Monday, October 31, 2011

List: Creepy Songs For Halloween

"Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out" by The Antlers - Burst Apart
"The Layer" by Birthmark - The Layer
"Vampirer" by Caveman - CoCo Beware
"Shankill Butchers" by The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
"The Hazards Of Love 3 (Revenge!)" by The Decemberists - The Hazards Of Love
"Activa" by Deerhunter - Microcastle
"No One Does It Like You" by Department Of Eagles - In Ear Park
"Pity Dance" by DM Stith - Heavy Ghost
"Worrier" by Glass Vaults - Glass EP
"Central And Remote" by Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
"Faded From The Winter" by Iron & Wine - The Creek Drank The Cradle
"Leather Prowler" by Liars - Liars
"Sailing To Byzantium" by Liars - Liars
"No Barrier Fun" by Liars - Sisterworld
"Maybe Sprout Wings" by The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
"The Autopsy Garland" by The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck
"Conversation 16" by The National - High Violet
"As I Lay My Head Down" by Other Lives - Tamer Animals
"Song For The Dead" by Queens Of The Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf
""You Got A Killer Scene There, Man..."" by Queens Of The Stone Age - Lullabies To Paralyze
"The Gloaming. (Softly Open Our Mouths In The Cold.)" by Radiohead - Hail To The Thief
"All I Need" by Radiohead - In Rainbows
"I Say Fever" by Ramona Falls - Intuit
"The Forest Scares The Hell Out Of Me" by Say Hi - Ferocious Mopes
"Sallie's Heart Is Stone" by Say Hi - Oohs & Aahs
"Marrow" by St. Vincent - Actor
"Skip Divided" by Thom Yorke - The Eraser
"Iodine And Iron" by The Veils - Troubles Of The Brain
"I Saw The Dead" by Villagers - Becoming A Jackal

Friday, October 21, 2011

Glass Vaults - Glass EP

  • Black/blue dual color vinyl
  • Non-gatefold
  • No lyrics

  • Album Rating: 4/5 (Great)
  • Sound Quality: 5/5 (Perfect)
  • Packaging: 3/5 (Average)

Glass Vaults is a duo hailing from Wellington, New Zealand. They create music that is both beautiful and haunting, constructing hypnotic melodies and arrangements shrouded in a veil of unease.

On their debut EP titled Glass, the duo mixes organic and synthetic sounds masterfully, creating a unique sound that is sure to carry them to great places in the future. While I have to admit Side A - relying more on ambiance than melody - is a bit lacking, Side B more than makes up for this with it's ambitious, melodic and still haunting atmospheres. "Worrier" is one track Glass Vaults should truly be proud of. Hard hitting drums (that sound bloody fantastic on vinyl by the way) emphasize the loneliness of the lyrics and atmosphere. There are even some serious Thom Yorke-esque vocals toward the end of the track.

The vinyl truly sound amazing, the ambiance and especially those drums are really incredible. There are two versions, one pressed on standard black vinyl and one on split black and blue vinyl (as pictured).

The packaging is standard and does not come with lyrics but does include a nice full color image of the band on a large insert.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Mountain Goats - The Life Of The World To Come


The expression or application of human skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

  • Gatefold
  • No lyrics
  • Purple vinyl available

  • Album Rating: 5/5 (Masterful)
  • Sound Quality: 4/5 (Great)
  • Packaging: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

The Mountain Goat's The Life Of The World To Come is art in every sense of the word. It is hauntingly beautiful; a masterpiece of emotion that will make you oblivious to the outside world - if only for an hour.

The Life Of The World To Come is - for the most part - a slow paced yet extremely well-thought out album that occasionally rocks. While tracks such as "1 John 4:16" and "Deuteronomy 2:10" are slow, thoughtful piano tunes, they are no less emotionally charged than the power hungry "Psalms 40:2". If you haven't guessed by now, every track on the album is named after a Bible verse, a strange, yet nonetheless interesting decision by singer/songwriter John Darnielle.

