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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Coldplay - Speed Of Sound

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (6.8MB)
Pre-order the album

OK, I was intending not to touch this one, and just be happy with praising the minimalist album cover, but in the end a cultural moment of this magnitude is just begging for "Captain Cynical" (as dylan so kindly labelled me) to take a poke at.

To give you an idea of the hype and signifcance around this, it's the first time a British band has directly entered the US Singles Top 10 since The Beatles released Hey Jude in 1968.

Coldplay bigger than the Beatles?

Not on your life.

This is still wuss-rock of the highest order, and it's as if someone has simply entered in all the signature-cliche coldplay elements from their last major hit (the piano from "Clocks", the Eno-esque synth echo from, er "Clocks", the guitar riff from um, that'd be, "Clocks") into Pro Tools, and spat this track out the other end 5 seconds later. Clocks-lite, if you like.

Oh, and thematically there's also lots of astronomical-type guff in the lyrics ("planets are moving at the speed of light", "and the earth is gone flying at the speed of sound" - looks like Mr Martin failed his Science O-levels)


It's still a decent song though, after all, this is good ol' dependable, reliable Coldplay. So I have no qualms handing out a "not so bad, not so good" rating of ...

5/10

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Tom Waits - Step Right Up

Track Review
Released: 1976
Download It (8.5MB)

That's right, it fillets, it chops
It dices, slices, never stops
Lasts a lifetime, mows your lawn
And it mows your lawn
And it picks up the kids from school
It gets rid of unwanted facial hair
It gets rid of embarrassing age spots
It delivers a pizza
And it lengthens, and it strengthens
And it finds that slipper that's been at large
Under the chaise lounge for several weeks
And it plays a mean Rhythm Master
It makes excuses for unwanted lipstick on your collar
And it's only a dollar, step right up
It's only a dollar, step right up

6/10

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Underground Lovers - Suburban Sprawls

Track Review
Released: 2001
Download It (12.6 Mb)

The Underground Lovers are the criminally ignored innovators of the Australian music scene. Plying their trade for over 15 years, they have released a shitload of albums. Definitely the least of which this track is lifted from(Mallboy Soundtrack; from a movie that noone ever saw or gave a shit about). Somehow I ended up with this CD, and this is the only track worth a damn on it.

I remember once Busho, Butthead and I saw the Lovers at the Annandale (before it shut down the first time). We were wired on cheap booze, grass and dodgy lebanese pills. By the time we got there, everything was swirling around us, rushing in and out of focus. Needless to say, the Lovers were fucking brilliant, we stumbled out of the gig, rabid and insane, screaming for more. The most significant thing I remember from the gig was 'ooh mow mow mow mow mow mow mow mow mow' emerging out of the wall of sound they were generating.

After the gig we went returned to The Albs, drunk some more cask wine, punched a couple of cones and dropped another pill. Butthead and I picked up our guitars and jammed non-stop for the next 6 hours, while Busho watched on, his cone punching providing a rhythmic counterpoint to our aimless psychadelia.

Obviously we were too off our chops to ever record this session but I'd imagine if we had have managed to, it would have sounded a little something like this; chiming Kraut-rock inspired lead underpinned by the Lovers' strange cord shapes.

6/10

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Coldplay - X & Y

Album Cover Review
Released: tba ... sometime in July 2005

View the album cover

OK, so I'm just minding my own business at work, trying my best to get through my rigorous daily '4-hour web-surfing and 3-hour table tennis' schedule, when some designer sends around a "hee hee look at the new Coldplay album cover, it's the worst design ever!" all-staff email.

Fuck you, web-design industry. So typical. Shut the fuck up and design some more crappy banner ads so I can block them.

And no, I don't give a crap about Coldplay, bunch of boring twats.

But I like the cover! It reminds me of a cross between the sprites my early-80s Intellivision video game system use to serve up, and the Test Pattern on SBS (tv channel).

I may even try out listening to a few tracks. What a great cover ... did they consult Thom Yorke or something?

