Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HIM - Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights

This post is for my buddy Kev. I would say, out of all the Finnish love-metal bands that I know of, HIM is absolutely my favorite. Nevermind the "heart-o-gram" or the coverage that Bam Margera provides; the band excels on their own by creating a dark, goth rock that many have tried to capture, but nevertheless, have fallen short. In some respects, the band looks like they belong back during the 80's hair band craze, but the lack of contrived musicianship shows differently. Ville Valo's lyrics move seamlessly from track to track, never losing the deep inflections that help root the music in darkness. The melodies are great, and the band has a unique harmony that pulls you into the songs.

1. Salt In Our Wounds
2. Heartache Every Moment
3. Lose You Tonight
4. In Joy And Sorrow
5. Pretending
6. Close To The Flame
7. Please Don't Let It Go
8. Beautiful
9. Don't Close Your Heart
10. Love You Like I Do


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lars Frederiksen & the Bastards - S/T

This is perhaps my favorite side-project of all-time, only because Rancid is one of my favorite bands of all time. The way Lars crafts his music to convey so much emotion and belief in the things that he holds near and dear should be what every musician aspires to do when they write. This is some of the finest mix of rock that isn't already on a Rancid album. And yes, it is somewhat ironic that one of my favorite tracks wasn't even written by Lars, but by Billy Bragg. Enjoy.

1. Intro
2. Dead American
3. 6 Foot 5
4. To Have and Have Not
5. Army of Zombies
6. Campbell California
7. Wine and Roses
8. Anti-Social
9. Ten Plagues of Egypt
10. Leavin' Here
11. Subterranean
12. Sknux
13. Vietnam


Laredo - Bury for Growth

Right off the bat, I'll let you know that I think this album is absolutely amazing. This band was brought to my attention by "Sleep," and I'm all that much better off for the recommendation. The first thing that caught my eye was the fact that it's only seven tracks, but the length of most of them makes it a legitimate LP. The expansive instrumentation borders on post-rock, but the singers belie that genre-specific title and move it towards a deeper-toned Jesse Lacey-style of vocals, artistic and brash. The choruses are loud and echo through the rest of the band, which makes for a unique indie-punk feel. This is definitely a great, great find and I cannot recommend it enough.

1. Returning Gone
2. Ties
3. Dark
4. Rest
5. Growing
6. Delicate
7. YM


Happy Holidays from Sick Albums

From me to you and your family, Happy Holidays!

May your 2009 bring much love, joy, and of course, some Sick Albums.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Acceptance - Phantoms

Another decent request off the Cbox. This pop-punk album incorporates some indie-spaciness that is comparable to All-American Rejects or TAI... but without the heavy dose of sugar. It's actually a solid record, and I remember when it came out in 2k5, it had a lot of press as being one of the better albums of that year.

1. Take Cover
2. So Contagious
3. In Too Far
4. Letter, The
5. Different
6. Ad Astra Per Aspera - (instrumental)
7. This Conversation Is Over
8. Over You
9. Breathless
10. In the Cold
11. Permanent
12. Glory/Us Appearing


She Wants Revenge - She Wants Revenge

This post is for my buddy Lucas, who actually turned me onto this band last night. The first band that came to mind was Interpool, so if you dig Interpool, stop reading and get to downloading. For those of you who are new to either band, I'll try and provide a brief summary of the band's msuic: Nailing the sound is quite difficult, but I'll put it somewhere between new wave and goth dance. I don't know if the latter exists, but I think it paints a clear picture when you listen to the beat and they lyrical styling. Give it a whirl, I think you'll most definitely enjoy it. Especially if you're down for a little goth dance party. Thanks for the recommendation Bermey-bear!

