Wednesday, May 4, 2011


BROTHER (UK)Fly By Nights EP
An introduction EP by the rock and roll band we need right now. Gritty, dangerous and most of all – could give a shit less what anyone (including this reviewer) thinks about them. The Slough, England “Gritpop” band give us simply four songs on Fly By Nights but they are each a healthy indication as to what is to come from their debut, Famous First Words (due this summer). BROTHER (UK) are the full package, attitude, heavy drums, catchy hooks and impressive guitar licks; these are the boys that are going to make things very interesting.

Foo FightersWasting Light
Foo Fighters return with their seventh studio album and this time they bring along Butch Vig to give them the stadium sound they deserve. Grohl, reunited with his former Nevermind producer and even having fellow Nirvana member Krist Noveselic along with Bob Mould of Husker Du to lend a vocal and bass line, helps the album pack a punch. I caught up with Grohl right after Foo’s performance for a “Live on Letterman,” taping and when I asked what it was like to work with Krist and Butch again, withoutany hesitation he had said “it was great!” Wasting Light was recorded fully in Dave Grohl’s garage studio and recorded straight to tape with no use of modern technology, it is a perfect garage record from America’s best living garage band. Wasting Light isthe essential Foo Fighters album with heavy tracks like “White Limo,” “Famous Last Words,” and “Rope” to radio friendly cuts like “Walk” and “I Should Have Known,” Wasting Light is the band that Grohl has wanted to lead all these years.

Glasvegas - /// Euphoric Heartbreak \\\
In a past life, the members of Glasvegas had to be oceanographers, studying how waves and tides move in and out and in this current life they are bringing the movement of the tides to music. The emotional Glasgow rockers return with a new drummer and swelling wall of sound that carries the listener on a giant sonic wave and brings them to various highs and crushing lows. Singer James Allen is not one to hide how he feels, he wears his heart proudly on his sleeve and with each song sounding as if it is his final nervous breakdown it just starts again and shows that he understands the pain life has to bring. Taking pages written from the story of your life and putting them to song in the grand “Wall of Sound” style of Phil Spector, this Flood produced album is one that you will have on repeat.

Funeral PartyThe Golden Age of Nowhere
LA’s hottest new band delivers one of the years best debuts. The Golden Age of Nowhere by Funeral Party is a perfect blend of various rock and punk – think early Incubus meets Red Hot Chili Peppers meets Mars Volta meets X, an amalgamation of music and style that one can rock out to and throw a party to – an essential California band with an essential California sound. Funeral Party is a band that you need to remember and begin to love; The Golden Age of Nowhere is proof why.

TV on the RadioNine Types of Light
The Brooklyn art rockers return with the final album featuring bass contributions from Gerard Smith, who just recently passed away from cancer. For Nine Types of Light, the band regrouped after a three year hiatus to guitarist and producer Dave Sitek’s LA studio for a new change of atmosphere and pace and it shows. Instead of the bombastic sound we generally get from TV on the Radio, Nine Types of Light is much more mellow and melodic than any effort they have done before. Instead of the massive punch to the face we have come to expect from the band, it is much more subtle and keeps pressing.

YelleSafari Disco Club
Thanks to Daft Punk, Ed Banger records and the catchy tunes from Phoenix, France has been helping us move our feet and dance for a few years. Now, welcome the latest act that will have you shake your ass – Yelle. The catchy Franco singer with a pulsating beat and beautiful voice, Safari Disco Club is her latest record and it is an adventure in sound. Giving her native tongue a reason to rejoice, the beauty of Yelle is though I have no idea what she is saying, it sure sounds beautiful and fun.

ThursdayNo Devolucion
The New Jersey rockers come back and in rare form. Unlike their predecessor, Common Existence, No Devolucion is a much more mellow and melodic achievement in both style and sound. This is not the Thursday we have come to know through the years, but at the same time, it is. Gunning for your heart, Thursday has matured like a fine wine in all the right ways. While most of their contemporaries have gone the way of the Dodo, Thursday prove they are here to stay for a very long time.

Airborne Toxic EventAll at Once
At first this record will not strike you the way their magnificent 2008 debut did, but after a few listens it plays just fine. The LA band takes their inspirations like U2, Springsteen and Johnny Cash and blends them together with their own sound and vibe. All at Once shows the band reaching for massive stadium sounds but their ambitions may have gotten the best of them.

Marques Toliver – Butterflies are Not Free EP
It is something that has not been seen nor heard of in modern music. A musician singing and playing his violin while mixing classical music with a soul sound, the talented British musician Marques Toliver is someone who will have you engaged right away in his style. On his latest EP, Butterflies are Not Free, Toliver shows off his romantic and seductive side and scores it with something Vivaldi would be proud of.

Bull and the ButterflyLovers
Sometimes backed by a full band and sometimes just by himself, but the project of Ricky Valente known as The Bull and the Butterfly captures something simple raw, pure and organic. The singer and songwriter wears his heart and heartbreak right on his sleeve in his folk style with a voice that is a hybrid between Jeff Buckley and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Guided by passion and the events that have shaped him as an artist, Valente shows off his talents on his debut. Grab the bull by the horns and take flight, Lovers is something to be admired.

Dlyan Fox and the WaveTunnel Vision EP
California fuzz rock band, Dylan Fox and the Wave arrive with their debut EP. A band we featured earlier in the year as a rising artist and someone to look out for, show off on their debut EP Tunnel Vision, why you should start directing attention to them. Fuzzy and loud riffs with propelling drums aid us in remembering the early days of White Stripes and Black Keys, but this band duo is something who are making rock and roll something all their own.

Plan B The Defamation of Strickland Banks
One of the most talked about and loved talents in the UK has his latest record finally arrive abroad and the hype has guided Plan B to already be known without even releasing a proper single in America. The rapper meets soul singer shows off why he is all the rage back home with a record that crosses and mixes genres. The Defamation of Strickland Banks is a concept record about a singer who has found fame and love in the fictional town of Strickland Banks and only to loose everything with the singer going to jail for a crime he did not commit. An interesting take and concept but unlike B’s previous efforts, we hear him singing like Michael Buble instead of rapping like Mike Skinner, yet he still finds the balance to make it entertaining enough for a listen.

The KillsBlood Pressures
The dynamic duo of Allison Mosshart and Jamie Hince return with Blood Pressures. The album that was two years in the making finds the band popular now more than ever with Mossharts stink as the front woman for Jack White’s Dead Weather and Hince engaged to Kate Moss, but as they have been distracted from other things, the duo find no progress on what is the most forgettable Kills record in the catalogue. It feels and sounds like rehashed older material and leaves the listener only wanting something more and diverse.