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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 1, 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Anathema – We’re Here Because We’re Here (Kscope) – Trey Spencer
Clay Aiken – Tried & True (Decca)
Born Ruffians – Say It (Warp Records)
Cherryholmes – Cherryholmes IV Common Threads (Skaggs Family)
Taio Cruz – Rokstarr (Mercury)
Dixie Chicks – Playlist: The Very Best of Dixie Chicks [Remastered] (Sony Legacy)
Four Year Strong – Enemy Of The World (I Surrender) {UK}
The Futureheads – The Chaos (Dovecote) Rudy Klapper
Future Islands – In Evening Air (Thrill Jockey) – Kiran Soderqvist
Good Old War – Good Old War (Sargent House) – Tyler Fisher
Hawthorne Heights – Skeletons (Wind-Up)
India – Unica (Top Stop Music)
Jeff Lorber Fusion – Now is the Time (Telarc)
Jack Johnson – To The Sea (Brushfire)
Lamb of God – Hourglass: The CD Anthology (Epic)
Melvins – The Bride Screamed Murder (Ipecac Recordings)
Tift Merritt – See You On The Moon (Fantasy)
Quitzow – Juice Water (+1 Records)
Setting Sun – Fantasurreal (+1 Records)
Steve Howe Trio – Travelling [Live] (HoweSound)
Uffie – Sex, Dreams and Denim Jeans (Ed Banger Records) {EU}
Paul Weller – Wake Up The Nation (Yep Roc Records)

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Good Old War – Good Old War

Hawthorne Heights – Skeletons

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Brisbane has a lot of great bands and Nikko are one of my current favourites. Their sound has been steadily developing over the past five years, culminating in their debut album The Warm Side, released this year. Nikko’s textured sound sits somewhere between The Drones and Explosions in the Sky. “Young Liberal” is entirely instrumental and one of the best songs from one of the best Australian albums of the year so far.

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Season 9 of American Idol has finally been run and won, with Lee DeWyze emerging victorious over Crystal Bowersox. It is arguably the 2nd upset in as many seasons come the final night and one now has to seriously wonder about the voting guidelines… If one had not wondered previously.

Isn’t it Ironic, don’t you think?

Before the final decision however, there was a surprisingly entertaining 90 minutes or so with a number of left-field guest appearances. Alice Cooper, The Bee Gees and Hall & Oates were hardly predictable guests, while Christina Aguilera and Janet Jackson also added to the festivities. Furthermore, there were a couple of performers who took to the stage with the final 3 contestants and the performances were surprisingly good. Well, maybe we can exclude Lee’s song with Chicago, but Crystal & Alanis Morissette, both finalists with Joe Cocker, and Casey James with Poison’s Bret Michaels all made for an entertaining overall package.

Casey with Bret “I’m everywhere right now” Michaels.

Back to the contest, Lee firmly placed himself in serious contention on Top 3 night when he performed best when singing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Simple Man’ and fan favorite ‘Hallelujah’. This was pleasing since it finalized the elimination of Casey in 3rd position and also put the 2 finalists under serious pressure come the final night. At the end of my Top 3 column, I wrote the following words: “…but if I had my way; this…


Before watching the following clip of Rick K. and the Allnighters performing ZZ Top’s ‘Sharp Dressed Man,’ it’s important to bear in mind two things:

1. The singer (Rick K., I presume) is inarguably the least endearing and least charismatic frontman in wedding band history. If this group secured a gig on-board a cruise ship – and, make no mistake, that is their tragic fantasy – he would be thrown overboard within first sight of shark-infested waters.

2. While sparkly jackets and headsets might suggest both a sense of humour and an intention to move around, nothing could be further from the truth. Rick and the Allnighters transform one of the all-time classic boogie rock songs into a dirge so dull even the Melvins wouldn’t touch it. Even when they try to be fun, they’re not. In other words, if these guys are all-nighters, then you might want to consider going to bed before 11.

