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Track of the Day

We’re generally encouraged to post new tracks here, but as I haven’t quite given Sunderland four-piece the Futureheads’ fourth record, The Chaos, a proper listen yet, I didn’t really have any relevant options. Then I remembered this supremely unique, supremely awesome Kate Bush cover (listen to the original here), which pretty much launched the band’s career back in 2004. It’s everything a cover should be – fun, tongue-in-cheek with the proper amount of respect, and arguably better than the original. The only shame is that the band still hasn’t come close to topping it six years later.

The Chaos comes out this Tuesday.

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Admittedly, when I first heard Ys by Joanna Newsom, I was hardly thrilled to say the least.  However, Have One On Me has an intangible aura to its three disc, two hour album that borders along a unique blend of folk and classical modern style.  Needless to say, now I see Ys and Have One On Me as albums that are nothing short of incredible, and “Soft as Chalk” is a peek at what Newsom and Have One On Me can provide.

Party Mathematics

Out of all of my new musical finds this year, none have captivated me as much as Noumenon. The Chicago area math rockers just released their Big Scary Monsters debut Party Mathematics earlier this month and really there is no more fitting a name for the zany, technical bliss that is Noumenon. The flippantly titled “Algoresrhythm” is an off-kilter bundle of ever shifting melodies that’s tied together by what may be one of the catchiest god damn vocal hooks of 2010. By the way, did I mention that their EP can be downloaded here?

Noumenon – Algoresrhythm

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OJ Simpson
Here is a bonus track from Guilty Simpson and Madlib’s collaborative album OJ Simpson. The choruses are Motown soul smoothness, but the verses are subtle and laid back, letting Simpson’s deep, authoritative voice take over.

Guilty Simpson and Madlib – “Friends Only”

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With Chamberlain Waits, one of 2010’s early punk standouts, The Menzingers have garnered comparisons to melodic punk heavyweights The Lawrence Arms and Sink or Swim-era The Gaslight Anthem, and rightfully so, as their sound seems to fall perfectly between the two. “Time Tables” is the stand out off their sophomore album and if there ever was a criteria to writing a fun punk song, they’ve got most of the boxes checked: harsh/melodic vocal trade offs, uptempo riffs, nostalgic/relatable lyrics, and sing-a-long gang vocals come together in what is surely one of the best punk songs 2010 will offer.

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I would have loved to post some Janelle Monae here today, but such is the excitement around her outstanding new album that I’ve been beaten to it. Luckily, one of dubstep’s kings of utter filth has just premièred his latest sonic assault.

Diving further into the gutter than even last year’s Choke on Coke EP (and its delightfully tasteful artwork), “Disturbed” is just that. The bassline on this track isn’t even a bassline – it sound like more like the growling, gaping jaws of a demon-possessed monster of the kind John Carpenter might fantasize about in a particularly twisted moment. Hell, one of the top rated YouTube comments on the track insists that it’s ‘dirtier than Bin Laden’s wank flannel‘ – do you need a higher recommendation that that?

I’ve always had a soft spot for The Killer’s Hot Fuss. That’s why I was excited to hear “Easy Answers”. Tapping into the same electro-pop vein as the Las Vegas quartet’s debut, Paul Bethers’ new single rides a towering wave of pulsating synths and anthemic vocals to create an infectious sing-a-long vibe. With summer right around the corner, “Easy Answers” is bound to get a good work out in your car stereo.

Paul Bethers – Easy Answers

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“Keep Your Eyes on the Road” is the first single from Paul Marshall’s new project, Lone Wolf, and serves to introduce the new project as the new face of Paul Marshall (mustache included!) with the accompanying music video. Marshall pays tribute to one of his musical influences, Peter Gabriel, by making the video a tribute to Gabriel’s 1987 music video “Sledgehammer.” The stop action animation mixed with claymation creates a tripped-out Fantastic Mr. Fox atmosphere, and manages to both emote Marshall’s lyrics and pay direct tribute to the animators of Gabriel’s team. According to Lone Wolf’s label, Bella Union, Gabriel and the animation team have “seen and approved” the video. The music is equally as impressive, demonstrating Marshall’s ability to take what could have been a great acoustic folk song and expand it into a fuller statement.

Lone Wolf – Keep Your Eyes On The Road from Bella Union on Vimeo.

