Tuesday, November 25, 2008

album-alpha, vol. 3

All the Nations Airports - Archers of Loaf

Overlooked 90's Chapel Hill indie rockers...back when you could count on "indie" to still imply a sense of self. Eric Bachmann's baritone cuts through their increasingly noisy & weird guitar hooks. Their 3rd album proper (and only major label effort) was definitely not any easier to digest, instead showing their growth away from the noise-pop nuggets of debut record Icky Mettle, to something more mature and varied, from the slow guitar build of "Attack of the Killer Bees", the quick attack of "Strangled by the Stereo Wire," and the surprisingly touching-yet-gruff odd ballad, "Chumming the Ocean".

One track: "Chumming the Ocean"


American Don - Don Caballero

This is the natural border, the river separating and conjoining Don Cab and guitarist Ian Williams following band, Battles. There are heavy moments, yes, but not without caveat...like the distorted bass comes in, low-flying, over waltzing guitar harmonics during the opener, "Fire Back About Your New Baby's Sex". All in all though, it's a very cerebral performance, more jazzy and prog-oriented than anything they'd done before, and most definitely the springboard that lead Williams into found Battles, the rightful home for his ever-increasing guitar histrionics.

One track: "The Peter Criss Jazz"



America Eats Its Young - Funkadelic

Ridiculously diverse, overwrought with funk-ified jam sensibilities---I know every Funkadelic record is an exercise in excess. But AEIY is the definition of their excess, overfull with ridiculously ripe material. Opener "You Hit the Nail on the Head" shifts from guitar jam to organ & harmonica boogie to country-funk riffin'. It's all a little too much...though George Clinton might say, "There ain't nothin wrong with that."

One track: "I Call My Baby Pussycat"

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