Gallows – Orchestra of Wolves

Gallows – Orchestra of Wolves / 2007 Epitaph / 15 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/gallows / http://www.epitaph.com /

Gallows play a brand of hardcore metal that goes into the style of acts like Men’s Recovery Project and Agoraphobic Nosebleed at times. However, during tracks like “Kill The Rhythm” and “Come Firendly Bombs”, the band create a much more approachable sound than any of those two acts. This means that during a “Come Friendly Bombs”, individuals can easily understand why the band arranges things the way they do, and they can even understand what the hell is being said. Hell, during “Come Friendly Bombs”, the band takes on a style that sounds more later Corrosion of Conformity than Job For A Cowboy. Continue reading “Gallows – Orchestra of Wolves”

The Electric Soft Parade – No Need To Be Down-Hearted

The Electric Soft Parade – No Need To Be Down-Hearted / 2007 Better Looking / 12 Tracks /http://www.electricsoftparade.com /

The Electric Soft Parade plays a very soft, looking-back style of rock during their “No Need To Be Down-Hearted”. This is moderated by the inclusion of a nineties alternative sensibility and a current electronic fuzz that makes a song like “Life in the Backseat” approachable by all. The band moves from the lighter sounds of “Like in the Backseat” to something that blends a darker style with something that is more carnival-esque. The dreamy vocals are changed slightly, from the earlier track to something strung-out and definitely Scott Weiland-esque. Continue reading “The Electric Soft Parade – No Need To Be Down-Hearted”

Yoko – Open Your Box

Yoko – Open Your Box / 2007 Astralwerks / 14 Tracks / http://www.astralwerks.com/ono /

Pretty much anyone that is into music will remember who Yoko Ono is. But, like me, I had no clue what music ey was currently making for an album like “Open Your Box”. The tracks on here are all remixes of Ono’s work, from dance stars as storied as Basement Jaxx, Felix Da Housecat, Pet Shop Boys, and DJ Dan. Despite the fact that these songs are all remixed by different artists, Ono’s vocals act as the glue that makes this into a fairly coherent disc. Some of the tracks will never make it to the dance floors (especially a song that uses some form of screeching, as “Everyman Everywoman” does). Other tracks do not do much in the way of change up the original Ono song besides adding a dance beat to it (such as Felix Da Housecat’s version of “Walking on Thin Ice”).

However, there are quite a few tracks on “Open Your Box” that will stand up to repeat listens. These songs include the very Spartan and art house sound of “Give Me Something” that is remixed by Morel. This track literally sounds like what would be present during an art installation, and the spectral-sounding vocals during the track are qualitatively different from anything else that is on this album. The only problem that I have with this album is the fact that it seems to be a cobbled together collection of tacks from the singles that Ono has released. Thus, a track like “Walking On Thin Ice” is repeated three times on this disc (with versions done by Felix Da Housecat, Pet Shop Boys, and Danny Tenaglia). I understand that some of the singles have had a number of different versions done, but I would rather hear some other tracks on this disc.

Luckily, beyond that track and “Everyman Everywoman (done by both Basement Jaxx and Murk), there are a number of different songs on this disc. Yoko Ono has had a long history in music, and these remixes make for an interesting album. I would have to say that this album should be only the largest fans of Ono, or are those people that absolutely love dance remixes of popular songs. Otherwise, just pick up another (studio) Ono album and listen to that. I know that I will have to give Ono another listen or two when ey comes out with a new album because of this album, so there is some use in showing individuals this album.

Top Tracks: Will I (John Creamer & Stephan K), Kiss Kiss Kiss (Superchumbo)

Rating: 6.0/10

The Pipettes – Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me

The Pipettes – Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me / 2007 Memphis / 4 Tracks / http://www.thepipettes.co.uk / http://www.islandrecords.com /

This British act is definitely copping style off of the sixties girl group acts, as well as those artists that followed in the same general style. This EP starts out with the really fifties-sounding title track, with a little bit of Donnas and Sounds thrown into the mix. The track seems a little distant to individuals, which means that the instrumentation takes center stage while the vocals are shunted to the back. For a track in this style, the vocals should be front and center. Continue reading “The Pipettes – Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me”

The Orangeburg Massacre – Moorea

The Orangeburg Massacre – Moorea / 2007 Pluto / 11 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/orangeburgamassacre / http://www.plutorecords.com /

