Asking your friends to suggest music thats ‘something different’ is potentially opening a door that you might not be ready to walk through. I’m always willing to try something new though.
In fact, I’m a great believer in always trying something twice. That may partly explain why I’ve always learnt things the hard way.
But, it also might explain why so very often, I change my thinking about something that others may be quick to dismiss.
Anyway, below is my take on the suggestions given to me by my friends. Quite a mixture, I think you’ll agree…
Evanescence’s self titeld 2011 album opens with what’s best described as a glamdramatic rock intro. The ‘hello hello’ of “What You Want” gives way to grinding guitars and thrashing drums interlaced with the sometimes soothing, often growling vocals.And so the scene is set quite appropriately.
The album is often like listening to a lullaby as the piano builds up and fades for minutes at a time. It’s often quite dark sounding stuff with some mysterious vocals.
Again, It can often be quite romantic and a little sweet.
Throughout though, and no matter how it often sounds, it remains every inch and completely unmistakably, an Evanescence album. Which isn’t a bad thing.
The Cribs, by many perhaps compared to The Libertines, sound a much more accomplished band on this album. (Mans Needs, Womens Needs, Whatever)
I hear shades of Franz Ferdinand, which may have something to do with Alex Kapranos producing the album.
However, when the guitar starts riffing ‘de ne ne ne ne ne ne’ on Mens needs, I here more of The Strokes than anyone else. I love the way the track grinds to closure.
Later in the album the addition of some spoken word poetry, brings the album right into it’s own. Might just be me, but I’m sure that there’s a tinge of Weezer in the melody there on Be Safe, my favourite track. Solid Indie rock music here.
I’ve thrown in just a couple of numbers by Pearl and the Puppets.
Make me Smile introduces the sweet vocals of Katie Sutherland.
Trying hard to describe this as anything other than pop, but really that’s what it is, so there, thats what it is.
The tune is pretty catchy, girl and her guitar stuff with it’s string of do do do doohs.
And on “Because I Do” the do do’s become ba ba bah’s and it’s equally catchy and poppy.
I’m left believing her particular mix of guitar pop will appeal to a pretty wide audience. Also, I think that although Katie’s vocals are sweet and she has that somewhat girl next door appeal, there’s a bit more punch to be had here. Watch this space!
So, to Mondo Cane by Mike Patton.
OK, so I’d never even heard of this album before and read a little before I listened.
It was not what I expected and certainly a surprising recommendation.
Opening violins and weather sequences set the scene nicely for the album.
Anyone truly looking for something leftfield… from this selection, this is it.
Parts wouldnt be out of place as the soundtrack to a Robert Rodriguez Mexican gunslinging movie and yet the album closes with what could be a European rom com closing sequence.
Very interesting stuff.
Moving swiftly along to Mr Bungle’s self titled album…
Within a minute of opener Quote Unquote, I wonder how much of the heavy drum and shouting I can take. Not really my thing this.
But, it gets a bit psychedelic and I swear I can herar lyrics from a track from Grease sneak in the background. Oh, then the growling is back. Perhaps ‘shout’ is a bit harsh. Three and a half minutes in and I’m sure there is a wobble board, it deviates into almost reggae before some bells segue into another swift fusion, this time jazz. More shouting, more pshychedelia and a haunting last minute of screeching brought to a close with a saxophone dying on a train. Woah!
The album deviates through genre after genre, every minute or so, in most songs.
There are some moments of genuinely pleasant melody, occasional guitar riffs and some pretty cool vocals that you think might become catchy. Only for the entire song to change again.
How would I describe this? I could just say weird, which might be enough for some.
But to sum it all up nicely;
Heavy thrash metal rock meets pchychedlid reggae funk fused jazz. Like all that? Together?
Then you’ll love it.
Goldfrapp – The Singles.
Ooh lala! This is spacey dance pop into Strict MAchine and I Feel love that grooves along with a lovely head. Whistling spookily floating, we are unassuming yet attention grabbing vocals. This is our Utopia.Blissfully cosmic music soothes away your pain. Never offensive, happily chugging onto the white Stallion and beyond. This is lullabyesque, darkly sweet, saintly sinful fading over the horizon.
The Jezabels – Prisoner, has a grand church organ intro, which grabs the attention. As the guitar strum gets things going, the cymbal and drum crash builds to the opening “You say your a prisoner.” Some dark, troubled sounding vocals that ooze attitude here. It’s a very atmospheric intro to the album which is followed by a lighter Endless Summer. The mood lifts, the melodies sail and things are a bit more upbeat.
The album maintains this pattern as we are gently carried through songs that vary from almost indie ballad to alternative soft rock stompers. Each with their own unique blend and often spellbinding vocals of Hayley Mary. It’s never offensive to the ear, making it one for almost any mood.
Finally, I arrive at the self titled debut album by New Zealand rockers Six60.
Opener Only to Be is laid back indie rock number, the guitar intro letting you know immediately what the album holds in store. Listen to this a couple of times and it is sure to have your head nodding.
Shades of Maroon 5 vocals emanate a bit with these guys, particularly on Beside You. (Think Songs About Jane)
But, if you think this is another MOR indie guitar band then listen on.
They play about with the sound of this album, not afraid of stripping back to some very simple guitar licks on Windy days.. in contrast to the keyboards on Run for it, which could be from the softer end of the Pendulum catalogue.
Penultimate track “In the Clear” combines the entire arsenal before the album closes with some simple slide on Green Bottles. It’s good stuff!
That’s about it for now folks. Many thanks to those who introduced me to something new this week. Much appreciated!
I guess it would be rude to not post a small sample of this plethora of treats.
Finally, here’s my pick of the bunch. Listen, then go by the album. I have!
Big up the flye eye troop leader for this one.