by: Paul McEldowney
Cloud Nothings - Attack On Memory – (Carpark)
It's mind boggling how macroscopically bland mainstream alternative rock radio is in comparison to top 40 hip hop/pop/dance. Rihana's 'We Found Love' marks her 20th number one hit and an interesting career of making music which celebrates the self aware state of pop music as purposefully alienating, opiate-of-the-times, reality shifting, and weirdly monolithic. The Foo Fighters' music continues to be purely hegemonic and socially malignant in a less productive way. Their influence and marks leave no room for the (anti)-ironic praise that bands like P.O.D. can enjoy. With the help of Steve Albini, Cloud Nothings' new album hopes to respond to the awfulness that is the Foo Fighters (I am now using the Foo Fighers in the widest sense possible). A natural trajectory from his earlier fuzzy bedroom pop, the new Cloud Nothings is a raw, aggressive, emotional pop punk with elements of early 90's post hardcore that reminds you, in the same way as Rihana (also in the widest sense possible) does, that it's okay to celebrationally respond violently (metaphorically speaking) and angrily to your environment and selective memory.
Heavy Times - Jacker – (Hozac)
Gutteral, kaleidescopic, psychedelic and super melodic 'loner punk'. It's fundamentally damaged one person party music, reminding you that its okay and if not preferable to distance yourself and stay in for the night. Every song is under two minutes and they each want to make you want to quit your job.
Wax Idols - No Future – (Hozac)
'Definitely not a 60s girl band' anti-Shangri Las aggressive deeply-melodic all-denim post-punk that like their contemporaries Grass Widow emphasize asymmetries in song structure, melody, and aesthetic.
Radar Eyes - Radar Eyes – (Hozac)
Droned-out, burned-out, deep-dish-style space-punk with melted Spacemen 3 melt downs and infectious Ramones type melodies that force you to play the whole record through.
The Big Pink - Future This – (4AD)
Larger-than-life no-bass-drops dancey catchy sentimental and super shiny anthemic electro-rock on the verge of da club. It's like every hit from the last 20 years mashed up and performed by a cover band. Apparently Nicki Minaj recently sampled them.
Trailer Trash Tracys - Ester – (Double 6)
Sedative sample heavy and beat heavy whirling disorienting smooth as butter dream pop. Don't be discouraged by the super tacky artwork and band name.
Big Deal - Lights Out – (Mute)
Self-dubbed 'Cheese cringe' minimal girl/boy fuzzy acoustic no-drum introspective honey folk pop. It's totally love lorn, sentimental, and cutesy but in a not-sickening-throw-up kind of way, but it's rather charming, identifiable and self awaringly naiive.
Hospitality - Hospitality – (Merge)
No non-sense delicate and whimsical acoustic power symphonic folk-pop. It's like that coffee shop band without the pretension, and that's actually modest and interesting. No cheesy sentimental love songs or faux romanticism here.