Tag: Album Reviews
An uncannily similar escapist fantasy underlies the arc of both this Sydney artist’s six-track debut EP, and Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are.
In 2006, Los Angeles four-piece Silversun Pickups became a youth radio staple with their debut single ‘Lazy Eye’ – and it’s easy to see why. With its perfect combination of pressure-cooker vocal punch and a ridiculously simple and infectious guitar line, it makes you want to dance around your bedroom alone while your cat observes in disdain. But despite selling a bunch of records on the back of that one song, the band seems to have fallen into semi-obscurity. Their sophomore album Swoon in 2009 (which actually had a few great songs) is now sales-bin fodder, and they are yet to recapture the genius that was that breakthrough track. With Neck Of The Woods, the band ventures towards new-romantic synth pop to counter-balance the stadium rock riffage.
In case you miss the cover-art clues (Texas-shaped front cover photo; bruised Lone Star-branded knuckles, Mustang Range matches, a bowl of bullets and sugary cereal pictured on the inside sleeve), Mystery Jets made this album in America, which must have really blown their minds or something.
2 marries the cerebral folk of Ned Collette’s first two major releases with the heady avant-rock of his third, without marring the nuances or bombast of either. The music is still guitar-based, but the focus has shifted. The album is measured and balanced in its arrangements, focusing on classical guitar over electric or acoustic, and making more prominent use of dark synth textures and Joe Talia’s inventive percussion than before. And the arrangements, though careful, are richly detailed, playing to the strengths of the songs rather than vice versa.
Catherine Kelleher ceremoniously welcomes us to her long-awaited The Warmest Place with a hymnal, echoey a capella title track giving way to the crunchy, mechanical beats of ‘August’, which she wrote on the anniversary of her father’s death. “Are you in the warmest of all the places?” she asks in a flat, drawling vocal that belies a throat-catching emotional frailty: “Are you watching me from somewhere safer?”