Sunday, July 17, 2005

Edz Cutz

So, i thought in order to build up a bigger picture of myself, i'd blog reviews of some of my favourite albums: (in no particular order)

Nirvana: Nevermind. I suppose a fairly obvious choice. For me it will always be the album that changed music history, and opened up a whole new genre. 'What is grunge' as Krist Novoselic used to ponder. Well, on this album, its all about poppy hooks, brilliantly disguised in distorted guitars and a real feeling of pointless, aimless rage. Something i could relate to a lot in my teenage years. This is why kids love this album, becuase its loud and angry. I'm not as 'in' to them as i used to be, but still, what a band.
Favourite Track: Its tough. I love 'Drain You', 'Polly', 'Breed', and of course 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. If i had to choose one? Probably 'Drain You', although the haunting final track 'Something In The Way is making a late run.

Nirvana: In Utero. This has to be in any collection. Kurt proves you don't need to be a fret magician to carry along and create a brilliant album. Sparse, stripped down sounds, fuelled by Kurt's pure drive anger at the world don't always make this an easy listen, but its well worth it. More anger and less pop than Nevermind, the more you learn about its context the more you appreciate it. A lot of people will tell you this was Kurt's suicide note to the music industry. Since i'm not sure how Kurt died (for me, the evidence he killed himself is at least matched by that which says he didn't) so i'll stay clear of that.
Favourite Track: Again tough. If i had to choose i'd go for All Apologies. Or Heart Shaped Box. Or Milk it. Or Very Ape. Or Serve The Servants...

Cursive: The Storms of Early Summer:Semantics of Song. Ah yes Cursive. The finest exponents of North American post-hardcore that no ones ever heard of. This is their second of four albums, the first one not being so good, and the 3rd and 4th both being concept albums in their own way (more of which later). This is quite a bare album, not much sonic brilliance, but Tim Kashers voice makes it all worthwhile. There was a time last year when i listened to this album every day, so its gotta be in here. A gloomy, fairly pessamistic take on life, and i suppose early 21st century American life. Buy it, go on!
Favourite Track: A Career in Trancendance or The Road To Financial Stability.

Cursive: Cursive's Domestica. Album number three from Nebraska's finest. This time a concept album telling a story about the break up of a couple. So another cheerful piece of work. Nonetheless, the lyrics, slow, lazy guitars and again Tim's vocie had me falling in love with this album very quickly. Not as accesable as SOES:SOS, but so poweful to listen to. A touch short at 35 minutes, but always leave them wanting more eh?
Favourite Track: no contest this time, has to be 'A Red So Deep'

Cursive: The Ugly Organ. Number four. And surely the most daring yet. Introducing sixth member Greta to play an organ on the album was a brave move. And one that paid of greatly. Again, a sort of concept album, this time a kind of reply to 'Domestica' in which a lot of songs has Tim playing two roles, that of the Domestica guy, and the Domestica girl. A very sad album to listen to lyrically, as the guy goes through alcholism, and ends up losing his wife and his kid. There's a theme here isn't there? These albums are great, but don't tell very happy stories. Ah well!
Favourite Track: The Recluse. Or Some Red Handed Slieght of Hand.

Hundred Reasons: Ideas Above Our Station. A British band at last. Top class emo/post hardcore this. A brilliant collection of upbeat, poppy emo to while away many a sunny evening. Colins voice is top drawer, added to which, they are excellent live. An album that shines and twists and bends to an easy listening finale. If you want to get into PH, this is where to start in my opinion. Kinda grungy as well is some ways.
Favourite Track. Falter. Easy this time!

Funeral For A Friend: Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation. I can never make my mind up about this album. Yes, they are very talented, and good to listen to, falling into the louder end of the post hardcore genre, (some would call it screamo, or even extreamemo. I ask you!) but you have to admit that they changed their sound dramatically from their two EP's to their debut album. I mean, look at 1045 Amsterdam Coversations on the 'Between Order and Model' EP. A proper Hardcore song, and nothing like anything on the album. Or even Juno (the original) and Juneax (the far more commercial album version) that said it is a good album when it stands alone, and will always remind me of being a fresher at Reading. So i guess thats good enough! Their second album 'Hours' is pretty good too!
Favourite Track. Red is the New Black, or Bullet Theory.

Biffy Clyro: Blackend Sky/The Vertigo of Bliss/Infinity Land. Yes, i know its a cop out having all three there, but its my blog, so i can do what i like. This three piece, scottish prog rock outfit were unknown to me at the turn of the year. Having bought all three albums in quick, chronological order, i can now count them amongst my favourite bands. From the Nirvana like debut Blackened Sky, through the prog dreamland that is The Vertigo of Bliss, to the noise and sonics of Inifinity Land, these guys pull if off time and again. There most recent two albums are fairly hard to get into, but its well worth the effort.
Favourite Track. One off each album, 27, Bodies in Flight, Some Kind of Wizard.

My Chemical Romance: Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. The second album from the New Jersey quintet, advertises itself as 'the story of a man, a woman, and 1000 zombies'. Can't put it much better than that! Very emo, very shouty. Very good. These guys aren't much older than me. Its lyrics and sound are unique, and pretty good fun in one way and another. Despite the pitch, this is a happy sounding album!
Favourite Track: I'm Not Ok.

Thursday: War All The Time. A close call between this one and their second release, but this one just edges it. Very intelligent lyrics make this an enjoyable, if challenging listen. Highly recomended to anyone who likes anything from Morrisey to Soundgarden.
Favourite Track: This Song Bought To You By A Falling Bomb.

Sparta: Wiretap Scars. Formed by the half of At The Drive In, who didn't become The Mars Volta, this is a beautiful bare debut. Very chilled out to listen to and an album thats well worth the risk. Not really emo or Post Hardcore, but a rarity in that it falls nicely between the tow.
Favourite Track: Cut Your Ribbon, or Air.

The Mars Volta: De-loused in The Crematorium. The other half of At The Drive in. This album defies review, if you've got it, you'll know what i mean!. Just go and buy it. Treat yourself.
Favourite Track: Inertiatic ESP (see what i mean, it defies review!)

Well thats it. Most of these albums will be available via Interpunk apart from maybe Biffy and Hundred Reasons, who'll be on Amazon (10 years old today!)


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