Friday, January 29, 2010

Cara Beth Satalino-The Good Ones

Cara Beth Satalino is an indie singer/songwriter from Athens, Georgia. Extremely catchy, honest and heartfelt, I loved this album from the first listen. I hope you will too.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thundrah - The City Swallows the Sparrow

I really like when I buy records with no idea as to what they'll sound like, and they turn out to be absolute gems. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, oh boy. That was the case with Thundrah's The City Swallows The City. Admittedly I'm on a bit of a record buying spree as of late now that I finally have a decent working turntable, so I tend to want to buy anything that is put in front of me. Thundrah's record cover is screen printed and has a big fancy bird on it. I like both those things a lot, and I also like The Corta Vita a lot, a band that Thundrah shares members with, so this seemed like a no brainer $12 to spend.

Anyways, Thundrah plays indie rock with that Halifax slant I dig so much, with a bit of a mid 90's emo vibe to some of the songs. The guitars are noisy and angular and the bass has a great groove to it. Discoey, dancey drums drive the record along and give some of the songs a bit of an older Q & Not U sound to them. Vocally it's right up my alley, with shouted, yelped vocals that remind me of The Medium Mood or the obligatory North of America reference I have to make each post. It's dancey, shoutey, emoey, indie goodness and it's Canadian!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Classics: North of America -Brothers, Sisters

Sorry for the lack of posts again. I've had a pretty severe case of writers block lately. I've had a few records I've wanted to put up, but I just haven't really been able to write about them. While I'm not sure how many people actually read my longwinded posts, this blog essentially acts as a place for me to ramble on about music and I don't feel right turning it into an album dumping ground with no insight into why I choose the records I do. This will be my last post in the "Best of the Decade" series. I'm sure I could dedicate a whole blog to this, but most people will have all the records I post anyways. Back to newish stuff soon!

North of America's 'Brothers, Sisters' is essential Canadian indie/punk/emo listening. This is a band I wish I had gotten into earlier, as they were no strangers to touring across Canada. Unfortunately being the ignorant dope that I am, constantly confused North of America with Boards of Canada. HA....2 totally different bands. North of America was a band for just 6 years (1997-2003) and in that time released a record every year. Pretty impressive and incredibly inspiring. While I could have chosen almost any of their releases, Brothers, Sisters was the first album I bought from their discography. It's a perfect mix of angular mid 90's indie rock, shouted emo and pop hooks and definitely serves as a great jumping off point for this band. I listen to their records joke.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

City of Caterpillar - S/T

This is the second post of my best records of the decade series. I think I'll have one or two more and then back to new music. This record should not be new to anyone, but if you haven't heard it download it and then go buy it, it's absolutely essential. Sorry about the deep personal stuff, but everyone knows what this sounds like, so I thought I'd explain why I like it so much.

For years I lived with some really horrible anxiety issues...I never knew what brought it on, whether it was depression or just being the product of a fear based society. I'd lie awake at night terrified of things I had no control over. Would the world collide with something and we'd all be dead by morning? Would my body forget involuntary actions and I'd stop breathing in my sleep? Looking back on it now it's all incredibly silly and I have to laugh about it, but it was real and very scary when I was younger. It's a strange way to live, always unsure of your sanity. I still to this day don't understand how I made it through high school and college.

City of Caterpillar was a band I discovered during this time, and in all honesty probably did not positively contribute to my mindset. Their essential self titled full length is the soundtrack to a panic attack. It's nervous and twitchy. It makes you gasp for air while being suffocated under feedback and noise. It's cold and distant yet incredibly abrasive and confrontational. I cannot think of another record that makes me feel the way City of Caterpillar does, and while listening to it today I felt my hand shake a bit and my breath get shorter. It's absurdly melodramatic...but in a way so is this record.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lefty Loosie- 100 Miles an Hour!!

Lefty Loosie was a pop punk band from Milwaukee. They play the most fun pop punk I have ever heard in my life. Since the weather has been kinda nice lately, I've been pretending it's summer and this has been my soundtrack. There is no way in the world you can feel bummed out when listening to this band. Rock on.

Friday, January 8, 2010

d.b.s. - Forget Everything You Know

A few days ago I was talking to a friend of mine, and he asked me what my top album of the past decade was. I hadn't really thought about it, and to be honest, it was incredibly hard to come up with just one record. There has been so many records in the past 10 years that I have not only enjoyed, but I feel have helped shape my musical changing if you will. So the next few posts from myself are going to be my top picks from the past decade...enjoy. (Some of you may have these, but if you don't...get on it!) I already posted Mewithoutyou's A-B Life a few months back, so I won't repost it, but I'd definitely say it would be on this list.

