Five Must-listen Albums of The Week (12.08)
We’re back with out weekly digest. And this time we want to give you the creams of fiery rock, catchy pop and intimate indie-folk.
JEFF the Brotherhood “Zone”
It’s somewhat amazing how alternative-rock band that has been around since early 00s can sound vital and actual in 2016.
JEFF the Brotherhood was founded in 2001 by two brothers Jake and Jamin Orall. A high school angst turned with a lo-fi/garage psych-rock outcome. A pretty mediocre success in for a decade with 5 albums. And then — a live LP at Jack White’s Third Man Records and signing with to Warner Bros. In 2015 however JEFF the Brotherhood left the major to get back to their music roots. And boy did they succeed. “Zone” is band’s 9th album, finding them at their best.
To grasp the spirit of the record, go no further than it’s single “Idiot”. Sounding like a brainchild of Weezer and Local H, this song comes catchy and heavy enough to break into the airwaves of copycat indie-bands. That’s exactly what “Zone” is like in general. It might as well be called a stylistic revival of whatever was before (garage-rock, psych-rock). And frankly it is. What’s more important though, JEFF the Brotherhood could carry the spirit of their early albums though the doors of experience and music mastership. And yes some tracks like “Portugal” or “Roachin” have more than just a fleur of 90s grunge, and the whole dynamic of the record may seem tiresome for the first listen, “Zone” is definitely one the most interesting LP’s of August.
Thee Oh Sees “A Weird Exits”
Thee Oh Sees are prolific. Fiery, talented and prolific. And the combination of these three makes every album of Californian rockers a joyful ride on the rails of extreme riffs and unsurpassed sonic diversity.
“A Weird Exits”, band’s 15th album is nothing less and nothing more than the exact formula described above. A mess of metal-punk-prog-psych. A coctail you drink to get sober, or to get instantly drunk. It starts with haunting “Dead Man’s Gun” to get you started for the sonic electrocution of “Ticklist Warrior”. What makes Thee Oh Sees great is how they manage to drain the listener with all the range of emotions in just 8 songs. 40 minutes — a race with music echoing from the 60s to the neo-psychedelia Pink Floyd-alike, to the rage of 00s.
“Zone” doesn’t give you anything extraordinary about Thee Oh Sees. On the contrary it is a classical product of it’s leader John Dwyer. Yet this album can be proudly put on the shopwindow of the band’s discography as a burning example of how not to loose your music mojo.
Young the Giant “Home of the Strange”
Let us put straight, Young the Giant have never positioned themselves as a rock band. It is the case of so-called indie-rock where indie stands for “fruitless attempts to get into the mainstream” and rock… well Young the Giant used to play rock-alike music. Yet it was before they slipped into a completely polished sound of their second album “Mind Over Matter” and now into their third effort to transform guitar-pop of “Cough Syrup” into electro-pop of “Elsewhere”.
And those transformations are not dramatic. Generally speaking they are quite logical due to the bands initial stylistic core. Moreover, if “Mind Over Matter” was a middle-stage, “Home of the Strange” is a very solid act of a band who feel comfortable with their sound.
At some point it resembles the path of The Boxer Rebellion who ended up in 80s synth-pop. “Home of the Strange” is a pop-record so consistent that you can feel the vibes of every track. Whether is is breezy “Repeat” or funky dance floor killer “Silvertongue”.
Young the Giant managed not to fall into pop-mediocrity but to explore and showcase the pop sound at its best. Bravo.
Blind Pilot “And Then Like Lions”
Blind Pilot’s “And Then Like Lions” was anticipated like no other indie-folk comeback for the last decade. Well mostly because all other indie-folk acts were either still active or gone for good. But Blind Pilot have always been indie-folk darlings. And to distance from mentioning this genre again, let;s recall that band’s last album came out 5 years ago, which is close to eternity due to how the music industry and technology leaped in these 5 years.
“We Are the Tide” Oregonians left us with was a touching release with six-piece arrangements and lyrics to warm anyone (listen to “Always”).
“And Then Like Lions” picks us up right where the previous LP left. Gentle guitar picks, strings and Israel Nebeker’s soulful voice On “Umpqua Rushing”, as if the band were just gone for a minute or two.
Intimacy si still there on “Moon at Dawn”. Down tempo rhythms of “Seeing is Believeing” will dance you into the night with the brass section. And that’s exactly why Blind Pilot’s comeback is a one of the biggest presents for indie-folk fans worldwide. A colorful release with stripped down patterns of “It Was Enough” and full-band “Packed Powder”. Welcome back, guys. We missed you.
Ausmuteants “Band of the Future”
Ausmuteants might as well be called Devooved and that would be incredibly accurate as the objects of inspiration for this Australian band is obvious enough. However. Ausmuteants are not copycats. They try to stay in from of a 2-minute song. Basically when this band release their latest album and call it “Band of the Future” it sounds like a very clever mockery for guys who make 70’s like punk songs with a touch of Devo and The Units.
This fun approach is piercing the band’s whole life and “Band of the Future” is no exception. Filled with raw proto-punk and witty lyrics such songs like “Music Writers” or “Coastal Living”. At some point Ausmuteants sound pretty much like some young Eddie Argos’s project. 14 short songs about merely everything on Earth. Well, you know all new is long forgotten old. “Band of the Future” plays over this phrase with a smooth approach. A must-listen act for your punk-slam-weekends.