As you may have noticed, I'm not updating this blog as frequently as I did when I first started it. With my work schedule being the way that it is, I don't have as many opportunities to search for new music, much less listen to and review it.
This doesn't mean that I'm giving up on this blog, because I know there are at least a few people that read it. At the moment, however, I'll probably be keeping up with my current pace of one new update a week (usually on Monday, time permitting).
Thanks for reading, and keep checking back for new free music!
Monday, January 11, 2010
Artist Website: We Swim You Jump
Netlabel Website: Subroutine Records
1 - Sharks2 - Sparks Fade Out
3 - 1234
4 - Frames On The Wall
5 - This Thing Will End
Download links: [Bandcamp]
Over the weekend I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a new music discovery website, thesixtyone and spent several hours playing around on it. The site is like an RPG of sorts, gain experience from discovering/listening to music, complete quests, grow in levels, etc. One of the many bands I discovered and enjoyed through the website was We Swim You Jump, with their self-titled EP.
According to one of their bios, We Swim You Jump draws influences from Elliot Smith, The Posies, and Loney Dear, but I've never listened to any of those groups before. Basically, We Swim You Jump is a five-piece indie/rock band with folk influences. One thing I enjoyed about their EP is that no point is their music too indie or too folk. They manage to maintain a nice balance throughout the five songs, which not only will help to make sure that they don't alienate possible listeners, but also makes the listening experience a more entertaining and exciting one, since you aren't exactly sure what the next track might sound like until it begins playing.
The album opens with Sharks, a lighthearted, shoegaze-ish feeling song. Right from the get-go, I was quite impressed with their tight vocal harmonies, and the fact that while the vocals were crystal clear throughout, they were not overpowering the band. After the first track, the mood of the EP immediately shifts to a more heavy-handed folk sound in Sparks Fade Out. This was my favorite track of the record, due to the presence of a piano and backing string section, as well as the somber mood of the song. 1234 resumes the faster paced, rock feeling of the first track, and Frames on the Wall follows suit. This Thing Will End is the shortest track on the album, but is the perfect closer, and a beautifully written song.
A great band with a great EP. Download it from their Bandcamp page for free.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Artist Website: Bomb the Music Industry! on Myspace
Netlabel Website: Quote Unquote Records
1 - Cold Chillin' Cold Chillin'2 - Stuff That I Like
3 - It Shits!!!
4 - Fresh Attitude, Young Body
5 - Wednesday Night Drinkball
6 - 25!!!
7 - $2,400,000
8 - Gang of Four Meets the Stooges (But Boring)
9 - 9/11 Fever!!!
10 - (Shut) Up The Punx!!!
11 - Can I Pay My Rent in Fun?
12 - Saddr Weirdr
13 - Sort of Like Being Pumped
Download links: [MP3]
Happy New Year everybody, sorry I'm a little late in getting back into the swing of things, but cross-sountry travel seems to have that effect on me. Anyways, here's the first review of 2010, hope you enjoy it.
I realize that I've dedicated several reviews so far to Jeff Rosenstock's various musical projects (including one BtMI! review), but I figured this was as good a time as any to review Scrambles, since it ranked at #2 in Punknews.org's Top 20 Albums of 2009 and #3 in the user-generated Top 20 list for Punknews.org (plus, this is my blog and I can do whatever I want!).
If you've listened to any BtMI! before (including their debut album which I've already covered), then you should have an idea what you're in for. The overall sound of the group has remained intact throughout their work, although Scrambles seems to have a little less ska and a little more acoustic to it (see Cold Chillin' Cold Chillin', Wednesday Night Drinkball, etc). This is not to say that I don't thoroughly enjoy the slight change of pace, and there are definitely enough catchy punk/ska tunes on the album to get my fix from. The punk songs that are present on the album, such as Stuff That I Like and Can I Pay My Rent in Fun? seem fuller and much more polished than songs in previous albums.
What I found to be a real treat was the accompanying information that Rosenstock provided on the album page on Quote Unquote Record's website. Not only does Jeff describe how the album came to be (I find it amazing that they were able to record a whole album for so cheap), but he adds a little backstory before the lyrics of each song to provide insight into their meaning. It was the song info that I found so useful, seeing as how Jeff's music always centers around personal feelings and experiences, and the extra information helps the listener relate more to the music. The only real downside that I can find with the album is that Jeff's style of singing sometimes make it hard to understand the words (although if you are listening along with the lyrics page open, you shouldn't have a problem).
It was tough for me to pick out my favorite tracks of the album, because like I mentioned above, Rosenstock did a wonderful job of drawing me into each song and making me care about each one individually. If I had to pick a few tracks to definitely listen to, I'd probably go with Wednesday Night Drinkball, 25!, and Gang of Four Meets the Stooges (But Boring). I'm not going to go into details about what the songs mean or the lyrics, because honestly you should read them yourselves, I don't think I'd do them the justice they deserve (The link is listed in the previous paragraph).
In conclusion, mikexdude over at Punknews.org said in his review of Scrambles that "Jeff Rosenstock is slowly becoming the only voice in punk that matters", and I'm inclined to agree with him.