Often time, I have to look and see what the website of a band is by going on Google and plugging in their name. I find interesting things sometimes: apparently, the band is named after an event that turned bloody after being a nonviolent protest at the only bowling alley in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Apparently, three students were killed and twenty-seven others were injured. The band captures some of the chaos and horror of this event for their work on “Moorea”. The band plays a brand of hardcore that has confident guitars and quick arrangements, but the band’s efforts do not shine much during the CD’s opening tracks. Continue reading “The Orangeburg Massacre – Moorea”

Steve Bertrand – Pain Is A Megaphone

Steve Bertrand – Pain Is A Megaphone / 2007 Icon MES / 9 Tracks / http://www.stevebertand.com /

Steve Bertrand starts off “Pain Is A Megaphone” in a pop-rock way. The first track on the CD is “The Last Mile Is The Longest”, and it shows influences as wide as Bon Jovi, Matchbox 20, Semisonic, and Bryan Adams. Most times  on an album it feels as if the music and the vocals have two different sets of influences, but “Pain Is A Megaphone” feels as if the music and vocals are working together to make a more cohesive album. “The Last Mile Is The Longest” is the first track, and it immediately shows listeners that Bertrand is capable of being a major player on radio rotation. The next track, “In The Dreaming”, starts with those same fuzzy guitars and clear arrangements that were present on “The Last Mile”, but allow the rest of the band to rest a little while Bertrand’s vocals take the major part of the track. Continue reading “Steve Bertrand – Pain Is A Megaphone”

Sherwood – A Different Light

Sherwood – A Different Light / 2007 Myspace / 13 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/sherwood / http:/www.myspace.com/myspacerecords /

Myspace Records is finally getting some energy to them, with the release of Sherwood’s “A Different Light’. The Disc itself starts out with “Song In My Head”, and “Song In My head” is a track that gradually gains energy after a slower, quiet start. The band still feels restrained during the track, so hopefully what has happened it that the band has felt jitters and will get into their full emo glory. The band is able to have a sound similar to acts like Yellowcard and Simple Plan, but “Song In My Head” does not seem to showcase their abilities as much as it could. Continue reading “Sherwood – A Different Light”

Against Me! – New Wave

Against Me! – New Wave / 2007 Sire / 10 Tracks / http://www.againstme.net / http://www.sirerecords.com /

Long time individuals know that I’ve had a relationship (or at least feelings, since I’ve only met them once) with Against Me! for quite a few years. I loved the work that they did on the destroyed full-length album and the “Crime” EP. I still liked their work with “Reinventing Axl Rose”, but the band seemed to fall on hard times with “Searching for a Former Clarity” and “As The Eternal Cowboy”. However, “White People For Peace” is a solid track and an interesting, if not a little strange, video. I thought I’d give “New Wave” a chance, even though producer Bruce Vig (who did Nirvana’s “Nevermind”) may just do to the band what Bob Rock did to Metallica (made them suck badly). Continue reading “Against Me! – New Wave”

V/A – Distortion on the Dance Floor

V/A – Distortion on the Dance Floor / 2007 Universal / 13 Tracks / http://www.toucancove.com /

Josh Harris is the individual that mixed up this compilation, which features tracks by The Killers, Chicane, Tom Jones, John Digweed, Saving Jane, and a few other acts. I was not familiar with Josh Harris up to this point, but individuals that religiously read the Billboard dance charts may remember eir. This is because a remix that ey did, of Georgie Porgie’s “Sunshine” occupied the top spot in 2005. Along the way, Harris has remixed the Backstreet Boys, Brandy, Kelly Clarkson, Hilary Duff, Korn, Lil Kim, and Ne-Yo. Continue reading “V/A – Distortion on the Dance Floor”

Les Hatepinks – Tete Malade/Sick in the Head

Les Hatepinks – Tete Malade/Sick in the Head / 2007 TKO / 7 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/leshatepinks /

Les Hatepinks may be the most well known of punk bands coming from France in the current period. Speaking as an American, they may just be the most famous French band that I know of currently. This EP starts out with “Sexual Liberation is For Animals”, and it shows that the band is very influenced by a mixture of the early seventies punk style (Ramones, MC5, and Dictators) with a more current streetpunk style. Continue reading “Les Hatepinks – Tete Malade/Sick in the Head”