Sunday, December 5, 2010

Because Something in Me Felt So Compelled

Ten Things for Which I’m Thankful -- In Concern of John Rzeznik

10) Agreeing to be on the soundtrack for a rather meh film about my favorite Man-in-Tights. Had you not, I’d have had another year without your band's music in my life, and I might be writing this for Alexakis’ birthday instead.

9) Not being an asshole. Sure, we all have our moments, but in every interview, television or radio, at every awards show, and at all concerts, that I am aware of, you’re just a class-act (for the most part, some drunkenness, irreverence, and sardonic wit excluded), even when it’s obvious you’re under the weather or just plain tired. It’s always nice when someone you look up to is, well, genuinely nice.

8) Fulfilling one of my long term dreams of this combination: your band’s music + ice skating. Really, I was giddy for months from when I heard the news about Improv-Ice to when I saw it. And, yes, it was everything I hoped it would be.

7) Performing at the 2000 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. It gave me a slightly-more-mature reason to cling to my childhood a little bit longer: “But, the Dolls will be on it!”

6) Playing in Houston on three separate occasions in roughly one year’s time. In fact, that alone might be one of the irrational reasons as to why Gutterflower is one of my Top Three albums. Seriously, though, whenever I whine about not seeing y’all in Houston often enough, I take a breath, remember that year, and smile.

5) Always being there, or somewhere in some speaker, when I needed you. Because, yeah, I’ve needed you, and I’m always thankful you’re there.

4) Agreeing to do those songs for Treasure Planet. Sure, you probably did it with your nieces in mind, or you were happy with whatever Disney was offering, or you just liked how they were re-vamping Treasure Island. Whatever the reason, your music in that movie helped me to seal the door shut, somewhat, on my childhood. At the age of 15, it was the last animated movie (with the exception of Wall-E, which was just because everyone said we had to see it…) I saw with a group of friends at the cinema. Thanks for being a part of that.

3) Allowing that intro of that one song to exist. Really, if it didn’t I would have been too over-hyped and distracted by Extra Pale to calm down long enough to pay attention. Had I stayed in that over-excited state and just glossed over what song came after…God only knows. Well, I wouldn’t have a b(l)ack balloon, now would I?

2) Putting your arm around me and tugging me away from a major distraction so my second shot at it wouldn’t be quite a disaster. Really, the photo from the first time is gone, and all I’ve got is your name. Also, thank you for smiling, so it’d be “a good one.”

1) Putting your arm around me and tugging me away from security, so that I could stay in the picture. Oh, and for getting my goodle back after it was taken, after you had smiled and signed it. You made a wide-eyed, quiet girl in Texas feel like she was the most important little fan ever. Thank you for doing that and for effortlessly making all the other fans over the years feel that way, too.

Happy birthday, Mr. “Weznik”.
(Oh, and thanks for not giving me a look when I called you that.)

Monday, May 3, 2010


Okay, so it's been quite a while since Tonic's released a new album of material, so long, in fact, that in the interim front man Emerson Hart had released his own solo effort, Cigarettes and Gasoline, back in 2007. For whatever reasons, the band, since that time, has regrouped. More importantly, they've also recorded and released a fourth LP, which is simply called: Tonic. Am I a fan of self-titled releases? Not really, especially when it's NOT a band's first album, but.... Well, this could very well be a revival, so I'll take the bait and go with it. Let's see... Is Tonic still as wonderful as I remember?...

Album: Tonic
Artist: Tonic
Released: 2010
Label: 429 Records

Track One: Release Me
Okay, this is the song they've chosen as the opening single for the album. I've been told it's been released to radio, but I haven't heard it yet, even on the two stations here in Houston that would be most likely to play it -- Mix 96.5 and 103.7, the Adult Alternative station, which is the only station that's openly promoting Tonic's semi-Houston tour stop in support of The Bangles, which is a WTF pairing if there ever was one, in my opinion... Anyway.... Let's push play.
Okay, jangly guitar... Emerson kicks in soon... There's a slight twang to his voice... OHHH.... This band ALWAYS delivers on choruses... And, this is definitely no exception... The sound picks up; especially the ROCK to it, and the lyrics even seem... more complex, too, in an odd, inexplicable way... Whenever Emerson holds out a note, it's just gruff and lovely and gritty and real... God, I've forgotten how moving he is.... And, what a wonderful cyclical ending... Not some cheesy or trite distortion-end...
...This song should be doing better...

