Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quick Spins

I promised many changes in 2010, one of them was more album reviews. You will be getting album reviews twice a month, take a look at round one.

The Austin indie band fires back in a big way returning to form and making a comeback since 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga. Transference is a perfectly produced album that the more you listen to it, you find out something new each time and it keeps getting better and better. From cleaver lyrics to great musical qualities, Spoon show why after all these years they are bigger and better than ever.

Bouncing SoulsTales of the Boardwalk
In 2009 Jersey punkers Bouncing Souls celebrated their triumphant 20th anniversary. As a gift to fans, the band on the first of each month released a song to celebrate the band’s two decades making music their way. In celebration of that effort, the band has packed this compilation of songs into one record. The songs are typical Bouncing Souls goodness and its nice to see those the band has influenced from Dave Hause of Loved Ones to Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem contributes vocals to some of the songs. A great compilation and one for ever Souls fan to go along with the collection of great material this band has given us through the years.

Surfer BloodAstro Coast
If the Beach Boys did not take hallucinogens during their hay-day and did heroin instead, they would sound like Florida’s Surfer Blood. I have no idea what this band does in their downtime and I am not saying they are drug users, but that is the best way to describe this bands catchy and thrashing sound. Surfer Blood are drawing inspiration from everyone from Beach Boys to The Strokes, and are a band to watch out for this year. Combining fuzzy guitars, catchy and cleaver hooks, this Florida band is one not to be missed. Astro Coast is a solid debut that will see this band rise like the tide.

The Soft Pack
I am making a prediction now, 2010 will be the year that surf-punk makes a big comeback. With acts like Vampire Weekend, Surfer Blood and California’s The Soft Pack, this indie style will come back in a big way this year, and these are only bands that we know of. The Soft Pack, formally The Muslims, is fun and catchy on their debut linking sounds from great Cali bands like Weezer and Rooney and bridging that preppy fun in the sun sound with distortion ala Spoon. It takes everything one would love about the Pacific Coast and jams it into a short yet succinct album.

Chew LipsUnicorns
If Karen O fronted Air and it was produced by the members of Hot Chip, it would sound like Chew Lips, I also think I just thought of a great super group. This UK electro band has been making waves back in their native land and are set to take the US by storm this year with their debut, Unicorns. Singer Tigs vocals are so seductive you are not sure if she would be a femme fetal or the perfect lover.

Screaming FemalesSingles
This New Jersey DIY band has been making big waves the past 12 months. From opening to everyone from Bouncing Souls to Arctic Monkeys to Dead Weather, Screaming Females have been doing everything on their own and are now having the light caste on them. This young band has such a raw energy and great style of playing that they are a live act not to be missed. Their latest EP Singles is a compilation of old songs as the band begins to work on new material. It is a nice collection that displays the bands raw power yet lacks the bands live energy.

Motion City SoundtrackMy Dinosaur Life
When Motion City Soundtrack busted onto the scene in 2003 they were a pop-punk/emo band that sounded like no one else, they were fresh and original. They had cleaver lyrics, ultra catchy hooks and 80’s style synths laid over punk rhythm and style. Now with the scene pretty much dead, Motion City Soundtrack is starting to sound like the peers who fronted that genre and further from themselves. Maybe that is why the title of their latest is called, My Dinosaur Life, the scene is extinct like the former roamers of the Earth. Still the album finds moments of typical MCS style that we have loved over the years; fast hooks, jumping rhythms and most of all, singer Jean Pierre’s voice still remains one of the most original and distinct in all of music. Unfortunately the sound is not as fresh as they once were.