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rayword45 04-4-2015 07:51 AM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 135: Seven (+1) by Entertainment For The Braindead (Album Choice: NinjaKIWI)

This is shaping up to be a very boring Easter weekend, so I should burn through lots of music.

This EP is cutesy soprano vocals on top of intricately fingerpicked melodies. I'm oftentimes a sucker for this stuff (even considering my reaction to Carrie & Lowell) but this music doesn't seem as warm as I would've expected. Sure it's barebones, but the music is ridiculously fairy-like, with the self-recorded harmonies, occasional touches of soft horns or bells, and lyrics so bizarrely forest-children they make Devendra Banhart sound like a businessman going through a midlife crisis.

There is no variety across this release and while it never gets actually grating, it also never really gets interesting.

Best Track: Then It Started Speaking To Me
Rating: 5/10

rayword45 04-4-2015 01:11 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 136: Floral Shoppe by Macintosh Plus

Yeah I'm like 3 years late to the party cut me some slack. None of this review will be written while listening. I'm gonna try to keep my eyes closed and dream to this one then write afterwards. The majority of my review will be based on how visual this album is.

This album is based more on generic 80s pop compared to the only other vaporwave release I've listened to which was more elevator music based. This is to the albums detriment, as Muzak is what gave New Dreams Ltd a hazy, dreamlike feel. Here there's very little room for dreaming, instead you just get Diana Ross. Fuck any comments about how the whole genre is satirical I listen to music to enjoy music and this was not very enjoyable. My previous expectations for this album where an experience similar to New Dreams Ltd where I'd think about years gone by in which I've never lived, hotel lounges, waiting rooms, shopping malls, you get the drift. Here I dreamed almost nothing, and outside of a few nice tracks I just wanted this piece of shit to end.

The album art is nice, I'll give it that.

Best Track: None I can remember but even if I had one the titles are all Japanese so I can't type that
Rating: 4/10

rayword45 04-4-2015 03:47 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 137: The Modern Dance by Pere Ubu

I've made it pretty clear that I like Brainiac a whole lot. And this is one of the few bands that people frequently recommend I listen to because I like Brainiac, the others being US Maple and Six Finger Satellite which I might get around to exploring later. This one first, though.

Nope, not much Brainiac sound besides a relatively spare use of synths and a sense of weirdness. If anything, this sounds like a mixture of early Devo (you know, before they got terrible) and early Butthole Surfers (you know, before they got REALLY good then got terrible) with a fat art student singing. Less nerd, less redneck, more awkward beatnik. Also throw in a dash of Minutemen (you know, before they got mediocre then the lead singer died).

Sadly, a good chunk of this 36 minute album is quite boring. Most notably, Sentimental Journey goes on for too goddamn long, and a lot of other tracks suffer from unnecessary quiet noodling bits. Not a bad album but a rather underwhelming one. Still, I desire to check out their albums as they have all the ingredients for some really great music. Heaven knows I'll probably be disappointed.

Best Track: Street Waves
Rating: 5.5/10

rayword45 04-5-2015 12:28 AM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 138: Apologies To The Queen Mary by Wolf Parade (Album Choice: Xtreme2252)

This album is my before-bed lullaby, unless I decide I don't want it to be.

Well, that was boring.

I wanted to end the review there, but I felt an inclination to write more. This album features consistent anthemic songwriting, like the guys in the band were trying to write the next battle cry, but the vocals here would never work for that, ever. Instead, the vocals make this sound like them guys were trying to be the next Pitchfork darling.

And Pitchfork gave them a 9.2, I just checked, so I guess they were successful there. Anyways, with anthemic songwriting, your songs need a certain exuberance to not come off as hackneyed or corny. And for the most part, this album is full of energy.

And also with anthemic songwriting, you need some good hooks, or else that exuberance will seem completely superfluous. They've got catchy hooks galore though, so it's all good.

Oh yeah, one last thing, you need to be able to write good songs. And they can! They did! Four of them, and they're titled Modern World, We Built Another World, Shine A Light and It's A Curse. The rest ranges from boring to garbage, the most clear example of the latter being Grounds For Divorce which sounds like some attempt at post-ironic Tiny Tim. That song title worked better for Big Business.

Well, that was boring.