Track Two: Daffod
Okay, not to be confused with Goo Goo Doll's Iris, Everclear's Sunflowers, or Tonic's own Roses... And, I'm done being snitty... :-)
Ohhhhhh... I like the country-feel to this one... So much!!.... And, oh, when Emerson says "here" and "clear"... Oh, just perfect... (Random Gooey tangent: He and Johnny need to hook up...) Oh, the bridge is nice... "I will not fall....." This is so damn catchy... This is really wonderful, and it just makes me think that, as I've said before... If Goo was from, I don't know, Nashville instead of Buffalo... this! is what they'd've been... And, yeah, that's a compliment.
Overall, I'd have to say the singing is more complex than in Release Me, and I totally dig this one.
4/5 (possibly 5/5 depending on mood...)

Track Three: I Want It to Be
Okay, this sounds like it's going to be a ballad.... and, yeah, I heard little 30-second snippets of all these songs way back, weeks ago, but I flat out don't remember... So, let's go...
Oh, I love this simplicity... And there's this subtle scratchiness coming up... OH WOW, powerful chorus. DO I HEAR BELLS? I do. I think I do!! Oh, wow. Oh, and some rumbly bass guitar... And, some lovely imagery in the lyrics... Everything sounds powerful and meaningful, without sounding too bombastic... Let's see how they handle the bridge.... Oh, wow, Emerson's hitting some HIGH NOTES.... OMG THE BACKING IS WONDERFUL.... Oh, wow.... Bells and backing.. Sounds like angels' chorus, and I am not kidding.

Track Four: Send a Message
I'm not sure how IWitB is going to be topped, or if it will, but I'll stay open-minded the best I can...
Oooh.... Nice guitar.... Though, I'm not quite... digging the lyrics yet.... There's a funk to this one... It actually kinda makes me think of latter Better than Ezra.... UNTIL!!! it gets to the chorus, then it's all Tonic. Oooh, nice reference to a past album, there, Emerson... I dig the verses and I dig the chorus, but it's almost jarring put together... So, I'm not sure about this one... Like, I can see myself skipping it, unless I just wanna listen to the whole album...

Track Five: Bigger than Both
Crunchy, echo-y guitar, some heavy bass... A nice, driven beat... Some synth'd distortion... I'm diggin'... A lot... I like bass-heavy pieces, which probably doesn't surprise anyone... This has a nice head-bobbing beat... There's some really well-crafted lyrics... OHHH WOW, THE PRE-CHORUS LEAD-IN... I love it! This is pretty rockin'! I'm so in heart... This is good. This is really good... I'm totally into this one.

Track Six: Nothing Is Everything
Emerson, John called... He wants his non-sensical dichotomies back... That said...
Oh, sounds like another balllllaaaad.... *swwwwoooon* Off to a bit of a slow start... Oh, there we go... Wow, it instantly makes me think of Love A Diamond, also by them... I like it; it seems very heartfelt, but it's almost too low-key for me... oddly, just like LaD... The chorus, I think, is easily my favorite part... And, well, the bridge is lovely... I guess it's just the verses that are falling flat for me...

Track Seven: Feel It Now
Hmm... Okay, let's see if we get a rocker...
Okay! Back to jangly pop-rock... kind of grindy, too... It's a little hectic... Well, hectic for Tonic.... This is just a jumbly, happy little song... Fun, but I doubt it's one I'll purposefully seek out on repeated listens... Unless I need a mood-boost....

Track Eight: Where Do I Fit
Ooohhhhhhhhhhh................................................... I like this.
It's a tad bit darker.... There seems to have some heavy strings attached... Oh, wow.... It all builds to a pretty solid and strong chorus that actually isn't too jarring or distracting from the somewhat simple verses... Like, that overall heaviness is still apparent.... I dig this... OH, GUITAR SOLO?! YESSSSS. Oh, I'm done for.

