Archive for May, 2012

May 31, 2012

Album 0044: They Might Be Giants – Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas)

Release Date: 1993
Genre: New Wave/Rock

Tracklisting:

1. Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas) (02:54)
2. Jessica (02:25)
3. Whirlpool (02:11)
4. Spy (02:31)

Total Length: 09:59

Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas) is just a classic little song. It’s sang like a song from school, meant to teach kids and get stuck in their head. Love it. Jessica is a cover of The Allman Brothers Band, and it’s a really cool song. This version intends to go all weird with it, which is sort of neat. Whirlpool was originally by Meat Puppets, and this time I don’t know the original. However, I like the feel of this song, but the vocals annoy me.

Spy is kind of neat, it’s a cool idea but the song doesn’t really appeal to me. This little EP is a nice slice of TMBG, but I only ever remember it for the title track.

Final Rating: 6.5/10

May 29, 2012

Album 0043: Dream Theater – Uncovered 2003-2005

Release Date: 2009
Genre: Progressive Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Death On Two Legs (03:49)
2. Heart Of The Sunrise (10:29)
3. Heaven And Hell (06:20)
4. Paradox (03:43)
5. Mother Father (05:33)
6. Machine Messiah (03:19)
7. Since I’ve Been Loving You (06:48)
8. Diary Of A Madman (05:58)
9. Cemetary Gates (08:19)
10. Won’t Get Fooled Again (10:06)

Total Length: 01:04:24

This album is a collection of covers the band performed live during the years in the album title. It’s neat to get to hear them because sometimes they would be only be done once even. Death On Two Legs is a fantastic Queen song, and it’s done great here. Heart Of The Sunrise is a great Yes song, and the band plays it great here. Heaven And Hell is a Black Sabbath cover, the backhalf of the song is very cool.

Paradox is a Kansas cover, sort of neat. I like the violin patch Jordan Rudess uses. Mother Father is a cover of Journey, and it’s a little too cheesy, even for me. Machine Messiah is another Yes cover, the song is cut by two-thirds but what is here is awesome. Since I’ve Been Loving You is a great cover of Led Zeppelin. James LaBrie may not reach the heights that Robert Plant does, but everything else is spot on.

Diary Of A Madman is an Ozzy cover, and this song is pretty great. Cemetary Gates is a cover of Pantera the band performed during Gigantour with some guests, so it’s neat on its own. Won’t Get Fooled Again is a cover of The Who, a band I haven’t really been able to get into yet. This version is kind of neat though. Like I said at the top, this album is a cool piece of history, but I won’t listen to it too much.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

May 28, 2012

Album 0042: Gogol Bordello – Super Taranta!

Release Date: 2007
Genre: Folk Punk

Tracklisting:

1. Ultimate (03:29)
2. Wonderlust King (03:58)
3. Zina-Marina (04:19)
4. Supertheory Of Supereverything (02:56)
5. Harem In Tuscany (Taranta) (03:33)
6. Dub The Frequencies Of Love (06:15)
7. My Strange Uncles From Abroad (05:20)
8. Tribal Connection (05:05)
9. Forces Of Victory (05:24)
10. Alcohol (04:55)
11. Suddenly… (I Miss Carpaty) (05:37)
12. Your Country (04:16)
13. American Wedding (03:38)
14. Super Taranta! (06:45)

Total Length: 01:05:29

Ultimate is a brilliant song and the perfect way to open the album. The production is also near perfect and compliments the song well. Wonderlust King is a song you just want to sing along to, and just rocking. I love this song so much. Zina-Marina is fairly fun but not as outright ‘great’ as some of the other songs on the album. Supertheory Of Supereverything is a fantastic little song, just a unique song by a unique band.

Harem In Tuscany (Taranta) has a cool chorus but is not one of my favorite tracks. Dub The Frequencies Of Love is a song I just cannot get into very well. It goes on too long and I just don’t like the feel of it. My Strange Uncles From Abroad is possibly my favorite song on the album. The lyrics are great and the music is fantastic. Tribal Connection is the competition for the title of ‘best song’ on the album. This one is a bit slower and more emotional, and just as great.

