Slide Show Baby – S/T

Slide Show Baby – S/T / 2007 Moraiath / 11 Tracks / http://www.slideshowbaby.com /

“Long Long Road” is a track that starts with splashy drums. That’s a good thing. However, it sounds like the violin that is present during points of this track is created in Cakewalk and pandered as real. While I have no problem with how they have created the lines (real or through a program), it just has a feel that is not completely convincing. This is what happened at points during the Bloody Irish Boys album, but Slide Show Baby’s violin sounds even less realistic than did the BIB’s. Continue reading “Slide Show Baby – S/T”

The Morning Pages – The Company You Keep

The Morning Pages – The Company You Keep / 2007 Zealous / 6 Tracks / http://www.themorningpages.com /

For some reason, the first band I think of when I listen to The Morning Pages has to be Led Zeppelin. The music that is present on “The Company You Keep” is couched in an earlier style of rock. The vocals are the focal point of a track like “It Makes Me Cry”, but this does not mean that the instruments bend over completely. Rather, the instruments contribute to the full sound of the band. However much the band sounds as if they are from a different time period, the band’s ability as musicians is enough to make the compositions on “The Company You Keep” sound vibrant, popping freshly in listeners’ ears. Continue reading “The Morning Pages – The Company You Keep”

Moneybrother – They’re Building Walls Around Us

Moneybrother  – They’re Building Walls Around Us / 2006 Sabot / 6 Tracks / http://www.moneybrother.net / http://www.sabotproductions.net /

I never had the chance to hear anything from Moneybrother’s last outfit, Monster. This Swedish rocker starts off “They’re Building Walls Around Us” with a track that is heavily influenced by the disco rock of the seventies. However, “They’re Building Walls Around Us” is a track that has a vitality that shines through to the current; this is heard most during the chorus, when a few extra voices interject at all the right times. Continue reading “Moneybrother – They’re Building Walls Around Us”

V/A – Gypsy Groove

V/A – Gypsy Groove / 2007 Putomayo Grooves / 11 Tracks / http://www.putumayo.com /

I must admit, before sticking in “Gypsy Groove” to my CD player, I had not hear anything from the dance scenes present in Eastern Europe, beyond what was played during earlier Eurovision song contests. Even then, these tracks were ones that I did not pay much in the way of attention to. However, with !DelaDap’s “Zsa Manca”, I regret not giving this genre a little more time. “Zsa Manca” is a track that blends new and traditional styles to make a vibrant and vital dance track, something that is chill while still having a quick beat. Continue reading “V/A – Gypsy Groove”

Paul McCartney – Memory’s Almost Full

Paul McCartney – Memory’s Almost Full / 2007 MPI / 13 Tracks / http://www.paulmccartney.com /

Obviously, this is the new album by Paul McCartney of the Beatles. Individuals should know eir as a former member of the Beatles and Wings, and for being a prolific solo artist in eir own right. However, this is the first time as a music reviewer that I have had a chance to hear McCartney’s work when it was still new (in a reviewing format, that is). The first track on the disc is “Dance Tonight”, and it is a fairly simple track, with little more than a guitar line and a percussive line providing the backdrop for McCartney. Continue reading “Paul McCartney – Memory’s Almost Full”

The Beach Boys – The Warmth of the Sun

The Beach Boys – The Warmth of the Sun / 2007 EMP / 28 Tracks / http://www.emicap.com /

The Beach Boys are one of the best known pop-rock bands, one of the earliest boy bands (as opposed to earlier teen idols). This disc features twenty-eight different tracks by The Beach Boys, and can be described as a definitive greatest hits collection. This is because the sequence and substance of the album was determined by the Beach Boys themselves. If there could be a better authority on what songs should be on a Beach Boys greatest hits, the band themselves would have to be it. One thing that really becomes evident to me has to be the short duration of the tracks on the disc. Continue reading “The Beach Boys – The Warmth of the Sun”

Matteah Baim – Death of the Sun

Matteah Baim – Death of the Sun / 2007 Dicristina / 9 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/matteahbaim / http://dicristinarecords.blogspot.com /

Matteah Baim is holding back tons during eir first track of “Death of the Sun”, “River”. The set of vocals that ey contributes finally takes a focal point at near the two minute mark. What seems to be the focal point before that is the constraints given the disc by the recording. What is present on all of the tracks of “Death of the Sun” is an ambient buzz that makes Baim’s tracks all sound as if they were coming off of an old record. It provides some extra context to Baim’s tracks, and works at times like another instrument. Track titles and runtimes are not essential to Baim, despite the fact that they are present on this album. For example, there are two distinct “tracks” in “River”. Continue reading “Matteah Baim – Death of the Sun”

Rasputina – Oh Perilous World

Rasputina – Oh Perilous World / 2007 Filthy Bonnet Co / 12 Tracks / http://www.rasputina.com

The last time I heard of Rasputina, ey was pandering an album because it had a collaboration with Marilyn Manson on it. That was quite a few years ago, but I remembered that when I got a copy of eir latest album, “Oh Perilous World”, for review in the magazine. The compositions on this album are rock oriented with just a touch of goth influence at points. “Choose Me For Champion” is a track that could easily make it to alternative rock radio, with smoothed out instrumental compositions and a melodramatic set of vocals that are almost humorous at points. Continue reading “Rasputina – Oh Perilous World”

Bitter Bitter Weeks – Peace is Burning

Bitter Bitter Weeks – Peace is Burning / 2007 High Two / 10 Tracks /http://www.minerstreet.com/bbw / http://www.hightwo.com /

The Bitter Bitter Weeks sound a lot like The La’s during the first track to their “Peace Is Burning”, “Once and for all”. This means that the vocals are the dreamiest part of the band even as the instrumentation provide a little more tangible thing for these vocals to latch onto. The track is strong in its’ own right, but it does not represent a hit for the Bitter Bitter Weeks. The second track on this disc is “Writing Letter”, and the slightly more driven instrumentation pushes the lead vocals to something a little more strong than was the case during “Once and for all”. Continue reading “Bitter Bitter Weeks – Peace is Burning”

Ben Jelen – Ex Sensitive

Ben Jelen – Ex Sensitive / 2007 Custard / 13 Tracks / http://www.benjelen.com / http://www.custardrecords.com /

Ben Jelen starts off “Ex Sensitive” with a very hopeful brand of pop-rock music that is more influenced by eir vocals at the onset than even with the shifting, shambling beat that backs ey up during “Pulse”. Taken in toto, Jelen opens up this disc in a very solid way. There may be hints of U2 present in this introductory track, but Jelen is much more diverse than that, taking The Corrs, The Verve, and countless other earlier acts into consideration. Regardless, “Pulse” is a strong track and is the perfect introduction to listeners. “Where Do We Go” is more of the same, but seems to have a sheen about it that defies categorization. Continue reading “Ben Jelen – Ex Sensitive”