Alright, first up (although these are in no particular order) is d.b.s. - Forget Everything You Know. d.b.s. was a band I had always known about (they were talked about quite a bit at local shows, and had a bit of a cult status) but I had never really check out. I remember hearing some of "Some Boys Got It, Most Men Don't" from a friend and being really stoked on it and I immediately began scouring the closest record store looking for anything by the band...unfortunately this meant the HMV at Millwoods Town Centre, and the selection of "punk" music was less than great. I begged my parents to take me to A&B Sound, knowing that a lot of 'cool' people worked in the music section and I was bound to find something. I was looking for the record I heard, but all they had was "Forget Everything You Know", a 5 song EP. I assumed the worst. I took it to the counter and asked if it was the d.b.s. from Vancouver and the guy said it was, but it wasn't as good as their other stuff. Fuck that guy...I bought it anyways. (I was so punk when I was a teenager! ha)

Anyways, I got home, and plugged it into my stereo expecting terrible noise to come bursting from the speakers, ultimately causing me to submit to the idea that people at record stores are ALWAYS right. What I heard though was fantastic, frantic, and incredibly catchy pop music! This couldn't be the same band! I read the liner notes and realized that d.b.s had broken up and this was to be their final incredible growth from their punk rock days (Not to say the old stuff was bad, but this record is mind blowing!). The songs are incredibly upbeat, and immediately make think about summer. Great choppy start-stop rhythms, frantic drums played at breakneck speeds, and the organ! OH THE ORGAN! The thing that I really love about d.b.s. though is the vocals. Neither Andy Dixon or Jesse Gander were technically "great" singers in their youth, and the vocals are screeched, yelled and squeaked out. They're off key at times, and pushed to the point of breaking on every high note...but they do it with so much passion and honesty that you can't help but fall in love with them. This would be d.b.s' last album, and it actually feels like that at times. The band really lays everything on the table and plays their heart out, almost knowing that this would be their final note, and they had better make it count. Even today, this album feels like an incredible achievement for Canadian music and I feel like it's criminally overlooked. This record made me realize that you didn't have to be pissed off and screaming to release an intense and passionate album. It really opened my eyes up to other Canadian bands like North of America.

Funny story...Eric Clark and I both love this album quite a bit, and on tour we listened to it so much that we actually drove people out of the van and into the car seeking refuge. Seriously though, download this record....right now, it looks like it's out of print.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cloud Mouth - S/T

Cloud Mouth! What a band! Of course they hail from Chicago, because really, if you're making good music and you're not from Halifax, you're from Chicago. Don't argue's science.

Cloud Mouth plays dirty, snotty, skrammy punk rock in vein of...well...I'm not too sure who they sound like. I guess if you twisted my arm, I'd say there is a bit of a City of Caterpillar vibe to some of the songs and maybe a bit of Who Calls So Loud as well...but only if those bands ditched the post rock influences and embraced riffage. The first song on this EP, "The Rats in Their Holes" starts out with some of the silliest rock riffs (See also: AWESOME) I've heard on an emo record ever and blasts you with some totally moist (Rad, for those who have not been privy to Cecil Frena relentless moist campaign) shouted/screamed vocals. I think I get the CoC vibes from this because of the vocalist...totally snotty and full of reverb. There is a bit of clean vocals, but I use the term "clean" very loosely as they are just sort of lazily wheezed over the constant frantic shouting. The guitars are sludgy and distorted and have this great tone to them that is reminiscent of a lot of stoner rock from the 90's.

Honestly I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to upload this record, because I listen to it almost everyday. The song Past Tense is such a banger, with the weird off key, stream of consciousness shouted vocals at the beginning. So awesome. So so so awesome. CLOUD MOUTH!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

VKNGS - 12"

Attached is a list of some of my favorite bands: North of America, Bear Vs. Shark, Drive Like Jehu, Shotmaker. Now, if you will, imagine if members of North of America decided one day that they wanted to start a band....and this band had a heavy dose of dancey (Bear Vs. Shark), shoutey (shotmaker), snotty (Drive Like Jehu), post hardcore goodness coming out of the speakers. Well that band would be VKNGS and the world would a better (or worse) place for this 12" existing. Yet another reason Halifaxians (Halifaxites? Halifixeys? Halifuxx?) make better music than anyone else. Orderdemshitz. Alright? (For real, there is no excuse not to order this, it's $6 including shipping and the packaging is beautiful.)