Forces Of Victory is kind of neat, but some of the song just doesn’t appeal to me, namely a good chunk of the second half. Alcohol has never really appealed to me, it just feels boring. Suddenly… (I Miss Carpaty) is a very interesting song, it’s got an odd structure and fun bits, but it’s never been able to hook me. Your Country is a fun song, it’s got a cool rhythm. American Wedding is a great song, just a whole lot of fun.

Super Taranta! is a cool ending track, but not one of my favorites from the album overall. I was obsessed with this album when I first heard it years ago. It still holds up very well, some songs more than others. Just a great blend of Eastern European music and punk, it’s fantastic.

Final Rating: 8/10

May 27, 2012

Album 0041: Mayo Shono – Ai Ai Ai

No Album Cover Available

Release Date: 1982
Genre: Pop/New Wave

Tracklisting:

1. Ai Ai Ai (04:27)
2. Tokyo Gozen 3 Toki (Tokyo At 3 In The Morning) (04:12)
3. Oh My Papa (03:26)
4. Slow Samba (04:12)
5. Toubousha (04:17)

Total Length: 20:34

This is a weird little half album. After their first two albums were released, Oingo Boingo was asked to serve as the backing band for Mayo Shono on half of her LP. This is the band minus Danny Elfman playing, and it has a similar production style to Nothing To Fear. Strange little piece of history. Ai Ai Ai has very similar percussion and rhythm to some tracks Boingo has done before, and it’s really cool just for the music.

Tokyo Gozen 3 Toki (Tokyo At 3 In The Morning) is pretty cool, but nothing special overall. Oh My Papa starts off with an Only A Lad riff, but quickly becomes a Japanese pop song. Still very fun. Slow Samba is a very cool track and has an excellent sax solo from Sluggo. Toubousha feels like a song cut from Boingo’s first album, it’s neat. This is a neat little snapshot in Boingo history, and a quick easy listen.

Final Rating: 8/10

May 25, 2012

Album 0040: Toy Matinee – Toy Matinee

Release Date: 1990
Genre: Pop/Progressive Rock

Tracklisting:

1. Last Plane Out (05:13)
2. Turn It On Salvador (04:55)
3. Things She Said (04:58)
4. Remember My Name (05:19)
5. The Toy Matinee (05:03)
6. Queen Of Misery (04:31)
7. The Ballad Of Jenny Ledge (05:50)
8. There Was A Little Boy (05:35)
9. We Always Come Home (04:30)
10. eetinaM yoT ehT (00:33)
11. Blank Page (02:23)
12. Things She Said (alternate version) (05:13)
13. There Was A Little Boy (early version) (04:16)
14. Last Plane Out (early version) (05:36)

Total Length: 01:03:55

Last Plane Out is a very catchy track and kicks off the album well. Turn It On Salvador is very funky, and one of the coolest songs to show off how good the production, mixing, and mastering on this album is. Things She Said has a fun chorus, but takes a while to build up to it and isn’t terribly interesting to me during that period. Remember My Name is very cool, I especially like the keyboards used on it.

The Toy Matinee is okay, I like the feeling of it but the song itself doesn’t stick with me. Queen Of Misery is a fairly good pop track. The Ballad Of Jenny Ledge is a fantastic song, my one qualm with is that I think the ending section is unnecessary. There Was A Little Boy is very neat, I like the melodrama of the chorus. We Always Come Home is fairly nice to listen to, but mostly boring to be quite honest.

eetinaM yoT ehT is a dumb little backwards speaking track. Blank Page is an alright little song. The alternate version of Things She Said is fairly neat but I’m still not hip on the song. The early version of There Was A Little Boy is a bit more rocking, but I think I do like the finalized version more. The early version of Last Plane Out is kind of cool but also very similar to the regular version. This album overall has some neat moments but has never been my cup of tea. It’s a weird mix of stuff and makes me feel odd.