The vinyl is a wonderful edition to any Mountain Goats fan's collection, giving off a clear, crisp sound throughout the record. The version I have is a limited edition pressed on purple vinyl.

The packaging is very nicely done. It feels solid and the images look really cool on the 12" cover.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Dodos - Vistiter

  • Non-gatefold
  • No lyrics

  • Album Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)
  • Sound Quality: 5/5 (Perfect)
  • Packaging: 3/5 (Average)

Visiter is many things. Visiter is epic. Visiter is engaging. Visiter is unique.  Visiter is a damn fine album.

Visiter is the sophomore full-length by indie-folk duo The Dodos. With a unique percussive style that will knock your socks off and some incredible acoustic guitar work by frontman Meric Long,  Visiter is an album that captures the imagination in it's most primitive form.

The first single, "Fools", is a perfect demonstration of The Dodo's charismatic approach to the acoustic-folk style. If you are new to The Dodos, "Fools" is a great starting point. Other standouts include the sprawling, fast-paced foot stomper of a track, "Jodi", and the beautifully crafted, atmospheric "Ashley". "The Season" is a melodic and aggressive climax to the album that really shows off just what The Dodos are capable of in their songwriting. The questioning, repetitive, and sarcastic nature of the closing track, "God?", wraps everything up sweetly.

Due to the organic nature of Visiter, the vinyl version of the album sounds absolutely incredible! This is NOT an album to be listened to on headphones, this is an album meant to be felt all around you. It is crisp, clear, and the percussion will make your mouth water.

The packaging is basic, but nothing to complain about. It does come with some interesting drawings!

Friday, September 9, 2011

List: Top 10 albums Of 2009

10. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

9. Say Hi - Oohs & Aahs

8. Sea Wolf - White Water, White Bloom

7. St. Vincent - Actor

6. Yawn - Yawn EP

5. The Mountain Goats - The Life Of The World To Come

4. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

3. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast

2. The Decemberists - The Hazards Of Love

1. Grizzly Bear - Veckitamest

Friday, September 2, 2011

Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital

  • Marble orange vinyl

  • Album Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)
  • Sound Quality: 4/5 (Great)
  • Packaging: 3.5/5 (Good)

One thing can be said with confidence about Montreal-based duo Handsome Furs: They are never boring. Consisting of Wolf Parade's Dan Boeckner and his wife, Alexei Perry, these indie-electro-punk rockers put out their third album, titled Sound Kapital in June.

Sound Kapital starts off on a strong note with "When I Get Back", and never slows down afterward. Every track is upbeat, exciting, and surprisingly emotional for an album consisting almost entirely of electronics. Boeckner belts out lyrics that are as intimate as the electronics are captivating, a blend that works extremely well, and proves that electronic music does not have to be the robotic, emotionless drivel that its critics say it is.

The vinyl is warm and welcoming, bringing out the complimenting sounds on the album wonderfully. It is pressed on heavy marbled orange wax.

The packaging is also quite well done. It is not a gatefold jacket, but the cover is thick and glossy. The inner jacket is a translucent orange plastic that looks great with the orange vinyl inside it.

Purchase Sound Kapital on vinyl here: Sound Kapital

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie - Codes And Keys

  • Gatefold
  • Lyrics included

  • Album Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)
  • Sound Quality: 5/5 (Perfect)
  • Packaging: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

For Death Cab's seventh studio album, Codes And Keys, lyricist Ben Gibbard took a different approach to his songwriting than in past efforts. This is an upbeat, life-affirming album through and through.

Musically, the album takes on a much more experimental form than we've seen from Gibbard and co. in the past. The production is phenomenal, intertwining Death Cab's excellent musicianship with new and exciting soundscapes that enhance the listening experience tenfold. For examples of this, look no further the opening track, "Home Is A Fire". The first single from the album, "You Are A Tourist", is almost over the top in its positive, upbeat energy. That said, it is not over the top, but somehow manages to balance itself perfectly within the album.

The vinyl is absolutely delicious. It is candy to the ears. Atlantic Records certainly did not waste the amazing production value of this album on cheap plastic; it's pressed on 180 gram vinyl that brings out all the sounds and musicianship wonderfully.

