Archive for February, 2010
Plenty of great albums were released this month and we here at DiR.net have picked the best of the bunch to bring to you in a handy Spotify playlist! The widest variety of music in one playlist your likely to find!
Listen now >>> DoesItRock.net – Feb 10 Mix
1) Los Campesinos! – Straight In At 101 … Indie at its multi-intrument bashing best DiR? Review
2) Hot Chip – Thieves In The Night … Electro-indiers best track from their latest disappointing album DiR? Review
3) Seasick Steve – Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde… Steves gravel tones are simply stunning on this cracking blues number DiR? Review
4) The Soft Pack – Answer To Yourself … California fuzz soaked guitars make for an uplifting tune
5) Story Of The Year – To The Burial … Chest thumping rock anthem king kong would be proud of DiR? Review
6) Swanton Bombs – Who’s Asking? … Ranshakle riffing and DIY ethics from this promising bands debut LP.
7) Chow Chow – Suits Like Animals … Re-release for this superb slice of indie rock spiced with electro fun and melody
8) Priestess – Raccoon Eyes… Take the trip back to the 70’s for some scorching Sabbath riffing DiR? Review
9) Plastiscines – Bitch… Spiked garage pop from thes french youngsters, their image is one to savour!
10) Kashmir – Intruder … Beautiful melodies and subtle guitars line this laid back rocker
11) White Rabbits – Percussion Gun … Ample druming drives this near perfect understated indie rocker!
12) Fair – Disappearing World … Mid tempo pop number is as catchy as it is american.
13) Scanners – Jesus Saves … Dark poppers Scanners take a soar towards the light with this sparking tune
14) The Sunshine Underground – Spell It Out … New tangent direction produces at least one fine indie electro rocker
15) Bigelf – Madhatter … Imaging Led Zep with Pink Floyd holidaying in Wonderland, awe inspiring heavy prog rock
16) Taking Dawn – Take Me Away … Breaking band from Roadrunner Records mix metal, glam, with attitude to produce a stonking rocker!
17) Close Your Eyes – xChet Steadmanx … Post-Hardcore lads take on a pop-punk sound, suprisingly it works!
18) Fight The Empire – The Truth Is Out … New British band with some great riffing on the title track of their Debut album, watch out for these guys!
19) Wakey!Wakey! – The Oh Song … Plenty of Ohs on this piano stomper from a star of the american tv show One Tree Hill
20) Cobra Starship – Pete Wentz Is The Only Reason We’re Famous … With Fallout Boy saying farewell, here’s a tribute to their enigmatic bassist on this months Pop Punk Antrhem!
It is a sad day for rock and roll!
Long term frontman of DiR.net favourites Heaven’s Basement, Richie Hevanz has left the band. Heavens Basement who I have seen twice now were flying high after completing a UK headlining tour and were back in the studio recording new material.
This news is such a shame as Richie was a amazing lead singer and was the driving force behind Heaven’s Basements sucess. He will be greatly missed by all! Lets hope Heavens Basement manage to find another great singer to keep their amazing rock and roll show on the road!
Here is what Richie had to say to his fans:
“After 18 months of amazing highs and amazing experiences, I feel that the lifestyle and constant touring has taken its toll and its time for me to move on to different pastures! In short guys, I’m afraid I will be stepping down as the lead singer of Heaven’s Basement.
I want to thank everyone who has supported me through this amazing time in my life. I also want to thank my brothers in HB for their understanding and friendship! I would like to thank all the fans of Heavens Basement for all their love and support over the last 2 years! You’ve all made my life a brighter place!
I wish the guys all the luck in the world for their future.
I thank Richie personally for all the great records and amazing times i’ve had watching him perform in Hurricane Party, Roadstar & Heaven’s Basement over the course of the last 5 years. Lets hope he will be back soon & that Heaven’s Basement move from strength to strength in his notable absence!
The Departed Richie Heavenz
American Post-Hardcore rockers 4th Album arrived this week.
