Jim Noir- Tower of Love: Review

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Like most musicians, Jim Noir’s been influenced greatly by musicians from the past. Listening to his music it’s quite obvious who they are. Despite this, Noir has done a splendid job creating his own unique sound. A brand of pop music slotting him gently between the Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel and Belle and Sebastian. Tower of Love is his debut album, which fans of the aforementioned should find a modern day breath of fresh air.
Highlights from the album include ‘Computer Song’. Noir holds back the vocal melody, which combined with some delicate guitar picking creates a poignantly expressive pop tune. Title track ‘Tower of Love’ sounds like a lost instrumental track fallen straight from the pages of Pet Sounds. Rounding out the album is ‘The Only Way’, which at just under seven minutes long will transport you to a little piece of springtime paradise.

Jakob, City City City and Operation Rolling Thunder (Live) Review

Monday, August 28, 2006

Jakob, City City City and Operation Rolling Thunder- Friday 25th August at the San Francisco Bath House, Wellington

It's shocking to think Friday's gig was my first 'A Low Hum', but I'm not gong to crap on about my slackness. The latest 'A Low Hum' tour bought us Operation Rolling Thunder (Dunedin), City City City (Melbourne) and Jakob (Napier) I hadn't seen any of the bands before, but I'd read good things about City City City and Jakob hail from my hometown.
It was an interesting experience to say the least. Operation Rolling Thunder, a two piece with drums and guitar rocked hard without doing anything exciting. They didn't really make me nod even nood my head, which isn't that hard to do. The only thing they achieved was to make me anticipate City City City's arrival.
The first thing I noticed about Ned Collette (Guitar and Vocals) was his amazing guitar, my friend Fi instantly fell in love with him. In his Aussie twang he announced "Hi we're City City City from Melbourne", made some silly hand gesture to his sound tech and slipped into the first song. Finally after about an hour a band that had vocals. I don't know why, but on this particular night I really wanted someone to sing to me. These guys were great; the crowd didn't really get to into it though which was a bit disappointing, maybe they weren't cool enough for Wellington's hipstars. Finishing with the title track ('The Perimeter Motor Show') from their debut album, they left me well happy.
All age's gigs suck, the bands have to play twice in one night meanimg the R18 gig always starts real late. And at 1am when a band came on without a vocalist I was ready to fall asleep. Fi and I both agreed, Boring! However Jakob were better than Operation Rolling Thunder, I enjoyed thirty seconds here and there but that was about it. I can positively recommend City City City, I'll be happy to see them play again. The other bands sound good on the free CD I got with the cover charge, but live their brand of music didn't do it for me.

New York Dolls- one Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This: Review

Finally I'm back online. I have just moved flats, so I've been without internet for a week or so. There will be a few reviews published in the next few days.

New York Dolls- One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This

Thirty-two years ago the New York Dolls released Too Much Too Soon; the album instantly became a cult classic. The next year they disbanded, never to record again. Until now! Yes the dolls are back, lipstick and all, with a brand new line-up and a complete album of original studio recordings.
Unfortunately like most ageing rockers, this album has limited appeal. Middle aged, cigarette smoking Rolling Stones fans will love it, but despite guitarist Sylvain Sylvain’s claim "The kids wanted this", they will not. If the title One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This is a declaration, maybe the band don’t love the album that much either. It seems this album was more about having fun than trying to create a classic, and that’s fine. If they can still enjoy playing after all these years, good on them. After all this is only the bands third studio album.

Peter Bjorn and John- Writer's Block: Review

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Writer’s Block is the third full length album from Swedish sensations Peter Bjorn and John. However it’s the first to be made available in New Zealand. With all the hype, it could be an album this country really embraces. It’s already been a huge success in Britain, BBC Radio labelling ‘Young Folks’ the hit of the summer.

Released around the same time as fellow Swedish indie rockers The Concretes and Shout Out Louds, this album emerges superior. With its catchy experimental tunes, thanks largely to Peter, Bjorn and John rotating lead vocal duties, they have managed to capture an audience unattained by their counterparts. ‘Young Folks’ might be the single attracting all the attention, but with a list of songs this good, Writer’s Block could be on many peoples ‘Album’s of the Year’ lists come December.

Ramones- Greatest Hits: Review

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Honestly, I was never really a Ramones fan. This Greatest Hits most definitely changed my mind. I have finally been able to recognise their influence on the progression of music.

Here's the review

When Creem magazine reviewed Leave Home in 1977 they wrote, "The Ramones are the tradition-smashing, door-opening Beatles of New York Rock". They went on to say the Ramones have paved the way for a new era in rock n roll. Of course they were talking about punk and the associated sub-culture. With their simple four-cord structure, they fast became the leaders of a music revolution.
This Greatest Hits compilation displays, better than ever the simplicity of the Ramones sound. Opening with ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, the album runs through countless classics, including ‘Sheena is a Punk Rocker’, ‘Rockaway Beach’ and ‘I wana be Sedated’. Also included are a few not so well known tracks, like the Barry/ Greenwich/ Spector written ‘Baby, I Love You’. The album closes out with ‘Pet Semetary’ and the 1985 hit ‘Wart Hog’
Dedicated to Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee, this is a must for any fan yet to own the entire Ramones back catalogue.

The Strokes- First Impressions of Earth: Review

Monday, August 07, 2006

Here is another old review. I thought I'd republish it because The Strokes played in New Zealand last week.

The Strokes- First Impressions of Earth

The Strokes lead rock and roll in a new direction. Following on from their first two albums, First Impressions of Earth again brings completely fresh sounds to the table. For their third release, the band has adopted what sounds like a new age space themed approach, going beyond limitations to combine sci-fi sound track music with alternative rock.
The musical composition remains The Strokes biggest strength, however the vocals of Julian Casablancas seem a little tied and dry. His voice has never been the most exuberating, but you could put up with it. Unfortunately by the end of this album you'll be cringing. The band even play over top of him on several songs. Thankfully Albert Hammond Jr and Nick Valensi's guitar work more than makes up for it.
It's a solid performance, and where several bands have failed recently The Strokes continue to excel. To say this is better or worse than their other work is unfair. Wait and listen for what music becomes popular over the next few months, then judge the The Strokes by the influence they have on the progression of alternative rock.

Jefferson Pepper: Christmas in Fallujah: Review

Friday, August 04, 2006

Jefferson Pepper- Christmas in Fallujah
Reviewed March 13th 2006

A quick glance at the album cover reveals a close resemblance to Jefferson Starship. A quick listen to the music and you discover something very different. Yes, this is a Christmas album, but not in the traditional sense. It’s a Christmas album that shatters the festive spirit, reminding us of the horrors of war at a time when we are happy thinking about ourselves. It’s fair to say you won’t want this album playing as you unwrap your presents on Christmas morning.
Christmas in Fallujah is a highly fueled political protest album, similar to those made during the height of Vietnam in the early 70’s. It’s a bit rock, a bit country, with a David Crosby, John Sebastian San Francisco sound mixed in between. Subjects are lined up like soldiers and shot down one by one. President Bush is the obvious target, but Woodrow Wilson, Enron and even the Wizard of Oz get a good working over.
Ten of the twelve songs are originals, the exception being ‘This Land is Your Land’ written by the legendary Woody Guthrie, and a traditional instrumental piece ‘Soldier’s Joy’. The album is rounded of by a hidden track (‘Plastic Illuminated Snowman’), that seems to pay homage to the record label American Fallout. As another bonus you can also purchase the artwork pictured throughout the liner notes. If you hate Bush, hate capitalism and hate the bloody war, this album speaks for you. Just remember they will always tell us "It’s not about the oil".

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