ALBUM REVIEW & STREAM// C2C – Tetra

C2C is a French turntable group that has won the Disco Mix Club World Team DJ Championship four years in a row (2003–2006) earlier this year they released their first EP “Down The Road” and I have just found a link to their album online.

The album entitled “Tetra” features all songs off the first EP and some new fantastic songs featuring other artists, C2C truly are a group to watch their DJ style is phenomenal keeping the traditional French DJ sound of Justice & Daft Punk alive. It’s hard to review every track of “Tetra” as there is a lot of variety, I wouldn’t expect any less from such diverse DJ’s. They seem to have streamed almost every track of the album via their Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/C2Cdjsofficial

Below I have posted my favourite two tracks and their mix for one of the DJ Champoinships back in 2005:

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ALBUM REVIEW// Grizzly Bear – Shields

One of the most anticipated albums of the year and possibly the album I have been itching for the most is finally in my possession: “Shields”

I adore Grizzly Bear, CANT and Department of Eagles it seems anything any member of this group dabbles in is masterful and ‘Shields’ is no exception…

We all knew following up “Veckatimest” would be an incredible feat. However, there is something about ‘Shields’ which has allowed them to complete this task seemingly with ease. I will now attempt to take you on that journey, the journey which is their incredible return:

The opening track [above] ‘Sleeping Ute’ is reminiscent of the past GB albums whilst adding a new ‘modern’ ambience, unique to ‘Shields’. With hints of CANT and a very ‘In Ear Park’’ kind of outbreak towards the end Sleeping Ute is the evolutionary scale of Grizzly Bear. With this modern growth to Grizzly Bear comes tracks such as “Speak In Rounds” or “Gun-Shy” which carry concepts of the “Age of Indie” and “Folk Revival Period”, in which we are trapped, to a new individual level and definition. Much like “Veckatimest”, ‘Shields’ is an album that stands out from those of other bands to which they are often compared e.g Fleet Foxes and seems to be birthed from personal inspiration.

“The Hunt” is very Radiohead-esque with it’s wailing guitar and deep piano and does [controversially] bring another band name into mind: Coldplay. When I first read a comment on YouTube under the video to “Yet Again” comparing the two I felt sick putting them in the same league as have many others:

//people who compare Grizzly with Coldplay: Coldplay is snobish one-layer pop with vague lyrics. Grizzly is multi-layered, multi-influenced and well crafted music with extremely good lyrics and nothing like coldplay. – David Pint

//are you fucking kidding me right now?? get the fuck out of here with your stupid child like comments.- Helki Dovah

However, when listing to early Coldplay I found through songs like Shiver, 42, Don’t Panic that Shields has got a hint of that beauty and feeling. Obviously to a much more mature and powerful level but a level nonetheless. ‘Shields’ is teeming with influence of music in out era, it is modern and takes elements of  influential songs, be it “Knives Out” or “Yellow” Grizzly Bear are reinventing our era by using elements of it.

Unfortunately I cannot find a link to my favourite track “Sun In Your Eyes”, the closing track, so here is the controversial Coldplay sounding “Yet Again”

Shields is an album of evolution and it could well be Grizzly Bear’s most significant album yet.

ALBUM REVIEW// The XX – Coexist

Finally, the follow up to The XX’s incredible debut is upon us. It is different as well, it may not be quite as captivating as the first but this is probably due to the fact their sound isn’t so much as a shock as it was when we first heard ‘Crystalised ‘ back in 2009.

Coexist is like the return of an old friend. Just like “XX”, “Coexist” has not got a bad track on it. They all blend into each other to create another phenomenal album of bliss and beauty. Raw and relaxed, ‘Coexist’ is said to be influenced by “club music”.  Knowing that Jamie XX is a huge fan of deep house and garage it is obvious that some of the beats are influenced by Jamie’ s club preferences.  I think The XX have had  a good approach to their second album, considering they were initially not to record another album at all, this more laid back album is the perfect follow up to the debut that was so solid and infectious. This relaxed ambience to “Coexist” may not please all fans of XX as it doesn’t quite pack the punches of ‘Crystallised’, ‘Intro” or ‘Heart Skipped A Beat’ however, it’s the rawness of this album which isn’t trying to defeat it’s predecessor which makes it so effortlessly brilliant. Are there tracks that will make you want to sway and groove as much as XX? Yes, to some degree, but it’s a different kind of addiction you get to this album than you have every felt before.

