Uncle GhettoAardvark's Occasional Music Review
Deerhunter - Cryptograms (January 29, 2007, Kranky)
Deerhunter is known as a "shoegaze" band. I hate that genre label, so I'm going to ignore it entirely. Deerhunter sounds almost, but not quite, entirely unlike post-rock. It's more like a solid cross between well-known post-rock like Explosions In The Sky and softer indie rock like The Shins circa Chutes Too Narrow, with maybe a splash of Peter, Bjorn and John. In fact, if I was trying to introduce someone to post-rock, I'd probably recommend something like this as a starter just to see if they like it or not. The vocals are probably my favorite thing on this album, and I suspect the bassist is really good but my speakers suck and I can't tell yet. "Spring Hall Convert" is probably my favorite track, but "Octet-Stream" is more representative of the entire album.
Interesting Trivia: Their live shows are markedly different than one would expect from their music, often including fake blood and the (male) lead singer in a sundress.
Sigur Rós - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (June 23, 2008, EMI/XL Recordings)
Generally, if you've heard Sigur Rós before, you're already aware of how they sound and whether you like them or not. If you're one of the (seemingly few) who doesn't like them, I highly, highly recommend you give this album a shot, as it's a definite break in tone from their previous work. To use a crappy metaphor for a moment: if most of their previous work is like that first snowfall of winter, this is like that first day in spring when you walk outdoors and the weather is perfect. Gone are the twinkling tunes, slow passages, and falsetto, replaced with steady marching drums and strong melodies that make you want to be outdoors, running around in the sunlight. They're not half-shy about it, either; this new dynamic kicks in right from the first track ("Gobbledigook") and stays strong through the rest of it. Besides that track, I recommend "Við spilum endalaust", as well as "Festival".
Interesting Trivia: Their bassist, Georg, can catch trout with nothing but his teeth.
SHITDISCO - Kingdom Of Fear (April 16, 2007, Fierce Panda)
I have to admit, I was lured to listen to this based on nothing but the band name. Fortunately, they turned out to be a better-than-average Britain-based electro/dance band, which is good because I hate it when bands waste really good names on crappy music. It's hard not to draw comparisons with other bands that aren't part of the same musical subset (i.e. Klaxons, Hadouken!) but if I had to pick one, it'd be Devo - if Devo focused less on being completely weird and more on making exceedingly danceable music. They're pretty obviously in this for the fun of it, as the Wikipedia page for them says they played house parties in their drummer's apartment for three straight years, and will still play for free at parties on request while on tour. I'm a big fan of "I Know Kung Fu", "Another", and "Disco Blood", but if I may be completely honest, every track off of Kingdom Of Fear is just as good as the rest of them.
Interesting Trivia: They also DJ on a regular basis, and have played all over the world, including Ibiza, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur.
Six bands, all named the same thing!
I lied! It's actually three different bands all named different things!