Friday, January 18, 2008

From My Ears To Your Eyes

Oh boy, it's the second installment! That must mean I'm dedicated to doing this every week!
Let's get right to it, shall we?

Once Nothing - 'First Came The Law'
Solid State Records

Released Jan 15, 2008

Ah, good ol' Solid State, you never really disappoint me. This label really only does one thing (...metalcore, dummy) and they tend to do it pretty well. The unfortunate thing is that as a genre, things have pretty much hit a brick wall. Nothing is original anymore, everything sounds like something else so as with a few of those cds last week, it's just a matter of finding bands who do the same old thing better than their peers. If you're down with the whole southern rock infused/breakdown metal thing, this cd is for you. It sounds like the Showdown lots of the time, it sounds like Norma Jean sometimes, it sounds like August Burns Red sometimes, it sounds like He Is Legend sometimes, it sounds like Every Time I Die sometimes, it sounds like As I Lay Dying sometimes..sooo that's what you're getting into here. Personally, I think it's a good cd, there aren't really any stupid singy parts (aside from an oddly placed and thusly questionable acoustic song in the middle of the cd), the guitar work is pretty cool and there are some really radtastic breakdowns. I've only had a few days to listen to this, but it's become a cd I've actually made a point to go find on my ipod when I wanted metal, so take that for what you will. Cool cover art too. I think at least. SOO it's definitely something I'd suggest checking out, obviously they don't reinvent the wheel, but they do help add a little more air to the tires.
Does that line make any sense? Ha.

Year End List Potential: 3.2/5

Jon Foreman - 'Fall & Winter' Credential Records Released Jan 15, 2008

Hooray for acoustic singer/songwriter music! Here's the deal, these are the first two themed EPs in a series of four that are released to coincide with each season of the year. The fall one was originally just released online, but when the dude released the winter cd this week in stores, he packaged the fall one with it sooo that's that. You may not know who this Jon Foreman guy is, but I have a feeling you know of the band he sings for...Switchfoot! Ok so maybe that don't impress you much (yes, I'm singing Shania now too) and it doesn't really do much for me either because I only really like 2 or 3 of their songs, and those are the radio singles that I'm supposed to like. But here's what's up. This is a really great collection of songs. As I mentioned a minute ago, the songs are technically themed to go with the season they are supposed to represent and with him being the singer of Switchfoot, there's the obvious religious influence on the lyrics, which I do tend to enjoy from time to time. That aside though, the songwriting is pretty darn impressive, and really everything else about this cd is as well. I don't think you can go wrong with acoustic guitars and cellos (and when harmonicas and other strings are thrown in the mix too, pfft fuhgetaboutit). I've listened to this cd so many times in the past week, and it makes me happy. Can't ask for more than that.

Year End List Potential: 4.5/5

The Mars Volta - 'The Bedlam In Goliath' Universal Released Jan 29, 2008

I haven't even listened to this stupid cd the whole way through yet, but I've listened enough to formulate an early opinion. That opinion is as follows:
What the fuck is this stupid shit? You pretentious bastards, I don't care how long you can make your songs or how fast you can play your little guitar or how many cRaZy effects you can add to your vocals. There was a time when a new release from this band was exciting, because you knew it meant something pretty cool was coming. Those times though, I'm afraid, are long gone for me. Now it's just 'man do I even wanna bother listening to this? I know i'm just gonna get annoyed 3 songs in'. Annnnnnd surprise surprise, the trend continues. The cd is way more upbeat and more *funky* than anything I can recall this band doing, but that doesn't really equal out to more interesting for me. Some of this stuff is so far out there and so far away from anything that resembles music you can actually LISTEN to..maybe I just don't get it. Everything they do now seems like they just stuck a mic in the middle of a room they were jamming in and they just play and play and play and do whatever and then chop that up into smaller sections, add some vocals, and boom it's done. They seem to try so hard to avoid structure and it's gotten pretty obnoxious. There are a few songs I dig a little bit (the song 'Goliath' comes to mind), but in all it just kinda gives me a headache. If you don't bother, you aren't really missing out on much.

Year End List Potential: .7/5

Jonny Greenwood- 'There Will Be Blood/Original Score'
Released Dec 18, 2007

Alright, so this wasn't released in 2008, so it somewhat defeats the purpose, but this is good and I wanted to share it. Obviously, this is the score to the movie film There Will Be Blood which, by all accounts, is apparently a really good movie..but what you may not be aware of is that the guitarist of Radiohead composed this stuff. And he does a damn fine job. Comprised mostly of strings and pianos, I can only assume the film is as dramatic as the music seems to be. Honestly, this cd really sounds a lot more important than it actually sounds like something you'd hear on NPR when they were doing classical music blocks and the dj comes back on and talks in his best theater voice about how that was so and so's third movement from his fifth symphony that was recorded in 1924 with the doobliedoo philharmonic orchestra. Check it out, it's solid..brah.