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Twin Town High (vol. 8)
Sweet 16 CD Reviews
Wednesday 02 October @ 10:04:21
Media Astronomer Celeste Tabora rockets through HOT HOT new Releases!
1. Apples In Stereo - Velocity of Sound
2. Ash - Free All Angels
3. Hot Water Music - Caution
4. Jets to Brazil - Perfecting Loneliness
5. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Plastic Fang
6. Karate - Some Boots
7. Matt Pond PA - The Nature of Maps
8. No Knife - Riot For Romance
9. Pulp - We Love Life
10. Q And Not U - Different
11. Rile Kiley - The Execution of All Things
12. Sonic Youth - Murray Street
13. Spoon - Kill The Moonlight
14. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - S/T
15. Woodbine - S/T
16. Waxwing - Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns
1. Apples In Stereo
“Velocity Of Sound” (SpinART)
In Stores: October 8th, 2002
You can count on Apples In Stereo to provide you with skittish infectious happy pop with that signature Elephant 6 sound. Somewhere between the Stones and the Velvet Underground at their most upbeat lie AIS. This album, however, does not maintain the acid trippy, jittery sound that characterized their past releases—it’s more like the musical score to a game of Candyland!
“Free All Angels” (Kinetic)
I probably hear more Ash than I hear anyone else these days. My flatmate has convinced me she’s their biggest superfan. But I get it. They’ve already made it as one of the UK’s top bands with their power pop with endearing lyrics. It’s refined but strait up. Great for pogo-ing in public at the Redding Festival, or in the privacy of your living room.
3. Hot Water Music
In Stores: Oct 8th, 2002
Thank goodness for the HWM brand of punk. They make it clear that good music with meaning is more worthy of attention than just donning Ronald McDonald spiked red hair. You can hear the effort in this disc, especially in the way it sounds so damn perfect in performance, production, and mixing. Can it still be punk if it sounds so good? Hell yeah.
4. Jets To Brazil
“Perfecting Loneliness” (Jade Tree)
In Stores: Oct 15th, 2002
The first 10 seconds of the disc is misleading. It sounded more like Stillwater (fictional band in movie Almost Famous) than JTB. Soon the listener is brought back into the reality of Blake Sch warzenbach’s ode-to-Psychedelic-Furs-vocals and seemingly directionless musicality. Hard rocking one min, soft-core the next. I’m still convinced that most JTB fans are just trying to relive the Jawbreaker of their youth.
5. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
“Plastic Fang” (Matador)
(Plastic Fang + DVD out Oct 8th, 2002)
No one does sexy dirty rawk n’ roll like JSBX. Before any of those White Strokes got hype, JSBX was doing it better and with more conviction. And though their story began the latest wave, they still look better and sound better than those kids. Plastic Fang is another great release by the BX. If you’re feeling the itch for some down and dir-tay rock and roll – get this. Feel it baby, awooo!
“Some Boots” (Southern)
In Stores: Oct 1st, 2002
Karate is sweet and smooth jazz-inflected post-rock. It’s sentimental music for tough guys. The ideas that underpin this album are intriguing. Alienation and intimacy, small towns and big cities; Can make you feel these often ignored realizations. You can enjoy everything from Karate, the lyrics, the breakdowns, the spaces… and it all comes on this album!
7. Matt Pond PA
“The Nature of Maps” (Polyvinyl)
In Stores: Oct. 29th, 2002
Yearning guitars, scurried and believable vocals, grooving bass and drums, sweet strings – and all this is just on the first track! How lucky I am to be listening to this record! It won’t change your life, but it will make your day feel worthwhile. Although Matt Pond fronts the band, MPPA definitely has a tight group sound. This ’80s inspired rock-of-today is ready for radio, but made for grassroots fans. Both this disc and this band are wonderful.
8. No Knife
“Riot For Romance” (Better Looking)
No Knife’s twirling guitars and pauses remind me of Karate (see above). It’s not what I expect from No Knife – I was just getting used to their drawn out dreary type of rock. Their rhythm section got groovier, the guitars though, just seems to become more like imitations of rock’s recent roster. “Riot For Romance” isn’t an awful disc, but it’s nothing you haven’t heard before.
“We Love Life” (Sanctuary/Rough Trade)
It’s difficult to describe a disc that is just naturally the next step for the band. Pulp has never stuck with one genre in any of their discs. With this one you can safely say that they are touching a little more on the electronics, as well as acoustics, but the lyrics stick to the usual – stories of life situations, remarkable or not – but interesting nonetheless. Not a disappointment for any Pulp fan who allows the band some room to grow. But I can see how it would be an unpleasant surprise for those who await a little more of the Disco 2000 vein.
10. Q And Not U
In Stores: Oct 23, 2002
It’s produced and engineered by Ian MacKaye and Don Zientara – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Q And Not U’s music is fabulous and exciting. It further confirms that the good bands aren’t on the radio – they’re right in your own basement. They bring a refreshing tune to your ears. Innovative song structures, clever lyrics and created with all around good taste. Eat your heart out.
11. Rilo Kiley
“The Execution of All Things” (Saddle-Creek)
In Stores: Oct 1st, 2002
I wish I had a love-hate relationship with this album. Instead, I’d love to hate it because of their buzz status… but I don’t. It’s %@!#$&ing good. Unpretentious, humble, and real pop-rock; I believe it has something to relate to many people of all predicaments. Jenny Lewis’ vocals are vulnerable but rebellious, while the music follows her signal and solidifies the emotion. Another successful release from Saddle Creek.
12. Sonic Youth
“Murray Street” (Geffen)
SY’s 16th album, and the 2nd in their proposed trilogy about the cultural history of Lower Manhattan. Named after their studio, the recording was stalled by the events of 9/11/01, its location basically at Ground Zero. The result: nothing you don’t already expect from SY. Pretty yet imperfect tunes, always new and evolving, always SY.
“Kill The Moonlight” (Merge)
Performing with such skill, it’s hard not to fall for Spoon & their latest release. It sounds slinky and driving; sensual and rocking! Could you ask for more? (I’m sure you can.) But Spoon’s fun, aurally shifty, and lovable indie rock will pacify your needs and wants for at least its 35 minutes running length! Also recommended: any past Spoon release!
14. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
“S/T” EP (Touch And Go)
Unless you really have been living in a deep dark cave, you had to have caught a wiff of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Karen O. is frighteningly superb at her craft of punk rock front-songstress with the sex drive of Debbie Harry and aggression of any male fronted rap metal outfit out there. The band lives in the land of “to-the-point.” Short and sweet is definitely good for you on occasion, with that the band has hit it on the nose. So swing your hips down to the record store and get cool with the aid of this EP.
The beats are big, the vocals gentle. Industrial sounds incorporated into a pop groove, it’s understated yet crazy. Though I dislike the cover art, I can’t complain and you know I’m hooked. Even where it sounds the least stable, it is still very interesting and better than many experimental sounds being put out in stores today. Ex-Cornershop guru Robert Healey is behind this, in case you wanna know what you’re getting yourself into.
“Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns” (Second Nature)
Ew… This came highly recommended as by a friend, but it sounds very much like ordinary emo-punk rock. And even worse, most of the songs sound exactly the damn same with different lyrics and maybe some unfitting handclaps. Anything else I can say may be too damaging.