Monthly Archives: July 2012

K-Holes – Dismania

In addition to being one of the ‘core’ medicines defined by the World Health Organization, ketamine is also used in veterinary medicine…and to get people high out of their minds.

New York City band K-Holes get their name from folks who like to snort horse tranquilizer up their noses. Under the influence, users can experience a K-hole, a slang term describing the “subjective state of dissociation from the body which may mimic the phenomenology of schizophrenia, out-of-body experiences or near–death experiences”.

Needless to say, Dismania is murky and dingy proto-punk and, and much like witnessing an overdose in the Botanic Gardens, is hard to look way from.

Snag mp3s of “Rats” and “Frozen Stiff” here (courtesy of Hardly Art)

Artist: K-Holes
Album: Dismania
Label: Hardly Art

Buy K-Holes Dismania

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Gemma Ray – Island Fire

With serious competition at every turn, it’s little surprise that England’s Gemma Ray has meandered in the realm of cultural obscurity for the majority of her career. Her fourth long player, Island Fire, is quirky and soulful enough to catch the attention of selective listeners tired of that other Rey, but the album as a whole suffers from a serious case of dissociative identity disorder.

Some songs are light and playful to the point of being harmlessly forgettable, while others are so mean-spirited that they’re seared into your mind like that time you walked in on your parents bumping uglies.

Artist: Gemma Ray
Album: Island Fire
Label: Shock

Buy Gemma Ray Island Fire

*previously published by Rip It Up Publishing

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Charlotte Gainsbourg – Stage Whisper

Charlotte Gainsbourg’s Stage Whisper is a double album featuring fresh studio tracks and live recordings of songs from two most recent LPs, IRM and 5:55. While any Gainsbourg aficionado will certainly appreciate the live performances, the real draw is the studio material.

Picking up where IRM left off, the dark nu-disco electro pop of Stage Whisper is pitch perfect; with Gainsbourg’s cold, mechanical vocals gliding over hard, fuzzy beats. Now that I think of it, Gainsbourg hasn’t been this sexual since her brush with incestuous paedophilia with papa Serge on the track Lemon Incest back in 1984.

Artist: Charlotte Gainsbourg
Album: Stage Whisper
Label: Elektra

Buy Charlotte Gainsbourg Stage Whisper

*previously published by Rip It Up Publishing

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Found – Factorycraft

I don’t know if Scottish band Found was trying to be ironic when they gave themselves a name that ensures no potential fans could ever find them online.  Maybe their “off the grid” approach makes them more authentic as artists, or something.

I once read that the Scottish accent is the most pleasing, determined by a poll of people surveyed from around the world.  I’m not sure how accurate that study is, considering Scottish accents are harsh. As in, I can’t understand half of the words that are being said harsh.

Anyway, Found released their first single on a playable chocolate 7″ record. While the song is catchy, it’ll never be as nearly delicious, or desirable, as chocolate.

Artist: Found
Album: Factorycraft
Label: Chemikal Underground

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FisherKing – Circles

The press release that accompanied FisherKing’s debut album, Circles, described their sound as “heartfelt lyrics, memorable melodies and buzzing pop hooks”.  This may sound mean, but I don’t think I could write a more bland and meaningless description of a band if I tried.

FisherKing is essentially a good pub band that I would gladly pay a $10 cover to see, however I would just be using their show as an excuse to go out and get shitfaced. Nothing like feigning enthusiasm for a mediocre band in order to disguise your crushing alcoholism!

Snag a couple of mp3s here (courtesy of Triple J)

Artist: FisherKing
Album: Circles
Label: independent

Buy FisherKing Circles

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Bluejuice – Company

Where to start with this album? The band members outlined in neon green on the press release like some low rent TRON ripoff? The hokey ska/disco fusion music?  Grown men naming their songs with excerpts from an MSN chat? Maybe it’s the fact that the band stylizes their nonsensical name with an exclamation point instead of an “i”.

Company is like your alcoholic friend.  At first he’s super fun and a blast to be with, but by the end of the night you’re getting kicked out of bars because of his undecpiherable mumbles and the piss stain on the front of his pants.

Artist: Bluejuice
Album: Company
Label: Dew Process

Buy Bluejuice Company

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Wavves – Life Sux EP

At this point in Nathan Williams’ career it is safe to say that he has become the buzzband reincarnation of Willie Nelson.  Oh, wait, Willie Nelson isn’t dead?  Huh.  Well good for him.  Do I want to hit this?  Of course.  What was I saying?  Wavves.  Right.

It seems to me like naming your EP Life Sux is an open invitation to journalists to trash your music.  Maybe that was the intention.  But he’s just doing his thing, hanging out with his buds, making music. I wonder if Williams only wants to be Dave Grohl because it’s a pain in the ass to spell Krist Novoselic.

Artist: Wavves
Album: Life Sux
Label: Ghost Ramp

Buy Wavves Life Sux

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Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong

I was once at a party in Australia where, after copious amounts of Carlton Draught (see vid below), a bunch of guys started singing along to the Eagles. They were egging me on to join them, assuming since I am American, that I must love the Eagles. I respectfully declined because, well, the Eagles are terrible.

It struck me as odd that so many of Australia’s youth have this unexplainable fascination with the Eagles. It is especially confounding when one considers the fact that the band’s ‘AM Gold’ mediocrity is common knowledge stateside. Listening to LA band Dawes is a lot like listening to the Eagles. You can fill in the rest.

Artist: Dawes
Album: Nothing Is Wrong
Label: ATO

Buy Dawes Nothing Is Wrong

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The Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania

Supposedly Oceania is part of the 44-track mega-project Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, or whatever. It is also officially the seventh (or ninth, depending on who you ask) album from Billy Corgan’s angsty, grunge peddling Smashing Pumpkins.

It comes as no surprise that Corgan has been trying to make a worthy successor to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness since 1995. You can’t blame the guy for trying, but Corgan is a victim of his own pomposity. Singing about quasars with a straight face is risky business, but Corgan whole-heartedly believes that listeners are hanging on his every word.

Unfortunately Corgan seems to have forgotten that he was able to unite a generation with simple words like, “Today is the greatest day I’ve ever known”.

Artist: Smashing Pumpkins
Album: Oceania
Label: EMI

Buy Smashing Pumpkins Oceania

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The Enemy – Streets In The Sky

In their relatively short career, The Enemy have been criticized for being an inauthentic, manufactured band at nearly every turn.

Most of the resentment stems from the fact that the band spends most of their records preaching about the class struggles and shackles of modern life, while playing to stadiums and darting around the globe in Learjets.

The only sin The Enemy is really guilty of is that they believe they are doing something more meaningful than playing pub rock anthems to drunken Brits that can relate to lyrics like:

“Half the kids who you grew up with,
Were pushin’ prams by the time that they were just sixteen”

Its safe to say that this record continues the downward spiral of self-parody that began with Music For The People.

Artist: The Enemy
Album: Streets In The Sky
Label: Stiff Records

Buy The Enemy Streets In The Sky

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