Washed Out — Within & Without
Washed Out’s second full-length album, Within & Without, doesn’t only feature a cuddly stock photograph from a recent issue of Cosmopolitan, but contains dreamy, crisply executed sleepy synth to match. Even though the sound veers on the slow electronic / shoegazy side, it isn’t empty candy pop like *ahem* The Pains of Being Pure At Heart by any means. Soft and intimate like its awesomely pretty cover art (I actually like it a lot even though it was in that silly magazine), this album is super creative and sexy. Despite all of these positive feelings I have for the album, it does sound like the soundtrack of Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s hipster scene. Proof of this is that you can also hear the entire album if you hang out in Urban Outfitters for a couple hours.
Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
There was no bigger fan of Smith Western’s self-titled debut album than this girl right here – and though I was late to get on the train, I rode it all the way into late 2010, when “Dye It Blonde” was released. DIB is great, albeit considerably less “garage” and gritty than album numero uno. The boys are also 17 year old jerks on and off stage, so the thought of them sweetly pining for little teenage ladies as much as they do on this album sounds kinda gross. There are two different schools of boy swoonage in my opinion. #1: I’m James Dean and I’m going to act aloof but secretly think you’re pretty hot…let’s hang out behind the school ifyaknowhatImean and #2: I’m not ashamed of being twee and sickeningly in love with you…can you see these hearts popping above my head? Can we share a rootbeer float and stare into each other’s eyes after school? Whereas the Smith Westerns assumed the former attitude in their self-titled, Dye It Blonde is representin’ over the latter. All background info aside, the new LP is fun, young and super glam (they sing about being all of these things proudly…kinda like MGMT flaunts their reckless, glittery youth). As another band frequently played on Urban’s speakers, you know it’s at least excellent for bopping around to.
Black Lips – Arabia Mountain
Another rambunctious group of young men, The Black Lips are one of my favorite bands ever. The hobbies of these guys include making awesome garage-y rock music and not-giving-a-general-sh** what you think as long as it’s really fun and involves beer (especially onstage, where they are known to make out with each other or indecently exposure themselves to swooning/moshing fans). Arabia Mountain is relatively more produced than albums past (thanks to famous dude Mark Ronson), but as long as they keep singing about superheroes and wild tomfoolery, I’m always gonna be hardcore crushin’ these bad kids. I mean just check out this video…it’s a few minutes of an entire cruise that was just a lineup of rock acts like Vivian Girls, Ty Segall, etc…sailing from Florida to the Bahamas on a boat with a water park, laser tag, puppet show over banana pancake breakfast, etc. Eleven year olds forever and ever…
P.S: Guess where you can hear these album all the way through? Urban Outfitters! I only point that out because although “Arabia Mountain” is smart and fun, it’s also accessible.
Michael Ian Black (stand-up comedy) – Very Famous
Raunchy! We had this playing in the store for a few tracks. Michael C. (Head Dude of Pure Pop) and I were red in the face from laughing, but the talk got a little dirty and therefore a little awkward for the kids browsing around in here. Nevertheless, if you love Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, anything to do with “The State” comedy troupe or general little boy humor, this CD was made for you. If you have no idea what any of the aforementioned are, Michael Ian Black was the funniest guy on VH1′s I Love The 80′s and I Love the 90′s series, delivering sarcastic commentary completely deadpan. Bonus!!! You can see this guy in person at Higher Ground on Saturday, October 15th.
Been a fan of iconic funk rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers since the beginning? Or just really pumped for their new album, “I’m With You,” to drop today? ($13.99 + free poster when you buy it here at Pure Pop!)
We have two tickets for a very special showing of the Red Hots performing their new album live (on the big screen, guys, not the big stage) at Palace 9 in South Burlington. Supposedly, it’s the only time the album will be performed… All you have to do to score 2 FREE tix is use those nimble fingers to “LIKE” our post about the tickets on Facebook and we’ll randomly choose one lucky dude or lady on Wednesday, August 31st!
Is the new album deserving of the 4.5/5 star rating given by Rolling Stone Mag? What kind of crazy chaotic stuff is gonna go down onstage? If you dig RHCP, we can’t think of a better way to spend a Thursday night, so get a-clickin!
The Horrors – Skying
Skying continues the evolution set in motion 2009′s Primary Colours, but with an emphasis on melody and pop form. This time, the band recorded and produced in their own studio, crafting a sound that recalls both the gothic pomp of 80s new wave and the big-screen dreaming of early-90s shoegaze, just as it was beginning to transform into chart-conquering Britpop. That the record can be heard as a catalogue of influences is nothing new for this outfit. They’ve routinely been tagged as “record collector rock” for their unabashed aping of influences from the Cramps to Can– and indeed their well-selected covers indicate a group that has spent some time in record shops. Skying isn’t likely to change that perception. The insistent chorus and Badwan’s breathy delivery on “I Can See Through You” comes off like the Psychedelic Furs run through the effects rack of My Bloody Valentine. “Monica Gems” nods to Suede with its decadent guitar swirl and Badwan’s moaning sighs. On “Endless Blue”, a horn section pops in for the floating intro as if borrowed from a James Bond theme by way of Blur or “This Is Hardcore” before the song abruptly surges into an impressive rock nosedive. The debts owed here are obvious, but the taste is impeccable, and the application is more often than not convincing. Read the full review on Pitchfork
The Rosebuds – Loud Planes Fly Low
Losing love and finding love are equally potent muses, and The Rosebuds are adept at turning both into seriously catchy songs. The North Carolina indie-pop sweethearts got divorced after 2008’s Life Like, and Loud Planes Fly Low is the sound of Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp working through their failed past to arrive at a functional future. Making the record was reportedly grueling, but the resultant emotions are the realest felt since the duo’s exuberant 2003 debut, Rosebuds Make Out. “Swooning” and “romantic” might be odd adjectives to use at this juncture, but they still apply in full force. Read the full review on The AV Club
Patti Smith – Outside Society
Punk-rock-poet-priestess, Mapplethorpian-anti-pin-up-queen, rabble-rousing-riot-grrl-archetype: Patti Smith is your go-to rock icon when it comes to underbelly doppelgangers of Pat Benatar or Stevie Nicks. Since the release of her 1975 debut Horses, she’s done the audacious thing (30-odd years later, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger” still shocks), the Top 20 thing (she made Bruce Springsteen’s “Because the Night” a viable, and successful, single), and the oddball reinvention cover thing (her take on Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” with none other than Sam Shepard on banjo, is a spooky Americana delight). This 18-song primer, out August 23, spans Smith’s entire career, thankfully skirting the more ponderous poet-concept pieces in favor of straight-up rock music. Read the full review on The Boston Phoenix
Check these new albums out in the headbanger listening station
Decapitated – Carnival is Forever
Polish tech-death metallers Decapitated are back at it after 5-year hiatus inflicted by a bus crush, the death of their drummer, and the near dissolution of the band occurring thereafter. They still sound heavy as hell, but with a slightly different approach which incorporates more prog influences from bands like Meshuggah. Overall, a good comeback. Looking forward to more.
