Archive for April, 2008
Canadian Roland Pemberton aka Cadence Weapon came out with his 2nd album Afterparty Babies on March 4th. Close to two months late, I figured this album deserved a review rather no review at all. Besides, the state that Canadian hip-hop is in…he can use all the publicity he gets.
I must say that I have been spoiled in my exposure to rap. I mean, I hate all the new mainstream crap we get but it’s been that way for a few years. I think I can list the albums I’ve listened to in my lifetime including Eminem’s discography, The Game’s Doctor’s Advocate, 50 Cent’s Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001 and generally albums that were critically acclaimed. I like nothing but the best and I like rap just when it is at its highest quality.
Afterparty Babies starts off really slow with Do I Miss My Friends, it’s actually a decent little rap number with Pemberton showing off some skill while rapping to an impossible beat. However, there are times where you start to doubt his skill as someone who has top of the line skill. His rhyming is impeccable yes but it doesn’t feel like a natural flow. (He still has some major skill)
The track that stands out the most, is “House Music”. I think most people would agree that is his strongest track and it comes late into the party as the 3rd last track. It ultimately has the best beat and Cadence Weapon LETS LOOSE.
I think Cadence Weapon would benefit from “selling out” a little bit and getting a producer that will give some more to work with. He definitely has the skill to light the mic on fire but in the days where “Crank Dat (Soulja Boy” rules the airwaves not many people are going to care.
Cadence Weapon is still very raw with this album and some will say that’s the best time to enjoy a rapper before their success. Pemberton is probably at a point where he has an established fan base and get bring to a mainstream audience (like rap has been exploited to) both some skill and refreshing face to mainstream rap.
As for the record. Not that easy of a listen and more a record where you realize that Cadence Weapon has all the talent in the world but it just doesn’t work sometimes. It’s tough when there is nothing BUT the rap to look forward to as musically the beat just isn’t there.
Rating 4 out 5.
I plan to see Eisley today at Lee’s Palace in which I will have a review, photos and hopefully some video to share on Thursday. I’m going by myself so we’ll see how that goes (was planning to see this show with Jessica but she’s out of town). The opener is The Myriad which I know nothing about. I may show up late for that reason especially because I don’t like hanging out by myself too long (I get lonely).
Anyway whenever I do a concert, I do like to talk about the band and so my post will be looking at Eisley’s 2005 release Room Noises, their debut.
I first heard about Eisley with their tracks I Wasn’t Prepared and Golly Sandra those tracks in itself displayed excellent female vocals that I tend to be drawn to. It’s clearly their strongest quality, with two great singers in the band, vocals can carry their songs anytime.
However, this group of siblings from Tyler, Texas has together made more then an album just with “singers”. Instrumentally they do keep it rather simple but that makes it stand out from other bands with great singers. They make it seem more relaxing and make the vocals stand out. Telescope Eyes and Brightly Wound get a push forward as they add to the song but it remembers to stay in the background.
Lyrically they are no slouch…at least compared with other mainstream acts. You get songs that are none too difficult to understand but ultimately display originality and not too many moments where you would way say they are repeating themselves too much.
Definitely the album was not as strong lyrically as Combinations but this album in itself is as strong musically. Keeping their debut simple proved wonders.
The album won’t challenge you by any means but this band probably deserves more respect from the indie crowd. They are a pseudo-indie band (a term I’m using for a band that is with a major label but everyone calls them indie rock) meaning their music diverges a little bit from the mainstream crowd but not quite enough for the indie crowd to see as cool. Eisley probably isn’t the coolest band to like, whether it’s by fans of their ex-boyfriends bands or even on indie blogs, they are still very talented and you can’t fault for them that.
With the break-ups the band has gone through they probably will continue to have emotion on their albums.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5.
The first time Allan saw this album, he thought it was called â€śBlooddrinkâ€ť. LOL
“Blooddrunk” is Children of Bodom‘s sixth album. This disk is really fast and aggressive, right from the beginning to the end. It is more technical than their previous releases, but other than that, there isnâ€™t much deviance from their past stuff.
The album starts off quick and thrashy with â€śHellbounds On My Trailâ€ť, which pretty much set the pace for the rest of the album. Two tracks that stands out for me right now are the title track, â€śBlooddrunkâ€ť, and â€śTie My Ropeâ€ť. â€śBlooddrunkâ€ť is the second song on the album and begins with the classic Bodom sounding gothic keyboard. â€śTie My Ropeâ€ť starts with some techno stuff which was catchy and I thought was a nice change.