So why watch it then?

Struggle through the introduction and the first few bars of music, and you’ll see why. This may just be the smoking gun argument for gay marriage that nobody can ever deny. Gay marriage = more marriage, and more marriage = more of this guy.


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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Christy Moore once sang: “For all of our languages, we can’t communicate.” A cultured man is Christy, but he never quite reckoned for Eurovision.

To those with the misfortune to have grown up outside Europe, the Eurovision Song Contest must appear like some curious oddity, a routine quirk of a continent in which nude beaches are tolerated, excessive body hair is celebrated and the frustrated majority has reluctantly given up on the task of destroying the French, though not through lack of trying. For Europeans, however, Eurovision is one of those rare cultural events that transcends not just language and territorial boundaries, but generations too. Some countries resolve conflicts with war, diplomacy, or both; Europeans long ago resolved to settle their differences with an annual sing and dance-off. It’s just one of those things.

Musically, too, Eurovision has remained remarkably constant through the years. The break-up of the Eastern Bloc in the early 90s increased two-fold the number of countries entering the contest (as a rule of thumb, a country doesn’t officially exist until its football team has been formally ratified by UEFA; entry to Eurovision is the logical next step, and only then it can think about drawing up a constitution). Far from bringing a diverse range of new styles to the competition, the addition of all these new states has had the effect of freezing Eurovision in time, and the synth-heavy pop-rock that dominated Europe in the mid-nineties remains the contest’s dominant currency. Before, almost…


So tonight was my first night online after going two weeks without the Internet.  I discovered that Gary Coleman died and then promptly forgot about that when I found out that Hayley Williams’ boobs had finally shown up online.  It is saddening that Gary Coleman will never get the chance to see them.

Anyway, I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time.  So long, in fact, that I was beginning to think it would never happen.  Hayley Williams seemed unlikely to ever show up nude on the Internet, which is exactly the reason why I assumed she would eventually show up nude on the Internet.  But after Riot! was released and Paramore’s popularity spiked with nary a sight of Hayley’s nipples, I began to lose hope.  I shouldn’t have worried though; the Internet always comes through for us in the end.

Thanks Internet!

The picture itself is lackluster if we’re being honest.  The angle is horrible; it makes her breasts look small(er) because they’re flattened, and what’s up with that lighting?  It makes her look as if she’s a tween impersonating Hayley Williams rather than the real deal.  Also, her nose is really shiny.  And I don’t really like red lipstick.

How…disappointing.

I’m assuming that there were other nude pictures to choose from, so why did the hacker (if that’s truly what happened) pick that one?  Did Hayley offend him or her in some way?  Is this picture revenge, not only because it…


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May not be fresh content anymore, but sounds like this cannot go unposted. Recorded at his Echoplex gig on the 15th of May, this sick version of Galaxy in Janaki by Flying Lotus will undoubtedly ruin the album version for you. Nevertheless it proves to be yet another reason to check out Cosmogramma for those few poor souls yet to do so.


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.


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First, I’d like to say congratulations to our three newest contributors. Please welcome Jared Ponton (Observer), Eric (SeaAnemone) and Magnus Altkula (Metalstyles).