Final Rating: 7/10

May 24, 2012

Album 0039: Flogging Molly – Within A Mile Of Home

Release Date: 2004
Genre: Folk Punk

Tracklisting:

1. Screaming At The Wailing Wall (03:41)
2. The Seven Deadly Sins (02:50)
3. Factory Girls (03:51)
4. To Youth (My Sweet Roisin Dubh) (03:17)
5. Whistles The Wind (04:33)
6. The Light Of A Fading Star (03:53)
7. Tobacco Island (05:18)
8. The Wrong Company (00:37)
9. Tomorrow Comes A Day Too Soon (03:33)
10. Queen Anne’s Revenge (03:06)
11. The Wanderlust (03:31)
12. Within A Mile Of Home (03:54)
13. The Spoken Wheel (02:13)
14. With A Wonder And A Wild Desire (03:40)
15. Don’t Let Me Die Still Wondering (04:18)

Total Length: 52:14

Screaming At The Wailing Wall is pretty much a perfect opening song, catchy and fun. The Seven Deadly Sins honestly should be better. I like all the disparate parts of it, but when it’s put together I can’t really get into it. I think it’s honestly a bit too fast. Factory Girls is pretty nice, and I enjoy the guest vocalist. To Youth (My Sweet Roisin Dubh) really isn’t all that interesting to me. Whistles The Wind is similar, nothing about it grabs me.

The Light Of A Fading Star has a fun chorus, but the rest of the song isn’t great. Tobacco Island is probably the best song on the album. It’s inventive, evocative, and catchy. The Wrong Company is a brilliant little vocal only song. Just a perfect little interlude for the album. Tomorrow Comes A Day Too Soon is a great song, very poppy but it works especially because of the percussion. Queen Anne’s Revenge is alright, I’m not a big fan of the vocals on this song, and again it seems to be a bit too fast.

The Wanderlust is fairly neat, I like the instrumentation. Within A Mile Of Home is alright, it just doesn’t grab me too much. The Spoken Wheel is alright, but I only like it because it leads directly into the next track. With A Wonder And A Wild Desire builds up very nicely, and has a neat little ending. Don’t Let Me Die Still Wondering is very average sounding to me, there’s nothing that hooks me. This album is a bit better than the last time I listened to it, but I think Flogging Molly has a trend where the front halves of their albums are much stronger than their second halves.

Final Rating: 6.5/10

May 23, 2012

Album 0038: Sonata Arctica – The Days Of Grays

Release Date: 2009
Genre: Power Metal

Tracklisting:

DISC ONE

1. Everything Fades To Gray (03:07)
2. Deathaura

    I. The Premonition
    II. The Witch-Hunt
    III. Exposing The Heathen
    IV. Envy
    V. The Fear
    VI. The Grudge
    VII. The Curse
    VIII. The Flames
    IX. Endless Inquisition
    X. …Together Today, For All Eternity (07:59)

3. The Last Amazing Grays (05:40)
4. Flag In The Ground (04:09)
5. Breathing (03:55)
6. Zeroes (04:24)
7. The Dead Skin (06:15)
8. Juliet (05:59)
9. No Dream Can Heal A Broken Heart (04:43)
10. As If The World Wasn’t Ending (03:49)
11. The Truth Is Out There (05:04)
12. Everything Fades To Gray (04:32)
13. In The Dark (05:22)
14. Nothing More (03:58)
15. In My Eyes You’re A Giant (04:42)

DISC TWO (ORCHESTRAL)

1. Deathaura

    I. The Premonition
    II. The Witch-Hunt
    III. Exposing The Heathen
    IV. Envy
    V. The Fear
    VI. The Grudge
    VII. The Curse
    VIII. The Flames
    IX. Endless Inquisition
    X. …Together Today, For All Eternity (07:57)

