Right-o, bit chocka this week but this is the gap in proceedings, so I wanted to take some minutes to flag up a few releases that I criminally overlooked last year. I realise that almost everything up here so far has harked back to old man 07, but it was even finer than I thought and deserves further love.......although I've promised myself I'll get to those new This Will Destroy You and Black Mountain disc reviews over the weekend!
What did I miss, then?
The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour
Well this was daft of me. I could have picked up their debut 'Reconstruction Site' in Denver (Independent Records on Colfax Ave......great place for those post-gig CD buying sprees....actually the only place unless you count 24hr Walmarts, which I do not) all the way back in 2004 but chose Pelican's Australasia instead for my 10 bucks. Of course, there's no way I could ever regret buying anything from Chicago's finest, but it might have been a smart move to stretch to an extra disc that night in particular.
This is a fine blend of alternative rock and an almost country acoustic approach in places. The songs are subtle and unassuming at first but little are you aware that they're already weaving their magic within your grey matter. 'Civil Twilight' or 'Sun In An Empty Room' are fine places to start but it's more than worthwhile investing in the full thang to really explore the nuances of the tales being unveiled. As always, better late than never and this is a perfect record for either picking yourself up on these foul winter morns or even saving for the summer that will hopefully present itself this year. Have a go...........
Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond
I've always been aware, of course, but J. Mascis' alternative trailblazers didn't really figure much in my exploration of musical nourishment away from metal in the mid-late 90's. I'm sure I even lay semi-conscious at Reading one year and heard a Mascis project's set somewhere in the distance, but cheap Fosters and blazing sun can do odd things to the memory. Whatever it was, the guitar work and fuzzed out alt-rock are certainly not missing the mark this time around.
'Beyond' is obviously then my first exposure in any meaningful sense to Dinosaur Jr.......and it's fantastic. The album races headlong into Almost Ready with nary a care for built up introduction and proceeds to solo and lick its reverb-laden guitars through the finest set of truly alt-rock I've heard for some years. It's true to its own period without being dated and, from what fans have largely reported, a very natural return to what the band meant back in the 1990's. I'm now trawling back through the catalogue to explore 'Bug' and the other projects, with this most recent offering only fuelling the search at home after tedious days in the office. A real gem to inject some energy into the New Year......perhaps this was supposed to be a late find.............? ;-)
British Sea Power - Krankenhaus? EP
This actually links nicely into this year, as it really served as a taster for the fresh outta the traps new album 'Do You Like Rock Music?' which is also rather lush. Perhaps less reserved and fragile than 'Open Season', I wasn't entirely feeling the newer songs that spread across blogs late last year. It's all making much more sense now, though, and the EP has really kept it ticking over for me until the full length came out this week.
I'll link up some tunes for the latter on the full review. The album has definitely grown on me after a slow start and, who knows, may even match the lilting, blue sky heights of 'Open Season' if I'm lucky.
Until next time, hope anyone who happens around here enjoys the couple of tunes and can dig into the albums more deeply if they're no familiar.
Now playing: Turin Brakes - Full Of Stars