Quick Review (LP): Shame Shame by Dr. Dog

Dr Dog Shame Shame.jpgDr. Dog
Shame Shame
Anti/Epitaph; 2010

My Rating: B+

Best Tracks: “Stranger”, “Where’d All The Time Go?”, “Unbearable Why”

Saw these guys live back in 2004, and at that time I was really into The Band, so it all made perfect sense. Bought their first CD (Toothbrush), which turned me off, because back then I didn’t do lo-fi. Since then, they’ve released a lot of stuff, and since this one is really pretty good, it seems I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Their appeal still abides in that same good-time/goofball, working class, folk-rock category, and what’s more I don’t detect one iota of hipsterism here. I appreciate that. These guys are increasingly making AOR sourced from all the right influences, from The Beatles to The Eagles to Boston. When it all comes down to it, this one ain’t gonna blow your mind, but in my estimation, it should provide several repeated listens worth of classic rock bliss.

Wikipedia on the album (good writeup)
Pitchfork review
Paste review
Metacritic reviews
Band website

News Bits: Possible Rodan Rarities Collection in 2011

jason nobleCheck out this Magnet Magazine interview with indie rock godfather/superhero Jason Noble. Newsworthy bits:

    • Rodan Peel session – Official release likely (along with other rarities) in 2011 on Quarterstick
  • Rodan reunion – unlikely (but he doesn’t completely rule it out)
  • Shipping News – Next project will be another RMSN EP with separate studio recordings by each member
  • Young Scamels – More music probable in the near future, looking to a more contemporary author for influence.

There’s much more where that came from, so you should definitely check it out.

My review of Rodan’s 1994 Peel Session
My review of Young Scamel’s Tempest LP

Quick Review (LP): The Inevitable Past (…) by Three Mile Pilot

Three Mile Pilot
The Inevitable Past Is The Future Forgotten
Temporary Residence; 2010

My Rating: A-

Best Tracks: “Still Alive”, “Planets”, “What’s In The Air”

Back in the day, these guys titled songs with Star Control references. OK, sold. 3MP is impossible to pigeonhole, but I’m a sucker for a challenge. Pessimistic sci-fi blue-eyed slo-core soul. Yessir. Put that on your press release. All things considered, this is a really good record, one notch below excellent because it remains slightly inaccessible. Still, it sounds a good deal like what TV On The Radio is putting out these days, and tracks like “Still Alive” and “What’s In The Air” are excellent pieces of weird pop-noir. It probably won’t make my top 10 this year, but this record goes deep. I imagine it will really grow on me in the years to come.

Band website
Pitchfork review
Metacritic reviews

Quick Review (LP): Attachment In A Child (…) by Young Hunting

Album front cover booklet 1 scaled downYoung Hunting
Attachment In A Child And The Subsequent Condition
Agenda; 2010

My Rating: B-

Best Tracks: “Forebode”, “Earth’s Ground”

Heady stuff, this. The press release describes it best: “the album plays as a conceptual soundtrack to a non existent film.” On one level, you can draw comparisons to Boards of Canada, but there’s arguably more of a metal influence here. No doubt it’s a concept album as well, so take that for what it’s worth. One thing seems certain: this ain’t the kind of thing you’re going to listen to on a sunny summer day with the top down. All in all, sort of scary. Prepare yourself for a journey into some serious darkness here.

Band website
Myspace site

Quick Reviews (LP): Majesty Shredding by Superchunk

superchunk majesty shreddingSuperchunk
Majesty Shredding
Merge; 2010

My Rating: B-

Best Tracks: “Digging For Something”, “My Gap Feels Weird”

Good ol’ Superchunk: Chapel Hill’s own indie rock working horse. These guys (and gal) have cranked out at least one truly distinctive record in their existence (Foolish), and their other albums have otherwise been pretty good, kind of like this one. I’d say that the whole point of this record is to get the band back to the sound that made them Superchunk. This is the hard stuff, old school indie before things started getting too pretty. Nothing even close to earth-shattering here, but plenty of big, bright melodies and loud, chunky guitars for the old school indie set. It is a little homogenous, but if you are so inclined, enjoy the heck out of yourself.

Band website
Pitchfork review
Metacritic reviews

News Bits: Pavement’s Terror Twilight Deluxe Pushed Back

A few months back, I posted about the potential release date for Pavement’s Terror Twilight deluxe reissue. Well, a Matador employee has confirmed on the Matador message board that it has been pushed back to 2011. Furthermore, speculation is that it will be in late 2011. So, bummer . . .

Quick Review (LP): Heartland by Owen Pallett

HeartlandOwen Pallett
Domino; 2010

My Rating: B-

Best Tracks: “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt”

I’m completely unfamiliar with Pallett’s work as Final Fantasy, but there’s no denying he’s some kind of prodigy. This is his solo debut, and I was turned on to it by the excellent single “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt,” one of the best tracks of 2010. I’ve given this LP a few listens, but it has failed to grab me in the same way. Where that track was an intense and symphonic rush, Heartland overall is unfortunately soft in the gut and encumbered by complication. Don’t get me wrong, it’s obvious that Pallett has more musical talent in his pinky than some of my other favorites could ever approach, but it seems as though that wizardry is exactly the thing that prevents him from casting the right spell here. While he creates a magnficent melodic sound, those same sounds effectively obscure the wit and vigor of the emotion he’s trying to convey. That’s a shame, because considering the extreme merit of “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt,” this album could have been a lot better.

Myspace site
Artist website
Pitchfork review
Metacritic reviews

Quick Review (EP): The Seance EP by Stars

stars_band_photo Stars
The Seance EP

My Rating: A

Best Tracks: “Opinions vs. The Sun”, “The Five Ghosts”

This feels a lot like the hardcore desolation electro-pop of Depeche Mode. I’m not sure what the “V. Album Leaf” and “v. Montag” means here, but the best track is probably “The Five Ghosts” anyway. Like any good EP, this has the complete and impactful feel of a solid short story. Perhaps these tracks were considered afterthoughts to The Five Ghosts LP-proper, but I think they measure up just as well to anything on that record, except perhaps “Fixed” and “Wasted Daylight.” As far as EP’s go, this is everything a good one should be.

Snob’s Music review
The Seance appreciation thread

Quick Review (LP): Brothers by Black Keys

The Black Keys - BrothersBlack Keys
Nonesuch; 2010

My Rating: C+

Best Tracks: “Too Afraid To Love You”, “Ten Cent Pistol”

This comes off like a grimier version of Maroon 5. I can see why lots of folks would be crazy about these guys, but it all seems a little bit put-on, a little too hip. I’m not going to trash it, because I could see it growing on me after a while, but I definitely don’t find enough in the way of hooks to make this seem like more than a couple of indie rockers who appear to be emulating a classic soul sound. They are at their best when they branch out sonically, as seen on “Too Afraid To Love You.” Additionally, some of the tracks attain an admirable urban-noir vibe (“Ten Cent Pistol”). I’ll be they do a killer cover of “Billie Jean.” Otherwise, this is decent, but nothing special.

Band website
Pitchfork review
Paste review
Metacritic reviews