The title track to Prince‘s 1981 album, “Controversy” was the artist hitting back at various speculations surrounding him at the time. The track talks about race, sexuality, religion and even includes an entire prayer in the middle of it which, ironically and amusingly, caused some controversy. And although the lyrics and the themes are worthy of note here, most importantly it’s just a really good song with a cool, funky beat and one of the catchiest hooks on the album.
Written by Jerry Lordan, “Apache” is an instrumental piece of music which has been interpreted many times since The Shadows had a considerable hit with it back in 1960. From Incredible Bongo Band‘s groovier take on the song to Link Wray‘s typically rocky and back-to-basics cover, the tune seemed to always work somehow, even when only a sample of it was used for various hip-hop tracks. Its raw Western-style vibe was always so atmospheric and inherently cool that the song never even needed lyrics: the guitar would simply say it all.
Clones Of Clones are an alternative rock band from Washington D.C. with some very promising output which looks set to blow-up in a massive, positive way very, very soon.
The band is Nick Scialli (Bass, Guitar, Vocals), Ben Payes (Guitar, Synth, Vocals), Brian Abbott (Drums) and Todd Evans (Guitar, Synth, Vocals) and their mission is to put together music you can instantly get behind and hang onto, while having a good time in the process.
There’s a versatility to their style which means that they can comfortably dip into more indie territory one second, tackle something a bit more bluesy the next and pick up a poppier vibe at times while still sounding like themselves and delivering fresh, well put-together tunes.
One of their EPs which you can find on SoundCloud is their 2013 debut Neighborhoods, a 4 track-long mini album with some killer psychedelic cover art and, of course, some cool music.
Case and point:
“Bully” is the second track from Neighborhoods and it certainly gets that slightly 90’s vibe across quite well with a catchy chorus, a chilled-out rhythm and some welcome attitude. The other tracks are also well worth listening to as the title song, “Neighborhoods”, boasts some great lyrics and both “Homie” and “Take Care Of Yourself” have a genuine emotional punch to them.
Do check out the band’s Youtube channel because you’ll be able to find those songs and much more on there.
Which brings us to the really cool part: there’s a new EP on the way and the teaser for its explosive title track “I Don’t Need Your Love” is up!
This is a short but sweet example of how good the full song and its video will be and, having listened and viewed both, I can safely say that this should be the breakout hit the band are looking for and deserve: its Black Rebel Motorcycle Club-esque swagger and catchy-as-hell chorus alone make this one a must-hear.
And, if every song on the EP is as good as this one, which I’m sure they are, then you’ll probably want to head over to iTunes come November 11th and purchase I Don’t Need Your Love because it’ll be worth it to say the least.
Expect a review of their new EP right here on Feedback Theatre soon enough!
If you only know John Frusciante from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, then you’ve been missing out on some brilliant solo stuff. While some of it may be, granted, a little depressing or too experimental, the music is always packed with beautiful melodies and some obviously genius guitar work. Frusciante is also a highly underrated singer and he shows off a bit of his range in “Dissolve”, our Song Of The Day for today. From the EP DC EP, which boasted the creepy cover above, the unpretentious track slowly but surely grows into one hell of a pretty song.
Our Song Of The Day for today is Interpol‘s “Evil”, a somewhat gloomy single from their 2005 album Antics. It’s a cool, catchy, if rather dark song with a great melody and reliably moody vocals but it’s the video which really elevates it to a must-see/hear. The bizarre and kind of disturbing video in question depicts a car accident with some creepy-looking puppet kid (with real-looking teeth) singing as he gets taken to the hospital. Somehow, that works perfectly with the song, go figure.
Peter Gabriel‘s fourth solo album Security (aka Peter Gabriel), released back in 1982, was about as experimental as you’d expect but a couple of hits came out of it and, in an album with only 8 songs, that’s pretty darn good.
But was the whole album as worthy as its most popular tracks?
The first song, “The Rhythm Of The Heat”, boasts an odd yet compelling and intense build-up. After a minute of Gabriel singing over what sounds like asthmatic trains, the drums etc. kick in and the song develops into what I can best describe as an epic black magic ceremony. It’s a perfect concert overture and it does really well to get you hyped up for the rest of the album.
Next up is “San Jacinto” and, over a rhythm of raining, popping notes, we get some solid, creative lyrics as ever. It’s an entertaining track despite being another long one and, although It develops slowly, the pretty epic ending is worth it.
Finally, we get to the album’s second single, “I Have The Touch”, a very 80’s love letter to rush hour. The song has a typically eclectic beat and a glam feel to it at times. It’s an upbeat yet desperate and erratic anthem. Arguably one of Peter Gabriel’s best.
The next one, “The Family And The Fishing Net”, is about 7 minutes long so don’t be in a rush if you’re planning to listen to the entire thing. It’s another slow burn with various beats and random sound effects everywhere. The tone is darker yet, at times, it becomes a funky Prince-style upbeat tune and, at other times, it has more of middle eastern music influence. Again, very experimental and challenging but an enjoyable listen if you’re willing to stick with it for a while.
