Archive for April, 2009

KMFDM/Blitz

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , on 300000004UTC 12 by marky7235

KMFDM are a landmark, groundbreaking Industrial Metal/Dance band from Germany. With an often revolving roster, KMFDM were one of the first best-selling bands signed to Chicagos’ WaxTrax! Records. The band has always maintained it’s core membership, although ‘guest’ members have included players from Ministry, Skinny Puppy,  and Enstenzende Nuebaten. Specializing in dance oriented Industrial music, KMFDM boast sales in excess of 2 million units and 17 proper CD releases. The band has countless remix CDs’ and compilations in it’ catalogue as well.

Up Uranus—-Immediately, upon the opening strains of the song, you know that you are listening to KMFDM. Vintage industrial sounds, tongue in cheek lyrics, and an aggressive moving forward landscape, this does not disappoint. A great way to start off a release that falls back in line with the five-letter release title trend.

Bait & Switch—-“Violence breeds violence……….only cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our souls”……as the song begins with this robotic message, we are greeted with a different KMFDM. Longtime female vocalist enters with a delivery that is reminiscent of a more techno oriented Nightwish!!! What a surprise this song is…more accessible than anything I have heard from this band, and I have 25 KMFDM releases. The powerful bass and aggressive machine ‘noise’ drives the song to ecstatic heights. WOW…this is incredible.

Davai—-Machine driven, mechanical and somewhat cold and danceable!!! Reminds me of Rammstein, most of the lyrics, I assume, are in German. Powerful, masculine and driving….incredible for a band in their 25th year of recording. dare I say it again…..MAGNIFICENT!!!

Never Say Never—-With a nice drive of guitar, a welcome introduction of noisy machines and a cooled down female vocal, the song has everything you need !!! A catchy sing-song typical KMFDM chorus captures you from the very beginning.

PotzBlitz!—-Extremely aggressive and driving….WOW! I love this track, a evil sounding German soundtrack for modern times!!! Definitely, KMFDM has taken a lesson or two from modern day techno-industrial giants Rammstein. Fabulous but predictable.

People Of The Lie—-Somewhat toned down, the musical landscape is much better appreciated through headphones. I love the line “Reality Is Bullshit, Perfection Is A Concept, Based On Your Own Fucked Up Idea”. The song is intense in lyrical content and is passable on the musical. A song, that when really listened to, makes you really take a look at yourself.

Being Boiled—-A really passable, divine cover of  The Human League‘s first ever single release. The vocal is spot-on and the attitude is even better. Check out the original and compare for yourself.

Strut—-Sounding like anything classic you would hear at a gay bar these days, the female vocals add to the songs dance-ability I question the direction the band is going in, but I DO NOT dislike it. Undeniably catchy and listenable, not a favorite track but KMFDM none the less. After all, the band has let disco king Giorgio Moroder remix some of their songs.

Bitches—-OH MY!!! Classic freakin’ KMFDM….making fun of ‘us’ for buying all of the music that they have produced. Although they talk bout all the sarcasm and irony involved in their lyrics, this is all part of their facade. I have to believe that they really don’t feel this way. Very funny, but a little disconcerting.

Me & My Gun—-GREAT!!! Agressive and driving….classic and current…..definitive and played-out. What more can I say….Oh Yeah—-KMFDM!

Take Em’ Out—-Noisy and expected, KMFDM never disappoints. Great blips and bleeps, not much in constuction or originality.

Bait & Switch/Remix—-I’m always fascinated by the destruction and reconstruction of songs via remixes. This song does not disappoint. Keeping the female vocal chorus, but expanding on the blips and beeps and the aggressive vocal, the remix is extraordinary.  

Davai/Remix—-Really aggressive and pounding, a great re0interpretation of the original. Much louder and meaner. More Nitzer Ebb than KMFDM.