Story Of The Year – The Constant
Story Of The Year return with more streamlined sound for the rock masses which will most definitely cross into popular consciousness if given the opportunity. These Post-Hardcore boys have refined, not overplayed their riffing and concentrated on creating mammoth chorus’s destined for live singalongs. This is especially true on album started The Children Sing (complete with singing children no less) and The Dream Is Over.As a Pop rock album, The Constant is spectacular. Driving rhythmn guitars, ravenous fist pump vocals and those inescapable chorus’s.
As a Rock album it suffers suprisingly…from too many midtempo vocal melodies with the guitars playing fifth fiddle. As soon as a catchy razor-edged riff arrives it vanishes behind the mic without a fight (Exhibit A: The Ghost Of You And I). To The Burial bucks the trend with some thumping drumming and riffmongering of the highest order. Beyond this the next time they really snarl and bear their teeth with some thrashy punk guitars is on Won Threw Ate. By this time the Rock and Roll spirit has drunk the bar dry and gone home to sleep off the hangover.
The Story of this Year is that The Constant is packed with fine tunes which will have you singing your heart out for some time to come!
Mr Flowers Says:
More American power-pop balladry from Story Of The Year. The album starts with “The Children Sing”, which mixes a children’s choir in with all the power-chords resulting in something that is just creepy. A few more songs in and it won’t be long before that whiny emo singing gets on your tits and you have to start looking around the flat for things to cut yourself with to make it stop.
“To the Burial” is one of the stronger songs on the album, whose pacey metal chord progression and jumpy drumming at least varies the timbre of the album. And “Eye for an Eye” ends the album on a satisfying scream-out, but by that time you’d probably have realised many of the songs on the disc are a unimaginative generic fare and, to top it off, you’re now bleeding all over the sofa.
DoesItRock Overall Score: 6
Listen to Story Of The Year – The Constant now on Spotify!
The uk electronic ensemble are back with their third album.
Hot Chip – One Life Stand
‘Emotional Adventures in Meandering Electroland’ is a much more suitable title for this underwhelming Hot Chip release. It has stripped out the idiosyncratic dancefloor genious of its previous releases, leaving One Life Stand to become inredibly serious and intense lyrical album, more likely to start a boredom induced coma than a tubthumping party.
Tracks of merit are few and far between, the calypso steel drums get a bonging & the star trek phaser effect gathers some interest on the title track, plus album opener Thieves In The Night has some funky upbeat melodies. Just incase you started to overenjoy the album, on I Feel Better they fire up the damned aweful autotune which is plaguing terrible pop singers everywhere to level the balance.
This album will leave many fans reeeling and many a critic raving. Depending on which side of the fence you lie will determine whether you find this a classic release or an uninspiring one. Watch for the remix album!
Mr Flowers Says:
Hot Chip have hit on the novel idea of creating an album of electro, dance-inspired pop with no danceable rhythm. It seems you have to wait forever for songs on this album to get going. Sometimes they aren’t bad when they do finally get going but more often than not they disappointingly never do before the next track starts.
Alley Cats is alright by time gets into it’s 4th minute, and I Feel Better is not bad if you can forgive the autotuning, but unlike their previous releases there are no stand out songs on this album to rescue you from the passionless drone and the repetitive beeps that is the sound of Hot Chip.
DoesItRock Overall Score: 5
Listen to Hot Chip – One Life Stand now on Spotify!
Bearded bluesman releases an Ep in the week of Valentine!
Seasick Steve – Songs For Elizabeth
Seasick Steve truly is a man from another time who is single handedly keeping the blues alive. His honest tribute to the blues elder statesmen is as compelling as it is true. From his array of incomplete instruments (the one string didly bo and the three string trance wonder) and his smooth gravely vocals he produces some fine pop music.
His ability to write inovative bluesy melodies and weave meandering lyrical tales is credit to his songcraft. This short collection of tunes is as warm as it is geniune, entertaining as it is simple and above all else, a great listen.
Mr Flowers Says:
Songs For Elizabeth is an EP that’s brimming with boogie-friendly blues tunes. Of course, part of the reason for that is because this record is mostly a collection of previously released songs. Yet it seems the streamlined result might be more successful at maintaining your attention than on albums before.
