Reviews – November 2005

Sam Hammer’s Six CDs For Summer.

Modest Mouse-anything and everything

Coldplay-X&Y

New Order-Substance

Notorious B.I.G.-Life After Death

Audioslave-Audioslave

Louis Armstrong-Louis Armstrong

Wolf Parade

Apologies To The Queen Mary

Sub Pop

Wolf Parade could very well be your new favorite band. They play a wild mix of medium-fidelity rock that fits somewhere between older incarnations of Modest Mouse and the new darlings of indie rock, The Arcade Fire. What’s so great about Wolf Parade is the feeling you get when you hear each song. The nonchalantly warbled singing, bristling guitar riffs, crashing drums, and overall youthful exuberance of this band is a breath of fresh air-one of the best releases of the year.

New Black

Time Attack

Thick

Spastic new-wave-punk that feels like nails at first, then feels like a crazy late-night dance freak-out. Female vocals screech and pout loosely like Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and hard-edged keys that remind the listener of a semi-mellowed Atari Teenage Riot. Male singer and guitar sounds are somewhat reminiscent of The Faint. New Black-not for the weak, perfect for the spaz crowd that wants to rock out, dance, and visit the dark side of new wave.

Constantines

Tournament Of Hearts

Sub Pop

Constantines came at you hard last year with its first Sub Pop release titled Shine A light, an album filled with gruff anthems sounding like an indie-rock version of Bruce Springsteen-which is great. On Tournament Of Hearts, the band steps away from that a bit and embraces a more subtle, technical style. The vocals of Bryan Webb are still as brilliantly husky as ever-but intricate guitar work and dynamic horns, keyboards, and drums give this album a more mature feel. Either way you look at it, any album by Constantines will be great, especially if you like Gang Of Four, Fugazi, or Born To Run-era Springsteen.

Pelican

The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw

Hydra Head

Instrumental metal is rad. Let me elaborate-Pelican is a band that plays ripping heavy metal that drones and thrashes without the aid of some banshee screaming demonic phrases or Hobbitesque riddles. This album is what Tortoise would sound like if they were metal. Fans of Red Sparowes, Black Sabbath, or God Speed You Black Emperor will enjoy Pelican.

My Morning Jacket

Z

RCA

When a band nears the breaking point of massive popularity, they usually screw it up by trying to recreate whatever album it was that brought them to this point. Fortunately for fans of My Morning Jacket, the band decided to open its arms to the masses with a brilliant improvement on the fantastic album It Still Moves. Z is filled with the soaring vocals of Jim James, a reverbed-out cohesive rocking sound, cleaner production, and an overall better feeling record. I wish they had released this at the beginning of summer, because it’s perfect for the beach or the night after the beach. Z is sure to be a breakout hit for these Kentucky boys. Fans of Neil Young will be loving this one.

Three More Banger CDs You Should Own

Finch, Say Hello To Sunshine-fourteen hard-rocking tracks with tech guitar work and a mathy feel, while still being commercially acceptable.

ASG, Feeling Good Is Good Enough-ass-kicking Southern rock in the vein of Queens Of The Stone Age or Guns N’ Roses.

Paradise Boys, The Young And The Guest List-sexy San Francisco, dancy, indie-disco that will force you to move your ass to the beat. For fans of VHS Or Beta or !!!.

DVD

Rockers 25th Anniversary Edition

MVD/Blue Sun

Packed with bonus features, this 25th anniversary edition of the Reggae cult classic Rockers is a must-have for anyone who’s ever listed to Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, or Bunny Wailer. A vivid look at life in the shantytown recording studios of Jamaica-yeah, mon!

Stylemasters

Greg Weaver and Spyder Wills

An epic reissue of a classic surf film documenting the North SShore of O’ahu and the evolution of performance surfing in the 70s. Featuring an amazing original soundtrack (that still rules to this day) and classic narration, Stylemasters should be a prerequisite to buying a retro board. Learn how to ride one if you buy one.

Sea Level Pressure: A Surfer’s Paradox

Going Right Productions

Surf spots are getting more and more crowded every day. This movie not only has some radical surf action from Indo and Hawai’i, but it also delves into the problem of overcrowding with interviews and footage of shocking crowded sessions. All proceeds from the sales of this flick go to Surf Aide International.

Fishing For Birds

C Street Films

An irie-indie flick with great scenery and even greater footage from the Superbank in Australia. Also, some bombing Pipe. All the stars are here too, Slater, Dorian, A.I., Parko, etc … A portion of the proceeds from this video go to Life Rolls On.

Ballin’ On A Budget

HGA and Friction

Another D.I.Y. production, Ballin’ On A Budget shows you a local’s view of some of Hawai’i’s best, including Tom Dosland, Jaime O’Brien, Andy and Bruce Irons, Nalu Wallace, and Ian Walsh. Check ‘um brah!

Games

Fantastic 4

Activision

God, Jessica Alba is hot. Even as a video-game character, she’s so hot. Now’s your chance to play with her. Sounds weird, but it’s true. In the new Fantastic 4 game from Activision, you can kick villainous ass all by yourself or with co-operational play! This game is just plain fun, and the powers are awesome!