Quick Review (LP): Tempest by Young Scamels

Young Scamels
Tempest
File 13; 2010

My Rating: A-

Best Tracks: “Tempest”, “Full Fathom Five (Thy Father Lies)”, “I’ll Drown My Book”, “A Thousand-Thousand”, “A Contract of True Love”

The splicing of Shakespearean drama with post-rock was bound to happen sooner or later, and I’m just glad it was two-thirds of Rachel’s that made it happen. Furthermore, they probably couldn’t have picked a more appropriate play than The Tempest, a play wrought with mystery, melancholy, and magic of all sorts. Since this was composed for an actual dramatic production of the play, it is not exactly an album in the rock and roll sense. It is more like a soundtrack. Fortunately, the play features a number of “songs” that serve as inspiring aesthetic source material. The best tracks are those that feature vocals (“Full Fathom Five”, “A Contract of True Love”), and there are a handful of other strong instrumentals, especially the title track. Overall, it sounds most like an amalgamation of Rachel’s Selenography and Shipping News’ Save Everything. I suppose it’s doubtful that we’ll see more from this outfit, but given the strength of this little experiment, it would be a pleasure. Come on guys, how about “The Shakespeare’s Canon Project?” One down, thirty-eight to go, sonnets boxset to follow.

Band Myspace page
Band website
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2010 Reviews

Below is a list of albums and EP’s I reviewed in 2010 and the scores I gave them. If you are interested in reading my short review of any particular record, just click the link to check it out.

I haven’t gotten to these album yet, but intend to at some point in the not too distant future:

– Innocence Mission, My Room In The Trees
– Ryan Adams, III/IV
– Wavves, King of the Bech

A+

Bruce Springsteen – The Promise
Beach House – Teen Dream

A

LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
The Hold Steady – Heaven Is Whenever
Crocodiles – Sleep Forever
The Walkmen – Lisbon
Band of Horses – Infinite Arms
Kathryn Calder – Are You My Mother?
The National – High Violet
The Books – The Way Out
Follow The Train – Mercury
New Pornographers – Together
Stars – The Seance EP
Real Estate – Reality EP
Memoryhouse – The Years EP
Sufjan Stevens – All Delighted People EP
She & Him – Volume 2

A-

Three Mile Pilot – The Inevitable Past Is The Future Forgotten
Young Scamels – Tempest
Frontier(s) – There Will Be No Miracles Here
Venice Is Sinking – Sand & Lines
Cerebellum – Cerebellum
Wye Oak – My Neighbor/My Creator EP

B+

Josh Ritter – So Runs The World Away
Four Tet – There Is Love In You
Dr. Dog – Shame Shame
Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

B

Stars – The Five Ghosts
Shipping News – One Less Heartless To Fear
Sufjan Stevens – Age of Adz
Wild Nothing – Gemini
Vampire Weekend – Contra
Belle & Sebastian – Write About Love
Strand of Oaks – Pope Kildragon
Second Story Man – Screaming Secrets

B-

Sun Kil Moon – Admiral Fell Promises
Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
Miles Kurosky – The Desert of Shallow Effects
Young Hunting – Attachment In A Child And The Subsequent Condition
Superchunk – Majesty Shredding
Owen Pallett – Heartland
Best Coast – Crazy For You

C+

Spoon – Transference
Black Keys – Brothers
Dawn Landes – Sweetheart Rodeo
Givers – Givers EP
Parlour – Simulacrenfield
Ratatat – LP4

C

Surfer Blood – Astro Coast
Broken Bells – Broken Bells
Caribou – Swim
Blonde Redhead – Penny Sparkle
Interpol – Interpol

Quick Review (LP): One Less Heartless to Fear by Shipping News

Shipping News
One Less Heartless to Fear
Noise Pollution/Karate Body; 2010

My Rating: B

Best Tracks: “Half A House”, “(Morays or) Demons”

Shipping News speeds things up and unleashes a little bit of the ol’ Albini charm here, but I gotta admit, I’ve always been a sucker for Shipping News’ slower, brooding side. Therefore, I wasn’t immediately thrilled by “The Delicate” when it was released a few months back. And to be clear, OLHTF is not really a new LP so much as a live document. It contains a few tracks from their last LP proper, Flies the Fields, and features a solid set of otherwise unreleased material. The good news is that the old tracks sound great here, and the new stuff presents a side to the Noble/Mueller partnership that I hadn’t thought of since “Shiner.” Overall, I’m a big fan of the record’s concept. More bands (indie ones specifically) should take a step back from the studio and let their fans hear unreleased songs in process. I’m not so much talking about “LIVE” albums, greatest hits collections performed on stage, I’m talking about single-take sets of old, new, and weird. I could get used to Shipping News (and plenty of other bands) releasing something like this every other year or so. Dig the cover art too.

