Post #12 - Supermodel - Foster the People (2014)
Foster the People set the bar high for themselves after the release of their debut album, Torches, which spawned the insanely popular hit, Pumped up Kicks. While I’ve never been the biggest fan of their sound, I could appreciate that these were three highly talented musicians, evidenced by some impressive musical arrangements featured on Torches. Said talent is still prevalent throughout their second album, Supermodel. However, it appears as though their many diverse influences and styles, ranging from indie pop to electronic psychedelia, for the most part, fail to gel successfully. When they do achieve this fine balance, the result is quite rewarding. This is most notable on tracks such as the melodically intricate Are You What You Want to Be?, The Truth and the upbeat, funky  jam, Best Friend, which features a damn sharp horn section. Other tracks such as Pseudologia Fantastica, and Fire Escape would work wonderfully as stand-alone songs, yet in the context of the entire album, sound out of place and haphazard, while tracks like Goats in Trees and The Angelic Welcome of Mr. Jones sound entirely forced, unnatural and psychedelically obscure just for the sake of it. Supermodel definitely features some memorable moments and presents interesting possibilities as to where the band will take their sound in the future. The problem is that apart from these “moments”, Supermodel sounds largely inconsistent and incoherent. 

Post #12 - Supermodel - Foster the People (2014)

Foster the People set the bar high for themselves after the release of their debut album, Torches, which spawned the insanely popular hit, Pumped up Kicks. While I’ve never been the biggest fan of their sound, I could appreciate that these were three highly talented musicians, evidenced by some impressive musical arrangements featured on Torches. Said talent is still prevalent throughout their second album, Supermodel. However, it appears as though their many diverse influences and styles, ranging from indie pop to electronic psychedelia, for the most part, fail to gel successfully. When they do achieve this fine balance, the result is quite rewarding. This is most notable on tracks such as the melodically intricate Are You What You Want to Be?, The Truth and the upbeat, funky  jam, Best Friend, which features a damn sharp horn section. Other tracks such as Pseudologia Fantastica, and Fire Escape would work wonderfully as stand-alone songs, yet in the context of the entire album, sound out of place and haphazard, while tracks like Goats in Trees and The Angelic Welcome of Mr. Jones sound entirely forced, unnatural and psychedelically obscure just for the sake of it. Supermodel definitely features some memorable moments and presents interesting possibilities as to where the band will take their sound in the future. The problem is that apart from these “moments”, Supermodel sounds largely inconsistent and incoherent. 

Post #11 - Jakubi - Feels Like Yesterday (2013)
Feels Like Yesterday is the third single from Melbourne electronic funk/pop group, Jakubi. From what I’ve heard so far from these lads, they’re on a winning formula. Their music is undeniably catchy, and their live shows are quite a spectacle too. Feels Like Yesterday follows in the same vein as their previous singles, yet noticeably more funk orientated, which is where the band sounds most comfortable and natural. Lyrically, the song paints a very personal account about childhood, brotherhood and growing up, and the lyrical content itself is a notable yet refreshing departure from their previous work. The song opens with a subdued keys intro, layered with front-man Jerome Farah’s sensually smooth vocals, before breaking into a groovy jam with a bass-line funky enough to turn the straightest priest into a flare wearing, coke loving, regular at Studio 54. The overall mellow yet driving vibe is maintained for the remainder of the track, with plenty to be discovered in the way of intricate instrumentation and an engaging chordal structure. The impressive work from Melbourne producer Malcolm Besley on this track should also be noted. Thanks a lot, Jakubi, I was planning on having a quiet Wednesday night, but now I’ve got my dancing shoes on. 