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of May 25, 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Aeon – Path of Fire (Metal Blade Records)
All Time Low – Straight To DVD [Live CD/DVD] (Hopeless Records)
Marc Anthony – Iconos (Sony U.S. Latin)
Beach Fossils – Beach Fossils (Captured Tracks)
Black Tusk – Taste the Sin (Relapse)Adam Thomas
Boom Boom Satellites – To The Loveless (Sony Japan)
The Cure – Disintegration [3-Disc Reissue] (Rhino/Elektra)
Current 93 – Baalstorm, Sing Omega (December 1971) (Coptic Cat)
Disbelief – Heal (Massacre Records)
Enemy of the Sun – Caedium (Massacre Records)
Far- At Night We Live (Vagrant Records) – Ryan Flatley
Integrity – The Blackest Curse (Deathwish Inc)
Leela James – My Soul (Stax)
Bettye LaVette – Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook (ANTI-)
Mammutant – Atomizer (Massacre Records)
Marina And The Diamonds – The Family Jewels (Atlantic) – Davey Boy
ReVamp – ReVamp (Feat. Ex-After Forever Vocalist) (Nuclear Blast)
Rosetta – A Determinism of Morality (TRANSLATION LOSS) – Andrew Hartwig
Shad – TSOL (Black Box Recordings)
Shiv-r – Hold My Hand (Metropolis Records)
Smashing Pumpkins – Teargarden By Kaleidyscope Vol. 1: Songs For A Sailor [Box Set] (Rocket Science)

Those of you who have been keeping up with UK festivals this year will know that one of the headline slots at the UK’s biggest rock festival was given, for some reason, to a lumbering, crippled dinosaur of a band, with their best years over 2 decades behind them and a deeply egotistical, deeply irritating singer seemingly intent on officially becoming the world’s biggest tool guiding them ever further into mediocrity. The festival goers who were duped in parting with around £150 of hard-earned for a ticket have been praying every day and every night that this band – who are still living off the glories of three not-that-good singles from a not-that-good album released in the 1980s – will pull out and allow somebody relevant to take their slot.

Unfortunately, Guns n Roses are still scheduled to play Reading and Leeds.


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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Last week, I posted a review of an album called Fantasy Memorial by a small independent band called Dinosaur Feathers. To put it lightly, the review was not one of my friendliest. In case you don’t remember, or just didn’t read it, I called out Dinosaur Feathers for being incredibly derivative and hollow, using elements from other bands to create something that was supposed to sound sweet and sugary but came off insincere, lacking the honesty necessary to validate the content of Fantasy Memorial, though the exact words I used were something like “Dinosaur Feathers are a bunch of shit-eating Chicken McNuggets.”

round here, we call that a #10 meal

When the band found my review, they weren’t happy, but were interested in doing an interview. I was taken aback at first, but I was intrigued because a band I trashed with abandon was interested in even giving me the time of day. The following interview is the result of a week of emailing and discussion about Fantasy Memorial, what makes good music good, and whether or not Dinosaur Feathers will kill you.

AD: First off, I’d like to thank you guys for this. Not many bands would give the writer of the review I gave Fantasy Memorial the time of day, much less volunteer to do an interview with him. So let’s get down to it: my main argument in my Fantasy Memorial review was that, as you put it, “it resorts to cheap…


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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Mainstream Biffy

Approaching winter down under, it was predictably crisp in Melbourne this past Wednesday night as approximately 700 people waited to enter The Hi-Fi Bar and Ballroom, to see Scottish Alt-Rockers Biffy Clyro strut their stuff. While I know some gig attendees prefer to be surprised with who are supporting the headline act, this night proved why I am exactly the opposite. Unannounced, local post-rock quartet These Hands Could Separate the Sky appeared and proceeded to open up with a 10 minute instrumental. Considering Biffy Clyro’s newfound gain in popularity, the support could not have been more poorly chosen. I am definitely no post-rock expert, so these guys could have been the greatest band of all time for all I knew. However, the fit was bad and the lukewarm response they received proved it.

Post-Rock…Ugh!

Following a rather long tuning session of all instruments by 2 roadies, the Scottish trio finally arrived on stage to anything but a lukewarm reaction. Raucous is a more appropriate description as Biffy Clyro tore straight into my #4 song of 2009; ‘That Golden Rule’. Even more energetic and frantic than the studio version, the symphonic finale was barely missed since the guys worked like a well-oiled machine all night to produce a stunning musical accompaniment to Simon Neil’s rapid-fire, pleading howls. For the following hour and a half, one could not help but be extremely impressed by the front man’s ability to pull…


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