Thursday, May 18, 2006

Music That's Better Than You. Week 3

Still here. Still better than you.

The Whole Fantastic World

You want smart pop? I got your smart pop.

Listen to this band and guess how many people are in it.

If you said anything but three you’re wrong.

And if you guessed three, you’re lying, because this is one of those rare bands comprised of members so talented their sound must belong to a group literally twice their size.

Chicago based Fantastic World has somehow managed to go unnoticed for a couple of years which is damn near a tragedy considering the group’s quality. Their music is simultaneously experimental but catchy, artistically daring yet instantly accessible, all of which is executed with a playful grace. Quite a trick.

Beyond the music itself it’s also very important to note that The Whole Fantastic World is one of those great, great bands willing to share much of their material in mp3 form (I took all of the below links from their site) so if you enjoy their sound please support them (and their willingness to entertain you for next to nothing.) Shell out some cash and show artists like this that greed doesn’t pay nearly as well as respecting your audience and trusting them to make intelligent and conscientious decisions.

Sounds like:
Built to Spill armed with pop brilliance of The Rolling Stones' caliber. Yeah. I said that.

No really, sounds like:
Jangly, groove-thick indie rock songs with enough wit to kill the casual listener.

[MP3] The Whole Fantastic World - Colossus
[MP3] The Whole Fantastic World - Color In Your Cheeks
[MP3] The Whole Fantastic World - Eloise
[MP3] The Whole Fantastic World - To The Lives and Loves We've Known
[MP3] The Whole Fantastic World - Monsoon
[MP3] The Whole Fantastic World - Under Red Umbrellas

[THE ‘SPACE] The Whole Fantastic World

[HOME] The Whole Fantastic World

Death to Tyrants

Screamo and post-rock would seem like adverse styles to most people.

Most people are wrong.

There’s something about the way screamo bands can flow seamlessly from spastic violence right into serenity that lends itself to post-rock’s soaring sonic peaks and yawning valleys.

Of course maybe it’s just something in Europe’s water; the best and brightest in both genres seem to hail predominantly from that part of the globe.

The post-hardcore genre is personified by acts like Death to Tyrants who perfectly utilize the simultaneous fusion and juxtaposition of both mesmerizing melody and viscous blistering discord.

Death to Tyrants are releasing their first full length shortly, keep your eyes open.

Sounds like:
The mammoth aerial melodies of The Mercury Project or The Emery Reel offset with the blood thirsty swank of Saetia or Takaru. Think Funeral Diner but even more expansive.

No really, sounds like:
Carpet bombing a twilight meadow moments after the fireflies take flight.

[MP3] Death to Tyrants - Track 4 [NEW.ALBUM]
[MP3] Death to Tyrants - Death To Tyrants
[MP3] Death to Tyrants - Female [LIVE]

[THE ‘SPACE] Death To Tyrants

[HOME] Death To Tyrants

Tiger Lou

Some bands exist solely to push the boundaries of their genres forever clawing towards that dream of ‘The first to...’

Some bands operate entirely in niche realms; not necessarily doing something ground breaking – just something with a thin range of interest.

Some bands try to do the exact opposite of the niche performers and create the most accessible and mass-appealing sound possible (we call these people whores.)

And then there are some bands that do none of the above. They do something even harder: they make good music.

This last breed of artists won’t shy from the tenements of pop or clutch to the purism of experimentation. Instead they do what it takes to get the job done; be it classic song structure and snappy choruses or the latest underground noise and rhythm permutations.

Unfortunately these bands are regularly ignored by critics and the zealous underground for their overtly appealing nature while at the same time being too small or ‘unmarketable’ to be pushed on the unwashed masses lumbering pop labels. So ironically the "good music at all costs" approach can often leave bands utterly unnoticed and condemned to a role as the middle children of the music world- forever destined to be overlooked and ignored.

Unless of course their sound happens to resonate with a young Elite Opinionare.

Sounds like:
Somewhere in between The Police, Radiohead and Team Sleep. (Ha!)

No really sounds like:
A subtle emotional engagement, weeks before your brain figures out why.

[MP3] Tiger Lou - httpThe Wake/Hooray Hooray
[MP3] Tiger Lou - The War Between Us
[MP3] Tiger Lou - Warmth

[THE ‘SPACE] Tiger Lou

[HOME] Tiger Lou

(Special thanks to Last.Fm’s Sharry for taking my “there’s music in Sweden??” comment personally and using the chance to school my ass.)


These days I can’t spend ten minutes on the internet without falling in love with three or four post-rock bands.

You know what I’m talking about; five skinny white kids led by a vocalist concealed behind a veil of long hair and armed with a guitar wider than his waist. You can find these gourps traveling across the globe in vans packed with more effects than George Lucas threw at all six Star Wars movies (I mean three, there were only THREE.)

Laura is seemingly no different, and yet they're more majestic and profound than many of their peers. Laura’s full length album Mapping Your Dreams is the sound your life makes the very first time you hold hands with a loved one and stare across the lights of a distant skyline- and then watch the skyline pummeled rain of tractor trailer-sized meteors.

And yet! As the glowing ash of radioactive city debris floats slowly back down to earth blanketing all with faintly incandescent fallout, these are the melodies that reverberate within your head in your last haunted moments.

Sounds Like:
The dire highlights of a Godspeed You Black Emperor record lit by the pyrotechnics of Explosions in the Sky.

No really sounds like:
A tapestry of echoes and mood texturized by delicate shimmering notes-work, all propelled by a relentless rhythm section driving the entire ensemble to mountainous heights.

[MP3] Laura - Ariadne live

[THE ‘SPACE] Laura

[HOME] Laura


Post a Comment

<< Home