The Record Lounge: Reviews 11/02/2010 – Elvis Costello, Maleveller, Kylesa, Perdition, Kings Of Leon

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Elvis Costello – National Ransom

The songwriter’s songwriter, Elvis Costello has pushed every boundary in his 30 plus career, dabbling through multiple genres, players, and collaborators. And thank God he does so. National Ransom is a perfect companion piece to Secret, Profane, Sugarcane.

A natural continuation of the collaboration from last year’s bluegrass/roots between Elvis Costello and T-Bone Burnett, National Ransom employs all members of both The Imposters and The Sugarcanes, alongside guest spots from Vince Gill, Mark Ribot, Buddy Miller and Leon Russell.

With arrangements from as few as 2 to as many 9 pieces, Costello has full range to do as he pleases. What we end up is a mixed bag of roots, rock/pop, jazz, gospel and soul as only Elvis Costello can imagine. And pulls off so well.

Standout tracks “Stations Of The Cross” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on 2002’s When We Were Cruel, the straight-forward classic country of “I Lost You”, while “A Slow Drag With Josephine” has been described as “what rock sounded like in 1921”.

Photo - Jared Ahmed

Perdition – The Free EP

I’ve been able to see these guys a couple of times, and can easily say I think Perdition is a pretty great little punk rock band. The last time I saw the Fort Worth based trio, they were giving out CDR’s of a 3 song EP they had recorded. Lead by the high energy of the catchy first track, “Race for the Rabid”, is just enough pop to really bring the listener in, but not enough to be a pop-punk act (which is a definite plus). The following songs, “Why Buy The Cow When You Get The Sex For Free” feels like an old Irish protest song while “My Name Is Gerald Foster (El Oso)” rounds out the EP very nicely with its catchy lead riff. Go to a show and grab up a copy, it’s well worth it!

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Kylesa – Spiral Shadow

If Fu Manchu, Initial State, and Mastodon had been out Christmas shopping, then ran into one another in a comical turn of mixed gifts, one would possibly end up with a Christmas present like Kylesa. Part stoner, part prog-metal, part crust, Kylesa takes the listener on a nice little journey throughout their albums.

On their fifth full-length, Spiral Shadows, it appears they have their formula down. This is unwashed, thinking man’s stoner metal at its finest.  Standout tracks include the atmospheric “Cheating Synergy” and the chant-along vocals of “Drop Out”.

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Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown

The fifth full length from Nashville, TN’s biggest ROCK (yes emphasis on ROCK) export Kings Of Leon transports fans back to the pre-“hits” days of the band. There is no “Sex On Fire” or “Use Somebody” here. Which is kind of nice. Just a fully developed record to add to their already fairly air-tight canon of material.

This is a culmination of their first four albums, taking all the influences of their surroundings, from alternative rock, country, southern rock, gospel, and their recent pop star turn in the past couple of years for a very nicely paced, fully realized album.

Another solid offering from a band we all like to pick on a bit after their inescapable 2008-2009 run, these 13 songs are pretty stellar, and remind you why you started liking them in the first place.

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Maleveller – Astronomer’s Fyre EP

My friends know me well. I was told by several people that Maleveller was a band for me, and they nailed it. This is thrash that is classic, but brand new all at once: clean, new, fresh, and so familiar and soothing all at the same time. At an all too brief 3 songs in 16 minutes, one understands exactly what this Dallas quartet is all about. And craves more.

Oathbreaker” brings the EP to life and quickly gets to the circle-pit portion of the song before trudging along through breakneck rhythms, snarling guitars and none-too guttural vocals. This gives way to “Astronomer’s Fyre”, 6:32 of plodding metal that once again doesn’t waste time getting to the pit-fest section of the song. This is all wrapped nicely by the third and final track “Ancient Heart” with its Metallica-esque acoustic intro giving way to high-energy metal reminiscent of a cleaner thrash, a’la Megadeth or Testament, yet is all Maleveller.

~ by thesynaptic on November 2, 2010.

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