Snatches of Pink – Love is Dead

Snatches of Pink – Love is Dead / 2007 Self / 15 Tracks / /

Snatches of Pink on their “Love is Dead” play a brand of sleaze rock that brings individuals back to the days of Spinal Tap and the New York Dolls. The lead vocals during “Rocks” (and extended to the whole of the disc) have more than a passing resemblance to those provided by Mike Ness (Social Distortion). “Rocks” is an interesting introduction to Snatches of Pink, but the instrumentation does not feel to be dynamic and interesting through the entirety of the track. Continue reading “Snatches of Pink – Love is Dead”

OST: Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof

OST: Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof / 2007 Warner Bros / 16 Tracks / / /

Everyone knows that this soundtrack is for the movie that was Quentin Tarantino’s part of Grindhouse, “Death Proof”. The tracks here feel like they are taken from an earlier period. The first track on this score is Jack Nitzche’s “The Last Race”. This track has the seventies orchestral heaviness present in droves, with cars speeding by as the background. Only two and a half minutes in duration, the track is integral for contributing to the score’s sound as a whole. Smith’s “Baby, It’s You” keeps the overall sound of the disc solid, although the track seems more like a late sixties song than a mid-seventies one. If one takes the track in the context of it being played a few years after it was released, or in that most of the Bond soundtracks used earlier styles, then the song works. Continue reading “OST: Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof”

Protest Hill – The City Echoes Our Hearts

Protest Hill – The City Echoes Our Hearts / 2007 Latest Flame / 11 Tracks / / /

Protest Hill plays a brand of indie-heavy pop-rock that is similar to the work of a Fray, Ben Folds, or Jack Johnson. “All That You Need” is the first track on “The City Echoes Our Hearts”, and it blends Tori Amos ‘s style of piano playing with bassy instrumentation and Bond soundtrack arrangements. The band is good at shifting their style, as “Killer’s Witt” is a song that looks back to the country-fied styles of Seven Mary Three and the Black Crowes for influences. The guitar present on this track will remind listeners of early Garth Brooks, while the vocals are a little more joyous than those put down from Thom Yorke (Radiohead). Continue reading “Protest Hill – The City Echoes Our Hearts”

Hotel Alexis – Goliath, I’m On Your Side

Hotel Alexis – Goliath, I’m On Your Side / 2006 Broken Sparrow / 14 Tracks / / /

There is little more to say about Hotel Alexis besides the fact that they play a brand of indie rock that has no time referent; tracks like “Soft Soft War” and “San Diego Backslide” paint a quiet yet nuanced picture of the band. “I Will Arrange for You to Fall II” allows the band’s instrumentation to shine the brightest, as the vocals are barely heard above a whisper during this song. In what seems to be a reversal of what is commonly heard on albums, the vocals that Hotel Alexis put forth act as highlighters for the instrumentation during this track. Continue reading “Hotel Alexis – Goliath, I’m On Your Side”

Gallows – Orchestra of Wolves

Gallows – Orchestra of Wolves / 2007 Epitaph / 15 Tracks / / /

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 / /

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 / /

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 / / /

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 / / /

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 / /

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”