****1/2 out of 5

Gary Numan/Jagged

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 280000004UTC 12 by marky7235

Gary Numan, cited by many as the ‘grandfather’ of Electronic Music, began his recording career nearly 40 years ago. Often sited as a ‘one hit wonder’ [i.e. CARS], few people realize that Numan has been producing music on a steady basis since around 1977. A self-proclaimed atheist, Numanwrites musical landscapes dealing with loss, disgust, depersonalisation and alienation. For the past ten years, Numan has embraced electronically, industrialized flavored music that has broughthim new birth and acclaim. Numan released Jagged, his 17th studio CD, in 2008.

Pressure—-Brimming with atmosphere and darkness from the first chords, Numandelivers his trademark vocal withemotion and angst. Lyrically full of despair and pain, the song opens up withwhite noise towards the center and then falls off again. The repeated ebb and flow adds to the depth and despair of the composition.

Fold—-Beginning with quiet machine made ‘noise’, the song grows until Numan begins to sing of the betrayal and disgust he has in his heart. The song aches, the vocal delivery is classic and un-matched. When Numan releases his familiar howl, you can feel your heart blacken and ache. Monumental!

Halo—-When Numansings …”Does God Bleed On Your White Halo?”,.. you realize the depth of disenfranchised feelings he has towards religion. Many times throughout this CD, you get the impression that God has let this man down and he takes it personally. AbsolutelyBrilliance!!! As the song begins with quiet disturbing noise, the bass kicks in and matches the voice so well….Whew!!!

Slave—-Again, atmospheric and moody in the beginning, you feel you pulse quicken with the anticipation of what the song is to become. When Numan screams “….Pray For Someone, Something, I’ll Laugh At You”, you feel his anger and his ire. To channel this feeling into something this masterful is a gift…..maybe I’ll pray for it?

In A Dark Place—-Perhaps a song pertaining to the uselessness of prayer, like when you pray so hard for a sign, or help and nothing happens buit more despair and hurt. The apex of abandonment…..the loss, the despair, the hurt….you feel it in the vocal. Musically. the noise is sonic at times and purely sublime at others.

Haunted—-A great marching NINinspired musical track that ebbs and flows masterfully. The vocal scremas for attention…..the hurt and anger, the desperation and isolation, the sadness and mania….you feel it in your heart.

Blind—-An almost eerie silence greets you at the onset, the machines build and welcome you and you wait and wait for the vocal. You are not to be disappointed. The beginning vocal is quiet and desolate. The pain is everywhere and the feeling becomes mutual. A song that can make you feel so ‘hard’ must be a masterpiece, you can not deny Numans’ genius.

Before You Hate It—-Again, posing questions of God, which will never be answered until…… Moody and immaculate in construction. The chorus sticks in your brain, the overdubbed vocal is fantastic. WOW!!!

Melt—-Creeping and crawling towards the apex…the song opens up with a nice industrial flair that brings on Numan questioning…”Sometimes I Wonder Does God Laugh At Me…”. The ‘questions’ intensifies as the song progresses. It is an intellectual religious workout. Numan whispers quietly…”I Don’t Think God Died For Me…”

Scanner—-When Numan sings “…Sometimes Love Breaks My Heart…”, it is with an intensity that everyone can understand. I am continually astounded by the level of this man’s hurt and despair.

Jagged—-The song is nearly silent for the first 50 seconds and then welcomes an industrial machine made chord that ushers in a whispered, demonic vocal. If you have not explored the works of Numan, I urge you to check out the material that he has released in the past ten years. He never fails to impress, inspire and devastate me.

*****out of 5

Pet Shop Boys/Yes

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 280000004UTC 12 by marky7235

Pet Shop Boys are a British Electronic Dance Duo formed in 1981. Their first single West End Girlscharted worldwide and the duo have been unstoppable every since. Combining inescapably danceable beats, a low sad hum in the very backdrop of the music, and the talk-sing style of Neil Tenant, the band has remained a cult favorite in the U.S. and a hugely successful act in the rest of the world. Next to Erasure, Pet Shop Boys have defined Euro-trash Disco for decades. Boasting sales worldwide of over 50 million units, 10 proper CD release, numerous remix CDs’ and compilations, Yes was released in April 2009.

