Saturday, June 5, 2010

Aloha – Sugar

This album takes me back to a time when I was first sort of thrust into all the indie underground stuff. Granted, in middle school i got into the hardcore that was going on in Syracuse and through that found about about other hardcore bands. High school brought more post hardcore DC type stuff into what i was listening to. I also got more into 90’s alternative rock stuff. But after high school was when I started to really get into indie rock and what had been and was going on to my oblivious mind. Aloha was one of the many bands I found in that time that opened me up to different ideas musically. Aloha set the standard for the sort of jazz/post rock influenced indie rock band. They weren't Tortoise. There is enough of a pop sensibility to their songs that there is the chance for a crossover to someone that is not hip to post rock or anything like that. The vocals play just as important of a role as the vibraphone does. Which is often not the case with post rock bands. Considering a large portion of them are instrumental. This record start to finish is set up to sort of just move all together. Seamless transitions between songs make it seem like it is one long song.  And to view it like that, would be a bit much. I mean, there is ALOT going on with this record. There are all sorts of ideas. Whether they be lyrical, musical or whatever else. Sometimes, I have to admit, that it can become a bit much if you don't know what you are getting into. Thick layers of all sorts of sounds. Keyboards, Percussion, Sounds, Vibraphone, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Etc. Sometimes it seems like the songs come to the brink of falling apart into some sort of noisy collapse. But they find their way back every time. I’m not trying to scare anyone away. This record is fucking great. It has some amazing moments. Some beautiful musical movements. Some outrageous drumming. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, a drummer really makes a band in a lot of ways.  At least for certain kinds of music. The album is always interesting. Mathy. Ambient. Technical. Music at its best in a lot of ways. I don't know if this is really Aloha’s best album. I just know its the one I’ve listened to the most over time and have grown most attached to. Songs like “They See Rocks”, “Let Your Head Hang Low”, “Balling Phase”, “Protest Song” and “We Get Down” seal it for me. Okay, I just named like, half the album. haha. I don't care. That just shows how awesome this record is. If you are into post rock influenced indie rock, or indie rock influenced post rock, listen. Experimental music? listen. I think even my hippie coworker could dig this record. haha.
Download The Album Here
Buy It If You Like It

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cap’n Jazz – Burritos, Inspiration Point, Fork Balloon Sports, Cards in the Spokes, Automatic Biographies, Kites, Kung Fu, Trophies, Banana Peels We've Slipped on and Egg Shells We've Tippy Toed Over

The term emo has been thrown around so much. And it means different things to everyone. If I mention emo to my mallcore coworkers at P&C, I’m sure they would think of some MTV2 band i could give two fucks about. Its very sad. Me? Well, I’m informed. At least to the level that I know it can mean a bunch of different things. haha. Cap’n Jazz was the frontrunner in the Chicago emo (and later indie) sound. Musically taking cues from a lot of the emocore acts from DC like Embrace (maybe more so Fugazi. though I consider them post hardcore, not emo) and Rites of spring while adding their own ideas to make the music they put out completely original. Cap’n Jazz were all a bunch of young turks when they started the band. Barely teenagers. And while a lot of the present day emo is young whiney bands, they NEVER came off that way. Even with singer Tim Kinsella’s voice cracking as he sung and screamed, their lyrics were never typical of where the genre has gone. The band is really more likable to post hardcore, but that is what emo was originally. At this facet of it anyway. haha. Weird how something can change so much. This is the only full length Cap’ Jazz ever put out. They were on some different comps, 7’s and splits. But truly, these are the best songs they have. And they broke up pretty much right after this came out. All their songs, except for the song “Naive”, were later rereleased on the compilation CD “Analphabetapolothology.” That is where me and pretty everyone else that wasn't back around going to shows in 93-94 first heard the band. And these 12 songs were featured on the first CD. This album is otherwise known as “Schmap'n Schmazz.” Which realistically is a easier album title, but personally not as fun. haha. This recommendation comes sort of as a precursor to their show I’m going to see next month. Reuniting after like 15 years. Besides being there own beast of a band, the list of bands that the members of this band started afterword is unbelievable. Check the tag on this post to see all the bands that were formed by the ex members. All gold in my opinion. Just like this album. Seriously, start to finish. Great, youthful, passionate, energetic post hardcore. I cant imagine you haven't heard them. Or at least heard of them.
Download The Album Here
If you like it, buy “Analphabetapolothology” on CD or soon on Double LP.