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Thread: Review Thread

  1. #1
    Black Dragon Recruit locustlx's Avatar
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    Review Thread

    hey if you guys don't mind I want to post any reviews I type up for my magazine on here so here are the first two I typed up
    _____________________________________________________________

    Streetlight Manifesto-Everything Goes Numb



    1.Everything Went Numb
    2.That’ll Be the Day
    3.Point/Counterpoint
    4.Color-Coded Quotes
    5.We Are the Few
    6.A Better Place, A Better Time
    7.Failing, Flailing
    8.Here’s To Life
    9.A Moment Of Silence
    10.A Moment Of Violence
    11.The Saddest Song
    12.The Big Sleep

    Lead by ex-Catch 22 lead vocalist and guitarist Tomas Kalnoky, this is Streetlight Manifesto's debue full length on Victory Records. The rest of the six person lineup hail from either One Cool Guy or from Catch 22. So it isn't really a surprise that this album sounds like a follow up to Keasby Nights.

    The Pros:

    The Horn Work: Not surprising from ex-One Cool Guy guys but still impressive. Not that the indivitual horn parts are particularly good, but they way they are combined makes for great melody.

    The Lyrics: Thomas doesn't take any queues from Ezra Pounds. If he wants to say something he says it. He fits one hell of a lot of lyrics into a song and he gets them to sound great, and managing to give a fairly clear message in the process, which is a step up from his Keasby Nights days.

    The Anthems: It feels like every song has a great memorable sing along line. Though it doesn't really matter. Go to one of their shows and you will find most of the people singing along to every word.

    The Cons:

    The Guitar Work: The guitar fits most places, but is never very complicated or original. Not a big con though because it does fit.

    The Vocals: I love the vocals but I know they aren't for everyone. They are raspy and out of tune at times. But you don't need the best of voices to sing at these speeds. It does fit the music and the backup vocals I have no complaint with

    Repetition: With great anthems come great repetition. Because of the strength of the anthems, you don't notice how repetitive some of the songs are until you listen to the cd 20 or 30 (or 50 ) times. Its worst in The Saddest song and probably best in Point Counterpoint.

    The CD:

    It starts with a measured horn intro and then the drums break in to draw you into a skapunk mood. The CD doesn't let up for long until track 9, but we will get to that. Everything Went Numb hits you with a combination of melodious horn work and Thomas's breakneck vocal stylings. Throughout the album his speed and flow rivals many rap artists.

    Then we move through a harder song on tack 2. This song may be a nod to their label, Victory Records, because it has a very hard intro. This song really shows off the skill of the drummer but is probably one of the weaker songs on the album.

    From there it moves into Point Counterpoint, probably the best song on the album.

    Point Counterpoint starts with an acoustic guitar and the words Ive Got a Gun in my Hand. This slow intro from a dying character leads to horn and bass driven story about a guy lamenting life and his arguments with a girl. The lyrics sound good but the best part of this song is the arangement which shows how much you can do with such talented musicians.

    If and When We rise again is another pleasing melodious anthem song, this time with a slight polka influence. Some of the best individual horn work on the album can be found on this track along with some of the best use of backing vocals, especially when there is a round towards the end.

    From here, the cd goes into a somber bass intro with Thomas singing in a reserved pop-punk manner. It threw me off at first but works well with the rest of the song, which is an anti-suicide song. The lyrics are great and this rivals Point/Counterpoint for my favorite song on the album. The pop-punk feel of the song isn't something I expected from the band, but like every style he's tried, Thomas pulls it off very well.

    I'm skipping We are the Few and only mentioning Failing, Flailing because it has one of my favorite lyrics of all time (and you say your lifes a bore/ and I cant quite disagree/when you judge your life by the pieces of **** that inhabit your tv). Not to say they are bad in any way but they are good for reasons already mentioned, they have great arrangements, anthematic choruses and breakneck verses.

    Here's to Life is a cover of an Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution song. Of course, since Thomas headed that band too... I don't really know if it counts as a cover. It's a ode to his favorite authors whose lives ended a bit to early. It's not a surprise that he brought it over (though I prefer the BOTAR version with a part with a female vocalist) because they song is a great work of melody and lyrics.

    After that it is A Moment of Silence/A Moment of Violence which are more or less one song. AMoS is a loser's anthem with Thomas telling losers that he know show they feel (I've never met a loser that I didn't see eye to eye with). It might come off as false humility if you have neer seen pictures of old Catch 22 preformances. Thomas looks like a band geek in those pictures, and I for one am very glad he was.

    The pen-ultimate song is The Saddest Song. I can't really say anything about this song that isn't true about the other songs on the album. It's anthematic with great horn interludes and quick, good lyrics.

    Wrapping things up is The Big Sleep. It's a war song with some great lyrics about the futility of war and beautiful arrangement.

    I know I gave it cons, but they really only show themselves if you really disect the album. There is only one way you can not like this album and that is if you really can't get around his vocals or you are tone deaf. This is an album anyone from Metalheads to Potheads will enjoy. I have yet to meet someone who doesn't like this album.

    5/5
    _____________________________________________________________

    Streetlight Manifesto-Keasby Nights



    1. Dear Sergio
    2. Sick and Sad
    3. Keasby Nights
    4. Day In, Day Out
    5. Walking Away
    6. Giving Up, Giving In
    7. On & On & On
    8. Riding the Fourth Wave
    9. This One Goes Out to...
    10. Supernothing
    11. 3mm and a Three Piece Suit
    12. Kristina She Don't Know I Exist
    13. As the Footsteps Die Out Forever
    14. 1234 1234

    Dude, Tomas Kalnoky’s a dIck.

    Actually, in most likelihood he’s probably a real nice guy in person and I’m just being a jerk. But I think I do have a point here. Back in 2003, the dude along with the rest of his NJ rag-tag ensemble known as Streetlight Manifesto arguably released one of the best ska albums in years. Everything Goes Numb was damn good. I used to loathe ska with a passion but hearing this (along with Leftover Crack’s *** World Trade) changed my perceptions about the genre. Maybe it’s the lightning-fast precision of the horns, the ridiculously bouncy bassline, or Kalnoky’s God-given penchant for writing real great songs, but one thing was for sure I, like many other people, were hungry for another taste of Streetlight.

    So when it was announced that the new album was actually gonna be a rendition of the 1998 Catch-22 classic, Keasby Nights, it was no surprise that more than few eyebrows were raised and a good number of disappointed “What the s!?” were uttered. At that point, it seemed fairly convincing that Kalnoky was part of that same cult that abducted and brainwashed George Lucas and Steven Spielberg into thinking that revamping their old films for the modern age with eye-bleeding special effects was a good idea. Same goes for the countless other bands from the 1960s and 1970s that re-produced their classic albums (Iggy & the Stooges, KISS, David Bowie).

    But go figure, Streetlight Manifesto just don’t seem like that kind of band. After all, being on Victory Records—a record label dominated by mopey scenester pseudo-wrist cutters (stereotypes aside)—the band’s music seems just…too happy to be on such a label. Plus, Kalnoky has a beard and a cool hat. Most ska guys don’t. And then again maybe it’s just my own bias telling me that there has to be SOMETHING to reassure me that this album won’t be all that worthless.

    Of course, if you’re one of those punk-elitist types, the most pressing question about this release is probably as follows: How does this compare to the Catch 22 original. For the most part, this re-recording is actually alot better in aesthetic terms. As it turns out, the production is richer, the vocals are much clearer and the performances (especially by the horn section) is wayyyyy more precise, sharp and just sounds like more effort went into it. As a result, I’ll say this now: I do not want to spend the bulk of my review talking about how the songs compare to the original, but rather how the songs present themselves in their own light (though I will betray this a few times).

    The very first track on Keasby Nights, Dear Sergio pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album. Though this track is now in its 3rd incarnation (also done by Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution, Kalnoky’s other other band), “Sergio” still sounds as fresh as ever, and you know it?: It actually does sound pretty good. Maybe this album was worth the 15 dollars spent. The horn shots have the extra flare, the bassline is fuller and bouncier than ever, and the vocals are brilliantly scrappy, but clearer. Sick and Sad meanwhile features some brilliant distorted guitar that is more fuzzy than muddy. Most importantly songs like Day In, Day Out with its insanely catchy chorus and horn melodies underscore the incredibly tight and prominent drumming featured on this album, what was hard to establish on the original controlling.

    However, most of the songs on Keasby Nights hold their own without any connection to their past. The title track is an insanely catchy melange of rhythmic acoustic guitar, upbeat melodies, and brilliant call-and-response vocals, as well as an even catchier sing-along chorus that seems to evoke Don McClean’s “American Pie”. This song is definitely one of the highlights on the album. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Giving Up, Giving In transfixes a folky little guitar melody into a short raging slab of youthful punk angst in a way that sounds new and refreshing, but at the same time, strangely nostalgic of that late-90s pop-punk that sprouted from the final days of grunge. Think Goldfinger and Lagwagon.

    On & On & On meanwhile is another standout track that incorporates some more of those insanely catchy and bouncy ska melodies via brass and puts a melancholy spin on it with bittersweet vocals, gentle acoustic picking in the bride and some brilliant harmonization that gives a fanfare feeling to the song. The song’s last half breaks into a raucous and energetic punk-style thrash-fest, complete with insanely hard and yet tight drumming. The brief instrumental Riding the Fourth Wave has this cool surf/American-folk sort of vibe going on as the saxes, trombone and trumpet parts take their cue and take a couple of bars each to solo over a light rhythm part in a manner that doesn’t seem very ska-ish at all. The same goes for Walking Away which incorporates some heavy jazz elements as evident by the muted trumpet, hi-hat tapping, and extremely bassline. The segue into a traditional ska layout is almost seamless. And then in the bridge, the timbre switches up briefly yet again into a military-style rhythm with rollicking drumbeats and upbeat trumpet lines. Such a blend of different styles as documented by these tracks reveals the original pretensions that would later shape Streetlight Manifesto’s sound. Hearing done by the band itself is just brilliant pure and simple.