Just Like A King is the standout track, with the slide guitar howling in whenever the riff threatens to slow. It contrasts with Walkin Man, which is a sweet acoustic song in which we’re reminded that his name is indeed Steve – it’s what I’d imagine that girl from the Ting Tings might have written if she’d grown a beard and didn’t wash for a few weeks. Hang on… which one came out first?
DoesItRock Overall Score: 7
Listen to Seasick Steve – Songs For Elisabeth now on Spotify!
Canadian hard rockers Priestess unleash their sophmore album.
Priestess – Prior To The Fire
Set your delorian to 1972, put pedal to the metal and welcome back the early days of heavy rock with Priestess. Being indebted to Black Sabbath is no bad thing as they weave prog sonic explorations with ample wattage and daze inducing gargantu-riffs. Their melodies are as fat as they are catchy with tight techincal guitar phrases and some great stickmanship thrashing the drum kit to destruction, an epic combo.
Classic rock is well and truly alive on Prior To The Fire as shown on the almost thrash metal headbanger Lady Killer, the straight up heaving blues rock of Raccon Eyes and the progressive jam of The Gem. No new ground trodden, just damn good “very” old fashioned heavy rock!
Mr Flowers Says:
Prior To The Fire is full of thrashy hard rock with a knack for a melodic chorus. There are some good solos in there, notably in the middle of Raccoon Eye’s, and Murphy’s Law sports a bout colossal drumming. They also pump out lines like, “Lay waste to all the Earth,” and, “I’m a demon – I walk through the river of fire,” without any sign of irony – at their high moments they sound like Black Sabbath, except about 40 years too late and with the tendency to drift into into listlessness.
If that sounds like it’s up your street then 1) really? and 2) you’re quids in! Enjoy!
DoesItRock Overall Score: 6.25
Listen to Priestess – Prior To The Fire now on Spotify!
December 4th 2009
It’s a long way to travel for a gig, but 150 miles later I waited patiently for the rest of my compadre’s, who were unsurprisingly late! An hour and thirty minutes late to be precise! Upon arrival at the academy we also realised that for some strange reason the show started an hour earlier than their London counterparts, maybe everyone values their sleep in the west. So it was no great shock to find that we had missed both support bands as well as the first 15 minutes of the headline acts classic rock and roll show.
The Answer already in full swagger were kicking out the tunes as we shuffled in the back attempting to catch a glimpse of the Northern Irish Lads who are on the rock highway to glory. Since being picked to support Ac/Dc on their world tour and the release their sophomore album Everyday Demons The Answer have gone from stars to be to big news fast, gaining a huge following in the process. Since being a long term fan of the band I’m delighted that I can’t see the stage for all the eager rock and roll fans and their flowing (but mostly receding) locks. They were clearly revelling in the smaller venues after their global jaunt.
Lead guitarist Paul Mahon was on top blues form this evening playing tight melodies with plenty of wailing bends and wah wahhed licks. Matching him for technical ability was singer Cormac Neeson who for me embodies classic rock! His Robert Plant image and his utterly compelling vocals are a marriage made in heaven. A Booming low range and beautifully ferocious high note are sublime, not forgetting his gift for leading a cracking rousing chorus like on the sublime new track On and On.
The fist pumping hits they scorched though tonight included the groovy Never Too Late, the riff-a-holic addicted rocker Demon Eyes, not forgetting the instant classic that is Under the Sky. New material was well received and all fit well into their confident and romper stomping set. Their balladry has improved and it’s these songs which stick in my mind the most vividly. Pride and Comfort Zone had hearts swelling through their mid-tempo melodies and soaring chorus’. Never forgetting their bluesy influences they played us out with a extended jam spin on their American deep south indebted, heaving blues of Memphis Water.
A great set from a live band who have gone from strength to strength who are more professional then at any other point in their career. In-between song banter was still there in abundance (I don’t suppose you get much intimacy from a sell-out stadium crowd). Highly entertaining and the spirit of rock and roll was channelled here this evening proving they deserve the praise heaped upon them!