Track Nine: Resolve
Simple...... Whispery voice... Ohhh, simple lyrics..... But... so.... oh, wow.... Lyrically... It makes me think of his Green Hills Race for California, which I really love.... Oh, and the piano -- THE PIANO!.... ohhhh man... ohhh, no..... THE TEARS, Y'ALL, THEY'RE COMIN'... *sniffle* This is really effective.... OH LORD THE REST OF THE MUSIC'S KICKED IN.... OMG, THIS COULD BE BECOME IF BECOME HADN'T FUCKING SUCKED.... Oh, man... This is really great...

Track Ten: Precious Little Bird
Okay, going from what I remember from the 30-second snippets... I'm either gonna really enjoy or really NOT enjoy this one...
So far so good....... Love the thumpy-ness to it.... OH-OHOH!! Oh, I love it!!! OH YEAH THIS IS FUN AND AWESOME... I can just see some awesome crowd jamming to this one, like woah....

Track Eleven: Torn to Pieces
OH I LOVE THIS MUSIC!!!! It contrasts so well with Emerson's clear voice.... This is Americana rock done really well.... In fact... In my heart of hearts.... This is the sort of rock I *sometimes* wish other bands I really love would make...

Track Twelve: She Goes Down
Of course, let's end on a somber note....
The drawwwwlll on the guitar.... is nice.... Okay... I'm not digging this one... Which is a shame... to end on a low-note...

And that's that: a fine re-acquaintance with my #3 band... which, I hope, continues in this vein...
if i opened up my heart strings could you show me how to heal them

Friday, October 9, 2009

In a Different Light

Okay, so in what seems like a strictly opportunistic, cash-grabbing sort of a situation... Everclear, my #2 band, has released a sort-of/kind-of Greatest Hits disc. Or, well, that's how some people are viewing their latest release, In a Different Light, as. I haven't yet pushed Play, but in my heart, I know Art Alexakis (and whoever he has backing him up these days) puts a lot more thought into this, his life and his love. He's basically called this disc, which houses nine EC favorites, which are re-recorded/re-interpreted, and two preciously semi-unreleased tracks, a fond look back and re-imagining of some classic EC tunes.

And, you know what? I'm all for it. This is a fantastic way, I think (on a marketable side), to get the band back out there before the supposed all-new release in March. Plus, I'm an EC fan, and I'm all for re-interpretations. Y'all know me, I'm the chick who scours youtube for covers of EC (and others') tunes! I loooooove re-dos!

Besides.. If I DID see a problem with this, if I DID think this was a cheap money-grab... How could I whine about it, when GGD has re-packaged things, using re-recordings of some songs as hooks? See? Pot calling kettle black....

So, without further adieu... Let's sway in and out of shadows with Alexakis and EC....

Album: In a Different Light
Artist: Everclear
Released: 2009
Label: 429 Records

Track One: Everything to Everyone
Okay, this used to be my favorite EC song, always tied with Heroin Girl, but in recent years, HG has knocked E2E1 down to a permanent second place, so... We'll just see how this goes!
Oooh, distortion.... Oh, wow! Much more guitars..... God, and there's his voice!!! Oh, that slightly whiny, pained.... Oh, that Alexakis [brand] voice! There's so much more energy this time around! Oh, this works!!!! it just sounds like they're having a frickin' blast... I like the slightly less-polished vibe to it... Like, the guitars... sound... almost more metallic... tin-y, and it's sooooo working!!!! The only mild complaint is the semi-annoying tongue-rolling yelp. It's a little too much.

Track Two: Wonderful
Okay, the first Wonderful was pretty amazing. It was a pretty big hit for them, too... In fact, it may have been their last major hit, so, once again, there's some stiff competition here...
....Guitars.... Oh, wow..... Piano...... It's stripped down, but, still.... Ooooh.... The voice-echo effect is great, too; not too overdone... Omg, the piano.... wow... Geeze... Almost a decade later, and this is still such a powerful song... and it all just builds and builds... and then... a die-down, for a breath of air... Oh, wow........ Better. than. the. first.

Track Three: At the End of the Day
EC.... I don't like gospel-esque backing in my songs.... Grrr.... Hmmm, okay, I haven't heard this... Beyond this... It works.... It's a love song... It's hopeful; it's Alexakis in love and in hope... Oh, it makes me smile.... It isn't their best ballad, but it's good... Oh, no, here's the turn... Lyrics have shifted, here's the reality check you'll almost NEVER get in a GGD ballad.... I like the breakdown for the bridge when Alexakis' voice is highlighted... This is a good non-regrets song... I like it... Rock on.

