I would have gotten this in the glory days of Audiogalaxy, back in 2002, when The Last Broadcast was radio fare. So it's not really new. But I haven't found myself interested in Doves since Lost Souls; like many bands that make it big, the pressure of a wide listening audience ended up diluting their sound. However, Lost Souls was a good album with a lot of great songs, the best by far being "The Cedar Room." I say this with minimal effect from nostalgia; while I still hear many songs from that period through ruby-tinted speakers, including other Doves songs, this one really holds its own 5 years later.
The longest song on the album, it recalls the very best of brit-rock from the era. And although saturated bass, layered guitars, and steady drumming sound sweet, they aren't especially memorable in and of themselves. It's the songwriting and melody that are fantastic - at more than seven minutes, every second passes pleasurably, and it's been playing regularly in my Winamp for half a decade. This is one of those songs I think everyone should have, but probably a lot of people missed when it was just floating around as a single. Definitely worth your time.
The last album I had by Grails was more of a compilation - the work of several years compressed into one excellent 45-minute journey. I'm not sure what I was expecting from this album, but whatever it was, I have been pleasantly surprised. The noodling, eclectic ephemera of Black Tar Prophecies has been replaced by a kind of Eastern European/old-school Kinski sound. It's dark, it's loud, it's layered, and it's very good. I feel that Grails now has the cred to stand on equal footing with such giants of the genre as Mogwai, Mono, Do Make Say Think, and hey why not, Godspeed. Of course, Grails doesn't have nearly the discography under their belt as, well, any of those guys. But given a little time, and given how much they have (in my opinion) improved and tightened their sound and songscaping abilities, I have faith that won't be a problem for too much longer.
The album opens slowly but strongly with "Soft Temple," introducing you to what is a theme throughout the album (and genre) - the building up of instruments, the slow twisting of dials towards that "10," and more specifically to Grails, a sort of foreboding bass section accented very well by the drums, which are played with tactful restraint. The banjo, piano, bass and tambourine make for an sound that is hard to identify as one thing or another... and in the end, that it sounds "foreign" is all that can be concluded. The album is well produced, and the soft beginning blends faultlessly into the ear-pounding crescendo without you even noticing. "Silk Road" is placed in between two atmospheric tweener tracks I could probably do without, and is a sort of drawn-out spice-seeking caravan of a song, sounding like the background music for a scimitar fight. "Outer banks" follows the mold as well, with a bouncing, insistent beat and concise drumming. The title track is probably my favorite, mating an easy-listening intro to a fantastically well-paced blowup at the end. It sounds to me like storm clouds gathering over the Gobi desert and just dumping rain and sleet on a bunch of insane monks.
This is an excellent album and even if the whole thing isn't for you, there are at least a couple songs that are pretty difficult not to like if you're even slightly into bands like those I mentioned above. These guys have a well-crafted and unique sound, like Kinski crossed with Pelt, and I mean that in the most complimentary possible sense. Give it a shot, you won't regret it. And turn that fool volume up.
Their debut album, this 30-minute LP was also known at the time as "Turn It Up Faggot," which was apparently a common taunt during their early shows. Not surprisingly, the album is often referred to as their "self-titled debut." I bought it at the Deerhunter/Ponys show because I'd never heard of it, and wanted to know what their early sound was. Now let's be clear: this sounds nothing like Cryptograms. I do not recommend this album to people who do not like noise rock. It's abrasive, it's noisy, it's unpolished, and honestly if I heard it before Cryptograms, I would never have guessed it was the same band. But still, it deserves a listen because while they don't sound as good as (or at all like) they would later, this album carves a relatively unique sound. I don't listen to that much noise rock, but I can say that I'm reminded of some early Hot Snakes tracks, and maybe with some of the rawness and jarring atonality of something like Shellac. It's hard to nail it down, but at the very least it's quite loud. I've been listening to it in my car but now having ripped it to my hard drive, I can hear that it's actually pretty well recorded and clean.