I’m not going to do a track by track analysis for ‘Coexist’ as no doubt I will be praising each track in a similar way. The inevitability that everyone will buy this album in full also keeps me from writing a ridiculously long review. However, I will link 4-5 songs off the new album for download via Zippy share:

http://www3.zippyshare.com/v/48073330/file.html

http://www3.zippyshare.com/v/7884750/file.html
http://www3.zippyshare.com/v/37152138/file.html
http://www3.zippyshare.com/v/78648523/file.html
http://www3.zippyshare.com/v/60504413/file.html

Your Welcome

ALBUM REVIEW// Bloc Party – Four

It’s a shame no band from the early naughties couldn’t survive. Four is definitely the worst we have heard from Bloc Party so far…

Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight and now Bloc Party have dwindled. Who would have thought a change in drummer would change everything so drastically? I have been a life long fan of Bloc Party and one of their final gigs before Kele went off with ’The Boxer”, in the Astoria was (and to some degree still is) one of the best gigs I have ever been to. Now, I don’t believe that Bloc Party’s live performance will be anything less spectacular than it ever was however, I do believe that their gigs will be inhibited by the tracks they will undoubtedly perform off this new album:

1.) So He Begins To Lie.

This track begins with a messy drum kick followed by feedback and false starts. It is just a real let down for an album opener. How could Kele and the group drop from their electro experiments of “Intimacy” into this loud messy cluster fuck.

2.) 3×3

Kele chants “No one loves you”, which is exactly what I was thinking throughout the song. This song has sinister aspect to it, but it’s lost in the messy guitar and Kele’s wails. Just when you thought the first track was an anomaly 3×3 is that dreadful kick while your down.

3.) Octopus

At first listen I really did not like this song. I was thinking where is the ‘Flux’, ‘The Prayer’, ‘Positive Tension’? But after listening to the album for two weeks in order to see if it is a grower or not I discovered more to Octopus. It has the glitchy aspect of ‘Intimacy’ we all got used to. The chorus is fairly infectious and it is one of the few tracks that does stick with you.

4.) Real Talk

Finally this track is a breath of fresh air. It’s what it says on the tin, there is no messy guitar and wailing vocals it is clean and a break from the sharpness of the rest of the album. In fact it even has a degree of beauty. There’s a banjo in it! Who would have guessed that? This is a nice new side to Bloc Party… Until it gets to Kele’s talking at the end.

5.) Kettling

This protest song is a bit of a grower. At first listen it’s heavy and punchy and quite hard to listen to but after a few listens it is quite an interesting track especially in comparison to others. But if you are not going to have the patience to give it a few listens I doubt Kettling will be for you.

6.) Day Four

For a song which starts off sounding like a remix of David Guetta’s “Titanium” Day Four is a nice reminder of what Bloc Party used to be. Day four takes us back to the root of Bloc Party, glittered with remnants of “Silent Alarm” and proves to be my favourite track on the album.

7.) Coliseum

When I first heard it, I was in awe. Amazing! A new bluesy side to Bloc Party! But like most of the tracks on Four you are in for an unpleasant surprise. The cool and gripping bluesy beginning is completely drowned in the overwhelming heavy guitar riffs. making the entire song sound as if someone decided to give up on covering Beck and decided to attempt a Metallica song instead.

8.) V.A.L.I.S

Bloc have seriously gone pop in this one. Easy listening. Not terrible, but not what we all hoped from Bloc Party’s revival. Sadly, it’s just a little bit bland.

9.) Team A

In my opinion this is the other stand out track off the album and I hope it will be the second single. It’s fast paced but ordered much like “Helicopter”. Team A is what Kele probably wanted from Four, it has that old Bloc Party we all love with the powerful heavy guitars they seem to employ in almost every song on Four. Team A is a must buy for Bloc Party fans, it’s a shame I can’t say the same for the whole album.