Check this out if you like Vader, Death, and Necrophagist
Alestorm – Back Through Time
In a world where power and folk metal are dominated by the cheese of bands who wish they were vikings or medieval dragon-slayers, it’s refreshing for a band to essentially satire everything about the scene. Alestorm is a group of Scottsmen who base their sound on pirates. It’s the ultimate in cheesiness, but in all the right ways. If you haven’t heard anything else by them, Back Through Time would be a fine introduction.
Check this out if you like Ensiferum, Tyr, and Swashbuckle
Scattered Trees – Sympathy
A deep, heart-wrenching, lyrically driven album. Stripped down and to the point, but with beautiful, unique sounds throughout. A truly therapeutic and emotional album. Watch this video and try not to laugh.
The Horrors – Skying
This album verges on the side of trippy. Lots of synths and filters here, paired with some very airy vocals. Reminiscent of some 80s classics. Nice touches of feedback and reverb sprinkled in. Take a look at this cool vid!
Archers of Loaf – Icky Mettle
This reissue is packed with all the short, catchy tunes you may or may not have listened to back in yester-year. Lo-fi and nostalgic – it’s alt. rock at it’s best. Very garage-y and fuzzy. Don’t miss it this time around! (check out this old-school video below, it’s an oldie but a goodie!)
Here’s some new stuff in the Headbanger listening station. Come in and check it out!
Pestilence – Doctrine
These Dutch tech death behemoths have been at it a long time. Doctrine is the much anticipated follow up to their 2009 comeback release Resurrection Macabre. Here, we see them changing their style up a bit, notably in the vocal department, where Patrick Mameli explores the extent of what his voice can do. It’s a nice breath of fresh for a band that’s been around 20+ years.
Check this out if you like Immolation, Atheist, and Deicide
Sepultura – Kairos
A mainstay (or rather, the centerpiece) of the Brazilian metal scene, Sepultura have been making music consistently since 1986, never skipping a beat. Kairos continues where A-Lex left off, but also acts as an exploration into the band’s 25-year history. Fans of any of the band’s eras, from the death metal of the ’80s to Cavalera’s leadership, will find something to enjoy in this one.
Check this out if you like Soulfly, Machine Head, and Pantera
Trivium – In Waves
Most metalheads have either a love or hate relationship with Trivium. They are, for all intents and purposes, entry-level metal, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be good. For newbies to the genre, In Waves (and the rest of their catalogue) is a great place to start, but even the experienced listener won’t be totally turned off by this album.
Check this out if you like The Black Dahlia Murder, All That Remains, and Killswitch Engage
Eleanor Friedberger – Last Summer
Unlike Matthew’s solo forays, which amplify his compositional idiosyncrasies (see his current Solos series featuring one instrument per album), Eleanor has chosen an immediately pleasant pop/rock mode and found many colors within it. For instance, “Inn of the Seventh Ray” has numerous numerical antecedents in past Friedberger songs “Seven Silver Curses”, “Seventh Loop Highway”, and “Cabaret of the Seven Devils”, but the song stands out within this already impressive run by virtue of its comparative unfussiness. A couple of piano and guitar chords repeat, and are embellished, and longing echoes in the singer’s voice. Three quarters of the way through the song, nearly all of that is scaled way back, and she sings over some background “ooohs” that are surprisingly haunted and affecting. Read the Full Review on Pop Matters
Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter – Marble Son
Throughout this gorgeous collection of music Sykes’ voice crisscrosses the paper-thin rift between deep pain and true bliss, enabling songs to drift into the ether in between. Slower moments build with a creepy, meandering flow before bursts of swirling psychedelic rock attack that would make Comets on Fire proud. This is heavy. Read the full review on Glide Magazine
MellowHype – BlackenedWhite
…even as it nods toward accessibility, BLACKENEDWHITE works as yet another fascinating, bizarre, expectation-defying piece of work from a group of young artists who don’t make anything else. And unlike the others, this one features zero rape threats. For neophytes, Tyler’s Bastard is still the place to start; he’s the group’s figurehead and most talented member, and you really have to confront how fucked up these kids are if you have any interest in engaging them. But BLACKENEDWHITE pushes them closer to humanity without sacrificing the weirdness that’s so central to their appeal. They’re not out of surprises yet, and they probably won’t be for a long time. Read the full Review on Pitchfork