2. The Last Amazing Grays (05:10)
3. Flag In The Ground (03:55)
4. Juliet (06:02)
5. As If The World Wasn’t Ending (03:56)
6. The Truth Is Out There (05:07)
7. In The Dark (05:22)

Total Length: 01:50:56

Everything Fades To Gray is just an instrumental version the first time around, and it’s a great intro to the album. Deathaura is one of the bigger songs the band has done, with a lot of different bits and parts coming together, and in my opinion at points being one of their heaviest songs. It’s just fantastic. The Last Amazing Grays is a very cool track, I especially love the chorus and it really highlights how cool Sonata Arctica’s newer material is. Flag In The Ground is actually a reworking of a song from one of their first demos, which is cool to hear. It’s still a classic power metal track, but recorded in their newer style which puts a twist in it.

Breathing is a pretty good softer song. It doesn’t compare to some of their other works, in that it doesn’t get stuck in my head but it’s pleasant to listen to. Zeroes is one of the more chaotic songs on the album, I love the odd vocal effects and keyboard sounds filtering in and out. The Dead Skin is a very cool track. I think it might go on just a tad too long, but it’s not a big deal. Juliet is an awesome song, I love it.

No Dream Can Heal A Broken Heart is fairly good, I especially like the female vocals. As If The World Wasn’t Ending is alright, it really doesn’t catch me like it should. The Truth Is Out There has a freaking awesome intro, but the rest of the song doesn’t quite live up to it. Everything Fades To Gray this time has vocals and is a bit longer. Fairly neat, but I like the backing music more than the lyrics.

In The Dark has a cool chorus, but doesn’t snag me in otherwise. Nothing More is fairly neat, again I can’t get hooked onto it. In My Eyes You’re A Giant has some pretty neat riffs. The orchestral CD kicks off with Deathaura, which I think loses a bit without the guitars. Some of the section changes simply don’t hit as hard and have as much meaning. It’s still a great song though. The Last Amazing Grays is honestly not that interesting in this form.

Flag In The Ground works very well like this, the orchestral elements work with the lyrics and theme. Juliet is still a pretty great song. As If The World Wasn’t Ending doesn’t seem too much different and I’m still not into it. The Truth Is Out There actually works a lot better here. In The Dark is kind of boring here, honestly. Overall the orchestral songs are neat but don’t add much. When taking everything together, I don’t mind listening to this album. Even the song that don’t catch me are still good songs.

Final Rating: 8/10

May 22, 2012

Album 0037: Goldfinger – Hang-Ups

Release Date: 1997
Genre: Ska/Punk

Tracklisting:

1. Superman (03:05)
2. My Head (03:04)
3. If Only (02:26)
4. This Lonely Place (03:19)
5. 20¢ Goodbye (01:58)
6. Question (02:58)
7. Disorder (03:13)
8. Carlita (03:17)
9. Too Late (02:21)
10. I Need To Know (02:54)
11. Authority (02:41)
12. S.M.P. (01:01)
13. The Last Time (02:46)
14. Chris Cayton / It Isn’t Just Me / Chicken McNuggets (36:32, with Chris Cayton being 03:14, It Isn’t Just Me being 03:07, and Chicken McNuggets being 00:53, and the rest being silence)

Total Length: 42:16 without silence, 01:11:34 with silence

Superman is completely classic song. It totally evokes memories of playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, I will never not like this song. My Head is fairly cool, I like the chorus. If Only is a very cool track, I enjoy it. This Lonely Place is pretty fun, but gets a bit too sappy at one point. 20¢ Goodbye is a fun little ska song.

Question is a pretty cool song with good lyrics. Disorder is kind of fun but basic pop punk. Carlita is decent. Too Late is very meh, I like the idea but it’s not handled well. I Need To Know is pretty fun. Authority is honestly not too good. S.M.P. is a crappy hardcore song.

