Sunday, December 20, 2009

Building Rome - Nightmare

The first track off this album immediately soars to my top 20 tracks of all time. Epic in scope and majestic in realisation, it's flat out a hit. Perfect production, absolutely flawless execution of riffs, vocals and rhythms, a politically driven message, and an absolutely outstanding breakdown makes you want to play it over and over again. It's spine-tingling stuff.

Unfortunately the whole album, whilst passionately created and something I myself would be extremely proud of, doesn't hold the same power as the opening track. There is a sense of commercialism about this album that just doesn't quite click with me, but, for woe, will with the masses.

It feels that they followed a formula. Heavy rock track followed by upbeat pop track followed by ballad, have a bowl of cornflakes and repeat. The lyrics could be produced by a computer that had listened to lots of Britney. The riffs are extremely catchy, they know exactly what they're doing but sorry guys, it's just a bit naff. There is nothing spontaneous, raw or exciting about this album.

Except the first track!

It's almost as if they wrote and recorded that track and thought "Holy shit this is amazing, let's quickly write some more stuff and get it recorded and sell an album!"

But perhaps part of me is just jealous of the absolute precision with which these guys have velcroed together their target audience and their music. This will be a popular album and it will make them lots of money, and hey good on 'em because a lot of time and effort has gone into this and it really shows. But at the same time it's sad, because it makes me realise we're still in the era of boy bands and girl power pop, except in the approaching new decade it's clear that "Indie Rock" has taken the reigns from the RnB and Pop guys.

This is future of commercial music, and it's pretty banal.

Except the first track!

!

!!

So... have a listen and buy the tunes for a very reasonable price at iTunes or by going to buildingrome.bigcartel.com

If you're a fan of "Story of the Year" / "Fallout Boy" sort of stuff you'll love the whole album, and if you think like me you'll cringe. But seriously, that first song: wow. Alone in it's incandescent brilliance it outweighs the naffness of the rest of the album. For that I doff my hat to Building Rome, who have shiny roads of success ahead of them. Well done guys.

-Building Rome's MySpace-.
-Their Website-

Sunday, December 6, 2009

PIXSID - Atoms Apart

"Atoms Apart" by PIXSID is a project that has been a year in the making; being the combination of the extraordinary talents of San Francisco based producer DJ Sid-The Apocalypze and Australian vocalist Marie Craven aka. Pixieguts. Despite the vast leagues of physical distance seperating the two, and the timespan spent producing the album, the overall sound is of something much, much more close and intimate. It is as if the two locked themselves in a studio for a few weeks surviving on stale bread and water, accompanied only by the burning passion for making music that would drive them either to insanity, or to produce a gem of an album.

The intimacy comes neither solely from Sid's lush, velvety rhythms and textures - complete with gorgeous vinyl crackle, brass sections, sounds found in nature, jazzy drums, and bass like slipping into a warm bath - nor solely from Marie's universally-acknowledged crystal clear, enchanting and seductive voice, but rather from a unique blend of the two. To me it is akin to a salad dressing of oil and vinegar. Both are good ingredients on their own with distinct uses, yet as part of the dressing you couldn't imagine one without the other.

The style they have chosen is trip-hop, or rather, the style seems to have chosen them. The album is very natural and flowing, indicating a very smooth sense of spontaneous improvisation, again as if they just walked into a studio together and music flowed forth, not heeding any rules; as if it just became what it is of its own accord. Yet in the year-long production and taking into account professional mastering by Canada's Crimson Death, every single beat and phrase sits absolutely perfectly in the mix. Constant variation and evolution keeps the listener engaged whilst retaining a strong sense of continuity. It is the attention to detail in this ever-changing scenery that elevates the album into equal steading with trip-hop legends such as Portishead and Massive Attack.

Simply put, if you want to get someone into bed put this album on. Not only for its veneer of sexy, smooth, and silky atmospherics, but for its ability to alter your mood, no matter how ratshit or anxious you feel, into warmth and comfort.

Soulful music made by masters of their craft. Intimate and close. Pure sex.

Available in physical form from cdbaby.
High-quality downloads from Bandcamp.
And preview the album here.