    However, if one criticism that could be said about this album, its that some of the songs just simply do not hold up to the test of time. Like a pair of pants from 1998 they will simply not fit, no matter how hard you tried. Despite the upbeat melodies and sing-along choruses most of the lyrics are overtly-angsty, leaving one to question how much Nirvana Kalnoky was listening to at the time, not that it’s a particularly bad thing but in this day it seems out of place the band’s actual development. Songs like Supernothing and As the Footsteps Die Out Forever document these moods in a broad manner. Kristina She Don’t Know I Exist meanwhile is just plain cheesy and downright youthfully-misguided where its hard to appreciate, especially knowing that the bad itself is a much older and more mature entity nowadays.

    Despite these setbacks, the final track on the album 1234 1234, is the icing on the cake. Its brilliant acoustic strumming, Ben E. King-style vocal harmonies and intense punk thrashing make this song the sonic and emotional tour de force of the album. The lyrics are intelligently bittersweet and introspective in a manner that was rarely seen not only now, but also back in 1998. And if you were wondering “why” the band decided to re-record this album, the last couple of minutes is spent answering those question in a bizarre spoken word style with tight drumming, buoyant basslines and squealing feedback in the background; A fitting end to a certainly interesting album.

    In this manner, Kalnoky makes it clear that album was not so much a financial endeavor designed to rip fans of cash as many have speculated, but more a form of personal catharsis in which the band merely “wanted to get it right for once.” The production sounds great, the performances are way better and the overall sonic presentation sounds more coherent. However, it is still the same songs, but as the bare cover art suggests, this album was intended to be reheard and rediscovered in the matter that Kalnoky originally wanted and not merely resold with shiny new art and multimedia extras.

    Perhaps it is best stated by Kalnoky at the end of the album “we’re going to keep doing what we do whether or not a single record is sold.” Amen, ‘cause either way it sounds damn good.

    3.5/5

  2. #2
    Black Dragon Recruit locustlx's Avatar
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    Sigur Rós-( )



    Tracklist:
    1. Untitled 1
    2. Untitled 2
    3. Untitled 3
    4. Untitled 4
    5. Untitled 5
    6. Untitled 6
    7. Untitled 7
    8. Untitled 8

    Sigur Rós are an Icelandic band that create some of the most unusual sounds heard in recent music. Coming from Iceland, the band formed in 1994. The band use some pretty standard instruments, yet create a remarkable sound. Their instrumentation is just the standard guitar, drums, bass and keyboards. Guitarist and vocalist, Jónsi often uses a cello bow to play his guitar. One of the most unique things about Sigur Rós though, is Jónsi's vocals. In the words of the band's official site, the sound of Jónsi's voice is halfway between that of Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and a choir boy. Add this to the fact that when they do use lyrics, Sigur Rós sing in Icelandic. This album however, includes no lyrics at all, Jónsi just makes up random syllables and uses his voice as an instrument.
    While this record may not offer much in the way of variety, it has some of the most beautiful music ever written on it. This album is easily one of the best records of this decade. While not the most accessible thing you will ever listen to (the album has no lyrics at all), it would be nearly impossible not to recognise the beauty in it. The album was labelled as pretentious by many critics, due to the fact that the album has no real title (it just uses a symbol) and that there are no real song titles (although there are some unoffical ones). However, Sigur Rós are just out to make the music that they want to make. When they were offered a record deal with a major label, they chose the deal that allowed them the most artistic freedom. They are simply doing what they want with their music. Some people may think that they are being pretentious, and Jónsi has said that people are welcome to think that if they want. All the band really want to do is make the music that they want and that will touch people. The music of this album doesn't set out to blow you away with technicality or diversity, rather the beauty of the music. The album isn't very diverse and all of the songs are very long, with nothing being under 6:30. The album in total goes just over 72 minutes, yet contains only 8 songs.

    The album shipped with 4 different looking covers:

    The Band
    Jónsi Birgission (Vocals, Guitars)
    Kjarri Sveinsson (Keyboards)
    Orri Páll Dýrason (Drums)
    Gorggi Holm (Bass)

    Untitled 1 (vaka) - The song starts out with a really simple, sort of sad sounding piano riff. It's a very simple riff, you could probably work it out on piano in a few minutes. But despite it's simplicity, it sounds amazing. Jónsi's vocals come in with him singing syllables that sound like this: "eusaidahlom". Works awesome. Part way through the song, the mood changes to a happier sounding tone. Jónsi's vocals change and go higher and the piano parts go up as well. This song is one of the album's best, very pretty. An awesome way to open the album, this song sets the mood and feel for how the rest of the album turns out. This song featured a video clip which won a MTV award...pretty special for a band who don't even get played on MTV.
    5/5

    Untitled 2 (frysta - The song is based around some nice little lead guitar riffs. The vocals sing some pretty high notes and the song is backed up by some awesome organ parts along with some slow, march type drumming. The nicest part of the song is the organ parts and Jónsi's vocals. The lead guitar at the start is nice but gets a bit tiresome after a while. Without being harsh, the best part of the song is when it ends, because of the transition of it into the next song, which sounds amazing.
    4/5

    Untitled 3 (samskeyti) - The song transitions from the last song with the two chords G# and Bb played on a really pretty mellow sounding organ. The organ part is the backbone of the entire song, just playing a 6 chord progression. There are some light vocals by Jónsi in the first minute but that's all the vocals we hear in the song. Then the amazing part of the song comes about a minute in. One of the most simple and beautiful piano riffs comes in. It sounds simply amazing when backed by the organ part. The song then starts to build up, with Jónsi using an e-bow on his guitar and a bass coming in. For quite a few minutes when the song is at it's peak, the same thing keeps just playing over and over...at this point you will be completely blown away by the beauty of this song. After a while, the piano part goes up an octave, something you would expect to happen but you don't know when it's actually going to happen (if that makes sense). At this point, the song is at it's peak, but then the pianist does a quick rest and then comes in again. That short part of the song that happens in the space of about 5 seconds in my favourite part of the whole cd, possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. This song is easily the best on the album and easily one of the best songs ever record. It will change your life. After I first heard it, I had the song on repeat for about an hour and I didn't even realise. After you hear this, you will be reaching for the repeat button...I know I was. This is the shortest track on the album at 6:33, but 6:33 is really the perfect length for it. This song is the one of the closest things you will ever hear to musical perfection.
    5/5

    Untitled 4 (njysnavolin) - "Untitled 3" is an impossible act to follow. But this song is still the second best track of the cd. Its' very nice with a straight drum beat backing up some nice keyboard and lead guitar parts. Jónsi sings some very nice vocals with the main syllable being "easiarrro". The best part of this song is when all the other instrumentation cuts out and we are just left with some beautiful keyboard parts. Every time it happens the parts are different and each time they are amazingly spectacular. Jónsi's vocals on this track are wonderful and all of the instruments work amazingly. The end is gorgeous and sounds a bit similar to "Exit Music (For A Film)" by Radiohead.
    5/5

    Untitled 5 (alafoss) - This song sounds kind of like something Radiohead would do, but not really as good. The mood of the song is pretty gloomy and it stays pretty much the same all the way through. It's not the best song on the album and it's not very good at first listen, but after a little while it becomes a grower and it has a very surreal sound. The instrumentation is hard to pick up, it's hard to tell what's a guitar or keyboard, the only things that are easy to distinguish are the drums and vocals. It builds up a bit towards the end with drums and organs and that's when the song peaks. Probably not the best song overall, but a good, solid song nonetheless.
    3.7/5

    Untitled 6 (e-bow) - This song is gorgeous. It maintains the mood of "Untitled 5", yet through different instrumentation and vocals, manages to be more uplifting and interesting. Jónsi often sounds like he's about to cry in the song, his vocals are amazing and easily the best part of the song. This song has it's good moments and it's not so good moments. But all in all, it's amazingly touching. Towards the end of the song, it goes loud with a lot of lead guitar and piano backing it up. This part is amazingly touching and beautiful. It's the sort of song that will make you cry. Just amazing. An interesting note is that they called the song (unofficially) "e-bow" because they used an e-bow on their guitar AND their bass.
    4.5/5

    Untitled 7 (dauðalagið) - This song is also beautiful. Better than "Untitled 5", but not really as good as "Untitled 6". Jónsi's vocals are the best part of the song, along with the drumming. Other than that though, it's pretty much just a less superior version of "Untitled 6". This is the longest song that the album has to offer at a whopping, exact 13 minutes long.
    4.1/5

    Untitled 8 (popplagið) - The song starts out with a really nice and pretty guitar riff. Then the e-bowed guitar and atmospherics come into the background, along with some nice tom work on the drums. The guitar work and Jónsi's vocals are the highlight. The song is very pretty and uplifting. It makes a very nice way to end an incredible album. The translation of the unofficial title means "the pop song". This is one of the more accesible tracks of the album, so that title makes sense. Jónsi's vocals are cool in this song, with the main syllable being "easailohm". Overall, this song is a highlight of the album, probably tied with "Untitled 1" and just below "Untitled 3" and "Untitled 4". Very nice work from every member of the band here, but special credit must be given to the drummer, who makes an amazing song sound completely surreal and very atmospheric. The mood of the song changes for the end of it, and while it leaves the album on a strange note, it sounds extremely good.
    5/5


    This record is one of the best things released this decade. Easily. While it may not be perfect (not much diversity, one or two tracks are a bit boring), it has some of the most beautiful music ever made. And because of that, this album deserves nothing less than a 5/5. While you notice flaws with this record, all that you remember after listening to it is the beauty of songs like "Untitled 3", "Untitled 4", and "Untitled 1". A seriously amazing record that no one will regret buying, even if they use it for nothing but anger management. This album is the most relaxing music ever.

    FINAL RATING: 5/5
    _____________________________________________________________
    Sigur Rós-Takk...



    Tracklist:
    1. Takk
    2. Glósóli
    3. Hoppípolla
    4. Með blóðnasir
    5. Sé lest
    6. Sæglópur
    7. Mílanó
    8. Gong
    9. Andvari
    10. Svo hljótt
    11. Heysátan

    Sigur Rós gained a large following after the release of two critically acclaimed albums. Their last record, ( ), was released in 2002 and since then, Sigur Rós have become the most famous band from Iceland since Bjork.

