Blink 182 Geffen
Mature, serious and composed are not the sort of words that are often
associated with a pop punk bands albums, let alone a band thats
made a career of high school humor filled lyrics and videos of themselves
streaking. However those words and more easily apply to Blink 182's
latest effort. The band steps up with a seriousness that some would
think comes way out of left field but feels very much related to guitarist/singer
Tom Delonge and drummer Travis Barker's side project Box Car Racer.
Perhaps with the success of the dark brooding subject matter on that
disc the band realized their fans could appreciate seriousness as
much as nakedness.
The subject matter is still rife with sex, love lost, lust, etc. just
on a more serious note. The first track entitled "Feeling This"
was actually written by Mark Hoppus (singer/bass) and Tom Delonge
(singer/guitarist) in two separate rooms and they still wrote about
sex. Perhaps all that is adolescence is not lost. Throughout the album
chances are taken not only with lyrics but musical arrangement and
recording. The tracks are all filled with producer Jerry Finn's trademark
personal touches that made the band's album Enema of the State stand
out as not just another punk disc. The disc even features an ultra
somber Robert Smith, lead singer for The Cure.
The disc being self titled might not have been simply for lack of
a better title. Many band's first efforts are self titled and this
seems to be appropriate for a new era in Blink 182's career. The album
leaves you wondering what the next step for the band will sound like.
Who says somber can't be fun? Justin McBee; Posted 4/2/04
No Coast Eudora
Did you know what you get in a web search looking for
trivia about Eudora, Kansas? Pretty much jack. Well, now that tiny
hamlet can at least say with the greatest enthusiasm that a damn fine
band in KC may just make their lil' name a semi-famous word.
Led by guitarist/vocalist Mikal Shapiro (is that a cool name for a
musician or what?), this four-, five- or six-piece group (depends
on where you see them) has be turning out tunes for awhile and have
unquestionably put their unique stamp on Midtown's folk/jazz scene.
Aided by the likes of Gregory Ainsley (guitar/vocals) and Matt Wycoff
(guitar/vocals...ok, you get the point), Ms. Shapiro has definitely
brought in quite a fine crop of music. From the sax-filled funk (that's
"sax", you dirty monkeys) of the first track, "Nine
Volt," to the bluesy "Pink Skinny Lady" to the rich,
thick strings of "Studio Fuck" (Ha! that's the title, and
if you don't like it, stick it in yer ear!), Eudora's newest album
No Coast puts some bumps on the flat pancake that is Kansas,
and you don't even have to drive down K-10 lookin' for them. Brandon
Whitehead; Posted 4/9/04
Rain Home beltclave
As much as the release of a CD from a white teen pop band from Nebraska
might sound like a refreshing change (or, if you're a music critic,
the eighth level of hell), there are those rare groups that manage
to exceed the sum of their parts. There are some real goodies hidden
in their twelve-track album Rain Home and an impressive maturity
in their arrangements. Tracks like "Season" and "Surface"
would work great as the soundtrack to any touchy-feely indie film,
and the mixed vocals are exceptionally strong for...well, a white
teen pop band from Nebraska.
If anything, the biggest problem here is that the very same mellow
warmth that makes this music appealing also sort of blends it all
together, like a hot fudge sundae that's melted just a little too
much. Even upbeat ditties like "All These Days" come off
as a bit superficial, and the instrumental arrangements are a bit
too jazzy at times to fit the candy-cane singing styles. But these
are minor complaints for any pop album, which usually just sucks.
Brandon Whitehead; Posted 4/9/04
The Moon and Antarctica Epic
This is an album of such unmitigated mediocrity that
it is a tedious chore to wade through all 19 tracks. Its only redeeming
aspect is to present a compelling example of why the violin should
never again be incorporated into art-punk efforts.
This re-release of Modest Mouse's fourth album is intended to herald
the groups next one, Good News for People Who Love Bad News,
which should be out any day now. Bad news indeed. Despite critical
praise, download available Modest Mouse tracks prior to any purchase;
it may allow you to divert cash toward more worthwhile outlets.
Isaac Brock takes a lyrical approach similar to early Dylan; each
song witnesses an effusion of words. But his words are bland and his
lilting delivery equally tasteless. And since he is the primary noisemaker
of the band, wielding the one guitar and microphone, he sets the tone,
one which eschews the pop-song standard without finding a palatable
substitute. Paul Smith; Posted 4/9/04
Pawn Shoppe Heart Sire
With their first major release, the Von Bondies appeal to the masses
for a mass-appeal that they actually deserve.
The band stays true to its earliest demos with a prominent fret-skipping
bass coupled with a blues undercurrent to their straight-ahead riff-heavy
alt-rock. Most promising is that frontman Jason Stollsteimer has developed
a knack for a quick line, as on the militant No Regrets:
Don't be mistaken for someone who cares, oh no I know you
If Elvis ever hollered more than crooned, then Stollsteimer might
have a role model; but alas, his vocal hail Marys are all his own.
Standouts include the restrained blues on Right of Way
and the early Elastica punk of Not that Social, during
which bass player Carrie Smith takes lead vocals. But the full-tilt
excellence of the skeptical Cmon Cmon actually
makes the listener feel conflicted: this song could kill on modern
radio, but the risk of this track being cheapened by the FM might
not be worth it. Paul Smith; Posted 4/9/04