Bands putting down their guitars and picking up synths has become a tired trend in the indie rock world. I totally understand that electronic music has bled into all our lives, and musicians are influenced by what they here and love. Still, its become a common and tedious narrative to so many new albums in the past five years. But Baltimore duo Wye Oak’s synth reinvention is different for a number of reasons. Instead of shedding their rock sensibilities in favor of a shinier and dancier sound, Wye Oak’s latest Shriek shows the band actually amplifying their rockingness through the use of virtuousic bass and jarring synthesizers. Continue reading “Wye Oak Review: Shriek”
Opening with a cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)”, or any Neil Young song for that matter, is a move that most bands would not even attempt. Even if a band did decide to cover the Neil track, they most likely would bury at the end of an album, just in case it went over poorly. Chromatics, on the other hand, decided to take a path that was most bold, and proudly display their toned-down, ethereal version of the Crazy Horse-aided classic at the forefront of their new double LP, Kill for Love. Chromatics version, “Into the Black”, does what any good cover does, and adds a nice change of the pace to the original without completely deconstructing everything that makes the original so amazing. Gone are the electric guitar chords dropping like a hammer, and in is some well-placed sparse piano and a little synthesizer. Also, a good contrast to the original are the pretty vocals of Ruth Radelet, who trades off vocal duties with bandleader Johnny Jewel throughout the album.
I admittedly didn’t give Chairlift much of a fair shake upon their initial breakthrough from what’s becoming a more and more ordinary form of breaking out, being featured on a commercial. Not just any ordinary commercial, but the Colorado electro-pop duo’s “Bruises” was featured on the much envied Apple commercial, which has helped break open such bands as Feist, Jet, Grouplove, CSS, and more. I had heard Chairlift’s debut album, Does You Inspire You, once upon its release and admittedly brushed it off as standard cutesy girl-pop in the realm of Ingrid Michaelson and Regina Spektor. Continue reading “Chairlift Review: Something”
When it comes to Christmas music, I try to hide away when I’m not in department stores or putting up the Christmas tree. It’s not because I’m a Scrooge; I just find Christmas music a bit too sappy and most songs are naggingly catching, wringing in your head like a bad migraine. Continue reading “The Best Worst Christmas Song of All Time”