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Archive for March 2nd, 2009

The Spores Make Doom Popular

Posted by Scotio on March 2, 2009

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When you hear the words Doom & Pop put together for an album title, you don’t quite know exactly what to expect. The Spores released an album with just that name Doom Pop. It’s not something that you hear everyday. Your mind gets slightly confused at such a combination. Everything from Metal with Britney Spears lyrics to Timbaland music with Death Growls featured over top run through your mind. Yet, The Spores didn’t do any of that. What they did do was create an album that embodies everything(damn near literally) that folks of mainstream media loved in the mid to late 90’s. Every song, they seem to replicate the same magic of bands from “Generation NeXt.”

“Ghost Town” finds the LA-based threesome giving us some awesome Pop Alternative that has been missing from the scene since Garbage went AWOL. Molly McGuire voice goes into Shirley Manson mode even better than Ms. Manson did on Garbage’s last LP. Greg Biribauer’s guitar work on this song would make Butch Vig blush. Chris Penny’s drum work is spot on for Pop Rock of the last decade. It keeps your foot tapping and your head swaying. McGuire herself brings the bass on with such sass that it’s impossible to not imagine the woman wearing that “I own you” face. The cat & mouse game of two people wanting(or, just lusting) each other is told on this track. Never able to match each other, the two parties are forced to contradict one another. It’s a great track.

Completely switching gears, the band’s song “That’s My Name,” gives one of the best NIN emulations that I’ve ever heard. But, the thing is, it’s not a NIN cover. No, not at all. It’s a track owned completely by The Spores(no, Reznor doesn’t even know this song exist, folks). Yet, the attention to detail and the all out ballsy display of Alternative Industrial will have you scratching your head on this one. Not for being lost, but for feeling like you know it already. Familiarity, in this case, is a damned good thing. You’re instantly drawn in like you’re greeting an old friend that you enjoyed spending time with. McGuire, Biribauer & Penny go strong for this track. The breakdowns are top-notch. Molly doesn’t ever yell or scream on the song. Instead, she plays it smart like Free Dominguez of Kidneythieves. She keeps her voice strong and steady. Letting the lyrics & the music get the attention that they deserve(even though the first & second verses are exactly the same). Greg takes on the role of Robin Finck, and does a flooring performance. Penny seems to be the Dave Grohl from With Teeth sessions. To say that this song is my favorite track on this album would be an understatement. This is my favorite track not only from this LP, but my official track of the month. If this three piece decided to go completely industrial(which from this display shows that they could with great ease), this song could have done for them what Closer did for Nine Inch Nails. Yes, it’s that powerful. At least I feel so . . . “In My Head.”

“Secret Weapon” comes on with a deceptive electronic intro. The collusion of sounds that follows after takes you like a storm. This track sounds like something missing from the Spawn OST for the live action movie(the soundtrack was kickass, and you know it!). With electronic alterations lacing nearly every instrument involved in this recording, you don’t know where to classify this. Still, you know that if 90’s MTV got their hands on this, it would be in heavy rotation on their video line-up. This is best suited as a sort of poppier companion to Filter+The Crystal Method’s (Can’t You) Trip Like I Do. Yes, The Spores can trip . . . like you do.

To show that they aren’t all about explicit electronic usage, “Do The Void” comes in with a Jimmy Eat World(circa Clarity/Bleed American) vibe. It’s that Pop Alternative with Punk Influences that was formerly known as “Emo”(which was before it was redubbed in ’05, kiddies). Even the lyrics encompasses the same mentality of that era: “Never should have ever thought of nothing at all.” That displays the whole “ehhh . . . so what” attitude that started then and still lives on to this day.

When they move over to the sexual side of electronic, they unleash “Shadyglade.” They pull off something similar to old school Tricky/Massive Attack . . . or, to a less popular extent, Lamb with this song. Biribauer’s mini solo after the choruses has an intoxicating exotic flare that makes the song that much more memorable. The track is almost entirely electronic save for a very small number of elements. It’s as seductive as it is digital. “The Spinning Wheel” is the complete opposite of this. It’s the Yin to Shadyglade’s Yang. Pulling out the acoustic guitar, the song is equally as intimate, but on a completely different level. A tale of love for someone who is trying to let go of yester-longing, only to find out that it’s still haunting. This is for all the Jewel & Fiona Apple fans.

