My pick from Diarrhea Planet‘s recent album, Turn to Gold, is “Ain’t a Sin to Win” because of it’s Motley Crüe-esque intro and mentions of the streets of heaven and other rock n’ roll dives. It lives fast and dies young, laid to rest in a pressed suit of gold.
Women have been ruling and leading the revival of great rock music these days and there are not many if at all that beat Deap Vally in the bad-assery department. I was already excited when I heard “Royal Jelly“, but the recent release of “Smile More” only goes to show that their forthcoming album Femejism (due our September 16) will be one of the best albums of the year. Just remember I said that.
The land down under is never down and out; not with the likes of Flume blazing the path for the hottest electronica imports around. “Lose It” won’t be lost on anyone high on off-kilter trip hop break-beats. Vic Mensa lays down the law with a formidable rap cameo to polish over this controlled digital chaos.
It’s no secret Thrice is one of my favorite bands, and their latest album To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere is their best effort to date. “The Window” is not a single but is one of the best songs off of TBEITBN. There are not many bands who pull off 7/4 time better than Thrice, and this song is a perfect example of that. I’ll be covering their show at the Playstation Theater this Thursday night so follow my Snapchat for some exclusive views of the show!
[+] HAVOC AND THE ALCHEMIST – “BUCK 50S AND BULLET WOUNDS”
There’s an expression in Hip Hop where an elder statesman, or “OG” is called an ‘Old Head.’ Despite how it might sound, in this case, being ‘old heads’ is exactly what was needed for Alchemist, Havoc and Meth to chef up something that goes this hard. “Buck 50s and Bullet Wounds” (title aside) is the kind of street music that I wouldn’t hesitate to call easy listening. The lines aren’t extremely complex, but qualify as bars in any arena, and travel well across a throwback Alchemist beat that’s as timeless as any. The Mobb Deep to Wu connection is strong, unmistakable, and reminds us that New York rap is alive and well.
Modern Vices‘ new track “Sacrifice” is a garage rock jam that is perfect for those dark, foggy evenings. The brooding vocals and eerie instrumentals make for a sinister sound that goes well with any late night mischief.
The New York City retro rockers The Mystery Lights stir up the track “Follow Me Home” with a mixture of dynamic guitar riffs, complimented by lead singer Mike Brandon’s raw gritty vocals and pop infused undertones. There is a soulful charm to the band’s music that creates a classic sound which transcends generations.
16 years ago The Avalanches dazzled the electronic music world with what many consider an iconic plunderphonics masterpiece. The work of art was called Since I Left You and I can’t help but notice the prophetic irony in the title of the critically acclaimed 3000+ sample enigma. The album was a radiant kaleidoscope of seemingly random bits and pieces that somehow fit both musically and generationally. Then there was mostly radio silence until few days ago, when the band premiered the first single called “Frankie Sinatra” from their brand new album Wildflower to be released July 8.
“Frankie Sinatra”, much like the man behind the name, pays an unapologetic homage to everything original. As soon as it opens you know something very special, vintage, insane, and likable is staring and breathing right in your face. It all begins with a sample of Wilmoth Houdini’s “Billy Sox Idol” chorus which is soon backed by a hip-hop beat that sets a swaying and popping rhythm to the prominent brass band overtones. Both, Danny Brown and MF Doom lend rapper cameos to the track with lyrics that flow and are best left to personal interpretation. The electronica comeback of the decade closes out with the Sound Of Music’s “My Favorite Things” sample which is equally surprising and goose bump inducing. Shortly after premiering “Frankie Sinatra”, The Avalanches posted a heartfelt apology to their throng of fans on Facebook. At the end of it they offered an honest insight: “What a beautiful thing that sound waves can be. It’s magic”. I couldn’t agree more – magic indeed
Singer-songwriter Adia Victoria, who recently released a debut album, Beyond The Bloodhounds on her label, Canvasback, is, to put it simply, different. She’s a fine reassurance that not all is lost in terms of innovation. Even though music is a suspiciously skewed stepladder, always building on the past until the past gets too cool, Adia’s blend of blues and garage rock and punk is not classic, nor is it entirely contemporary.
“Dead Eyes,” a single that appears on the new album, is an ideal intro, and a blessed warning not to be so quick to stick a label on her. It’s a relatively quick track, quietly sardonic and easy to digest, though it might burn a little cigarette burn in the pit of your stomach. “Yes, whiskey will do,” she says, offering up some old fashioned ‘Alabama Song’ advice, and addressing a certain someone who needs it. The ‘he’ of the song keeps insisting she’s dead in the eyes, dead in the eyes, and the more Adia repeats his words, the more we want to be gloriously disaffected, too. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel a good little dose of riot grrrl in there, too, in the hey’s and the babydoll back up’s, and things like that only add to the fleshy pink underbelly of the song. It also struck me that her voice doesn’t stay in the low bluesy range for long- she lets herself out of the expected vocal spectrum and blows the whole thing beautifully out of proportion. The video for the track confirms the sense of broken restraint, as Adia gets into a slinky, inky car that drives itself, leaving the bloodhounds in the rearview mirror.