Do you want to write for Ink 19?

Straight No Chaser

Sometimes it burns a little.

Archive for February, 2010

CD Review – Seabear (Another Icelandic indie dream)

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

We Built a Fire

Morr Music

From the child-like chanting on “Softship” to the monk-like chants and music box quality of “We Fell of the Roof” to the creepy vocals that fade in and out on “Warm Blood,” this Icelandic group sounds like an understudy to fellow countrymen Sigur Ros on their latest album. Etherial, dreamlike soundscapes wrap a tapestry around your head on every song. It’s like you’re lying on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic and looking up through the fog at the stars. This album would be your soundtrack.

CD Review – Midas Fall (Scottish alternative rock, baby!)

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Eleven, Return and Revert

Monotreme Records

The melancholy building of the songs on the debut album from Scottish alternative art-rockers Midas Fall are like a combination of British catalysts Hope for the States and the female-fronted rockers Flyleaf. The ten songs average over five minutes a piece and take a little patience to get through, but once you do, it is well worth it.

On “My Radio Star,” lead singer Elizabeth Heaton sounds like a perfect combination of Doloris O’Riordian of The Cranberries and new age vocalist Loreena McKennitt. Her accent peaks through periodically, giving the slow, brooding electric guitars and almost tribal beat a truly unique sound. She even get a little Shakira vibrato on “Fog Sky Nun.”

This is a stunningly melodic debut from, of all places, Edinburgh, Scotland.

CD Review – Transfer

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Future Selves

Obscure Magpie Music

Like a happier version of Joy Division; Interpol or This, Et Al, Transfer offer Brit-rock that is grandiose without becoming pretentious. “Take Your Medicine” incorporates strings into their methodical chorus to instantly get into your head and have you singing along before you even realize it. Their sound is epic, their lyrics intimate and the combination is outstanding. This is a band that should be on everyone’s musical radar. Take my word on this one. You’ll be hearing a lot more from this band. If not, then consider Transfer our little secret.

CD Review – Harper Blynn (A nugget of pop gold in a mine of coal)

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Lonliest Generation

Baby Jackal Records

This pop quartet is a group that you must hear to believe. This album is so incredibly good that words cannot adequately express it. They are a lot like Dexter Freebish in that they create insanely catchy music, but it doesn’t have that saccharine sweetness or sell-out feel to it. The title track is the best song of the year with lines like “We’re not just hippie kids or disco queens in black/ That’s all over,” and the chorus “Here we are/ So far/ We don’t lie/ Stand up for the loneliest generation.”

“All Pretenders” ends like an Eagles song with everybody harmonizing and sending the music into your soul, just like it used to before the radio became saturated with the likes of Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers. “Luck Struck Kitty” is a slice of pop heaven. It is so perfectly catchy, but doesn’t have that lingering Good Charlotte aftertaste.  This album and this band you must hear if you are looking for true pop music that won’t make you vomit (a la Nickleback).

CD Review – These United States

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Everything Touches Everything

United Interests Records

The opener “I Want You to Keep Everything” sounds just like The Strokes, if they decided to put emotion into their music. The title track has a classic rock feel, infused with catchy pop sensibilities. They can do pop (“Conquest & Consequence” and “I’m Gonna Assemble a City”) just as well as rock (“End”). These United States nimble toe the line between classic rock and indie pop. They combine it to make a record worth multiple listens.