Monday, 29 August 2011

New 405 Offering

It's been a while, but I have another 405 post up over at that wonderful website; this time, it's a review of Prince Edward Island, who I gave a staunch but not brilliant 7 for a staunch but not brilliant album.

Recently I've been listening to a lot of Canadian Mother Mother's old output. They're a really fantastic band. Even though you know they never do what you expect, you still don't expect what they do. (E.g. in the chorus of 'Legs Away', both the guitar and singer slide from a minor into a major key in a single bar.)

Below is 'Hay Loft', a great track from the catchier end of their repertoire, one with immediacy and punch (others take longer to warm up, but it's all killer, no filler in the end.) The video isn't the official one, because I feel like that doesn't do the song's atmosphere justice.

That's one of their more whimsical songs, taken from the 2008 album O My Heart. I'd recommend listening to 'O My Heart' and 'Wisdom' if you want to hear some variation within that era of Mother Mother. Either way, go and discover a brilliant band before winter creeps up and you have to open up the darker catalogue.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Kaiser Chiefs, Innovators?!

My band when I was 13 were Kaiser Chiefs. My first gig ever was Kaiser Chiefs at Wolverhampton Civic Hall. Unfortunately, I am not 13 anymore, and therefore do not hear them with such excitement; indeed, the vague attachment to them I still feel is tempered with shame, because of the misery I put friends through with this Ricky quote and that Ricky quote, and because of their abomination of a filler track, 'Tomato in the Rain'.

Mostly, Kaiser Chiefs have not survived the test of time in my record collection because everybody rejects the thing they loved after a violently obsessive phase; it becomes tied to one's past flaws. But also, the lyrics. Four albums in and they seem to have forgotten why songwriters who aren't natural poets use rhyme - because it feels like they've at least tried. Here is a sample of a lyric from this album:

"Bless my heart and everything will be explained
In the diaries especially the latter part
I’ll be a somebody, I found an empty glass today at home
Give me ability turn up the pedal away from his hand"


I may not be impressed by the words, but The Chiefs have at least done something innovative fourth time round: follow the link below, and you can create your own makeshift album from twenty songs they've recorded. But are B-sides B-sides for a reason? Doesn't it take all the craftsmanship out of an album? It's a novel idea, anyway.

Go and hear the tracks.