Monday, July 17, 2006

Aloha, Figurines

I got into a discussion on a Gorilla Vs Bear comment section the other day about the year in music thus far. My position was (and still is) that its been a pretty dull year for new releases. I think theres been a lot of talk about a fairly high number of very overbuzzed and very overrated albums this year simply because there hasn't been much else to talk about. Yes, several very strong records have come out this year (similar to just about every year), and there has been at least one classic (Liars), but as far as the number of truly exciting and high quality releases in 2006, I would say that this year hasn't come close to stacking up against any of the previous three or four years. Of course, judging music in units of "years" is just as arbitrary as anything else, but its kind of fun.

Anyway, I wanted to share two MP3s from two largely overlooked records that I've enjoyed quite a bit this year. The first is a track off Some Echoes, the fifth full length from Ohio's Aloha. Although the band started as a sort of jazz influenced post-rock outfit, they have morphed quite a bit over the years, developing a rather unique prog/post rock indie pop sound influenced a bit by jazz, 70's AM, and the subdued world beat vibe of some of David Byrne's best solo work (including a noticeable similarity in vocals and phrasing in places). The song I've posted, "Your Eyes," is probably the most straight forward off the record, but its a fantastic introduction to one of my favorite records of the year.

The second MP3 comes from Denmark's Figurines, who sound like a band that I would usually not ever consider listening to. Their debut full length, Skeleton, has a classic pop punk vibe (read: Buzzcocks and The Jam, not Green Day) with a bit of a 60's pop influence that could easily annoy some, but has captivated me for some reason. Lead singer Christian Hjelm's vocals could even be compared to those heard on some of the snotty, modern day mall punk records that are easier to hate than Hitler, but still: the songs are well written, catchy as shit, and seem to be influenced by all the right sounds in all the right ways. Really, it sounds like bullshit, but download "The Wonder" and tell me that you don't listen to it at least five times this week. Its one of those songs that is instantly catchy AND a grower, much like the rest of the record.

Aloha "Your Eyes" MP3 (link)
Figurines "The Wonder" MP3 (link)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, yes. Good call on Figurines.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Sam M. said...

and good call on fucking Aloha.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard that new "Deer Tick" album.. I don't even know if its out yet, but its one of the best things I've heard all year.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im going to pretend it's 93 and listen to samiam albums

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys need to check out mt. gigantic they'll be at the cavern on saturday. my most anticipated show all year.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a bunch of repetitious, poppy horseshit.

this is music for people who don't know how to play music. or listen to it, for that matter.

1:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes... o.k. strident zend, then, perhaps indefinitely..............

2:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that GirlsVsBoys garbage again

6:34 AM  
Blogger Eric Grubbs said...

Great stuff. Both albums are excellent.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Lantern by Clogs is one of my favorite albums of '06

2:00 PM  
Blogger zak said...

good recommendation on the Aloha...

5:37 PM  
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