    Sigur Rós
    Jónsi Birgission - Vocals, Guitars
    Kjarri Sveinsson - Keyboards
    Orri Páll Dýrason - Drums
    Gorggi Holm - Bass

    With Agaetis Byrjun, Sigur Ros created a unique and beautiful album and an anthem for alternative music with "Svfen G Englar". After the album was released, it was uncertain as to where Sigur Rós would go with their music. In 2002, they released ( ), which had no song titles ad no lyrics. Though ( ) amazed most fans, it was obvious that they couldn't make an album like it again. Fans started to worry about where Sigur Rós would go next. Their studio reports showed that they were quite lazy in the studio, only recording when they felt like it. Sigur Rós took three years to release Takk and that amount of time has certainly paid off for the band.

    Where ( ) was beautiful, it was also depressing and often void of any hope. Takk changes this. A lot has happened with the band members since 2002. Most of them are now married or in committed relationships, which has led them to become happier people. Often when bands evolve, they forget who they are, but with Takk, Sigur Rós have taken ideas from Von, Agaetis Byrjun and ( ), while stepping foward with their music. The strings that dominated Agaetis Byrjun make a welcome return. The simplicity and crushing dynamics that made ( ) so beautiful is also back. The ambience of Von is also used effectively on Takk. Late in the album, the track "Andvari" ends with two and a half minutes of strings oscillating between two notes, one of the most beautiful moments on the album. Everything they have created om Takk is a step up for the band.

    Throughout the entire album, Sigur Rós create a sound which is unmatched. There are strings and horns on nearly every track and Jonsi's vocals are as good as they have ever been. Possibly the only issue with Takk is that the huge scale orchestra that makes an appearance on every track does get tiresome and make the listener wish for some of the simple instrumentation of a song like "Untitled 4". Takk is probably the most versatile Sigur Ros album yet, with beautiful songs like "Glosoli" and less happy songs (but much more hope filled than the second half of ( ) and most of Von) such as "Saeglopur". Takk is probably the most complex Sigur Rós album and certainly the most experimental since Von. On top of this, Takk is also the easiest to listen to. There are many variations of moods, but nothing heartbreaking. The songs are memorable and enjoyable. Is it their best album? Who knows. This, along with Agaetis Byrjun and ( ) all have their own charm and are all different records with similar levels of quality and consistancy. Lets hope that Sigur Rós continue this trend for the future and until then, we have what is arguably their best album to listen to.

    Pros
    Breathtakingly beautiful
    A strong evolution for the band
    Good instrumentation

    Cons
    The large scale strings and horns can be tiresome

    Reccomended Tracks
    Glosoli
    Saeglopur
    Andvari

    FINAL RATING: 4.5/5
    _____________________________________________________________
    Sigur Rós



    Tracklist:
    01. Ba Ba
    02. Ti Ki
    03. Di Do

    Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do' was originally composed for the Split Sides performance of the Merce Cunningham's Dance Company(loosely it is a company that bases itself on free expression and merges all types of the arts; music, painting etc as one whole). Sigur Ros and Radiohead were two bands considered to improvise pieces for the performance, and instead of choosing one; they decided to choose both bands and have each of them compose 20 minutes of music for this 50th anniversary performance. (Radiohead's music, although performed at the shows, was never released.) They performed their masterpiece in October 14, 2003 in New York and December 2-7 in Paris.

    On thinking about what to write, they decided to draw inspiration from John Cage, a man who had also wrote many pieces for Merce and his dancers. Cage often used everyday sounds in alot of his works, and Sigur Ros wanted to experiment with the same ideas, while putting their own spin on it and infusing this idea with their own sound. Their instruments were a a piano, two hand cranked music boxes that created a lovely melody when played forward, and a rachety sound when cranked backward, and eight ballet shoes that were installed with pick-ups on them for percussion. They also used samples of the dancers and Merce Cunningham's own voice. The music and the choreography were independently composed aswell, and introduced to each other on premiere night, leaving room for improvisation and letting Sigur Ros focusing on the dancers and forming their music around them, instead of the other way around.

    The three songs that resulted from this are designed to be played generally in any order, and have a sort of looping quality to all of them. There is no distinct break between tracks, it all moves with such loquacity which adds to the overall theme of the album, which is nothing short from magical.

    The album is mostly focused around the music boxes. (very reminiscent to Mike Oldfield-Tubular Bells) They provide this innocence and warmth and delicacy throughout the piece. The first track is so fragile and beautiful, and seems to pick up and flow with such emotion as only a Sigur Ros song could do. You can hear the rachet noises and the ballet shoes, and all of it seems unreal, often hearing almost infant like noises in the background. As the music floats along into Ti Ki, you can hear faint brooding noises that add a feeling of eerieness to everything that is going on. You cant help but still be with the innocence of the music boxes, and just try to ignore the feeling that there is an ominous end to this unwordly music and feeling. The haunting music builds and unleasehes itself in the last movement, Di Do. Static lashes out, along with Merce's voice coming through, unclear at first, repeating the album name. A high pitched feedback comes in at various points, turning into what sounds like a horrifying scream. I always get goosebumps during this point, as everything builds and the evil takes over. Underneath, the music boxes can faintly be heard, playing the same melody that had carried through the previous two pieces and you latch on to it, focusing on the one thing that is wholly pure throughout everything. The voices and droning eventually fade out, and the naive, still delicate music boxes remain, playing the familiar way they always had been, only instead of having this unknowing, innocent, warm feel to them they seem almost eerie themselves, with a strange ominous feeling surrounding them, eventually fading out.

    Although this wasn't necessarily supposed to be the follow up to the band's truly amazing release, ( ), Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do is just as good, if not better. Even if it is only 20 minutes long, the overall theme takes you far beyond just "listening", you can feel the pure emotion in the music, which is far beyond words. This album is nothing short of (another) masterpiece from Sigur Ros.

  3. #3
    Special Forces Agent Prophet's Avatar
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    What is the magazine you write for, locust?
    Great Reviews locust, pinpointed the Sigur Ros albums perfectly. Do you have the Svefn-G-Englar single? How is it?

    I'll shut up now.

  4. #4
    Black Dragon Recruit locustlx's Avatar
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    I write for a underground music magazine based in Tampa, FL (the only way you would really be able to see our magazines is if you went down to the Masquerade or USF Campus and bought a copy for 7.00) and we don't really have a name yet and our first issue is coming out in a month July Issue

    I write reviews for 5 different parts. A college-indie section, punk-ska section, metal section, alternative section, and a international section.

    I am having trouble which review to put up with sigur ros music and need help with a good metal album that came out in the past 3 months any pointers,

    I am thinking tool's new cd which I have a copy of (oh how wonderful it is to work as a reviewer) and have to admit it is truly great.

    P.S. Thanks for the compliments although I feel like it still could have been better oh well, any help would be appriciated

  5. #5
    Kombatant KungLao's Avatar
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    Nice reviews. They are really detailed. Good work!

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    Special Forces Agent Prophet's Avatar
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    You should use the ( ) review, I found that one more entertaining then the Takk review. Although if you had a Pros and Cons thing for ( ), that'd be even better.

    You should do a review on Boards of Canada, preferably their Campfire Headphase album:

  7. #7
    Black Dragon Recruit locustlx's Avatar
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    although it isn't my best review it is probably the best review I could make in an hour of the cd, wrote it as I was listening (by the way I am huge fan of this band and I have no realization why I didn't do this cd before)
    _____________________________________________________________
    Boards of Canada-The Campfire Headphase



    Tracklist:
    1.Into The Rainbow Vein
    2.Chromakey Dreamcoat
    3.Satellite Anthem Icarus
    4.Pea Tail
    5.Dayvan Cowboy
    6.A Moment Of Clarity
    7.'84 Pontiac Dream
    8.Sherbet Head
    9.Oscar See Through Red Eye
    10.Ataronchronon
    11.Hey Saturday Sun
    12.Constants Are Changing
    13.Slow This Bird Down
    14.Tears From The Compound Eye
    15.Farewell Fire

    Boards of Canada, have over the course of their last 3 full length albums and numerous e.p's varied the atmosphere they create greatly, from the darker geogadi to the thick analogue synths of music has the right to children, yet boards of Canada have always managed to retain their own unique sound.

    With the campfire headphase B.O.C have managed to introduce a new element to their sound, the major change on this album is addition of guitars and other live instruments all recorded by the duo themselves. The mood of the album has changed to a more upbeat sound from geogadi, which was much darker (The song Beware The Friendly Stranger is used extensively on the bizarre salad finger's online cartoon). The campfire headphase has a warm acoustic sound to it and many of the tracks can bring back memories of summer days spent in fields, and walking through the countryside.

    The addition of live instruments and guitars for me is one of the greatest changes on this album, the guitars are all heavily filtered and the sounds they get from them are beautiful. The guitars are usually repeated chords or riffs but they work with the songs really well and the single chords complement the swirling synth sounds very well. On the track Dayvan Cowboy a long intro of some simple nicely distorted guitars make's way for some delayed chords and about half way through the song drums come in and some lovely synths, although the song like many songs and the album has many elements to it the sound is never cluttered and nothing needless is present.

    The second track on the album Chromakey Dreamcoat, demonstrates how well boc have used guitars to introduce a lovely drum beat and they managed to include some sample's of what to me sounds like seagulls, it's hard to describe but all these sounds fit together perfectly. Boc frequently use samples for elements of their songs but often they modify them to the extent where they aren’t really samples and form vital parts of the songs sound. Boc always use very nice drum sounds and this album is no exception with the snares and cymbals all having a unique sound that always manages to fit into the song perfectly.

    Although the album is new it has a certain retro vibe to it, to me it would be just as suited to the 60's but at the same time i could just as easily imagine people listening to it in the future on a space colony as i could picture people listening to it at Woodstock.

