Poor April got caught in the crossfire of my sabbatical.
That’s through no fault of hers. April’s February picks are as good as ever — I just haven’t been up to hitting the keyboard. Sorry about that, April. Here we go:
“Cold, Cold, Cold,” Cage the Elephant (Tell Me I’m Pretty). “Tell me how hard will I fall if I live a double life?” Harkening to the late Sixties, Cage the Elephant channels early Stones. Powered by a smooth bass line that keeps the tune moving against the canvas of searing guitars and sprinklings of tambourine and synths, Matt Shultz’s raw vocals serve to legitimize the track.
“Take Me Down,” Genevieve (Point Break Soundtrack). “But I’m not a plaything. I don’t want to play games.” Kicking off with a pulsing back beat coupled to a menacing bass, the former lead singer of Company of Thieves delivers a warning via song. I’m inclined to believe her.
“Charlemagne,” Blossoms (Charlemagne EP). “If only I could show you…” Blossoms are a new band out of the UK. They are clearly steeped in indie pop sensibilities. Undoubtedly, the group has wrapped their head around the notion that a little psychedelic twang makes everything better.
“I Run Roulette,” BOOTS (Aquaria). “I keep pushin’ all my chips into the center of the table, but I’m split between two shades of every one of my mistakes.” Otherworldly and powerful, this track has a distinctly industrial sound. Though softer around the edges, the comparison to Nine Inch Nails is inevitable.
“I Am Chemistry,” Yeasayer (Amen And Goodbye). “A sulfer dichloride with ethylene, I say it again: I am chemistry.” Yeasayer is back with this hypnotic, strange, enchanting song. Mournful backing vocals help bring to life the tune’s lyrical warning. The video is something alien in and of itself!
“Feel Me Now,” Hurricane #1 (Find What You Love And Let It Kill You). “Change your mind with different points of view as you stumble to my door.” Anchored by strident acoustic guitar, keys and arcing vocals, Andy Lowe channels the late Scott Weiland. A polished track that is hopeful and effortlessly listenable.
“Too Soon,” DMA’s (Hills End). “Take me to all your secrets.” Perfectly executed rock n roll, the lads out of Australia know how to capture a groove. The trio gives a nod to the best nuances of Nineties rock.
“Always,” Liss (Liss). “Just these lines, from my mind…” Sweet and sensual, this song grooves to a simple bass accentuated by Soren Holm’s vocals. The Eighties influence is alive and well, embodied in the sounds of this up and coming Danish band.
“Genghis Khan,” Miike Snow (iii). “I know there’s no form and no labels to put on this thing we keep and dip into when we need.” A jaunty pace set with staccato keyboards and self-centered lyrics lend a somewhat menacing vibe to the cut. The sweet edge of the backing vocals charms the listener and balances out the subject matter.
“Desperation Burns,” Baroness (Purple). “You never seem so sweet till you whisper in my ear.” The song takes off like a sledgehammer to glass. Killer riffs and acrobatic drum licks are the meat of this cut, while the vocals are sure to draw comparisons to James Hetfield.