Thursday, February 03, 2005

Boston College

Burning Airlines- Identikit

It’s funny- part of the reason for doing this project is to take a chance to look back, check everything out. When I pulled ‘Identikit’ off of the shelf the other day, I wasn’t terribly excited about it- I remember thinking that it was way less catchy and immediate than their debut. Once I threw the CD on, though, I knew all the songs, even though I had a not-so-favorable impression lodged in my head.
So, then: much better than I remembered. The record is certainly not anywhere as hookpoppy as the first one was, and the bass isn’t as far in the front of the mix, either- Bill Barbot’s departure probably has something to do with both (as a side note, did Kim Coletta have the greatest bass tone ever, or what? Man!) Not saying that the lack of hooks is a bad thing, by any means, because it’s not. There’s more reliance on songwriting than hooks, harkening back to the Jawbox days when the band was a three-piece. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since those first records, though, and it shows- more refined and sophisticated stuff to be found. A trend that continues on the Channels record, which will be reviewed sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Burzum- Daudi Baldrs

I read ‘Lords Of Chaos,’ that book about the black metal underground in Scandinavia. All the talk about these neo-fascist kids burning down churches and killing each other made me want to see what all the fuss was about, but I was a little bit wary of actually buying a record. You know, dollars equaling votes, the whole ball of wax. Still, I’d hold the records in my hands when I went to the local record store, think about buying ‘em, put ‘em back. Until this one day where one of the CD’s was mistagged- seven bucks instead of the import price. All right, then.
Burzum is this one guy, the biggest of the scumbags in the book- killed a guy in an opposing band, burned down a bunch of churches. I thought that I would be purchasing one of the records that is legit black metal- fast drums and hoarse screamy vocals. I didn’t, though- Daudi Baldrs (a concept record about the death of Balder the Brave) was written and recorded in prison!
I continue to be fascinated with this record (it gets played on the back porch a little bit, if that’s any sort of indication.) The music is really simple and repetitive, occasionally sinister. About half of the time, the songs sound like the kind of background music you might find in ‘Lord Of The Rings’ when like an army of orcs is going to go lay waste to a town full of helpless children. The other half sound like the scene in the movie where the star-crossed lovers have to depart on their respective quests. All electronic, occasionally punctuated by awful-sounding ‘horns’ that sound like farting in a bathtub. It works, though, that’s the thing. And I should probably feel guilty for enjoying music by such a despicable man, but just because someone gives you bad advice doesn’t mean you have to take it.

Cable- Gutter Queen

Here’s what you need to know about Cable:
-The record’s cover photo is a woman displaying the track marks on her arms,
-When the band was active, it felt like they broke up and got back together like once a week,
-One song ends with the singer shouting ‘What the fuck are you looking at?’ for sixty seconds.


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