Monday, January 28, 2008

The Raveonettes

There always seem to be bands that have good songs but rarely have the wherewithal to produce a fully realized album. 10+ songs of consistently pleasing tunes seems to just elude these acts and usually leaves them seen as "also rans." Case in point: The Raveonettes.

With all the right touchstones (Phil Spector's 60s girl groups, girl/boy vocals, The Jesus and Marychain), The Raveonettes records simply seem to fall flat. Other than 1-2 memorable moments, each of their records left me a bit cold. Loved the idea but the execution lacked any real conviction. No cutting edge, not enough sex appeal, not enough "F off!" attitude, and not enough leather to really deliver on the promises. A few gems every time, but never a full record. They basically left themselves ready for a really good greatest hits record.

But with their latest, Lust Lust Lust, Sune and Sharin finally found a sweet spot. It's not one particular victory here that makes LLL a better record than their other outings. It's a bit of everything, tighter song writing, more noise, a bit less reliance on their influences as well as honestly having fun with all the preconceived notions. Somehow they finally got it right and I applaud them. Lust Lust Lust gets an 8. And "Dead Sound" in particular gets a 9.

The Raveonettes- Dead Sound from Lust Lust Lust
The Raveonettes- Little Animals from Chain Gang of Love
The Raveonettes- Love In A Trashcan from Pretty In Black

Also check out this great acoustic version of "Dead Sound" from the Black Cab Sessions. (Thx to Christen for the heads up on this one.)

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Plastiscines

I want to love The Plastiscines more than almost any other band ever (look at that pic?!?!). I want to love their music, become their number one fan, buy all their t-shirts/merch, see all their shows and follow them all around the world. But that ain't gonna happen.

Much like the Long Blondes, they have all the earmarks of a band I'd love. The Plastiscines similarly mine the right canon of tunes as well, with a penchant for poppy sing-along punk and sassy Runaways style 80s rock. But when it comes down to it, the tunes just don't have "it." They don't grab you and shake you, they don't stick in your brain at all and when it comes down to it, the eyeliner and bangs just aren't enough. Their debut, LP1, gets a 5. The following song is the best one of the bunch,so it gets a 6.5.

The Plastiscines- Pop In, Pop Out

There are a few of these young French bands that have emerged in the last year, so far I have not been blown away, but I might re-visit the topic if it gets big enough to inform you about it. So far the jury's still out.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008


This won't be one for everyone, but for some it should be a godsend.

Back in the day, I dug d'n'b. I also had a 2-step/garage moment as well. And obviously, I have kept my ears open to all of the permutations of UK hip hop before and since. But honestly, in the last few years, nothing has really excited me. Even of the newer styles, grime had some bright spots, but the dubstep world had bored me. That is, until I was urged to listen to Burial.

The problem is there isn't much I can tell you about Burial. He/she is a reclusive producer, who does very few interviews and takes no pictures. All we know is he/she is from the UK and knows this music. He/she distills all of the best from the above genres and makes something completely fresh. It's atmospheric, dark, rhythmic and 100% British. I have a taste for this kind of thing and it's the perfect progression from the 90s. If you don't know much about the above genres, let me know and maybe I'll put together a primer for you.

Burial's second record was released this November and only missed making my top 10 for the year because I still hadn't spent enough time with it. But, right now, Burial's Untrue gets a 9.8.

Burial- Ghost Hardware
Burial- Archangel

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