
In The Red

Rating: 7.5 jello shots out of 10

I've completely given up on trying to keep up with all of the Ty Segall releases...his transformation into the garage pop version of Robert Pollard is seemingly complete.  But there is something a little different with "Slaughterhouse" - this record is credited to "Ty Segall Band," denoting a slight difference from his typical output over the last couple of years.  He apparently made this album with his touring band, and where the bulk of his recent material is a little more straight-forward pop, this is a guitar-heavy garage rock showdown.  It has a great raw/Memphis/Goner feel, like a record the kids of the Oblivians might make, with a heavy dose of dirty Detroit rock leanings (MC5, Stooges et al).  The album features ten great bursts of maniacal garage, and ten minute closer of noise that doesn't do much for me but maybe some feedback nuts will take pleasure in.  I've been so washed out on Segall releases it would have been easy to ignore this, and maybe his "real" fans will write this off as an anomoly not befitting his current direction, but this is the Segall I wanna hear more about. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Animal Collective - Centipede Hz (Domino, 2012)

Animal Collective
Centipede Hz

Rating: 5.5 crying guitars out of 10

So, a new Animal Collective feels like there has been zero buzz about this, which corresponds exactly with my feelings going in.  I'm listening to it as I type this review, and it's a plenty fine record, probably as good as anything they have released...but I find I just don't really care.  Maybe the music portion of my brain feels like it doesn't need any new Animal Collective songs in there? God knows I listened to "Strawberry Jam" enough for the output of ten bands, and maybe that was all I really needed out of these guys.  Cause when I listen to "Centipede Hz", I can't think of a single bad thing to say about it.  The songs are catchy, they create that typical wall of eclectic sound they are known for, and it certainly seems like the sort of record most of their fans should be happy with.  Just not this one, for reasons I'm unsure of. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Moon Duo - Circles (Sacred Bones, 2012)

Moon Duo
Sacred Bones

Rating: 6 bloody flashlights out of 10

Moon Duo is best known as the side project of Wooden Shjips' Ripley Johnson, though at this point this duo may have gained more coverage/attention than his "main" gig.  Like their previous records the guitar looms front and present, heavy in that Spacemen 3/My Bloody Valentine sort of way; unlike those records, the songs are almost "power pop" in their construction - mostly gone is the krautrock vibe that dominated before, replaced by a more straight-forward shoegaze sound.  It's by no means bad music, but even after multiple listens I found it never really stuck to my bones.  I'm sure they're still just as great live as always, but I found myself thinking more fondly of their older records while "Circles" was playing. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Band of Horses - Mirage Rock (Columbia, 2012)

Band of Horses
Mirage Rock

Rating: 2.5 heaps of sticks out of 10

I'm sitting in a hotel at a Mexico beach so I'm going to keep this short (or at least shorter than my already short ramblings) - this new record b Band of Horses is overproduced and quite boring.  Does it makes me a bad reviewer to say I came to this decision after listening to only four songs?  Probably.  Do I really give a shit?  Nope.  Life is too short to listen to this any more. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Fresh and Onlys - Long Slow Dance (Mexican Summer, 2012)

The Fresh and Onlys
Long Slow Dance
Mexican Summer

Rating: 6 ice baths out of 10

I'm not sure if it was a wrong turn taken at Albuquerque or what, but at some point The Fresh and Onlys went full eighties.  And I don't mean a modern band trying to sound like the eighties, I mean they sound like a band actually from that time whose lost 1986 recordings only recently resurfaced.  It almost sounds like a collage of popular "Alternative" bands from that era - and I'm not just talking big-name acts like the Cure, I also hear bits and pieces of Hoodoo Gurus, Midnight Oil, and Aztec Camera.  On top of that, the recording is way more polished than anything else they've released, a fact that can be viewed as either good or bad probably depending on how you felt about their early albums.  

The record isn't bad but I'm not sold on this new version of the band.  Maybe it just reminds me of all the bargain cassettes I used to buy at Roses as a kid, anything with a cool cover or an interesting name, and so often it was mediocre at best.  I can't imagine I'll be getting an urge to listen to this one too often.  Might be time to dig out some old Aztec Camera records though. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ana Never - Small Years (Fluttery, 2012)

Ana Never
Small Years

Rating: 6 basement game rooms out of 10

So apparently Ana Never is from Serbia, and as far as I know I've never listened to a band from Serbia in my nearly four decades on this planet.  I'm not sure why anyone needs to know this, but there it is.  This showed up in my inbox and although the name made me think it might be some Ani Difranco-type jittery lady folk, I decided to listen to it anyways.  Turns out it's instrumental post-rock or whatever the hell you wanna call it.  With four songs and a playing time of 75 minutes, it both sounds and feels a shitload like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, with just a touch of Dirty Three.  These guys keep it a lot more melodic and atmospheric and aren't as prone to delve into experimental noise making as GY!BE, but the comparison still holds.  That said, it's still fine may not make a huge impression or start some groundbreaking trend, but it's plenty enjoyable.