Friday, October 29, 2010

Quickfire Perfect Sounds Listening Booth: Fall 2010, vol. 3


  • Superchunk: Majesty Shredding (Merge) & The Thermals: Personal Life (Kill Rock Stars) - Superchunk and the Thermals seem like kindred spirits to me. Both play energetic heart-on-sleeve and punky music when the "indie" landscape otherwise have seemed to prefer a slightly slower pace and emotional disengagement ('though you'll be able to find other artists with similar knacks in both cases -- Sebadoh in the 90s and Titus Andronicus spring to mind). The Thermals made a very good album with 2006 The Body, the Blood, the Machine, while in Superchunk's case the pick hit is their early comp Tossing Seeds, which contains the brilliant "Slack Motherfucker". Both of their respective new albums are stocked with fuzzy power-popish tunes: Superchunk's is buzzing and sprightly, while The Thermals have eased up their politics (which were more eloquently put than most others) as well as slowing down the pace somewhat. Both records also have one killer tune each, Superchunk's "Digging for Something", and The Thermals' "I Don't Believe You" (7/10 & 6/10)*
  • The So So Glos: Low Back Chain Shift EP (Green Owl) - Tourism/Terrorism was a spunky, loose-knit garage punk record that mixed tales of affections for ones neighborhood with disbeleif in political descisions to great effect. On this EP, they're less overtly political, and their sound is cleaner and fuller -- e.g. the addition saxophone and piano on the jumpy "Lindy Hop" (7/10)*
  • The Books: The Way Out (Temporary Residence) - (7/10)
  • Bottomless Pit: Blood Under the Bridge (Comedy Minus One) (7/10)
  • El Guincho: Pop Negro (Young Turks) (7/10)
  • Johnny & Jenny: I'm Having Fun Now (Warner Bros.) (7/10)
  • The Corin Tucker Band: 1,000 Years (Kill Rock Stars) (6/10)
  • Neil Young: Les Noise (Warner Bros.) (6/10)
* Grades are tentative, based on three or four listens, sometimes a few more. Much of the writing is done during listens, and should be considered notes more than final reviews.

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