10.) Truth

Another poppy track, however unlike V.A.L.I.S it’s not bland, like Day Four it has a degree of beauty to it. Truth is a track to buy even though it may be a cornier side to Bloc Party. Truth steers away from the heavy, overwhelming guitar and creates an ecstatic infatuation you will not find anywhere else on the album.

11.) The Healing

To be honest, I enjoyed The Healing. In comparison to the other tracks Bloc Party have churned out it is nothing but once again it provides a nice escape from the headache of Four’s heavy guitars. Nothing special, it’s just like a diamond among rocks.

12.) We Are Not Good People

They got that right. You’re terrible people Bloc Party, after 2 great tracks and the mellowness of The Healing you have to go and injure our eardrums again with the heavy metal mess that is your closing track. This closing to the album is effectively the final kick in the bollocks, lulling you into a false sense of security Bloc Party do not fail to remind you that their revival has been 3 steps backward.

A revival is not easy, they never are, many have fallen. It’s a shame this album is too “rough around the edges” for a revival but to me this album could have been “Silent Alarm’s” predecessor it sounds like a young group of boys playing loudly in a room…

I can see why they called it Four. Four years on from “Intimacy”, four band members, fourth album, ONLY FOUR GOOD SONGS.

Day Four, Team A, Truth, Real Talk.

The album cover is unfortunately as exciting as the album itself.

ALBUM REVIEW // The Antlers – Undersea

Undersea: “the serenity of drifting off to sleep or sinking to the bottom of the ocean,” is what The Antlers have described as their new EP and WOW, do they deliver.

The success of both Antlers albums made my expectations of Undersea very high, but this EP is arguably the best thing the band has produced yet. The most striking thing for me at least was the use of horns and effects  which created a new dimension to The Antlers’ already broad musical diversity. The album moves as one, a without a doubt adds this “serenity of drifting off to sleep” .

Each track stands out individually but maintains the same ambience of drifting in the ocean…

The EP opens with “Drift Dive” and an array of hypnotising slide guitar, soothing horns and synths which begin our slow journey undersea. We then merge into “Endless Ladder” an 8 minute odyssey of effects, soothingly sinking us deeper into relaxation and bliss. “Endless Ladder” is a side of The Antlers that has very been revealed before. In the depths of this oceanic EP it lures you in to the next melody of “Crest” , the shortest yet stand out track of the EP. “Crest” employs smooth, haunting horns, phenomenal falsetto and touching croon from Silberman and sounds like a missing masterpiece off ‘Burst Apart’ that drifted away. The Final song is entitled “Zelda” , the ending to our drift, sings out clearer than most of the other tracks with a relaxed driving guitar lead supported by more horns bringing us to a slow yet relaxing halt.

I could not recommend this EP more, it really is a promising growth to The Antlers and a flattering peak at what their third album may have elements of.

Below is “Crest”:

ALBUM REVIEW: ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’ – Bombay Bicycle Club

Been away on a Rugby Camp for a week so missed out a few essential albums.Here we go. The start of my many reviews.

Bombay Bicycle Club are back with ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’. The album starts with one of my favourite B-B Club songs ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep?’ which yes, I know they shamefully recorded for part of the Twilight Saga soundtrack. However, it didn’t feature in the film I believe, I wouldn’t know though as I watch real vampire movies/shows not ones where they fucking glitter in the sun. Why is it one of my favourite songs by Bombay? I cannot say, it just really gripped me and is the only reason I bought the damn Twilight soundtrack. The enchanting and almost meditative sound of the drone already gives ‘A Different Kind of Fix’ a different kind of fix to earlier slightly monotonous sound of ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose’. The guitar and familiar drum rhythm gives a lively start to the album with a ‘Magnet’-esque feel, lyrics though repetitive and slightly simple do the trick of easing us in to a more experiment side of Bombay, a side which I would say they lacked on ‘I Had The Blues…’