Built On A Weak Spot review
Dusted review
Young Scamels review (SGB)
June of 44 career-in-brief (SGB)

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

Release Rundown: Fall 2010

 

from The Young Scamels page on Facebook

 

The air is getting cool, the wind is getting brisk, the leaves are changing color, and Death Cab is sounding fantastic again. Fall is officially here. Here’s a rundown of some new and/or forthcoming stuff and why I’m excited about it:

  • Belle & Sebastian, Write About Love: Their last full-length, The Life Pursuit, was their best since If You’re Feeling Sinister. It sounds like the record shares a kindship with The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds in being a pop record very focused on God and things spiritual. Listen to the whole thing at NPR.
  • Young Scamels, Tempest: I’ve already mentioned why I’m excited about this one, but I’ll just say it again. What I’ve heard sounds great, and it’s Shakespearean indie rock from 2/3’s of Rachel’s. I’m sold. Sample their stuff at Myspace.
  • Parlour, Simulacrenfield: I’ve loved everything they’ve done until now, and it’s been a long time since their last release, the excellent Hives Fives EP. “Imagine a heavier, more disturbing Neu! with more unexpected twists and turn. . .” Enough imagining, I’m ready! Get an MP3 here.
  • Shipping News, One Less Heartless To Fear: Shipping News is good news, plain and simple. It’s been a long time coming, and this one’s apparently going to be a little more hot and heavy than their previous releases. Sample a track here.
  • Over the Rhine, The Long Surrender: Over the Rhine is an old favorite at this point, and I’m looking forward to whatever surprises they may have in store. All I know right now is that it was produced by Joe Henry, it has a great title, and that I’m getting a sneak preview this weekend. Can’t wait! Band website here.
  • Young Hunting, Attachment in a Child and the Subsequent Condition: I know very little about these guys, but I’m very excited by what I hear on their Myspace site. Their first 7″ sounds really good – I might have to pick it up. File under Landscape Rock?
  • Pavement, Terror Twilight [Deluxe edition]: We don’t have an official release date from the Matador website yet, but I do have two unconfirmed “sightings” of a November release date. How about a tracklist already?
  • Real Estate, “Out of Tune” b/w “Reservoir”: One of my favorite new bands of 2009 continues to roll out new music. “Out of Tune” is a great track, and I’m excited for something new on the flip side. You can listen when you pre-order.
  • Sufjan Stevens, The Age of Adz: Listened to this a few times so far, and I am not too sure what to make of it. “Too Much” is insanely catchy, and he is definitely stretching himself in multiple directions. I’ll suspend judgment for now, but one thing is for sure: Sufjan has probably made his Kid A, for better or for worse.

I’ll be that new Strand of Oaks LP is going to sound even better with the dropping temperature as well.

If you’re in a band that’s looking for a review of a CD, 7″, or some other recorded format, drop me a comment and I’ll be glad to oblige with e-mail and/or shipping address.

Worth Shouting About: The Young Scamels


“The Tempest” by The Young ScamelsScamelsWebsite_Cloud_500

More wonderful rock and roll forthcoming from the apparently indomitable Jason Noble:

Formed in late 2007 for a production of Shakespeare’s “THE TEMPEST” at Actors Theatre of Louisville, directed by Marc Masterson. The show ran from January to February 2008, then we recorded the majority of the album live with KEVIN RATTERMAN (Wax Fang). Additional editing and recording continued in 2009. Mastering was completed in December 2009. Our release date is now set for September 21st, 2010. The CD will be available at independent record stores { distributed by the fine folks at Carrot Top Records }. The Digital Download version will be available through the kindness of FILE 13 records {http://www.file-13.com/}.

OK, why wouldn’t I be excited about this?

  • Post-rock from Louisville? Check.
  • Shakespearean influence? Check.
  • Guitar work courtesy of Jason Noble of Rachel’s, Rodan, Shipping News, etc? Check.
  • String-work from Christian Fredericksen of Rachel’s? Check.
  • Nautically-themed? Check.

It’s as if they asked themselves “What kind of record would that guy at Sweet Georgia Breezes want to hear?” Thanks guys – you are, in fact, super-duper.

And check out their MySpace site for more clips.