Love, etc.—-When you are PSB fan, every new release is an event. This is no different…Neil’s voice is like hearing from a long ago friend that you warm up to immediately. The music is always consistent and as expected. The gentle beats are up front, the low hum that matches the vocal is perfectly blended. The song has a certain rave induced euphoric feel to it that I really love. Of course, the song covers familiar territory lyrically…excess, flamboyancy, greed…..

All Over The World—-Sounding like classic 90’s era PSB, the song has a bitter melancholy to it. Neil still delivers a classic vocal. Does any one else think that Neil sounds remarkably like 70’s soft-rock balladeer Al Stewart. Check it out and let me know…it would be a kick for the Boys to cover a Stewart song. The song is masterfully composed, combining orchestration and electronica as only they can do it. BRAVO!

Beautiful People—-Great, Great Song….it stands right next to  noticed PSB recordings like Shameless or Flamboyant. It melds into their ‘image’ so well….the British irony next to the deadpan delivery is masterful.

Did You See Me Coming?—-Featuring Johnny Marr on guitar, it carries a heavy similarity to the ‘supergroup ‘ Electronic. But, it still keeps intact everything that makes the Boys a great duo. A nice guitar melody that fits with the keyboards. Rumored to be the second single, this should do really well. WOW!!!

Vulnerable—-Stand this song next to anything from ‘Nightlife’, and it would fit perfectly. These guys have a knack for writing a great, unforgettable pop hook. The song is continually moved forward by a nice marching beat and strummed guitar. Absolutely Fabulous!!!!

More Than A Dream—-Ah, that welcome melancholic vocal delivery. It is fabulous how Neil can sound so serious over dance beats. A nice integrated vocal chorus is a magical touch. Classic Pet Shop Boys!

Building A Wall—-Features a rare ‘vocal performance’ from Chris Lowe, the song is right up there with other classic singles. The refrain….”I’m Building A Wall, Not So Much To Keep You Out, But More To Keep Me In.” Masterful, cheeky, ironic, clever…..GOD!!!

King Of Rome—-Reminding me immediately of  ‘My October Symphony’, the song has a sadness that overwhelms but makes you dance anyway. Romantic, intense and joyous!

Pandemonium—-A raunchy, euro-disco romp that moves you and makes you giggle. The vocals are classic, the lyrics funny and catchy. The musical backdrop is sheer joy! The song and it’s feel just makes you happy!

The Way It Used To Be—-A romantic, heartfelt ode to the past and the sorrow when it is unattainable. The music is sublime, as is the vocal delivery. Classically delivered and full of the past…..

Legacy—-Perhaps a swan song, perhaps of ‘threat’ of things to come, this tour-de-force is epic in nature and sound. As a fan of this band from the very beginning, I own no less than 67 Pet Shop Boys items, this album took a few days to get into my system and now it is stuck. I’m looking for ‘Disco 5’ already.

***** out of 5

Depeche Mode/Sounds Of The Universe

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 260000004UTC 12 by marky7235

How can you possibly encapsulate in a paragraph a band that has a solid 30 year history? Officially signed in 1980, Depeche Mode has endured line-up changes, changing music climates, drug abuse and more and STILL stand on the shoulders of giants. Swinging through the spectrum of poppy ‘chart-oriented’ singles, S&M inspired goth classics, machine generated compositions, dark industrial flavored gems. In the UK, Depeche Mode has charted 45 Singles!! The U.S. welcomed a top ten chart position in the early 90’s, Depeche Mode proudly boasts of selling out the Rose Bowl, which produced the classic live recording 101. 2009 finds Depeche Mode alive and well, journeying back in time using antiquated synths and mixers but still sounding fresh and new. Sounds Of The Universe is Depeche Modes’ 12th studio release.

In Chains—-Beginning with a ‘flat-line’, the song serves and swims through a noisy two-chord intro that segues into the welcoming, sedate vocal of Dave Gahan. The music continues to play games with your ears….it is moved waaaayyyy up front, while the vocal is a littleburied. Dave has one of those voices….you know who it is the minute he open his mouthe. In Chains uses that same S&M theme but only metaphorically. Great!