    Although the album works perfectly as a whole and none of the tracks are weak if asked for the strongest tracks davyn cowboy, Chromakey Dreamcoat and '84 Pontiac Dream are all outstanding.

    This is my first review i hope it's not too bad and it has persuaded some people to check out this album, it's a great album to listen to and everyone i have played it to has enjoyed it and boc seems to appeal to people with varied musical tastes.

    A great album to relax to just sitting in a room, or listen to while watching the sunset in a beautiful place out in the country. (B.O.C also put subliminal messages in their music, which to me is always good)
    _____________________________________________________________

  8. #8
    Special Forces Agent Kona's Avatar
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    Tool - 10,000 Days

    Should I buy it?
    One Way Ticket To Hell


    Myspace

  9. #9
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    Cryptopsy - 1996 - None So Vile


    1. Crown Of Horns
    2. Slit Your Guts
    3. Graves Of The Fathers
    4. Dead And Dripping
    5. Benedictine Convulsions
    6. Phobophile
    7. Lichmistress
    8. Orgiastic Disembowelment

    probably my favorite album. cryptopsy is the best. (excpet for the peroid of time when lord worm wasn't with the band due to leaving & teaching at a college. mike disalvo replaced him for 2 albums. many fans do not like his voice, stating that it's more fit for a hardcore band than a metal band. and you have that martin guy doing vocals on the live album no lord worm, but i'd rather listen to him than mike..anyway..)

    vocals: lord worm..what a great man. his vocals are great here. he's kind of known for his unintelligible growls & such. sometimes it seems like he's just making barking noises or something. which is awesome. some of the best vocals in 'extreme' metal i say. yea..
    he eats worms at shows and is an english as a second language teacher.

    guitar/bass: well..awesome of course. yummy brutal technicality. pwntality!

    drums: ah, flo mounier (moan-yay).. regarded by many as one of the best drummers in metal today. this guy's a monster on the set. he's all over the place. he's so fast & awesome, he was playing at a show and a cop actually pulled him over & gave him a speeding ticket. (i made that up)
    awesomeness to the max. i want his ability. and his dvd.. but at 45 dollars from his website...that's a little too expensive for me. but damn... 2 dvds... it has everything.. MUST. HAVE.
    but yea..he's freakin awesome. end of story.

    production: i'm a sucker for good production, which might not be so common in the world of the 'extreme' side of metal (death, black, grind, etc..). i want my music to sound good. with that said.. it sounds great.


    this is a damn classic album that any death metal fan should own. perfect i say. PERFECT. this is one of those 'even if you're a in music pirate like me who doesn't buy cds & just downloads everything you still have to buy it because it's so damn good' albums.

    mmm..i love those kinds of albums.


    p.s. my review sucks. if you like (death) metal & haven't at least heard it, go piss in your face & stab your eyes with a knife made of salt.

    .....

  10. #10
    Black Dragon Recruit locustlx's Avatar
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    even though I kind of started this thread as a place for me to store my reviews you guys can too

    hey mothman you want me to put up my review on that cd as I wrote one on that exact cd

    kona I would highly suggest buying it is a great album I will post a review of it as soon as I write one up

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    Special Forces Agent Kona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by locustlx
    kona I would highly suggest buying it is a great album I will post a review of it as soon as I write one up

    Yeah, I'll have to pick it up. I read a few reviews and my friend says it's good. Can't wait for your review.
    One Way Ticket To Hell


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    Black Dragon Recruit locustlx's Avatar
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    Operation Ivy-Energy



    Tracklist:
    1. Knowledge
    2. Sound System
    3. Jaded
    4. Take Warning
    5. The Crowd
    6. Bombshell
    7. Unity
    8. Vulnerability
    9. Bankshot
    10. One of These Days
    11. Gonna Find You
    12. Bad Town
    13. Smiling
    14. Caution
    15. Freeze Up
    16. Artificial Life
    17. Room Without a Window
    18. Big City
    19. Missionary
    20. Junkies Runnin Dry
    21. Here We Go Again
    22. Hoboken
    23. Yellin in My Ear
    24. Sleep Long
    25. Healthy Body
    26. Officer
    27. I Got No

    We all have to start somewhere. There’s no doubt about that. Ranging from the worst to the best musicians on this earth, they all have something in common, and that is that they must have started somewhere fresh, where they laid out their first ideas and ignitions of what would later become.

    The place was East Bay of San Francisco. Where at first, two very good friends; Tim Armstrong, and Matt Freeman had been eagerly waiting for a musical opportunity to show up so they could fulfill their biggest urge to go out and start something. They had been good friends ever since childhood and discovered the genre of Punk together. While Tim, was a somewhat “different”, yet excellent vocalist, and guitar-wielding maniac, and Matt was one of the biggest upcoming heroes to the bass guitar as we know it, they weren’t going to stay “band-single” for much longer.

    Jessse Michaels was the name of the to-be front man of the band, and after meeting up with the boys, sparks were already flying across the air as the band slowly formed. But like in many cases, they were still at loss for a drummer. Dave Mello later came along into the picture and got to jamming with the now-together trio. Sources say, the jam went so well, that right there and then, they started writing the song “Bad Town”.

    After writing possibly truckloads of material, the band, who was currently playing shows as another alternate name, one day saw the series of nuclear tests on television, simply called Operation Ivy, by the testers. The guys loved it, and it stuck. They came to tour around for some time, but in the band’s short two-year life-span, they certainly earned the huge acclaim that other ska/punk bands at the time surely lacked. Coming along fast with raging material that has indeed changed the scene ever since, their run was nothing short of amazing.

    All their work was eventually stuffed into one great album that basically gives you a smack in the face of why they came to be, and where all these musicians later went in their career. While the rhythm section is certainly one of the best to ever exist in third-wave punk, and Tim’s guitar was raging fuel throughout every track, as well as a trust organ in the background and at sometimes horns, the vocals themselves provided by Jesse were good, but at some times lacked substance, as well as some lyrics.

    As I said, the album reached critical attention and later went on to become one of the biggest influences for many musicians that would later walk the earth as another big-time punk band. And as soon as you pop it in, you can hear exactly what the title was meant to imply. I call it the reunion of not only good musicians but some of the best people to ever hit the scene. I call it a meeting of chaos and rage that combined to form something truly great. The album, the legend.



    Operation Ivy- Energy



    Lineup-
    Jesse Michaels- Vocals
    Tim “Lint” Armstrong- Guitar, Vocals
    Matt “Brody” Freeman (or Matt McCall)- Bass, Vocals
    Dave Mello- Drums, Vocals


    ---------------------------------------------------
    This review will include the album getting divided into three portions. The beginning, middle and end of the record (theoretical order). Since there are 27 tracks, this format will suit and easier view for the reviewer and hopefully, the rest of the Sputnik users.
    ---------------------------------------------------


    Portion 1
    Kicks off right away with the first track, Knowledge. The distortion is clear as Jesse comes in right away with the lyrics and vocals that will flow throughout the whole album so wonderfully. The simple beat, that is the standard beat for “The Adicts” keeps pounding through the track, and as the bass isn’t so clear yet, Lint’s guitar solo fixes you a snack to keep you going and into the next tracks. Great appearance for the first track, but doesn’t exactly show every member at his potential. Sound System then smashes through with Matt at the very first measure igniting the song into the explosion that we call ska. The song is extremely-well built, and stands solid as one of the stand-outs of the portion and album. Lint comes in for the chorus and we can see how well he can multi-task, as well as Matt later on. Wont disappoint just yet, while moving along with greater than average music. Jaded comes in with a more darker intro on the cymbals, and goes on to pop in a bass line that hurls it right into the exciting verses. Mello does an excellent job here with fills, while Lint and Matt make the chorus shine greater than the rest. The whole song has many tempo-changes and transits, but is always on key, giving you the heads-up to go on. Then with Take Warning, the much slower Matt-led track I’d simply classify as reggae. Not very lyrically active as well as noticeable for the organ in the background and the switching vocals and the catchier chorus. Slows down the mix, as it is the longest track on the album, but then keeps going at faster-tempos with The Crowd. This ones led by Mello at the intro, featuring nice rolls and then on with one of the best bass-lines to hit the album. The guitar is very driven as well as Jesse’s vocals, which are clearly styling a deeper tone. Highlight here is Mello, as he pounds those toms right into the proportions so well that it makes the track that much more enjoyable to listen to, and puts it on the stand-outs.

    Bombshell is exact what is utter chaos. Much faster, led by Lint on vocals, and bass and a fast, but slick solo, make it complete and fills in as the song progresses into it’s barely one-minute mark. Another stand-out. Unity is another Lint-led song, and features a bigger insight of Matt on vocals as well for the reggae influence again. The chorus repeats itself many times to make the point clear, and vocals and offbeats on Mello’s bass drum blend in nicely with Matt’s multi-tasking wonders. A much meaningful track, but not that much to offer. Nearing the end of the portion already, Vulnerability starts off very nicely with Mello at it once again, and Matt providing vocals and an arsenal of bind-blowing bass-lines to offer. Once again on the stand-out list, and another on to watch out for, as far as the tempo-switches and faster solos go. And to end the first portion very well, Bankshot, shooting off with another boost from the organ, and some more bass to fulfill your guilty pleasures, reaches one of the highpoints on the album, and goes the extra mile to make you not come close to the stop button. Although an instrumental, it does a great job and is unmatched to some tracks that actually include vocals.

