And here’s a few more reviews of mine…
The following reviews originally appeared over at Still Single.
Grating white-boy indie-dance-funk with a serious ooga-booga Paul Simon’s Graceland-style slumming agenda and the potential to go huge if there’s an unused ticket to the same hype convention attended previously by the likes of Yeasayer (quite possibly the worst music ever made), MGMT and other purveyors of post-2008 jam-band quirk. About as “underground” and forward-thinking as Steve Harvey. Keep your friends and acquaintances away from shit like this, because it can contaminate closer to home than you may think. Edition of 225 copies on blue vinyl. Probably out of print, due to the world’s tendency to intensely suck every now and again. (http://www.nobaloneymusic.com)
I disliked this guy’s previous EP so much that I removed it from the to-review pile, so when I got this one with our current stack, I felt like some poetic justice was unconsciously appearing on my plate. But I did something that often comes back to bite me in the ass: research. I read the guy’s Altered Zones guest post from last year, and while he attempts to rock a metal knowledge and should have kept quiet on that front (Napalm Death did not turn into a self-parody in the ‘90s … those records can be fairly fascinating and sporadically great), he does seem to be fired up about the history of noisy or left-field techno (Napalm Death begat Scorn … that’s how he got from point to point) from the same era, and its development, influence, and inspiration post-Y2K. Once again, here we are at the crossroads of Giving Someone Too Much Credit For An Attribute For Which They Should Not Be Applauded (in this case, it’s simply having a sense of history) and The Musical Climate That Allows For Such Critical/Aesthetic Awards. Oh well, For Ostland is good for some rather dense electronic with pulsating beats and vocal prettiness. Problem is, I wonder if Mr. Nihiti is aware of Flying Saucer Attack’s overlooked masterpiece New Lands (1997) or the first half of the Labradford discography, because this is a warmed-over version of those milestones and less a contribution to the progression of topical avant-techno than a tracing over of what’s already been accomplished. (http://lobitlandscapes.org)
Extraordinarily acceptable for late-‘70s, recently-unearthed power-pop and will please those who most assuredly purchased it upon release earlier this year. This is a second LP of studio tracks from yet another no-longer-long-lost Hyped-to-Death/Teenline-style concern that hailed from New Orleans. The retro-stroke campaign for The Normals began with a reissued 7” last year, and ears that I trust claim it had a bit of Dictators pop-metal mixed in with its otherwise expected sound, but this LP is nicely-accomplished power-pop with energy/punk-rock edge, all of which makes for the perfect sonic ground for the addition of great big, unforgettable hooks, yet that never happens on So Bad, So Sad. The knuckle-draggers who operate as brainwashed disciples of this sort of stuff, as well as the new bands that ape it and add nothing of worth, will talk really loudly, in social situations or at record stores, of their unmovable opinion that The Normals are super-catchy and badass in that way or this way, but all I ask is for folks to be honest about what’s entering their ears and ask themselves if this needs to be added to the 1,945,923 examples of identical affairs that constitutes their record collections. (http://lastlaughrecords.us)
Herky-jerky Danish post-punk with clean guitar jabs, funky rhythms and a singer who sounds just like the guy in The Ex. Not only have you heard innumerable examples of this same thing, beginning around, oh, I don’t know, nineteen-ninety fucking four or so, but most of them have probably made you sit up and think, “Really? Still?!? We haven’t moved on from this shit?!?” This falls into the latter mega-category and made me think about the “post-post-punk” or “new-post-punk” article I contributed to back in 2001. I had to interview that band that lost their drummer to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I can’t remember that band’s name, and I won’t remember this band’s songs in approximately 30 seconds. Shocking White is only shocking in its sheer ability to exist right now. But who knows … maybe there’s someone out there pining for a mediocre take on The Fire Engines. If so, stay away from my house. (http://shockingwhite.bandcamp.com)