Billy Joel - Glass Houses/The Nylon Curtain
About 20 years ago, I had this same mix on cassette, taped from the vinyl LPs, one album on each side. (I still own Glass Houses on vinyl.) I've listened to that tape 100,000 times. Now I listen to that same mix in crystal-clear digital clarity. Wonderful thing, the invention of the CD burner.
AFI - Crash Love
AFI abandons their typical whiny goth rock and goes New Wave, with pretty good results. Davey Havoc's balls have apparently dropped, because his voice is nowhere near as high-pitched as it has been in the past. If it wasn't already October, I'd say that "Too Shy to Scream" would be the Feel Bad Hit of the Summer.
Alice in Chains - Black Give Way to Blue
It's hard to believe that Alice in Chains hasn't put out a studio album in 14 years. If there was ever any doubt that Alice in Chains was Jerry Cantrell's band, those doubts will be put to rest once you hear this, as it's pretty much a continuation of Cantrell's solo albums; new lead singer William DuVall makes occasional cameo vocal appearances. Unfortunately, the band has continued on from Cantrell's slow, mellow Degradation Trip period, instead of Alice in Chains' gloomy metal heyday. Whatever the result, it's just nice to see Cantrell making music again; "Check My Brain" may be one of the best tracks he's ever written.
Silversun Pickups - Swoon
As long as we're on the topic of retro music, here's a band that, rather than turning to '70s or '80s music, is bringing back the '90s in a big way. They sound like a cross between My Bloody Valentine and early Smashing Pumpkins. If you're a fan of "shoegaze," this may be the record for you.
Three Days Grace - Life Starts Now
There comes a point in a band's career when they either evolve and improve (see AFI above) or keep putting out the same record and get stale (see Weezer, The Strokes, etc.). The latter case is not always bad thing, as is the case with AC/DC, which has been putting out the same album for 35 years. But that one album is really fucking good. Unfortunately, this isn't the case with Three Days Grace on their third album. I like Three Days Grace and their first two albums, but it's all starting to sound the same, and they're no AC/DC. Pass.
Foo Fighters - "Wheels"
I remember when Dave Grohl put out the first Foo Fighters album. What a great album: Dave Grohl gets out from under the shadow of Kurt Cobain and lets his inner metalhead shine. In the 14 years since that album came out, the Foos have devolved into a band that sounds like every other overproduced Top 40 band. With the release of this new single from their greatest hits album, it's apparent that Dave is now taking his inspiration from 3 Doors Down instead of Motörhead. I'm sure Cobain is rolling in his grave.
If I hear anything else of note, I'll let you know.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Posted by E at 10:56 am