If you're not paying attention, the tracks are going to run together; some are meant to, but they have common elements anyway: heavy bass, trashy and noisy guitars, and layered, distorted voice courtesy of the dangerously thin, sun-dress-wearing-dude of a singer. While they tend to spoil the songs a bit by blowing them up into noisy climaxes instead of a logical, controlled conclusion, there are some excellent grooves that turn up, the first being "Adorno," largely due to the excellent bass and mantra-like vocals. The band has gotten better lyrically since then, as there is a lot of repetition and use of the vocals as simply controlled noise on this album. Some tracks, like "Ponds," have more complicated structures and change things up more, but for some reason that track isn't as compelling as the more sort of fundamentally good tracks like "Oceans" and "Basement," the latter of which actually begins to hint at their more psych-based offerings to come, though not nearly as well-done as newer tracks like, say, "Strange Lights." The album closes with the deafening and terrifying "Death Drag," which takes the mantric vocal and noisy buildup approach to a whole new level.
It's a freaky album to be sure, and I really can't recommend it to people who don't either A: already like noise rock or B: already like Deerhunter. If you're curious (as I was) that's good too, but be prepared for some weird, noisy stuff.
I dare you to find anything substantial about this "band." The closest thing I can find is this site, and even there I can find no record of this song. I found it on another thing which apparently doesn't exist on the internet, a compilation called But It's Not Really Music... (A Post Rock Odyssey). Go ahead, google "post rock odyssey" - there are four results. Four! But I found some cool music on it; if I knew where to buy it, I would. This was just one track that stood out, a sort of synth-rock adventure, a cross between Macha and Black Moth Super Rainbow. I had it stuck in my head for a few days before I even figured out what it was. I'm going to see what else I can dig up, but in the meantime check this fun little track.
I've moved out of the loop genre for the most part, except when it's something a little weirder and heavier like The Psychic Paramount in the last post, but this track has a special place in my heart. My brother had this CD and it was kind of an introduction to this type of music - lots of samples, loops, beats, but light-hearted and easy to like, not all serious and "chill" like so many DJs. There's not much to say about it, this is just a fun little track that goes on my list of "songs that always make me smile" along with the Comas' "Moonrainbow," Architecture in Helsinki's "Spring 2008," and the Magnetic Fields' "Acoustic Guitar" among others. Hope you enjoy it!
It's hard to imagine what could have spawned the many-headed, fire-breathing monstrosity that is Gamelan Into The Mink Supernatural. That album was so unexpected that I never thought to look up whether these guys had any earlier records. The answer is apparently "no," from a perusal of their catalog at No Quarter Records, but they did release this compilation of home-recorded experiments, which cover a wide range of musical styles, but only hint at the power they would later be harnessing. Although it sounds little like their other release, it's a great collection of music and one I can easily recommend for any fans of of, say, Fridge, Deerhunter, Eluvium, and other experimental yet accomplished artists. However, if you are not a fan of loops or delay pedals, I suggest you turn around now and walk away.
To begin with, there is an alternative version of the furious Gamelan track "Echoh Air," which on this record is, like all the other tracks here, sans drums. This version is a little slower and has more room for the guitar/bass interplay to show through. "Microphone II," the longest track in the collection, is a meandering sonic landscape that, while slightly overlong, has a cool sound to it. "E5" sounds like, if anything, like "Red Ink" or some other tweener track from Deerhunter's Cryptograms. It's nice, showing an ear for texture. "Dsinter Blues Recorder" is my favorite track on Origins - although it is somewhat repetitive, I love the layered and looped guitars and the sort of gestalt rhythm that form from them. "Melancholy I" shows the band's unplugged and basic side, and similarly "Sorcerer" is a less processed version of "Dsinter Blues Recorder." "The Perfect Request" uses the same layering of acoustic guitars, but also adds a sort of drone layer that eventually overpowers the chime of the guitars.
Basically, it's an interesting, and good, record but not particularly focused and certainly not as terrifying as Gamelan. People looking for an atmospheric psych-out fix should definitely check this out - and if you were scared off by the other Psychic Paramount record, let this one be a gateway for you.