Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Let's get back to the England part of the All England Club for a bit...

Brakes (aka BrakesBrakesBrakes in the USA) are a side project/super group consisting of members of The Electric Soft Parade and British Sea Power. Now, while I don't dislike either of those bands, I also don't love either. The thing is, I don't even love Brakes, but every once in a while, I find one song in particular that stands out so much that I feel the need to point it out. Which is not to say the record isn't worth checking out and buying, it has some great moments, but this track in particular is the reason to care.

It's not brand new, the record meanders a lot and isn't great from start to finish, but there is absolutely no denying how great "Don't Take Me To Space (Man)" really is. It's grand, it's larger than life, it's anthemic and it's a perfectly crafted rock music moment. It's the kind of power pop song you wish all of your favorite bands had written. It's the kind of song you dig out to play for people, who will inevitably love it as well. And it's songs like that that deserve your attention, no matter how old or overlooked they might be by everyone else.

Brakes- Don't Take Me To Space (Man)

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Friday, May 07, 2010

Ringo Deathstarr

Ringo Deathstarr. Ringo Deathstarr? OK, obviously the name is horrendous. It's hard to get over how bad the name of this band is. But once that enormous hurdle is overcome, you can probably get a really great listen out of this Austin band.

Compared to most bands trying to mimic the sound of this same era, RDS are leaps and bounds ahead of the pack. All of the things the pretenders get wrong, RDS get right. The song tempos are slow but insistent, the bass is heavy and motoring, the ethereal female vocal tracks are breezy but lush. They seem to have listened to the shoegazer canon in a deeper more contemplative way than most of their contemporaries.

This might also be their biggest problem, though. Upon my first few listens, I love that tracks evoke JAMC, Lush, Chapterhouse, The Red House Painters, Slowdive and the like. I love that sound, and this band nails it. But I am not sure that, in the long run, Ringo Deathstar have done enough to make me like them in particular. This might be decided by time more than anything else, and I am hopeful that with more time, I will find something in RDS songs that I can't find anywhere else. But if you simply want a new band that sounds like other bands you may already love, this is a great option.

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