Hole To Feed—-More uptempo, with some nice synth effects, Dave is commanding in his delivery and the double tracked vocal is intriguing. Lyrically, the song speaks to the effects of self-deprecation and guilt.

Wrong—-The kick off single to what is hoped to me a massive release and tour, DepecheMode knows the formula for a catchy song. Containing all the elements that has made the band huge, this song plays with a dark dark lyric, a nice synth groove, computer generated blips and bleeps. Masterful!

Fragile Tension—-Beginning with a groove that brings to mind Dreaming Of Me, the music is pleasant and catchy. The vocal is desperate and repeatable. The lyrical content treads on familiar but expected ground.

Little Soul—-Dark and desperate. It makes me think of the questions you ask yourself about your life…..will my life mean anything, will anyone remember me for anything….have I touched anyone. “….my little soul, will leave a footprint….”

In Sympathy—-A tad more ‘poppy’ but retaining a darkness. A sound very reminiscent of the 80’s synth era, Depeche Mode never disappoints or relies too much on the same formula.

Peace—-Reminding me of Devo, the opening chords are so 80’s, the mode continues with a nice vocalized harmony that brings to mind many mid-80’s Depeche classics. The middle of the song allows Gahan to rant and swing into a seldom heard falsetto that immediately pleases. A great song…should be a single!!!

Come Back—-A throwback to noisier industrial sounding ‘Mode”, the song is a mish-mash of musical noise. The vocal remains clear and comforting, but the tone of the music lets the lyric reach its full potential. Fabulous!

Spacewalker—-A pleasant instrumental romp that brings nothing new, but is a nice diversion.

Perfect—-Beautifully constructed….classic pop. A nice musical backdrop of synth-pop. Anytime Depeche approachesa song with the title of ‘Perfect”, you know it will be self-deprecating and sullen. This does not disappoint.

Miles Away/The Truth Is—-Nicely done rave-inspired musical overtone. Lyrically intense and expected. I admire this bands consistency. This is by far the best materialon the CD…combining a nice classic sound with current relevant lyrics. I THINK I’M IN HEAVEN!

Jezebel—-Laid back and dark! A love song as only Depeche Mode can deliver…full of irony, underlying sarcasm and pain. BEAUTIFUL!

Corrupt—-A bluesy, synth-pop masterpiece. Wonderfully delivered vocal that is over and over and over layed . The music takes on a angry inch towards the middle of the song. A wonderfully constructed CD, I look forward to the “Tour Of The Universe’ Tour in 09!!

****3/4 out of 5

Silversun Pickups/Swoon

Posted in 1, CD of the day, music, music, random, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 260000004UTC 12 by marky7235

Silversun Pickups is an American rock band from Los Angeles, Ca. Throughout their short career, the band has released 2 EPs’ and 2 full-length CDs’. Despite constant comparisons to Alt-Rockers The Smashing Pumpkins, Silversun Pickups owe more to noisier 90’s Icons like My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth. The bands’ debut, released in 2006, produced 4 top-ten singles on the Modern Rock chart. Swoon was released in April 2009.

There’s No Secrets This Year—-Jumping on you from the quiet, the layers of sound increase and increase. Brian’s voice is top notch and welcome. I have been waiting for this release since early last year. The song is very ‘heavy’ in guitar layers, the duo vocal delivery is supreme!

The Royal We—-a nice enough keyboard intro, vocal coming out of the subtle reverb. Brian emotes so much in his delivery. At times, he reminds me much more of Claudio Sanchez  from Coheed And Cambria than the ever present Billy Corgancomparisons. The guitar jangles along at a steady pace and a bass induced hum lies in the background. At times the song open up in a full rock-gallop,  then reins itself back in waiting for the homestretch.

