no-cover

Neko Case is having a party, and you get to listen in. While it’s not unusual to have collaborations on albums—this being her fifth—Case takes what usually is a get-together with a few friends and makes it an all-out reunion party. Joining her on her latest LP are not only her New Pornographer band mates, but also members of Calexico and The Sadies, not to mention a smattering of solo artists: M. Ward, Sarah Harmer and Lucy Wainright Roche. The...

Like
163
0
Monday, 23 March 2009
no-cover

An obsession with death is often a haunting and disturbing thing, but where White Lies are concerned, it’s a source of musical inspiration. From the very first strains of “Death,” you know you’re in for something big—the building synth beat escalating into an infectious guitar-studded refrain: “Yeah, this fear’s got a hold on me.” While the undeniable strength of “Death” can’t quite be touched by any of the disc’s other tracks, the English three-piece churn out To Lose My...

Like
181
0
Friday, 20 March 2009
no-cover

While it's inevitable for everyone, age is almost invariably least kind to metal bands. Because the music is so (some would say proudly) aggressive and the players that make it undergo such spectacular exertions making it, it shouldn't be surprising that the shelf life of the average group that indulges in the kamikaze sound of screaming youth and/or screaming out their demons night after night and record after record is significantly limited. The truth is that, after a while, metal...

Like
166
0
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
no-cover

Sometimes I just want to be entertained. As much as I love going to hot, cramped, shithole venues that reek of body odor and beer, and having my ears assaulted with screaming guitars and blood-curling screams of death, I admit that sometimes it's cool to hit a big arena show and just take in some good catchy metal. And that is exactly what I got with Avenged Sevenfold. As they hit the stage with "Critical Acclaim," the opening track of...

Like
181
0
Friday, 13 March 2009
no-cover

Some bands are just unable to hide when they haven't figured out how to articulate that thing which has captured their imagination and, as good as a record might be, the band simply sees it as another stepping stone in a vast work in progress. Don't get the wrong idea, that's not a slight or indictment, only an observation that, since first appearing from the asshes of hardcore staples Day And A Deathwish and In These Walls,  Attack In Black...

Like
147
0
Thursday, 12 March 2009
no-cover

It's raining in Pomona. The blocks around the Glass House are populated with shuttered businesses and craters where buildings once stood. One of my companions relates how another venue used to be right where a fenced-off hole now sits just across the street from the Glass House. If one were to believe in omens, this would be the sort of neighborhood to avoid, as though any minute artillery fire from Chino might swoop down and crash upon us. But then,...

Like
174
0
Thursday, 12 March 2009
no-cover

Over the last eleven years and five albums, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead has evolved from purveyors of the densest, most martially anthemic rock n' roll on the planet into thematic and delicately layered musical dramatists of a sort the world has never seen before. Released in 2005, Worlds Apart (their second album for Interscope) was the first and finest bowshot in the band's self-imposed redefinition of its parameters, but the real surprise was contained...

Like
165
0
Thursday, 12 March 2009
no-cover

Sometimes the most gratifying and exciting creative turns a band can make are not the big ones. Sometimes it is the tiny tweaks that crop up along the way – rather than the grandiose departures in form or style – that re-ignite the fire and end up rejuvenating a band because they offer a different angle for listeners to approach the group that not even their most rabid supporters had considered before. Those celebrations of the small – more than...

Like
0
0
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
no-cover

“Wait – what?! No.” Those three seemingly incoherent words will be the first that run through the minds of any long-time Soundgarden or Audioslave fan as “Part Of Me” – the lead-off track from Chris Cornell's new solo effort Scream – wallops them over the head with great big dance floor beats. “Wait,” you ask, suspiciously. “Dance floor? As in where Madonna confessed from a couple of years ago?” Yup. “That place Donna Summer, Abba, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears...

Like
171
0
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
no-cover

The word ‘one man band’ has the nasty habit of bringing to mind Dick Van Dyke a la Mary Poppins from 1964. Some guy in a pimped-out barbershop quartet suit with a drum strapped to his back, a harmonica strung across his face, and cymbals strapped somewhere I don’t even want to know about. It’s not a person seen often in the world of music, much less in the head-banging, hard-rocking land of punk/alternative metal. But here’s where former drummer...

Like
165
0
Tuesday, 10 March 2009