    Portion Score- 4/5
    Stand-Out Tracks- Sound System, The Crowd, Bombshell, Vulnerability


    Portion 2
    Starts us off into the middle or ‘body’ of Energy with One Of These Days, which is almost a joke song, as they kind of cover “These Boots Are Made For Walking”, except with one hell of a bass-line included and some great work by Mello and backup vocals by Lint. I guess its not exactly a cover, but the principle of the lone lyric. Follows up with Gonna Find You, which starts out with Jesse talking, then bursts into a sonic boom of the whole band joining in at vocals, and working as a catalyst, speeding up the tempo and nearing the end of the track with a better bridge by Lint. Stand-Out. Cant avoid it. Bad Town comes in with a saxophone and is featured as the jazziest track on the album, maybe the only one too. The material in this one ranges from excellent dueling vocals between Lint and the others, as well as good stuff on Mello’s set, and more rhythm power by Matt. The chorus gets repetitive, and the only thing holding it back from the list is just that. It got close though, and is another of the longer songs on the album. Then on with Smiling, another heavier track on the ska rush, fueling it to break into pounding bass drums and raging solos, as Jesse keeps the vocals at best. Another stand-out, the track features a great bridge/solo and another great chunk of the band’s best. Then, Caution comes in with another raging bass-line as well as some wails, by Lint, as he takes the center stage rapping, and keeping the core of the song in his hands very nicely. The whole song seems like it’s a solo from beginning to end, and it’s probably Lint’s very best track, along with some greater stuff by Matt himself.

    Follows with Freeze Up, featuring some more of that organ, and includes more rapid-fire rolls from Mello, and Jesse changes the verses into the mellower choruses, and then into the heavier stuff again. Very interesting, with the switching material. Lyrics are interesting if you listen in, and are never drowned out, which is amazing, due to the great solo in the bridge and the non-stop bass. Artificial Life has Matt at it again, with no sign of stopping. Jesse gives the song the mood, and with excellent work from Mello as well as background vocals from Lint, as well as his simple but addictive guitar, it moves the album even closer to the end and into another high point. The bridge has Matt yelling out inner thoughts and ends the song on the perfect note. Room Without A Window features some of the best lyrics on the album, although it doesn’t sound like it holds potential at first, the track flows with both talent and lyrical wonder that gets the song complete in no-time and nears the end of the middle portion. Its more of a more generic Op. Ivy song, and not much here, except for lyrics and the noticeable organ in the background. Ends the middle portion with Big City, which has Lint start out with vocals and while taking it slow at first, moves on to a bigger explosion of a chorus. The whole song has the musicians standing at bay, while the vocals break through to your head a lot more than ever. Nice ending, and more power to Lint.

    Portion Score- 4/5
    Stand-Out Tracks- Gonna Find You, Smiling, Caution, Artificial Life


    Portion 3
    Only to start leading us out of such a great album, Missionary suits a bigger insight of much pointless material, as it just rushes through the measures and Lint leads the way with more raging work, and Mello keeps conscious with his double-bass beat. One of the faster songs, but nothing much to see in this other generic track. Junkies Running Dry, although a confusing, maybe funny title, features another great bass-line and stands solid as another one of the best off the album. Jesse’s styling the darker tone again, and leads to join the band in a ceremony of once again utter chaos to end at the end of merely two minutes. As the catchy-as-hell chorus repast itself countless times, and the solo comes into play, you can just tell that it’ll be on the list. Here We Go Again is one of the album’s weakest. Its utter crap, as Jesse’s vocals are nothing, you cant even understand. And the bass holds little potential. The only good feature here is merely the organ once again, but doesn’t want to make you listen in. Tiny dip. No big deal. Hoboken is once again a weirder name, but holds one of the fastest tracks on the album and some more potential on Mello’s part and Lint’s solo. Matt also rips through the track insanely, and finishes it up very nicely. Stand-out all the way. Keeps it going with Yellin’ In My Ear, once again is styling excellent organs to later duel with great bass and pulsating work on Mello’s set. Highlight here is the organ, as it fits perfectly with vocals as well with the mood of the song, and the anger. Solo fills in blanks, and then some.

    Sleep Long is another generic, more crappier song. Sounds like a party-themed song, but doesn’t want to make you care. The potential here involves more work by Mello, and a sturdy bass-line by Matt. But the drowning vocals ruin it. Healthy Body is another stand-out. And its clear. Better guitar by Lint here, as well as the trust ska variables here. Jesse shares vocals with everyone else, and although not too fast of a song, it includes the perfect potential to advance onto the list, and the enjoyment of the audience. Very, very nice. Closer and closer to the end of the record, Officer comes in with a raging bass-line and Lint screaming some swearing. As another stand-out, the song progresses with the more punk variables that it offered at the beginning of the album. Matt keeps the song going all the way through, and is the main highlight of the track. Almost there. Boo-hoo. Finally dies with I Got No. Which is a weird phrase. I must say, its not the best ending at all, but you could say they mixed all the best tactics from each musician and smashed it together. Highlight here is the bridge, as it slows down and gives you the last insight of what is Operation Ivy.

    Portion Score- 3.5/5
    Stand-Out Tracks- Junkies Running Dry, Hoboken, Healthy Body, Officer



    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Pros
    +Clash of some of punk’s best known
    +Bass
    +Some of the best third-wave ska has to offer

    Cons
    -Way too loaded with more generic tracks
    -Vocals belonged too much to Jesse

    -------------------------------------------------------------


    While it’s not exactly clear why this group suddenly disbanded, what is clear is that they brought onto the table some of the very best material at least, I’ve ever heard from ska and 90’s punk. As the band only lasted two years; 87-89, they had a great run with one great debut album and some great appearances. In this whole time, the band played a total of 185 shows, and brought some bands to their knees with some of the best material possible from the scene. While it’s clear that Lint, or now Tim Armstrong went to be front-man for 90’s explosion “Rancid”, and later super-group, “Transplants”, and Matt went on to Rancid as well as others as “Social Distortion” and “Downfall”, the other two had a shorter and less successful run, ending up in smaller bands and earning their pay almost underground. I can’t say the disbandment was a complete loss, as we wouldn’t have gotten all the bands that followed, but it was clearly a shame, and the end of something great. A Rancid song titled “Journey To The End Of The East Bay” later was written by Tim about the loss of his old, somewhat forgotten band. And the lyrics are a big deal for him, and to me as well. I’ll leave you with them, and with the review to prove that the band reached new heights and was a period of chaos and success.


    ”Started in 87’, ended in 89’/you got a garage or an amp, we’ll play anytime/It’s just the four of us, yea man, the core of us/too much attention unavoidably destroyed us.”



    4/5

  13. #13
    Hollywood Superstar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona
    Tool - 10,000 Days

    Should I buy it?
    Hell yea, dude. Tool owns.

  14. #14
    Black Dragon Recruit locustlx's Avatar
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    not my best reviews but whatever
    _____________________________________________________________
    Tool-10,000 Days



    1. Vicarious
    2. Jambi
    3. Wings For Marie (Pt.1)
    4. 10,000 Days (Wings Pt.2)
    5. The Pot
    6. Lipan Conjuring
    7. Lost Keys (Blame Hoffman)
    8. Rosetta Stoned
    9. Intension
    10. Right In Two
    11. Viginti Tres

    Let me begin by recognizing Tool. Tool will go down in music history as a classic band of the 90's. They have such a strong and seemingly unexplicable fan base due to a complete lack of promotion and the band's tendency towards seclusion. However, there comes a point in every band where they cease to be relevant. For Tool, this point is 10,000 Days. This album strikes me as the leftover ideas from Lateralus, and I do not hear the 4 years of separation that this album should hold. What did they do with those four years? Maybe they had an economic realization that if a pop band can sell 10 million copies by re-releasing an album, they can do it too. But don't Tool fans expect something new? Would Lateralus have been Lateralus had it not come immediately after Aenima. I'm not saying Lateralus would have been less good had Aenima not existed. Nor am I saying this album would have been any beter had Lateralus never been released. What I am saying is that in the past, Tool did an excellent job redfining their sound. Not recreating like many bands do but modifying, re-tuning. Maybe Lateralus was the apex and there was simply nothing to be done that could have made it better. While I may be of the opinion that Lateralus had it's flaws, it still could have been as perfect an album as Tool will ever make.

    Vicarious is a good song. The synth I like especially. The riffs are good. Everythign is good. But nothing is more than good. This song sounds to me like a recycled Schism. In fact, for the most part this album reminds me of Schism. Is it any suprise though? Schism was by far Tool's most commercially succesful song, why wouldn't they attempt to recreate that?

    The Pot and Intention are the highlights of the album as far as I'm concerned. The Pot does an excellent job taking the sound they are re-using and making it better as opposed to the sort of half conceived feeling I get from the rest. In fact, the Pot is the kind of song that could've turned Lateralus into a fully 5/5 album for me. It is a great song and I applaud it. However, it is still not really a sound removed from Lateralus. It is a perfected sound.

    Intension on the other hand intoduces a totally new sound. An album of Intension would have made this the step Tool could have taken to continue their redefining progression. The electronics and overall mood is a change from what else we've heard. Does Tool need to go on being a hard rock band? They do so well with their atmospheric, comtemplative sound. They still use their same riffing ideas from every album, but they rephrase them. Gone are the pounding drums and driving guitars. Instead, they did just as I had hoped and readjusted. They created something great and new, not something good but old. I'm not saying Tool should from now refrain from using heavy riffing, but it feel more intelligent and thoughtful to not, or use it as an accent rather than the whole sound. Right in Two is a good example of that. While it sounds like Lateralus much more than Intension, it utilizes the heavyness as an accent or a build, rather than the whole point. Still, I miss the electronics.

    Electronics and Tool make sense together which is why I am so disappointed with this album. If they weren't there at all I'd be happier because I would feel like they never even though of using them but the fact that they are there but go unused for so much of the album is distressing. Couldn't they hear that they were onto something?

