Sunday, April 30th, 2006
|Aloha / Some Echoes (Polyvinyl)
Based in various locales around the east coast of the United States (but nowhere near Hawaii), Aloha walk a line between pop song structures and post-rock moods, with hummable melodies, skittering rhythms and dense instumentation. The ensuing result can often be hard to pin down, which works both in the band’s favour and not. Case in point, their latest album, Some Echoes. On one hand, it’s an interesting and eclectic listen from the Pinback-y opener “Brace Your Face” to the classic Shins-esque pop of “Your Eyes”, but from the math-rock POV, it’s too poppy to really engage the left side of the brain and from the pop POV, it’s too mathematical to engage the necessary emotional response. I dunno. I’ve actually listened to this album a fair bit, trying to figure it out but I just can’t. Maybe you’ll have better luck.
MP3: Aloha – “Your Eyes”
|Aerogramme / Seclusion (Sonic Unyon)
I saw Aerogramme open for fellow Scots the Delgados a few years back, and at first I thought, “hey these guys aren’t bad, they’re–” and then they started screaming. And then they started singing again. And then the screaming. And that, in a nutshell, was Aerogramme. They write some great songs and then often ruin them with what I suppose is meant to be “cathartic” screaming – inexplicable since frontman Craig B really can sing. Thankfully, on this EP, originally released in the UK in Fall of 2004 but only available in North America as of a few weeks ago, they’ve checked the angst somewhat and have put together quite a listenable, dramatic and impassioned record with only a nominal amount of screaming. And yes, that indeed is a hard-rocking version of The Flaming Lips’ “Lightining Strikes The Postman”. Your ears do not deceive you. At this rate, they may actually put out a record I can listen to and enjoy, cringe-free, within a few years.
|She Sir (independent)
Austin’s She Sir makes a bit of hay from the fact that the two principal members are both orchestral composers, but they must have formed this band to escape the rigidness of their day jobs because they sound like any countless number of youngsters who fell under the spell of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless in the early 90s. Their debut EP is still forthcoming sometime this Summer, but they’ve made a couple of demos available to hear via their websites. Based on these teasers, expect dense, fuzzed-out guitars, uncannily Kevin Shields-y vocals and generally old-school shoegazey goodness. Worth watching.
np – Jens Lekman / When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog