Sunday, December 8, 2013

Weekend Music Roundup

This week I decided to track down some albums that have been on my wishlist for years in some cases. I'm a very loyal listener. When a band makes an album that I really like, I will usually give every album they make afterwards a chance, within limits of course. A string of several bad records is a sure way to get bumped. The most difficult part of being a loyal listener is when a band falls into obscurity and it becomes nearly impossible to get a hold of their newest release. I've recently been using Xbox Music and have been very impressed with the scope of their catalog, and the ability to add to your collection for constant access. So I went back to find some things I'd been on the hunt for and as a result, it has been a very satisfactory week of music pleasure. Enjoy

Peter Murphy's Carver Combo - Let The Fire In: Five years ago one of my favorite albums was the debut from this Stockholm band. Seven years later, the follow-up to "One Sin Between Me and the Lord" was released and I finally got to listen to it this week. As with most Scandinavian indie bands, there's a permeating gloom that weaves through the music that makes everything sound like haunted Dicken's era street performers washed up on the shores of time. The five years were well spent as this is a superior album, which is saying something considering the other was fantastic. "Rapture Girl," "We Are the Boys," "Let the Fire In," and "Black Crow" are outstanding tracks among a fully solid listing. For fans of Madrugada, Johnassi, or Kaizers Orchestra.

Lungfish - Necrophones: Released in 2000, this is the Baltimore post-hardcore band's ninth album with Discord records. In the '90's this was one of my favorite bands, and I religiously purchased each new album. In recent years, I've been trying to catch up on the ones I missed. This is the first of the final 3 albums from the past decade. By this time they had morphed from the traditional post-hardcore sound to something more hymn based. There has always been a spiritual side to their sound, and it comes through heavily on this album that feels freak-folk inspired. A very solid album, like all of their albums.

The Sixth Great Lake - Sunday Bridge: In 2001 this Brooklyn indie folk band released their debut album on the great Kindercore label. As a member of the Elephant 6 collective, I was all over that album, and it was a true gem.  This record, their only other album, was only released on vinyl in 2003 and was very hard to find, though I've tried many times. This week I finally got to listen to it, and it's equally as compelling as their first. They have a country folk feel, much like later day Decemberists and rooted in the quieter side of the Grateful Dead. "The Saint," "House of Cards," and "Twenty-Three Songs" are standouts.

The Natural History - People That I Meet: This Brooklyn band broke onto the scene in 2002 with the release of their phenomenal self-titled debut EP. It was five songs of pure brilliance that never managed to get farther than the city clubs. They followed it up the next year with a full-length album "Beat Beat Heartbeat," which while solid, contained the songs from the EP and only a few new ones, hardly enough to keep excitement going in the city that never sleeps. They disbanded two years later, yet this self-released album showed up in 2006. I'd been looking for it for years, and finally was able to get to listen to it this week. While it lacks the furious impact that the first EP had on me, this is very good indie rock record that really fits the sounds coming out of the city at that time.
L.A. Guns - L.A. Guns: When I got my first CD player in 1988, this was the first CD I ever bought, and I still have it. That didn't stop me from snatching up an original vinyl a few months back at a record fair. I've always held firm that other than "Appetite for Destruction," this is the best glam rock album to come out of L.A. in the mid-80's. Given that the bands both bloomed from the same root, Hollywood Rose, it's not surprising that this has the same sleazy attitude as early GNR. Every song on here is top quality and I've thoroughly enjoyed spinning the fuzzy warbles and rocking out.

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