Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First Listen: New Releases for August 12

With Jeff out of town, he asked for me to fill in for him. This week we have new releases from '80s, 90's, and '00s acts as well as brand new bands with their first releases. Let's get started!

Dilated Peoples - Directors of Photography
With their first release in 7 years, Dilated People's are back with a return to form from 2000's Expansion Team. If you like old school 90s conscious hip hop, this is definitely for you. The only problem might be the album's length. For the first 12 or so songs, it is a fantastic album and would get my vote for hip hop album of the year so far. But, at 18 songs and over an hour, it gets pretty repetitive and feels dull towards the end. A little diversity and expansion would have helped the 2nd half of this one immensely.

The Gaslight Anthem - Get Hurt
I know I'm going to sound like a crotchety old man here, but I've just never gotten the whole Gaslight Anthem thing and lumped them into the whole neo-pop punk category with bands like Good Charlotte. Get Hurt doesn't change anything for me, as it feels too arena rock ready for my taste. It reminds me of Fall Out Boy meets Muse, so maybe that's your kind of thing. Also, get off my lawn.

Brian Setzer - Rockabilly Riot! All Original
Since the 1980s, Brian Setzer has been America's leader in throwback music. From The Stray Cats 1950s rockabilly revival to The Brian Setzer Orchestra's swing throwback, he's always looked to the past for inspiration. This solo album returns him to his rockabilly roots, as you can tell by the title. It's a sequel to his 2005 Rockabilly Riot Vol. 1: A Tribute to Sun Records, but with original songs. As with everything he's done, there is just a touch of a cheesy factor to it, but it's really, really fun. If you think you want to check this out, you'll end up enjoying it.

FKA twigs - LP1
This week's oddest new release is also one of the best. Jeff wanted me to make sure I included the debut album from FKA twigs, and I'm glad he did. It's odd and quirky in the best way, mixing the trip hop of Portishead with the freakiness of Tune-Yards and Bjork. If you like any of those bands, you need to check this out. 

It Looks Sad. - S/T 
My favorite of this week's new releases also has the worst band name. Luckily, the music is infinitely better than the band name would suggest. At only 4 songs (2 of which are "bonus tracks") and 15 minutes, I assume we'll be hearing more soon. It has elements of The Cure meets emo, but more the Jawbreaker side of emo. If you like the earlier material by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, you'll want to hear this. I'll be looking out for a full length hopefully sooner than later.

Prawn - Kingfisher
I wasn't familiar with Prawn before this week, but to me they sound like a less screamy version of The Sheila Divine. Good, straightforward alt-rock with the slightest hint of a 90s emo edge to it. Definitely worth a listen.

Also released this week:

Sinead O'Connor - I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss
Lucero - Live from Atlanta

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