And apparently the cover contains a secret code ...

8/10

Monday, April 25, 2005

Peterpan - Ada Apa Denganmu

Track Review
Released: 2004
Download It (5Mb)

The sun presses down, insistant on turning my face into a dried dark mask. The skin feels tight yet my eyes feel heavy and threaten to drop off my face altogether.

Thoughts wander in and out like strangers at a party. I hope they brought drinks.

"That dog looks like a rat I wonder how it got onto the beach.", thanks for coming, toilets are to the back and left.
"Wonder how long it is till sunset...", Hey! glad you could make it!
"Incest, is such a loaded word.", Oh, who invited you?

Peterpan sums it up nicely "Ada apa denganmu?". Teenage IndoPop seems to be a good salve for this particular burn.

Meanwhile the sun sets.

7/10

Frank Zappa - Peaches en Regalia

Delegated Review (By Gareth)
Released: 1969
Download It (5.6 Mb)

Gareth has been threatening me with a delegated review of a 25 minute long Frank Zappa guitar solo for a while, but he (thankfully) has realised that there was no way in hell I would listen to 25 minutes of Frank. Instead I have been delegated this slightly more palatable slice from Frank's oeuvre. It has always intrigued me that Gareth 'Captain Cynical' Northwood has this semi sexual obsession with Mr Zappa. It's like his soft underbelly.

Me? I've never understood Zappa. I'll admit that, yes he is a fantastic musician, and (as this track demonstrates) also he is a fairly accomplished composer / songwriter / whatever.

This sounds like a bunch of theme tunes mixed up together, it starts off with the theme music to Legend of Zelda, then it turns into the theme music from some generic 80s sitcom, and continues on in that fashion; first the firemen, and then the maths teachers etc.

One of my housemates just walked by and asked 'why the fuck are you listening to gumby music?', I had no answer; this is gumby music. No matter how accomplished the performances are, I still don't get it. Yes it's all very skillful, but I can't imagine why anyone would want to listen to it.

5/10

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Arcade Fire - Neigborhood #3 (Power Out)

Track Review
Released: 2004
Download It (9.2MB)

The Arcade Fire are one of the most accomplished new bands around, no question . If you've been living in some kind of media vacuum and haven't been witness to continuing dollops of praised dumped by the musical press all over their album Funeral, well stop reading this now and download.

This is a juggernaut of a track blasted out at a fierce intensity. Lyrics are a compelling mixture of surburban angst and nightmares (
Ice has covered up my parents hands / don't have any dreams don't have any plans). Pounding drums, a deep full multi-layered sound, Win Butler's end-of-his-tether vocals, a manic xylophone, and a perfectly placed violin. Even better, it all sounds so original (unlike almost every other "band-of-the-moment", who sound like your local cover band down at some shitty early-80s retro night).

In short, my favourite track from the best album of 2004.

10/10

Friday, April 22, 2005

Jay-Z vs Marc Mac - Dirt Off Your Shoulder

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (5.0MB)

Look, I didn't like jigga's original "Dirt Off Your Shoulder", so I admit I'm approaching this latest lauded remix/mash-up with some preconceptions.

But did I really need to hear this grating track remodelled as a cocktail lounge bore?

No, I didn't, and can you bedsit musos please stop doing Black Album mash-ups, it's fucken 2005 for christ's sake.

3/10

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Oasis - I Guess God Thinks I'm Abel

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download it (20.7 Mb - Includes 3 other songs)

Wow, this is really fucking good. Haven't bothered listening to the other songs properly, as I have had this one on repeat for the last hour.

Doves-esque post ecstacy rock. Admittedly, this is a completely 'Dylan' song, but given that, how can I not love it? You know the hallmarks; happy but sad, slightly psychadelic, big big sound, chiming guitars, swampy reverb.

You can wrap yourself up in this song and believe that maybe everything is gonna be OK.

9/10

Password for the .rar is oasis

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (5.8 Mb)

Really lovely, slightly over the top instrumentally Indie Pop in the vein of Death Cab. I really like this song, but Gareth doesn't.

Churny, droney guitars, arpeggios, male & female vocal parts, casios, pounding simple drums, a string section, trumpets, 'meaningful samples', forlorn lyrics about lost love and so forth. Yeah it's a bit of an everything and the kitchen sink approach, but it works for me.

Ahhh to be young and heartbroken again.

7/10

Sheila On 7 - Untuk Perempuan

Track Review
Released: 2003
Download It (6.78Mb)

Bali.
Hot.
Humid.

I think I may be dehydrated and possibly have some sort of parasite.

So, to set the tone, here's some suitably overwrought indonesian emo* that will suit this post.

Ostensibly the trip was so I could catch up with girlfriend but in reality I was on a mission to win over "not girlfriend". Upon realizing early on into the trip that this was not going to happen and that I was forever going to be consigned to playing the role of "jizzmale on the side" I spiralled into an arak, magic mushroom and e fuelled binge. This ended when I came to early sunday morning slumped over a vespa in the light early morning rain, shirtless and with a plastic bag wrapped around my head.

And there you have it. What a pathetic web the jizzmale weaves.

Also, rumors have surfaced that my girlfriend is actually gay. Further reports as more information comes in.

7/10

*Okay, so it's not really technically emo, who really gives a shit? do you? well then write a moronic, unhinged and slightly racist comment. If jewbacca can do it, anyone can.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska

Delegated Review (delegated by Dylan)
Released: 1982
Download It (8.0 MB)

Ok, I'll admit that up until now my only exposure to Springsteen has been his two vacuous mid-80s hits - the hideously over-used Born In the U.S.A. and, the other one ... um, Dancing In the Dark? I also really liked 2 Live Crew's "Banned in the U.S.A." which stole the riff from Born ...

Um, yeah. Be Amazed! at the extent of my musical pedigree.

So while being vaguely aware that his earlier work held a lot of respect, it never really occurred to me to give any of it a passing glance, probably because a) I've never been into the whole "singer/songwriter" thing, b) I'm not going to connect with tales of working class / middle america, c) I'm too busy examining the finer subtleties of Billy Corgan's collection of poetry, Blinking With Fists

Actually, c) was a joke, but I digress.

The lyrics in this song are good. It seems to be about a killer, his lover, and the fate they meet in an electric chair, and it's written really well. Unfortunately, the music is not so good. Well, it's harmless. It kind of twinkles away in the background like a starry night, but just like a starry night, you only notice it if you remember to go outside and look up in the first place.

I really wanted to like this. I even inserted it into my high-rotation "playlist of the week". Thing is, everytime when Winamp decided it's turn had come for an airing, it had all the impact of a billy corgan sonnet.

4/10

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Six Organs of Admittance - Procession of Cherry Blossom Spirits

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (4.8 Mb)

Low key waffly Tea Partyesque classical guitar wankery with nice background SFX.

Rainy afternoon music for when you're sick of Music For Airports.

6/10

Queens Of The Stone Age - Little Sister

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (4.6MB)

I never really got into the QOTSA thing. Their 2002 crossover hit "No One Knows" was one of the more annoying things on radio at the time - a lumbering, hulking, sweaty bore of a song.

Now from their new album comes the first single "Little Sister". So, what can this offer up to us fickle listeners? Well, this time around the riff isn't annoying - but it's completely nondescript. Vocals are average with nothing much to say, and the whole fuzzy stoner rock thing we've heard a million times over.

Do they just have a habit of picking inferior tracks as singles? Are the rest of their albums actually great? Someone let me know, because based on this evidence, I just don't have the energy or inclination to find out.

4/10

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Snopp Dogg - Signs (feat Justin Timberlake)

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (6.2MB)

Timberlake has about as much credibility in the music world as a nazi plebiscite, and Snoop Dogg seems to be entirely responsible for inventing "adult contemporary gangsta" as a genre.

