Once again, Drake was a little late with the post this week and I seem to be all out of funny things to say. -ed.
Drake’s Take: New Releases 02.26.08
After last week, this week would pale in comparison, if not for the strong sophomore release by Beach House, and an album documenting Rocket From the Crypt’s final show. These albums are the perfect pair to go with the pain-killers (Beach House) and Icy Hot patches (Rocket From the Crypt) that I’m employing to get me through some recent back pain. Getting old’s a bitch. Other releases of note include the latest from Ghostland Observatory, The Hands, Earth, and one from the Robert Pollard offshoot Psycho & the Birds.
Playlist: New Releases 02.26.08
Album: Beach House – Devotion
As I sit chewing on pain-killers, the hazy sounds of Beach House’s sophomore release sort of meld into one sort of eerie epic drama. It’s a feeling that’s cranked up some deep depression that I didn’t realize was there, and it’s a tad frightening. I’ve held off writing about it, hoping that once I was closer to pain free (my back recently went out) I’d be free of this association with the Devotion, but even off pain-killers, I still find myself wearing a Moody Moose button. Is it the drugs, or have Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally created something that powerful? Only time will tell in this head, but in the meantime, I prescribe taking “Turtle Island” and “You Came To Me” and then call me in the morning.
Album: Rocket From The Crypt – RIP
Back in the early 90’s, San Diego swami John Reis was saving rock and roll from the trenches as Speedo in the outfit Rocket from the Crypt. Like Robert Pollard with Guided By Voices, Reis is a dynamic frontman who commands the stage, utilizing rock attitudes from a bygone era — Pollard had The Who and The Rolling Stones, while Reis (as Speedo) took on Jerry Lee Lewis and the Big Bopper for his stage inspiration. Both GBV and RTFC served as the more accessible fronts for their enterprise, and so it’s fitting that both bands ended at roughly the same time. R.I.P. documents RTFC’s last performance on Halloween night, 2005, and it was released prior as part of a DVD package nearly two years ago, but the justifiable demand for the CD’s separate release has it finally seeing the light of day. It’s the perfect collection of songs of the band, all their live favorites, with songs primarily focusing on the band at it’s creative peak, from 1992-1996. That’s the legendary Circa: Now! to their major label debut, Scream, Dracula Scream, plus all the singles in between. It was a good time to rock, even if radio mostly ignored it at the time.
The Austin-based electro-rock duo Ghostland Observatory have always been a fantastic live band, which immediately is a hindrance to any album they release. Can it live up to their live show. The easy answer here is no, but the sexed up 80’s analog synth-based rhythms I hear beg to be seen and there’s something to be said for that, even if it’s the cart pulling the horse. Great tracks like “Heavy Heart” and “Dancing on My Grave” don’t miss a guitar at all, but the album as a whole can start to tire on the ears, given the similarity in sounds explored, including lead singer Behrens’ vocals, which sound a lot like The Mars Volta‘s Cedric Bixler-Zavala this time out.
Streaming for free on AOL a week early:
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Hands
More on the radar this week
The Hands – The Hands / Free album stream from AOL
Earth – The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull
Psycho & The Birds – We’ve Moved
Pete Rock – NY’s Finest / Free album stream from AOL
Erykah Badu – New Amerykah
Goldfrapp – Seventh Tree / Free album stream from AOL
Tift Merritt – Another Country / Free album stream from AOL
The Dirt Bombs – We Have You Surrounded
Punch Brothers – Punch
Tommy Guerrero – Return Of The Bastard
Son Lux – At War With Walls and Mazes
Fink – Distance and Time
Shawty Lo – Units In The City
Sara Melson – Dirty Mind
Ludo – You’re Awful, I Love You
Stax Does The Beatles