To Die By Your Side

Life is just a flame

June 4th, 2011

I mentioned in my last post that I was really enjoying the new Thurston Moore album. More so with each listen. So I thought I’d post a couple of session version of songs that are on it. The album is a pretty understated acoustic affair but don’t worry because Thurston hasn’t exactly gone folk. Nor has his sound really changed that much from the day job of Sonic Youth. Rather, this album sounds how latter day Sonic Youth would sound if they didn’t bother plugging their instruments in.

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Then I stop and think

May 27th, 2011

So this is a rather lovely little song from a darling little album. Although, having said that, I’m not as enamoured with Cat’s Eyes as a lot of people seem to be. The reviews have been pretty unanimous in their praise and while I don’t necessarily disagree with them, I wouldn’t agree with them entirely. The record itself doesn’t have any glaring faults and I can’t quite put my finger on why I don’t completely love it but alas, there is something missing for me. It seems a little bit too much like an exercise in producing a certain type of music, rather than a natural evolution of a sound.

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When you’ve finally submitted to embarrassing capture

April 20th, 2011

As good an album as ‘Drums And Guns’ undoutedly was, it wasn’t the easiest of listens from Low. Where their previous albums had a warm, intense fragility to them, that release was cold, harsh and uncompromising. It was an angry album. One that seethed with a dissatisfaction that the band had never shown before. It felt at times like being given the cold shoulder by a friend but not knowing why. It made for a diffcult listen. An album you could admire without necessarily loving. ‘C’mon’, the bands latest release sees them return to more familiar territory.

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Last week I was mostly listening to …

April 18th, 2011

I seem to have been listening to loads of new music over the last week or so without having had enough time to dedicate to any of them. Amongst the pile are two big new(ish) releases that I was really excited about hearing but which seem to have just gotten lost amongst everything else. So while I’ll say a few words, bear in mind that they’re more like rough sketches of thoughts rather than any fully formed opinions.

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This kiss of death keeps us a mess

April 11th, 2011

Before anyone says anything, yes, I realise I’m about a year behind on this one. Better late than never I guess. I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t pick up on the Dum Dum Girls last year. I guess there’s no major reason, they just never really registered on my radar. If I’m honest, the only reason I started listening to them now is because I saw that they’ve recently done a cover of The Smiths‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ and I wanted to see how badly they’d butchered it. Imagine my surprise when I listened to it and discovered that they’d actually done a pretty darn good job of it. Managing to keep the charm and bruised beauty of the original, while stamping their own identity on it. With Morrissey and Marr being so idiosyncratic and having sat through far too many god awful Smiths covers, it’s always something of a pleasant shock when someone’s actually able to do their songs justice. More than that though, it made me want to investigate their own music and having done that, I’m pretty much hooked.

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I ain’t yet right to come down

April 6th, 2011

I’m pretty sure The Low Anthem are capable of producing a truly stunning album. Someday. I’m just not sure they’ve achieved it yet. Not for me anyway. With ‘Smart Flesh’, their latest release, they’ve certainly edged closer to doing it and were you to ask me what it’s lacking, I’m not entirely sure I could tell you. Though seeing as that’s kind of the point of this blog, I guess I should probably have a go at trying.

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Oh how I look back and reflect

April 2nd, 2011

Apologies for the lack of activity around here this last week. Things have just been really busy and finding time to sit down and write anything has been nigh on impossible. To say I’ve been sleeping well would be an understatement. So I figured as I hadn’t spent much time writing about the music I’ve been listening to, I’d try and spend the next few posts doing a quick round up of the records that have been rocking my ears recently. Not that it’ll be an easy task as 2011 is turning into a great year for new releases and there’s quite a few records currently in rotation. If the year continues like this, come December it’s going to be a task and a half narrowing down my favourites.

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Sing the song of don’t belong

March 23rd, 2011

I’ve been looking for a reason to post these Ryan Adams session tracks for a while now but alas to no avail. Then, like the old cliche about buses, two have come along at once. First up is news that Ryan is gonna be doing a shortish European tour in June, of which the man himself has said ‘I wrote some new tunes this winter on my acoustic guitar. I think I’d like to play them for whoever wants to hear them.’  Now I’ll be honest and say that I was very excited by this news as I’ve only seen the man himself once and that was a full band affair. Which was good but probably not as good as a solo acoustic performance is likely to be. Sadly my excitement was short lived as a quick look at the dates and venues showed that he’s not really coming anywhere near me so chances are, I won’t get to see him. The second reason for posting these songs now is that I’ve finally gotten around to listening to ‘III/IV’, the double album he released last year with The Cardinals.

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It’s been a week too long

March 15th, 2011

One of the reasons I like the self titled debut album from Yuck so much is that it reminds me of some of the music I was listening to back in the 90s. That alternative indie sound that had the catchy melodies of British indie, mixed with the harder edge of the American alternative rock scene. The kind of stuff that was critically acclaimed but never seemed to quite crossover. It was always just bubbling under the radar. Neither mainstream enough to fit into Britpop, nor hard and scuzzy enough to be marketed as part of grunge. Fuzzy and lo-fi, rough around the edges, aggressive yet vulnerable. It’s a sound and style that Yuck have got down to a tee.

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Will you follow your hearts plan?

March 11th, 2011

There’s something delightfully infectious about Grouplove. Something that just makes you want to be a part of it. They sound like they’re having the time of their lives and just want to include everyone in their giddiness. To bring the world together in the communal embrace of their songs. Talk about living up to their name. What’s impressive is that they manage to do it without manipulating you. There’s no cult like awkwardness. At no point does it seem like you’re overdosing on niceness or drowning in a sickly, sugary, sacharine mess. 

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