I'm not sure how well you're going to be able cope with Timberlake's pre-pubescent girly voice cussing "don't fuck wit me", but you sure as hell better be able to cope with the dirty-slap-bass-funk track that the Neptunes have served up for the Doggfather here, cause it's da bomb.

The perfect party beats for Snoop to flow some smooth pimp over.

6/10

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Guided By Voices - Kicker Of Elves

Track Review
Released: 1994
Download It (1 Mb)

De de de de de de de, Kicker of Elves.

7/10

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Bravery - Honest Mistake

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (4.3MB)

Eh? What's that? A hip indie post-punk band in 2005 that has actually delivered a track which lives up to the hype?

YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING.

Um, no, I'm not.

So if you want a track that:

- has more sense of melody and musicianship than the "we-only-know-3-chords" Futureheads;

- contains more ballsiness than the twee effeminate machinations of Franz Ferdinand;

- features more innovativeness and character than the desperately dull "we've got our dial turned firmly back to 1981" Bloc Party;

- delivers a chorus that actually resonates rather than the irritating shouting of the Kaiser Chiefs ("i predict a riot" - shut the fuck up you talentless northern hacks);

- is generally less embarassing than The Killers;

then, this is your track.

Actually, I don't usually bother reviewing this kinda stuff, but our regular indie contributor Dylan is currently too busy larking about in London-village stalking Jarvis Cocker, shagging slappers, and inserting copies of NME up his rectum.

7/10

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Ludacris - Number One Spot

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (6.2MB)

Reason to d/l #1: Luda is one of the few rappers who actually bothers to carefully enunciate each word so that, gasp, the listener can actually understand it! Revolutionary.

Reason to d/l #2: Luda's ripped off the silly lounge music riff from Austin Powers.

Reason to d/l #3: Luda thinks he IS Austin Powers (see last verse).

Reason to d/l #4: Cause I fucken told you to.

6/10

Sugar Hill Gang - Apache

Track Review
Released: 1981
Download It (5.70Mb)

A great track to start off a party. The percussive intro leads up to the unforgettable riff that first sees the light of day at .25 in.

"TONTO, JUMP ON IT, JUMP ON IT!
KEMOSABI, JUMP ON IT, JUMP ON IT!
CUSTER, JUMP ON IT, JUMP ON IT!
APACHE, JUMP ON IT, JUMP ON IT!!! WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWO!"

Fuck the rapping bits, fuck off all the rest of the song. All you need is that groove looped over and over again, a white leather suit, a handlebar mustache, a big bald black dude with a vespa and the will to go. all. night. long.

Well, at least that didn't get weird.

6/10

Friday, April 08, 2005

Marvin Hamlisch - Bond 77

Track Review
Released: 1977
Download It (6.2MB)

You see what I'm doing? I'm segueing. I'm continuing the recent Bond theme of my reviews, because there's naught much better than a continuing theme, is there? (apart from a private screening of Back Door Sluts 9, that is).

1977. Roger Moore is firmly ensconced as Bond now, but there's something that's not quite right.

Ah. The music. Still using that damn big-band brass-influenced John Barry original from '62?

Well, fuck that.

For the new movie, The Spy Who Loved Me, let's make Bond go disco.

0:00 - 1:14 : Hamlisch starts out by serving up one of the best minutes of Bond music. Ever. Those synthesisers! The disco bassline! And ... it works! This is seriously groovy. Well done Marvin, but can he keep it up?

1:15 - 1:25 : A huge mistep is made with the introduction of the orginal guitar track over the top of the new spiffing disco backdrop. This sounds, utterly, completely, horribly, wrong. It only lasts 10 seconds though, so maybe it's just an abberation, and the track will steady itself from here?

1:25 - 1:57: Marvin brings into the mix a simple twangy guitar note which works! Go Marvin!

1:57 - 3:04 : Inexplicably, the song takes another twist into the abyss with the introduction of a schmaltzy sax. Now beginning to sound like the Village People at a gay tuxedo party, Marvin better have something good up his sleeve if he's gonna recover from this.

