Summer is here. So some of these releases might warm you up.
Songs from the Real World
Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy
Steve Kilbey and Martin Kennedy already have three albums that they have made together. This time around the songs were made from scratch music wise and the lyrics were other people’s idea of songs or words that these two artist should put to music and sing about. Well stepping outside of themselves and wrapping the thoughts that were thrown at them for this project, fifteen new songs have emerged and done well too. Here are songs about all kinds of things. There are songs about boyfriends and girlfriends and children and places and even abstract concepts. These two collectively work off of each others passions which are art, music and story telling with a great voice added. Maybe Steve’s band The Church should add in some keyboards or string section that Martin Kenndy could do from his keyboard and invite Marin Kennedy to tour with The Church. Or second thought now that Steve Kilbey and Martin Kennedy have four albums, maybe it’s time for the two of them to travel and to perform these songs live. A definite top pic of the year for this great CD for sure. For more info go check out www.thetimebeing.com
GUILTY OF EVERYTHING
Out of Philadelphia comes something that is hard to pigeon hole into a genre. There are so many directions this goes in that it’s difficult to give a category to it. It’s mellow, it’s also heavy in places and then awesome in other ways. The song Hymn To The Pillory starts off with mellow guitar strokes. It is then followed in the mid-way section pounding that sets you up for the entire album to come. Next song Dig is a lot heavier though accompanied by some great beats. The synthesized guitar in this song is in the background. It ramps up a little with the rhythm guitar as well. Up next Bent Nail is a short pop punk heavy rhythm that revs you up. ‘The song Endlessly makes you want to reminisce in your past. The soft lead vocals works well on this song. It’s also a very mellow track on the record. Somersault is a song that make you feel like your free falling. Not to be left in a downer at this point the next song Get Well is an up tempo song sounding closely like The Smashing Pumpkins from the late 1990’s sound to it. The song makes you think about lost relationships. Right up next is the song Beat Around The Bush. It is a darker in texture kind of a song. The guitar and smashing cymbols pound in that darkness on his tune. B&E FUCK YEAH B&E. Well this is the next song but I’m not sure what it means. I get the feeling it was written while watching The Goonies but you might get your own take from some other fun movie for this song for yourself. You’ll just have to figure out this one on your own. By the time you get to the mid – point of this song you have been hit by a waterfall of sounds with even simple guitar licks thrown into the mix too. Finally onto the title track Guilty Of Everything. They saved this one for the last song for the album. This one starts off like how the album first started slow with a nice build up to it by its end of the song. So if your into The Smashing Pumpkins or like The Foo Fighters this is right up your alley to dive head first right into it. Kind of an art piece that will be hard to match or follow.
Just in time for summer to start comes the album Savages. This has an electronic vibe to it, which fun to have around to lighten things up with. This is then the album to get for just that upbeat reason. Collide and Please Don’t Say are great stand out tracks to get you pumped up and moving along to. They provide a solid beat with catchy vocals in them. There is a few hints of the scream style of song on here for those old fans of the band that will for sure like the song Sellouts for that purpose. On Sellouts Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexanderia) is a great lending voice to this track as well. This CD will grow on you quickly and might even get the band some good radio play out of it as well.
EVERYTHING IS DEBATABLE
Old Friends Records
Hellogoodbye might have taken a while to write this pop gem but the writing is more mature now and it shows in the production as well. Everything Is Debatable has a great quality of fun style to it. Instead of being a teeny-bopper band, the maturity now leads to strong vocals, swift writing and catchier melodies through folk and pop mixture that the band has given us from the past releases but now with a strong fresh flair to the material. Check out such cool songs as Hear You’re In Love, A Near Death Experience, An External Force and And Everything Becomes A Blur.
Mutant League Records
This marks, for the band, it’s second full release CD. This has guitar melodies and personal reflective lyrics on it this time around. The emotions get both heavier and sometimes soft in parts which showcases the truth wholeness of the bands and it’s abilities. One of the stand out tracks comes in on the 5th song called Voodoo. Voodoo is a simple rhyming song that is really catchy. Also the next track that follows this is another good one called You’re The Stranger. You’re The Stranger addresses heartbreak. Though this is a young band the emotion of heartbreak is something lyric wise that is very relatable. A surprise on here though is the acoustic song Stone. From start to finish, Stone even perks with it’s usage of instrumentals. I can see where Rose can be a soft thing and a heavy thing to ones ears and in ones hands at least you can get pricked by playing the cd except in a good piercing music way to your hearts emotions. A really nice record.
