Monday, June 27, 2011



Young Turks

On the surface-this album Massive Attack lite. Listen closer and lite turns into light. But not lightweight, rather a light touch. There is no doom and gloom here a’ la Massive Attack, just good music for just about anything , everything from dancing, chilling out, walking, thinking, and working out.

SBTRKT (pronounced Subtract) lets other people, like his collaborators Little Dragon, Roses Gabor, Sampha and Jessie Ware carry the load. He just provides them with a solid foundation. But they’re top notch, and blend their parts into a very satisfying whole. And this album has a well-deserved buzz. Drake remixed and rapped on the song “Wildfire” along with Little Dragon. Both the original and remix are great, and are very good introductions to a fine album. []

Drakes remix:

Original version

Andrea Weiss

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Omega La La

Sin Duda Records.

On first listen, this band sounds like the Dirty Projectors. But they are cold, cocky, calculating fish, and Rubblebiucket has too much heart, soul, fun, love, joy, and modesty to be like them. Instead this album is a really mellow version of the B’52’s. Not the B’52’s of the late 70s and early 80s with classics like “Rock Lobster,” and “My Own Private Idaho,” but the mature band who wrote classics like “Love Shack” “Song for a Future Generation,” “Roam” and the album Funplex.

When lead singer Kalmia Traver sings a line like “you came out of a lady, oh!” it’s pure happy fun, B’52’s style. On “Silly Fathers,” the band argues they’re not sane, secure, mysterious, just a “chromed up, lubed up image of ourselves” they simply means that don’t take themselves too seriously. And even when their songs are sad like “Triangular Daises” the sweetness of the band shines through anyway, making the songs bittersweet.

This is a blast of a full-length debut. Dancing and thinking, it’s all the same to Rubblebucket, just like the B’52’s do. It’s delightful, and loads of good natured fun to listen to. May they dance and think like this forever. []

Andrea Weiss

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fucked Up

David Comes to Life

Matador Records

The structure of these 18 songs are formally pop: verse, chorus verse, and very melodic. But the huge amount of noise in this pop is more like Husker Du’s brand of barrage, especially like the Du’s classic album Zen Arcade than hardcore. The vocals may be bellowed like Bob Mould’s, but there is also an element of un-Mould like screaming.

Another way David Comes to Life resembles Husker Du is lyrically: Zen Arcade was about a young man leaving home to face a hostile world, and on both albums the lyrics are surreal. Another album with rather surreal lyrics, but also experiential power pop, was Game Theory’s Lolita Nation. There the theme was a young man coming of age in an increasingly plastic world. So yes, Fucked Up’s new album is something of a concept album. The concept here is love, death, and starting over. A young man named David has a dead end job in a light bulb factory in a small British town, and he falls in love with a woman who is a rabble rousing communist. The woman dies in an explosion or terrorist attack, and David is devastated. He plots revenge, but also meets another woman who he falls in love with. This puts an end to his plan of revenge, and he also realizes that things are okay now. He can still love, so everything is fine, and life goes on. The narrative is very loose, the band doesn’t even know how the story ends, but it works very well. As does the music, the wonderfully sprawling, life- and love-infused music which never quits being positive, just like the lyrics. David Comes to Life indeed. He leaps out of the songs, and tells his bracing story, grins when he gets to the end, confident he’ll leave listeners smiling, happy, and cheering him on. []

And here is a mini documentary about the band. []

Andrea Weiss


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