The album’s first single, “Shock The Monkey”, follows and, yes, its infamous video is worth a mention as it’s all kinds of awesome and, most importantly, batshit insane. You’d never expect such a really fun, generally upbeat track in which Gabriel says “monkey” a lot to have this dark of a video and yet that’s what we got. That said, the lyrics do hint at darker, more violent goings on. It’s one of the catchiest of the bunch and, again, one of Peter Gabriel’s most memorable and best songs.
An on-and-off beat and isolated, rap-esque spoken vocals open “Lay Your Hands On Me” like it’s a Flight Of The Conchords song or something. Actually, it’s another longer, grander, more experimental track with a chorus that kicks in soon enough and is comparable in style to some of The Talking Heads‘ more out there tracks.
As for “Wallflower”, it is introduced by pan flutes and fleeting instrumental touches. You’ve guessed it, it’s a slow burner with a big build-up but this one’s much more lyric-centric than the others. Hell, the thing’s practically like a sung novella! You’ll need a lot of patience to enjoy this softer, slower effort.
We end on the much funkier “Kiss Of Life” which definitely has a Prince-esque party song vibe to it. It’s one of the most entertaining tracks on the album and it’s reliably packed with loads of crazy, layered beats throughout. It’s bizarre that this one wasn’t released as its own single but it’s certainly a nice surprise for the album’s conclusion.
All in all, if you like Peter Gabriel’s stuff, Security‘s a really good bet: chances are you’ll love every minute of it. Otherwise, you’ll probably enjoy the singles but not much more. Objectively, I’d say it’s a strong, entertaining album with some really good ideas and some cool songs.
Anyway, Peter Gabriel gets 4 Ziggies out of 5 from me.
Peter Gabriel the album, not the guy.
Or both, whatever…
I’ll just keep calling this one Security.
While Feeder haven’t quite matched how popular they were back in the early 2000’s since then, they have been hard at work on new albums. Their most recent effort was Generation Freakshow, released in 2012.
Was this the big comeback they were hoping for?
“Oh My”, the opening track, is certainly energetic and very much 100% Feeder. It’s an entertaining, melodically solid song with an enjoyable chorus and some nice touches near the end. It’s definitely one of the album’s highlights. Backing “woo’s” add an atmospheric structure to the next song, “Borders”, which was the first single to be released from the album. It’s not bad, parts of it are pretty fun, but it’s definitely a more commercial, very indie tune you’d expect The Killers to come up with.
Third single “Idaho”‘s few Nirvana-style opening seconds lead us to a surprisingly softer and more restrained effort with the odd Teen Spirit burst. Light and mostly harmless, this one. “Hey Johnny” is next and it’s an infinitely sadder, more melancholic song as it’s about the band’s former drummer Jon Lee, who committed suicide back in 2002. It’s a heartfelt track which grows on you quickly and its melody successfully delivers the emotional impact it was looking for. The song builds up to a cool, heavier ending. One of the album’s strongest and most memorable tunes.
“Quiet” is another downer with a decent core melody but, as a whole, the song’s a little too repetitive and forgettable. Those few emo Feeder fans out there should appreciate it, though. Which ain’t no bad thing. The album picks up again with “Sunrise”, a mercifully louder track with great verses but, sadly, a disappointing chorus which prevents the song from going anywhere interesting. Shame.
The title song, “Generation Freakshow”, is next and it’s an angstier track you’d probably expect more from Green Day circa American Idiot. It’s lively, varied and likeable despite the weaker chorus. Armed with a solid riff and chorus, “Tiny Minds” then comes in and it’s a fun, bitter track that’s very Feeder throughout. Some electronic sounds support the bridge in an interesting way and the whole thing’s catchy enough.
“In All Honesty” is an involving, faster-paced song with some good ideas but, ultimately, it’s in mortal danger of sounding like a tween-friendly McFly song or something. Luckily, the next song is a much better and much rockier effort. “Headstrong” may not have the catchiest of choruses but the track has a good energy to it, fair riffs and I could see this one being tons of fun live. As for “Fools Can’t Sleep”, it’s a bluesy song with a slower, folkier rhythm to it. Again, the chorus isn’t too mind-blowing but otherwise it’s a heartfelt track that, at least, has the guts to try something a bit different.
The final track, “Children Of The Sun”, is a grander, more atmospheric and experimental song which ends things on a bigger, more reflective scale. It may be too upbeat or nostalgic for some but its heart’s in the right place. Hidden acoustic track “Sky Life” is tied to it and it actually fits in rather well.
So what’s the verdict?
In all honesty, Generation Freakshow is a hard one to hate but also a tough one to truly like. We all know Feeder are capable of much better and it’s a tad frustrating to sit through an album with so few catchy and memorable tracks. You’ll probably enjoy parts of it but, by the end, you’ll struggle to recall most of it.
