Helmet – Monochrome

Helmet – Monochrome / 2007 Warcon / 11 Tracks / http://www.helmetmusic.com / http://www.warconrecords.com

Helmet was a hard rock act that I never really got into in all of my years listening to music. Well, I received “Monochrome” a few weeks ago and I really was blown away. “Swallowing Everything” is the first track on the disc, and the first thing individuals can hear is the distinctive guitar work present. The guitars first start working in a grunge type of sound, but move at points towards a newer, more metal-influenced style. The vocals are sarcastic and spat out, with the nearest comparison I can make coming from Green Jello/y. “Swallowing Everything” should be a single, but I’ve not heard it on any station; the brutal sound of Helmet puts other bands currently in existence to shame. Continue reading “Helmet – Monochrome”

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – In Glorious Times

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – In Glorious Times / 2007 The End / 11 Tracks / http://www.sleepytimegorillamuseum.com / http://www.theendrecords.com /

The disconcerting sound that Sleepytime Gorilla Museum puts forth on their “The Companions” blends circus music with a movie score. The falsetto cuts through listeners and the music on the track alike; when the band finally breaks into a harder rock style, things change. Of course, the circus feel to the track remains, but it is hidden behind aggressive guitars and a set of vocals that bounce back and forth between a Morrissey sound and that of Trey Parker. The decision to have the disc’s longest track up first (at ten minutes, it is over a minute longer than anything else on the disc) is a controversial one. Continue reading “Sleepytime Gorilla Museum – In Glorious Times”

In Theory – This Is It

In Theory – This Is It / 2007 Shelter From the Storm / 11 Tracks / http://www.intheorymusic.com /

In Theory play a brand of emo rock that would make Yellowcard proud. The first cut on the album is “Help Me Help You”, and the track could easily be the band’s first single. The distinctive vocals of In Theory mesh with very confident guitar lines and splashy drums to make a song that could easily rocket up the tracks. Imagine Simple Plan mixed with Sum 41, with a little dash of the aforementioned Yellowcard; this is what In Theory most closely approximates. After four minutes of “Help Me Help You”, the band has tremendous momentum and a captive audience ready to do any of the band’s whims. Continue reading “In Theory – This Is It”

Nekromantix – Life Is A Grave & I Dig It

Nekromantix – Life Is A Grave & I Dig It / 2007 Hell-Cat / 14 Tracks /  http://www.nekromantix.com / http://www.hell-cat.com /

Nekromantix have been around a very lengthy period of time, crafting their brand of punk rockabilly music for the masses. “NekroHigh” is the first track on “Life is a Grave”, and it shows that the band is still able to come up with a track that is catchy and able to keep individuals focused in on the band’s work. The guitars are a little quiet during this track, but this could just be because the vocals and bass operate at such a focal point. There is a much more deliberate type of sound to “Horny in a Hearse”, but the band opens things up and includes a walking bass to give it some commonality to the rest of the tracks on “Life is a Grave”. Continue reading “Nekromantix – Life Is A Grave & I Dig It”

Kate Havnevik – Melankton

Kate Havnevik – Melankton / 2007 Universal / 12 Tracks / http://www.katehavnevik.com / http://www.universal.com /

Individuals from Europe may not know why we are running a “Melankton” review now; the disc was first released there in April of 2006. However, the disc just made it to American shores this year. Havnevik’s “Melankton” is a debut album, but from the beginning of the disc, it does not feel to be. The emotive electronic instrumentation that introduces listeners to Havnevik does not sound clichéd or weak in comparison to Havnevik’s vocals. Havnevik gets close at points to sounding like an analogue to Bjork; the quieter instrumentation of “Melankton” distinguishes Havnevik from Bjork. The second track on the disc is “Travel in Time”, and it features the abilities of star Carmen Rizzo to create a fuller sound than was necessarily present during “Unlike Me”. Continue reading “Kate Havnevik – Melankton”

Coby Brown – Time Is Now

Coby Brown – Time Is Now / 2007 Self / 4 Tracks / http://www.cobybrown.com /

Coby Brown and the 11:11s play a brand of pop rock that is comparable to the work of a Coldplay, Keane, or Artic Monkeys. That means that the music that is on “Time Is Now” is inoffensive, does not experiment in the slightest, and relies on the paths that previous individuals have traveled. The tracks go back quickly owing to this inoffensive sound; “Ballerina In A Bullfight” is another example of this. Coby Brown’s vocals on “Time is Now” are soft and silken; I can completely see where eir could be compared to a Morrissey meets John Maher type of person. Continue reading “Coby Brown – Time Is Now”

Our Lady Peace – A Decade

Our Lady Peace – A Decade / 2006 Columbia / 18 Tracks / http://www.ourladypeace.com / http://www.columbiarecords.com /

Our Lady Peace is yet another Canadian act that was big in America for a song or two, but reached massive levels of success for years (almost a decade) in their own home country. I still remember when I first was introduced to Our Lady Peace. It was a year or so before “Clumsy” first came out, and it was a video for the first track on the disc, “Starseed”. I absolutely hated the song at the time, as it was seriously overplayed by Muchmusic. Anyways, this is a greatest hits album with two tracks that individuals may not have heard in the past; “Kiss On The Mouth” and “Better Than Here”. Continue reading “Our Lady Peace – A Decade”

The Spares – Beautiful and Treacherous Thing

The Spares – Beautiful and Treacherous Thing / 2007 Tweed / 12 Tracks / http://www.thespares.net / http://www.tweedrecords.com/

The Spares blend together alternative music with a brand of bluegrass-influenced country music that is first heard on “Waiting For The Smoke To Clear”. The vocals will remind listeners of a young Allison Krauss, while the guitars present during the track vary between the to styles. Regardless, what is being sang is something that individuals can easily appreciate. While there is not a high amount of energy to the track (the vocals are much more meandering than anything), this is perfect as an opening for the disc. Continue reading “The Spares – Beautiful and Treacherous Thing”

The Horrors – Strange House

The Horrors – Strange House / 2007 Stolen Transmission / 11 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/thehorrors / http://www.stolentransmission.com /

The Horrors have been making some waves in the indie music scene in the last few months. The first track on “Strange House” is “Jack The Ripper”, and it shows that The Horrors are trying to recall an earlier period in rock music. A great deal of their music comes from the loud and boisterous rock of the seventies, even as there is a current sound to keep individuals interested. “Count In fives” is the second track up, and it shows that the band likes their punk rock just the same. In fact, it is not only a punk style that they push forth with this track, but rather a later, almost Siouxsie and the Banshees meets The Cure style. Continue reading “The Horrors – Strange House”

Pos-Neg – I’m A Problem

Pos-Neg – I’m A Problem / 2007 Self / 3 Tracks / http://www.pos-neg.com / http://www.southbronx.com /

Pos-Neg is a rap act, and the flow that is present on the single “I’m A Problem” is similar to the earlier DMX flows. The backing beat to the track is a little bit on the tinny side, which does not necessarily mesh well with the higher registers of the individuals on the track. The flows present are strong, though, which is enough to make the track succeed on their own. Couple that with an catchy chorus, and Pos-Neg’s “I’m A Problem” is better than a greater segment of the rap songs currently on the market. This single features the radio and TV versions of this track along with the studio version. Continue reading “Pos-Neg – I’m A Problem”