Thursday, June 25, 2009

Indie/ Alternative Rock

Alright, now this is a hard one to tackle.
I think within the next two days or so, after I'm done doing a brief overview I will make a list of everything I have done so that it is extremely easy to navigate, and then I shall do some editing and what not. It will be good.

The Arcade Fire- Funerals
The only negative thing I have to say about this album is that its at the start of the alphabet, and its going to be really hard to find something else this good to put on this list. Many would argue that Neon Bible should be here in place of Funerals, and I might agree with that if I had discovered them in a different order. But with how truely unique sounding this band is, its really hard to forget the first time you become submersed into one of their records.
Notable Tracks- Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels), Rebellion (lies) and In The Back Seat.

Athlete- Beyond the Neighborhood
A very very solid alternative rock album. Good voice, good song structure and excellent use of synths. This album is nothing too epicly special, but it still deserves a mention.
Notable Tracks- Tokyo, The Outsiders and Second Hand Stores.

Band Of Horses- Cease To Begin
I really really like the guitar harmonies across this album, its nothing too special, but it was really nice to here the radio blasting something that appeared to take some musician ship and some innovation in song writing. His vocal range is nice though, I'm not to much of a fan of lyrics that almost appear recycled, but thats just my opinion on that matter.
Notable Tracks- No One's Gonna Love You, Detlef Schrempf and Is There A Ghost?

Bloc Party- Silent Alarm
There are so many things one could mention about this album, one thing I will mention, is how the rest of the Bloc Party's albums disappointed me. This one seems to have had so much effort and soul put into it, while the others just seem to be written in a rush to profit off the success of this one. I guess I can see WHY they would want to do that, it just made the band go in a direction I was not happy with. But this album, once again, start to finish, fucking spectacular. There is so much energy and yet they don't rely on the pure energy to push past sub par guitar lines and vocals, they keep it all up to an extremely acceptable level. Its damn good.
Notable Tracks- Like Eating Glass, Helicopter and This Modern Love.

Blonde Redhead- 23
So Blonde Redheads career has to be one of the weirdest careers I have ever heard of, and thats only for one reason. Every single album they release is way better then the last, this is so unheard of. I mean, if they only had two or three albums it might work, BUT throughout all seven of their albums I can count what order I like them chronogicly. I really like this, because it just makes me that much more excited for their new record. Anyways, back to 23, it is there 7th full length album, and there is absolutely no filler anymore. From start to finish it is such a solid experimental rock that it still surprises me with the places it goes.
Notable Tracks- 23, Dr Strangeluv and The Dress.
Honorable mentions to their previous album, Misery Is A Butterfly, that one is pretty solid as well.

Bonnie "Prince" Billy- I see a darkness
While most of this guys career is a mystery to me, and all of his other CDs I have checked out havent done that much for me, this one is stands out on my playlist as a very very unique sounding album that is deffinitly on the darker side of moods. It has this really strange depressing feel, maybe its something in his very spacey almost non sensical instrumentals, or his very soft spoken timid voice. I don't know, I can say that this is an album that needs to be heard.
Notable Tracks- I See A Darkness, Death To Everyone and Madaleine-Mary.

Broken Social Scene- You Forgot It In People
Now this is a summertime feel good album, but that does not mean that there is not a lot of in depth effort put into it, its just that all of that effort appears to be a party on record. The key to the Broken Social Scene is that they have soo many members they almost appear to be having a party on stage, but what they do know how to do is only use certain members and instruments when they are needed, as oppose to just throwing them in because they are there. This is really important factor that makes this really worth listening too.
Notable Tracks- KC Accidental, Almost Crimes and Pacific Theme
On that note, the acoustic version of Almost Crimes is just bonkers, check it out. I believe its on an Arts and Crafts label sampler.

Built To Spill- You In Reverse.
Wow. This is such an important album in my collection that I can't stress it enough, one problem I have with it though is that I have no love at all for the first song. Well thats okay with me, due to the rest of the album is just so perfect it makes up for it. I would suggest buying this album, skipping to track 2 and giving it a listen. One thing you need to know about Built to Spill, is that the entire band is centralized around the main singer/ songwriter and the rest of the band are different session musicians hired for each album. This leads to every album sounding incredibly different, so do not be turned away from You In Reverse if you had bad experiences with Built to Spill before, for example, I can't stand to listen to any of there other albums. But for some reason this one holds a place for me.
Notable Tracks- Traces, Liar, and Gone.