This album has everything anyone who loved watching MTV before running off to school would adore. This plays like a sensational mixtape of various styles and acts . . . yet, it’s all from one band. And, mainly the work of just Molly & Greg outside of drumming, at that. The comparisons of the other bands are FAR from anything to be given as disrespect to the bands or towards The Spores. Doom Pop, as it seems, isn’t anything new . . . but rather something cool that is lost today. What does hurt is the fact that the band has split . . . or is just on hiatus. Hopefully, they’ll work out their differences and continue to bring their awesomeness to the world. The album is heavily underappreciated for what it does, and what it could do. With just one slip of major play, McGuire & Biribauer could have(and still can) end up resurrectors to an era recently passed but so wrongly deceased.

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1090 Club Proves Darwin Right With Natural Selection

Posted by Scotio on March 2, 2009

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1090 Club is a dynamic young band from Montana. I know. Montana of all places. That’s a state that doesn’t pop into your mind when you’re thinking music. Especially when you’re thinking creative and remarkable indie music. Having already released one album via SideCho Records(Shipwrecked On Shores, for those wondering), this four piece comin’ straight outta Billings(A little quirky humor) sets the scene ablaze with their sophomore offering Natural Selection. College radio lovers should be prepared for this application of Darwinism.

Right out of the gate, the lads set the bar high with “ITSON.” Yes, it’s all one word. The track is infections and furious(for the standards of the Indie Scene). The foursome settles all questions with this welcoming address. Megan Dibble beautifully applies a string section for the song that brings in a brooding and moody presence that battles against the uptempo drumming of Steve Serfazo and the nonchalant tenor of Mike Galt’s voice. At times Sean Lynch’s guitar work best with Megan’s work, and at other times it completely contradicts it. Going from simple and assisting to distorted and attention grabbing. With ambiguous lyrics, it’s not hard to apply the concept to anything from relationships to politics. Parents of intellectual students attending a university, be warned: they now have a new theme song with this cut.

For “Conversations,” Megan takes up the helm at providing the lead vocals, with Mike offering her backing assistance. 1090 throws in some soft lo-fi electronic sound for this song, which would initially confuse the listener. Yet, allow it to play to the chorus, and you begin to feel akin to the song. Specifically if you’ve ever been in a relationship where things start to wear thin. Without getting heavy into details, you can feel the caged frustration and defeatism that has overcome the narrator. With lyrics such as “It has always amazed me, the type of things that you will do/ To get what it is you want done” you know that the end is nigh.

The track “Claire,” is tragic song. Not in the sense of it sounding bad(though it does sound like Mike recorded his vocals at home), it’s for the content. The subject matter being that of telling of someone whom is no longer walking the earth. At first, you start to discredit the song due to the strange mixing of Mike’s vocals. Yet, keep it going for a bit more and it gives a new realm to the whole song. Allowing it to become something more personal and not some studio concoction. The thing that which pushed away ends up drawing one in closer, in the end. Another track that has such strange vocal mixing is the proceeding track “Hearts.” Though, where “Claire” stood out for it, this seems to slightly hold back “Hearts.” Which is a shame due to the fact that the music for the song is so alluring.

“Happiness” is the most true-to-form Indie song out of the whole bunch. Bringing such a powerful sense of DIY, you’re almost tempted to believe that the track is a live performance featured at some house party event. It’s one of the most straight forward tracks on the album. Telling the tale of a love gone wrong, but still in action. It makes the situation uneasy and the narrator holds fast to disturbed disappointment in the other as strongly as they hold onto the love. A great song, and sure to be played by those annoyed by the ones they love. “Do (An Act),” the last song on the ten track release, escorts listeners out just as brilliantly as they welcomed them in. Megan takes to plucking the strings on her violin for this song. It’s a small little thing that adds such a huge element to the song. It, to me, steals the show for the release(I love little details). There’s one small lyric that stands out the most to me: “Archenemies align.” It’s seems like the best analogy I’ve ever heard of someone looking at two people involved with each other.

Anyone whom saw their set up and believed them to be another form of The Fray will be forced to reset their views after hearing this album. Those unfamiliar with the group and are a part of that “College Indie Radio” listening coalition needs to perk up their ears to tune in for these musicians. They aren’t built for mainstream. It’s true. It’s not harsh, it’s honesty. And, honestly, they’ll find much more success with a dedicated fanbase willing to snatch up tickets whenever they come to their town. That’s the type of people that these Montana natives will attract. Maybe growing up on the open range allowed them to flourish their creativity just as widely. Montana should be proud.

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