Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Quick Spins

RadioheadThe King of Limbs
The world’s most mysterious and entertaining band return with a record that takes a while to sink your teeth into, but once you do, the flavor is something to truly savor. With eight songs at 37 minutes in length, it is the shortest Radiohead record but still feels like a full on experience and a record that you will be playing over and over again. On February 14, the band announced that they would release The King of Limbs on thatSaturday, yet a day before it’s official release the band pulled a fast one and gave it aday early. With much time to digest it, The King of Limbs is a hypnotic adventure in dubstup, electronica and like Kid A it mainly leaves out guitars, The King of Limbs plays out like a fascinating excursion into the unknown. Thom Yorke’s beautiful falsetto voice just echoes as a haunting ghost that is curiously wandering around. The King of Limbs is not agroundbreaking Radiohead record by any means, but it is a beautiful album and something that could bring dubstep and growing subgenres of music from the underground right to the forefront of modern music.

Beady EyeDifferent Gear, Still Speeding
“I'm gonna stand the test of time, like Beatles and Stones” Liam Gallagher declares on his first solo venture since Oasis’ demise in 2009. Different Gear, Still Speeding is Beady Eye’s debut album and with a strong declaration such as this, LiamGallagher might just stand the time as is heroes. With the perfect title, Different Gear, Still Speeding is just that – a record that takes what you loved about Liam and Oasis and injects it with something new. It is not a balls-to-the-wall debut, but a soft and tender side of Liam Gallagher while showing off his legendary bravado. The album is a superb rock and roll experience that takes a queue from rock’s past. It opens with the bombastic “Four Letter Word,” which could easily be the theme to the latest James Bond film and “Kill for a Dream” could easily be a love letter to his estranged brother Noel. This album is essential English rock from one of England’s essential rock and roll sons.

Royal BangsFlux Outside
The Tennessee trio release their third album and it that makes this band sound like 15 people play on this record. Royal Bangs are a loud, fast and indulgent rock and roll band and give you a reason to remember the power trio style of rock and roll. It maybe Kings of Leon and newcomers Mona that are putting Tennessee back on the rock map, but The Royal Bangs latest, Flux Outside will affirm the bullseye back to music’s wonderland.

The English songstress returns and it is a wonderful welcome. Adele maybe young but has a lifetime of experience and issues to sing about. One of music’s most beautiful, powerful and prolific voices shines very brightly on her sophomore release. 21 picks up where her debut, 19 left off. In many ways it is capitalized with the same formula, songs about hope and heartbreak and a brilliant cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong.” 21 is a worthwhile listen from a worthwhile artist.

Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip
With a name like Ringo Deathstarr you have to expect something very clever and very fun. On the UK band’s sophomore release, Colour Trip, it is indeed just that - a sonic trip of noise rock done right that makes you hear and feel every color of the rainbow. Bending sounds and fuzzy guitars with pounding percussion, Ringo Deathstarr are creating their own genre of music and seem to be having the times of their lives doing it.

Lykke Li Wounded Rhythms
The Swedish singer could have gone easy on her sophomore release, after giving a great female pop vocal album two years ago, but Lykke Li did not do that. Instead, she went a harder route and experimented with various genres, styles and ideas and created a fine album. Mixing electronica, doo-wop, pop, dub and dancehall, Lykke Li will go from being indie’s favorite lady to the masses favorite with Wounded Rythms.

Gil Scott-Heron / Jamie xx I’m New Here
One of America’s oldest and beloved jazz poets teams up with one of Englands newest and beloved beat makers. Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx combine forces on an interesting record that takes Heron’s famous and loved words and tosses them over intricate and layered beats.

MogwaiHardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
With an album title like this, you have to love Mogwai for being as ambitious as they are in just making instrumental music. Layered and complex rhythms and electronic loops all sparkle through and make this a solid listen. For Mogwai fans it is nothing brand new but something to enjoy.

Kids of 88Just a Little Bit EP
Giving us a five song EP, this New Zealand new wave band serve up a delicious taste as to what is to come from them. Already massive sensations in Oceana, they are taking pages from slick 80’s guidebooks and giving it their own spin – think The Killers and The Bravery from the beginning of their careers, taking an old genre and making it their own. Kids of 88 are a band to watch and Just a Little Bit is a their appetizer for success.

Like Kids of 88, TV TV are also brining new wave back and making it their own style. These slick New York City rockers have released their self made EP and it sounds as if they had major label money to make it. An impressive start that will only get better from here.

PlanningtoRock W
A DFA darling from Berlin, Planningtorock has a record that is clearly an acquired taste. A melancholy trip of various emotions set to rising tempo’s and distorted sounds, W, is a record that needs a few listens but may not exactly be for everyone.

Holcombe Waller Into the Dark Unknown
As stark as it is complex, dark as it is light, beautiful as it is ugly. Portland singer/songwriter Holcombe Waller returns with Into the Dark Unknown a plain bleak album of minimal sounds and layers, yet their seems to be something missing from Wallers latest. It is certainly a record to lounge out and sip coffee to, but in some areas it can get lost as just background music.