Post #11 - Jakubi - Feels Like Yesterday (2013)

Feels Like Yesterday is the third single from Melbourne electronic funk/pop group, Jakubi. From what I’ve heard so far from these lads, they’re on a winning formula. Their music is undeniably catchy, and their live shows are quite a spectacle too. Feels Like Yesterday follows in the same vein as their previous singles, yet noticeably more funk orientated, which is where the band sounds most comfortable and natural. Lyrically, the song paints a very personal account about childhood, brotherhood and growing up, and the lyrical content itself is a notable yet refreshing departure from their previous work. The song opens with a subdued keys intro, layered with front-man Jerome Farah’s sensually smooth vocals, before breaking into a groovy jam with a bass-line funky enough to turn the straightest priest into a flare wearing, coke loving, regular at Studio 54. The overall mellow yet driving vibe is maintained for the remainder of the track, with plenty to be discovered in the way of intricate instrumentation and an engaging chordal structure. The impressive work from Melbourne producer Malcolm Besley on this track should also be noted. Thanks a lot, Jakubi, I was planning on having a quiet Wednesday night, but now I’ve got my dancing shoes on. 

Post #10 - …Like Clockwork - Queens of the Stone Age (2013)
…Like Clockwork is the sixth studio album from the American alternative rock group, Queens of the Stone Age, and the first release of new music by the band in almost six years. Given the tumultuous and turbulent circumstances surrounding the band since their hiatus, such as the near death of lead singer, Josh Homme and the departure of long-time drummer, Joey Castillo, it’s a miracle this album was ever recorded. Joey Castillo managed to collaborate on four tracks before he was fired and replaced by David Grohl, and there are many other high profile artists who feature on this album, including Trent Reznor, Alex Turner and Elton John. Considering the vast array of personnel involved in the making of this album, and their different influences and backgrounds, one would expect Like Clockwork to sound confusing, disjointed, and mismatched. However, the end result is quite the opposite. For the most part, the album is well balanced, engaging and focussed, and this is mainly due to the collaborators successfully complimenting each track, instead of trying to impose their signature sounds or styles. Queens of the Stone Age have made a resounding comeback with Like Clockwork, and it’s refreshing, as well as re-assuring, to hear that many rock veterans of the 90’s have still got it. 

Post #10 - …Like Clockwork - Queens of the Stone Age (2013)

…Like Clockwork is the sixth studio album from the American alternative rock group, Queens of the Stone Age, and the first release of new music by the band in almost six years. Given the tumultuous and turbulent circumstances surrounding the band since their hiatus, such as the near death of lead singer, Josh Homme and the departure of long-time drummer, Joey Castillo, it’s a miracle this album was ever recorded. Joey Castillo managed to collaborate on four tracks before he was fired and replaced by David Grohl, and there are many other high profile artists who feature on this album, including Trent Reznor, Alex Turner and Elton John. Considering the vast array of personnel involved in the making of this albumand their different influences and backgrounds, one would expect Like Clockwork to sound confusing, disjointed, and mismatched. However, the end result is quite the opposite. For the most part, the album is well balanced, engaging and focussed, and this is mainly due to the collaborators successfully complimenting each track, instead of trying to impose their signature sounds or styles. Queens of the Stone Age have made a resounding comeback with Like Clockwork, and it’s refreshing, as well as re-assuring, to hear that many rock veterans of the 90’s have still got it. 

Post #9 - Leavn It All Behind - Harts
It’s been quite an eventful year for Harts, the young Australian one man band and producer. Since the release of his first EP, Offtime, earlier in the year, he has set the blogging world on fire, and has attracted the attention of world renowned artists such as Nick Littlemore (Pnau, Empire of the Sun), and most recently, Prince (yes, you read that correctly.) Not bad at all for someone who recently turned independent after parting ways with a record label a mere few months ago. Leavn It All Behind is his first single since becoming independent, and he is doing just as the title of the song suggests. Lyrically, the song deals with his frustration towards today’s music industry, and the growing trend of pigeonholing artists into a certain genre, rather than celebrating diversity and creativity. He beckons the listener to join him for the ride, and one can’t help but feel tempted to go along, as he lays down infectiously groovy, yet driving beats, funky guitar chops and a tight horn section to boot. His guitar work is phenomenal, as always, yet finally captures the grittiness and charisma of his live performances, which wasn’t as apparent on Offtime. It’s a shame that Australia hasn’t yet jumped on the Harts bandwagon, especially when he’s already received so much praise overseas. “Are we with you for the ride?”, we would be crazy not to be, Harts.

