Athlete – Beyond The Neighbourhood

Athlete – Beyond The Neighbourhood / 2007 Astralwerks / 11 Tracks / http://www.athlete.mu /

Athlete is perhaps the biggest band that no one has heard of in the United States. Their last album, “Tourist”, went double platinum, and “Beyond The Neighbourhood” is poised to do the same thing. From the opening strains of “In Between 2 State”, Athlete shows that they understand how to get individuals involved with their music. Continue reading “Athlete – Beyond The Neighbourhood”

Countime – Broken Blinded Betrayed

Countime – Broken Blinded Betrayed / 2006 No Joke / 7 Tracks / http://www.nojokereordsla /

“From The Heavens Above” is the first track on “Broken Blinded Betrayed” and it shows Countime as an act that loves their classic, “tough guy” hardcore. The band produces fast, heavy, and intense hardcore music that has more than its fair share of metal influence. Note that during “From the Heavens Above” that Countime do not move into a nu-metal style, which many bands in the genre tend to do. After two and a half minutes, Countime move into “City of Fallen Angels”. “City of Fallen Angels” is a track that throws in much more in the way of thrash punk while keeping the overall sound of Countime the same. Even though the band is only putting in a few minutes to each track on “Broken Blinded Betrayed”, they are able to go forth and really make a cohesive sound by the time that a track like “Lies Within” ends. Continue reading “Countime – Broken Blinded Betrayed”

The Good Night Fight – Serpentine

The Good Night Fight – Serpentine / 2007 Brave New Records / 5 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/thegoodnightfight / http://www.bravenewworldrecords.com /

The Good Night Fight start off their “Serpentine” EPO with a track in “Conqueror Worm” that is nothing out of the ordinary. What the band does during this track is throw in screaming, metal-like vocals with a set of instruments that would work well in a Fu Manchu or a CKY disc. The resulting sound is not very impressive, coming forth like a second rate Pantera. Couple the weak effort taken during this track with the fact that the song is almost a minute longer than any of the other tracks on the disc, and what individuals have is little reason to continue with this disc. The guitar work during “The Kid Is Back” is decent, but the band slides back into the same style that was all too common during “Conqueror Worm”. “The Kid Is Back” shows a passable side of The Good Night Fight during the chorus. Continue reading “The Good Night Fight – Serpentine”

First To Leave – Forging A Future

First To Leave – Forging A Future / 2007 Wednesday Records / 12 Tracks / http://www.firsttoleave.org / http://www.wednesdayrecords.com /

Man, I had no idea that First To Leave was going to sound like how they end up sounding at the beginning of “Forging A Future”. The cover of this album is very nondescript when it comes to giving clues about the band, so needless I was shocked when I heard an energetic, punk-heavy sound during “The Saving Cycle”. “Forging A Future” was produced by J. Robbins, who individuals may remember as a member of Jawbox, Government Issue, and Burning Airlines. “Keep Moving” brings the style of The Red Hot Valentines back into prominence, although it is true that First To Leave does not have a synthesizer in their music. What the band does during the entirety of “Forging A Future” is create a pop-punk style that few individuals remember. This pop-punk style is not the style of a Green Day, nor is it the style of a Blink or a Green Day, but rather of (very) early Unwritten Law and Face to Face. Continue reading “First To Leave – Forging A Future”

Silence Is Safety – S/T

Silence Is Safety – S/T / 2007 Teeno / 7 Tracks / http://www.teenorecords.com /

Silence Is Safety plays a style of rock that has not been heard on the radio for about ten years. There are hints of the Goo Goo Dolls as well as with the Spin Doctors, but the energy present during this track is high enough that individuals can get behind this female-lead band. “He Doesn’t Know” shows the vocalist for Silence Is Safety as someone that has heard more than eir fair share of Switchblade Kittens. The band’s instrumental arrangements could use a little bit of variation and tweaking, but what the band does during this track is give individuals some sense of what the band is trying to do with their music. “I Can’t Tell You Why” is the follow up to “He Doesn’t Know”. Continue reading “Silence Is Safety – S/T”

Middle Distance Runner – S/T

Middle Distance Runner – S/T / 2007 Self / 6 Tracks / http://www.middledistancerunner.com/