THE BAD & THE BETTER
The Ready Set
Razor & Tie Records
This is a fun, up tempo pop CD with rhythmic beats that has added heart felt ballads mixed into it. So far the album has two singles Give Me Your Hand and Higher. Some of the other tracks to listen to are Carry Me Home, Luxury, and More Than This. This CD uses a lot of synths and bass beats to get you moving along. The synths are really heard in the new songs Are We Happy Now and in the song Terrible Things. Each of these tunes have heavier lyrics to them. This shows that there is range within the lyrics throughout the entire CD. Range in the album has a couple of ballads ont his cd as well. The two ballads are Don’t You Need Me and Castaway (featuring Jake Miller). Jordan Witzigreuter does let us feel his soft falsetto vocals on the songs: Bitter & Sweetness, Bleeding and on Freaking Me Out. So go catch The Ready Set on tour this summer including on the entire Vans Warped Tour coming to you real soon. You’ll find yourself charmed if not dancing along to some of his great beats of pop music. Radio here comes The Ready Set. Kiss FM pay attention to this artist.
This is Mathew Caws of Nada Surf and Juliana Hatfield record first full length CD. The voices blend so easily. If you like R.E.M early works with a twist to it you’ll like the vocal collaboration that these two have together. The songs I Don’t Know What To Do With My Hands and Far From The Roses mixes lite grunge and REM. If I Wanted Trouble could of been an outtake from REM’s Reckoning sessions easily. In the song Buried Plans evokes a loners projects that are never realized. Radio Static celebrates finding beauty everywhere. So if you like Neil Young, Nada Surf and REM all mixed together pick up this independent gem debut release.
Love Da Records
Roddy Frame’s fourth solo record now since leaving the band Aztec Camera and going completely solo. It’s been nearly eight years waiting for this one. With the opening moments of the album the melody, the acoustic arrangement and Roddy Frame’s rich still boyish voice on White Pony are all distinctly a noticeable that this is a heart felt album to come forth. With major piano chords and a warm guitar solo this classic singer songwriter muscles on the good times of his past works with ease. The song to take notice of is Postcard. Postcard music wise, at least, is something that Fleetwood Mac should do a cover of. The lyrics are about being in California and corresponding with Roddy Frame’s old record label. This song makes for an interesting lyrical piece for a song that’s for sure. Rear View Mirror might be looking back into self or into something or looking back into someone and is a more quiet piece which shows off Roddy Frames vocal abilities as a crooner of sorts. This may have taken a long time to come in to being. But with such few words Roddy Frame paints landscapes with murals of deep feeling and wisdom of years in the making.
Drag City Inc. Records
The three brothers from Detroit are back with yet another set of modern punk songs. The initial R & B and some blues of the Detroit music scene mixes in well with the fast punk style on here sound wise. Some of the stick out tracks this time around include: North Street that is a straight forward ditty, Restlessness is a great tune that shows some aggression in it and with Free shows the whole mixture of one that’s consitant throughout the album which shows were the band is heading. Yes He Is Coming swirls into a more gospel thing sound wise but that shows the band has depth to them. Where another song music wise Open Road, the song dribbles into a more fast waltz dance craze to it. Death shows to be very coherent to the dance craze and tempo beats that are going around yet try and style their own thing as well too. This a great third release.
Nine Mile Records
This is Doug Gillard’s third solo full-length coming out on Nine Mile Records. This one was also produced by Doug Gillard as well too. The one favorite on this album is the Smith’s Nick Lowe sounding song of Your Eyes. Other charming songs on here include: Overseas which has a punkish style to it and Oh My Little Girl is a real cool power pop song. With his work with Guided By Voices and Nada Surf, Doug has definitely separated himself with this showing that he is a great solo artist. This time around, there are radio friendly songs on it that will make your listening ear appreciative too.
THE WOULD-BE PLANS
Maybe not a Rave–Ups record, but might as well of been released that way. Going solo this will easily get lost unless you know who the singer is. With his slow punk, pop and folk Jimmer has come up with a great record. There is a commercial feel in the production side but yet with simple lyrics and heart felt pop style to catch your attention for a stomping along foot. Oh but you’ll hum along to some of the songs on here as well too. 23 years has gone by since we last head from Jimmer Podrasky. This CD is a definite return to fun and upbeat that’s been plainly missing that hits you with very easiness approach. The Would-Be Plans keeps your attention, with it’s catchy fun and melodic. You’ll find yourself wanting to take this CD for a ride in the car with the windows down that’s for sure. Some of the catchy tracks are: Empty, She Has Good Records and Satellite. This marks for a great come back release. Maybe Jimmer will play out some shows for this release sometime soon maybe?
More Summer reviews to come in the coming months so watch for them. You never know I might be reviewing your CD or reviewing release from outside of the USA too. Make sure to listen to my radio station at www.live365.com/stations/wrightprod2
(Written by: Jonathan Wright)