3:04 - 3:36 : Clutching at straws now, Marvin dives for the "classical" button on his casio keyboard,
cursing under his breath the producer who insisted the track must last for 4 minutes. Yep, the sax solo has stopped, but he's bought in cheesy STRINGS! What tha?

3:37 - 4:22 : Just as we were about to write Marvin Hamlisch off as Disco's version of the Titanic, he's saved the ship with a brilliant blast of brass instrumentation that oozes style, glamour and danger, sounding just enough like the original theme to resonate but still working in the confines of, well, disco.

So there you have it.

Bond 77.

If you're a chimpanzee visiting this website, fuck off.

6/10

Jack Johnson - Sexi Plexi

Delegated Fucken Review
Released 2002
Download It (2.6 Mb)

Jack Johnson Appropriates Two Different Styles Of Music With Boring Result

This track is based around a brazilian samba or salsa or some shit starting with s guitar scale. Then with a nod towards the bullshit notion of 'world music', he has cleverly gone for the 'my drummer's black or owns a dub album, by stealing the classic reggae motifs of the one drop on the third beat and the clattering snare roll. Having said that because he is a lightweight they only use the snare on the one drop (the third beat of a 4:4 rhythm). This lightweight riff stealing makes me sick, at least P Diddy has the balls to pay for the songs he steals completely from. Just because you went surfing in Brazil once, doesn't give you any deep understanding of their music. Which is not to say that I do. But I do know this; Johnson is the Deep Forest of the noughties. No matter how many gorgeous girls flock to his concerts, I will always concern myself with manlier activities like Kick Boxing and Jerking Off.

It gets two points for each of the girls and one for the song.

3/10

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Spoon - I Turn My Camera On

Track Review
Released: 2005
Download It (8.1 MB)

I dunno. Beck spent a few years trying to peddle this prince-aping, high voiced white boy non-funk for a few years, but he gave up because he realised it was gay. Yeah, it was too gay for Beck for fucks sakes, I think he gave it up to score Battlefield Earth II.

My point being, I expect better from Spoon, Kill The Moonlight (2002) was a great album, original and catchy. Small Stakes had to have been one of the best singles of that year, a whole crapload better than whatever the fuck that scientologist arsehole was releasing at the time.

I keep listening to the song hoping or assuming I have missed the point, which has happened before, but at the moment I got nothing. The beat is kinda catchy, the adding new loops thing that worked so well for their last album is there, although, sorry Britt, you're not exactly Timbaland. More loops are required, and better ones. And a better song.

If, on the 3,000th listen I discover what is actually great about this track I will quite happily write a fawning apologetic review of the track, but at the moment it's getting one bonus point in case I am missing the point.*

5/10

*In case you are a Gareth like moron, I gave the song 4 points plus 1 bonus point making it 5/10.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Atom & His Package - Hats off to Halford

Track Review
Released: 1999
Download It (1.52Mb)

Dylan once proclaimed Atom "the future of music". He wasn't far off.

Armed with his "package", a Yamaha QY 700 Sequencer, Atom is a genius who rips through in-jokes and the big issues with equal ease.

In this 1 minute 39 second epic, Atom uses his high pitched, nasal powered voice to force us to stop and think about the effect Rob Halford's homosexuality had upon the heavy metal community, and what it means for us, as a society. He takes these potent issues, stuffs them into a boppy synth container and DARES you to taste it.

Mmmm Mmmm, i'll have another piece thanks Atom, yes indeed.

6/10

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Transmutator - A View To A Kill Part 2

Track Review
Released: 1998
Download It (7.6MB)

My second drum n bass review in a row? What tha? And you thought this website was supposed to be about gansta rap and crunk n b, did you?

Well too bads, peoples.

The shitty beats are back.