Bush- Fucking Up
Another live album yes, but this album is the perfect description of Bush. It has songs that span from the start to the end of their career, they DO make mistakes on it because they are just a 4 piece rock band. At the end of the grunge era when Bush starting coming up, people called them Nirvana rip offs and them were blown out of porportion by a couple singles, but alas, they are a very VERY solid rock band. This album shows that. None of the over production and studio marketing gimicks they had through out their career, just a solid rock band playing a couple of their songs.
Notable Tracks- Warm Machine, Machine Head, and Greedy Fly.

The Cure- Trilogy
This is going to be the first album to get a major review. There is no way I can some it up in a couple paragraphs. I will make this review soon.

Desaparecidos- Read Music/ Speak Spanish
A sort of pop punkish effort from Bright Eyes front man Connor Oberst. The lyrics all seem to have to do with middle class living. While not near as deep as Bright Eyes albums, this one is still a fun listen. It has a very poppy vibe and make good summertime background music.
Notable Tracks- Man and Wife, The Latter (Damaged Goods), Survival Of The Fittest and Man And Wife, The Former (financial planning)

Devotchka- How It Ends
An extremely good multi instrumental band. While the album does have a lot of down notes, the songs that are good are just unbelievable. It is very hit or miss, but when his voice lines up in perfect sync to the crazyness of the experimental instrumentals it is a very very powerful thing to experience. I would suggest checking out a few tracks.
Notable Tracks- How It Ends, Dearly Departed and You Love Me.

Fleet Foxes- Ragged Wood
Holy. Fucking. Vocal. Harmonies. No idea how any of these songs even began to come into being, but I guess they did it, seeing as I'm listening to it right now. First discovered this band on Conan 'Obrien, and did they ever catch my attention. I love hearing of a band near the start of their career, now I can follow them. Anyways, this is more of a folk rock album I guess, filled with a lot of vocal harmonies and mad song writing skillz in general. Go forth and listen.
Notable Tracks- He Doesn't Know Why, Heard Them Stirring and Your Protector.

Foo Fighters- The Colour and Shape
This album is just classic, I guess it was just on a lot for a lot of important times in my life, I don't know why, but I can't help by smile everytime I hear it through.
Notable Tracks- My Hero, Everlong and Hey Johnny Park!

Kings Of Leon- Only By The Night
Well I can't claim I have even gave a listen to their other records, and certainly can not say "I liked them BEFORE they were cool", I can say that this is a solid rock album. At first I liked the single off this album (Sex On Fire) but I assumed that it was just another band that has a good single and then the rest of the album is sub par, but someone threw on this cd at a party or something and I have to admit that it is damn good. Its really catchy throughout its entirety, and has solid vocals and instrumentals that seem to blend together really well.
Notable Tracks- Sex On Fire, Manhattan and Closer.

Manchester Orchestra- I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child
This is probably one of the catchiest records I love that trade catchy-ness for quality. While I was not impressed with their next album, Means Everything To Nothing, this is an album I will keep coming back too. From start to finish its non stop catchy brilliance.
Notable Tracks- Where Have You Been?, Wolves At Night and I Can Barely Breath.

Matthew Good Band- Beautiful Midnight
I guess Matt Good is going to be the first person I mention for two separate records, thats probably because he knows how to make records. K-I-C-K A-S-S, thats the way we spell success. The opening cheerleaders chanting at the start of this album explain it all. Chances are years ago you have heard a good portion of this album playing on the radio, I suggest revisiting it.
Notable Tracks- I Miss New Wave, Hello Time Bomb and Load Me Up.

Modest Mouse- The Moon And Antartica
There are more music critic arguements about what the best Modest Mouse albums on the net then stars in the sky.... well this is my favourite, so take that internet. I believe it combines every good element about Modest Mouse and wraps it up in a well produced beautiful package. The main problem is that when I stop listening to this album it refuses to leave my mind for days, but I guess it gives me something to think about while I'm at work so I can't complain that much. Its damn catchy, I guess its up there in catchativity as the Manchester Orchestra's- I'm Like A Virgin Losing A Child. Check it out.
Notable Tracks- Gravity Rides Everything, 3rd Planet and Paper Thing Walls.

Muse- Absolution
This album is almost TOO epic at parts, and I usually like my epic meter cranked too 11. But alas, the multi intrumentals, the powerful voice and the weaving of the two together create a music that some may claim is pretensious, I just think it sounds brilliant. Nothing too much I can say about this album that your radio didn't tell you a couple years back.
Notable Tracks- Stockholme Syndrome, Time Is Running Out and Hysteria.

