Archives for January 2004

Down By Law – Windwardtides-andwaywardsails

Down By LawWindwardtides-andwaywardsails Experimentation just doesn't lend itself to punk the way it might to, say, indie pop. I don't need soaring atmosphere to enjoy a good rock song; I don't want unnecessary lyrical introspection from the Anti-Flag's of the world; and never once have I said to myself, "You know, I really think Propagandhi's … [Read more...]

The Rite Flyers – S/T

The Rite FlyersS/TThe Rite Flyers' album is like a butter knife: it's shiny and non-threatening. I can't harm any one with the butter knife, its damn near impossible to cause even the slightest irritation. This batch of shiny pop songs likewise is nowhere near antagonistic or abrasive. Quite the opposite, and of course that's pretty much the point. … [Read more...]

Astropop 3 – Allies and Stepping Stones

Astropop 3Allies and Stepping StonesAstropop3 has seen it fit to disorient me and thoroughly confuse my sense of time and place. Sounding something like a British fuzzed-out shoegazer band smashed together with a lo-fi American indie sound is Astropop3. The confluence of styles calls to mind something so distinctly early 90s with a British … [Read more...]

Nice Nice – Chrome

Nice NiceChromeRight from the very start, it is difficult to avoid being struck by how intriguing the Nice Nice sound is. The album opens with a bit of a jam session that touches upon virtually every musical style ever created. Funk, psychedelia, rock, soul, electronica. It's all here and then some. And though it might sound as though this is a … [Read more...]

Brighter – Singles 1989-1992

BrighterSingles 1989-1992 In stark contrast to the bands most associated with the years 1989 through 1992, Brighter was a band specializing in all things twee (my description, not theirs). Brighter's Singles 1989-1992 consists of 15 songs taken from various 7", 10", and CD singles first released over a decade ago. "Inside Out" and "Tinsel Heart" … [Read more...]

Spain – Spirituals: The Best of Spain

SpainSpirituals: The Best of Spain The opening of the first track on this disc, "It's So True," slices straight to the marrow of what Spain is about. Steadily-plucked bass chords roll out just under the understated, yet slightly raw, vocals of Josh Haden (vocals, bass). Subdued guitar work opens the door and inconspicuously enters the room as Haden … [Read more...]

Against Me! – As the Eternal Cowboy

Against Me!As the Eternal CowboyIn 2002, Gainesville's favorite sons, Against Me!, released their remarkable debut, Reinventing Axl Rose, a raw, boisterous, genre-bending LP that was widely regarded as one of the best albums of the year. The group's refreshing blend of punk, folk, alt-country, and classic American rock, combined with Tom Gabel's … [Read more...]

Moron Parade – Sleep Hat

Moron ParadeSleep Hat As much as youth is the period of our lives where we try to find some semblance of personhood and stability in our emerging sense of identity, it seems somewhat strange that as soon as we reach the quasi-steadiness of adulthood we often begin searching for ways to redefine ourselves. Doing so can be horribly frightening, … [Read more...]

Loopian Zu – Submerged

Loopian ZuSubmerged What do you get when you strip the vocals from Bowie's "Spacy Oddity," add King Crimson-guitars and electronic instrumentation, emphasize alto and tenor saxophones, throw in mild hip-hop beats and dub lines, and combine these elements with Pink Floyd's early serenity? You might get a sense of what most tracks on Loopian Zu's … [Read more...]

Califone – Heron King Blues

CalifoneHeron King BluesIndie rock has never been into improvisation. Scared off by potential Grateful Dead and - gasp - Phish comparisons, the underground music scene has remained averse to lengthy passages of "jam" music. Even the members of the indie community whose musical leanings might easily give way to such indulgences have stayed far away. … [Read more...]