For reference, here is Peter Gabriel’s original video:

Read the full review of Lone Wolf’s album, The Devil and I, here

Remember Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2? As a 14-year old kid interested in skateboarding, videogames, and pop punk, this was pretty much it. This game was my introduction to a number of great artists including Millencolin, Consumed, and Lagwagon. My favorite track on the album was “May 16″ and I always try to make a silly point of listening to it today. My summer break after this game came out consisted almost exclusively of laughing at the ridiculous game physics, teaching myself punk songs on guitar, and getting injured trying out tricks on a home made half pipe (with maybe two inches of actual vert). I hope it invokes the same kind of nostalgia in you that it does for me.

Lagwagon – “May 16″

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THPS2

Dude…

If there’s a band that better embodies summer than Philadelphia-based five-piece Free Energy, I haven’t found it. Driving with the windows open, hitting up the beach, lazing away on the couch with absolutely nothing to do or plan other than doing whatever the hell you want – summer is just as much a feeling as it is a season. And Free Energy’s superb debut, Stuck on Nothing, encapsulates that indescribable sense of freedom better than anything I’ve heard all year. Summer’s here: don’t let it go to waste.

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Jadea Kelly is perhaps best known our readers as the voice of Kezia on Protest the Hero’s 2005 album of the same name, but in the ever-expanding Toronto roots music scene her work with the progressive metal outfit is little more than the prologue to her ever-growing solo career.

Eastbound Platform, Kelly’s second album, was released two weeks ago to the day and has already been met with positive reviews from Exclaim! Magazine and CBC Radio—expect SputnikMusic to join these ranks shortly. Praises of her work is warranted, as the album shows the evolution of a once nervous performer who—in her on stage debuts with Protest the Hero—occasionally struggled to find her voice in the band’s often boisterous, hairy-chested performances. Nervous no longer, Jadea has taken takes her soft spoken demeanour and turned it into the quiet confidence of an artist who now bleeds self-assurance (although not literally, I’m sure).

“Never Coming Back” is the lead track off of Eastbound Platform and features a uniquely groove-laden take on a traditional country rock track. On top of Jadea’s stated vocal performance, make note of the interplay between the bass’s walking plod and shifting guitar lines, all of which climax in the tracks’ wind-swept refrain. Listen to the track below.

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Written…

The closing seven minutes of Mouth of the Architect’s new EP The Violence Beneath should sound freakishly familiar to anyone that remembers the best of 80’s rock music or has a parent that does. It takes a few minutes to realize that the post-metallers are covering Peter Gabriel’s 1986 pop-hit “In Your Eyes” because the massive hooks and gentle crooning have been replaced by sluggish volume swells and ghostly howls, but once you get it, it’s hard not to crack a smile.

Mouth of the Architect – In Your Eyes

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“Do the Astral Plane” is Flying Lotus’ late-album reminder that you’re supposed to be having fun. Forget all the self-serious overanalyzing. Don’t mind the perfect scores and the dazed, knee-jerk responses like “blown away” or “shit-hot.” Enjoy precisely what holds this collage of experiments above its pretensions: you can laugh, long and hard.  From that goofy opening beatbox to the sweeping strings, right down to the album’s most generous and easily digestible beat, Flying Lotus bounds across the line between cred-approved irony and actually surrendering to these melodramatic DJ tropes, amping up each element in an ascending escalator of synths and horns. Anything goes by the time you’re thinking “free jazz” at the expense of Nintendo glitches. I can only imagine what “do the astral plane” can mean for a track this flamboyant and sexy.

Note: This youtube version of the song includes the outro of “Mmmhmm,” the track preceding this on Cosmogramma. This is preferable for your listening pleasure for the sake of continuity and, well, it’s great. Just really great. Tell all your friends.

Cosmogramma was released May 4th on Warp Records

The Opus is an instrumental hip-hop project out of Chicago, and they’ve just released their latest EP, Praying Mantis.  The EP is jam-packed with seven dense tracks of strong beats and interesting samples, with a flair for ambient openings.  Oddly, the EP begins with “Divorced”, labeled as a bonus track.  I have yet to see a version of the EP without the “bonus” track, and I couldn’t imagine a better opening to the EP.

<a href="http://theopusonline.com/track/divorced-bonus-2">Divorced (bonus) by The OPUS</a>

It’s a little bit difficult to call Crown on the Ground a pop song. While the vocals of Alexis Krauss are firmly rooted in accessible, catchy melodies, they’re caught in a whirlwind of Derek Miller’s (ex-Poison The Well) aggressive, in-your-face instrumentation, a flurry of dense guitar wailing, handclaps and loud, buzzing synths that engulf what is otherwise so sweet and simple. Go loud or go home. The best part is, for all its disorienting, decibel-abusing madness, it’s actually fun.

Their debut album, Treats, drops May 11th on M.I.A.’s NEET Recordings label.

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