Monday, October 27, 2014

Braid - No Coast (Top Shelf, 2014)

No Coast
Top Shelf

Rating: 6.5 strips of sealant out of 10

After roughly sixteen years, Braid decided to put out a new record.  It sounds pretty much like an old Braid record, as if they had never aged or dug "No Coast" up from a time capsule - it is maybe a little more polished than their older albums, but the guts are the same.  I absolutely loved (and still love) me some old Braid records, the problem is I'm not the same person I was nearly twenty years ago, and these new songs hold no nostalgia for me the way that "Frame & Canvas" or "The Age of Octeen" do.  This isn't the fault of Braid or my listening tastes or anything really, we've just grown apart.  They still do the punkier side of emo better than anyone probably, and if they play some shows locally I still might go see them just for the chance to sign along to "A Dozen Roses" and feel like I'm 22 again.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Superchunk - The Majestic 7'' (Merge, 1999)

The Majestic 7''

Rating: 7 monster trucks out of 10

Both songs on this Superchunk record are also the two opening tracks on the "Cup of Sand" comp, but shit I like having the tiny record of them as well.  Both the title track and the flip "Reg" are strong efforts that might get forgotten since they weren't on a proper album, but I haven't forgotten you!

Superchunk - John Peel Session May 31, 1992 7'' (No Label, 1992?)

John Peel Session - May 31, 1992 7''
No Label

Rating: 7 stranger's laughs out of 10

As the title states, this is record is a Peel session Superchunk recorded in 1992.  There is no indication on the record on when this was actually released or who put it out, but that is just nerd information that really doesn't matter anyways.  Like all Peel sessions the quality is good, and like most Peel sessions there are four songs - "Let It Go," "Tie a Rope to the Back of the Bus," "Fishing" and "Untied."  You know the band, you know the songs, and Peel never disappoints, so this was a no-brainer pick-up for me. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

David Bazan and Passenger String Quartet - Volume 1 (Undertow, 2014)

David Bazan and Passenger String Quartet
Volume 1

Rating: 7 worn out rugs out of 10

If you ever said to yourself "I wish David Bazan would re-record some of his songs with a string quartet," well have I got a treat for you!  As a fan of Bazan and Pedro the Lion, it was a shoe-in I would like this, the question was just how much.  I might have picked some different tracks to include here, but since he did include a couple of my favorite songs ("When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run," "Priests and Paramedics") there will be no need to riot or protest.  To be completely honest I'm not sure I needed to hear his songs with strings added - his voice carries all the emotion of his music in my opinion - but it's pretty, and dammit sometimes that is enough of a reason to do something. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spoon - They Want My Soul (Loma Vista, 2014)

They Want My Soul
Loma Vista

Rating: 6 depressed orangutans out of 10

I was surely gonna write something deep and insightful about this new Spoon record like I do with all of my reviews, but I just can't.  I don't think I care anymore.  Not sure if it's the band or me or (most likely) a little of both, but I just haven't given a shit about any of their records since probably 2005's "Gimme Fiction."  It still sounds like Spoon though, and it always will as long as Britt Daniel is piloting the ship, but something is might just be overproduced and not raw enough, or maybe it's more.  It's probably no coincidence that their best record is still "Girls Can Tell," and it sounds like it might have been recorded in the janitor's closet of a run-down laundromat. 

Most bands can't manage one great album, Spoon has had two or three.  This isn't one of them...but it's fine.  Totally fine, and forgettable.  Does make me want to listen to "Girls Can Tell" or "Kill the Moonlight" though. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Rosebuds - Sand + Silence (Western Vinyl, 2014)

The Rosebuds
Sand + Silence
Western Vinyl

Rating: 7.5 scratching dogs out of 10

It's not like I ever wrote an unbiased review of any recording by the Rosebuds, but now with one of my best friends touring with them it's definitely right out the window.  Nonetheless, I maintain this is a great collection of pop songs, possibly their best since 2005's "Birds Make Good Neighbors."  Opener "In My Teeth" is an instant top five favorite by the band, and the following title track isn't that far behind.  Unfortunately it goes downhill from there, but only on a slight downgrade; the fourth song "Blue Eyes" seems to be the one I get stuck in my head the most even if it does sound more like a tune from a decade ago they are just now putting on a record.   This album is their first since their break with Merge, who have released all of their other full-lengths.  Regardless of label, the Rosebuds still manage to churn out catchy songs that I would definitely love even if I didn't know these kids for nearly two decades.