Category Archives: Electronic

Album Review: Bombadil – Hold On

Bombadil - Hold OnI was told Bombadil, who hail from Durham, NC, were a pop-folk act that I needed to listen to.

Seeing they hail from the same state as a certain Brothers band that I adore enough to tattoo their cover art on me, I figured why the heck not.

I cannot say I’d heard of Bombadil prior to checking them out, but after doing a little research, I learned that they have been around since 2005 and caught the attention of Ramseur Records thanks to their MySpace page.  Next month, the band is dropping their fifth full length album on  titled Hold On.

I was not sure about “Coughing on the F Train” when I first listened to it.  The song reminded me of an 80s track mixed with a storyline Beck might have created in the 90s.  Overall, it was catchy, but just slower in some areas.  One song in and I already started to wonder if this band had any folk in them (Note: Their older material has a much heavier folk appeal to it from what I have listened to after writing this up).

“Amy’s Friend” cleared my question up immediately.  This track was a gentle duet that clearly has swooning abilities with great harmonies throughout.

I enjoyed “Bill You For Your Trash”, especially the guitar solo towards the end.  I could not help but think of Simon & Garfunkel in a sense while listening to this track.

“I Can’t Believe in Myself and Love You Too” made me just want to crawl in a hole with a bottle of something strong.  What a sad track.  I can not say I dug the backing vocals though, it was almost too much.

“Framboise” was one of my favorite tracks on the album.  It was almost like listening to something from the 60s.  I loved the mix of French and English singing on this track.  I secretly wish this song would have morphed into a “Bohemian Rhapsody” of sorts.  The explosion at the end I was waiting for, never happened though.  Still, very creative track.

“Love You Too Much” carried one hell of a Motown feel.    Robinson’s vocal range on this track was impressive to say the least.  I have the feeling this track is ten times better live.

I laughed to myself when I saw the title “Rhapsody in Black and White” given my previous thought regarding Queen.  I was not too sure about this track.  It was almost too weird.  I understood the premise, but was this serious or satire?  Also, can I just comment how much Robinson sounds like Pete Townshend?  I can not tell you how long it took me to find the perfect comparison, but while listening to this song, it finally struck me.

“Honest” should have been called “Brutally Honest”.  If this was not a personal confession of revalation, then Robinson has one creative ass thought process.  This track easily could have been a Brand New track.  I am not sure how many of you will even understand what I just stated, so allow me to clarify:  This track was super heavy on the emo, even with the random electronic breakdown towards the end.  This was an amazing, powerful song that I was not expecting.

“Love Is Simply” closed out the album with a very well put together composure.  There was so much going on in this track.  I candidly thought of Flight of the Concords, but only due to the singing styles.  This track was pro-love, at least I think it is.  The burning bag comment kind of threw me off.

Bombadil has their own unique approach to pop-folk with a more subtle sound that in turn is quite comforting and catchy at times.  I really think their genre is a lot broader than they get credit for.

Plenty of people are going to get into this band with Hold On as it almost caters to everyone.  With plenty of creativity in creating their own style, I can admit that I am now a fan.

Album Review: Electric Six – Human Zoo

Electric Six - Human ZooI remember the very first time Electric Six (E6) hit my ears.

I was working at a Borders Books, Music & Cafe in some fancy Cleveland suburb one night just minding my own business.  One of my co-workers was unpacking all of the promotional CDs for the listening booths and asked me to help him out.

Flashback Memory: As I am sure many of your remember, there was a time when CDs were the staple of the music industry and at Borders, we literally had to manually input CDs into the CD players that were locked below the CD shelves.  This was done so all you consumers could come in and check out an album prior to its release.  Duh.

Anyways, I remember seeing a copy of E6’s debut release Fire sitting out on the counter.  For whatever reason, I picked up the CD to see what it was all about and soon flipped it over to see the track titles.  I decided to sneak in a listen after I put the CD into the listening station.  I have been a fan ever since.  I just sat there on the floor of the music department loving every song on that title.  Needless to say, I snagged that CD the day it officially released and have had it in rotation for years.

I can’t say every release since Fire had as huge of an impact on me, but I have always appreciated what Dick Valentine and crew have done for 10+ years now.  Last years Mustang left a pretty good impression on me, but I just was not blown away completely.

The Detroit garage/rock/funk/disco/jam/electronica/jack-of-all-trades genre-bending act just dropped an all new album titled Human Zoo.  I am happy to say I mostly enjoyed the living hell out of it and I am pretty confident any E6 fan out there will too.

“Karate Lips” opened with an enthusiastic chant of “Electric Six” that quickly changed to “karate lips”.   The song, clearly about some tough-ass women, was heavy on the funk with an electric indie rock style that closely resembled stuff you might hear from the The Faint.

