Sunday, August 14th, 2005
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 3
|The Juan Maclean / Less Than Human (Astralwerks)
I did a review of the LCD Soundsystem album a while back, basically summing it up as “this is the sort of thing that will surely appeal to people who are not me. Not offensive, but not my bag”. When I got a copy of The Juan Maclean’s debut album, I figured I could make with the CTRL-C/CTRL-V action and be done with it, what with the same DFA/Six Finger Satellite points of reference. I’m glad I didn’t, however, as this record is a considerably different ball of wax. It’s still a ball of wax, but it’s different. Far less vocal-oriented, The Juan Maclean offers up more interesting beats and general sonic goodies than LCD. While still perfectly danceable, it would also function quite well as a chill-out lounge soundtrack. While still not necessarily something that’s going to work its way into heavy rotation around these parts, I’d take it over LCD in a heartbeat.
|The Charade / The Best Is Yet To Come (Skipping Stones)
Hailing from Sweden, The Charade play jaunty, upbeat indie pop of exactly the style you’d expect from a Swedish band called The Charade. Strummy acoustic guitars, plinky pianos, jangly electric guitars, twee-friendly boy-girl vocals, it’s all here. The Charade are a little longer in the tooth than you might expect for an act in this style, with guitarist Magnus Karlsson having kicked around as a professional musician since 1988, but age ain’t nothing but a number when you’ve got sunshiney pop music in your heart. If there’s any downside, it’s that if you’re a fan of this style of music, chances are you’ve already got shitloads of records that sound like this one.
|Bedroom Walls (MySpace)
Los Angeles’ Bedroom Walls were brought to my attention by Gary, who took it upon himself to audit the audio samples of every band who attended SxSW this past March. A daunting feat by any standard – hell, I WENT and I couldn’t even be bothered to investigate everyone. Anyway, Bedroom Walls were one of his recommendations coming out of the exercise and after all that work, the least I could do was give a listen. Trading in a style the band has dubbed “romanticore”, they’ve got touches of glam, folk, chamber, pop and indie. Overall laid back and richly melodic, they manage to sound familiar and fresh at the same time. Nice stuff. They’ve got one full-length – I Saw You Coming Back To Me – an EP and a second album, All Good Dreamers Pass This Way, en route. There’s scads of downloads from on their website and MySpace page.
np – Echo & The Bunnymen / Songs To Learn And Sing