Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Song #100: Broken Bells - "Vaporize"

Here we are at the final stage! For my last trick, I’ve decided to have a listen to the new project for James Mercer (normally of The Shins) and Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse/one half of Gnarls Barkley). It’s entitled Broken Bells, and they’re just about to set their debut album out on its merry way. This first taste, entitled Vaporize, sounds almost exactly like you’d think it would - almost. Remember, Burton never forces his hip-hop and soul leaning on artists that don’t need it (lest we forget his collaboration with the late, great Sparklehorse). It’s much more of an acid-dropping approach to this new project – this really does sound like The Shins adventuring through outer space in slow motion.

That’s definitely a compliment, for the record. Mercer sounds both peacefully placid and creatively inspired, the music behind him sounding spacey but also incredibly comfortable. He has plenty of catchy melodies that float by in a loving haze. If I got high, this is probably something I’d do it to; just put it that way.


The new album is streaming online now. Google that shit, suss it all out.

Well, that’s it! A conclusive post is to come, but I have successfully completed THE SONG CENTURY CHALLENGE! Hooray!!!!


Song #99: Foals - "Spanish Sahara"

With two songs to go, I’ve decided to shut the fuck up for this one. Because, really…how the hell do you describe something that left you speechless on first listen?

Foals are back. And I’m so glad they are

FINAL RATING (/10): 9.5

PLEASE watch this video. It’s insane amounts of goodness.


Song #98: Dead Letter Circus - "Here We Divide"

What a pleasant surprise in my email inbox this morning! “Hey dude,” writes a friend of mine. “Thought you might want to hear the new Dead Letter Circus song, so here it is.” Well, thank you very much, my good man! Having seen DLC just over a week ago, it’s very exciting to hear that their debut album is done with recording and is set for a mid-May release. Anyone who’s been following the band for awhile would be more than aware that they’re not the kind to disappoint, making their debut easily one of my most anticipated releases of the year.
This new track, Here We Divide, continues on with the sound established by earlier DLC records which mixes an Edge-style lead guitar with effortlessly technical rhythms and Kim Benzie’s distinctive, impeccably powerful voice raising hell atop of proceedings. Even at nearly five minutes and some forms of repetition that seep through the song’s movements, it keeps your interest and engages you as a listener right up to the final crescendo. That’s the great thing about this band – I’ve been racking my brain and can’t think of even one bad song these guys have. It’s an impressive track record, that’s for sure; and I doubt that will change much when the album drops.

What else can you say? Dead Letter Circus are something to get enthusiastic about. Let’s do so!


DLC’s debut is out in May. Don’t forget to check out the band’s website to explore Project Dead Letter, which is a really cool series of footage in relation to the recording of the album. Very nice!


Song #97: Calling All Cars - "Disconnect"

You know you’ve got a good song on your hands if your only words after hearing it for the first time are “fuck” and “yeah” in quick succession of one another. Such was the case for the brand new single for Melbourne band Calling All Cars. I’ve been enjoying these guys for quite some time – they’re a bouncy ball of energy live and they’re always keen to chat at the end of their gigs, handing out fliers for the next gig (and, given their hard working schedule, there is ALWAYS a next gig). Now, fresh from a tour with AC/DC and Wolfmother, the three-piece are readying their debut album, entitled Hold, Hold, Fire.

Disconnect, the lead single, more or less sums up everything that’s great about this band. It’s punchy, ridiculously catchy and incredibly tight, with each member contributing to the overall sound in a positive light. The chorus alone is one of the best things I’ve heard all year – the thing has hooks as sharp as nails that will lure you in and then savagely tear at your body. Am I getting too violent? Maybe, but fuck it: Disconnect is awesome.

FINAL RATING (/10): 8.5

Hold, Hold, Fire comes out on the 12th of March. Also, they’re about to go on tour with Grinspoon. Fuck yeah.


Song #96: Jon LaJoie - "Let Me See Your Genitals 2: E=MC Vagina"

Three times Chris has come to the rescue in terms of my hearing of a song I’ve never heard before. That’s my younger brother, for those of you playing at home (as if you are). This time, however, he managed to pull something out from absolutely nowhere that I did not expect from him at all. Although, now that I’ve heard it, I’m somewhat less surprised.



I want to have sex with your vagina”

Meet Jon LaJoie. This comedian has already had one YouTube hit with Show Me Your Genitals, and couldn’t see the harm in throwing a sequel out to the web. Show Me Your Genitals 2: E = MC Vagina continues on with absolutely ridiculous lyrics, sending up the over-sexualisation of commercial hip-hop/pop rap music and delivered entirely in a brilliant deadpan. Admittedly, it does get irritating towards the end, with the song running out of ideas (wasn’t there only one to begin with?) and it’s the kind of thing someone out of high school probably shouldn’t be enjoying. Still, it was fun while it lasted. The guy has a few good ideas, going from the rest of his YouTube channel. Nice one.


Devour the video belowhand. Belowhand is now a word. Deal with it.


Song #95: Crash Tragic - "Simple Separation"

Saw these guys opening for Gyroscope and A Death In The Family at uni. A Wollongong band who’ve been around the block a few times with bands like Kisschasy, Trial Kennedy etc., I probably should like at least something about these guys. They seem nice enough and they’re going for a catchy pop-punk sound. It all falls apart, however, after one look at them (they all look well into their thirties), the fake American accent and the horrid simplicity of it all. It’s weak bunny-mosh styled music that’s very basic in its execution, which loses almost all of its identity within the first minute – Simple Separation is a perfect example of this. I’m sure they’re nice guys and all, but they’re getting WAY too old for this shit.

FINAL RATING (/10): 3.5

Their new EP is out now. Wotevs.


Song #94: Nickelback - "Never Gonna Be Alone"

What can be said that hasn’t already been about these guys? They’ve devolved from a somewhat ambitious rock band with a few catchy tracks in their arsenal (Leader of Men, How You Remind Me) to the epitome of what’s gone wrong with radio rock music. They are currently in the realm of glossy, ugly and mostly downright awful music that takes no brains to create and even less to enjoy.

Apparently this little number has been poisoning the airwaves since September of last year, but I’d thankfully avoided it up until now. In fact, all I’ve heard from the band lately is that song they do for the theme song of WWE Raw, which is bloody annoying. Speaking of bloody annoying, did they REALLY need to do another syrupy ballad about fuck-all? Chad Kroeger goes all cassanova with slow drums, simple chords and quite possibly the worst harmonies in any Nickelback song ever. Completely uneccessary, irritating turd of a song, this one. Like you expected any less.

FINAL RATING (/10): 1.5

Fuck 'em.