Sunday, February 12th, 2006
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 24
|The Metal Hearts / Socialize (Suicide Squeeze)
This sophomore record from a pair of Baltimore teenagers sounds like it was recorded by flashlight under a makeshift tent constructed from blankets. It’s got classically DIY indie sonics, though updated for the 21st century. Instead of the hiss, wow and flutter of a cassette four-track, it sounds like drum loops, direct-recorded guitars and ultra-dry, right-in-your-ear vocals, all recorded to a digital home-studio-in-a-box, though flourishes of horns and strings definitely lift things above home demo quality. The songs are filled with a nervous calm, self-assured but still refusing to make eye contact. Charming, yet somehow unsettling. Worth a listen. The album is out February 21.
Metal Hearts will be at SxSW on March 16 at Emo’s and on March 17 for at Lucky Lounge.
|Ester Drang / Rocinate (Jade Tree)
This third release from Okies Ester Drang opens strongly with a pair of excellent tunes that recall the laid-back, atmospheric cool of Ambulance LTD. But where that New York combo could be faulted for too much stylistic hopping in their sound, Ester Drang loses points for just the opposite. While starting on the right foot with “Come Back Alive” and “Valencia’s Dying Dream”, over the course of the record they lose steam by refusing to switch gears out of their mid-tempo groove. The production and sounds are immaculate but maybe a little too measured. I liked this record, but found myself wishing they’d get their hands a little dirty and just throw down for a song. Just one.
Ester Drang will be at SxSW on March 18 at Emo’s
np – Aimee Mann / Lost In Space