Friday, April 23, 2010

Gaslight Anthem - American Slang

This is one of my most anticipated albums of the year, only because I thought '59 Sound was brilliant, and my favorite album of last year. Brian Fallon's voice is remarkable, and with time, I believe could be influential in the genre. The band's unique blend of blues and country creates a brand of rock 'n' roll that hasn't been heard in quite some time. Luckily, Fallon merely improved on what worked from their last album, and fine-tuned some of the production. The guitars are still set for the '50s growl, with the rest of the band following suit. The Americana feel of the album resonates through the lyrics as well; hell the title track is a saturated home-spun American rock story, with a unique punk edge a la a "less-edgy" Against Me!. Fallon uses an echo chorus backing many tracks, and it works to create a fuller sound that carries from track to track. The ONLY complaint is that the album ends way too quickly, as each track moves effortlessly into the next, and before you know it, DONE. My favorite tracks include the intro on "The Diamond Church Street Choir," which really shows the rhythm/blues ability of the band; plus the guitar riffs are straight addicting, and only reinforces Fallon's story. It's a great album, and definitely one of my favorites of the year, so far. Let's see how long the link lasts...

1. American Slang
2. Stay Lucky
3. Bring it On
4. The Diamond Church Street Choir
5. The Queen of Lower Chelsea
6. Orphans
7. Boxer
8. Old Haunts
9. The Spirit of Jazz
10. We Did it When We Were Young

RIAA Nazis...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mono - Hymn to the Immortal Wind

Mono's 5th album is nothing short of a masterpiece. It's an epic post-rock experience. While also a lengthy album, I think you really need to listen to the entire thing without skipping around to get the whole experience. Completely brilliant. Short of that, there's not much to say.

1. Ashes in the Snow
2. Burial at Sea
3. Silent Flight, Sleeping Dawn
4. Pure as Snow (Trails of the Winter Storm)
5. Follow the Map
6. The Battle to Heaven
7. Everlasting Light


Friday, April 2, 2010

Rocky Votolato - True Devotion

I completely missed the release of this album, partly because I'm a horrible Rocky fan, and partly because I've been in and out of the scene for the past few months. This album is just about is slower and quiet than Bragg and Cuss, and with less production value, but it's still solid. That's the beauty of Rocky, and the genre: it's minimalist. Acoustic guitars, a whiskey battered voice and throw in a harmonica every now and then...bam, you have an album. Since everything is so basic, the lyrics are what make the difference, and at this, Rocky excels. The lyrics are by no means hopeful, in fact, these are some of his more depressing lyrics, especially "Sparklers." This is a great album, and my only qualm is that it's too short (33 minutes or so). Great for studying for finals, or just lounging with some whiskey.

1. Lucky Clover Coin
2. Fragments
3. Red River
4. Eyes Like Static
5. Sparklers
6. Instruments
7. What Waited For Me
8. Sun Devil
9. Don't Be Angry
10. Where We Started