April 22, 2009

Mini Reviews Part 3

Artist - Bat For Lashes
Title - Two Suns
Hometown - UK
Label - Astralwerks
Street Date - Now
RIYL - Kate Bush, Scott Walker, Fever Ray
The Hits - Glass, Sleep Alone, Moon and Moon, Siren Sing, The Big Sleep
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Strong
Mini Review - No sophomore slump here, Natasha Khan delivers a potent modern day take on Kate Bush... spinning musical tales so epic, mystical, and stunning that the legendary Scott Walker found her worthy enough to make an appearance by closing out the record with her. Light on percussion, big on piano / keyboard – the star here is still the vocals which haunt and cast a spell with each new song.

Artist - Matteah Baim
Title - Laughing Boy
Hometown - NYC
Label - Dicristina Stair
Street Date - Now
RIYL - Metallic Falcons, arty girls who would shun you at bars and don't go to the parties you go to, CocoRosie, Nico
The Hits - I didn't pull anything off this record after reviewing it for the station for my own personal enjoyment.
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Light
Mini Review- One half of the duo Metallic Falcons with Sierra Casady of CocoRosie – this performance artist gone solo singer offers us her second album. Psychedelic landscapes are painted with strings, keyboards and layers of her hushed vocals – like a more whimsical but no more melodic Nico. Highlighting the tracks of just tambourine or someone whistling, her experiments often fall flat but buried between the experimental leanings are some moments of greatness. The problem is most people won’t have the patience to find them.

Artist - Metric
Title - Fantasies
Hometown - The Great White North
Label - Last Gang Records
Street Date - April 14th 2009
RIYL - Ladytron, Stars, Emily Haines
The Hits - Collect Call if I had to pick one
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Light
Mini Review - Its frustrating to me to have such a gifted singer buried under mediocre lyrics and super commercial sounding indie rock dance pop songs that could have just as easily been handed over to Madonna. Heavily produced and studio perfect, what is left behind is a painfully well executed record without any of the passion. Ladytron, Stars, or Feist. Sure they are all part of the same peer group but the difference is Metric has cashed in the grit and went mainstream to the point of car commercial banal.

Artist - The Decemberists
Title - The Hazards of Love
Hometown - Portland, OR
Label - Capital
Street Date - Now
RIYL - The Decemberists, heavy handed narrative tales, prop-rock
The Hits - A Bower Scene, Isn't it a Lovely Night, The Abduction of Margaret, The Queen's Rebuke, Margaret in Captivity
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Strong
Mini Review - : A concept album. There I said it. Consider yourself warned. Those three words are enough to scare away most rock fans but for you long time Decemberists fans you will be faced with a seriously dense listen and probably their heaviest record to date all trapped within the walls of a tight narrative. It is difficult to just pull tracks as this record is really a book filled with chapters that fall short when removed from the bigger picture. One last thing – this sounded like Trail of the Dead performing Shakespeare. Cool?

Artist - Peter Bjorn and John
Title - Living Thing
Hometown - Sweden
Label - AG / Star
Street Date - Now
RIYL - Being let down in a big way
The Hits - and an 's' to hit
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Light
Mini Review - I don’t know what to say other than this might be my first big disappointment of the year. I LOVED PBJ up until now, especially their last release but Living Thing is a flat out failure. Zero hooks, no personality to be found, these new songs come across with the unfinished feel of demos. Let me put it this way, it was nearly impossible to pick songs I TRULY recommend. Blargh, what a bummer.

Artist - Richard Swift
Title - The Atlantic Ocean
Hometown - Cali
Label - Secretly Canadian
Street Date - Now
RIYL- See review
The Hits - Meh.
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Moderate
Mini Review - Jaunty light hearted piano ballads are the norm on Richard’s Swifts 4th release. M Ward lite anyone? Jamie Lidell on a carousel?


  1. i feel like i predicted that this would happen, no?

  2. about peter bjorn and john