Best Track: We Built Another World
Rating: 5/10

rayword45 04-5-2015 09:31 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 139: 札幌コンテンポラリー by 情報デスクVIRTUAL*

I'm not writing that name or album title again. I already know the nature of this album, which is basically entirely unmanipulated excerpts from Muzak tracks and old smooth jazz songs. I'm gonna review this the same way I did Floral Shoppe, which is to stop typing and just try to daydream. I honestly don't know why I'm exploring vaporwave as of late, especially since it's been marked as dead like 50 times, and especially considering this release is elevators and David Sanborn for 75 minutes, but I have little better to do that I actually want to do.

The only reason I namechecked David Sanborn is because I heard some jazz kid mention him I actually have almost no idea who that is.

Hold up, I woke up because I had to note that heihu.org.cnMOON FOUNTAIN is actually a beautiful track and I had to copy that bullcorn from RYM. Back to dream land.

Well, this was certainly better than Floral Shoppe. Through the 75 minute journey there were a lot of uneven moments, and some tracks were pretty bad, but I have to say I enjoyed the whole album and it certainly felt shorter than 75 minutes which is no easy task to do. Perhaps I'm just a nostalgia junkie and this reminds me of young vacations. Or maybe I just like really shitty elevator music. Whatever the point, even if this release was a joke, I enjoyed it quite seriously.

I think I'll spend some spare time just going up an excessive elevator some time soon. If only there were a way to inject music into dreams.

Best Track: heihu.org.cnMOON FOUNTAIN
Rating: 8/10 (yes, seriously)

rayword45 04-6-2015 09:31 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 140: Contact by Silver Apples

I'm listening to this solely to see if this album is better than the self-titled, which I gave a 7/10, so I can answer a poll. I'm not writing a real review.

Yeah, the self-titled is better solely for a lack of crappy banjo usage.

Best Track: I Have Known Love
Rating: 5.5/10

TheRapingDragon 04-7-2015 01:06 AM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
If you need more albums, here are my top 20 from 2014 if you want to check any of them out:

  • A.C.T - Circus Pandemonium
    Anasazi - 1000 yard stare
    Bigelf - Into the Maelstrom
    Closure In Moscow - Pink Lemonade
    D'AccorD - D’AccorD III

    Destrage - Are You Kidding Me? No.
    Epica - The Quantum Enigma
    Flaming Row - Mirage - A Portrayal of Figures
    Hemina - Nebulae
    Lazuli - Tant que l'herbe est grasse

    Lunatic Soul - Walking on a Flashlight Beam
    Major Parkinson - Twilight Cinema
    Mats & Morgan - [schack tati]
    Moron Police - Defenders of the Small Yard
    Pinkroom - Unloved Toy

    Rick Miller - Heart Of Darkness
    Soen - Tellurian
    Spleen Arcana - The Light Beyond the Shades
    Troldhaugen - Obzkure Anekdotez For Maniakal Massez
    Vampillia - the divine move

I suppose I should forewarn you that some of these are Prog-Rock and you said you dislike most from the genre.

Though I hate putting genres on music because I feel it stops people from listening to what is otherwise good music. For example, I got Artifex Pereo's new album, 'Time In Place' (close contender to get on the above list) and it reminds me of The Mars Volta in places, yet was labelled 'emo-core' as a genre. I mean seriously, genre labels are horrible things.

rayword45 04-8-2015 11:32 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 141: Music For A French Elevator by The Books

I freaking love The Books.

This dumblong reissue is the only thing by them I have yet to hear. Good backdrop for studying math, hopefully.

Hopefully I'll give another Sufjan Stevens album a chance sometime soon because everybody I've told my reaction to Carrie & Lowell thinks I'm a nutcase. Perhaps eventually I'll give that album a relook. As it stands, I actually quite like the first track but then I just get angry, again. I have no idea why.

I'm raising my rating of Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit to a 9/10, by the way, because that album will not leave my playlist.

Also, seriously, there should be a law against having 5 exams on the same day.

Anyways, the original EP, which is the first 13 tracks, is self-indulgent garbage and I'd honestly give it a 3/10. It's 5 minutes of quality followed by 10 minutes of just pure samples. Seriously, it's like a soundboard for crap you don't know or care about, and you'd have to be a pretentious ass to claim you enjoy it.