Track Four: Santa Monica
God, his voice is still so haunting singing these lyrics... The drums sound more like marching drums... like this is some pained dirge into the ocean.... Hmmm, more of those tin-y guitars... This is good... But, it doesn't have quite the same punch that the original had... Until about half way through!!!! OH YEAH!!!! And, for the record, whoever's got backing duties sounds GREAT with Alexakis...

Track Five: Summerland
Ooooh, something a little older... And, I love... Love this... Oh, wow.... Oh, he hasn't even started singing, and omg..... OH!!! WOW.... This... This.... This. is. amazing. God, the music.....
5/5, i'd give it a six, if i could

Track Six: Here Comes the Darkness
Oh, I've heard this, and I know I love it... God, I do.... It's just a great song... This should've been on Welcome to the Drama Club or Slow Motion Daydream... Yeah, Slow Motion Daydream... If it had been written then...
5/5, i'd give a six, if i could

Track Seven: Father of Mine
Okay, what 90's kid, whose parentals got divorced, DIDN'T use this song to get past it?! Ex-act-ly!! ...Ooooh, nice intro.... Less bass, it still works.... Oooh, there's clapping! I like clapping songs... This one seems the most similar to the original so far... It's darn good, but the original's a little bit better.

Track Eight: Fire Maple Song
Now we're going way back.... So, if any Goobers are reading this... It's almost the same as when GGD re-recorded 2DiF for EOAC... And, if I dare say.... This is better than the original, or, at least I like it more... It really rocks, and almost has a alt. country bent to it, which works for EC...

Track Nine: Rock Star
Okay, this is a rock song, and I'm curious to see it in a different.... To see what they do with it. ;-)
Okay, this still rocks without the OMG!polish to it... And, there's those EC [brand] keyboards... It sounds like, once again, they're just having a blast.

Track Ten: Learning How to Smile
Okay.... I loved this of SfaAM:V1.... Hmmmm.... It's good, but it's almost TOO much like the original.... It's good, don't get me wrong, but I think I was waiting for a little more... Still an amazing song, though.

Track Eleven: I Will Buy You a New Life
Oh, wow, neat opening..... Ooooh. This.... Is all taken down... It works... Oh, wow.... I approve, greatly, though the repetitious end is a little much.

And, well, there we have it.... It was a nice, jaunty trip down memory lane.... I loved it. Thank you, Art.... Come back to Houston... I need to see y'all.
i just want my life to be the same, just like it used to be

*Oh, and, okay, fine.... Songs I wish would've been on this: Heroin Girl, Here We Go Again, Overwhelming, and Pale Green Stars*

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Okay, so I like The Used. I do, but I've been putting this album off. For one, it's made me a little uneasy just how much they've pushed it, and, two, Lies for Liars or whatever their last effort was did not impress me like their first two albums did, so I'm really cautious this time around, and it doesn't help that others have been saying it's underwhelming. Oh, well. I'll just judge for myself, as per usual.

So, here we go.

Title: Artwork
Artist: The Used
Label: Reprise Records
Release Date: 2009

Track One: Blood on my Hands
It's the lead-in single for the album, so it should be awesome... Okay, it's got a good beat... McCracken sounds good... Sadly, the chorus seems a little lacking... The filter on Bert's voice is alright... I don't know, this one seems pretty mediocre; just a decent effort that relies almost too much on the chorus... I don't know; I'm feeling it, but not too much.

Track Two: Empty with You
Alright, sounding a little space-age-y... This is building... Okay, I'm diggin'.... Ooh, a soft crescendo... And, I'm lovin' the opening lyric! Okay, this seems more like the Used I like. Hmmm, wait... don't 'empty' and 'hollow' mean the same thing? I think they do.. Oooh!!! A hark-back to Blue and Yellow?... I haven't wasted anything but time vs. I'd like to waste some time with you?... Hmmm, I like it... This is definitely a lot better than BomH... I like this one.

Track Three: Born to Quit
Neat lead-in from EwY... It seems a little too melodramatic... I don't know, this is a meh one for me, too... Like, it either needs to be harder, or softer, or darker, or more distorted, or something... Like, it needs to decide what it wants to me... The lyrics, to me, cry for some other sound... It's all right...