“The Sun and Earth” is the first track on this EP, and it starts out in a sedate way. However, the tempo is something that slowly builds up to give individuals something to get amped up with. The neat composition allow the vocals to take a focal part of the band’s sound, and while the act is influenced by bands like Interpol and The Editors, Middle Distance Runner has a sound that is all their own. “The Sun and Earth” is the track that will get individuals talking about the band, and it will be on the success of this track that Middle Distance Runner makes a name for themselves. The clapping, shuffling sound of “Monochrome Boys” links up with a vocal style that unites Fall Out Boy and Maroon 5, and while the band again plays on a few common musical styles, the beauty of Middle Distance Runner is that they soon make their own style prominent. Continue reading “Middle Distance Runner – S/T”

Chris Botti – Italia

Chris Botti – Italia / 2007 Sony / 12 Tracks / http://www.chrisbotti.com / http://www.sony.com /

Ah , Chris Botti. Before I received a copy of “Italia”, I had no clue who you were. For those individuals that want a short backdrop, Botti is a trumpeter that has released nine solo albums over the course of twelve years. Much of Botti’s work can be broadly categorized as “smooth jazz”, but there are a number of derivations from that general label. “Italia” is titled as such due to the two years that Botti spent of eir childhood growing up in Italy. Individuals that are not familiar with Botti’s solo work may still have some idea of what Botti does or how Botti sounds; throughout eir career, ey has worked with stars as bright as Sting, Frank Sinatra, Dave Koz, Michael Buble, and Lee Ritenour. Botti has immense potential, to the point that Botti could become a crossover star in the same vein as individuals like Kenny G; while individuals are not typically hip to the stylings of brass, the talent exuded by Botti during tracks such as “Venice” and “Caruso” will bring individuals in droves. Continue reading “Chris Botti – Italia”

OST: Heartbreak Kid

OST: Heartbreak Kid / 2007 Plan R / 14 Tracks / http://www.heartbreakkidmovie.com /

For those that do not know, The Heartbreak Kid is the latest movie from the Farrelly Brothers (who are known for such “classics” as There’s Something About Mary, Me, Myself and Irene, and Dumb and Dumber). Despite the fact that these aren’t even their “bad” movies (that honor goes to Shallow Hal and Fever Pitch), the brothers two know their indie music. The soundtrack for The Heartbreak Kid contains tracks by indie rock darlings Ozomatli and The Flaming Lips, and previous alt-superstar Matthew Sweet. Two David Bowie tracks make it onto the disc as well (“Suffragette City” and “Ashes To Ashes”, but the rest of the disc’s fourteen cuts are by individuals that may not be known by the average individual (Buva, Amy Levere and The Weepies). Continue reading “OST: Heartbreak Kid”

John Fogerty – Revival

John Fogerty – Revival / 2007 Fantasy / 12 Tracks / http://www.johnfogerty.com /

I was never that big of a fan of Credence Clearwater Revival, but both my mother and my significant other are huge fans.  What Fogerty did back in the seventies was simply not my thing, but the revival of the style, infused with a few other elements, is something much more near and dear to me. Fogerty is yet another individual from the sixties and seventies that is able to successfully reinvent eirself. Apparently, other individuals agree with me, as “Revival’ has pushed through quite a few copies in the short time that it has been out. The disc starts out with “Don’t You Wish It Was True”, a track that acclimates individuals to a Fogerty style that is much more close to the sound that Creedence left off with when they disbanded in 1972 than any prior solo Fogerty work. Continue reading “John Fogerty – Revival”

Otep – The Ascension

Otep – The Ascension / 2007 Koch / 12 Tracks / http://www.otep.com /

“Eet The Children” is the first track on “The Ascension”, and while the band comes forth with some hard music and tight arrangements, all I hear from Otep here is a revision of the Coal Chamber, Clutch, and other “hard rock” band sound made famous in the mid nineties. “Eet The Children” may have a lot of screaming, but it will not be the next big track for Otep. “Crooked Spoons” continues taking wholesale from music from about a decade previous. This time, the drumming from Fear Factory is linked with the gothic imagery of late Smashing Pumpkins and middle-era Manson. Continue reading “Otep – The Ascension”