However, the reissue is a whole nother story as it adds 32 tracks. I came in expecting more sample garbage, but instead, it's 65 minutes of what I assume to be throwaways which are all on par with the first two Books albums. They encapsulate everything good about this band and it makes me wonder why the two guys threw away all these effing brilliant tracks and released that hunk of garbage titled Lost and Safe. Well, actually that album was quite nice, it just didn't compare to the first two albums and this does! And it never outstays its welcome which is pretty amazing for an hour-long collection of cut tracks.

I wanna listen to another album but it's probably in my best interest to sleep. This was definitely a good way to end the mundane night though.

Seriously, I freaking love The Books.

Best Track: Oh Jesus, I really have no idea, because almost anything from 14 to 45 is pure gold.
Rating: 9/10

rayword45 04-10-2015 07:22 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 142: 24 Hour Revenge Therapy by Jawbreaker

I don't deserve to be emotionally devastated. But I am. I'm choosing this because it's apparently emo, and because I adore The Mountain Goats cover version of Boxcar. The fact that I bolded "The" implies improper grammar. Fuck I hate my life.

Goddamnit, can all emo sound like this? When did emo sound like this? This stuff hits just the right spot when you're undergoing a mental breakdown. This could very well replace People That Can Eat People Are The Luckiest People In The World for my choice album during a breakdown, though only time will tell. Also I should listen to Christmas Island.

This is some good stuff, I'd describe it as the soundtrack for when you wanna fly away to oblivion but have no paper wings. I wanna listen to another album while in my crisis but I dunno just how much time I have. Whatever, one good album is good for me. I've been listening to a lot of good shit recently.

Best Track: Outpatient
Rating: 8/10

rayword45 04-13-2015 05:35 AM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 143: Blank Banshee 0 by Blank Banshee (Album Choice: Arkuski)

Somewhere I read this described as vaportrap or something stupid like that. Both of those genres are guilty pleasures of mine, so let's see if I enjoy this while simultaneously feeling intellectually inferior to a hipster Forrest Gump. That is the most contrived prediction ever.

After a cool opening track, this album is very meh.

Best Track: That first track
Rating: 5/10

Trogdor!!!! 04-13-2015 12:53 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year

Originally Posted by rayword45 (Post 4303862)

After a cool opening track, this album is very meh.

Best Track: That first track
Rating: 5/10

This is exactly how I felt about it except replace the first track with Wave Step. The whole album feels really low quality, even for vaporwave standards.

rayword45 04-13-2015 11:06 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 144: Cautella by Richard Devine (Album Choice: Contrapasso)

First off, NEVER download Super Media Converter. That program is pure ass malware. Screw you eHow.

Now, onto this album. If I'm correct this is my first flashcore album let's see if I like.

For a genre that's meant to be abrasive that was incredibly dull. A bunch of extratone drum patterns that quickly get repetitive on top of dark ambient backgrounds which are admittedly cool, but the lack of melody up until near the end on this album drags it down due to the sheer repetition of the songs. Perhaps melody isn't the point of flashcore, but then these drum patterns don't really seem that abrasive. Seriously, they're fast but they're also somehow kinda quiet and that is definitely not working to the albums' favor.

The dark ambient bits are quite nice and all, but the breaks do nothing for me. The album gets a bit better towards the end with more in the way of musical notes but only for so long before it's over.

Best Track: Timach, which also should've been where the album ended.
Rating: 5/10

rayword45 04-15-2015 08:03 AM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 144: Cherry Bomb by Tyler, The Creator

Uh, yeah, I realize I'm probably about 3 years too old and 13 shades too dark for this album, but I gotta stay hip to the Hip Hop Circle Jerk, right?

Besides the rare female vocals, everything about this album is unfathomably awful. Fucking Young has some personal humor value for me, but the song itself is an abject failure on all levels possible. And that was probably the most redeeming moment.

Best Track: I Wanna Be BasedGod
Rating: 2/10

rayword45 04-18-2015 07:49 AM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 146: A Thousand Suns by Linkin Park (Album Choice: SkullDevil)

Lemme admit my biases right now. I'm trying to get the shitty music out of the way on this flight to Puerto Rico.