The Last Time is boring. Chris Cayton is kind of neat, but kind of has too much going on and isn’t dealt with well. It Isn’t Just Me has a fun ending. Chicken McNuggets is a dumb little song. Overall the first half of the album is better than I remembered, but the second half falls off honestly. It’s just not very steady in songwriting.

Final Rating: 6/10

May 20, 2012

Album 0036: Týr – The Lay Of Thrym

Release Date: 2011
Genre: Folk Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Flames Of The Free (04:17)
2. Shadow Of The Swastika (04:23)
3. Take Your Tyrant (03:53)
4. Evening Star (05:05)
5. Hall Of Freedom (04:07)
6. Fields Of The Fallen (04:59)
7. Konning Hans (04:28)
8. Ellindur Bóndi Á Jadri (03:55)
9. Nine Worlds Of Lore (04:04)
10. The Lay Of Thrym (06:48)
11. I (04:43)
12. Stargazer (06:19)

Total Length: 57:01

Flames Of The Free has a pretty fantastic chorus, which is sort of the name of the game for this band. Shadow Of The Swastika is a pretty good song. It’s fun, but just doesn’t hold up to some of the band’s other works. Take Your Tyrant is odd in that I prefer the verse to the chorus, but it’s a cool song overall. Evening Star is a great song that is a bit structurally different. It’s basically a song that builds up to its climax, and it works amazingly. Love this track.

Hall Of Freedom has amazing vocal lines in it and is a great song for that reason. Fields Of The Fallen has a pretty fantastic chorus, and the rest of the song is fairly neat too. Konning Hans is a lot of fun. Ellindur Bóndi Á Jadri is okay, nothing terribly special. Nine Worlds Of Lore is a pretty cool song, I like the chorus and the solo is cool. The Lay Of Thrym‘s introkind of feels like a callback to their third album, which is neat. The song itself is pretty great.

I is a fantastic cover, just mesemerizing. Stargazer is a pretty good version of the classic song. Overall this album is catchy and fun, but not the best Týr.

Final Rating: 9/10

May 16, 2012

Album 0035: Týr – By The Light Of The Northern Star

Release Date: 2009
Genre: Folk Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Hold The Heathen Hammer High (04:49)
2. Tróndur í Gøtu (04:02)
3. Into The Storm (05:06)
4. Northern Gate (04:46)
5. Turið Torkilsdóttir (04:20)
6. By The Sword In My Hand (04:49)
7. Ride (05:00)
8. Hear The Heathen Call (04:41)
9. By The Light Of The Northern Star (06:01)
10. The Northern Lights (01:49)
11. Anthem (01:37)

Total Length: 47:00

Hold The Heathen Hammer High is a perfect opening track, brilliant riffs, a great chorus, and a very fun solo. Týr hails from the Faroese Islands, and their sense of melody is a wonder to behold. This band quickly became one of my favorites when I first heard them. Tróndur í Gøtu is a great song. Into The Storm has possibly the best chorus ever. I just want to sing along to it every damn time. Northern Gate is very awesome, the lyrics stand out to me especially.

Turið Torkilsdóttir is the best. Song. Ever. Oh my god. This song is a chorus of men singing, then repeating the lyrics with a band backing, an amazing guitar, and then reverse the first two sections. It is so freaking cool that it is unbelievable. For me this song is the definition of folk metal. By The Sword In My Hand continues the tradition of having an amazing chorus. Ride is pretty neat, just not too much bad I can say about this song. Hear The Heathen Call once again has a great chorus and a cool solo. By The Light Of The Northern Star is a slightly ‘bigger’ song, just an amazing song.

The Northern Lights is a little bonus track, a nice little acoustic song using the melodies of the previous song. Very cool. Anthem is the Faroese national anthem, which is pretty cool. I really can’t think of anything wrong with this album. Sure, a few songs stand above some others, but those lower tier songs are still fantastic.

Final Rating: 10/10