Jeff Babko – Mondo Trio

Jeff Babko – Mondo Trio / 2007 Abstract Logix / 9 Tracks / http://www.abstractlgix.com /

The first track on “Mondo Trio” is “Head Trauma”, and despite the funkiness present in this track (or perhaps because of it), the resulting track has a very Zaappa-like sound to it. Everything would be okay if the song remained without vocals, as the horns and guitars provide a vocal sound that is just as narrative as normal vocals would be. While there is a lot of cohesion between the different arrangements during the track, the band continues to tweak and vary the output. This means that there might be a Frampton-esque guitar line one second, and something that more closely reminds individuals of a Rush or Pink Floyd the next. This also means that a track like “Head Trauma” can hit the seven minute mark and still sound as fresh at that time as it did when the track sounded when it first started. Continue reading “Jeff Babko – Mondo Trio”

Big Business – Here Come The Waterworks

     / 2007 Hydra Head / 8 Tracks / http://www.bigbigbusiness.com / http://www.hydrahead.com /

While I was expecting something either drone-y or otherwise inapproachable, what Big Business do on “Here Come The Waterworks” is create a very sludgy (Alice in Chains) meets trippy (Jane’s Addiction) type of rock cum metal. “Just as the Day was Dawning” is the first track on the disc, and it will bring any listener back to the first few years of the nineties. Along with the sludgy type of sound, Big Business add a very eighties approach of metal to their overall sound. This means that there are decent hints of influences that range from Twisted Sister to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. The band has a big sound (thus, their name) and yet do not push individuals away with “Here Come The Waterworks”.  The band kicks it into an even higher gear when it comes to the second half of the track. Continue reading “Big Business – Here Come The Waterworks”

Mother Jones – Union

Mother Jones – Union / 2006 Sun Rising / 10 Tracks / http://www.motherjonesband.com /

Mother Jones has something in common with the magazine that has the same title; liberal media love the. Specifically, they were featured as the “Jam Band Artist of the Year” for 2006, and Neil Young has actually deemed them worthy enough to be on eir website as “songs of the times”. The first track is “Lost in Emotion”, and if individuals did not have a copy of this album, they would definitely guess that the track is twenty or thirty years old. Continue reading “Mother Jones – Union”

Slaughterhouse 3 – S/T

Slaughterhouse 3 – S/T / 2006 Abstract Logix / 11 Tracks / http://www.abstractlogix.com /

There is a lot of Primus present in Slaughterhouse 3. This is due to the fact that the band starts out the disc with a self-titled track that has the same eclectic sound as what has been crafted in the past by bands like Primus and To My Surprise. There is a little bit more funk and jazz present than in the latter’s composition, but there is more than a passing comparison to be made. What could be done to increase the allure of this album would be to add a set of vocals at specific times. Continue reading “Slaughterhouse 3 – S/T”

Charles Mingus Sextet With Eric Dolphy – Cornell 1964

Charles Mingus Sextet With Eric Dolphy – Cornell 1964 / 2007 Blue Note / 9 Tracks / http://www.bluenote.com /

I am not the most well versed individual when it comes to blues and jazz music. As one can glean from the artists present in the title of this disc (Charles Mingus and Eric Dolphy), this is a jazz album. The fifties and sixties were an interesting time for jazz music, as it saw the creation of new styles that challenged the norms, while the older styles still had a number of adherents. The work done by the Charles Mingus Sextet/Dolphy is more along the classical jazz side of things. “Sophisticated Lady” shows a breakdown of some of these earlier styles, as the bass that stands as a focal point to the disc bounces all across the spectrum. Without anything more in terms of structure to constrain this instrument, what results during “Sophisticated Lady” is something that is fairly open-ended. Despite the fact that this was recorded live, the confident arrangements that are present during the aforementioned “Sophisticated Lady” sound almost as clear as if individuals were sitting in the stage that day. Continue reading “Charles Mingus Sextet With Eric Dolphy – Cornell 1964”

