Music / CD Reviews

 
 

ALBUM OF THE FORTNIGHT
Artist:
Baddies
Album: Do the Job

Rating: A+ Like a bludgeoning to the side of the head, Baddies’ Do the Job takes the listener by surprise. Grabbing you by the shoulders and shaking you about, the tracks are bursting with boom, bang and smash.

Kicking off the fest of heavy guitars is ‘Tiffany… I’m Sorry’ featuring an unforgettable riff that’ll have you bopping in no time at all. ‘Battleships’, with its weighty melodies, sinks us neck-deep into an explosively catchy song, even more addictive than ‘Tiffany…’ with a ‘woop, woop, woop, woop’ refrain.

It doesn’t stop there – this rock fest continues with excellent anthems like ‘Pisces’. There are some Green Day leanings mixed with Ash-style bass techniques, and all in all, this punk/rock/indie outfit are excellent – Do the Job must be added to your collection!

In a nutshell: Job done, in spectacular fashion!

Catherine Maguire

Artist: Lou Barlow
Album: Goodnight Unknown
Rating: C-

For an aging and supposedly washed up rocker, Lou Barlow has been surprisingly active of late. In addition to recently reissuing all of Sebadoh’s classic albums, he has partaken in a successful Dinosaur Jr reunion tour. On the back of all this, he has now recorded his second solo album; however, none of its fourteen tracks are a patch on the exquisite albums such as III, which he played an integral role in creating. While there are traces of the ramshackle genius of songs past in effervescent, guitar-driven numbers such as the title track, the majority of the album sounds tiresome and musically predictable, with Barlow seemingly content to go through the singer-songwriter motions.

In a nutshell: A needless addition to Barlow’s discography.

Paul Fennessy

Artist: Arctic Monkeys
Album: Humbug
Rating: C-

In all honesty, upon first listening to this album there is nothing outstanding about it. There is definitely an Arctic Monkey vibe, but that’s all otwo can say. We listened to it again and again, hoping for some sort of well draped musical epiphany, but nothing happened. They stuck to their signature sound and that’s about as much effort as they could muster.
‘My Propeller’ starts off slow and dull, not propelling us anywhere, and as the record progresses, matters remain the same. For a band lauded for its originality, the Arctic Monkeys’ latest effort represents nothing but measly iPod filler for diehard fans only. It’s so boring, frankly, they could bottle it and make a living selling it to insomniacs. Bah, Humbug.

In a nutshell: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Catherine Maguire

Artist: The Mountain Goats
Album: The Life Of The World To Come
Rating: B+

The Mountain Goats have committed commercial suicide. The North Carolina-based band have created a concept album whereby each track focuses on a verse from the Bible, a move guaranteed to generate displeasure in their home country where songs merely mentioning the word ‘God’ are routinely censored. Nevertheless for all The Life Of The World To Come’s lack of marketability, the songs are still undeniably appealing. Despite the album’s ostensibly impersonal theme, its intelligent lyrics are inflected with lead singer John Darnielle’s customary idiosyncratic touch, while his band shows a clear favouritism towards natural, pure-sounding instrumentation. This fact, combined with its religious allegories, may cause some to label it as this generation’s Spirit of Eden – a considerable compliment, but one that is not without merit.

In a nutshell: Almost divine.

Paul Fennessy

Artist: Yo La Tengo
Album: Popular Songs
Rating: B-

Popular Songs is the latest of fourteen offerings from the New Jersey trio.  Following the acclaim of 2006’s I Am Not Afraid of You release, this album shows no signs of their abilities waning; reprising their mellow, assured songs.  And while the album doesn’t always present immediacy in music, it makes up for it by enveloping the listener in snug quietly captivating melodies.

Drifting between stylistics, their attentive lyrics are drenched with orchestrations.  The opener, ‘Here to Fall’ immediately gushes with shoegaze strings and keyboards. ‘Periodically Double or Triple’ displays a sparser, funk-laden edge whilst ‘More Stars Than There Are in Heaven’ is dense and ebbing.  Musically the songs diverge cautiously between genres, which at times can lack consistency. Yet lyrically, the tracks remain lucid, with themes that touch on the familiar but never appear contrived or forceful.

In a nutshell: These songs resonate a wistful yearning that certainly wouldn’t go amiss on any summer soundtrack – too bad it’s already September…

Eimear O’Reilly

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