    I suppose not. Otherwise this album would be a triumph. I am not impressed. Maybe my tastes are just more towards those of Tool haters but I feel like this is the album to which I can honestly say Tool has fallen. They are not the musically creative superpower I once knew them as. Now, they are an old band, trying to hang on to their diehard fans with old songs I've heard before. This is the last album Tool can possibly wait to release because I don't see anyone waiting around another 4 years for this.
    _____________________________________________________________

    Sublime-40 oz. to Freedom



    Tracklist:
    1. Waiting For My Ruca
    2. 40oz. To Freedom
    3. Smoke Two Joints
    4. We're Only Gonna Die For Our Arrogance
    5. Don't Push
    6. 5446 That's My Number/Ball And Chain
    7. Badfish
    8. Let's Go Get Stoned
    9. New Thrash
    10. Scarlet Begonias
    11. Live At E's
    12. D.J.s
    13. Chica Me Tipo
    14. Right Back
    15. What Happened
    16. New Song
    17. Ebin
    18. Date Rape
    19. Hope
    20. KRS-One
    21. Rivers of Babylon
    22. Thanx

    Sublime has always been a great band; becoming famous even as their frontman ceased to live. They released three albums in the duration of Brad Nowell's lifetime, and this one, 40 Oz. to Freedom, is IMO their best as well as the bands first. All legends have to start somewhere; and in this case, it was a few living rooms and a studio over in Long Beach, California. With a total of 22 tracks (21 of them being actual songs), this album has alot to give. It mixes elements of punk, hip-hop, and most easily noticed ska. Several other friends of the band played on this release, sporting instruments such as trombones, baritones, trumpets, congas, and even a bong (yes I know its not a real instrument).

    In my eyes, this is not simply a good CD; its a collection. I can hardly name a mediocre song on here...Theres something for all kinds of tastes in music. Lots of the songs start with a slow bassline, soft acoustic guitars and simple but supporting drum beat. Then later on, the track can become extremly fast and catchy, quickly change back for a minute, then suddenly end. I don't know of any other band that could pull songs like that off. "We're Only Gonna Die For Our Arrogance" and "Ball and Chain" are easily two of the best examples of this style. Something on this album can sound like a real easy moving folk song, then burst into a pure ska-punk chorus. Its amazing.

    After the first five or six tracks, you'll know that this is a long album...and a good one at that. With enough energy and catch in these songs, even a five and a half minute acoustic ballad from Brad won't see your finger on the skip button. You'll have it repeated over again, until you learn the lyrics. Then you'll repeat it again so you can sing along with it. "Badfish", "Lets Go Get Stoned", and "D.J.s" are all perfect songs in my opinion, and displays elements of all of that.

    So the first half of the album is finished...Lots of well executed hip-hop-like vocals, occasional punkish tunes, and a boatload of catch. The end of this release hardly falls short of the other portion; many consider it to be the best songs on the CD. It really starts with "Chica me Tipo" (Remember 'Chick on my Tip' from SHS?), which is mainly driven by the instrumental; several horns played on that track. Here you listen to the stronger ska sounds of the album, like the pure riffs of "What Happened" and "Date Rape" (which by the way, was the first Sublime song discovered by major radio stations in 1995, three years after its release).

    As 40 Oz. starts to wind down, you'll get to hear what Brad is very well-known for: excellent vocal display combined with his acoustic. This creates a very satisfying 'almost finished' feel; you don't want the album to end, but hell, 'I just listened to 20 tracks'. Sublime does this well and ends their debut on a good note with the amazing cover of 'Rivers of Babylon' (the track after RoB is a recording of Brad thanking everybody he felt helped produce the album).

    As an overall score, this one deserves a 4.5. If it suffered anywhere, its in the sound quality...which doesn't bother me in the least bit, but to some people bad quality apparently means bad album.

    A defenite buy: 40 Oz. to Freedom by Sublime

    Credits:

    Guitar/Vocals: Brad Nowell
    Bass: Eric Wilson
    Drums: Bud Gaugh
    Sampler/Vocals: Marshall Goodman
    _____________________________________________________________
    Sublime-Robbin' The Hood



    Tracklist:
    1. Waiting For Bud
    2. Steady B Loop Dub
    3. Raleigh Soliloquy Pt. 1
    4. Pool Shark (Orig.)
    5. Steppin' Razor
    6. Greatest-Hits
    7. Free Loop Dub
    8. Q-Ball
    9. Saw Red
    10.Work That We Do
    11.Lincoln Highway Dub
    12.Pool Shark (Acoustic)
    13.Cisco Kid
    14.Raleigh Soliloquy Pt II
    15.STP
    16.Boss DJ
    17.I Don't Care Too Much For Reggae Dub
    18.Falling Idols
    19.All You Need
    20.Freeway Time In LA County Jail
    31.Mary
    22.Raleigh Soliloquy Pt III

    Nine Years Since this came out. Bradley Nowell, The Lead Singer Of Sublime, Died In 1996, but every day you can still here their music on the radio. Sublime Played their first gig in the summer of 1988, and since then, They've had Five great albums, and a lot of marijuana. Breeding Reggae and Punk Rock, Sublime was one of the only bands to blend these two genres together, and make it work.

    This album was released just before their self titled release that put them into the mainstream. While I would still reccommend any other Sublime album over this one, This is still a solid album. Just not up to snuff compared to the others.

    Sublime was a three, ahem, four piece band that Consisted Of:

    Bradley Nowell - Vocals, Guitar
    Eric Wilson - Bass
    Bud Gaugh - Drums
    Louie- Dalmation

    The Cd Kicks off with the lyricless Wating For Bud. With a nice Acoustic Lead and Steady bassline, It shows you just some of what sublime has to offer. Up Next Is Stead B Loop Dub It's got turntables that remind me of most Beastie boys songs, and features some nice lyrics about halfway through. It's Not Much of a Song, and would definitely never be on the radio, but it's fun to listen to. The next track isn't a song, but a Soliloquy, (which, is a literary form in which a character talks to oneself without addressing the listener. - dictionary.com) Basically, Raleigh Soliloquy pt I is about sucking ****, and it features a lot of nasty language. Don't leave this album running with little kids around.
    The next song, Pool Shark Delves into a different style of music than the previous tracks, featuring an electric guitar, and louder lyrics. It's short, but one of the better tracks on the album. After that song, we hear some percussion, followed by an undistorted electric guitar. This song, Steppin' Razor, has Sublime's Signature sound in it, Sounding similar to such hits like What I Got and Santeria in ways. It's One of the albums best, and Unlike how many of the songs on this album go wrong, It's not too short. Clocking in at a reasonable 2:24. Another song that sounds a little more professional, and deserving is Greatest-Hits It also is a nice not too short, not too long song, With a fast, fun bassline and great work on vocals by Bradley. On To another Loop Dub song, This One being named Free Loop Dub It Changes Sounds A lot, and Isn't as fun to listen to as the others, but still has some nice aspects. Gets quite repetitive though. About 2/3 through the song, you hear gunfire, and Awww, **** Chuck's On A Killing Spree, which is pretty funny the first time you hear it. So Enjoy it once or twice, then skip away to....

    Q-Ball. It's The Shortest song on the album, and basically just the signer rapping. only 0:43. After The Short Rap Interlude, My favorite song on the album starts - Saw Red. It Features Gwen Stefani, Before her solo work mind you, back in the days of No Doubt. It's A Cheesy Kind of Love song, and Somewhat lacking in Length as it's under two minutes, but Something about just makes me love it. It could be the Ska Type Guitar, The Switching between singers, or the fast bassline, but I love it. I hope you do too, because I reccoommend it as the coolest song on this album. Next Is the Song Work That We Do.It's one of the only songs on here that I don't Like very much. It's just kind of boring, the instruments are extremely mediocre, and the singing is just averege. There's lots of cutting out, and Instruments coming in and out at different times. Lincoln Highway Dub is next, and if I'm not mistaken, the instruments in this, are playing pretty much the same song as Santeria, with some very minor changes, any Sublime Fan would Recognize it as Lyricless-Santeria. After Foreshadowing to a newer song, next we Switch back to an older song. After The Lincoln Highway Dub, We Hear an Acoustic Version Of Pool Shark. It's the same song, but I personally prefer the non-acoustic version better. All A Matter of Preference.

    I love the intro to this next song, Cisco Kid. The Song Itself is quite averege, but I love the first 45 seconds beyond belief. Listening to it now, The Song isn't that bad, it's only fault is an annoying horn instrument coming in randomly. At times the singer sounds like Chris Rock. It's fun listening to short clips of Cisco Kid Though.

    After this song, is the next installment of the Raleigh Soliloquy, this time it's Raleigh Soliloquy Pt II. This Time Around, he basically, just insults you. I love listening halfway through, and having some security guard arguing with him, to "Cool It Down" Obviously, he needs it, as the song has the F Word Twenty Three times by my count, among other obscenities. After His 911 Call, We Hear the song STP. It's a fine song, but Sounds much like all the others, so doesn't stand out much until about two minutes into the song where it speeds up, and sounds much better at that time. Boss DJ is an all acoustic song, that features nothing other than Bradley and his guitar. It's got some nice vocals, but I personally would have preferred to have some sort of percussion and bass. Still nice to listen to. The Next Track Is A Joke. And I find It Hilarious. Entitled I Don't Care Too Much For Reggae Dub As Far as I can tell, It's just the band in a conversation with some random passerby. Correct me on this if i'm wrong. EIther way, Hearing "Can One Of Ya'll Spare 20 Cents" and "I Chose this profession So Therefore I Earn Beer" Cracked Me Up. It was also funny that they didn't know how to classify what genre they played. This is definitely worth a listen. After That, comes a very, very, very, Cool Instrumental called Falling Idols. I Initally skipped it because I wasn't sure I would like an instrumental. Listening to it later though, I loved it. AMAZINGLY fun guitar work in this song. It's more of A Punk song than most of the others on the album. It also has great bass throughout the song.. and the drumming too. Hell, I love all of em. Something about the guitar work, reminds me of the Offspring.

    Next Is The Song All You Need It sounds like a ska song, which I usually love, but this one isn't my favorite. The Lyrics are Pretty weak, and the song blends in with the others on the album, making it easy to forget.
    I think you'll recognize this next guitar part in the next song, Freeway Time In LA county Jail This song is also all acoustic, and only features Bradley with no Percussion or Bass. My Feelings about it are basically the same as Boss DJ. It's a good song as is, but it could have been great with something more than what it offers.
    The Third Trilogy in the all acoustic songs, Mary offers exactly what the other two offers. If you like Acoustic Ballads, you'll have fun with this album, that's for sure.
    Another trilogy ending, The Closer to the album is the longest track, Raleigh Soliloquy Pt III This song includes Raleigh Lecturing about Love then breifly singing, or trying to.

