Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Music Roundup, Part 2

"This first line is either going to say 'I hate LeBron' or 'I love LeBron'" is what I put in as a placeholder before last Thursday.  (Context:  I am a Cleveland native and lifelong Cavs fan.)

Then the one-hour special was announced, and I changed it to:  "This first line is either going to say 'I hate LeBron' or 'What an ass.  But at least LeBron made the right move.'"

As the reality of the farce approaches (I am writing this at 3PM on Thursday; I will not change it regardless of his decision tonight), I am struck by one thought:  I really don't care anymore.  This whole thing is an ego-massaging exercise by someone who has been coddled all his life.  If he signs with the Cavs, he saves some face, but he has irrevocably changed the perception of him as a human being and an athlete.  Does he not understand what a "team" is?  This is as self-centered and vacuous as it gets.

It's 3:20 and I have music to listen to.  As you read this, the moment has undoubtedly passed.  I hope I had the intestinal fortitude to not watch it play out.  But I will not re-write this either way.

On to the music:
  • American Music Club - The Golden Age (2008).  I've heard only great things about Mark Eitzel and American Music Club; 1991's Everclear (featuring the epic "Rise") did nothing to dispel this notion.  Their ninth full-length album (and second since reuniting in 2004) features original members Eitzel and guitarist Vudi plus a brand new rhythm section.  The music is sparse; think a stripped-down Hybrasil.  But it's really good low- to mid-tempo pop, well executed, intelligent, and earnest.
    CD Placement rating:  Portable CD Case.

  • Built to Spill - There is No Enemy (2009).  Based on this and 2006's You in Reverse, BTS has settled into a comfortable groove of sonically heavier, solidly built albums.  They're sludgy and dirgey, but worth wading through.  However, would I go back to these two albums or something like Ancient Melodies of the Future, which had three great songs and seven fair to good ones?  I'm really not sure.  The fact that I can't recall the last two albums until I play them is probably not good either.  My guess is the next album will be bought based on a good review.
    CD Placement rating: 
    This is a tough one.  CD Rack album gets into the Portable CD Case so I can make a better determination of where it fits into the cosmos.

  • Doves - Kingdom of Rust (2009).  This sounds a lot like 2002's The Last Broadcast.  Don't get me wrong; I like that album.  I don't need two of the same, however.
    CD Placement rating: 
    Sell-back Pile 1.  Hopefully Andrew and Eric Lax will speak to me after this.

  • King's X - XV (2008).  As the title suggests, this is their 15th album, which seems insane; I don't own anything past 1991 from them.  Having seen them live with Scott and Dale, I was open to giving these guys a shot; reviews were good, so I did.  XV:  it's heavy, it's consistent, and it's good.  No real surprises here, but no duds either.  Great album by a very underrated band.
    CD Placement rating:  Portable CD Case.

  • Scanners - Submarine (2010).  It's taken this band four years, but they've finally come up with a follow-up to 2006's promising debut Violence is Golden.  This is surprisingly much more restrained than their debut, sounding much more like a mix of Silversun Pickups, Love of Diagrams, and Architecture in Helsinki.  And at times, even a little ABBA.  Don't get excited, as this album does not quite measure up to any of those references.  I'd like to see them go for it a bit more; honestly, it's a bit more boring than I had expected.  It's still very decent alternative pop and very listenable. 
    CD Placement rating: 
    CD Rack. 
 - Snilch

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