However, contrary to that hideous "hands in the air" shite I was forced to review, this is d'n'b at it's absolute best, deliriously feeding the well-known duran duran new-wave 80's bond theme tune into its heavy-duty jungle-blender, and spitting out the other end a damn tasty and spiced-up morsel of a track.

So good, this hardly feels like you're listening to drum n bass at all.

7/10

Monday, April 04, 2005

Emocapella - Cute Without the 'E' (Cut From the Team)

Track Review
Released: 2003
Download It (6.9Mb)

Emo and Acapella. My not so secret shames. I was content to just enjoy them seperately until one day I stumbled across.

Emocapella.

Much like dating my hot cousin, the idea of listening to something that combined Emo AND Acapella filled me with shame and a searing, horny excitement.

Was it the sinful bliss that I expected? Or was it the abominable horror that they* expected and warned me it would be?

Meh, somewhere in between, it lacked the punch of the original Taking Back Sunday version and the acapella was servicable. The emocapella guys' voices really didn't appeal to me. Maybe it was the low quality of the recording but I wasn't offended nor was swept away in orgasmic waves. I was just left, sort of, treading water, in a sea of banality.

Fuck this, where did I leave my cousin's number?

5/10

* They, in this case, means YOU

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Dillinja & Lemon D - Hands In The Air

Delegated Review (delegated by Reyn)
Released: who the fuck cares when
Download It (for the masochists)

Drum n Bass.

Who the fuck has the ears and requisite sub-vegetable IQ that can deal with listening to this "genre" of "music"? No wonder all d'n'b fans are clubbers - they're the only ones deaf enough to tolerate this earpiss.

Starts off all echoey with a vocal loop. Fuck you Dillinja and Lemon D. Why don't you keep your pointless drivel to yourselves. Oh look, you've brought in a chill-out female vocalist as well? How fresh and inventive, you fucken despicable pair of dyslexic illiterate mentally-deranged chimps.

Echoey intro bit seems to go on for an eternity, but it's an eternity of enveloping fear because you know that the shitty drum n bass beat is gonna drop at any second. Now I know how people felt during the London Blitz, cowering in their houses as the Luftwaffe soared overhead. It's going to drop, please don't let it drop!

Too late.

Dillanja and Lemon D (who, I might add, sound like a bunch of retarded grinning E victims who drink the goo out of their glowsticks), have dropped their fucken shitty beats. Yes, at aproximately 1:39 into the track, Satan himself drops a bog.

Who the fuck invented drum n bass? It's the aural equivalent of a bunch of faeces being shot out of a cannon at random intervals.

This is undoubtedly the least sexiest music in the world.

0/10

Friday, April 01, 2005

Cover Battle : Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag

Artist: Pastel Vespa
Released: 2002
Download It (4.6Mb)

VS

Artist: Adam Brand
Released: 2001
Download It (2.7Mb)

The original was a pleasantly forgettable acoustic driven song about teenagers (or something) sung by, judging by the music video, shaved down monkeys in baggy clothing who may or may not be cross eyed.

ROUND 1:
Adam Brand is off to an aggressive start, dictating the tempo of the fight with his splashing drums and smooth slide guitar. Pastel Vespa is on the backfoot already and has to play catch up.

OH! Adam is caught by a deceptive combo by Pastel, Pastel skipped the first chorus and cruised straight into a Bossa Nova Brazillian accented second verse that Adam didn't see coming.

Thats the bell, despite the slow start Pastel Vespa ended strongly with that chorus skip combo although Adam may still be up on points.

ROUND 2:
Adam sticks the basics for the breakdown, voice guitar and a trace of drums, solid. He gets a yellow card and a warning for replacing Iron Maiden with Willie Nelson in the lyrics. The referee misses Pastel Vespa doing the same illegal move, this time replacing Iron Maiden with Pastel Vespa, Brand is visibly upset.

Brand ramps up the aggression, takes a tired Pastel down and cleanly pulls off his patented "Country Twist" submission move.

Adam Brand wins via submission.

Adam Brand: 7/10
Pastel Vespa: 6/10