The Record Lounge: Reviews 06/02/2010

Originally posted on Facebook 06/02/2010

Melvins – The Bride Screamed Murder

For Melvins enthusiasts, each record is a new adventure, you can never predict what the Melvins are going to present. In the past, fans have gotten records that were 60 minutes of static and 1 ending beep (Colossus of Destiny), and have been subjected to albums recorded OUTSIDE live shows in an almost unlistenable fashion (Prick). This is what keeps us Melvins fans on our toes.

The Bride Screamed Murder comes to us as the third collaboration between Melvins mainstays Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover and former Karp bassist Jared Warren and former Murder City Devils drummer Coady Willis, the latter duo collectively known as Big Business. Not only is this lineup becoming the definitive version of The Melvins, but also proving the most creative and challenging.

Military cadences, powering vocals (Warren’s voice continues to complement Osborne’s prominent bellow, not that Buzz was missing anything before), the almost overwhelming dual drum prowess of Willis and Crover are all elements of one of The Melvins more challenging releases, and certainly the least accessible in the past decade. This album will not win over any new fans, not that the Melvins have ever striven for that.

After all, this is the band that urged the crowd to throw items at them while opening for Nine Inch Nails one fateful February 1995 evening in Dallas. I don’t think they care what you, me or anyone else think.

They are simply the Melvins.

The Bride Screamed Murder is available at

Quiet Company – Songs For Staying In

You know those old 70’s soft rock compilation album commercials with people on the beach, enjoying Leo Sayer, Captain & Tennille, or Jim Croce? I picture his album covers as I listen to the latest from Austin, Tx’s Quiet Company. And I mean that as a compliment.

Their latest offering, Songs For Staying In, brings to life a sound of California-esque, (mostly) piano driven power pop so sunny, the Beach Boys sound like Bauhaus. Taylor Muse leads Quiet Company through 6 rollicking gems, including the chorally infused lead track, “How You Do It”, the 70’s light rock throwback of “Things You Already Know” (complete with horn section) and the melancholy breakup song, “Jezebel Or “A Song About My Friend And That Whore He Dated””.

Songs For Staying In is a lush, production dripped snapshot of a band gaining their footing on the musical landscape, with big, powerful melodies that exterminate the doldrums any day.

Songs For Staying In is available at

No Tomorrow – DWH EP

Darrel William Herbert (DWH) hasn’t been heard from too much since the implosion of Dallas’ Tomorrowpeople. Legend had it the former Toadies/Tomorrowpeople guitarist was writing themes for Spanish soap operas, doing studio work with Niles Rodgers and Duran Duran, and other various projects of disbelief (at least one of these rumors was true). The last time I saw Darrel, I ran into him at the first show from The New Year at Dallas’ Gypsy Tea Room during the summer of 2000, and he was preparing to move to LA. After keeping a relatively low profile throughout the decade, DWH emerged in January with this EP.

Taking cues from his past, more notably from The Tomorrowpeople, DWH has provided the listener with 4 polished tracks of British influenced alternative based rock with all the pop sensibilities one could ask for. “Before I Bring The Hammer” demonstrates a moodier, mid-tempo side, whereas the lead track, “Waiting”, as with “Diamonds”, and “Human Sacrifice” are a high energy romp through British influenced indie rock.

Apparently adopting a new moniker, No Tomorrow is rounded out by bassist Nate Perry (Manic) and drummer extraordinaire Mitch Marine (Tripping Daisy, Smashmouth, Brave Combo, Dwight Yoakam).

DWH EP is available at

Hole – Nobody’s Daughter

It appears no one has let Courtney Love in on the fact: the 90’s are done. Love and her band Hole released 2 of my favorite records from that decade,1994’s Live Through This and 1998’s Celebrity Skin, with the latter making it to my #2 position of the year. Even though there is a markedly viable 90’s revival going on in 2010, Nobody’s Daughter was not an avenue we wanted to, or needed to, revisit.

Nobody’s Daughter is available at

Hawthorne Heights – Skeletons

Largely unremarkable, Hawthorne Heights has a bit of an identity crisis going on. Their latest release, Skeletons, wears its influences on its sleeve – on each song. From New Wave of British Heavy Metal dueling guitars, to 60’s pop to punk tinged-power pop, bratty nasally vocals, there is nothing either interesting or cohesive to this record.

Skeleton is available at

Sleepy Sun – Fever

The sophomore release from California’s Sleepy Sun is bluesy, acid drenched journey through soulful psychedelia. Their grip on their genre is breathtaking, with each influence showing though, without sounding fractured, blending each into one singular sound that is their own.

Fever is available at

Gemma Ray – It’s a Shame About Gemma Ray

Alternative based electric folk blues, reminiscent of early PJ Harvey, but much more accessible, with traces of gospel and even a hint of 60’s pop rhythms. Standout tracks include the sparse “Swampsnakes”, “I’d Rather Be Your Enemy”, as well as covers of Mudhoney’s “Touch me I’m Sick” and Buddy Holly’s “Everyday”.

It’s A Shame About Gemma Ray available at

~ by thesynaptic on August 8, 2010.

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