Live From The Banana Stand – The Titans Of Industry
2011 – Independent
Nerd-rock, geek-rock, indie-hipster, call it what you will, but The Titans Of Industry certainly are catchy even if their music is a bit of a mess and I’ve heard it before.
Their songwriting effortlessly blends nineties pop-grunge with the dishevelled thrash that comes with raw enthusiasm, and that is certainly pleasing to hear. It’s just a shame that overall not much on this little live album really stands out as spectacular. I mean, the popped up Sonic Youth cum Weezer structure is pleasant enough, but there’s not really a whole lot to latch onto and there’s very little to differentiate each track from the last.
It all sort of just passes you by and then the album stops without you really have much at the end to show for it.
It’s still definitely worth a listen, however, just don’t really expect to be wowed.
R.I.P Frances Bean – Moontrash
2012 – Macon Noise
Punk/ Alternative/ Riot Grrrl/ No-Wave
Kicking off with the ambiguously political Estrotones (Riot Grrrl) where they loudly, proudly, and presumably ironically proclaim that they’re not feminists and just getting weirder from there this EP walks right up to how music is meant to be played and spits in its face. The vocals are off key and deliberately so, the drums do basically nothing to hold the band together, and the guitar lines just jangle wherever the hell they want. Really, it was just brilliant to hear a group so flagrantly disregarding all of the ‘rules’ that have been set up in the ‘alternative’ scene lately.
Moontrash are taking the creeds of Bikini Kill, X-Ray Spex, and Kim Gordon all to heart with this release and pushing everything just that little bit further. It never becomes un-listenable, even though it begs you to hate it, and that’s what makes this release so deliciously exciting. It really is a much welcome burst of actual punk attitude in a world that has become so complacent.
It’s different, it’s unashamed, it’s in-your-face, it’s snotty, and it’s just great fun. It’s ‘the underground to the undground’ just as the Macon Noise logo says. I’ve just got to recommend this one and if I’d discovered it earlier I would be adding it to the list of nominees for best EP of the year. I know I’m going to get right out there now and see what else these fantastically musically irreverent women have to offer me in terms of aural assault. Expect to hear more from me about them in the future.
Songs To Sing When You’re Down – Andrew Lipps
2012 – Independent
Softly sung and twee as all heavens. Brew yourself a cup of tea, sit yourself down, and spend a few moments listening to the barely scanning, homespun fun of Andrew Lipps.
I can’t see it gaining any kind of widespread critical acclaim or even any kind of hardcore cult following, but none of that lessens the fact that this album is just so much fun.
Kitsch as it is, every track on it is good natured and unpretensious enough to bring a smile to anyone’s lips. I mean, these lyrics about freshly baked muffins and his lady-friend’s severe looking glasses scattered through this collection of songs that rarely hit three minutes are endearing enough to bring a little bit of wamth into even my hardened heart.
It does fall down a bit when Lipps decides that things are about to take a serious turn. I mean, these silly little rhymes are cute when they’re not intended to have any effect on the listener but fun, but when he tries to wrangle a couple of tears out of me or make me feel sorry for him, all it does it piss me off. Luckily these bouts of irritating melancholy are relatively few, far between, and short lived.
In conclusion, Songs To Sing When You’re Down is worth a listen if you ever feel the need to cheer yourself up after a bad day or an ironic breakup, but outside of cuteness and twee there’s not really a whole lot to it.
On an aside, if you ever walk intro a friend’s home and they’re quietly playing this record to themselves, it might be a good time to leave.
- Adventures In Bandcamp: Vol. III (Spring Break ’95/ Planet Vegeta/ Isolated Cockpit) (ljfacesthemusic.wordpress.com)
- Adventures In Bandcamp: Vol II (Free Throw/ Free Pizza/ Zero Progress) (ljfacesthemusic.wordpress.com)
- Project Bandcamp (ljfacesthemusic.wordpress.com)
- Adventures In Bandcamp: Volume I (Planet Ragtime/ Broke For Free/ Northamericans) (ljfacesthemusic.wordpress.com)