‘Bad Timing’ is the next track on the album which was one of 3 new songs they played from ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’ at Reading. Bombay are a very under rated band. The review I remember reading of ‘I Had The Blues’ gave it 4 or 3 out of 10. ‘Bad Timing’ is definitely one of the more powerful tracks on the album and is even quite synthy which is a very different kind of B-B Club. It doesn’t quite follow on from the opener as well as you hoped, however it builds up to a grungey ballad the likes of which we haven’t heard before and although the grungey disonant chords remind me of ‘Cancel On Me’ and ‘The Boy I Used To Be – EP’ this still is a more adventurous and experimental song that anything on ‘I Had The Blues…’

‘Your Eyes’ is one of the more jolly and memorable tracks on the album. It’s different still. It’s not like normal jolly Bombay not too like ‘Ivy & Gold’ or ‘Always Like This’ it stands on it’s own and sounds almost unlike Bombay. The guitar is very Mystery Jet like while the vocal lines are just like usual upbeat Bombay tracks. One of the first things I noticed about the difference in material was that the new tracks are longer, is this a bad thing? It depends. It can feel over stretched in places but overall I find that in this track especially it’s more time spent in ecstasy rather than too much of a good thing.

‘Lights Out, Words Gone’ is an immediate favourite for any listener and was definitely a highlight for anyone who was at their Reading set this year. The bass, synth, and rhythm all make this a stand out track. A female touch to this track gives it a nice ‘soft’ feel, like recently washed clothes, or new bed sheets. The guitar is still very distinctively Bombay, a nice hint of older muted and fresh guitar which gave them their fame and popularity. This is a must buy for every Bombay fan.

‘Take The Right One’ is pretty good again but unfortunately, it’s nothing special. It has no distinctive Bombay traits and is just strummed guitar if it weren’t for Jack Steadman’s unique voice I wouldn’t think very much of this track at all. It’s new and I’m all for bands changing, in fact I think to be considered a great band you must experiment a bit, but this has not grit nothing that hooks you it’s just got a nice vocal line.

‘Shuffle’ is a masterpiece. For Bombay who started out with simple sounds and simple songs to then go and sample ragtime-esque piano and create something so different to ‘Dust On The Ground’ and let alone the fact that their album before this was a folkly acoustic album startles me more that they created such a brilliant new sound. This track is the new kind of fix of the album and another essential Bombay song. Jolly, unique, gripping, and contagious, buy it.

‘Beggars’ is a track that has the hint of ‘Flaws’ which for some reason isn’t reflected much in this album at all. It starts with simple acoustic guitar and blossoms into a bouncy and lively Bombay track creating a nice diversity in the album. The lyrics and guitars really do compliment the fantastic folk side of Bombay a side which unfortunately is left out of this album too much for my liking, but perhaps after a fully acoustic album that was a wise choice.

‘Leave It’ is another great track, there is something unique but also something classic about it. The guitar is slightly mathy, something you would expect from Wave Machines or a watered down Foals, however the bursts of guitar are very much like ‘What If’, ‘Lamplight’ and all the other powerful songs on ‘I Had The Blues’. It’s one of the more ‘boppy’ songs, a ‘bouncer’.

‘Fracture’ is a soft ‘Flaws’ kind of track. The electric guitar and slow emerging drums create a strange ‘flow’ to the song like moving down a river it almost reminds me of Bob Dylan style guitar in the background of ‘Just Like A Woman’ and creates a nice relaxing come down from the sharp texture of ‘Leave It’.

‘What You Want’ confused me. The guitar, lyrics and everything doesn’t  seem to fit. It’s messy, its weird. The guitar starts the vocals come in the synths build up and eventually it all mixes together. The oo’s in the background create a very distinctive Bombay sound which contrasts the very new kind of synth and guitar sounds. It is probably one of the most intriguing tracks by Bombay I have heard it really give this album something special, something odd, abstract. I never used to see Bombay as an abstract band until I heard this track.

‘Favourite Day’ again is like ‘Take The Right One’ a bit better I must say but nothing to special to report on so I’m going to skip onto my favourite track on the album…

‘Still’ is just fucking brilliant. One of the best Bombay track I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear. Maybe it’s because I adore Radiohead but this reminds me of a Radiohead kind of melancholy but it gives this album a phenomenal send of something so different to all other track they have produced something beautiful, soft, simple, melancholic and triumphant. This is my new favourite Bombay track and I couldn’t recommended it more highly.