Young Stunna – The Best of Me

Young Stunna – The Best of Me / 2007 RJM / 19 Tracks / http://www.rjmrecords.com /

There are a number of independent rappers that are trying to ply their trade in the current perio.d So many of them suck that it means finding a halfway decent rapper is a shore in and of itself. Many times, there are a few strong tracks on a disc and about ten times the amount of chaff present. This could be through having too many tracks, having individuals guest on a track that should never get near a mic, and having lackadaisical backing beats that do nothing for the flow of the rapper. Continue reading “Young Stunna – The Best of Me”

Fast Computers – Heart Geometry

Fast Computers – Heart Geometry / 2007 Self / 11 Tracks / http://www.thefastcomputers.com /

The synth lines that start out “Sweden Hasn’t Changed, You Have” will undoubtedly remind individuals of The Psychedelic Furs. The fact that the book has pictures from a library further gives individuals an eighties type of feel. The band shifts things up enough that it does not last; a song like “How Many Times” brings Fast Computers into a very plain type of indie rock that has all of the trappings of a nineties track but is couched heavily in the “That Thing You Do” sound of the sixties. Hints of Blur become evident during this track, and while it does not have the distinct electronic sound to the track that the beginning of the disc did, it allows the band to craft a cohesive sound to “Heart Geometry”. Continue reading “Fast Computers – Heart Geometry”

Chris Letcher – Frieze

Chris Letcher – Frieze / 2007 2Feet / 15 Tracks / http://www.sheergroup.com / http://www.2feetmusic.com /

The opening to “Frieze” starts off slowly with what sounds like a movie quote opening up “Deep Frieze”. However, it is the poppy style of indie rock that Letcher plays that immediately saves this album. There are more than passing comparisons to individuals like Matthew Sweet on “Deep Frieze”, and while the Avalanches meets Kid Koala-like scratching present during the track is an interesting addition, listeners can easily understand the indie tradition that Letcher is coming from. The thing that establishes Letcher as someone to pay attention to has to be the arrangements that end “Deep Frieze”. These arrangements speed up, slow down, and generally add delightful chaos to an already guilty pleasure. By the end of “Deep Frieze”, Letcher is in a good position. Continue reading “Chris Letcher – Frieze”

Buildings Breeding – S/T

Buildings Breeding – S/T / 2007 Mushpot / 12 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/buildingsbredding / http://www.mushpotrecords.com /

Buildings Breeding play a dreamy type of indie cum pop rock music that will bring individuals back to the shoegazer genre present in the early to middle nineties. The use of clapping during the opening track “Stacking Up Reasons” further closes the sound in on the band, to make it seem as if the band is sitting in a living or dorm room with their fans. The slightly gritty vocals of Chris on the album have a number of influences that present themselves clearly during the songs on this self-titled album, but have enough of Larsen’s soul present to establish Buildings Breeding as a bold new band. Continue reading “Buildings Breeding – S/T”

AJ Rosales – Ultramarine

AJ Rosales – Ultramarine / 2007 Novelty / 13 Tracks / http://www.ajrosales.com /

AJ Rosales has a little bit of a Chris Cornell sound to eir voice during the opening of “Ultramarine”, the track “Alone Again”. The instrumentation may be bouncy and jangly, but there is nothing too terribly new provided by Rosales here. The California Dreams-like guitar line that shifts in and out of solos during “Alone Again” is nice but ultimately is dated. While there may not be anything special during this introductory track, Rosales does come forth confidently. This will help during the wind-swept, blues-ridden “Nominate”. The guitars again do not go into any arrangements that break themselves off from what has already been done before. That is the most major problem that Rosales confronts on eir “Ultramarine”. Any of a number of tracks could conceivably make it onto rock radio, country radio, or whatever Rosales feels that eir music would be best, but there is nothing here to distinguish Rosales from hundreds of other artists doing about the same style of music. Continue reading “AJ Rosales – Ultramarine”