“It’s Horseshit!” was almost too much for my brain to compute yet I loved it.  It was like listening to a late 80s boy baElectric Sixnd infused with Daft Punk.  Definitely a track that people can get weird to.  The music and just overall feel of this song really resembled that vibe I first felt on Fire.

Valentine swooned beyond senselessly in “Alone With Your Body”.  I listened to this track a couple of times over because I liked it so much.  This was like the working man’s love jam.  Valentine sang as a simple man with plenty of Detroit soul backing him up.  I adored the back up singing as well as candid lyrics like “I’ll be there in a jiffy with a stiffy”.

“Satanic Wheels” grew on me after listening to it a couple of times.  I loved the synth throughout.  I felt like I was listening to typical E6 but with keyboard playing taking queues from 80s arena rock bands.  It was psychedelic yet indie if that makes sense.  I guess what I am trying to say is that this song ruled and was one of my favorites on the album.

“Gun Rights” was bizarre and unexpected.  I thought I was listening to Ween mashed with Mike Patton.  “Don’t take away my rights, my gun rights” repeated over and over with a fun Mexican folk melody.  The quick spoken-word of Valentine in the middle just kept things even more interesting.

“I Need A Restaurant” just did not do it for me.  The song seemed to just downgrade from all the craziness I previously was engulfed in.  Sadly, I skipped this track halfway into and barely made it through “Worst Movie Ever”.

“I’m the Devil” sounded more like something Tenacious D would have done one of their albums.  It was not terrible by any means but seemed more of a skit than a song.  I almost wish Dave Grohl would have jumped in on this track dressed as the devil.  I did like the Young Guns-like guitar playing style.  The best part of this track was at the very end when apparently Jesus Christ had a speaking roll.  Who knew he was such a burnout?

“The Afterlife” ended with a synth-pop tune that thankfully did not let the album end on a bad note for this listener.  I wish it were a little more sped up but for what it is worth, it was not a terrible listen by any means.

Human Zoo overall was a blast.  E6 continues to entertain but I will admit the latter portion of the album kind of fell short.   Regardless, most of the release got me all sorts of excited just like their debut did over 10 years ago.  This band in my opinion still entertains on a higher level.

Album Review: Streaming Satellites – Slipstream

Sometimes I find out about bands the hard way and I miss out on them.  Other times, as in this case, I am given a proper heads up by someone who believes in the band and knows the world needs to hear them.  It’s my turn now to follow their lead and tell you all about a band called Streaming Satellites.

Already a big deal overseas, Austria’s Streaming Satellites are about to drop their sophomore release on Monday titled Slipstream, and all I can say about it is I have a feeling it will be grabbing some attention.  I really was caught off-guard with this release and was thinking after hearing they were an electronic-indie band that they would have sounded a lot different than what I was treated to.

Synth-heavy, indie rock with serious soul singing was my initial reaction about what Streaming Satellites  were all about.  Then I listened to them some more and started thinking about Pink Floyd, especially the female singing in many of their songs (someone please tell me you know what I am talking about).  Then I picked up some Dan Auerbach howls  and riffs hiding behind groovy 70s music.

I will admit, it took a moment for me to get into them and at first I was expecting more 90s Daft Punk with the opening track, but things soon shifted into an entirely different direction.  I loved “Timezone” with plenty of funk groove synch music layered under catchy indie rock jams. “No Sleep For The Damned” was almost too fuzzy, but it sounded just right.  “Shadows Collide” was astray from the others, but equally as entertaining.

Towards the end of the album, things get even better with a horn section playing and full out jam sessions.  Seriously, what is not to like about this?

Slipstream truly is full of a unique blend of music from today and yesteryear aimed at anyone who just likes to get down.  Max Borchardt really has a unique signing style that carries well throughout the release.  At times his voice reminds me of a calmer J. Roddy Walston as well as a younger Robert Plant.

I usually steer clear when I hear the words “Electronic” and “Indie” put together in a sentence, but this is different, and this is good.  Try not to let Slipstream sneak past you.  If you are looking for something a little different to check out, but full of music and styles similar to bands you your parents playing on the good ol’ turntable, you really owe it to yourself to check out Streaming Satellites.  They really are a unique band.

Download This!: Minus The Bear – Hold Me Down EP

One of my favorite indie/rock/happy bands, Minus The Bear, have decided to post their new EP titled Hold Me Down for free download (see below for link). 

The EP features the title track (off of OMNI), three live tracks recorded at the Dangerbird Records studios, a b-side titled “Broken China” and a “My Time” remix.

Did I mention it is free? I think I did. You know what to do…

The Awesome: Daft Punk’s New Video For “Derezzed”

ElecTRONica at it’s finest.

Daft Punk has done it again.  The pro-robotic duo recently dropped the score to the new Tron Legacy movie that will be out next week.  I have already listened to it multiple times.  It is good, if you like the Daft Punk of course…

Today the video for their single “Derezzed” was released and I just watched it….

Wow. Just, wow…