9th Prince is probably a member of the Wu-Tang Clan extended family you haven’t heard from in a while, but this is a shame. The Killarmy founding member seems set to change all this with his forthcoming release, Revenge of the 9th Prince (Wu Music Group). Watch the video for “Snatching Pocketbooks” below.
What’s up with MC’s who make great mixtapes and terrible albums? Is it the major label pressure? Do they shoot their wad in between studio time? Or is it just the freedom from commercial and financial constraints? Whatever the reason, Asher Roth has done it again on the mixtape front. See what I’m talking about and download it here.
Consequence, one of the most underrated rappers (and Q-Tip’s cousin), has a new mixtape, Movies on Demand, available for free download at his website. This is just a tease for his forthcoming LP, Cons TV, but there are enough guests and quality beats and rhymes to keep you satisfied.
We Are Wolves’ last album, 2007’s Total Magique, was an exciting whirlwind of electro-tinged punk rock, even if it relied a bit heavily on gimmicky synth warbles. The Montreal trio’s latest however, Invisible Violence, finds the band advancing their sound in terms of texture and arrangement, while also borrowing from classic rock guitar sounds. Mechanically throbbing, minimal drum beats and synth bass remain intact over the course of the album’s twelve tracks, but the band’s shrill guitar sounds scream out courtesy of simple and hard-rocking power chords and lead riffs, at times recalling The Kinks (“Paloma”) or The Ramones (“Holding Hands”).
We Are Wolves, at heart, are a relatively uncomplicated band, latching onto a riff, repeating it, utilizing the power of repetition that is at the core of so much good pop and punk. This is recognition of the band’s ability, though, not disparagement. And on Invisible Violence, the Wolves push this formula further. The melancholy “Dreams” begins ballad-like, before re-launching into a bittersweet, fast-paced love song of sorts about a dream of “you and me in a house.” Alexander Ortiz’s vocals are flat but layered and appealing, although he seems to be doing his best Ozzy imitation on “Vague.” One of the record’s best tracks and centerpiece, “Reaching For the Sky,” is built upon an undulating new-wave synth pattern that skirts the line between punk and techno. At about the three-and-a-half minute mark, after a proggy synth solo, most of the instruments drop out leaving the pattern on repeat before the band jumps back into the fray.
We Are Wolves vibrantly fuse together the best elements of old-school punk and new-school electro. They are one of the few survivors of this nearly decade-old trend to continue to successfully do so and make it sound fresh and interesting. Even if you think you’ve heard it before, you haven’t heard it quite like this.
My name is Jonah and I used to seriously love Braid. Like, I mean, seriously. Sure, Bob Nanna couldn’t sing very well, but damn it if this band didn’t epitomize (mostly) everything good about 1990’s emo – back when emo was actually emo, and not emo.
Polyvinyl is reissuing a bunch of classic Braid material on vinyl this April, including: Frankie Welfare Boy Age Five, The Age of Octeen, Movie Music Vol. 1, Movie Music Vol. 2, and the “I’m Afraid of Everything” 7″.
Listen to “I’m Afraid of Everything” here.
What a lucky bunch of kids. Mimicking Birds recorded their debut album last year at Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock’s house, and released their debut album on his Glacial Pace imprint this week. You can hear Brock’s fingerprints all over this one, which isn’t a bad thing, as well as shades of Holopaw. Visit their MySpace page for some samples.
Little Brother will release their final album this April, LeftBack (Hall of Justus). Not sure why the group is taking its final bow, probably to move on to solo projects, but it sounds like they are going out in style. There will be a final tour, details when I have them.
Listen to “Curtain Call” here.
Former members of Apes have now become Midnight Kids, and the band has a new EP available for free download through March 15th right here. LouLou Ghelichkhani is the singer, previously known for her work with Thievery Corporation.
Fredrik’s latest album, Trilogi, is full of delicate, precise, particular music. It’s sweet and pretty without being cloying or pretentious, and the arrangements are cinematic and textured without becoming too grandiose or overly expansive. The duo, comprising its namesake, Fredrik, and multi-instrumentalist Lindefelt, create music that sounds beyond the ways and means of two Swedish guys working on their own. These songs sound like they could only be fleshed out by an orchestra, or at least a large ensemble, wrapping guitars, samples, programming, brushed drums, and a variety of other instruments meticulously around each other.
Many of the album’s tracks are instrumentals. But when Fredrik’s mellifluous tenor floats in over the mix, as on “Ava,” a free-spirited song that remains propulsive by way of a soft electronic backbeat, the music goes from atmospheric to clever and emotive pop. The general atmosphere is hushed and library-like, but the constant details and changes in tone that occur throughout each song render even the most careful moments appealing. There is a lot going on in every track, although the two musicians don’t allow their ideas to get away from them. Sometimes, however, they find their pace in simplicity. “Milo” is such a moment, a lo-fi chamber-pop piece that recalls baroque classical music through its instrumentation and melodic through-line.
Fredrik’s musical rallying cry, such as it is, is eclectic, skillful, and full of subtly impressive moments of harmonious reverie. Trilogi‘s success lies in making blissed-out Scandinavian pop built upon a myriad of feelings and melodies difficult to reduce to any one concept.