Killing Kind [mp3]
These guys funded this whole thing by themselves, so be a pal, and send a few $ their way!
Their full-length LP from last year, Sea Sick Music was great too.
For those who have tuned in over the last couple years, a great act that I tried to get on everyone’s radar was the Utah-Nevada based Shark Speed. They were my #1 album of April 2009, and my #7 album of 2009 overall! When I reviewed their full length LP, Sea Sick Music, I labeled it as a marriage of Minus the Bear and The Long Winters. The album had great indie-rock catchy vocals hooks and lots of great complex guitar noodle-ry. It was so many of the best aspects of catchy indie rock rolled up into one and independently made (recorded with Bob Hoag at Flying Blanket Studies), thus flying under WAY too many radars. I posted a couple samples in the past months.
Well, the boys have just released a brand new 4 song EP – Education.
It blends well with their previous work, and it a great teaser of what is to come. There is also a bit of electronic keyboardistry (not a word, I know) that adds some new texture.
According to guitarist Joe Christenen, a new full length LP is due out next Fall or early Winter!!! I will keep everyone posted.
In the meantime – go by the Education EP. If you pride yourself in supporting local music scenes and the DIY indie rock ethos, you must buy this album. These guys did it all themselves, funded it out of their own pockets, etc . . . You get the picture. So, get some great music and support some hard working artists in the process.
Long story short, when I hit play on the album, I was blown away. They had a great sound – somewhere between Minus the Bear and the Long Winters – and the singer could sing! YES! The Long Winters comparison is apt not only because of overall tone, instrumentaion and style, but the guy’s lead vocals are VERY reminiscent of The Long Winters. If you had given me the album and said, “Here’s the new Long Winters album,” I would have believed you. Hooray for freaking awesome local music! Top tracks are And You’re In the Band, Cast off Dance Off [download mp3] and Deep South Detox.
Coincidentally, this album comes from my same penchant for local bands and again, Bob Hoag’s Flying Blanket Studio. After the demise of Before Braille a few years back, lead singer Dave Jensen started doing some songs on his own and in some crazy late-night sessions with Bob, recorded them. Then he went to Korea. Eventually he made his way back to AZ and finally released his new material as a 2-CD set. Dave was kind enough to send me quite a few of these songs a couple years back in their demo mixes, and it is great to hear the fully polished versions. The 1st disc – Drugs Made My Favorite Bands is largely electric and the 2ns disc – Drugs Ruined my Favorite People is mostly acoustic. It is similar to his previous Before Braille work, but distinct. The math-rock and heavy guitar noodling of Rajiv Patel and others is gone. More pronounced are thick layering of Jensen’s vocals. Complex harmonies with various vocal tracks and lines interweaving pervade the songs. As a music snob, its good to have the fully polished discs in my collection. Self-released on his own record label – Sunset Alliance. Top tracks include I Hope Ants Crawl Under Your Eyelids (On a Saturday Night) [download mp3], You Deserve a Disease, Pinprick by Prick [download mp3] and Diction.
Jimmy Eat World –
Clarity (1999) still ranks high on my favorite albums of all time. To celebrate the 10th year anniversay, Jimmy Eat World did a short tour where they played the album straight through, plus an encore. This is a live CD of the last show on the tour at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, AZ. As good as it ever was! Top tracks include . . . well, just take your favorite from the originals and listen to its live version.
The Mountain Goats & John Vanderslice –
Moon Colony Bloodbath EP
Yet another Mountain Goats EP. I really like John Darnielle. I really like John Vanderslice as well, but am increasingly thinking that his music is a somewhat hit and miss for me. This is a good solid EP that deserves a listen for fans of both artists. My top tracks are Darnielle’s Satori in Denver [download mp3] and Surrounded.
Iain Archer – To the Pine Roots
Iain Archer has been way off my radar for quite sometime, and it was a somewhat random coincidence that I even stumbled across this album. I’m glad I did. His stripped down indie sounds are straightforward and presented with a marked degree of earnestness. I know that sounds like really schticky reviewer nonsense – “earnestness” – but it really is fitting. Top Tracks are Black Mountain Quarry, Everest and Frozen Lake [download mp3].
Lateef the Truth Speaker – Truth is Love mixtape
Oh Quannum! Lateef, why do you keep on teasing me with mixtapes?! I want a full length, full production album of new material! I want Lateef & the Cheif’s follow-up to Maroons: Ambush – I want Ashe! Well, this will have to suffice for now. There are some great tracks and bumps that I had yet to collect from disparate sources, some new takes on things I already had and a few brand new tracks all together. Some great collaborations with Headnotic, General Elektriks / Herve Salters and Fat Boy Slim. The mix blends together well – better than many mixtapes do. Top
I’m sure we’ve all heard more than enough about this indie compilation to end all compilations – ad naseum almost. I think it fine and all. A good number of the artists are ones that I don’t care for. And, even with some of the artists I do like – (The National, Sufjan Stevens, Spoon) – I wasn’t impressed with their contributions. I did like the Andrew Bird track The Giant of Illinois, but already had it from his Daytrotter session. Conor Oberst’s reinterpretation of Lua was interesting, but not needed. Iron and Wine’s Stolen Houses (Die) was phenomonal – but only 1:07 long.
Running EP List