Track Four: Kissing You Goodbye
The Used + piano? I like it. I like it... You know what... I might like them as balladeers than rockers... Hmmm, we'll work on this supposition... If anything, this proves McCracken can do more than scream... I like it a lot, and the strings in the end work.

Track Five: Sold My Soul
Ooooooooh. ......*waits for vocals, music rocks so far*.... "My filthy mouth full of broken words....(?)" Hmmm.... I like this... It makes me think of Buried Myself Alive, a little bit.... I dig this one... The guitars rock... Oooh, PIANO PIECES IN THE BACKGROUND, AWESOME... And, heck, I'm a sucker for songs with angelic metaphors and randomly pretty endings.

Track Six: Watered Down
........I'm being sort-of drawn to the skip button, but... I'm finding myself hanging around... I'll go with a good solid, 'it's alright.'

Track Seven: On the Cross
Okay... No. Just too much for me...

Track Eight: Come Undone
Okie, can they bounce back after that misfire?.... No, not really. They can, just not so much... Really dislike the chorus...

Track Nine: Meant to Die
Okay, NOW we're back on track.... This one just rocks... Oh, and something about light and darkness?! I dig it!! (This would be a dangerous/good driving song...)

Track Ten: The Best of Me
(as opposed to Foo Fighters' Best of You) ....Starting off quiet... a bit funereal, even... Okay, I'm intrigued... And, it takes a full minute and a half to kick off.... Ugh, losing points for that... There's a lot of anger in this song, and you can feel it... It's alright, if you skip the intro.

Track Eleven: Men are all the Same
Neat opening lyric, won't lie... But, once again, it's just too much.

Final verdict: Hit or Miss album is a Hit or Miss album, at least for me. .....Yeah, and I think I'm washing my hands of the Used. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.
surprised to wake and follow the light

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sci-Fi Crimes

Okay, so I'm not gonna lie... I'm pretty psyched for this one. So psyched, in fact, that I'm flatly ignoring the other album I got today, and probably will for a few good weeks, until I get THIS out of my system. See, the thing is... I like Chevelle a lot. They're probably my only "hard rock" band that I really, really dig. They're definitely in my Top 20, close to the Top 10. And, recently, I've been re-listening to Vena Sera and This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)... And, have come to the conclusion, especially in concern of the former, that Chevelle's got a LOT to live up to...

So, Peter, Sam, and Dean... Give it your best shot!

Title: Sci-Fi Crimes
Artist: Chevelle
Label: Epic
Release: 2009

Track One: Sleep Apnea
Guitars.... Crunchy bass0y sounds... I dig the music so far, y'all. THERE'S PETER'S VOCALS!! Allllright, here we go.... Oh, I love the slight echo.... This one has a really good, steady beat. Very head-bob-able... God, this just shows one of the kick-ass things about this band; the fantastic meeting of Peter's gorgeous vocals and their powerful music... It's great... OOOH, more of that awesome echo... That's a really good usage of an effect; I dig it. And, oh I'm in love with this bridge... This is a good start, you guys!

Track Two: Mexican Sun
Drumstick taps!!! Awesome. ...Oooh, Peter sounds so angry on this one. I like it! ...Some screaming? Sweeeet! Rock on! This one's, IDK, dirtier and grungier than Sleep Apnea... But, it's just as good.... Mmmm.... The way Peter's straining his vocals is so spot on... I love this, too... Oh, and the shift in the midst of it... Absolutely great.

Track Three: Shameful Metaphors
We slowing down? We taking a breather? Okay... I like it. I like the change of pace. Heck, I need a break, too. But, see, this is Chevelle... A break is just something that ROCKS!!!, just not quite as loudly. ;-)

Track Four: Jars
Ahhhh; here we are, the lead-in single. It rocks; pure and simple. This song, right here, should get Chevelle new fans...

Track Five: Fell Into Your Shoes
First off, what a cool title, no? I mean, really, what. a. cool. title. ...Anyway... Okay, starting off soft, with some effects... I'm digging..... OOOOOOH!!! Ooooh, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the pitch variances!!! And the overlaying!!! OMG. Yes, I approve.... "The skies are overwhelmed," neat lyric; randomly powerful... And the brief pause... Final choruses, with a guitar outro... I'm in heart... This is great, This is really darn good.

