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Archive for the ‘Gang of Four’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: FOALS-Antidotes (2008).

This CD had been getting a lot of buzz just before I ordered it. And then, the day after I ordered it I saw a review that really trashed the record. Uh oh, I thought.

But then I played it. Aside from the cover, which I can’t stand, there’s nothing I dislike about the disc. Immediately, I thought it sounded like a cross between King Crimson and Gang of Four. And then I heard more sax and had to add X-Ray Spex in for good measure.

The guitar lines as the disc opens sound so much like they could be King Crimson song…and this continues throughout the record…and then when the rhythm guitars come in you think, oh, Gang of Four (or the Futureheads if you must). And then you hear them together and it blows your mind a little bit.

For those of you who live in the twenty first century, the CD probably sounds closest to Modest Mouse: angular guitars, somewhat shouty vocals, but they don’t have the fluidity that Modest Mouse has. Not that that’s a complaint, just an observation. I’ve listened to this CD a bunch of times now, and I don’t dislike anything on it. Each listen brings out someone new that I hear. One of the reviews I read suggested that they used to a more prog rock band, but were giving up that aspect of their music. And yet, if you reference King Crimson, it’s impossible to think you’ve given up prog rock. I don’t know what The Foals describe their music as, and it is totally not for everybody, but I think it’s pretty wonderful.

[WRITTEN: Some time in the late 1990s] Complex Sentence.

In my previous post (Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog) I said that I had written a short story about diagramming sentences. I took some creative writing classes a decade or so ago, when I had a lot of free time. I churned out quite a few stories, and then hit the wall that is job, family and kids. Sadly, I don’t have exact dates for when I wrote these stories (what kind of writer doesn’t keep track of when the stories were written for pity’s sake). But maybe if I can ever hack into more poor old Macintosh and uncover the original files it will give me some idea of their origin.

And so, the critic exposes himself to the critics. (more…)

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i.jpgSOUNDTRACK: THE FUTUREHEADS-News and Tributes (2006).

news.jpgI enjoyed the first Futureheads album very much when it came out, but I balked at getting this sophomore release because they were part of that whole new angular-rock wave, and I didn’t want to stay caught up in the hype. Well, I relented because I’d continued to hear good things about this record, and I’m glad I did.

For me, The Futureheads sound like The Jam, mixed with a little Gang of Four edginess in their chords, and most intriguing of all, a bit of Queen in their vocals. This odd mix is totally up front in the second song, “Cope”. A choppy guitar, a voice that sounds like the Paul Weller and then at the end of the first line, all the guys sing the word Go! in a 4 part harmony that sounds partially machine-like; I almost thought it was a ship’s whistle when I first heard it. And, yet on subsequent listens it’s just four guys singing slightly off notes–note screaming at all, I can’t even really imagine how they do it– and it sounds great! I don’t know how they could duplicate that sound–which is so beautiful and unnerving at the same time–live, frankly.

And each song has little idiosyncrasies like that that really make this record fun to listen to. I think the reason I didn’t hear The Jam as an influence right away is because to me The Jam are smoooooth. (more…)

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