2006 First Half Underrated/Underlistened Records


Lug 24 2006, 21:39

The Sound Of Pseudoscience
Genre: Indie, Punk
Similar: Ted Leo & the Pharmacists.
My Rating: 9.8 out of 10
Cokemachine Glow Rating: 79%
Within it's 12 tracks there's a simple and well executed pop greatness. Modern Text On Love will shift within two power-chords in the whole verses, almost transforming the melodies of guitar and bass into rhythm; the substantive-pause-substantive form of lyrics also contribute to this rhythmical feeling. Northern Lights shows a great two guitars combo; and also, great two vocals combo, in one of the coolest chorus I've ever heard. Last Stop is my favorite song of the record. It features a cool second vocal (at 1:12, 2:25) that will appear soothing to our ears, but actually it feels exciting. But the two greatest features of this song are the lead guitar and the semi-shoutout-answer structure. Well, if you noticed the bass pause at the verse ends, and the casual drums rolls breaking through the toms at the same spot, than you know what I'm talking about.
This record has been underlistened, though not much underrated, due to the moment that pop music lives now. Everyone wants to hear strange stuff like Arcade Fire and Radiohead, and this plain pop from The Weather Machines won't do. People complain that The Weather Machines ain't original, but I strongly disagree with this euphemism for copists. Their composition might be simple, but it feels pretty much unique when combined to their extremily good perfomance.
Stop the bullshit.
PS.: I'm on doubt if this is actually a 2006 record, but not something that really matters. If it's a 2005 record, than this record has been totally ignored by the music media and press. My applauses to Cokemachine Glow - way better than Pitchfork -, who reviewed this record, and reviews many other good unknown records from unknown bands.

The Life Pursuit
Genre: Indie, Pop
Similar: Belle & Sebastian itself..., The Free Design.
My Rating: 10 out of 10.
Not underrated by critics, but by B&S fans. They say it's a sell out, "oh look at them at Top Of The Pop, bummers!". Someone might even think that there're two different B&S! It's what happens when stereotypes override the music itself. Too bad, uh? Well, not for me, I'll keep enjoying this great record.

Floating World
Genre: Indie, Folk, Post-Rock, Prog.
Similar: Aloha, Islands.
My Rating: still thinking, around 7~8 out of 10.
Pitchfork Rating: 2.7 out of 10.
Cokemachine Glow Rating: 76%.
Shame on you, Pitchfork! 2.7?
This slow record is a complex one, but it's not hard-listening at all, guess it's because of the vocals and repetition, but everything contributes.
Horns are scattered all over the songs. Pseudo-classic pianos (not really similar to Emerson, Lake & Palmer) combined with almost falsettos and duos will certainly feel theatrical/dramatical, but this is far from a romantic Lizst opera. Even if it sounds fantasious, unrealistic.
The first half reserves the best moments of the record. Genessaret unfolds into Hoodwink, a post-rock/emo/jazz song, featuring cool drumming, horns, tempo-evolution, atmospherical guitar, yelling and soothing vocals, and of course, the pseudo-classic piano again. These are landmarks for the whole record, but each song happens in a unique way. For example, By Number features a bizarre ending sung in japanese.
There's nothing much to be said that can explain this record.
Recommended Songs: (2) Genessaret: Going Out Over 30,000 Fathoms Of Water, (3) Hoodwink, (4) By Number, (6) Hanasakajijii IV: A Great Wind, More Ash, (12) Hanasakajijii III: The Man Who Made Dead Trees Bloom.

You in Reverse
Genre: Indie Rock
Similar (Not Really): Spoon, Yo La Tengo, Nada Surf.
My Rating: 8+ out of 10.
Pitchfork Rating: 6.6 out of 10.
Okay, this one I can understand. They, the critics, have missed the overdubs and wall of amplifiers, that massive pop sound that they used to do.
But it's a pretty good record though. I liked it better than the older records, except for Keep It Like a Secret, of course.
Cool guitar soloing and reverbering in Going Against Your Mind, cool picking in Traces, Liar and Saturday, great solo (though it's almost identical to From Despair to Where), riff and lyrics in Conventional Wisdom, and cool pseudo-arab song Mess With Time.

The Majestic Twelve - Schizophrenology
Genre: Indie Rock
Similar: The Unicorns? Who cares?
My Rating: still thinking, around 8 out of 10.
Very underlistened. But yeah, that's pretty much reasonable. Last.Fm don't even recognize this record. You'd need to find it's downloadable album at MySpace, and well... download it.
It's a fun band, and a fun record.


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