The only thing I didnâ€™t really dig about this album is that it is too complex and technical. It still got the same component, such as the thrashy riffs, the guitar shreddings, and the melodic hooks, but with a lot more complexities added into it. I figured out that a lot of great old Bodom songs have their main melodies right in the beginning and have simple/predictable song structures with the main riff repeating many times. The tracks on this album have a lot more intricate riffs and really good solos rather than sticking to a main riff. In general, I think it sounds a bit messy. On top of that, some of the melodies just arenâ€™t as catchy.
Overall, â€śBlooddrunkâ€ť feels like a filler album to me. Itâ€™s got two or three songs that I really like but the rest are easily forgotten. Anyhow, Iâ€™ll be seeing these guys in two days and Iâ€™m hyped!
The Long Blondes‘ Someone To Drive You Home was a VERY GOOD album so much so that I was forced to give it a 5 out of 5 for being a perfect album.
A year later, they released their 2nd album “Couples” recently and it received some significant blog hype before Pitchfork spanked it with a poor review. (hmm spanking long blondes…sounds like a porno). I was still excited to say the least.
I have to tell you from the start that I hated the album right off the bat. Stylistically they changed from their post-punk/pop elements to a more new wave style. However instead of being over the top like in their first album, Couples feels subdued.
First vocally, Kate Jackson rarely if ever is singing at the top of her lungs…it feels lazy and while you could use “effortless” as a term the Long Blondes don’t maximize her vocals to the full potential. There’s just not enough soul and emotion. Lyrically it takes a step back which seem much simpler and when is “here comes the serious bit” fitting in a song. I’d figure there would be a better chorus to fit something in rather then “here it comes, here it comes”. Blah. I can write a song like that and if you’ve seen my writing…that’s the biggest insult everrrrr!
The change in styles pissed me off. Why the need to change it? Someone to Drive You Home and the bonus disc that fit with it were perfect. The Long Blondes decided they wanted to be slower, softer and have no guitar synths or anything cool that made The Long Blondes hot. The punk elements was really what set the Long Blondes apart from other pop bands and it was that same style that made their first album such a rousing success. The Long Blondes diverged from being over the top pop with… crap? or really trying to reverse it around and that’s where they ultimately fail.
They changed styles for no reason and tried something new and I think that’s where they ultimately failed. I have no idea what some of the critics are thinking and I think P4K is right but I’m willing to go a step further and say this is utter crap. They went from awesome band in my eyes to super lame. There’s nothing wrong with being “poppy” and usually the range of vocals and adding punk elements that were very enjoyable.
I tried to give it a chance but there’s nothing here for me like. The album is so bad that the planned show to Toronto they were planning, I have scrapped.
Even with less songs and shorter tracks…they do an even worse job with providing quantity and fail in almost every aspect in comparison. Sure you can argue this album is mediocre but it’s a failure in almost every sense of the word. One of the very few albums that got worse and worse as I did the write up and I even called myself a fan of them!
Rating: 1 out of 5
The Long Blondes was someone I wanted to take home, then became someone I wanted to ditch after the night was done!
I’ll post some songs from the North American bonus disc:
P.S. I’d provide the obligatory album links to CD stores but if you’re still buying the album it’s best not to buy it here!
Wolf Parade announced tour dates in support of their June 17 release. On their myspace they also included a link to a pre-sale so you can buy your tickets now. I STRONGLY recommend getting them now, if the blog hype is any indicator these shows WILL sell out and you will be sorry you didn’t get them before. The Toronto show will definitely sell out so I had jumped at the opportunity to buy from a presale.
You can’t blame me for mentioning it. I bought my tickets already. All it takes is to sign up at this link. Tickets are will call which isn’t so bad unless you’re a scalper (and who likes scalpers).
Toronto is the last date of the tour and it should be fucking awesome.
Here are the tour dates:
July 7: Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom
July 8: Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
July 9: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
July 12: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
July 13: Seattle, WA @ Marymoor Park
July 15: Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
July 17: San Francisco, Ca @ Fillmore
July 18: Hollywood, CA @ Henry Fonda
July 19: Hollywood, CA @ Henry Fonda
July 20: San Diego, CA @ Cane’s
July 21: Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
July 24: Dallas, TX @ Palladium Ballroom
July 25: Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
July 26: Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
July 28: Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
July 29: Raleigh, NC @ Disco Rodeo
July 30: Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
July 31: New York, NY @ Terminal 5
Aug 2: Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
Aug 3: Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
Aug 9: Toronto, ON @ Koolhaus
I don’t like posting the same stuff as the rest of the blogosphere so I needed an excuse to post Calling A Ritual and to talk about Wolf Parade in general :).