Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Chemical Reactions

A slew of new releases continue to bombard the music fan. Bands need to release albums in order to have an excuse to tour, so I imagine the average cycle between albums for bands will generally shorten.

It also won't be uncommon to see some bands do 2 or 3 tours supporting one album. I honestly can't remember seeing this many great bands on tour at once. It only looks to get worse as bands realize the only way to make money these days is tour or to be Josh Freese.

Devotion Implosion obliterates any notion of a sophomore slump for my favorite Los Angeles based trio, Gliss. The recording of this album was meticulous, as the sounds and tones are well-crafted. "29 Acts Of Love" immediately attacks you with a noise burst before intoxicating you with its groovy bass and shattered glass guitars.

I wasn't familiar with any of the new material when I caught them at Spaceland in February, but immediately recognized most of the songs when I listened to the cd. This very rarely happens. Gliss will be playing the Roxy on June 5th.

Great Northern
Another band avoiding the sophomore slump would be Great Northern. Remind Me Where The Light Is is extremely strong from start to finish. This album begs to be licensed to a movie soundtrack or various commercials. While Solon Bixler (Guitars/Vocals) doesn't sing on as many songs as I would have liked, he upped the ante in the sound department and conjured some intricate textures for the album.

Even though there is less of Solon, having more of Rachel Stolte (Vocals) is not necessarily a complaint as she really stretches out her vocals and becomes more of the focal point of the band. The recommended song for you to check out would be "Warning" with its lonely drumbeat and haunting piano riff that builds until it explodes into a climatic chorus. Great Northern will be hitting up the Echoplex with The Dears and Eulogies on May 23. I previously saw Great Northern rock the Roxy back in March.


If you want to talk about singing for the fences, I say look to Metric. I haven't seen Metric since October of 2007 when they played the Download Festival in San Francisco. I remember when I wrote that review that I heard the song "Stadium Love" and couldn't find it in their catalog.

Fantasies fulfills the promise of "Stadium Love" and I won't be surprised when Metric starts rocking stadiums with their batch of synthesizer fueled anthems. It should also be noted that Metric (along with Josh Freese) have wisely employed Topspin to distribute their album. Metric will be playing the Wiltern on June 8th.

Another band that recently caught my eye was the emergence of Mini-Mansions which features the musical talents of Michael Shuman from Queens of the Stone Age and Wires On Fire. I was impressed when I saw them open for Autolux at the Detroit Bar.

Self-described as "Dark Comedy" music, I picked up more of a Replacements mixed with psychedelic vibe. We all know Michael shreds on the bass, but it is nice to see him step out and display some of his other musical skills. I will keep you posted on any upcoming shows.

No comments: