I'm really enjoying a fairly new band out of Denver called Churchill. You can download their EP, which is really good, for free from Noisetrade. Their Happy/Sad was just released last month and is even better.
Mumford and his Sons, Avetts, Ryan Adams, Elliot Road, G. Love.
This post is BABIP-lucky.
Finally picked up Guster's latest album. They're still fantastic on harmonizing vocals.
24 Years and Counting...
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Wow. She's erm, the whole package.
A co-worker recommended Yuk to me earlier today. Checking them out now.
What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?
All models are wrong. Some of them are useful.
I always liked their song, 'Mr. Yuck is mean/Mr. Yuck is green.' May not be the same group, though.
It reminds me of the last album in that the first three tracks are really strong, and then things get... curious. I mean, my lord, "You're So Right" is embarrassing, how did it get released? It's like really, really bad Radiohead, with Julian mumbling something about an office romance? Who knows? We all know you've never been in a damn office, Julian.
"Taken for a Fool" at least has a decent chorus, but it has a hell of a time getting there. It's half a good song. And then "Games" sees Julian return to his alter-ego as Senor Crappy with another round of meandering electro-trash. "Call Me Back" is less actively offensive, but still pretty damn boring. The Strokes really struggle when the tempo slows. Which may be why on their first two (excellent) records, they, you know, never did that.
"Gratisfaction" isn't great and is a little cheesy with it's chorus, but at least it has some focus and seems to have a point -- which compared the four aimless songs preceding it, comes as a relief.
"Metabolism" and "Life is Simple in the Moonlight" are better, but suffer from a lack of great melody. They're moderately catchy, for sure, but they could use some more striking instrumentation, or ANYTHING attention-grabbing. A lot of the problem is the Strokes' slave-to-the-metronome rhythm; even when the band sounds "loose" it's still pretty mechanical. It's fine when they ratchet up the BPMs and let the hooks fly. Hell, we all know it's great when they do that. But there's a HUGE drop-off when they slow it down, because when you take out the frantic energy and rapid-fire hooks, there's nothing very interesting happening.
But, man, those first three songs really are great. That's why I have a hard time dismissing this album out-of-hand. The Strokes are a pretty limited band, but they still do their classic sound much better than their myriad of imitators. Disjointed as the band is, the members all seem equally bored with the "Is This It" formula, which is fair enough, but they still do it really well. In fact, "Under the Cover of Darkness" is so casually great that it's almost as if the band finds it too easy to write songs like that anymore. That's understandable, but also a shame, because they really put their imitators to shame when they do.
If the Strokes were a baseball player, they'd be a power hitter who cannot for the life of him hit a crooked pitch. When they get a fastball in their wheelhouse, they're really impressive; they'll crush it 500 feet. But they can whiff pretty epically on those curveballs.
Wow, OK I guess that was pretty long. Cliffnotes version: the Strokes are the musical Juan Francisco. Or something.