Friday Music: What's Yellow And Dangerous?

There really isn't anything hockey related that I really feel like addressing today. Shea Weber's arbitration is slowly approaching, they're expanding Bridgestone Arena by a hundred seats, and Preds fans are so desperate that some are looking to Chris Drury as potential free agent to bring on board. Yikes. Oh, and the Predators signed Tyler Sloan. It isn't entirely clear if this guy is a hockey player or the new head of group ticket sales. I'm sure we'll all find out when training camp rolls around.

The reviews start after the break. Also, there is a special feature today! Well, depending on what your threshold for special looks like.

Bomb The Music Industry! - Vacation (free from quote unquote records [you can also donate])

Not a Have Heart album cover
 I have to say; the new Bomb The Music Industry album is boring. Boring compared to a lot of the other albums I’ve listened to so far this year and boring compared to past BTMI albums. With a few exceptions Jeff Rosenstock’s frantic, ranting delivery is muted and much deeper in the mix. It is a strange thing to hear and I guess the lyrics to Vocal Coach told a story that had a deep effect on the album as a whole. The use of synths is far less pronounced than ever before, there are no hints of Arrogant Sons of Bitches-style ska riffs, and the eclectic instrumentation is far more traditional. The instrumentation is one strange element of the album; at times I feel like Jeff was just layering instruments like a bean dip that got away from the cook and is now being served in an office wastebasket. A lot of the songs on Vacation feel like they come from a garage-based pop rock band. Not a bad thing if done well… yep. Lyrically there is nothing new on the album. Jeff spends the album singing about the struggles of being an adult, although they felt more depressing than on previous records. The last couple of tracks are certainly more traditional and overall more enjoyable. One of the cool elements is that the last song uses chiptune in place of the more familiar synths that Jeff traditionally uses. It worked, really well. I hope that the chiptune bug has bitten Jeff because the results could be fantastic.

The album is free, so you can listen to it. So instead of posting a song from the album I'll just leave this here:

Heartsounds - Drifter (iTunes Link)

This is from their website, it is a promo photo.
Sometime over the past couple of years there seems to have been an explosion of bands reviving 90s-style punk. Well, except for The Gaslight Anthem. They seemed to have missed the target, ripped a hole in time, and landed squarely in the 1960s. I say this because Heartsounds definitely has a sound that harkens back to the technical and skate punk sounds of the 1990s. If you can listen to this album and not feel the influence of Strung Out then you’re either listening to the wrong album or you’ve never listened to Strung Out. But Heartsounds bring something more. Singer/guitarists Ben Murray and Laura Nichol make quite the pair having provided drums and vocals, respectively, for death metal band Light This City (fantastic name by the way). The pair harmonizes wonderfully all the while weaving together some beautiful and energetic guitar riffs. The entire album is just infectiously engaging from start to finish. I do have one knock against the album, and it is only one song on the album. The last verse of “Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Open” contains the line: “Don't you know the kind of shit they can make out of shit?” Ok, I could sit here and talk about ways this line could be clever or funny, but no matter what it sounds terrible. It isn’t the strongest track on the album, and that line puts a stake in the song’s heart. But hey, no one’s perfect.

This is a must listen album and will easily challenge for a top spot on my end of year list.

The Five Best Names of Musicians Involved in Making BTMI's Vacation

5. Joel Hatstat: there is a fantastic number of T's in such a short name

4. Aidan Kohler: this is of course the third major love interest that was meant to appear in the Twilight Series. Aidan is a hundred year-old poltergeist that uses his ghost powers to hit on underaged girls. You know, for Joey Smith or whatever.

3. Ginger Alford: clearly the missing player token from Clue.

2. Skylar Suorez: there is no doubt that he's the half-Hispanic, half-WASP version of James Bond

1. Witt Wisebram: more aliteration, and a name that wouldn't be out of place in the 19th century. Also breaking down his name you've got wit, wise and brahmin... so this guy is like a punk rock Gandalf the Grey or something.

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