Painted on Water: Chicago Issue

This Turkish band may think they know how to rock out, but the new pop/jazz/rock style is a memo I must have missed. Painted On Water, produced by Demirkan, is a painful listen for the fellow rock lover. The album, Chicago Issue, is a jerk jazzy sound that is “spiced” up with some serious lack of talent on the guitar. This alone could make Painted On Water fail, but Erener’s adds those Polish pop vocals bringing this all together as one chaotic rock experience. An frightful experience one might find difficult to compare any other to. Where as most pop rock leaves much to be desired to the traditional rock fan, the jazzy upbeat completes any doubt in the listeners ear. The songs end up fading into one another, only stretching your headache into one long nightmare. This album could lead rock fans to insanity, not one member of this band works well with another, leaving your ears wanting to fall off your head just to get away from the ruckus they call music. Never before has any band disgraced a genre so badly. This album has no better use than to be a coaster for your dogs sunday treat that he’ll barf up later anyway.

Eddie B: Paper, Piff & Polo

Music Review: Eddie B- Paper, Piff & Polo

As it turns out, Paper, Piff & Polo is a pretty fitting title for this record as it’s just about all Eddie B talks about for the entire 48 minute disc.  In fact, I have no personal knowledge of Eddie B or anything about him, but by the 1,300,500 reference of smoking weed and the 100,900,800 reference to how much money he has (all numbers approximate) I started to think that maybe this guy really does like weed and money.

Luckily, Eddie B decides to branch out from time to time to cover other topics including intercourse with various females, describing how he’s the best at rapping, and then some more about weed smoking, because in Eddie B.’s world there’s never enough weed smoking.

Now full disclaimer before I begin to decipher this album on a track by track basis, I had never heard of Eddie B before listening to the album and after listening I’m not quite sure I’m in the target audience for such a project.  Truthfully I don’t even know what the B. in his name stands for and when I googled him the only information I could find was that he’s a white guy who apparently likes wearing hats and jean shorts.  But with that out of the way, here’s a track by track synopsis of the jean-short aficionado Mr. B.’s new album:

Track 1: Galloping

If looking for one track representative of Eddie B. look no further than galloping.  The track features all the Eddie B. favorites from smoking weed (I’m blazing the hash/get ready for the nuclear blast) to money (we making the cash fast) with a variety of sex references and brags thrown in for good measure.

Overall the track’s somewhat mediocre, but the language is definitely a little too salty to be playing on air.

Track 2: Rocket Ishmael

If held at gunpoint by Eddie B and his associates and forced to listen to one song off the album I would choose Rocket Ishmael.  The beat is surprisingly solid and Eddie B. seems to have brought out his best rhymes about weed and sex for the occasion.  Of course the song using former College Football star Raghib “Rocket” Ismail (not sure if he spells it wrong on purpose or not, maybe the weed’s getting to his head) talks about how he sells cocaine so quick it’s like he’s Rocket Is(h)mail.

Overall if I had to chose one song to play this would be it, but considering the number of obscenities and the fact that the song is about selling cocaine as fast as Rocket Ismail, probably not one to add to the playlist.

Track 3: Touchdown

In case you didn’t get that Eddie B liked football from his Rocket Is(h)mail reference in song two, he brings it back up with the track touchdown, although the parallel doesn’t make a lot of sense.  The song is basically him saying a bunch of things about having guns and smoking weed with him saying “touchdownnnnnnnnnn” at certain time in the chorus.

Overall beat starts off promising until Eddie B. says a lot of stuff that is in no way connected.

Track 4: Green Leaf Sermon

In conjunction with fellow rapper Roc Marciano, Eddie B. goes on a minute long verse throwing in a variety of sports references including Wayne Gretzky, Irving ‘Magic’ Johnson, and Michael Irving, the last of who he claims to have sold an 8-ball to.

Overall, no.

Track 6: The Warning

Another fairly mediocre song in which Eddie B. says he’ll “break up your family like orphan Annie.”  Not terrible but not what I would call good music, he also gets out-rapped by everyone else on the song.

Overall, no.

Track 7/8/9: Welcome to Surf School, Checkmate, Loudpack

None of these are necessarily bad, they’re not ones I’d go out of my way to play either.

Overall, no, no, and no.

