Famously, Thom Yorke would rather not hear anyone refer to his latest release, The Eraser, as a “solo effort,” despite the fact that only one other member of Radiohead, Jonny Greenwood, guest stars on the record, and that’s only on the first song. Yorke’s trepidation/separation anxiety seems to stem from Radiohead’s fleeting brush with breaking up in the months following Hail To The Thief—a secret ... Continue Reading
The best emcee on the planet disappeared for awhile. He was replaced by a staid doppelganger, one who, for the most part, looked and sounded just like the original. But something was missing. The Genius (GZA), practically fell off the face of the earth with 1999's Beneath the Surface, the long-awaited follow up to the ubiquitous Liquid Swords. He spiraled further into obscurity with 2002's The ... Continue Reading
Dave Mustaine’s sometimes political, and in hindsight, always-fun band Megadeth opened their 1992 album Countdown to Extinction with a huge drum fill. This signaled to all those who dared listen that Megadeth was totally about to rock. Those who disagreed would be slaughtered like sheep or lemmings - caught in the thresher of popular culture and crumbling social structures. Interestingly enough ... Continue Reading
Okay, I'll admit it: I’m one of those guys who can’t help but read liner notes in albums. Lyrics be damned, I’m all about the tiny sidebar quotes and joking photo captions, the near-unreadable minutia and random tchotchky-comments that hint at the real personality behind the band. Think back to the tour letters from the Bouncing Souls’ self-titled album, the diary excerpts that litter Onelinedra ... Continue Reading
Muse is a trio from Devon, England that somehow manages to emulate the cacophony that would be created if Nirvana, Rachmaninoff, Jeff Buckley, Thom Yorke, Juan Valdez and the whole of Queen met in a dark Tokyo alley to create the anthemic hard rock soundtrack for a live-action film version of Castlevania.
Like many other bands that are "big in the U.K.," most people here haven't heard of them, ... Continue Reading
A Los Angeles-based duo comprised of tap-happy guitarist/bassist Kristian Dunn and kinetic drummer Tim Fogarty, El Ten Eleven are one of the latest bands to tackle the realm of rhythm-driven instrumental rock. With a densely layered sound similar to the drum-and-bass(es)-centric work of Chicago trio Dianogah, it’s a little hard to believe that there are only two people at work in El Ten Eleven, m ... Continue Reading
Much like post-modernism in the realms of literature and the arts, post-rock relies on indeterminacy and conflicted meaning/non-meaning. It’s an avant-garde grab-bag of dynamic instrumentals and non-traditional composition, a convoluted and conflicted combination that tends to make it a little rough on the ears for the casual listener. Case in point: the cutting guitar noodlery and staggering rh ... Continue Reading
The Wire Orchestra’s modus operandi is experimentation. On their self-titled album, the band admittedly wants to break free of existing musical mores. Unfortunately, they end up with common drum beats, no sense of sonic space, little communication between musicians, and a feeling of “yes, you’ve already made that interesting noise a number of times over the past minute.”
“Venus Transmission” ... Continue Reading
Shortly after the height of their popularity in the late 1990s, Hindu-influenced British rock outfit Kula Shaker disbanded, citing unfavorable astrological conditions and an impending solar eclipse as major reasons for the break-up.
Fronted by Crispian Mills--the charismatic guitar virtuoso spawn of former child actress Hayley Mills, known for his devotion to Eastern religions, numerology, astr ... Continue Reading
Obviously influenced by mid-career Beatles tunes, with their profusion of layered vocals and minor keys, Midwestern singer-songwriter Chris Moore offers breezy, blues-tinged pop songs on Figurines, his fourth solo effort. This album’s 13 songs are more substantial than your typical acoustic coffeehouse fare—many tracks prominently feature pedal and lap steel, and Moore’s recruited a full band to h ... Continue Reading