Growing Old Is Getting Old—-A sedate pleasant bass guitar intro with a nice quiet hum in the backdrop. The vocal has a nice echo, giving it a nice psychedelic feel. This band brings together so many musical sounds from the past, combines them together and makes itself unique in its’ own right. Very Nice!! The song literally explodes into a cosmic noise-fest that makes my pulse quicken and my body flush. WOW!!!

It’s Nice To Know You Work Alone—-From the onset, sounding like a different band altogether! The bass emerges, the vocals join in and I am comfortable again. The song has a wonderful ebb and flow cohesiveness that really works. The chorus is in your brain, the melody permeates your cells. As good as Little Lover So Polite, and that is saying something for me. I have listened to that song about 100,000,000 times!

Panic Switch—-The first single released from this CD, it is acceptable. I think there are more and better to come from this CD. It is undeniably noisy and comfortable, which is probably why it was chosen. Brian delivers a wonderful vocal, the delivery is intense. A great video also….check out how freaky the drummer is…lol.

Draining—-Sedate and emotive, the quiet beauty of the song is the high point. The duo vocal is wonderful, and the chorus brings it home. The nice musical interlude in the song is a pleasant romp through ‘quiet noise’. Beautiful

Sort Of—-The beginning chords of the song borrow some sort of sound from the Billy Idol classic Rebel Yell. It seems to disappear as soon as it might be noticed. Another song with one of those magnificent ‘stick-in your brain’ choruses. Fantastically delivered and wonderfully constructed. I LOVE THIS BAND!!!

Substitutions—-A nice bass driven romp. The guitar chord is more upfront in the mix, and a down=tempo to the music brings on the chorus. Not as noisy, but still as powerful.

Catch And Release—-A nice Flea inspired bass line, the vocals are more calm and introspective. The song really never goes forward for me. Not a favorite but still passable.

Surrounded [or spiraling]—-Ending the release with a nice Jesus And Mary Chainfuzz, the noise in the background actually sounds layered on top of another layer. When Brian sings of distortion and being surrounded, he describes the feeling of the song precisely.

****1/2 out of 5

Snow Patrol/A Hundred Million Suns

Posted in 1, CD of the day, music, music, random, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 240000004UTC 12 by marky7235

Snow Patrol are an Irish/Scottish Alt-rock band based in Glasgow. Formed in 1992, the band floundered through 1 EP and 2 little noticed full- length releases before it was signed to major label Ploydor in 2002. The third time was the charm! Final Straw, released in 2004, sold in excess of 1/2 million copies. 2006 saw the release of Eyes Open, and an increasingly growing U.S. fanbase thanks to TV drama Grey’s Anatomy, using the single Chasing Cars in a few episodes. The release went on to sell an astounding 2 1’2 million units!!! A Hundred Million Suns continues to sell well and is the bands’ 5th release.

If There’s A Rocket, Tie Me To It—-Emerging from a dark backdrop, the guitar enters gently and the vocal is sweet and calm. The lyrics are achingly beautiful, Garys’ vocals are supreme. The song open up in volume abd becomes a nice up-tempo ballad that has become a trademark for the band.

Crack The Shutters—-Beginning like another ‘recipe-proven’ ballad, the song allows for emotion and jamming at the same time. It is indeed what I expect from Snow Patrol and I was/am not disappointed. Great ebbs and flows of mood and instrumentations, lyrics that bring tears to your eyes and a heartfelt delivery that wants you to pat Gary on the head.

Take Back The City—-Nice change from the tried and true ballads. The band can jam and this song proves it. From the staccato intro to the nice rhythm section, the band is tight and effective. The guitar moves to the front mid song and shines. The vocal is more sedate and in turn allows the rest of the band to shine.

Lifeboats—-Taking a nice 60’s inspired tone, the song also brings to mind some Stone Roses song or the other. Nice keyboard infused effects and a laid back vocal, the song has a nice ‘groove’.

The Golden Floor—-Even more ‘hazy’ than the previous song, a throwback to the cloud-induced sway of the past. A nice nod to bands like The Verve, Sonic Youth and The Stone Roses.