Welsh indie poppers return with their third album in little over 2 years.
Los Campesinos! – Romance Is Boring
Los Campesinos! have beefed up the indie stakes as they combine every instrument ever invented from the kazoo to the string section and back via the vo-coder into soaring bliss-out spectacles. Superb melodies are the pivotal feature of this album and from my count, there are approximately one every thirty seconds!
Some like myself, will find lead vocals very irritating. Gareth’s whiny, jerky delivery just wears you down, plus he is is totally drowned out as soon as the whole band kicks in. Lyrically it feels like he has lost almost EVERYTHING, the endless spouting of loveless metaphors is material for the counselling sofa…hence it’s a good thing you can only hear him 50% of the time.
Glossing over the ‘we’re proper indie don’t you know’ mentality, the I really must learn to love myself lyrics and the fact I can’t sing, Romance Is Boring is a highly entertaining record with a multitude of flaws. Yet when you play it (repeatedly…I’ll admit it) it doesn’t seem to matter! Because despite trying really hard to be cool and deep, it’s just a great indie pop record which is hard to hate (trust me I’ve tried).
Mr Flowers Says:
These lyric-heavy indie-pop stalwarts have brass instruments and aren’t afraid to use them.
The lead singer sings like a surprisingly eloquent drunk man outside a pub after closing time, shouting at beleaguered passers-by about his woes about some ex-girlfriend, or ex-iPhone, or something, while on the brink of getting a bit too emotional. It’s a good job Aleksandra Campesinos! is on hand to lend a pretty singing-voice on a few of the tracks, else you might have found Gareth sobbing in some gutter by the end of the record.
It’s probably a matter of taste then, but this album is almost wall-to-wall with good songs – so, unless you have a particular aversion to the whole indie-pop genre (in which case you probably should have stopped reading when I SAID IT WAS INDIE-POP in the first sentence), Romance Is Boring gets two thumbs up.
DoesItRock Overall Score: 7.5
Listen to Los Campesinos! – Romance Is Boring now on Spotify!
Indie pop-rockers Cold War Kids are back with an Extended Player of new material!
Cold War Kids – Bahave Yourself EP
Piano key tinkling Americans return to gloss the ivories on this Ep. Behave Yourself is perfectly pleasing, perfectly listenable and perfectly decent. Somehow this is not equal pop perfection..
The title track Audience of One is a pretty decent summation of this release, nice on first listen, but you forget it the minute the curtain falls. Most of the songs on display here fall into the mediocre category far too easily.
Mr Flowers Says:
Audience of One is a good pop song to start the EP, and the rest of tracks do enough to bode well for the upcoming album.
DoesItRock Overall Score: 6
Listen to Cold War Kids – Behave Yourself now on Spotify!
Nu-Ravers Hadouken! return with their difficult second album.
Hadouken! – For The Masses
Cool name and a cool sound will only get you so far. Good thing then that Hadouken! As one of the leaders of the Nu-Rave pack return with a surprisingly enjoyable album. There are plenty of social commentary witticisms, funky dance floor fillers, rapping and electro/rock crossovers to get even the dullest party started. Album highlight Turn The Lights Out is laced with youthful badditude and disco genius.
Once it has your full attention, For The Masses doesn’t do enough to keep it. Variations on their self defined theme ultimately lead to repetitions of the same ideas and sounds, making it a struggle to get through in one sitting. Unless of course it’s Friday night, you have your best clobber on, readying for a night on the tiles with a living room dance party. Sadly on a dull Friday afternoon in Central London, this album is best savoured in bite size chunks.
Mr Flowers Says:
Hadouken’s dance/Grime combo will always carry a lot of energy, bite and floor-bouncing potential no matter how they tweak it, but the increased use of irk-some Linkin Park-style singing interludes starts to dilute their sound, and the numerous wayward songs (and REALLY wayward songs; I’m looking at you especially, Lost…) towards the back-end of the album go some way to ruin a once seemingly foolproof musical formula.
DoesItRock Overall Score: 6
Listen to Hadouken – For The Masses now on Spotify!