Track Six: Letter from a Thief
I'm, oddly, not quite digging the filter of Peter's voice... But, my God, the chorus and everything after makes up for it; the music of the chorus is pure win. ...Bridge is pure win, too... Guitar solo/ending is great... Good lord, this is good.

Track Seven: Highland's Apparition
A song about a ghost?... We'll see... Oh, acoustic... Wow... The slightly softer side of Chevelle, is it? I approve... OOOOOH...... His little..... IDK.... Drawn out sound... And the odd, harpsichord-y guitar... Oh, wow.... This is just as intense as their other music yet, unplugged....

Track Eight: Roswell's Spell
..........I was wondering when it'd happen.... *sigh* I knew the I LOVE IT ALL!! spell would break. Don't get me wrong, this one's good.... Just not as good. The verses are just... I don't approve... But, the choruses are fantastic... Oddness. And the music break's great, too... Hmph. I'm totally torn on this one.... It grows on me as it goes on...

Track Nine: Interlewd
Anyway.... I don't see the point of this little break, unless that's what it is... If it's a pausing point signifying that the last two songs are particularly out there... IDK. We'll see.

Track Ten: A New Momentum
I'm... Sort of digging... I like the semi-strianed screaming... It works well; and the crunchy, angry music... But, for some reason, I'm not quite... Okay, I feeling it more... And... feeling it... I don't know how I feel about this one....
2/5 (ask me again at some point in time from now and it could be a 4/5.. seriously)

Track Eleven: This Circus
....This is... This odd, amazing.... Combination... it switches a lot... There's pacing, and there's sounds, and there's voice effects... And, wow... This is just a neat ending; like one big amalgamation of the whole album... I approve.

Alright... There was a slight nose-dive toward the end... But, overall, this is a very good album. Sadly, it didn't beat out Starsailor for fav album of the year, but it's got the number Two spot! (Yay for Chevelle!)

Stylistically... It's not Vena Sera, and it isn't TToT (CDUI) or Wonder What's Next.... I'd say it's a natural, expected step forward... It is very, very good: an awesome rock album.
Good work, Chevelle. Come to H-Town again, please! I'm dying to see you.

let's let the panic bloom

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ursa Major

Okay, so it's been quite some time since the last collection of new 3EB music dropped. Off the top of my head, and I'm probably a little off, it seems to me that '03 was the last time we'd heard from them, minus a best of collection/greatest hits they released at some point. This means that, besides the typical stress and expectations of a normal album, there's a whole slew of over-expected hopes and ideals just because it's been so long. I mean, the typical expectations of an album are surely stressful enough... But, after being on hiatus for so long?

Geeze, do the 3EB boys have their work cut out for them....

Well, let's see if 3EB could pull it off...
Back from being
Out of the Vein, let's look up and count the stars in Ursa Major.

Title: Ursa Major
Artist: Third Eye Blind
Label: Mega Collider Records
Release: 2009

Track One: Can You Take Me
High pitched whining and crunchy guitars... Sound effects; oh yeah, this is 3EB... Jenkins is almost a little too drowned out... Sex, ideals, and excellent pop rock... Yep, 3EB land, indeed. And, you know what, maybe a riot IS overdue... It's nice to know his voice hasn't faltered in however many years it's been... Great opening track that, with all its styles, will quickly acquaint any newbies to what this band does.

Track Two: Don't Believe a Word
This is pretty much the leading single for the album, so let's see how it goes.....
Big rock music.... I like it..... Digresses into the semi-rap/quick lyrics that's Jenkins' style... It's catchy as all get out... Nice little lyrics there... "give me back my photos...." I love it.... But, yet, I can't help but to think that this is just Jenkins' outlet to complain about the times, and thus be relevant... Maybe taking hiatuses isn't such a good thing...

Track Three: Bonfire
I hear bongos? YES, I hear bongos... Or, some other sort of percussion thing... It strangely fits. This is really good; it's like proof that they can drop the hooks and effects, and still be a darn good and honest act... "if nothing else I am myself / it's all I have to give" I love it...