Please Just Take These Photos From My Hand—-A really great jangly guitar intro, the song open up with the rhythm section joining in about mid verse. A good change of pace after too many downer tunes. The song has lots of energy and emotion. Great!

Set Down Your Glass—-Full of melancholy and down right despair. The song really emotes a sadness that you can not escape. I would not want to live here!

The Planets Bend Between Us—-Gary Lightbody has a unique, Irish way of pronunciation that is sublime and attractive. A sweet ode to togetherness and unity. Somewhat mundane, too much sadness all at once, but enjoyable.

Engines—-With a odd background noise that sounds like an amplified kazoo, the song is more musically and vocally uplifting. The music drives the song forward and forces the vocals to come along. Nice!

Disaster Button—-Coming full circle and smacking you in the face….the band proves that it can produce U2 quality social commentary. The song has a big arena feel and will serve them well on the tour.

The Lightening Strike—-The song is actually divided up into three parts: I was like whatever. It’s just one long song to me. Of course it goes up and down, hither and yon. I really. really like this band! Theyneed to chill out on the ballads and rock like theycan, otherwise they will lose the fanbase that they have.

***1/2 out of 5

Punk Goes Pop/Volume 2

Posted in 1, CD of the day, music, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , on 230000004UTC 12 by marky7235

Another release in the Fearless Records series of ‘Pop’ goes whatever. The label always manages to corrupt, beautify and sometimes destroy pop songs. I have garnered masterpieces, disappointments and down right brilliance from these collections.

What Goes Around/Alexsana—-A nice, brilliant, masculinized re-working of Justins’ pop masterpiece. The vocals are a bit erratic at times, but the basic melody remains intact and is a pleasant listen.

Apologize/Silverstein—-A classic sounding re-working of the One Republic single. A bit more beefed up and in your face, not bad at all.

….One More Time/August Burns Red—-I love the total desecration of syrup pop crap. This band absolutely  does a wonderful job of destroying that which is totally destroyed!

When I Grow Up/Mayday Parade—-This band obviously wanted nothing to do with the cover of The Pussycat Dolls, the delivery and execution are half-hearted and uninspired. Why waste the time????

Over My Head/A Day To Remember—-A nice re-work of The Frays’million selling single….a great noisy backdrop and over-layed vocal is a nice touch….midway through the song, we are treated to a total departure from the norm and some nice gut screams are delivered. Magnificent!!!!!

Smooth/Escape The Fate—-A cover of the Santana mega-hit, we keep the nice guitar squeal. The vocal is slightly muted, but the bluesy feel to the song really emerges. Good to hear this song again in this context.

Ice Box/There For Tomorrow—-I am not familiar with this Omarion song, but my impression of this ‘cover’ is ho-hum. Just generic unispired slop. I have no need to seek out the original.

Flagpole Sitta/Chiodos—-Going back a ways for this Harvey Danger cover, Chiodos proves why they are one of the best up and coming bands of our time. Wonderful, retaining the classic sound but with the bands trademark sound. Great!

Beautiful Girls/Bayside—-Sean Kingstonshould be envious of the job this band does with his song. Losing most of the reggae overtones, but keeping the r’ n b’ bassline, the song is a masterpiece.

See You Again/Breathe Carolina—-How the hell do you get talked into covering a Miley Cyrus song…..well, I guess if the money is good enough! This is actually great! Reminds me of modern time Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Daft Punk. Really great!

Disturbia/The Cab—-Covering Rihanna is a daunting task, and this cover does not deliver. I think this is just BAD!!!

Toxic/A Static Lullabye—-Staying true to the basic musical elements, the vocal is even more sexy than Britney ever thought of being. Highs and lows, a backdrop of grunted vocals and a catchy chorus, WOW!!!

Love Song/Four Year Strong—-Another song that I’m really not familiar with. A Sara Bareilles cover, the delivery this band is great. I like this song—-just the way THEY sin it.

I Kissed A Girl/Attack Attack—-Of course you have to include Ms. Perryin your cover compilation! This is a computer generated MASTERPIECE….WAY WAY WAY better than the original….OMG!

*** out of 5