1. Red Flags and Long Nights
2. These THings
3. I Don't Want to Fall in Love
4. Out of Control
5. Monologue
6. Broken Promises for Broken Hearts
7. Sister
8. Disconnect
9. Us
10. Someone Must Get Hurt
11. Tear You Apart
12. She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rx Bandits - Progress

At long last I return. Actually I never really left, but I bought a new harddrive and was having a hell of a time getting Time Machine to transfer all my music over without losing metadata. In any case, I'll get right on the broken links, and get to posting albums.

Rx Bandits have been a favorite of mine since the beginning, and I think this album was their first album to really take advantage of pretty good production. It seems to me that Ska-punk (skunk) is a difficult genre to produce because of the varying tones between bass, guitar, and horns. But the band continued with the energy they had with Halfway Between Here and There, and simply tightened up the sound to allow for more elements to squeeze in, but without the feeling of being overwhelmed.

1. Intro
3. Consequential Apathy
4. Analog Boy
5. Get
6. All The Time
7. In All Rwanda's Glory
8. Babylon
9. Who Would've Thought
10. Status
11. Anyone But You
12. Nugget
13. Progress
14. Nothing's Sacred
15. Infection


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Garden State - Soundtrack

Not only did Zach Braff create a brilliant movie with Garden State, but he assisted in crafting a surreal soundtrack that stands as one of the best collections of music to be gathered and melded into film. To hear the soundtrack alone is great enough, but to watch the movie and realize how each song lends itself to a particular scene to further the characters and emotion is quite uncanny, and is well deserving of it's Grammy for Best Soundtrack (2005). Plus, the soundtrack introduced me to Iron & Wine, which is one of my favorite acts around.

1. Don’t Panic by Coldplay
2. Caring Is Creepy by The Shins
3. In the Waiting Line by Zero 7
4. New Slang by The Shins
5. I Just Don't Think I'll Get Over You by Colin Hay
6. Blue Eyes by Cary Brothers
7. Fair by Remy Zero
8. One of These Things First by Nick Drake
9. Lebanese Blonde by Thievery Corporation
10. The Only Living Boy In New York by Simon & Garfunkel
11. Such Great Heights by Iron & Wine (Postal Service cover)
12. Let Go by Frou Frou


The Vandals - Hitler Bad, Vandals Good

Before I get to the album, one quick admin note: I've decided to forgo the normal "Best of 2008" list, because the more I dig into the past year, it becomes apparent that there are a ton of albums that I really enjoyed. But if you had me pick my favorite, hands down I would tell you The Gaslight Anthem's The '59 Sound.

Now for the main event: The Vandals delivered this punk rock goodness a few years back, and not only does the band create songs that are always funny and catchy, but they provide a great show to back it up. If you can get out and see them, I highly recommend it. But this album is probably one of my favorites from the band, individually still maintaining that 'edge,' but collectively coming together in some pretty sick harmony. The riffs are creative, and I think you'll enjoy it. At the very least, laugh a bit.

1. People That Are Going To Hell
2. Cafe 405
3. My Girlfriend's Dead
4. I Know, Huh?
5. Money's Not An Issue
6. I've Got an Ape Drape
7. If The Gov't Could Read My Mind
8. Too Much Drama
9. Come Out Fighting
10. Euro-Barge
11. F'D Up Girl
12. Idea For A Movie
13. OK
14. So Long, Farewell


Monday, December 8, 2008

Polar Bear Club - Somtimes Things Just Disappear

I got this off the "Best Of 2k8" recommendations, and this definitely makes my list (which I will post shortly). I heard about this band when they released their EP awhile back, but never really thought to follow-up on the rave reviews. To cut straight to the point: This is quality post-hardcore, and what my ears have been craving all's just a shame that I'm only discovering them right now. I don't know how to put it any other way, they sound like a thicker I Am the Avalanche, just great all-around music.

1. Eat Dinner, Bury the Dog, and Run
2. Hollow Place
3. Bug Parade
4. Another Night in the Rock
5. Burned Out in a Jar
6. As 'twere the Mirror
7. Tried
8. Our Ballads
9. Heart Attacks at Thirty
10. Convince Me I'm Wrong