    After some blank space, we hear a hidden reggae track, which is actually a very good track, i reccomend taking a listen.


    All Sublime: The album is a fine representation of Subilme as a band, If you want to start listening to Sublime, Buy the S/T release first, then get the others.

    Not as Sublime: Lots Of Weird tracks On here. All Of these were recorded in random living rooms, so you can't really blame em for some poor quality. Besides, the song quality is surprisingly good.


    Individual Tracks Reccommendations:

    For the Punk/Rock Lover: Saw Red, Falling Idols
    For the Acoustic Lover: Boss DJ
    For the Sublime Lover: Everything!


    Anyway, I realize this Review isn't the best, but if you look at my first review, you'll see that this is a HUGE improvement. I wasn't sure how to do bold letters, so I'm not sure what it'll do at this point.

    Also, If you like Sublime, check out The Bassists' and drummer's new band, The Long Beach Dub All Stars. Not Quite as good, but some fans might like them.

  15. #15
    Black Dragon Recruit locustlx's Avatar
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    this review is one of my bests so far and its for a great album too, please excuse any personal messages mainly wrote this for my friend
    _______________________________________________________________
    Red Hot Chili Peppers-Stadium Arcadium



    Tracklist

    Disc 1: Jupiter

    1. Dani California - 4:42
    2. Snow (Hey Oh) - 5:34
    3. Charlie - 4:37
    4. Stadium Arcadium - 5:15
    5. Hump de Bump - 3:33
    6. She's Only 18 - 3:25
    7. Slow Cheetah - 5:19
    8. Torture Me - 3:44
    9. Strip My Mind - 4:19
    10. Especially in Michigan - 4:00 (Featuring Omar Rodriguez)
    11. Warlocks - 3:25 (Featuring Billy Preston)
    12. C'mon Girl - 3:48
    13. Wet Sand - 5:09
    14. Hey - 5:39

    Disc 2: Mars

    1. Desecration Smile - 5:01
    2. Tell Me Baby - 4:07
    3. Hard to Concentrate - 4:01
    4. 21st Century - 4:22
    5. She Looks to Me - 4:06
    6. Readymade - 4:30
    7. If - 2:52
    8. Make You Feel Better - 3:51
    9. Animal Bar - 5:25
    10. So Much I - 3:44
    11. Storm in a Teacup - 3:45
    12. We Believe - 3:36
    13. Turn It Again - 6:06
    14. Death of a Martian - 4:24

    Disc 1:Jupiter

    I was trying to decide whether I would prefer to do this in the order that the CD presents or in a personal ranking, and I decided to go with the former. I have a pretty good idea of how I'd rank these, but I'm not entirely certain, so all I'm going to do is put two numbers in paranthesis at the end of each song to show the rank and rating I'm feeling for it right now. (X.X / Yst), where X is the rating on a 1-10 scale and Y is the rank currently. One last note...yes, I am a Chili Peppers fan. Yes, every song on this album sounds good to me. Yes, you shouldn't actually take my review to heart if you're looking for a completely nonbiased summary.

    01. Dani California - Well, uh. This is a much better way to start off the album than shoving the title track at the forefront, as the Chilis did with By the Way. I know I already gave my opinion on this song before, but it mostly amounted to "ZOMG ZOMG *JIZZ*", so lemme try again. The verse for Dani has a simplistically catchy feel. There isn't too much to it besides Anthony's vocals tearing us here and there, but that's all it really needs. The chorus is anything but simple. It's probably the most addicting chorus since Otherside came out, and literally raises the song to sit on a gold pedestal among the greats. That and the Hendrix-esque guitar solo at the end finishes the song with a conclusion of grand proportions. ( 9.1 / 5th )

    02. Snow (Hey Oh) - Well, holy shit on a stick. I guessed that this would be the best song on the album, mostly because of the way they verse sounded in the clips we were getting off these foreign sites I've been scouring. I didn't know that a good half of the song doesn't sound like the verse...it sounds much, much better. The lyrical content is used by Anthony as a template to ascend to a completely new level of singing...honestly, I haven't ever heard him sing this good in any other song except two others on this album. The melodic beauty that I will always choose over their funktastic rocking is extremely powerful here...unlike with other ones by them, however, the music entwines with Anthony's vocals, so that the two fuse to create the masterpiece we have here. This is Anthony's favorite song on the album, and for good reason. ( 9.4 / 3rd )

    03. Charlie - Ok, I will admit it: I almost prefer the bootleg. The live version is very very fast, and just like Tell Me Baby, Charlie got slowed considerably in this studio recording. The reason I say almost prefer is because the actual reason this song is so captivating (the guitar John introduces following the second chorus) comes out hard and ready to the shit outta everything that gets in its way. He uses a riff of descending blasts that create quite possibly the best sound I've heard him ever produce in a Chili's song. Yes, I am dead serious. It is that good. If you walk into it with high expectations, it may not capture you, but listening to it over and over again, there is little doubt in my mind. Not only that, but he concludes the song with the same sploogetacular sound, leaving it an ending of incredible quality. Add Anthony's post-chorus (which almost sounds better than the entirety of the song put together), and you have an instant win in Charlie's melodic-funk mix. P.S. ( 9.3 / 4th )

    04. Stadium Arcadium - Before I launch into this, I have to inform you guys that I have a bit of a title track fever, so to speak. I'm almost naturally drawn into loving the title songs for Chili albums, so listening to Stadium Arcadium, I may have ended up loving this song regardless of it genuinely sucked or not.

    Fortunately, it does not.

    This is a mellow masterpiece that sings of an absolutely jaw-dropping theme (Kiedis wanted to write about the euphoria a band and audience feel together in a concert), and the sound is emotionally moving. "Stadium Arcadium, a mirror to the moon"...the chorus almost visually creates the painting in one's mental vision: an audience, bobbing like a wild ocean in a tumultuous storm, splashing this way and that as the band produces the wind to their waves. It is that good. In time, I wouldn't be a surprised whatsoever if this toppled my current number one and took the crown. ( 9.8 / 2nd )

    05. Hump de Bump - I already discussed my lack of interest in this particular piece with Dylan and Nick, but I also said that I would listen to the studio version with the intention of letting it grow on me.

    Ehhh...

    It's fine now. It doesn't take away from the album in any way (though it definitely is the lowest note that [Jupiter] gets to from beginning to end), and there is indisputably a good mash of actual music laying within its funk. I would be lying however, if I suggested that the instrumental bridge (which mind you, isn't really an instrumental bridge *sigh*) was good. It almost literally pulls the song down. Ah well...this one is worth listening to for its mere rhythm and beat...Chad and Flea really dominate on this track, so if you like the dirty stuff, head straight for Hump de Bump. It's no Charlie, but it'll suffice. ( 7.6 / 14th )

    06. She's Only 18 - Ok, see, this is an example of how the Chilis funk is best manifested (Charlie excluded). Flea and John both, building off of each other to create a fricking down and dirty sound that Anthony can almost roar into. Chad's drums complete the portrait well, and set a beat during the chorus that continues to pervade throughout the sequence, despite his bandmates volume. Guitar solo? You would think that after listening to so many John solos, one such as this would be bland.

    You would also think wrong. (8.9 / 6th)

    07. Slow Cheetah - I didn't really believe this song would be too good when I found out that the topic was Anthony's hallucinations during his highs, the subject being his ex-wife Younha who believed was a cheetah at the apex of his ecstasy. A fun song maybe, but not one that would top my lists.

    No...Slow Cheetah definitely is a win. There is a distinct feel here that seems to suggest John was actually trying to play with a Navarro-esque style...the thing is, since it's John, it was automatically a hundredfold better, and he graced his divine power all across the song. The real diety here, however, is Anthony. Perhaps because of the topic in this song, the emotion pours out, and pours out well. ( 8.5 / 10th)

    08. Torture Me - I was a bit distressed when I read that title, since I'm completely anti-emo, and that sounded like an invitation to angst. I haven't gotten the lyrics down, so I'm not entirely sure yet if it is or not.

    I did find out though that it doesn't matter.

    This is fast, fast, fast, pounds away at you like a hammer, blasts at you like a bomb, it listen to those horns! Wow! There isn't so much a funk style as there is punk rock in this track, which surprisingly grinds to a halt in the middle for Anthony to offer a reflective, slow introspection before blazing away into a fiery conclusion that will leave the hair on the back of your neck standing up at full attention. ( 8.8 / 8th)

    09. Strip My Mind - Here it is. I knew there'd be one, somewhere, somehow.

    By the Way, reincarnated.

    Not the song mind you, but the album's extremity in mellowness, with tracks like Dosed, I Could Die for You, and Don't Forget Me. Here is the continuation of that style, and it's good. Mind you, it doesn't stand up to the other titans on this disc, but like Hump de Bump, it does nothing to detract from the awesomeness contained on the album, and thus is very much appropriate here. Indeed, John has a bridge where the guitar sounds comparable to a wailing lamentation. Skip to this song if you want something severely to chill out to. ( 7.9/ 13th )

    10. Especially in Michigan - Hmmm...I still have mixed feelings on this song. It isn't very similar to the other songs, and it's definitely a bit experimental in comparison to the Chilis alternative repertoire. I'd still say that it's a victory for them, given that the opening pwns, and that Chad's drumming is prominent on this track, always something I welcome. I can also see this distinctive kind of music becoming someone's favorite on the album, but not me personally. Still very much worth listening to, though. ( 8.1 / 11th )

    11. Warlocks - Here's the funk a lot of fans crave. I'm glad that the song does what Charlie did, and creates a hybrid between the said funk and the melodic mastery the Chilis display on their other tracks. I can't really say a lot about the content...I mean, there isn't much to it. This noncomplexity isn't a weakness, since the very nature of the song lays its foundation in a simplistic appeal, and because of that, it isn't tiring to listen to nor does it get boring. Like Strip My Mind, however, it doesn't really stand close to the other jewels on this album. ( 8.0 / 12th )

    12. C'mon Girl - Wow. This one definitely snuck up on me, sucker punched me when I wasn't looking, and claimed my heart. It's the underdog on a disc bathing in awesomeness, and fairly easy to overlook when you compare its funky-melodic mashing to She's Only 18 and Charlie, the kings of the crop. It's still there though, and it pounds away vigorously to make itself known. The chorus is an explosion from all 4 members, something reminiscent of Right on Time from Californication, and it certainly serves as the ultimate stairway to guiding the listener to the number one song on Stadium Arcadium... ( 8.8 / 9th)

    13. Wet Sand - Ok, Dylan and Nick no doubt saw this coming, since I've been blatantly declaring that this song would be my favorite since we got the bootleg back in late February, and I guess I was right, because it definitely is the Best.

