A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.
Topic: Record Review
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October 15, 2013 at 7:30 AM
In case you didn’t attend any of the big Pacific Northwest music festivals this summer, the hot new band of the season was La Luz, which played them all. The quartet’s contradictory surf-rock music — upbeat and woozy — was a hit. The band never failed to start a “Soul Train”-style dance line in the crowd. Who says Seattle people don’t dance? (Not that they danced especially well. But I digress.)
Now that it’s fall, debut album “It’s Alive” has legs to carry La Luz through the rest of the year. The guitar riff on “Morning High” sounds like a leather jacket begging you to try it on; “Big Big Blood” makes a cool show of staying peppy while twisting rhythmically downward; and “Sunstroke” and “Phantom Feelings” tell stories of intrigue without any lyrics.
La Luz has the goods, with a deceptive complexity to everything. Each member of the quartet plays uncommonly precisely. And unlike in most rock music around here, there’s hardly any distortion. Maybe it’s all been cleaned off by the waves?
Andrew Matson on Twitter: @andrewmatson
October 15, 2013 at 5:30 AM
Maybe Pearl Jam’s new album, “Lightning Bolt,” should have been the album to earn the name “Ten.” “Lightning Bolt” is not only the group’s 10th studio album, but also one of its most consistent and mature.
The band’s 2009’s “Backspacer” proved Pearl Jam could still top the charts and stay relevant in a rock landscape much changed from the early years. “Lightning Bolt” may do even better on the charts because it achieves something few legacy bands manage: It takes a classic sound but builds upon it with nuance, so that it sounds new but without being jolting.
All the essential Pearl Jam touches are here: Mike McCready’s crunchy guitar solo on “Sirens”; Matt Cameron’s infectious backbeat on “Getaway”; Stone Gossard’s riff-heavy punch on “Let the Records Play”; and Jeff Ament’s bass thunder on “Infallible.” Pearl Jam has always been a better band in concert than on its studio records, but “Lightning Bolt” shows that performance gap narrowing, and the band sounds cohesive here.
October 14, 2013 at 11:11 AM
By Randall Roberts
The Los Angeles Times
Great, just what the world needs: more enthusiasm for something Beatles-related.
It’s a little tiresome, after all, this relentless fawning. Seems like every fiscal quarter something else pops up: an anniversary, reissue, Cirque du Soleil production, documentary, or surprising new solo album.
Can’t we give it a rest and focus on, say, the Kinks, James Brown or Pulp for a while? (more…)
October 4, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Detroit rapper Danny Brown’s “Old” — the newly released follow-up to his breakout 2011 opus of drugs, sex and desperation, “XXX”— has a double meaning to its title.
On one hand it refers to his age and unconventional career arc, only rapping “seriously” since 2007 after serving jail time for charges caught while selling drugs as a teen, and being 30 years old when “XXX” dropped. On the other, it’s a shot at the former fans and rap nerds decrying his post-”XXX” shift in sound from more gritty dopeman narratives to electronic-leaning, molly-popping party rap. (more…)
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