Track 10: Piranhas of the Sky

Eddie B. starts off his verse: hickory dickory dock/ beautiful biddies from Sicilia, Italy sick on my Cock, which is about all you need to know about this song.

Overall, unless you’re into nursery rhymes turned sexual, no.

Track 11/12/13: Concentration, H.G.H., Anywhere it takes me

Isaiah Thomas, Rex Ryan, Mario Lemieux, Carmelo Anthony, Nolan Ryan, Pistol Pete references but nothing noteworthy otherwise.

Overall no, no, and another no.

Track 15/16: Destined for Greatness, Fountains

Synopsis of Track 15 sings about how he’s destined for greatness before rhyming: your bitch be looking good/but that pussy smell like tuna fish. Not sure this is what greatnes

Polly Scattergood: Arrows

Polly Scattergood, Arrows Album Review

Olivia August

 

Polly Scattergood’s sophomore album is relatively unimpressive. Many critics have described both the album and her overall sound as “dark”, but I think this description is topical, at most. Scattergood’s lyrics are not often lighthearted, but they also just float there with nothing to ground them. The album feels like reading the diary of a depressed, hip, teen poet. She attempts to appeal to her listener’s sensitive, lonely, introspective side but ends up going to juvenile with it.

Lyrics like “And I woke up in your bed/ covered in your roses red/ and there’s money in the liquor jar/ wished upon a falling star” in the song “Wanderlust” just kind of hang there. They attempt to be poignant or powerful but really they just sound untethered. There is no context. And then there are songs like “Cocoon” in which Scattergood sings “As I stumble, look away/ Don’t want you to see me this way/ I am no good, I am no good at all/ Nobody catch me when I fall”, just self deprecating lyrics that wreak of melodrama.

Scattergood’s sound is definitely an interesting one; her voice is dark, high, and clear and lends a sort of ethereal feel to her music. It pulls the listener in and makes them want to keep listening, to find out whom this Scattergood character really is. But that’s the problem; it does feel like a character, or even a caricature of the emotionally isolated artist. There isn’t anything deeper than the topically personal and the listener is left feeling as if they were reading the diary pages of a teenage fairy. There is not enough detail to connect with.

 

Recommended Tracks:

Falling

Miss You

Wanderlust

Sesame Streetcar Named Disaster by Milk Carton Superstars

Upon receiving my assignment to review an album entitled Sesame Streetcar Named Disaster I immediately found myself with an overpoweringly negative bias.  I typically don’t mind bands trying to be witty within their work, but something about Milk Carton Superhero’s inclusion of my favorite childhood show Sesame Street left a bad taste in my mouth, much like how I felt after seeing Sesame Street Corruptions for the first time.  The cover art features a forlorn Big Bird with an acoustic guitar leaning on a street corner, seemingly contemplating the meaninglessness of life, as a literal street car named “Disaster” begrudgingly mopes by.  I’m sure there’s some sort of humor within this whole ensemble, but once the CD is opened and the actual members of Milk Carton Superstars are exposed, the band photos are even more uncomfortable.  It could just be my lack of years and my affinity for younger, fresher music, but the men making up the band look like sad, old dads who’ve started to dabble in steampunk as a way to make their band seem more “relevant.”

When I finally dove into the music my negative premonitions about the record were not far from what I experienced.  The music sounds as if Collective Soul hired Chris Daughtry to make a record that was not relevant to any time period, idea, or feeling.  The music is vaguely out of the mid to late 90s era by taking obvious notes from bands like Semisonic, the Gin Blossoms, and other alternative rock bands who were frozen in time during the mid-nineties.  However, the Milk Carton Superstars take it a step further and add underdeveloped vocals on top of their overused guitar riffs, thus creating a sound that seems to transport the listener to a sad bar in some sort of backward city where one would be surrounded by middle aged men who smell of beer and sweat.

