Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Currently listening to: Week of May 7, 2012

I am posting this entry a little later than usual on account of being sick. I have a sore throat, and bad allergies. I'm starting to feel better now. Onward with this week's albums!

To really hear an artist's work, you must look past the hit singles. The entire album is worth hearing to truly get a glimpse of it all in one body of work. Here are some of the albums I am listening to this week.

OFF! - OFF! (2012)
OFF! was formed by former Circle Jerks/Black Flag lead vocalist Keith Morris in Los Angeles. This is their official first album which was just released this week. This album has the same feel as early 80s hardcore albums. Fans of Circle Jerks will love it. Every song is explosive, my only gripe is how short the songs are. The entire 16 track album is 16 minutes long! As soon as you get into a song it is over. The lyrics are pretty juvenile though there are references to Happy Meals and Darby Crash which make it enjoyable. Great energy, and great musicianship all around. It is so surprising that this just came out when it sounds like it came out of the 80s. Also, Off! is doing a few tourdates with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Here are some of the best tracks on this album.
King Kong Brigade:
Wiped Out:
Burrow and Bomb:

Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You (2011)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are another great band from Los Angeles who have been doing music since the early 80s with lead vocalist Anthony Keidis and bassist Flea being the only original members. John Frusciante was their main guitarist throughout most of their recent albums but left the band prior to this album. He was replaced by Josh Klinghoffer on this album. This album has some really great songs including Monarchy of Roses, Rain Dance Maggie has a pretty funky beat and includes some cowbell for good measure. I especially like the song Look Around, very catchy and while this might not be their best album, it's consistent and gets better with every listen.Here are some of my favorite tracks:
Look Around:
Rain Dance Maggie:
Brendan's Death Song:

Black Flag - Everything Went Black (1982)
Early compilation album featuring all three former Black Flag vocalists (Keith Morris, Ron Reyes, Dez Cadena) who were in the band before Henry Rollins took over before their debut album, Damaged. Really cool to hear some early demos of Black Flag songs interpreted by different vocalists. I personally like Keith Morris' voice the most. He sounds like someone whos has probably been kicked into a locker at some point and there is nothing pop about it. The other vocalists are great too, especially Cadena. Ron Reyes was one I never truly got into. A nice added bonus was some commercials advertising Black Flag shows at the end of this album. A definite must have for any fan of the band, especially those unfamiliar with their pre-Rollins lineup. I happen to like it more than First Four Years which is another compilation. I love Keith Morris doing Depression and Gimme Gimme Gimme. It gives a whole new perspective on it. I got into Black Flag way later than most people, this was the first I heard of them. I purchased this from a tiny record store in Brooklyn and immediately took a liking,. An early hardcore classic.
Clocked In (w/Ron Reyes)
No Values (w/Keith Morris)
Louie Louie (w/Dez Cadena)

Silversun Pickups - Neck of The Woods (2012)
Rounding out our Los Angeles list is Silverlake's own Silversun Pickups. At first they were branded as Smashing Pumpkins ripoffs but they have achieved a sound all their own on their latest release. There's some SP influence on the vocals but the band has added extra layers like industrial beats and shoegazer like guitars. The addition of producer Jacknife Lee (who previously worked with greats such as R.E.M. and U2) add an added layer of shine on this, their latest release on Dangerbird Records. This might be the album of the year. Songs like The Pit are a nice surprise, and sees the band venturing in an almost New Order sound. Check out the new single, Bloody Mary especially along with the following tracks.
Bloody Mary:
The Pit:
Here We Are:

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