Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A teaser for Subter.com

This was going to be part of my first column for Subter.com. However, I've decided to post it here and provide some fresher picks when Subter goes live from early February. Plus, it makes up for my lack of blogging for the last few days (hey, come on people, it's summer down here!). I'm not going to link any of them for the moment, so it's up to you guys to go find them (yeah, I'm sure you'll just Google them like everyone else). The Low album is pure gold, and real purrrty too.

Notes from the Underground picks for January 2005

Low – The Great Destroyer

For their first Sub Pop outing, the Minnesota trio enlist the services of producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev). While this move helps hone Low’s hidden pop talent (California for a career highlight anyone?), there remains a darker element that’s impossible to escape, yet too beautiful and fragile to ignore.

Perfect for: that long walk along a country road at 2:00AM under a bed of stars.

Mercury Rev – The Secret Migration

If you need a second hit of Dave Fridmann enhanced tunage, look no further than the latest set of psych-lullabies from the Rev. If you’re aware of the band's ouvre, then there’s nothing here you haven’t heard before. However, music this lovely is always worth a second helping.

Perfect for: watching the sunset with your imaginary friend.

Pinback - Summer in Abbadon

Evoking the sounds of Death Cab for Cutie, Elliott Smith, and heck, even Fugazi, Pinback release their most consistent effort to date. Although released in the second half of 2004, word of mouth has ensured it’ll no doubt be on the stereo of your local indie store for many months to come.

Perfect for: your next road trip, whenever that may be.

dEUS: The Ideal Crash

With a new set from Tom Barman’s band imminent, it’s time for a refresher course on the best Belgian group around. Swathed in a mix of strings and percussion that shift from menace to innocence in a heartbeat , 1999’s The Ideal Crash holds your attention in a vice-like-grip from the very first listen. The shift from dark to light on One Advice, Space, the giddy nature of Let’s See Who Goes Down First, and the heartbreak of The Magic Hour would be highlights on any decent rock album. With Instant Street though, dEUS really let fly, reaching rarely seen pop heights before entering a sonic tailspin and crashing in a blaze of glory.

Perfect for: enhancing that bout of turbulence during a long-haul flight.

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Worlds Apart

Criminally ignored by their record company Interscope (Worlds Apart has been ready for release for quite a while, but wasn’t able to obtain a ‘slot’ during the lead-up to the music industry cash-cow that is Christmas), the follow up to Source Tags And Codes finally sees the light of day. Although not reaching the heights of previous Trail of Dead albums, with the band preferring to expand their repertoire of jaunty orchestral anthems, the rare occasions where they shoot from both barrels (such as Will You Smile Again For Me) are thrilling. Worth catching live as well, especially for their twin drumming assault and tag team switches between, and during, songs.

Perfect for: creating a worthy soundtrack whilst reading Hellboy and Preacher comics.

No comments: