October 2003 Archives

Modern Day Urban Barbarians: The Endless RetreatCD, South 6 Prod 2003

Track list: TV - Waiting for a Break - New Elvis - Treading Water - Pop Culture Casualties - Slaves - Enjoy the Ride - Outer Space - Statement

This NYC duo consists of bassist/vocalist and a drummer playing rough music. It actually sounds pretty good. It doesn't reach the heights of genius Ruins does, but sounds definitely interesting. Unfortunately the good music is ruined by very weak vocals. Were this instrumental, I'd give it probably four stars. With this vocalist singing these banalities ("Pop Culture Casualties" and "Slaves" being the worst examples), two stars is the best I can do. I'd like to like this, but the vocals make it quite difficult. **

Belle & Sebastian: Dear Catastrophe WaitressCD, Rough Trade 2003

Track list: Step Into My Office, Baby - Dear Catastrophe Waitress - If She Wants Me - Piazza, New York Catcher - Asleep on a Sunbeam - I'm a Cuckoo - You Don't Send Me - Wrapped Up in Books - Lord Anthony - If You Find Yourself Caught in Love - Roy Walker - Stay Loose

I fell in love with Belle & Sebastian when I heard Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant and I still can't understand people who think the album sucks. New B&S album was an easy buy for me, then, after hearing some good thing about it. And I love it! It has several good songs and the overall quality is very even - all top-notch. I love the way they sound like The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel and themselves. Perfect pop music. *****

Emperor: IX Equilibrium

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Emperor: IX EquilibriumCD, Candlelight 1999

Track list: Curse You All Men - Decrystallizing Reason - An Elegy of Icaros - The Source of Icon E - Sworn - Nonus Aequilibrium - The Warriors of Modern Death - Of Blindness & Subsequent Seers

Emperor is the musical version of a vicious snowstorm. Many will probably find both equally unpleasant. Emperor's sound is difficult to take, if you're not familiar with black metal. There are slower parts and parts that actually sound beautiful, but that's hidden between the fierce and the wicked. Ihsahn's vocals are strong, even though it's quite difficult to hear the words. Fortunately they are printed in the booklet. The drummer Trym is another key player in the band, his furious drum style is very important part of the Emperor sound. IX Equilibrium offers rather excellent black metal, for those who can appreciate it. ****

Liekki: Korppi

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Liekki: KorppiCD, Ranka Recordings 2003

Track list: Veit omasi lentoon - Kun kattojen ylle löi (aurinkoon) - En voi auttaa - Korppi - Luulin, luulen - Tikari - Saattaja - Tuletko niinkuin öinen maa - Pienokainen - Valkoinen on enkelten yö

I was mildly curious about the first Liekki album ("Magio"), but hearing some songs from "Korppi" got me even more curious. After choosing "Pienokainen" for my cell phone ring tune, I finally went and bought the album. I'm very glad I did, because it's simply excellent. It's sensitive pop music, which I would date to 1970's, if I didn't know better. I like the 70's touch, it makes Liekki sound refreshingly different. I'm also sucker for flute, which can be heard on several songs. There are plenty of good tracks, the best being probably "Veit omasi lentoon", "Korppi", "Pienokainen", "En voi auttaa"... but they are all great. Very, very good! *****

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