That was ass.

Best Track: Well, the first two weren't necessarily GOOD but they were tolerable
Rating: 2/10

rayword45 04-19-2015 10:42 AM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 147: Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey (Album Choice: Curly)

Yep, just getting through the ones I'm loath to listen to now. Not gonna have these lurking on my phone when I'm cruising.

Well, actually, I quite like this first song. My bias was and is based on my not huge fandom of her previous album, mainly due to the rather gross lyricism with such vivid prose as "My pussy tastes like Pepsi-Cola" and due to the fact that she can't rap. Putting my defenses up, that first problem isn't a misogynistic thing. I loathe Nickelback and The Weeknd too. The lyrics on this album are more of the same as last time. And being honest, the vocal performance is even more affected than the last album, which, no doubt about it, is still pretty damn grating. She's hitting more of the right notes this time, but what she now lacks in amateurishness (which I honestly believe can be a very charming trait, God make me project my own insecurities) she now more than fills the shitvoid with bombast and decadence.

What makes this album better than the last one? Mainly the production. Whereas the last album was bland chamber pop, this album is much dreamier. Everything is lush, laden with reverb and loaded with guitar licks lifted from equal parts Latin music and desert rock. Shame I couldn't find a synonymous genre for desert rock that started with L, alliteration game too weak. Not to forget, the orchestration on this album is syrupy as hell.

The overblown instrumentation has gotten this album a reputation as "theatrical", some calling it "Kubrick-esque". While it is definitely cinematic I wouldn't compare it to Stanley Kubrick. Those people just got lazy with the title. No, this album is far more akin to a made-for-TV collaboration between early David Lynch and John Waters. Smoky, noirish, but with a kitschy edge. I'm not sure if the camp factor was intentional, in fact I highly doubt it, but I don't care, it's the end result that matters, right? If I was rating solely by how seriously I can take the album, this would get a flat zero. As it stands though, it's both musically enjoyable and pretty funny.

And I don't think cheesy is necessarily an insult nor is it always a detractor. Sure, sometimes, such as the case with Bright Eyes or (shoot me) early Cocteau Twins, the ridiculousness can detract from the songs, but oftentimes unintentional humor derived from silly lyrics or overblown mood, like the works makes what would be an exercise in eye roll inducement far more enjoyable, like the best works of Dio. This albums falls squarely in the latter camp. I honestly would DESPISE this album if wasn't in a jaunty mood, because although instrumentation is okay (and only such), I'd fail to see the humor value and immediately write the whole thing off as a self-indulgent pile.

As it stands though, this album is actually pretty wonderful, as long as you look at it with satirical eyes. Color me somewhat impressed, and I'll admit to being somewhat wrong. I say somewhat because there's also a somewhat high chance that I'll never listen to this thing again, and I have to be somewhat cautious of what I doubt was a deliberate result.

But end product rules supreme.

Best Track: Toss up between Money Power Glory and The Other Woman, both are hilarious.
Rating: 7.5/10

rayword45 04-19-2015 02:20 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 148: Because The Internet by Childish Gambino (Album Choice: Fresh)

My reluctance to do this one stems from the fact that Camp remains one of the worst goddamn rap albums I have ever heard. I dunno if that one is a 1/10 or a 2/10, but it's definitely not a 1.5/10 because something that unfathomably awful needed a solid number rating. That didn't make much sense... I'm going with 1/10. I do like the juvenile humor of Derrick Comedy though. Lowbrow skits that represents early YouTube strikingly well in their 240p glories.

Every time this album has a good line, 6 or 7 cringeworthy lines accompany it, along with far more lines that don't affect (as most lines, so that's not a complaint moreso than a plain fact). The lyrics aren't as glaringly awful as Camp, but I'd rather listen to something I enjoy (another plain fact). Delivery does not interest me. Most of these beats are trash as well, all this instrumentation is blatantly attempting to be fresh and interesting while completely failing. Sometimes I think the beats are vaporwave songs,* but that doesn't have the camp appeal nor the dream appeal. And then you realize that the music was genuinely composed for purposes outside of hotel lounges and weather channels.

I just recognized 3005. That is an awful song.

