The Toasters – One More Bullet

The Toasters – One More Bullet / 2007 Stomp / 12 Tracks / http://www.toasters.org / http://www.stomprecords.com/

The Toasters have been around for a quarter-century. They were one of the most influential acts in the creation of the third wave of ska music which peaked around 1996. Surprisingly enough, The Toasters are still around while the rest of the acts latter era have broken up or have decreased in importance. Feeling bad for the casualties of the third wave, The Toasters have included a number of members from these bands. For this album, this includes members of Mephiskaphales, Slackers, and Daze of Dawn. Continue reading “The Toasters – One More Bullet”

OST: Ocean’s Thirteen

OST: Ocean’s Thirteen / 2007 Warner Bros / 20 Tracks / http://oceans13.warnerbros.com / http://www.warnerbros.com /

I have not had a chance to see any of the newer “Ocean’s” movies, but I can generally guess what the movies are able. A group of people (however many are determined by the title of the movie, typically) are trying to rip off a casino. One can guess that the music for a movie of that type will largely look back to the lounge and Elvis-like styles of music. David Holmes is the composer of the music to this movie (Actually, ey has been responsible for the scores for the last two Ocean’s movies). There seems to be more of a homage with this score to the classic James Bond movie, “Diamonds Are Forever”. Continue reading “OST: Ocean’s Thirteen”

Plan B – Who Needs Actions When You Got Words

Plan B – Who Needs Actions When You Got Words / 2007 Warner / 14 Tracks / http://www.time4planb.co.uk /

The United Kingdom comes up with the most interesting rappers. Since Goldie Looking Chain and The Streets, the country has been creating notable changes to the style that still maintain a very catchy and radio-friendly song. “Who Needs Actions When You Got Words” starts out with “Kidz”, and while the backing beat does not change up much throughout the full length of the track, the flow titillates and keeps individuals listening in. “Sick 2 Def” has an acoustic guitar operate as the backing beat, while the flow mixes equal parts Streets with Eyedea. Continue reading “Plan B – Who Needs Actions When You Got Words”

Strength Behind Tears – Bridges Between Us

Strength Behind Tears – Bridges Between Us / 2007 Basement / 10 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/sbt /

Strength Behind Tears is a band that I have never heard before conducting this review, but apparently they have went on a national tour and have played with acts like Scars of Tomorrow, Undying, If Hope Dies, and As Hope Dies. “November Tenth” is the opening track on the disc, and it shows Strength Behind Tears as an act that fits in well to the current conception of hardcore. That means that metal along the veins of Coal Chamber and early Deftones mix with more classical metal and death metal to make something newer and more vibrant. Continue reading “Strength Behind Tears – Bridges Between Us”

LKN – Postulate II

LKN – Postulate II / 2007 Greyday / 13 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/lkn / http://www.greydayproductions.com /

About a year and a third ago, I reviewed the predecessor to “Postulate II”, which as some people could guess, was called “Postulate I”. I ultimately loved the album, and likened LKN’s sound to a Patti Smith or other similar artists. This is LKNs new album, and the disc starts out with the same instrumentally heavy compositions. Even if LKN chose to make the album fully instrumental, the talent shown by the arrangements on the album is enough to lock listeners in for the entirety of the disc. The vocals put on a track like “On My Back In The June Night” are just that little extra bit to put things over the top and make this a full album. The multiple layers of music that are present in “Postulate II” easily eclipse the output of an Interpol or an At The Drive-In, while still having some semblance of pop influence to drive the tracks up the charts. Continue reading “LKN – Postulate II”

ALO – Roses and Clover

ALO – Roses and Clover / 2007 Brushfire / 10 Tracks / http://www.brushfirerecords.com /

This is the fourth album by ALO. I was not familiar with the act before reviewing this album. The disc starts off with “Maria”, and the song feels as if the Counting Crows and Rusted Root united with the seventies pop stars. This is to say, there is a high amount of focus on the instrumentation on the disc, while the vocals still maintain an important role on the disc. There are elements of jam bands present throughout the entirety of “Roses and Clover”, but the insistence on a more definite structure on the disc shows a break with the style. Continue reading “ALO – Roses and Clover”

My American Heart – Hiding Inside The Horrible Weather

My American Heart – Hiding Inside The Horrible Weather / 2007 Warcon / 11 Tracks / http://www.myamericanheartrock.com / http://www.warconent.com /

My American Heart I’ve heard of before, but I’ve never had the chance to hear until now. “Hiding Inside The Horrible Weather” shows that the band is definitely capable enough to craft a rock sound that has more than its’ fair share of emo influence to it. The tracks on “Hiding” are radio-friendly, but have some semblance of interesting arrangements to them. “Speak Low If You Speak Love” is the band’s first real single-worthy track of the disc. Continue reading “My American Heart – Hiding Inside The Horrible Weather”

Monstrance – S/T

Monstrance – S/T / 2007 Ape / 12 Tracks / http://www.apehouse.prevuz.com / Reviewed 24 June 2007

Two former members of XTC are in this act. Obviously, the band is linked to Andy Partridge, but former XTC keyboardist Barry Andrews is an integral part of this act. Andrews was in the band Shriekback with the third member of Monstrance, Martyn Baker. This is a two-CD set, and shows the love for experimental music showcased by all of the members of the band. Thus, the disc starts out with “I Lovely Cosmonaut”, and it does not have much in the way of overarching frameworks placed on it. Continue reading “Monstrance – S/T”

Steve Lieberman – Melancholia Falling

Steve Lieberman – Melancholia Falling / 2007 Self / 21 Tracks / http://www.gangstarabbi.com / Reviewed 23 June 2007

Steve Lieberman is pretty much the one constant that I have had in the last three or so years of reviewing. There is not a six or eight month stretch of time where I do not receive a Lieberman CD. One has to give eir kudos for sticking around after so many negative words. This CD looks to be different than past Lieberman albums in that there are only two covers on the disc, where Lieberman works on a Mark Knopfler (“Tunnel of Love”) and a Jesus and Mary Chain (“April Skies”) song. While the disc is ostensibly about Lieberman’s depression, one cannot hear any sort of sadness in the track called “Falling Into Sadness”. Continue reading “Steve Lieberman – Melancholia Falling”

Martians See Red – When All Seems Lost

Martians See Red – When All Seems Lost / 2007 Self / 6 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/martiansseered / Reviewed 24 June 2007

“Watercolor” is the first track on “When All Seems Lost”, and it blends together a number of disparate influences. This song links together The Beatles, Blink 182, Husker Du, The Replacements, and early Foo Fighters to make a radio-friendly rock track with teeth. For an introduction to the band, Martians See Red could not do any better. The track is sufficiently short so that the terse statements created by the band will not sound hackneyed in the later stage of the disc. “Channeling Aero” changes up the influences first put forth by Martians See Red on “Watercolor”, in that the deep end of the track is much more brooding and intricate. While the band still has the poppy, Weezer or Blink 182-like approach to the vocals, the bass and drums during the track are closer to a Tool or a System of a Down. “Channeling Aero” may not be as immediately ready for rock radio, but it does represent another strong track by Martians See Red. Continue reading “Martians See Red – When All Seems Lost”