Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Placebo - Battle for the Sun

Placebo has recently released their sixth studio album, entitled Battle for the Sun, which is the first to feature new drummer Steve Forrest (the guy on the left there), after the departure of previous drummer Steve Hewitt. So it seems kind of strange to be reviewing a Placebo record, namely because Placebo lost a lot of steam in the late ninties and didn't make a record I actually enjoyed until 2006's Meds. I was a little weary about giving this album a spin, and while it's certainly not their best work, in the end I was glad that I decided to take the chance. This new album is definitely heavier than their previous album, and even features some new instruments, most notably being a full out horn section, which for the most part, serve to bolster the songs they are utilized on. The lyrics are somewhat lacking, as frontman Brian Molko tends to forego lyrical cohesion in favor of rhyming every couplet. Other than that, the album isn't all that bad, however there are bands similar to Placebo that are doing it bigger and better. In any case, check out the mp3 below of the first single from Placebo's Battle for the Sun.

Placebo - For What It's Worth

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bloc Party - One More Chance

If there is one thing that I can say that is truly great about Bloc Party is that they never seem to be interested in taking a break. They constantly release material to satiate their clamoring fans hunger for more, and this summer marks a brand new Bloc Party track, entitled "One More Chance", a quick tempoed, somewhat claustrophobic song that showcases the boys lyrical stagnation, something that is blatantly obvious when Kele earnestly sings, "This time things will be different/and you're going to see" one cant' help but think that the boys from the Bloc are singing to their fans, pleading with them to give them another chance, in a possible effort to unite the two camps of Bloc Party fans...those who denounce their newer work in favor of more Silent Alarm-esque material, and those who praise Bloc Party for constantly changing musical directions. I can't really say that the new track is is more in the same vain as Intimacy, it certainly showcases the boys' flair for synths and drum machines, however the track itself really hits its emotional and sonic impact as Russell's crunchy, spastic guitar work accents the second half of the song. While it's true that the rollicking keyboard lead provides the hook, it is the return to the guitars that once crafted (arguably) one of the best debut albums in recent history, that truly carry the song, however subtle they may be. That being said, the song is catchy, and would be equally suited to be playing at a club or at a trendy hipster art gallery or something. Bloc Party is doing what they do best, and that is making quality music that constantly evolves. We have to give them credit for that.

mp3: Bloc Party - One More Chance

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Little Boots

The hot blonde featured above is none other than the delightful British electropop artist known as Little Boots. Formerly of the dancepop group Dead Disco, this 25 year old has since gone solo and chosen the moniker Little Boots after watching the movie Caligula (Caligula in Latin translates to "Little Boot"). She is the only artist to have been featured on Later...with Jools Holland twice prior to releasing an album, which is fairly impressive. Being familiar with her work with Dead Disco, I was curious to see if Little Boots (aka Victoria Hesketh) would continue to the same vain of crunchy guitar riffs surrounded by swirling electronic accents, and while I haven't heard a ton of Little Boots' material, I can safetly say that the sound is a little poppier, but still incredibly accessible and fun. One of the coolest things about Little Boots, beside being incredibly talented and sexy, is the fact that she plays the incredibly cool Tenori-on, a new electronic instrument out of Japan that I can't even possibly begin to explain (check the Little Boots YouTube videos below), and the Stylophone, which I think I am going to purchase soon. Anyway, I have a couple of mp3's below from her Dead Disco days, and as far as her new work goes as Little Boots, check out the youTube videos below, you will not be disappointed.

Dead Disco - Automatic
Dead Disco - The Treatment

Little Boots - Meddle (1st single) on Later...with Jools Holland

Little Boots - Ready for the Floor (Hot Chip cover, awesome use of the Tenori-on)