Archive for June, 2014

June 27, 2014

Album 0456: Streetlight Manifesto – Somewhere In The Between

StreetlightManifesto-SomewhereInTheBetween_original

Release Date: 2007
Genre: Ska/Punk

Tracklisting:

1. We Will Fall Together (04:49)
2. Down, Down, Down To Mephisto’s Cafe (05:03)
3. Would You Be Impressed? (03:22)
4. One Foot On The Gas, One Foot In The Grave (05:28)
5. Watch It Crash (04:43)
6. Somewhere In The Between (03:43)
7. Forty Days (03:53)
8. The Blonde Lead The Blind (04:49)
9. The Receiving End Of It All (05:18)
10. What A Wicked Gang Are We (03:23)

Total Length: 44:31

We Will Fall Together has an amazing opening, and brilliant percussion throughout. The song just begs you to sing along, and it’s so much fun to. This song did a lot to allay fears people had after waiting so long for this album. Down, Down, Down To Mephisto’s Cafe is even more of an outlandish song, it keeps you guessing with its structure and I love it. The only thing that has ever seemed odd to me is the bit near the end of the song, it feels like a vocal gets cut off and like there’s supposed to be more to the song.

Would You Be Impressed? is very cool as well, I love the lyrics and how they interact with the ups and downs of the song. This one actually too me a bit of time to get, but I love it. One Foot On The Gas, One Foot In The Grave slows it down a bit with its intro, and is a pretty expansive song. It’s another one that didn’t click at first, but it is really brilliant and also begs you to sing along. Watch It Crash is not quite as good as the majority of tracks on here, but there is a lot to love about it.

Somewhere In The Between has some pop sensibilities but I absolutely adore the lyrics and the song is just too catchy and fun. Forty Days is fantastic as well. I love the atmosphere and the percussion in it, and getting a bonafide guitar solo is very cool. The Blonde Lead The Blind has somewhat simplistic lyrics, but the music behind it all is fun and upbeat. It does feel like they should be singing “we’re gonna make it after all” at one point but other than that it’s solid.

The Receiving End Of It All is the best song on here. It’s the closest one to the style from their first album, and the lyrics are top notch. This song should have absolutely been the one to close out the album, so much so that sometimes I think it actually is. What A Wicked Gang Are We is a great track, but not really fitting to end the album with. It’s lyrics are also much less cool compared to the previous track. This album really takes me back and was really influential to me at a time when I needed it. Simply amazing.

Final Rating: 9.5/10

June 26, 2014

Album 0455: Skyclad – Oui Avant-Garde Á Chance

Skyclad - Oui Avant-Garde A Chance

Release Date: 1996
Genre: Folk Metal/Rock

Tracklisting:

1. If I Die Laughing, It’ll Be An Act Of God (03:48)
2. Great Blow For A Day Job (04:20)
3. Constance Eternal (05:53)
4. Postcard From Planet Earth (05:11)
5. Jumping My Shadow (05:28)
6. Bombjour! (04:04)
7. History Lessens (The Final Examination) (04:20)
8. A Badtime Story (05:35)
9. Come On Eileen (03:56)
10. Master Race (04:08)
11. Bombed Out (Instru-Mental) (04:07)
12. Penny Dreadful (Full Shilling Mix) (03:11)

Total Length: 54:01

If I Die Laughing, It’ll Be An Act Of God is a high spirited, fast paced song that hits you strongly at the beginning of this album. The folk elements are obvious, as well as the hometown influences that are present. Great Blow For A Day Job has even more of a folk element, and is akin to a folk punk tune like Flogging Molly in terms of tone and lyrics. This band can get a little bit harder, though. Constance Eternal is a bit of a softer song, but it doesn’t really gel for me and goes on too long.

Postcard From Planet Earth is just overdone. I get it, but they don’t need to beat me over the head with it, and there is just too much annoyance here. The song just feels embarrassing now. Jumping My Shadow just keeps on with the softer tracks, and while it’s pleasant to listen to, it doesn’t feel quite right. I just don’t really like its placement here. Bombjour! tries to be more upbeat and fun, but it doesn’t connect with me. Maybe it’s just because I’m an American, who knows.

History Lessens (The Final Examination) is a little better and more interesting, but once again the lyrics are super on-the-nose and feels so simple and silly. A Badtime Story is thankfully a bit heavier, and has probably the best chorus on here. The song still goes on too long, and I feel like I could love this song a lot more if some things were different. Come On Eileen is a cover of the classic track, but it really, really does not fit this band. It’s also so British that is almost hurts, in a weird way.

Master Race is also a cover, and also really out there in front with its message. It really gets in the way, and makes me not want to listen to the song. Bombed Out (Instru-Mental) is as the title says, an instrumental and it’s a very fun one. Penny Dreadful is the best song on here to be honest. I first heard the cover of it, but it is brilliant and and I just love everything about it. If the album was more like this and the first two tracks, it would be a classic for me. Instead it’s just disappointing.

Final Rating: 6/10

June 14, 2014

Album 0454: Shpongle – Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland

Shpongle-IneffableMysteriesFromShpongleland

Release Date: 2009
Genre: Psychedelic/Electronic

Tracklisting:

1. Electroplasm (10:13)
2. Shpongolese Spoken Here (06:38)
3. Nothing Is Something Worth Doing (06:24)
4. Ineffable Mysteries (10:26)
5. I Am You (11:37)
6. Invisible Man In A Fluorescent Suit (08:54)
7. No Turn Unstoned (08:02)
8. Walking Backwards Through The Cosmic Mirror (08:13)

Total Length: 1:10:26

Electroplasm has both a heavier intro than I would ever have expected from this group and the melodies are a little more clear and accessible than they have been before. They are not dumbing it down by any means, the song sounds great and smart. I’m not too fond of the vocals over the end of the song though. Shpongolese Spoken Here goes nuts from the start and stays that way the whole way. It’s pretty cool overall, and one of the shorter tracks on here.

Nothing Is Something Worth Doing has almost a Caribbean vibe to it which lends a whole new flavor of sorts to this group’s repertoire. It makes the song really relaxing and enjoyable. Ineffable Mysteries has some cool bits with vocal samples, and it really makes the song. There’s also some cool bits with some horns doing cool deals. I Am You is a huge song, and while the first part doesn’t do much for me, once the main vocal line kicks in the song never really lets go. It builds up really well to a great ending.

Invisible Man In A Fluorescent Suit has a cool intro too, and I just really dig its groove. The only part I don’t like is the last couple minutes. It’s hard to explain, because even though I know drugs surround this music, having it so blatantly present like that annoys me. No Turn Unstoned is great to me. I’m sure some fans were turned off since it has a more standard use of vocals then what the group has done before. I really love it though, it works wonderfully. Walking Backwards Through The Cosmic Mirror isn’t as significant as the other tracks but it is still solid and does its job well. I can’t fully get into this album, but there is definitely some amazing material here.

Final Rating: 8/10