That’s only 2 Shady Dudes out of 5 for Feeder this time, which can sound a little harsh seeing as it definitely has its moments, but that’s only to encourage more of the good stuff.
Heavier tracks with more inventive and head-invading choruses is what’s needed now.
Feed us, damnit!
From TV On The Radio‘s second album Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, this single helped put the band on the map back in 2004. “Staring At The Sun” was not only one of the many great songs on the album but it really stood out as a clear cult hit: this was a band to look out for, definitely.
A deserved Song Of The Day for today.
Liam Gallagher‘s first (ish) attempt at moving on from Oasis was this album from his new band Beady Eye. The advantage was his: this album would be released first and his band is basically Oasis minus his brother.
Noel had no chance.
In retrospect, however, Noel’s album was pretty decent (read our review of it here) but is Different Gear, Still Speeding just as good as I remember it or has time been kinder to those High Flying Birds?
The first song (and second single) “Four Letter Word” bursts in with tons of swagger and attitude, which is fitting I suppose since we’re talking about Liam Gallagher. There’s a good energy to it, some inventive dramatic riffs and a cool guitar solo. It’s definitely a strong opener which sets things up nicely. “Millionaire” is a softer, folkier tune with a breezier and lighter vibe. Unfortunately, it never really takes off and it can be pretty repetitive, making it a bit of a dull effort. The only way I can explain that this was also released as a single is that it’s inoffensive and that… some people like that?
Moving on, we’ve got “The Roller”, a pretty John Lennon-esque track that’s simple yet effective. Incidentally, the song was written back in 2001 and was considered for the Oasis album Heathen Chemistry. The track has a really enjoyable melody which develops perfectly and, altogether, it’s got a likably chilled vibe throughout. Another song which owes quite a bit to The Beatles is the obviously titled “Beatles and Stones”, an old-fashioned rock/country tune which name-drops more than it does engage. It’s fine but it’s perhaps a little too happy with itself for its own good.
“Wind Up Dream” is another rocky yet folky tune with a Southern twang and a dated feel. Hence the harmonica solos. The chorus is appealing but, although the song throws in some nifty touches near the end, it’s all rather repetitive. “Bring The Light” is next and it was the first single to be released from the album. A Jerry Lee Lewis-esque piano beat leads us throughout while gospel choirs pop up now and then in what is a fun 50’s track with a catchy, simple hook.
It doesn’t get much simpler than the following song, “For Anyone”. This one also has a 50’s feel to it but it’s also akin to “Songbird” in that it’s a genuinely sweet and very pretty little gem. It’s basically irresistible, one of the best of the bunch, and chances are you’ll want to clap along no matter how silly you think clapping along to anything is. Don’t worry, it’s a short one so even if you do feel the urge, your clapping won’t be relentless. Next up is “Kill For A Dream”, a sadder, more nostalgic song that’s actually very close melody-wise to Oasis’ “Little James”. This one needed a jolt of energy, even its chorus is much too slow.
“Standing On The Edge Of Noise” tries very hard to make an impact as Liam sings this one through a megaphone, screaming it like he’s Paul McCartney back in the day. Though the track is fun and does well to stay in keeping with the 60’s vibe of some of the other songs on here, it’s not exactly Earth-shattering or that original. Track number 10, “Wigwam”, is a slower, more chilled-out contemplative track. It’s atmospheric but, again, there’s something lacking.
We’re well and truly back in McCartney (or Sgt Pepper, anyway) territory with “Three Ring Circus”, an entertaining old rock tune with an early 70’s style psychedelic chorus. It’s certainly more vibrant than the track before it, that’s for sure, and also mercifully much shorter. “The Beat Goes On” follows and it’s a playful yet softer track. The melody is a pretty and varied one while the chorus is unusually upbeat. Still works quite well, though. This one should keep you in a good mood for a few moments, even if it is a tad overlong.
Finally, we end on another slow track, “The Morning Son”, which is mostly acoustic save for voice echoes and the odd electronic sound here and there. It develops ok but, again, it’s just a bit too slow and long.
Initially, Different Gear, Still Speeding stood out to me as the superior album but, oddly, in retrospect, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds feels like the more consistent and memorable effort. Oasis fans should enjoy both equally but I’d say Noel just about wins this round.
Though Liam has proven he can write some great songs, this album is somehow more forgettable than the last Oasis album. I give it 3 Shady Dudes out of 5.
Worthy if not mind-blowing.
One of the many what the f*** moments in David Lynch‘s surrealist cinematic question mark Eraserhead has to be the “Lady In The Radiator” song which is sung by, well, a lady who seems to live in the main character’s radiator. Think Marilyn Monroe or Betty Boop with a bad skin infection and you get the idea. While not the weirdest moment in this particular movie which also includes this scene, it’s certainly a stand out couple of minutes mostly thanks to how catchy this little lullaby is. The Pixies have been known to play the song every now and then but you just can’t beat the original.