That being said, lets get to the paydirt. Audio Orgasms as I like to call them.
First off is actually an older release:
Audio Orgasm One
Animal Collective's Strawberry Jam
Released: September 11, 2007
Sounds Like: Grizzly Bear, Sunset Rubdown, Les Savy Fav
Climax Tracks: Fireworks, Derek, Peacebone
If you've been a fan of the quirky quartet since their 2000 inception then you've jammed along to their less accessible efforts Here Comes the Indian, (personal fav) Feels, and Hollinndagin. Fans of this genre-transcending band know that their music is both eclectic and uncomfortable, radical and familiar. Just as fans become accustomed to a particular effort, AC shocks us with something unexpected; transcultural, euphoric, technological, abstract, then direct.
A chamleon of a band, AC's newest, more mainstream effort Strawberry Jam is just as sweet as it sounds. Die-hards will once again be taken aback by the new mixture of synth ambiance and psychedelic vocals. And newcomers whose earlier impressions of AC efforts would include "cacophony of noise" or "rambling lyrics" might be pleasantly surprised with just how engaging and relatable this release is. That's not to say this album is easy listening. Like many-a-favorite album, Strawberry Jam has the ability to frustrate and confuse before enjoyment or appreciation can follow. However, if you like a small challenge this album is a MUST have. Though I can't say the album artwork makes me fire up the toaster, I will say this album satisfies the sweet tooth with more vigor and perseverance than any condiment ever could. Strawberry Jam has enough appeal to keep you entertained and enough substance to keep you curious on that inevitable 30th listen.
Audio Orgasm Two
Band of Horses, Cease to Begin
Released: October 9, 2007
Sounds Like: Matt Pond PA, Rogue Wave, Death Cab for Cutie, The Shins
Climax Tracks: No One's Gonna Love You, Windows Blues, Ode to LRC, Is There a Ghost, Marry Song
If you know me, you know I love this band. Maybe their humble Seattle beginnings give me a little of a hometown bias. Though its much more likely that my love affair with Ben Bridwell's vocals, being the longest and most committed relationship I've had, keeps their newest release on repeat. Ben draws repeated comparisons to My Morning Jacket singer Jim James. Another torrid love affair that I can't get into now. Don't want Ben getting jealous.
Though the band is really a baby in terms of musical heirarchy, it is obvious to fans that their music transcends only two releases. Ben, Creighton, and Rob have been around music for much longer than the four years they've played together. In fact, original founding members Ben and Matt Brooke, who left the band last year, were part of the now-deceased Carissa'a Weird before organizing the group that would catch critical acclaim and cult-like followers opening for Iron and Wine.
Cease to Begin has the similar ambiance and instrumentally haunting elements of its outstanding predecessor, Everything All the Time. The loss of Matt has effected neither the poignant lyrics or powerful vocals. And although some critics claim the album is less than thrilling, I think fans will be pleasantly surprised by the band's personal growth. I myself admit to feeling trance-like after Cease to Begin ceases. However, I must chastise those who were underwhlemed by this latest effort. Band of Horses has not only solidified their talent by conquering the ominous sophomore slump, but also surmounted a challenge many musicians fail at, adaptability. Despite losing a founding member, Band of Horses has remained true to their original sound and core audience, simultaneously incorporating new and pioneering sounds. Get back "Nay"- sayers, this band has enough Horsepower to take you to take you around the track infinitely.
Audio Orgasms Three - Six
- Stereophonics, Pull the Pin
Climax Track: It Means Nothing, Bank Holiday Monday
- Beirut, The Flying Club Cup
Climax Tracks: La Banlieu, Nantes
- Boys Noize, Oi Oi Oi
Climax Tracks: Lava Lava, Oh!
- Keane, Little Broken Words
Climax Tracks: To the End of the World, Emily, What a Wonderful World
Stay tuned for Tomorrows Review (Surprise) and for a new mixtape in the LTK series!
In the meantime check out the latest LTK playlists to get "chosen" over at FIQL; both are currently displayed on the front page of the website.
Old Favorites... New Light