Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Two in one day…Apex Manor and No Joy

I’ve got two out of Dusted’s three reviews for day, writing about the gritty power pop of Apex Manor and the shoegazing languor of No Joy. They’re both really good. Both also fall under the rubric of “indie rock”, I suppose, though you’d have a hard time mistaking one for the other.

Here’s a bit about Apex Manor (which is an offshoot of The Broken West).

Apex Manor’s Ross Flournoy [was] the main songwriter behind the Broken West, who, after that band’s demise spent about a year adrift, carless in suburbia, drinking amiably with his neighbor’s yard workers and unable to write a line. He roused himself, finally, in response to an online songwriting contest. He wrote “Under the Gun” in a hurry, to meet a deadline, and it’s a rough piece of work in the best possible way. A big brawling song, full of walloping drums and brash, aggression-jacked guitars, it sounds like The Replacements on a good night, just before they pass out. And yet, even at its fuzziest, who-wants-to-fight aggression, the song is smarter than it needs to be. As far as I know, the Mats never rhymed “solipsize” with “apologize,” or anything else.

The rest of the review.

A video for “My, My Mind”

No Joy is way cooler, dreamier and more female-centric…and though it technically came out in 2010, it’s one of my favorites for the year so far.

No Joy’s approach, I said, recalls both My Bloody Valentine and Jesus & Mary Chain (especially female-assisted cuts like “Just Like Honey”), except for one critical factor. The effected guitars that swath fragile melodies are played not by male don’t-look-behind-that-curtain impresarios, but by the women themselves. Both Laura Lloyd and Jasamine White-Gluz are primarily guitar players, not vocal window dressing, and if they want to cover up girlish charms under washes of feedback and distortion…well, it’s their voice, isn’t it? Er, their voices…right. Illiteracy, it’s a constant battle.

The rest of the review.

Here's "Hawaii," by my count, the second best song on the album.

No comments: