Sick of music reviews that go on forever and ever? Tired of being bombarded with more information than you could ever possibly need? Fear not- I present to you my no-mess, no-fuss music reviews.
Get it? Got it? Good.
Get it? Got it? Good.
I. BEACH HOUSE-Teen Dream
On the surface, it's a perfect dream-pop album; an anthology of love stories that sit so easily on the ears. Yet, there's something in there- in the echoing, quietly powerful vocals- that transforms this album into something shadowy and surreal, into a precious and blissful reverie to be enjoyed time and time again. Maybe a little too sedate in places, yet still pretty damn beautiful.
II. LIARS- Sisterworld
I opened my heart to Liars after falling for 'On the Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack' when it was used in The Nines. The bluesy vocals and ethereal harmonies in the opener, 'Scissors' suggests we're in for a similar journey. Yet, as it furiously descends into the guitar line, we enter 'Sisterworld'- a dark, dystopian realm, allegedly based on LA. Expect shrill violins and apathy twinned with rage. But I feel what makes this a stand-out album for me is that it doesn't rely on the joyous, electronic soundscape that dominated many of the great experimental albums of '09. They mix up the formula, sometimes unsuccessfully (see the rap/chanting on 'Scarecrows on a Killer Slant), and sometimes to dazzling effect- 'Pure Evolution', for instance, is absolute perfection.
III. SCREAMING LIGHTS- Like Angels
It has got to point where 'indie' these days can almost be taken as an insult. It's a word that no longer conjures up images of visceral chants in pokey studios- chants with heart and with meaning; instead, it has come to be affiliated with the monotonous musical output of a group of British lads with asymmetrical haircuts, Topman loyalty cards and not a clue about original music-making.
Thus, NME describing Screaming Lights debut output as 'goth-disco crossover' should be taken as a good omen. However, that's where the good news ends with this album. Commanding vocals, an atmosphere of the early 80's and a few solid songs- check. Yet, like all 'indie' albums of this ilk, there seems to be little in the way of heart, of charisma, of longevity. Words have been crafted to describe albums like this: solid, average, uninspiring. Not without its good moments, but swathed in mediocrity.