June 4, 2010

Mini Reviews

These were done for the radio station so they are small to fit on the cover of a CD. Maybe I am getting grumpier in my old age but I haven't fallen head over heels for a new release all year yet. Sure there is some good stuff but AMAZING? Not so much.

Artist: The Poison Control Center    
Title: Sad Sour Future
Label: Afternoon Records
Genre:  Indie Rawk   
Review: Somewhere between a yawn and what might be considered a slight smile is my reaction to PCC. They are they very definition of college rock, putting the sound of post puberty to a rock soundtrack while giving it their best Built To Spill (and is that a touch of Silkworm I hear?) go of it. I want to pat this record on the back and offer a kind “been there, done that"
Recommended tracks:1,4,5,8
FCC banned: N/A
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale:  light

Artist: Karen Elson    
Title: The Ghost Who Walks    
Label: XL
Genre: Alt-country
Review: One might be suspicious of a world class model gone musician no less one that is married to none other but the dark prince of rock Jack White but there is no need to raise your eyebrow here. This debut has some hefty big hitters helping her out (My Morning Jacket, Death Weather, Jack White) and the final product is country tinged ballads that aren’t too far from Mazzy Star in mood.
Recommended tracks: 1,8,5,9, 12
FCC banned: N/A
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale: Light to Medium

Artist: Jeremy Jay 
Title: Splash    
Label: K
Genre: Morrissey
Review:  I am learning that when a one sheet calls a songwriter “nostalgic” that is actually code for heavy on the reverb. I know a Morrissey fan when I hear when and what that equals in a recording artist is something that sounds an awful lot like Jens Lekman. Fans of jangle pop / twee, Slumberland, K, Sarah Records….this will make you want to grab your teddy bear off the bed and cut a rug. Who wants some candy? I do! 
Recommended tracks: 3,2,9
FCC banned: N/A
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale: medium

Artist: FM Belfast    
Title: How To Make Friends     Label: World  Champion
Genre: Electro pop   
Review:  Déjà vu. This record came out in 2008 but here it is again, an Icelandic boy / girl duo who whenever possible add members until their line up bulges to 6 members or more. If you ever wondered what The Knife would sound like if they weren’t cloaked in darkness and had a sense of humor, this is it.  
Recommended tracks: 4,2, 5 (cover)
FCC banned: 8
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale: medium

Artist: Twin Sister    
Title: Color Your Life    
Label: Infinite Best
Genre: Alternative   
Review:  Ever read a list of press clips that are glowing and then wonder if they were listening to the same record as you were? I am hearing fairly unmemorable female fronted dream pop with an occasional experimental bent. The band might love Stereolab and Bjork but none of that magic and spark lies in these songs. Track 6 shows some promise and is by far the most likable of tracks but all in all, there are 100s of bands who do this electro pop thing better.
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale: light
Recommended tracks: 6, 2
FCC Banned : N/A

Artist: Seth Swirsky    
Title: Watercolor Day    
Label: Grimble Records
Genre: Pop/Rock   
Review: Big Star, Sunshine 60s Pop, later XTC, Jellyfish, The Beatles, AM Gold Hits….the name of this record and beach themed art couldn’t be any more spot on. These are EZ breezy pop songs with complicated layers ala The Beach Boys. Seth is better known to be a songwriter to the stars but on his own, many of these songs are lovely cool pop gems. My only complaint is he really didn’t need to include so many songs.
Recommended tracks: 1-4, 10, 17
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale: medium
FCC Banned : N/A

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