The feeling that the Milk Carton Superstars seem to be conveying is confusing to say the least.  It’s hard to tell if they are they are being completely serious in their lyrics or have created a satirical persona, a la Tenacious D or Spinal Tap, in turn rendering all their lyrics a joke.  A telling example as to why this record seems like a farce comes at the beginning of the second song on the album called “Beauty in the Eye” when the lead singer Jim Myers laments, possibly seriously, that “you have the greenest eyes for someone who never recycles.”  The absurdity and cheese of “Beauty” lives on throughout the record in songs like “Sugar Palace” where Myers sings, “The sugar palace in my heart is really just a burnt Pop-Tart.”  There is also a song on this album about the so-called “Last Pigeon in America.”  This song seems to be commenting on a multitude of social problems however I honestly can’t decide if Myers is worried about our electronic-based nine to five world’s disconnect with nature, or if he’s just eating a sandwich while watching a pigeon and musing on random and pointless thoughts.  The inclusion of the toy piano in the opening of the song seems to point to the latter, however there is no telling how “deep” this band is trying to get.

The only redeeming factor I have to give this album is that it was created by a pair of old dudes who are still rocking.  They seem to be somewhat fun-loving guys who don’t mind to embarrass themselves a little bit.  There’s something to be said for those who grow old and continue to create some type of art – while the band’s pictures are incredibly lame the two members of the band at least look happy.  However, I feel that since I am a 19-year-old female student who works at a college radio station I could not be farther from the audience intended for Milk Carton Superstars.  These men possibly appeal to other young-at-heart male adults who have something in common with these Orlando-based weirdos.  I, however, hope I will never find myself at a beachside bar and be forced to listen to this strange and uncomfortable alternative rock.

 

Overall: 20/100

Queens of the Stone Age: … Like Clockwork

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Josh Homme died, was confined to bed rest for three months, and then recorded one of the best album of 2013 thus far. These experiences guided Homme in writing this album, along with other events. Long time drummer Joey Castillo left the band, the drummer from Queens’ popular album “Songs for the Deaf” Dave Grohl came to fill in and many guests including Sir. Elton John and Trent Reznor appeared on this album. But with the rotating door of musicians for this band there is one constant, Josh Homme and it’s his band. And this is his album, his opus for his career so far. “…Like Clockwork” has the funk from the group’s previous album “Era Vulgaris”, the feeling of a drug trip for their self-titled debut album and second album “Rated R”, a healthy mix of the dark mood from “Lullabies to Paralyze” and it’s capped off with the feeling that you are driving in the American desert. Homme uses the guest musicians to give each and every song layers that has listeners finding something new every time they listen to this album.The best way to describe this album comes from the song “Smooth Sailing” where Josh Homme sings, “I blow my load over the status quo.”

Rating: 94/100

Album Highlights: “I Appear Missing”, “My God is the Sun”, and “If I Had a Tail”

Oh, Jeremiah: Tall Tales and Tiny Fables

Oh, Jeremiah

Tall Tales and Tiny Fables

 

With the success of The Lumineers, folk and bluegrass music will only get more popular. In the next couple years there will probably be a lot of lackluster bands trying to make it big. Oh, Jeremiah’s debut album Tall Tales and Tiny Fables, definitely does not fall into this category.  They nailed this album in so many ways. They told a story and took you on journey that was both uplifting and motivational.

 

This type of music obviously has a niche audience but Oh, Jeremiah album is catchy enough that anyone can appreciate its sound.  As someone who rarely listens to folk music I really liked how songs like ‘Circles, Happy Now, and The Scariest Thing’ all felt modern enough that they could be played on any radio station. Even though it felt modern they did not leave their roots. It was a beautiful balance that they somehow managed to pull off.

 

The two songs that really stood out were ‘Circles’ and ‘Happy Now.’  ‘Circles’ is honestly one of the best made songs I’ve heard this year.  It has such a clean and catchy sound. I love how the song starts out with a little guitar and violin and gradually becomes more upbeat later introducing drums, and tambourine. The lyrics in this song also tell a great story about how “Happiness comes circles.”

 

‘Happy Now’ will probably be the most popular song on the album. It’s very catchy and upbeat. Not to mention it’s about moving on from someone who left you, and that’s always popular.  The message in this song has been done a thousand times, but if it’s done well it doesn’t matter.

 

This whole album seemed thoughtfully put together. It told a story in an exciting way.  The three songs I mentioned were a homerun and could easily be played on any radio station and enjoyed by most people.  I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this album being that it’s their first and not my type of music. The only flaw in the album was the length. It was very short, 19min. But the album is priced accordingly and is easily worth the $5. This was a great album and I could easily see Oh, Jeremiah getting big in the next couple years.  The greatest thing they did was make someone who doesn’t listen to this type of music a fan. Really well done

 

95/100