Here Is ‘Your Eyes’

The Weeknd – ‘Thursday’ Free Mixtape/Album Download. ALBUM REVIEW

Earlier on in the year the underground R&B all stars The Weeknd released ‘House Of Balloons’ their free mixtape/album and now here is their follow up: ‘Thursday’ I have already posted tasters of this album ‘Rolling Stone’ and ‘The Birds Part I’ and from those two tracks alone you can tell what kind of album/mixtape this is…

It kicks off with ‘Lonely Star’ in classic Weeknd Style with falsetto voice and pounding rhythm. It’s one of the classic Weeknd humming tracks which gets lodged into your head making it the perfect album opener leaving you hungry for more. ’Lonely Star’ is one of the tracks that has so many sections in it, it’s hard to put your finger on what aspect you like most. For example this track slows down towards the end which gives this mixtape a full flow as it leads on perfectly to the slightly menacing guitar riff and russian-esque rhythm of ‘Life of the Party’. It’s odd. Not like usual Weeknd, however it does give the impression of a sort of fucked up fun-house which kind of relates back to ‘House Of Balloons’ it’s definitely the darkest track I’ve heard from The Weeknd which kind of makes it the most interesting. People will have mixed emotions about ‘Life Of The Party’ but in my opinion it’s an interesting edgy side of The Weeknd we haven’t heard before. ‘Thursday’ being the title track is anticipated as one of the better tracks. In my opinion it’s kind of dull. It’s very long winded, the majority of the singing is repeated lines or lyricless melodic moans. It’s still a damn sight better than most R&B, the beat is still very entrancing and taking note of the word ‘melodic’ in my last sentence even the repeated moans and echoes of ‘Thursday’ are easy on the ears and relaxing. I think the only reason this seemed to be a let down is because this was the title track. ‘The Zone’ is time for everyones favourite rapper to join in, only kidding it’s fucking Drake. I must give it to him though, he didn’t ruin it. In fact Drake coming into the song is kind of refreshing it’s different so it’s interesting but where this track fails is where ‘Thursday’ failed. The expectation of this song being better than the others purely because a bigger artist is involved really is what makes you disappointed. It’s just like the song before it, long winded, this 7 minute ride isn’t at all like having a long, slow climb up to steep drop on a roller coaster in fact is more like a double ride on ‘It’s a small world after all’. Luckily, ‘The Birds’ are here to fix the albums past to anti climaxes. If you haven’t heard ‘The Birds Part 1’ it’s the first Weeknd song to get. It has a military drum roll to it and a classic R&B charm to it, whist still maintaing The Weeknd’s melancholic style. This is hands down the best song off the mixtape, it has everything you could want It has soft section with acoustic guitar and enchanting vocals towards the end and if that isn’t enough the softer more relaxing style of ‘The Birds Part 2’ should be enough. Part 2 is enriched with some brass and shaky guitar and sections with a ghostly, child-like voice all creating a nice contrast in part 2 to part 1’s powerful military rhythm. Next is ‘Rolling Stone’  which is another favourite of mine, just a simple reverb vocal and acoustic guitar song but with a gripping vocal line and a nice repetitive nature to it making you want to stick it on repeat for hours. ‘Gone’ is the longest track on the album/mixtape and again is pretty long winded but this time it changes towards the end however it’s only toward the last 2 minutes so if you tolerate the first 6 minutes of bland computerised synthy ornaments and the same kind of vocals you heard in ‘The Zone’ and ‘Thursday’  then you will get to an only slightly different kind of the thing at the end of the song. ‘Heaven Or Las Vegas’ has a reggae kind of tint to it. Merging the military style rhythm of ‘The Birds Part 1’ with a more reggae styled bass line and smooth guitar riff’s and ornaments gives ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ a nice fresh feel to it. Towards the end of the track everything fades out in very smooth way with fading trumpets fanfare-ing in a reggae style creating a very refreshing end to a slightly monotonous album.

All I can say is at least The Weeknd are experimenting. There is a clear distinction between the softer more relaxing ‘Thursday’ and the more edgy, haunting and gripping  ‘House Of Balloons’

Tell me what you think: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD ‘THURSDAY’ BY THE WEEKND

 

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