Friday, April 25, 2008

British Sea Power, The Raveonettes

I've been slacking hard.
With that in mind...let's play two!

British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?

I had briefly heard one British Sea Power album in the past, and I wasn't overly impressed. However, I listen to pretty much everything, so I thought I'd give this album a shot. Also, the cover looks awesome.
Much to my surprise, I loved it. From the very first track, I knew I would enjoy it at least a little bit. By the time "Lights Out for Darker Skies" hit, I was in full-blown awe. They have a way of creating a great atmosphere to their music. The songs are all great, and they're backed by a wall of guitars and thundering drums. This album feels huge, which I am a fan of.
There are moments where it sounds a bit like an Arcade Fire album. "No Lucifer" definitely fits this description, right down to a chorus of people singing/screaming lines in unison. It kind of reminded me of "No Cars Go". It doesn't sound like they were copying Arcade Fire, but there are some similarities.
"A Trip Out", meanwhile, feels kind of like an outtake from Sonic Youth circa Daydream Nation, which is never a bad thing.
There are a couple of instrumental tracks that I kind of zone out during, but they're not really bad, just kind of forgettable. The last track, "We Close Our Eyes", is a longer reprise of the first track, "All in It", full of static and organs and voices. It's not bad as a closer, but it's not necessarily that great of a song.

Final judgment: Great album. Big songs. Check it out, especially if you like Arcade Fire.

Favorite Songs: "Lights Out for Darker Skies", "Waving Flags", "No Need to Cry"

The Raveonettes - Lust Lust Lust

I liked Pretty in Black, the last album from The Raveonettes. Apparently, I was in the minority. Either they heard the mass criticism loud and clear, or they decided to try something different just because. Whatever the reason, they recorded the best album of their career.
This album is chock full of distortion, reverb, and hip-hop(ish) beats. If you're not sure how that would sound, just give the first track, "Aly, Walk with Me" a listen. It took me all of two-and-a-half minutes to love this album. The track kicks off with a hip-hop beat, followed by a mass of distorted guitars and the reverb-drenched voices of Sun Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo (who sound great together, by the way). A little after the two-minute mark, the singing stops, and the guitars whip themselves into a massive, distortion-soaked frenzy, like some unholy mix of Sonic Youth and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Eventually, the mayhem subsides and the singing continues...but it isn't long before they break into another round of noise, this one lasting to the end of the song. It's wicked and crazy and utterly perfect.
The rest of the album follows along this path of distorted guitars and reverb-soaked vocals, but it's not nearly as crazy as the first song. They still wave their 50's and 60's rock influences around, but they are now covered by a layer of fuzz and awesome. Wagner absolutely nails the guitar lines on this album (as he does on every album). There are times when he sounds like Scotty Moore playing through a massive amount of fuzz (that's a good thing, by the way).

Final judgment: Do you like lots of distortion? Do you like the sound of a man and woman's voice blending together beneath a layer of reverb? If yes, check it out. I love it.

Favorite songs: "Aly, Walk with Me", "Dead Sound", "With My Eyes Closed"

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