Thursday, March 31, 2011

Album Reviews

The Strokes - Angles (4/5). Is This It? The much acclaimed debut album from American rock band The Strokes represents an extraordinary height of '70s influenced new-wave rock revival that would take more than a re-hash of sound to reach again. Their charm has always been simplicity and their minimalist approach to rock, which they demonstrate nicely on Angles, the bands fourth album--almost recapturing the same rock simplicity that made It? such a winning set, but not entirely. The incomplex guitar melodies and assisting drum-lined undercut of lead single "Under Cover of Darkness," "Gratisfaction" and "Taken for a Fool" do tread the same waters as their early work, however where the album gets a little more interesting is its more experimental moments, such as the empirical rock of "You're So Right" layered guitaric undertones, prominent synth-beats beneath a wall of electronic-coated vocal mumblings. Very Radiohead. "Metabolism" is a little darker, sueging into the dramatic chimerical rock of Muse. The downbeat rock of "Games" takes a detour from The Strokes signature guitar melodies and drum sound--attaining a laid-back, spacey-synths, kinetic handclaps and fluorescent keyboards induced sound. Another highlight is the dejected tempo of "Call Me Back" which has a great simplistic vocal, guitars and delicate soundscape matching. Angles is a satisfying mix of their signiture sound as well an expansion of that, so it's good but not Is This It? good--It's there Hail to the Theif if you will. Best: Under Cover of Darkness, You're So Right, Metabolism, Games, Call Me Back, Taken for a Fool, Gratisfaction

The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? (3.5/5). So what did I expect from the Vaccines? Well, from the fun, light tuneful rock of "Post Break-Up Sex" I wasn't expecting anything particularly new within the confines of that standard post-punk rock sound and the debut album from the British band doesn't try to establish any new ground--in fact the sound they pursue has been driven into the ground by just about every other British rockers you can name, but that's fine--while it becomes tiresome for some, I quite enjoy it--there's quite a few belters on here, including the short, but high-energy rock of opening track "Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)" and the layered guitar-melodies of following track "If You Wanna," however my biggest gripe with the album is how obnoxiously short some of the songs are ("Wreckin' Bar" and "Nørgaard" another high-energy number, are just over 60 seconds long) almost as if they were trying to re-create Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, the debut album from alternative rock band Arctic Monkeys. While I do enjoy the sound, they could have branched out a bit and explored different sounds instead of sticking to the same formula--even just a little bit. However, even with that the album has a handful of great tracks. Best: Post-Break Up Sex, Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra), If You Wanna, Nørgaard, A Lack of Understanding, Wolf Pack

1 comment:

shane lynch said...

i absolutely loved the strokes album and it was one of my favorite every. sadly not much from them in recent years so i now get my 'gratisfaction' from the freebie website

really hope we see more music from these geniuses in the future!