Saturday, August 29, 2009

Telekinesis: TELEKINESIS!

Holy shit on a compact disc, Merge Records just keep getting better and better! Twenty years going, and they're still putting out kick-ass gems like Arcade Fire, M. Ward, Rosebuds, and now Telekinesis. Indie-pop rock doesn't get much better than this! They have a slight mod influence, which would explain the cover art, and a bit of acoustic guitar, even where there's an electric guitar track. Plus, they're good with song titles: "Coast of Carolina", "Awkward Kisser" and "Imaginary Friend". Only downside with this debut is their sound and songwriting can't sustain a full-length. About halfway though, things start to get boring, though they do pick up near the end of the album, with songs like "All of a Sudden" and "I Saw Lightning". And I have to give them props for starting and ending the album with acoustic songs. Goddamn, can't wait to see these cats live -- would make a nice double bill with Chicago's The Office.

Rating: 4 outta 5 stars

Friday, August 28, 2009

Broken Social Scene: BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE

The last of my Metric-related releases, Broken Social Scene are a collective of Canadian musicians, which includes Metric's lead singer, Emily Haines. It's a great idea (friends getting together to make music for the fun of it); unfortunately, a great idea doesn't equal an awesome album. The problem is that the type of songs are all over the place -- too disparate. There's indie-fuzz rock, folky stuff, and a few electronic numbers. Out of 21 tracks, only three are keepers: the indie-rock "Swimmers", the quirky "Tremoloa Debut", and the acoustic "All My Friends". Oh, Canada, why must you break my music-loving heart so?

Rating: 1 outta 5 stars

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Psyclone Rangers: FEEL NICE

I caught this Philly band back in the mid-90s, when they opened for The Dickies. That weekend, I picked up their sophomore CD, The Devil May Care, whose first track, the dynamite "The Deal", they opened up with. Well, it's only taken me about 15 years to track down their debut, but it was well worth the wait. Feel Nice is a much stronger record than Devil. The latter had too many mid-tempo and slow numbers, but the former features pretty much all up-tempo songs in the garage rock vein, with "I Wanna Be Jack Kennedy" kicking things off, and the quasi title track, "I Feel Nice", popping up four tracks later. Sadly, Feel Nice isn't a great album. Holding it back from classic status are two things: too many songs (should've been 10 tracks instead of 12), and the inane vocals-only at the end of "Christie Indecision" and "You're Not Edie Sedwick". Still, well worth picking up if you're a fan of Philly music or 90s indie rock. Plus, it's out of print with selling it for a buck or two, pre-shipping. Shi-eeee-it, they're practically giving it way!

4 outta 5 stars

Friday, August 14, 2009


This is a collection of songs from Metric before their current lineup as a quartet. Grow Up and Blow Away only features singer Emily Haines and guitarist Jimmy Shaw. The sound is remarkably different from their three recent albums, which are rockin' New Wave; Blow is electronic-pop. It's painfully evident that Haines and Shaw wanted to be famous; making music for the times. The songs here -- from the late nineties and early noughties -- hardly feature any guitar and sounds as if Pink and Moby collaborated on a throwaway side project (that is if Pink was a mezzo-soprano). Nonetheless, a few tracks could find a home on your iPod, like the lead and last tracks, "Grow Up" and "Soft Rock Stars". The third song, "Rock Me Now", is good too, though, with its male co-lead vocal, sounds as if Haines and Shaw were listening too much to Duran Duran's "Breath After Breath". Overall, not atrocious, but now awesome either. Save it for the rabid Metric fans.

2 outta 5 stars