no-cover

After a label switch (from Sony to Atlantic) and a three-year hiatus from studio recording that saw singer Jon Foreman testing the waters of solo work instead, Switchfoot has returned  renewed with Hello Hurricane – a reaffirming but more secular than spiritual document that bears the first marks of more mature work for the band. The difference between Hello Hurricane and all of the band's previous work is apparent from the opening rush of “Needle And Haystack Life.” No longer...

Like
196
0
Monday, 18 January 2010
no-cover

If The Vaselines had been slightly more accomplished on their instruments, if Arctic Monkeys didn’t take themselves so seriously, if The Fratellis had a better sense of humor, well, none of them could have been Los Campesinos – a band smart enough to write good, catchy songs, but also smart enough to laugh at themselves and not feel compelled to illustrate how damned clever they are at every opportunity. The closest approximation to the sonic joy that Los Campesinos! express...

Like
251
0
Sunday, 17 January 2010
no-cover

If you've ever been the monitor at a daycare center, you know that children are the closest things in creation to genuine perpetual motion machines. As they play, they have this awesome ability to move so quickly, excitedly and constantly but, if you watch, there will always be that one kid in the pack that stops, steps back, and watches the torrent of activity swirling around them as if from the eye of a hurricane. That image comes to mind...

Like
0
0
Sunday, 17 January 2010
no-cover

How unusual it is for a songwriter to jump from the beginning of a love affair or relationship to the spirit crushing failure and inevitable fallout of it with no notice afforded to or mention of the days of discovery and blissful moments in between. It seems like that would be an important detail wouldn't it? In order to best experience the bitter, shouldn't there be a sampling of the sweet – if only for contrast? Such a jump seems...

Like
0
0
Saturday, 16 January 2010
no-cover

How unusual it is for a songwriter to jump from the beginning of a love affair or relationship to the spirit crushing failure and inevitable fallout of it with no notice afforded to or mention of the days of discovery and blissful moments in between. It seems like that would be an important detail wouldn't it? In order to best experience the bitter, shouldn't there be a sampling of the sweet – if only for contrast? Such a jump seems...

Like
0
0
Saturday, 16 January 2010
no-cover

Every band hopes to have a successful career marked by great moments but, without a doubt, the first moment where the band is offered the chance to shine is one of the most exciting. Many onlookers would assume that moment comes when the band is asked to sign on the dotted line of a major label record contract but that's not true; a record contract is a legally binding document, it's business. That moment when a group is asked to...

Like
180
0
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
no-cover

Part of the deal with being a critic is you’re supposed to be somewhat impartial to the stuff you review. But I have to be honest: I was stoked to snatch the latest Vampire Weekend album, Contra, for review. Their first self-titled foray was an unexpected delight, a band out of the ether—and a friend’s generous use of “A Punk” in a video project. My only apprehension on writing this up was, would it meet expectations? Or, like oh so...

Like
0
0
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
no-cover

Given that heavy metal has remained an active genre now for over four decades, it's interesting to look at how the music has evolved over time. Compared with what came before it (Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and even Led Zeppelin are good examples), the music and guidelines for composing it have become ever wider as time as worn on and other sounds (punk, hardcore, pop, synth-pop, name it) have factored in. Simply said, metal has mutated significantly with the passage...

Like
160
0
Monday, 11 January 2010
no-cover

There’s something pretty special about seeing a band just as they approach their peak. You know, at a time before they become too refined and still have a little roughness. For Metallica, that time was when I saw them in 1986 on tour with Ozzy Osbourne, supporting the insanely good Master of Puppets album. It was during that period immediately before Cliff Burton, the band’s bassist, was killed in a tour bus accident while on the European leg of their...

Like
184
0
Wednesday, 06 January 2010
no-cover

Oh Dashboard, how many pre-teen break-ups did you nurse or nurture with your patent emo-shoegazer sound? With your grand total of five studio albums, half of which sported a sweet recorded-on-a-dime-store-tape deck sound, your mournful lyrics went after two moments consistently: the adrenaline and fear cocktail of working up the nerve to ask out the girl of your dreams, and the dismal blow of rejection right after. Does it keep you guys up at night? Knowing relationships destined to end...

Like
161
0
Wednesday, 06 January 2010