Crawl, No Exit and Zealots of Stockholm are the tracks I found to be enjoyable, especially the first one. Those tracks all exert a certain agressiveness that wonderfully compliments their electronic backgrounds. Unfortunately, every other track that attempts to be menacing comes off as corny. And every track that tries to be introspective, world-weary, playful or worst of all romantic comes off as shudderingly awful. And that makes up the majority of this hour long album.

Nope. Me no rikey.

Best Track: Crawl
Rating: 3/10

rayword45 04-24-2015 12:31 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 149: I Love You by The Neighbourhood (Album Choice: Trevor P.)

I keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the ranch I belong
Drifting along the Tumblr Tumbleweeds

Best Track: Alleyways
Rating: 5/10

rayword45 04-26-2015 05:33 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 150: Terrorhawk by Bear Vs Shark (Album Choice: Xtreme2252)

99 percent of bands labeled post-hardcore that formed in the 21st century are objectively awful.

I'm not quite so sure that this is objectively awful. It probably isn't, thanks to a decent amount of Fugazi worship. That screaming is grating as hell though, and things don't stay that interesting for very long.

No Best Track for you.

Rating: 5/10

rayword45 04-26-2015 06:55 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 151: Harmony In Ultraviolet by Tim Hecker (Album Choice: EzExZeRo7497)

My fairly decent vacation is coming to a close very soon and I need some catharsis to top it off. I chose this because I saw it described as cathartic.

Actually that's a partial lie, I rang up like 8 albums on random.org (including this one) a couple of weeks ago and this one happens to look like it's potentially cathartic. Plus I have about an hour before it's time to head to the airport.

That was good. That was very good, without a single boring second. However, whoever called this cathartic needs to be shot. This music is equal parts stress and fever dream, and it is certainly not emotion purging nor a good vacation ender.

But a good album nonetheless.

Best Track: Whitecaps of White Noise and I'm counting both parts as one song
Rating: 8.5/10

rayword45 04-26-2015 08:35 PM

Re: Meh, let's do it again, this time for a year
Day 152: Illinois by Sufjan Stevens

Drifting along the Tumb- nah I'm not gonna abuse that non-joke in the same week. Besides this is far more Pitchfork than Tumblrcore so that doesn't even make sense. Man I suck.

The peoples say I'll like this album even if Carrie and Lowell brought about equal parts anger and narcolepsy for me. Should I trust the peoples? The same peoples who said "Smashing Pumpkins are a quality band" and "if you like Neutral Milk Hotel then you'll LOVE Bright Eyes" and more crap that ended up being wrong? I dunno I'm just venting for filler.

And this is certainly different. Is this supposed to be ironic? I'm not trying to be negative or anything, but this is so ridiculously overdone it seems like it's meant to be something along the lines of Frank Zappa. It's not bad so far, I'm neither angry nor bored so that's a plus.

There are some moments of glistening beauty where the whispery pretty boy vocals work perfectly. There's an equal amount of moments that seem awfully smirky. For example, no indie folky singer-songwriter ever needs

-High school choirs
-Banjos accompanied by high school choirs
-Lyrics about murdering Native Americans accompanied by high school choirs
-Song titles that exceed 50 words in length
-22 goddamn tracks
-A 40 second track dedicated to isolating and repeating the string section from the prior song (and if it's meant to be a coda it's a sucky coda)
-A 6 second track that consists of applause (actually, nobody ever to exist needs that)

On the other hand, if he's not taking himself too seriously, his irony is superfluous to what are some amazingly gorgeous and/or catchy tunes, and I'm impressed with anyone who can write a song about Religious teenager sexual tension without making me want to die.

I want to judge this album differently if he's being sincere or if he's just pissing out some wimpy hipster jokes, but then I don't know which one is worse. And besides, I shouldn't let the artist affect my perception of the art. Except in the case of Billy Corgan. Screw Billy Corgan.

So, for what it is, this album has maybe 40 percent moments of stunning beauty and then a bunch of filler or songs that are impossible to do anything but groan at. That 40 percent is really good though. Peaks or consistency?

Well, it certainly surpasses both Carrie and Lowell and that atrocious cover art. Also, I realize I'm very likely to return to this. I'll be generous.

Best Track: Jacksonville
Rating: 7/10

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