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”

Sean Na Na – Family Trees or Cope We Must

Sean Na Na – Family Trees or Cope We Must / 2007 Dim Mak / 12 Tracks / http://www.seannana.com / http://www.dimmak.com /

Man, Sean Tillmann can do a lot of different styles. Sean is the mastermind behind Sean Na Na, and musicphiles may remember the name from the noisy rockers Calvin Krime. Couple Sean up with already-diverse Dim Mak, and individuals will definitely have an interesting album. “Family Trees or Cope We Must” is just another example of Sean’s ability and Dim Mak’s diversity, as the catchy style of “We’ve Been Here Before” links together The Rocket Summer, The Red Hot Valentines, and The Polyphonic Spree into a bouncy, twinkly type of indie rock that would not sound too terribly weird coming out of a pop radio station. Continue reading “Sean Na Na – Family Trees or Cope We Must”

No Hollywood Ending – Everybody’s Talking

No Hollywood Ending – Everybody’s Talking / 2007 Merovingian / 14 Tracks / http://www.merovingianmusic.com / http://www.nomilkrecords.com /

No Hollywood Ending starts their “Everybody’s Talking” with a very orchestral sound. The disc’s cover looks nothing like the heavy, earlier style of metal that the band plays. Despite the earlier metal (Iron Maiden, Emperor) that the band seems most influenced by, the act comes out on a track like “ATM” like a Cradle of Filth or slightly heavier Avenged Sevenfold. The harmony provided by the vocals acts in opposition to the rough-hewn instrumentation. Something that is common to both segments of No Hollywood Ending’s music on “Everybody’s Talking” is the solid arrangements that each enter into. The band may be providing listeners with hard and brutal music, but that does not mean that they will goofy when it comes to arranging their track. Continue reading “No Hollywood Ending – Everybody’s Talking”

Keke Wyatt – Ghetto Rose

Keke Wyatt – Ghetto Rose / 2007 TVT / 2 Tracks / http://www.umrg.com/artist.aspx?aid=473 / http://www.tvtrecords.com /

For those individuals that are not familiar with who Keke Wyatt is, all one needs to know that ey was a member of Destiny’s Child for a time, when they were still called Girl’s Tyme. Keke has done music on eir own for the last half-decade, and this track marks the first single off of eir next album, “Ghetto Rose”. With the upsurge in female R&B singers in the last few years, it seems to be a struggle for Wyatt to break out in a major way. Even eir last hit, “Nothing In This World”, cannot help eir; this track has to stand on its’ own. The track begins slowly, with the vocals taking over by the time that Wyatt gets to the hook. There is a lot of cohesion between Wyatt and Kelly Rowland, with “Ghetto Rose” seeming more like a B-side to “Stole” than anything. The track slowly grows on individuals until that time where the strong vocals of Wyatt actually show themselves as being impressive. The track does not go anywhere that other current R&B has not been, but the strong percussive beat, the multiple vocal layers, and song structure should be enough to sell a few copies of eir next album.

Rating: 6.0/10

V/A – Putumayo Presents A New Groove

V/A – Putumayo Presents A New Groove / 2007 Putumayo / 10 Tracks / http://www.putumayo.com /

Putumayo had a solid album on their hands with “Gypsy Groove”. That album was memorable because it blended together the traditional east European sound with a more current dance sound. This time, Putumayo seems to come out with a more normal type of dance mix. Normal is an ill-fitting word here, as the first track is Denmark’s Emo, with their “In the Back of the Car”. This track blends more chill and vibrant tracks to make something that breaks free of many of the constraints detractors of the genre are apt to place on dance music. Continue reading “V/A – Putumayo Presents A New Groove”