Track Four: Sharp Knife
Jenkins, slow down..... Oh, well, I should be used to your style by now. My bad, darling. Oh, well... When you do slow down, it's really effective. "At least you left a mark on me" -damn, doesn't everyone...? The slow-fast is really good on this... The music's fantastic... This is so honest and powerful; he's always singing from some pained, honest place... I wish other songwriters would drift there and sit a spell... "careful, you might hurt someone"

Track Five: One in Ten
I hear strings? Yes, maybe.. and piano?... Yes.... I dig. Oooh, and horns... Yes?... Hmmm, I like this a lot... The point is so simple, so powerful, and... so awfully easy to relate to, and the music's divine....

Track Six: About to Break
Wow, Jenkins, do you hate humanity that much? Are you sooooo misanthropic, love? "If there's one thing I can't stand, it's standing next to my fellow man" -geeze, man... You're starting to sound a little Art-ish here... I'm not digging this, but I am digging it, but I'm not, but I am...... It's another soapbox song, and the squeaky/whining guitar is a little too rough/jarring... *eyes narrow*

Track Seven: Summer Town
I really like this one a lot... A whole lot... "I told you everything I knew in a manic, rushing line" -god, who doesn't when they're in love.... This track is amazing. Makes me think of their first release... It's that good, y'all.

Track Eight: Why Can't You Be
Acoustic?... Okay...... Let's go, Jenkins, take me on a trip... I ain't gonna lie, I smiled at the first comparison, and then just nodded along with the rest... This is great.... A fantastic way to explain the hollow desires and hopeless, overly high expectations that love and lust brings... Good job, Jenkins. Good job.

Track Nine: Water Landing
Techno-y... But, a nice highlight of his voice and his words... These guys are a lot like 1,2,3Crows... It's more about the words... When this one breaks down, it kinda goes meh... But, oh, well, it's okay.

Track Ten: Dao of St. Paul
This is as great as Summer Town and Sharp Knife... The chaos in the middle is fabulous.

Track Eleven: Monotov's Private Opera
What the hell type of name?.... Oh, well, let's see how this goes... You know what, this is a really good one, too... Third Eye Blind's almost better slowed down.... Every time...

Track Twelve: Carnival Barker
Once again.... What sort of title?... It sounds dreamy/strained/filtered/disjointed/calming.... Nice instrumental finale.... wish it was a little bit longer...

Well, good job 3EB... You're still relevant, even when you seem to be trying really hard to do so, and you're just as honest and moving as y'all've always been... The hooks are still strong and work just as good as they did back in '97, '99.... And so on.

Wish I could've saw y'all on y'all's H-Town stop...
she shattered because no one loved her

Monday, June 1, 2009

On to the Next One

Okay. So, as mentioned a few blogs back, I purchased some stuff from GCR. What did I purchase? Why, the 2004 effort from Last Conservative, On to the Next One, that's what! Why did I get this one? Well, because I'd been wanting it for a while (not quite the five years it's been out, but long enough), yet I'd just... Never had gotten it, y'all know? And, get this, it came with a sample of Klear's work, so... Two-fer-One! Woot.

Y'all know what this means! Time for another one of Jess' dirt cheap, .02 reviews!

Artist: Last Conservative
Album: On to the Next One
Released: 2004
All right. Very quickly, LC is an alt-rock band out of Buffalo, signed to GCR. Basically, they're one of Takac's babies. Their frontman, TJ, from what I've heard, is charismatic and quite a prolific songwriter. And, fun fact: ex-Gooey sideclowns and the one and only Miyoko are guest musicians on this disc.

So, without further adieu, LC's OttNO...

Song One: On to the Next One
Alright, so we're starting out with the title track? I can dig it. Rough, loud guitars, and a little scream? Cool start, and then it all drifts when the vocals kick in. Oooh, and what nice vocals... It's pained enough, but not weak... It's strongly vulnerable! (Shush, I know I'm throwing out contradictions...) I really like this song - it's a fantastic opener. My slight complaint is that... There seems to be these extra little... Sound effects that seem just a wee-bit distracting. But, it's all good, because this is great. If the rest of the album's like this, I'm gonna be very happy.

Song Two: Can't Get Away From You
Okay, the topic's tried and true - thematically, there's nothing new here, but in the delivery of said theme, there's some lyrical diamonds. And, this is probably gonna be an ongoing thing with this band... Awesome, soul-felt lyrics... Delivered from a talented and earnest song-writer, built up with good pop rock music... (Gee... Sounds like another Buffalonian band....) This song's pop-ier, but it's definitely hooky and catchy.