    The Best.

    As I told Rand and Jose, Wet Sand structurally is Under the Bridge, given that it opens with a couple of amazing chords from John, and that from start to finish, the song gradually grows louder and more powerful as it paces methodically towards the heart-stopping concluding crescendo. The verse seems like child's play, really...it's fine, but it's not going to make anyone think it stands out as the Greatest. But then, at 2:08, Heaven decides to pay a visit: the chorus, resounding and dramatic, makes itself known as CHad pounds away at the drums, as if to announce desperately "Here! Here! Listen! This is a slice of what we're about to give you!" And indeed, it is a slice, and only slice, for you see, the reason why Wet Sand reigns over all of its counterparts, the reason why Wet Sand blows all of its fellow songs out of the water, the reason why Wet Sand is beyond a reasonable doubt the best song on Stadium Arcadium is because of its ending.

    The second chorus lights up the speakers, unleashing a turbulent whirlwind of a staggering degree, but hell, even that is just the warm up:

    "You don't fall in the wet sand,
    You don't fall at all,
    You don't fall in the wet sand,
    I do.

    Yeah

    You don't fall in the wet sand,
    You don't fall at all,
    You don't fall in the wet sand,
    I do.

    Yeah."

    Checkmate.

    Everyone unites together for less than a minute, yet is undoubtedly the greatest minute in RHCP history, as they kindle a flame that has no equal. All of them stand together in every second of this section, from Flea's heart-throbbing bass line, to Chad's thunderous bashing of his drums, and lastly, to Anthony and John's harmonious finale, as they make their declaration for all the world to see: "We are the Best."

    Make no mistake...this is arguably the greatest Chili Peppers song ever, and ultimately, a heart stirring canvas for the ages. ( 10.0 / 1st )

    14. Hey - It's pretty difficult to come after something so astonishing...it's comparable to being given the best slice of pizza in the universe, and then asked please put it aside for a moment and try a side order of applesauce.

    Thankfully, Hey doesn't disappoint.

    It's a quiet song, and predominantly Anthony/John expressive, but Flea and Chad are there too, steady and dependable as always. The verse and the chorus don't really differentiate between one another, though at about the 3:40 mark, the song changes into a slight wakeup call to remind you that it's still going. This isn't the result of the song being so boring it could put you to sleep, but because it is so soft, one could forget that it is even playing. The light coolness works perfectly, and overall, makes Hey a keeper. (8.9 / 7th)

    Disc 2: Mars

    (I will get the rest of the review up as soon as I listen to the second disc but for now enjoy, updates soon)

  16. #16
    Hollywood Superstar
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    Quote Originally Posted by locustlx

    I am thinking tool's new cd which I have a copy of (oh how wonderful it is to work as a reviewer) and have to admit it is truly great.
    May I ask how you manged to get a album that hasnt been released yet? Lol.

    Only song I have is Vicarius, which is infact, badass.

  17. #17
    Black Dragon Recruit locustlx's Avatar
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    as a reviewer for a magazine company we get promotional copies of albums, tool's new album 10,000 days was one of them as well as RHCP's-Stadium Arcadium

  18. #18
    Special Forces Agent Kona's Avatar
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    It's out now though, $10 at Target.
    One Way Ticket To Hell


    Myspace

  19. #19
    Black Dragon Recruit locustlx's Avatar
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    Re: Review Thread

    The Locust-Plague Soundscapes



    Tracklist:
    1. Recyclable Body Fluids In Human Shape
    2. Identity Exchange Program, Rectum Return Policy
    3. Solar Panel Asses
    4. Live From The Russian Compound
    5. Earwax Halo Manufactured For The Champion In All Of Us
    6. Wet Dream War Machine
    7. Listen The Mighty Ear Is Here
    8. Who Wants A Dose Of The Clap?
    9. Teenage Mustache
    10. How To Become a Virgin
    11. Anything Jesus Does, I Can Do Better
    12. Late For A Double-Date With A Pile Of Atoms In The Watercloset
    13. File Under \'Softcore Seizures\'
    14. Practiced Hatred
    15. Pssst! Is That A Halfie In Your Pants?
    16. The Half-Eaten Sausage Would Like To See You In His Office
    17. Pulling The Christmas Pig By The Wrong Pair Of Ears
    18. Can We Please Get Another Nail In The Coffin Of Culture Theft?
    19. Your Mantel Disguised As A Psychic Sasquatch
    20. Twenty-Three Lubed-Up Schizophrenics With Delusions Of Grandeur
    21. Captain Gaydar It\'s Time To Wind Up Your Clock
    22. Priest With The Sexually Transmitted Disease, Get Out Of My Bed
    23. Pick-Up Truck Full Of Forty-Minutes

    The Locust:
    Bobby Bray - Guitar/Vocals
    Joey Karam - Keyboards/Vocals
    Justin Pearson - Bass/Vocals
    Gabe Serbian - Drums

    Plague Soundscapes is probably the most fitting name this album could possibly have. The record's entire length comes out to 21:03, yet there are twenty-three tracks, with names such as "Anything Jesus Does I Can Do Better", "Earwax Halo Manufactured For The Champion In All Of Us", and "The Half-Eaten Sausage Would Like To See You In His Office". If this sounds pretentious, think again - if anything, the songwriting is on the far side of abstraction, constantly switching gears from crude sexual references to politics to social issues to complete and total randomness. Though the lyrical quality probably won't be an issue for most, since the vocals bring forth visions of a person in such a hysteria that their words no longer make sense and have become desperate shreiks.

    If there were words to describe this album other than "plague soundscapes", they would probably be "total insanity". Few tracks make it over the minute marker, none are soft and beautiful or accessable pop music. This is technical madness at its highest scale. The vocals are scizophrenic wailing, the time signatures are constantly changing, the drums are switching from offbeat punk to unweildingly fast grind, the guitars and bass are all over the musical chart, and there are industrialized insect noises distorting the entire package.

    While this would sound bad to most people, it takes about two listen-throughs (less than an hour) to find the nuances, the diamonds in the ruff that make up the record. It's the spastic and constantly shifting mood that give The Locust their edge, their trademark sound. If you have an open mind, you'll be able to pick out the chord sequences, the odd jazz/punk/metal rhythms, even the vocals, and see how they all come together to make something more than just noise pollution. While the songs do have a specific sound to all of them, they are all different once you are able to see the little things that make each one interesting; it is truly more than just pounding nonsense and crazy screaming.

    Plague Soundscapes is one of those albums so abstract that it raises the bar for so many other bands that are in The Locust's field of music, such as Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Coalesce. This isn't as expirimental as others in its genre - it is an unweilding, concentrated blast of insanity, and in the end, that's what makes it the album that it is. If you like hardcore or grindcore, and you like it unrelenting, then it doesn't get much better than this.
    _________________________________________________________________
    The Locust-Safety Second, Body Last



    Tracklist:
    1. Armless and Overeactive/Invented Organs
    2. One Decent Leg/Immune System Overdrive

    "File under 'Soft Core Seizures,'" this song title from 'Plague Soundscape' really describes the Locust's music. In this E.P., produced through Ipecac Records (mike patton's company), is really broken up into 4 movements (it's sort of like a symphony on speed/acid). The Locust continues to write brilliant music that should not be looked down upon.

    1. Armless and Overeactive/Invented Organs (6:12)

    Wow a locust song over 2 minutes, hell it's 6 minutes long! The song starts out with a typical locust song and then after about 30 seconds it dies off into this ambient noise. It soon builds up slowly into a spastic riff section and once again dies off again into a very slow section. The next part starts with a drums crescendo'ing upon drum toms and goes into a really cool drum and guitar/keyboard part. The music stops and a new ambient noise comes in and slowly dies off and on constantly and soon a mild crescendo comes about and it really feels like you are under pressure because it is such a loud noise at the end of it, a little drumming and singing to finish off the last 15 seconds of it and it continues into the next song.

    2. One Decent Leg/Immune System Overdrive (3:57)

    Starts off with just rolling on the cymbals and some weird ambient noises. It breaks off into the most kick *** locust part I have ever heard in my life for about a minute. Then goes into a greaat vocal part where it sounds like they are almost talking to each other. While the one is screaming the other is singing.
    "Oscillating Eyes
    Bigger Bones took his tonics
    Same as always
    Turned a few eardrums into mush
    Backyard surgery
    Wants to be so socratic
    Hideous femur, wry and mocking
    Likes things oversimplified
    Sent hims spinning
    seems like those eye's have'nt been working
    Same as always "
    After the lyrical part it once again becomes soft again with only ambient noises being heard which lasts until the last 30 seconds of the song when is immediately starts to become hectic again for the final seconds of the track and ends off what seems like a 10 minute saga with all of the changes in between.


    To really sum up this album, I would say it is put together very well. Sometimes listening to just constant locust music can be a bit overwhelming but the the breaks provided in this CD really space it out makes it seem more full. I would recommend this CD to any Locust fan and to anyone is had not heard of the Locust yet, I would suggest you purchase "Plague Soundscapes" before you purchase this album but obviously you may do what you please.

    Pros - The drumming
    The transitions
    The singing

    Cons - The ambient noises can be annoying/boring

    Recommended tracks: Both of them

    3.5/5

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    Re: Review Thread

    Well I got Tool and it kicks ass. Stadium Arcadium sounds great, I should be picking it up soon. Now I am deciding on Underoath or Zao's new album...lol.


    And I still need money for my guitar....I need a real job.
    One Way Ticket To Hell


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