Post #9 - Leavn It All Behind - Harts

It’s been quite an eventful year for Harts, the young Australian one man band and producer. Since the release of his first EP, Offtime, earlier in the year, he has set the blogging world on fire, and has attracted the attention of world renowned artists such as Nick Littlemore (Pnau, Empire of the Sun), and most recently, Prince (yes, you read that correctly.) Not bad at all for someone who recently turned independent after parting ways with a record label a mere few months ago. Leavn It All Behind is his first single since becoming independent, and he is doing just as the title of the song suggests. Lyrically, the song deals with his frustration towards today’s music industry, and the growing trend of pigeonholing artists into a certain genre, rather than celebrating diversity and creativity. He beckons the listener to join him for the ride, and one can’t help but feel tempted to go along, as he lays down infectiously groovy, yet driving beats, funky guitar chops and a tight horn section to boot. His guitar work is phenomenal, as always, yet finally captures the grittiness and charisma of his live performances, which wasn’t as apparent on Offtime. It’s a shame that Australia hasn’t yet jumped on the Harts bandwagon, especially when he’s already received so much praise overseas. “Are we with you for the ride?”, we would be crazy not to be, Harts.

Post #8 - Mechanical Bull - Kings of Leon (2013)
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. It’s been three years since Kings of Leon's last album, Come Around Sundown, and they have rewarded the patience of their fans with this unimaginative, uninspiring and overall flat sounding album. In wanting to keep with the formal tone I have maintained throughout my blog so far, I will refrain from using obscene language and continue to…ohh fuck this. Kings of Leon clearly didn’t try on Mechanical Bull, so I won’t either. Mechanical Bull has to be the biggest piece of shit of an album I’ve had to endure in years, and I sat through John Frusciante’s Outsides earlier this year. Since the release of Only by the Night in 2008, the band have been heading down the corny road of arena rock. As I trudged through each track, I increasingly felt like I was already at a Kings of Leon concert, especially in the U2-esque sounding Beautiful War. If I closed my eyes, I could already see teeny boppers on their bff’s shoulders, waving their arms, singing along to the lyrics to the left of me, and to the right of me, the IT consultant in his late thirties, left hand in pocket, right hand around his fifth stubby with his eyes closed, swaying to the beat and nodding in approval. In other words, the kind of atmosphere at a concert that makes me want to get the fuck out of there. Track after track of unbelievably predictable chord progressions, boring melodies and some of the lamest bass and drum grooves I’ve heard from these guys, which is a shame, cause usually their rhythm section is one hot piece of ace. Kings of Leon bear little to no resemblance to the band they once were. Their rawness, creative rhythms and southern influence are seemingly non-existent in Mechanical Bull, and you can’t help but wonder what the hell they did for three years with all their time, money, and talent.  

Post #8 - Mechanical Bull - Kings of Leon (2013)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. It’s been three years since Kings of Leon's last album, Come Around Sundown, and they have rewarded the patience of their fans with this unimaginative, uninspiring and overall flat sounding album. In wanting to keep with the formal tone I have maintained throughout my blog so far, I will refrain from using obscene language and continue to…ohh fuck this. Kings of Leon clearly didn’t try on Mechanical Bull, so I won’t either. Mechanical Bull has to be the biggest piece of shit of an album I’ve had to endure in years, and I sat through John Frusciante’s Outsides earlier this year. Since the release of Only by the Night in 2008, the band have been heading down the corny road of arena rock. As I trudged through each track, I increasingly felt like I was already at a Kings of Leon concert, especially in the U2-esque sounding Beautiful War. If I closed my eyes, I could already see teeny boppers on their bff’s shoulders, waving their arms, singing along to the lyrics to the left of me, and to the right of me, the IT consultant in his late thirties, left hand in pocket, right hand around his fifth stubby with his eyes closed, swaying to the beat and nodding in approval. In other words, the kind of atmosphere at a concert that makes me want to get the fuck out of there. Track after track of unbelievably predictable chord progressions, boring melodies and some of the lamest bass and drum grooves I’ve heard from these guys, which is a shame, cause usually their rhythm section is one hot piece of ace. Kings of Leon bear little to no resemblance to the band they once were. Their rawness, creative rhythms and southern influence are seemingly non-existent in Mechanical Bull, and you can’t help but wonder what the hell they did for three years with all their time, money, and talent.