Saturday, May 27, 2017

Weekend Music Roundup

It's not only the weekend, but it's a long one! This week I ramble about some highly anticipated albums in my world. I also found a few surprises, and an old favorite reacquired on vinyl. There's a lot of different genres on this list, which is perfect for exploring during the extra day. Personally, I'm going to spend the weekend listening to old favorites, but that's just me. Do as I say, not as I do. Enjoy the holiday and I'll see you back here next week.

At the Drive-In - in•ter a•li•a: It's been 17 years since the El-Paso post-hardcore band's last album, which may be a little misleading since Omar and Cedric had a Mars Volta career in that time, which was actually a more successful band. They also collaborated on 2014's Antemasque, which was also fantastic. To say I've been looking forward to this is an understatement. To say it lived up to expectations is also one. WOW! They picked up right where they left off with a burst of intense rock that begins with track one and doesn't quit. This is a definite must for fans of any three projects. 

Kasabian - For Crying Out Loud: The UK indie band continues it's trend of three years between releases with their sixth album. In the early days of Kasabian, I was a big supporter, and while the last two albums have been a bit of a letdown, I'm still a supporter. Unfortunately, this release continues the downward trend. The exciting thing about the band's first three albums was the sense of danger that was infused in their music. That was even there on the last album, "Bumblebee" is a great example of that. That seems to be lacking here. Including a second live disc on the deluxe edition is perhaps the worst choice because listening to that afterward, it just reminded me of what was missing on here. Still some quality tracks, "Comeback Kid," "Sixteen Blocks," and "All Through the Night" were my personal favorites. 

Dead Moon - Defiance: I still can't figure out how I missed the Portland garage punk band from the '90s back in their heyday, but they never really made it in NYC. I discovered their work only a few weeks back, but they've become one of my latest obsessions. I recently picked up this 1990 record, their third album. It opens with a brilliant cover of The Kinks "Milk Cow Blues" that pulls you right in. It continues on with a collection of perfect garage sounding punk that reminds me of Urge Overkill, but more raw. This is a band that would have been HUGE had they come about ten years later. 

Nektar - Remember the Future: This is fourth album released by the German space rock band back in '73. It's easy to compare this to Pink Floyd, especially to David Gilmour work in Floyd, but it's also quite different. It's definitely more prog rock than Floyd and reminds me a bit of Kansas in that way. Consisting of two tracks, one for each album side, this is an epic prog concept record with moments of great joy. Probably not essential, but fans of prog rock will certainly dig on it.

Halasan Bazar - Burns: The fourth album from the Danish psychedelic folk band was my surprise listen for this week. Knowing nothing about them, I took a chance on this one because I found the cover appealing and was rewarded with one of the most compelling records of the year so far. In the style of classic Brian Jonestown Massacre, this is psych folk with roots in 60's psych pop. "Freak," "Get Sick and Die," "Burns My Mind," and "Stretching Out" are standouts on a fantastic album.

Scala - Beauty Nowhere: Released in '96, this is the stunning debut from London electronic band, and has been one of my favorites since the day it came out. I was really in trip-hop and getting blasted back then and this album help illustrate my imagination. I recently picked up a copy on vinyl because I knew that it wouldn't be long before it became something that I wouldn't find anymore. Oddly, I paid less for the original vinyl than I paid for the import CD when it came out. This is like a time capsule for the mid-90s, one that is exciting to partake in again and again.

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