Friday, July 29, 2011

Brakes - Give Blood (2005)

Andrew strikes again with a band beginning in the 92nd percentile of the alphabet.  This album is the personification of the drunk at the end of a bar.  (Well, if he were a musician, recorded only when he was mostly coherent, and Scottish.)  

Lyrically, sometimes he's conversational, sometimes a total ripoff of others (like "Hear About Your Band", which sounds like an exact cross of The Silversun Pickups and The Frames).  Sometimes he's very loud and other times eerily quiet.  Sometimes he's capable of imparting incredible insight and humor; other times he simply recites mundane details.  Sometimes you're kept at arms length, other times, he'll mentions the most revealing insight into his life as an aside.  Sometimes he communicates in long diatribes, sometimes in short stacatto outbursts.   He can be the life of the party or the downer that brings everyone down.  Mostly he's alone, but occasionally he'll have a lady friend along.  But there is always an undercurrent of sadness, an inevitability of the weight of reality's yoke that he always slouches under.  (Yes, this description could also apply to The Pogues.)   It's bar rock at its most interesting.

CD Placement Rating:  Car CD Changer.  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What You Would Have Been Listing to in the Early 90's If You Were in School

Okay, I'll admit it:  there are at least three things in that title that are pretentious, assumptive, and/or flat out arrogant.  At least it's not totally self-involved.  That post would be titled something like "What You Would Have Been Listening to in 1992 If You Were at College in the Northeast and Attended One of Our Parties, Including a Mention of Every Roommate I Had at That Fine Institution of Higher Learning."

What You Would Have Been Listening to in 1992 If You Were at College in the Northeast and Attended One of Our Parties, Including a Mention of Every Roommate I Had at That Fine Institution of Higher Learning

I have no shame.

So let's go in order of roommates from freshman to senior year, and reminisce: 

  • Jimbo:  Guns 'N Roses - "Sweet Child O' Mine."  Jimbo was a man of planning and action:  he came in with a plan to play Appetite for Destruction at least once, in is entirety, every day our freshman year.   He succeeded.  "Cause worry's a waste of my --- time."  (Per Mr. Brownstone.)
  • Mac:  Ziggy Marley - "Tomorrow People."  Sean showed up at school with two music cassettes -- Ziggy Marley and 10,000 Maniacs -- and a Betamax VCR, with a Pete Townsend concert and 2/3 of Trading Places.  (We found out the latter the hard way.)  If you've never heard Mac crooning "Tomorrow Pee-pal" (Ziggy) or "Shiver in Me Bones Just Tinking About the Weathah" (10,000 Maniacs), then you've missed some serious 6'5" Milton (MA) Irish soul.
  • Paco:  LL Cool J - "Mama Said Knock You Out."  Paco was into a lot of current rap and hiphop at the time, which helped make the rest of us look a lot more well rounded than our Journey, Night Ranger, and Bon Jovi music collection might imply.  He also had the audacity to buy a glass table for our dorm room, which we somehow managed not to break until we tried to move it into storage at the end of the year.  Don't call it a comeback!
  • Jay:  Sinead O'Connor - "Nothing Compares 2 U."  Jay had the best stereo I had ever seen, which I got to try out prior to living with him when a party was thrown on his floor my sophomore year.  For some reason, most of the partygoers decided to hang outside the dorm; Bubba and I took the far more practical route of standing next to the keg and controlling the music.  This was the hot song at the time and sounded great blasting through Jay's stereo.  Classic night and a classic song.
  • Bean:  Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Suck My Kiss."  Ben's musical tastes started freshman year with  Eric Clapton and The Grateful Dead; by senior year it had evolved into Lenny Kravitz and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.  When freshmen stole Ben's hamsters, he figured out their voicemail password and horrified their parents; I think this song was playing in the background, but that could be a total lie.  The final takeaway:  partially thanks to said freshman parental horror, the hamsters were swiftly returned, and some of you learned a valuable life lesson:  don't mess with seniors.  This still puts me right back in my dorm room senior year.
  • Bubba:  Anthrax - "Bring the Noise."  This was a toss up between Anthrax, Nirvana, L.A. Guns, and the Go-Go's.  If you know Bubba, you'll realize I'm not kidding.  We used to slamdance to this tune in our dorm room.  (But it was really cool, I assure you.  Not dorky at all.)  Our part of the dorm was torn down two years later due to "irreparable structural damage.  Probably a coincidence.
  • BA:  Naughty by Nature - "O.P.P."  Besides being the object of adapted lyrics like "Ain't Gonna Hurt Brad's Mommy" or "I've Had Enough of Brad's Mom," BA turned his freshman obsession with Kool Moe Dee's "Go See the Doctor" into a senior year music infatuation with Naughty by Nature.  It's timeless.  Well, sort of.  Just don't ask him to dance to it.  
  • TC:  The Police - "So Lonely."  Besides bringing "Safety/Doorknob" to school, Tim introduced us to the song we played at every party we ever threw.  Did it seem odd to see 10 guys chugging at a specific spot in a song that's all about loneliness?  Probably not.  Probably not.
  • Salami, er, Snilch:  Bob Mould - "It's Too Late."  If you read any of my reviews, this should not be a surprise.  One of my favorite songs ever, and the one that really sparked my interest in finding great but obscure music.  And I still love it as much today as I did when it came out 21 years ago.
  • Turner House:  Seal - "Crazy."  Our MWF schedule 2nd semester senior year staggered so that the five of ended up playing this album in its entirety five times a day.  We could not figure out why everyone else who lived near us hated this album, until we figured out that this was how our schedule has magically settled.  And that was in April.  A self-described mutant, Seal provided the soundtrack for our senior year.
Appearances have been altered to protect the innocent
How does this soundtrack hold up today?  Well, our focus group of three will find out this weekend.  Early odds will be that the songs will hold up just fine.  Our tolerance, on the other hand, is likely to be another matter entirely.

- Snilch

Monday, July 25, 2011

Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare (2010)

When I played this for Mrs. Snilch Report, I asked, "Who do you think recommended this?"  It took her about 5 seconds.  This is a classic Bubba album for sure.  

Think of some Metallica fan who watched a ton of Metalocalypse (on Cartoon Network, if you're not familiar), and wishes he could sound like the guy from Queensryche or Axl Rose.  For as cheesy as this could be, it's really not; it's better than most of the current metal wanna-be's.  But it's got a low ceiling, as it's more brute force than finesse.  Best used for psyching up your frat for Keg Wars, getting back at your annoying neighbors, or torturing suspected insurgents in your basement.

CD Placement Rating:  CD Rack.

Back... finally

Yes, here we are at the start again at The Snilch Report.  We're going to try something different this time around -- we'll be posting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until my attention wanes again (probably by Friday).  The Whiskey Dregs is no more (at least for music reviews), so this is where you will see stuff from me for the time being.

Please adjust your social calendars accordingly.
- Snilch