Saturday, September 16, 2006

Two tracks for teenage boilguts:


"You and I, like every teen, were up against the wall."
13 Going On 21, Dead Moon
Sung so imperatively – half revolution-rehash and half plowing forward – how could I resist this song? Don’t let the premature maturity fool you. That’s exactly how it feels, at times, in the no-man’s land of junior high. (La, histrionics.) There’s such truth in the imperfect vocals and the made-for-suburban-garages guitar, a conceivable sense of sadness without remorse. You can hear a driving force behind the thrumming of strings! This song was made for brick walls, escapists and half-child adolescents. (Understand my connection?)
WEBSITE: DeadMoonUSA.com
LYRICS @ LyricsDepot.com
DOWNLOAD @ YouSendIt.com



"My little nest of vipers, my little miss know-it-all."
Drive Carefully, Dear, the Paper Chase
Terrifying guitars, whined threats, bass-lines that bring foreboding. Oh yes, this is indeed a pAper chAse song. Initially it’s all imminent percussion, a forceful beat that sets toes tapping – simultaneously acting as harbinger to the troubled tone of the song. There’s some indistinct shouts and wails in the background (how nineties) and errant guitar jabs, as Congleton cuts in with his strained voice, so lunatic calm against stark drumbeats. A few second span of upward climb and the song hits it’s true aim, a frightening intimated intention and apeshit rage jacketed by ironic affectations. It’s not the least bit cut-and-paste; it’s not a song I’d recommend for long car rides in the dark. It’s a split second visitation to righteous fury, a detour along the vein of primal feelings – without being reduced to uncohesive noise.
WEBSITE: ThePaperChaseBand.com
LYRICS @ Sing365.com
DOWNLOAD @ YouSendIt.com

Friday, May 05, 2006

Clenched fist in a glove-puppet!


"I'm a good guy for a girl, so won't you look my palm over?"
Friends of P, by the Rentals
Wontedly, I love a male vocalist with a voice to be heard. A guttural English growler. A low and slow odist. An adolescent screamer, telling me about his lifetime of love. Voices that break and bend and bellow and don’t smoothly skirt around the lyrics. The Rentals fall safely into this category, though they are not my usual garage-barrage of drums and alley-cat yowling, or my second-favorite, stringy softness. There are traces of something saccharine in the chorus, where the guitars liven and the chorus girls intone, something that I like very much. His voice trips into the buzz of the guitars occasionally, as up-and-down as the strumming is, and they slip some steady drumming into the equation. Cool. This is the sort of song I want to walk down the street (hands in my pockets) listening to.
WEBSITE: TheRentals.com
LYRICS @ STLyrics.com
DOWNLOAD @ YouSendIt.com



"Is Lump fast asleep or rocking out with the band?"
Lump, by the Presidents of the United States of America
Most of my favorite twenty songs vie for top-dog in constant rotation – not so with Lump. Number seven, since I heard it on one of my father’s mix compact-discs. Guitars can be ironic and as expressive as an arched eyebrow; they prove it, with well-timed twangs and cymbals smacked at appropriate verses. Also, they know how to fuck with the tempo like fucking pros, man. Build up, build up, a slash of guitar and then slow speed again. Such a song squirms into your brain and pupates. You bob your head, you nod, your knee wobbles, you snap your fingers – a musical seizure. (I’m usually shaking my shoulders, too.) Unclouded vocals combine with excellent, excellent lyrics to make a tongue-lashing I think you should love, a song so awesome its meaning has swung from the story of a lazy groupie to necrophilia to the frontman’s penis. Boy howdy.
WEBSITE: PresidentsRock.com
LYRICS @ SongMeanings.net
DOWNLOAD @ YouSendIt.com



"If your mind should ever start changing, how would I know?"
N over C, by the High Strung
Such a strange, strange, soft song. Like the other two, this is something to be digested alone, but where Lump should send your nerves fizzing and Friends of P. should send you on a stroll through suburbia, N over C should raise a small aural palisade around you. You never know – not for absolutely sure – what another sentient is thinking; only you and solely you understand what’s in your head. Lonely, eh? Very much so, especially when applied to romantic relations. 'N over C' is reference to the abbreviation n/c, for 'no comment.' That's a marvelous title for a song asking how you can ever comprehend what's in another's head without ever answering the question.
WEBSITE: TheHighStrung.com
DOWNLOAD @ TheHighStrung.com

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Spoony, yes.


Revelation of Love, by the Blue Van
It is a simple metaphor, “I’m falling into you.” But the music is an ass-backwards avalanche of sound – graveled in slapped cymbals and drum’s beats – that bounds around Steffen Westmark’s gritrock voice. This is an honest lovesong. It lacks the inverted turn-of-phrases that candy-coat contemporary ballads. It’s a chorus and a thrumming; it’s exactly the sensation of a swandive into infatuation.
WEBSITE: TheBlueVan.com
DOWNLOAD @ MySpace.com






Is This Love?, by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Though there are many pretty poetics in this song which I can’t quite discern beyond a very vague appreciation, I love one line verily much. “You say you can't say anymore, you've already said it before, in a million different ways which were all not quite right,” speaks Alec Ounsworth’s whine, before breaking from voice for a moment of emphasis. It’s brilliant! Whereas Revelation of Love was a perfect mimicry of the whirligig of love realized, this song is that precipice just an inch away, just a millisecond before you can say the words. A tumult of sound, sometimes; others, a roller coaster of doubt.
WEBSITE: ClapYourHandsSayYeah.com
LYRICS @ AZLyrics.com