Here are two reviews of albums that could not be more different...well, maybe they could, but they're pretty different. Loud stuff first, quiet stuff later.
Take It Personally
Take It Personally is the Starlite Desperation’s third full-length, and their first formal outing since Violate a Sundaewas released by Capitol’s Cold Sweat imprint in 2004. The songs, apparently, had a long gestation period. You can hear a couple of them on a WFMU radio show from 2004, DJ’d by Dusted contributor Mike Lupica. Three of the best cuts – "We Don’t Do Time", "My Violin" and "I Lost My Bees" – made their first appearance on a tour-only CD called We Don’t Do Time.
Despite the evident time lag, there’s nothing stale about this CD. It’s fresh, taut and ferocious, its garage rock primitivism in uneasy equilibrium with glam-tinged flash and posing. Consider the riff on "I Lost My Bees," the bass muttering, the guitars off the rails like "Peter Gunn" gone mad. The sense of darkness, the echo, the drama all remind me of the Wipers, but there’s a lush theatricality in these tunes at odds with post-punk’s minimal aesthetic. For a good 30 seconds, on the 12/8 blues, "I Love This!!," singer Dante Adrian sounds exactly like Freddy Mercury, all flourish and preen above gritty guitar vamps.
Here's that radio show
And speaking of WFMU, why not tune in this afternoon and listen to Stephen Stapleton of Nurse with Wound? How? When? Info here.
And a video of "Spirit Army" live in Columbus last Halloween.
And on a completely different note...here's the new one from Boduf Songs, a hushed, acoustic folk (sort of) solo project from Mat Sweet. (Not Matthew Sweet, BTW.) He's got a new one out on Kranky, reviewed in today's PopMatters.
How Shadows Change the Balance
US release date: 30 September 2008
UK release date: Available as import
by Jennifer Kelly
And even when we fall, we sigh, we sigh, we sigh
"All of my heros died in one day, all of them fallen away,” whispers Mat Sweet, the sole proprietor of Boduf Songs, as his third album opens, keeping slow time on acoustic guitar. “Swinging from nooses, wrists open wide.” It’s a shocking image, a violent, inexplicable verse, yet couched in such gentle sonic terms—a strum, a sigh, a wash of cymbals—that you may not hear it for what it is at first. There’s a thread of unease running through these eight minimalist reveries, a hint of supernatural dread, and yet also serenity and loveliness. They are so quiet that you really have to listen—no car CD, this one—but once you do, you are drawn in to a mysterious other space.
The rest of the review
There are a bunch of Boduf Songs, packaged up in a zip file .