Feature Friday #1

Here is my first "Feature Friday" where I'm going to present some of the music to which I've been listening.  Typically The band and album will link to the bands website or store and I'll provide a second link that should take you to iTunes if that's your thing.

Today we've got two very different bands in the indie pop sounds of Washington and the punk fueled rock and roll of the Blacklist Royals.

Washington is a one woman indie pop project that works really hard to be an indie pop project.  Dense, upbeat instrumentation and interesting musical arrangement carry the fun lyrics and genre adequate singing.  Not to say that Ms. Washington does have vocal talent, its just not exemplary in the world of female indie rockers.  Overall its a good album, except things get a little dull starting with track nine.  The first eight tracks are either incredibly fun numbers or stripped down, soft pieces that are shocking beautiful in their simple nature.  After that the album gains an "already done that, and done it better" feel.

One of the best things I can say about this debut album is that Washington is totally honest about what she's presenting you, an unabashed indie pop album.  That being said it feels kind of pretentious at times, but seeing that she made this album on her own I think she earned that right.  In the end I've got high hopes for her future work because there is potential for Washington to stake out her own little indie pop corner in the world.

Blacklist Royals - Semper Liberi (iTunes link)

I discovered these Nashville boys earlier this year in my never ending quest for un-distilled rock music. Blacklist Royals occupy a broad genre of punk-and-roll that was really popularized by the instant classic Gaslight Anthem. The band definitely falls more on the punk end of the spectrum with the crunchy guitar, gruff vocals, and occasional cursing and sneering. Oh, and these boys definitely have some Nashville country/southern rock flavor that lets everyone know that they as know as much about Springsteen as they do about the sounds that define their city.

One of my favorite things about this album is the seamless integration of a piano instead of you know… more guitars. When a punk band throws in a novel instrument I always get concerned that it will either turn into a gimmick or it will be lost in the cacophony, distortion, and reverb. BR step right around there and just allow the whole thing to work and add a refreshing flair to the album. Tennessee Blues is a stand out track on the album since it not only features the wonderful piano work, but also some fun fiddling that fits right into the heart of the band's sound 

And since some will wonder, Semper Liberi translates to Always Free.

1 comment:

willn's said...

Brilliant review, I like Megan's lyrics all the songs are Divine, While the latter are Original and good quality. Love this band they’ve worked so hard, so many years. They remind me of my school days as one of its members looks like my friend I graduated with in school.