The packaging is excellently done as well. The two vinyl records are housed in a thick gatefold sleeve and come with lyrics on a separate sheet of paper.

If you're a fan of Death Cab For Cutie and the awesome power of vinyl, I urge you to pick up this record! Buy it here (Amazon): Codes & Keys

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Mountain Goats - We Shall All Be Healed

  • Non-gatefold
  • No lyrics

  • Album Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)
  • Sound Quality: 4/5 (Great)
  • Packaging: 3/5 (Average)

Apologies for the month long hiatus from posting, it's been a busy couple of months but I'm back now with plenty of vinyl to review, so let's jump right in!

We Shall All Be Healed is singer/songwriter John Darnielle's semi-fictional telling of his teenage years with his friends involved in the methamphetamine scene. The lyrics are heartfelt and at times inspiring. It's clear that Darnielle did not hold back on this one. This is The Mountain Goat's second album to be recorded in a studio and as a full band, the first being the previous album, Tallahassee. Standout tracks include "Your Belgian Things" and "Palmcorder Yajna", the latter of which is one of my personal favorite Mountain Goats tracks.

The vinyl sounds great, adding a layer of depth that you just don't get from the digital version. The packaging is slightly subpar, consisting of a non-gatefold sleeve and no included lyrics, but it does the job.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

List: The Decemberists Power Ranking

6. Her Majesty
Album Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

5. Castaways And Cutouts
Album Rating: 4/5 (Great)

4. The Crane Wife
Album Rating: 4/5 (Great)

3. The King Is Dead
Album Rating: 4/5 (Great)

2. The Hazards Of Love
Album Rating: 5/5 (Masterful)

1. Picaresque
Album Rating: 5/5 (Masterful)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Arcade Fire - Funeral

  • Gatefold
  • Lyrics included

  • Album Rating: 5/5 (Masterful)
  • Sound Quality: 5/5 (Perfect)
  • Packaging: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

Here it is! I finally managed to pick it up at Best Buy a few nights ago! So without further adieu, here is the review of Arcade Fire's 2004 debut album, Funeral.

Before Funeral, Arcade Fire's only release to date was a self-titled EP that was met with mixed reactions. Funeral, however, showed the world just what these kids from Canada could do. Hailed as a modern classic, Funeral is undoubtedly one album no one should miss.

Kicking things off with the beautiful and catchy "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)", Funeral somehow manages to maintain its momentum throughout the entirety of the LP. "Wake Up", a track that is equal parts triumphant, hard-hitting, and unmistakably beautiful, is one that is sure to be remembered for decades. While songs such as "Une AnnĂ©e Sans Lumiere" and "Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)" slow down in tempo, they are no less powerful, creating a sense of balance that makes this album what it is.

Funeral on wax is absolutely amazing. Turn it up nice and loud for a listening experience you won't soon forget. It was newly reissued on 180-gram vinyl.

The packaging is very well done, featuring a nice thick gatefold jacket that is even embossed. A small booklet is also included, with lyrics and credits featured inside.

Do not miss this album! Get Funeral on vinyl here (Amazon): Funeral (180 Gram Vinyl + Download)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

List: Spoon Power Ranking

It looks like the Funeral review will have to be postponed for a little while longer. I went to two Best Buys and both were out of stock! I did check with them and they told me they would be ordering more soon. In the meantime, here's my Spoon power ranking!

7. Telephono
Album Rating: 3/5 (Average)

6. A Series Of Sneaks
Album Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

5. Transference
Album Rating: 4/5 (Great)

4. Gimme Fiction
Album Rating: 4/5 (Great)

3. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Album Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

2. Girls Can Tell
Album Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

1. Kill The Moonlight
Album Rating: 5/5 (Masterful)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Best Buy Gift Card Poll Results

You voted and I will listen (and review)! Arcade Fire's Funeral blew away the competition for the album you want me to review! Tomorrow I will be purchasing Funeral on vinyl with my Best Buy gift card, and will have a review of the vinyl edition of the album up in the coming days! So stay tuned!