July 23, 2011
For anyone who braved the blistering heat yesterday, Death from Above 1979 made one of their few non-festival appearances on their "reunion tour" (the bands term, not mine) well worth the risk of heat stroke. The Canadian noise/dance-punk duo returned with just as much prowess as one could have hoped as they delivered ear wrenching blasts of power heavy tracks that made so many hope for their return in the first place. The two picked up right where they left off, foot stomping rock and roll with heavy bass and screeching vocals that pack quite the punch. With no new material to work with, it was all the hits the fans wanted and then some. The duo drew heavily from their much loved debut full length, but added key tracks from their EPs for all the die hard fans who have been waiting the past six years to hear these songs live again. The motorcycle growl of Jesse Keller's bass mixed with his MSTRKRFT style electronics are matched by Sebastian Grainger's dismantling attack on drums that seem to make noise rock as accessible as possible as they bring radio friendly metal riffs, hard punk vocals, and double kick-drum to the fore front of their sound. Each track has as much groove as it does noise and anarchy yet somehow the band is really able to capture real sound and emotion. As the set began to come to a close (when a band only has one full length a show can only go for so long) more and more calls for "one more record" made it even more apparent that fans are not done with these guys. Favorites "Blood on your Hands" and an extended "Romantic Rights" sealed the deal and proved these guys can still rock really hard and could keep this going for quite some time before actually needing to record new material. But if they do go down that path, there are plenty of people ready and willing to listen.
01. Turn it Out
02. Dead Womb
03. Going Steady
04. Too Much Love
05. Cold War
06. Black History Month
07. Go Home, Get Down
08. Girl U R Lovely
09. Little Girl
10. You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
11. Blood on Our Hands
12. Pull Out
13. We Don't Sleep at Night
14. Romantic Rights
15. Do It
16. Losing Friends
17. If We Don't Make It, We'll Fake It
July 20, 2011
July 12, 2011
Last July, I dropped my first mixtape of summer jams. A year has passed and once again I am posting some songs to help cool things down. Just like last year, many of these songs have been blazing through my speakers and will probably make my year end list, but in the mean time they should help keep your mind off the sweltering heat here in the concrete jungle. So whether you're up on a roof, chilling pool side or melting away on the MTA, these tunes will help you stay fresh.
01. Battles | "Ice Cream (feat. Matias Aguayo)"
02. The Strokes | "Taken for a Fool"
03. Washed Out | "Amor Fati"
04. Robyn | "Call Your Girlfriend"
05. tUnE-yArDs | "Gangsta"
06. Panda Bear | "Alsatian Darn"
07. Wiz Khalifa | "Roll Up"
08. Tennis | "Cape Dory"
09. The Beach Boys | "Don't Worry Baby"
10. Toro y Moi | "Still Sound"
11. Beyoncé | "Party (feat. André 3000)"
12. Twin Sister | "Bad Street"
13. The Weeknd | "The Party & The After Party"
14. Bon Iver | "Calgary"
15. Cults | "Rave On"
Listen on Spotify.
July 4, 2011
Vans kicked off their free summer concert series here in Brooklyn last week with a jam packed line-up of noisey fun. California hardcore act Ceremony kicked off the evening with their energy infused set of classic punk inciting circle pits and flying fists among other things. The aggressive growls and yells were met with pounding drums and thundering bass.
Cults were the odd band on the bill as they definitely did not fit in with the noise factor of the rest of the acts, however they were still able to fully engage their crowd even though their hopes of a circle pit of their own, never came to fruition. The expanded line-up of Cults, Manson family hair and all, brushed through their sugary pop jams meant for summer parties. New tracks such as "Abducted" and "Yeah You Know What I Mean" sounded fantastic and old tunes "Go Outside" and "Oh My God" really got people moving. While Madeline's voice is utterly amazing, the mix did not allow for their great sound to really penetrate the crowd. Some key elements were lost along the way holding back the band from making a great performance amazing.
Trance/dance/noise/punk band HEALTH served as the bridge between the pop dance-ability of Cults and the hardcore grind of No Age. The great energy brought forth by the band was equally matched by enthusiastic fans as synth undertones were upstaged by frantic drumming and swirling guitar. The rich sound provided perpetual grooves as the band powered through jam after jam culminating in their epic "USA BOYS" which proved to be the ultimate moment of their set as the crowd totally let loose showing a true blend of crowd surfing, moshing, and dancing ensuring that these guys can really draw a diverse crowd and still are able to make the most out of their truly unique sound.
It has already felt like a long night by the time No Age took the stage, however as soon as these two plugged in a second wind filled the crowd. The hard hitting Dean Spunt tore up his drum kit as he belted away each song while Randy Randall shredded away just a few steps over. The raw energy of these two really showcased their ability to rip through their oldest jams "Everybody's Down" with the same intensity as new classic "Fever Dreaming" and showed that these two are not afraid to mix old and new tracks for a set list full of punk classics in the making. The ear splitting guitar of Randall and exuberant drumming of Spunt showed a duo in prime form on the verge of being as big as they ever could have thought. The two display such a presence onstage that is hard to find amongst their peers. They blur the line of their DIY punk roots with their Pitchfork adorned present and are still able to hold true to their sound making them one of few bands that have been making consistently better albums over time.