The National- Boxer
This album sounds like it was written specificly for montage moment on the O.C., and now that I am looking it up apparently the first track, "Fake Empire" was on several T.V. shows, such as one tree hill. This is one of those albums that regardless of tempo changes or intrument changes, it creates a solid never changing atmosphere that makes a full play through totally worth it. For some reason this album sounds better when its night time, I have no idea why.
Notable Tracks- Fake Empire, Green Thumb and Mistaken For Strangers.

Neverending White Lights- Act 1:Goodbye Friends Of The Heavenly Bodies.
Sooooo I don't know how to describe this one. Fucking incredible, the second one might be better, I haven't decided, but I have been attatched to this album for so many years that it will make the cut. Insanely talented multi intrumentalist and producer Daneil Victor creates a brilliant array of instrumentals, sings on a couple, and then does what most singers refuse to do.... admit there are a lot of people out there who could sing his songs better. And its not that he has a bad voice, he actually has an incredible voice, I guess he just decided that others could fit his music better. A very extensive list of perfectly selected guest vocals that I dont even know where to begin talking about it, its really an essential album.
Notable Tracks- The Grace (Dallas Green), From What I Once Was and Angels And Saints.

A Northern Chorus- Bitter Hands Resign
This is probably the most under-rated band I know of. Signed to Sonic Unyon in Hamilton, Ontario, this band blended unique a beautiful melodies and rythms across 4 masterpiece albums, and yet never seemed to achieve that large of a fan base. For example, they played their final show at a bar with a capacity of 350 people. Anyways, back to the album. Something magical was going on A Northern Chorus entered the studio to record this album. Every moment is so clear and concise as far as production goes, which I find is a huge problem in most bands that don't appear to have major label support in their recordings. The sound of every vocal line, guitar sound, bass sound and drums seemed to be handpicked to fit the vibe of every moment. This masterpiece of an album should be known to everyone. Go out and get it.
Notable Tracks- The Shepherd And The Chauffeur, This Open Heart and Winterize.

Offspring- Smash
Just classic.
Notable Tracks- Smash, Killboy Powerhead and Self Esteem.

People For Audio- The New Ancients
Man, this band is underated to the point that WIKIPEDIA doesn't even have a slight blurb about them. The fact that not more people know about how talented these guys are is saddening. I can't even begin to describe the ambience of their live shows, but it is deffinitly something that needs to be seen to understand.
Notable Tracks- Black Memory White Whale, Captain, and From City To Country.

Pixies- Death To The Pixies
A double disc album, first one is a "best of" and the second disc is live, it covers everything was good about their career. The pure energy and insanity style of music the Pixies laid out is legandary and has left its influences to so many well known artists that I don't know where to begin with talking about them. They are deffinitly worth getting into. Apparently this album went out of print back in 2004 and was replaced in the catalogue by Wave Of Mutilation, but i prefer this one. I was lucky enough to find a copy in a garage sale, but its probably spread across the internet. The combination of Punk and Surf Rock that is very evidently spread across this album can't help but make one smile, and then feel extreme angst all at the same time. Gorgeous.
Notable tracks- Where is my Mind?, Gauge Away, Hey and Here Comes Your Man
yeah, I couldnt pick only three.

Placebo- Meds
Ahhh Placebo, what a unique sound and band. Either you find his voice god awful or you can't get enough, there is not much room inbetween room with this band. Meds may NOT have the single best Placebo songs there is to offer, but it is the album that from start to finish is the most consistantly well done. I don't believe there is a track on this album I skip over if I have time to listen through the full thing. I believe this album is the very essence of the Post Punk Revival that has been plunging through the underground since around '99. This is good stuff.
Notable Tracks- Meds, Post Blue and A Song To Say Goodbye.

Queens Of The Stone Age- Songs For The Deaf
One of the greatest rock albums ever. I can't describe it without going on for pages, so I will do that later.
Notable Tracks- No One Knows, Go With The Flow and Hangin' Tree

The Racontuers
I am such a huge fan of Jack White but couldn't get into this band. I will say this though, the vocal pattern in the verses of Broken Boy Soldiers is probably my favourite vocals Jack White has done.

