Archive for the 'Music Monday' Category

22
Apr
08

Music Monday: You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into…

Long title, average-length album, shorter-than-usual review, as it’s quarter-past midnight, and I need to be up before midday tomorrow. So, without further ado:

Does It Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into…

Does It Offend You, Yeah? are an electronic-based band from Reading in the UK, with the focus being primarily on the music rather than the vocals, with hard-hitting synths left, right, and centre, along with a coupel of guitar-led tracks dotted around, which admittedly, are some of the poorer tracks on the album. It all kicks off with three fantastic tracks in a row, Battle Royale, With a Heavy Heart, and We Are Rockstars. Each song revolving around a frentic beat of pulsating bass and riff lines, and minimalist vocals.

Unfortunately, the album then takes a turn for the worse with Dawn of The Dead, which sounds like almost any other band you could expect to find on the NME Channel on Sky. It takes another song or two until things return to normal with Let’s Make Out, followed by yet another generic-song, Being Bad Feels Pretty Good. The final song, Epic Last Song also feels a little underwhelming given the title, and not in an ironic sense unfortunately.

Overall, the album is rather a mixed bag. There’s enough highlights to save it from being relegated to the ‘listen to it sometimes’ pile, but the band need to focus more heavily on the crunching beats to avoid being washed away in the post-Klaxons climate. Though, to be fair, you can’t say much wrong with a band that has song titled Attack of The 60ft Lesbian Octopus.

Song To Download: Battle Royale

Song To Skip Past: Dawn of The Dead

Overall: 6/10

Advertisements
22
Apr
08

Music Monday: Floodland

As you may have guessed by the title, the album up for review today is:

The Sisters of Mercy – Floodland

November 1987, two years since the debut album by the band, and they had already split up by the release of this album. Confused? It’s all actually relatively simple. The Sisters of Mercy; originally a four-and-a-half piece rock band (their drummer was a drum machine) with gothic overtones, full of jangly guitars, moody lyrics, and wearing sunglasses at night. After the release of the first album First and Last and Always, internal tensions caused the band to split up during writing for their follow-up, with Andrew Eldritch eventually taking the Sisters of Mercy name, and the remaining members forming The Mission.

Working effectively as a solo artist, Eldritch wrote the entirety of the second album himself, and made a marked departure from the guitar-led format of the former album. Instead, we were treated to synthesised landscapes, clunking basses, and songs of en epic nature. The major success sotry of this album was the single This Corrosion, which made it to No.7 in the UK singles chart. The song itself is grandiose affair, incorporating the New York Choral Society into a straight-out rock song, that manages to pack more energy into 11 minutes than many bands can pack into a whole album. But whereas this song, Dominion/Mother Russia and Lucretia My Reflection (with its killer bass-line, and industrious drum beat) provide the rock side of the album, it’s in the other songs in which we find the album’s real highlights.

Where Dominion/Mother Russia sets the scene for the album, allowing for fans of the band’s earlier output to adjust, Flood I is where the album really kicks off, with’s it’s disassociated drumbeats and strained guitars crashing into a synth-led dirge with an eastern tinge that shows the direction the album is going to follow. The real highlight of the album though, comes with Driven Like The Snow, a true landscape track, with haunting synths overlying Eldritch’s tortured vocals.

The vinyl version of the album finished with the minimalist Never Land (a fragment), but the CD version included two extra tracks, Torch and Colours. Originally B-sides for This Corrosion, they now provide a perfect close for the album, again adopting the heavily synth-laden approach, with Colours featuring just one repeated verse, the song instead focusing on the building layers of music throughout.

There’s not a single track on this album I don’t enjoy listening to, and whilst it’s not a Sunday afternoon style of album to listen to, there’s a lot to be explored in the dark corners Eldritch touches upon here. If you can, pick up the recent re-issue of the album, as there’s an expanded version of Never Land, as well as a surprisingly good cover of Hot Choclate’s Emma.

Song To Download: Driven Like The Snow

Song To Skip Past: At a very big push, 1959. You still shouldn’t really skip any of the album though.

Overall: 10/10

22
Apr
08

Music Monday: Oracular Spectacular

And so, in a similar vein to Good Gaming Friday, I’ll be posting up reviews of new/classic albums, beginning with:

Oracular Spectacular is an introspective album, looking back at childhood and aspects of youth, and the realisation of eventually having to grow old and enter the ‘real world’. By no means is this a concept album, there’s no story to tell, but there’s a link between many of the songs, such as ‘Time To Pretend’, ‘The Youth’ and ‘The Handshake’ that ties into this progression through life. Placing poignant messages aside however, is the music up to scratch as well? The album’s opener, and lead single for the album, ‘Time To Pretend’ is a cacophony of contrasting synthesisers, thundering and twee at the same times, and an off-beat drum beat, that meld into one seamless whole with the vocals, leading to a potential candidate for single of the year.

The energy present in the opener is felt in other songs such as ‘Electric Feel’, a disco-esque stomper, and ‘Kids’, another blast of electronic melancholy. In other songs, conventional instruments come into play, ‘Weekend Warriors’ is a semi-psychedelic trip to the mock battles most of us played when we were younger, and the sound of ‘Pieces of What’ harks back to the sound of classic rock musicians, such as Roy Orbison or Buddy Holly, whilst still sounding modern and up-to-date.

However, there some low-points to the album, the album closer ‘Future Reflections’ is somewhat of a letdown after the vibrant energy that precedes it, and ‘Of Moons, Birds & Monsters’ feels rather like filler content than anything else. Overall though, the album is a worthy purchase as both a pop and an goatee-stroker purchase, which almost never fails to impress.

Song To Download: Time To Pretend

Song To Skip Past: Of Moons, Birds & Monsters

Overall Score: 8/10