Song Three: Over My Head
This song is also called 'Come On'.... Okay, smart-ass-ness aside... Like the previous, we're continuing more into straight-up pop territory, and it's just as catchy, if not catchier... But, the lyrics are a bit meh. He seems to string along a few cliches, but it still somehow works. I know, I can't explain it... Shush. I just dig it. The music's awesome, and the little effect on his voice half-way through is just enough bite for this sugar-sweet song.

Song Four: FourFive
Okay, and we're rocking again! Yay. Okay, this one just rocks. I mean, that's really the only way I can put it. Sorry I'm being vague on this one.

Song Five: Anything But Goodbye
I'm sort of liking the keyboards... Oh, they go quickly, okay. His vocals sound a little clearer on this one... And... I really like it. I like the balance between good 'ol pop rock and... Pop... There's... ... There's an all-over-the-place feel to it, but IN A GOOD WAY. Like... there's... So much going on, but...Each and every little musical element shines through... I guess that's good mixing? (Remember, I'm a music-retard.)

Song Six: Hope and Pray
Once again.... Just more rock. ....It's that.... Fast/slow style the Dolls do so well, and these guys do it well, too. One again, lots of different noises coming into play, but each having their chance to shine... God...
Okay. BRUTAL HONESTY TIME. ....Every time I want to bitch about the possibility that this seems overproduced.... The mixing's awesomeness shuts me up. Amazing...
Oh, and despite what I just said.... Cool echoing.

Song Seven: Car Alarm
....starts off with a car beeping. Alright. Clever. But, then, thankfully, it drops the gimmicks and just ROCKS. Once again... It's all I can say, unless I just start repeating what I've been saying: his kickass voice, the great mixing, etc... Well, I can say that I think I've found a favorite song. :-)

Song Eight: Come Down
I was wondering if there'd be a ballad on here, and sure enough, burried between massive amounts of ROCK, here it is.
And, it's impressive. (or I'm just a sucker for men that scream... or write about darkness/light metaphors.)

Song Nine: Keep Your Promises
Their music's really kick ass.... Sorry, just felt like reminding all of y'all of that.
Hmmm.... I really, really like the sound of this one... A whole lot.
That voice I'm really starting to love is a little drowned out on this one, but... Yet again.... Despite the loudness... I can hear it ALL, so clearly... WHO MIXED THIS?!
Oh, fuck me....
Um... Well, GOOD JOB, ROBBY! Mixing is fantastic....
Anyway..... *blink*
Uh... Where was I?
Oh, right..... Um, scratch what I said earlier.... THIS is my favorite.
5/5, easily.

Song Ten: Hey Hey
....Cover of a Neil Young song?.....
Okay, well..... Let's see: A song about the effects of love... That sounds like a perfect pop summer song: a lot of fun, and very single-ish.

Song Eleven: Irish
I just don't like this one. Sorry, LC.....

Song Twelve: I Know You Know I Know
(or IKYKIK -prounounced: Icky Kick, hihi)
Yeah, this is much better than Irish... Awesome lyrics this time around, perhaps more metaphorical than the rest of the album, and he sounds just as good as ever, and IT ROCKS! like the rest of the album... Another solid song.

Song Thirteen: Mary
Alright. Last song... How's it gonna go down?
Static? Okay.... I get it, this band and their producer (oh....fuck, same Doll.) like sound effects. Okay. A little like EC does, too... I can finally go along with it and stop twitching. Congrats, y'all've won me over....
aaaaand, I'm done for.
....Omg... So many different sounds... I swear I hear accordion and ... Some sort of brass, too. Well, rock on... It SO WORKS.
Man, this would be a great encore song.

....While I was listening to this, I was half-assed talking to another Goober, and we both had the same wondering: could you tell if something was produced by Rzez vs. Tak, and... Yeah, I think it could be differentiated, possibly pretty easily. I'm not sure why I'm bringing this up, but, there ya go.

Anyway... This album got better as it went on, except for the minor mistep toward the end with Irish. It's a great pop rock effort, and I can see it being my new driving cd when I'm going back and forth between H-Ville and H-Town. I'm diggin'.

And, I was going to review the Klear sampler, but I'll save that for later... Don't wanna burn through all my new music in one week, y'all know?
the kings and the queens are all powerless now