Raising The Fawn- The North Sea
Anouther extremely underated band signed to Sonic Unyon, John Crossingham (of the the Broken Social Scene) fronts this unstoppable rock trio (well, unstoppable until they broke up). The pure power they on stage I witnessed years ago is still something I still brag about until this day.
Notable Tracks- The North Sea, Gwendolyn and The News.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers- Californiacation
We have all heard it. Its fucking classic.
Notable Tracks- Otherside, Californiacation and Scar Tissue

Silverchair- Diorama
This album has some the best orchestral and vocal work done to it, not to mention thats is production quality is borederline obsurd. The entire musical direction of this album changes from song to song proving that Daneil Johns can almost write anything he feels like. If I could props all of Austraillia for creating this wonderboy, I would.
Notable Tracks- Across The Night, One Way Mule and Tuna In The Brine.

Silversun Pickups- Carnavas
Yes, the lead singer is a male and yes he does rock your face off while sounding quite feminine on occasion. This album sounds like garage rock fucked pure talent and creativity and gave birth to a very talented team of engineers to take care of its parents. A lot of the songs were staples on the radio for a while, but I highly suggest getting indepth and intimate with the full length of this album.

Songs Ohia- The Lioness
Simply stunning. I am not that big of a fan of most other Songs Ohia work, but The Lioness has a bleeding honest throughout it that is impossible to miss.
Notable Tracks- The Lioness, Coxcomb Red and Black Crow.

Sonic Youth- Rather Ripped
How my favourite Sonic Youth album came out to be there 15th full length studio album is beyond me, but I find this cd to be the high point of their carrier. It takes everything I have ever loved about Sonic Youth, improves upon it, throws it on this record and does away with a lot of the filler that appeared on previous albums. Deffinitly the best guitar work by far done by this band, every song is more drawn out that Sonic Youth fans are use to, but an album this epic could not have fit into short songs.
Notable Tracks- Pink Steam, Incinarate and James Run Free.

The Stars- Set Yourself On Fire
This a truely well balanced album. Instrumentally, vocally, and song writing wise. The Stars have a very unique sound, and this has to be my favourite records of theirs. There constant switching between male and female vocalist, along with real instruments and software instruments truely blends this into a complexly wonderful listen. Check it out.
Notable Tracks- One More Night, The Big Fight and Sleep Tonight.

The Strokes- Is This It?
Such a fun record. The title track blows my mind every single time. This is one of those albums that transforms what it appears to be about depending on what your doing. I believe the reason is that the music just seems so relevant too me. This album can brighten your day and bring you down at the same time. Incredible.
Notable Tracks- Is This It?, Someday and Last Night.

Sufjan Stevens- Illinois
Man, this man knows how to pack a lot of different sounds and styles into an album without overdoing it, and there is a very fine line between those too things. Inside that line, you will find Sufjan Stevens Illinois. Stevens has stated that he wishes to write an album about every single American State, and while he has only completed two to date, the other one being Michigan, you just know that if he goes ahead with this project it will be a simply stunning musical collective. The amount of layers heard across this album makes it one that is almost more enjoyable everytime you rediscover it.
Notable Tracks- Chicago, John Wayne Gacy and Concerning The UFO Sightings In The Highlands.

The Tea Party- Tangents
Probably my favourite name for a greatest hits album ever. Tangents. Thats all a greatest hits album really is, the central songs that made up a bands career and where they broke off from there. Well put Mr. Title Writer. Anyways, everyone has heard the Tea Party, I find them to have a very very powerful style, but a lot of the time I seem to think they experiment a bit too much where they could just be rocking my life.
Notable Tracks- Walking Wounded, Psychopomp and Heavens Coming Down.

Tokyo Police Club- Lessons In Crime
Its like they took all the party aspects of The Strokes and turned up the energy. This album only is only around 17 minutes long, but from start to finish it is none stop energy. This album makes me bounce off walls.
Notable Tracks- Cheer It On, Nature Of Experiment and Shoulders And Arms.

Vampire Weekend- Self Titled
Another record that is just all about fun. I like simple fast drums and violin, it makes for damn catchy times.
Notable Tracks- M79, A-Punk and I Stand Corrected.

The White Stripes- White Blood Cells
The White Stripes deserve every bit of success they got and more. Somehow even though they have recieved an extreme amount of popularity this band stayed to their roots of just writing the albums that they felt like. White Blood Cells started off their climb into the mainstream with Fell In Love With A Girl, although there status in the mainstream was secured when Seven Nation Army came out. Anyways, this album is a very very solid listen.
Notable Tracks- Hotel Yorba, Fell In Love With A Girl and I Can't Wait.

Wintersleep- Welcome To The Night Sky
This is deffinitly up there on my favourite albums of this list. For some reason his voice just breaks my heart, its anouther one of those albums that just sounds brutally honest. Such a good album, could not say it enough.
Notable Tracks- Dead Letter, Search Party and Murderer.

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