Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Five Albums from 2008 That Weren't Released in the US

(Listed in descending order of excellence).

1) The Fall - Imperial Wax Solvent. Those who aren't fans of the Fall must get tired of hearing about how each new album is a return to form. I didn't care much for Fall Heads Roll (except for "Blindness"); and Reformation Post TLC was embarrassing. So maybe Narnack Records got tired of releasing substandard Fall albums, or perhaps Marquis Smith fired them. At any rate, Imperial Wax Solvent is the greatest thing since sliced bread, or at least since The Real New Fall LP. It's musically diverse, wickedly smart, and funny as hell. The Quietus ran a track-by-track review that speculated on what Mark was drinking during the recording of each song.

2) The Futureheads - This Is Not the World. Everyone liked the Futureheads' debut, but few fans were happy with the follow-up, News + Tributes. The band lost (or left) their label, and released this worthy comeback themselves. Everything great about the Futureheads is present here in spades. Buy (and listen to) the album online here.
If you are a Futureheads fan, I highly recommend the band Statues. I should have included their 2008 album New People Make Us Nervous on my Outliers list. Buy it here, here, or here.
3) Blood Red Shoes - Box of Secrets. Blood Red Shoes is a duo, with a female guitarist and a male drummer, and both of them sing. They list their inspirations as riot grrl, DC hardcore, and early Sub Pop; but I think their wonderful music wouldn't be out of place on a sampler of post-punk from the early 1980's. Watch them here.

4) You Am I - Dilettantes. I wrote about this one last month. YAI fans will find much to like here, but Dilettantes probably won't win the band any new fans. Find a cutout copy of Hi Fi Way, and meet me back here.

5) dEUS - Vantage Point. Like the Fall, dEUS has become Tom Barman plus your granny on bongos. The drummer is the only other original member. The two singles, "Slow" and "The Architect" (a catchy song about Buckminster Fuller), were the highlights of an otherwise unremarkable album. Some of it reminded me of Queens of the Stone Age, but Josh Homme and his granny make better albums than this one. If you want to know what made dEUS great, get Worst Case Scenario (their brilliant debut), or The Ideal Crash (the other dEUS album that never saw US release).



At 1/13/2009 12:07 PM , Blogger chnkltgy said...

You should check out the UK only release of The Jim Jones Revue. Fucking great!

At 1/13/2009 12:54 PM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

An eMusic member called the Jim Jones Revue "a Molotov cocktail of Little Richard mixed with the MC5 and a splash of the Cramps". I'm on it!!! Thanks!

At 1/13/2009 1:57 PM , Blogger chnkltgy said...

Yeah, that's a pretty fair estimation. The recording is done very hot, so be ready to rock.

At 1/13/2009 3:21 PM , Blogger PCarino said...

Hey, not everybody liked that Futureheads alboom. And their cover of "Hounds of Love" made me jump under a bus.

At 1/13/2009 4:10 PM , Blogger Nathan Nothin said...

I was reading this list of musick thinking there was nothin' fer nothin' here, then I read the comments & would just like to say...WELL HOT DAMN!

Thanks to chnkltgy for rock'n'roll Salvation, now can I get a Hell Yeah! Jim Jones Revue! Damn, after the first ten seconds I was in line for the Kool-aid but I jus' couldn't stand still. I was jumpin' aroun' like a jackrabbit. I so get the MC5 thing, but the organ...the organ. Listen to the organ in tracks like Cement Mixer (then the break to the bridge at about 3:01). That's sublime.

Amen, Buddha.

At 1/13/2009 8:10 PM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

Nathan, meet Henry. Henry, Nathan.

Paula, I'm sorry you feel that way about the Futureheads, but I'm glad you survived that tragic bus mishap.

At 1/14/2009 1:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only other original dEUS member is Klaas Janzoons and he's not the drummer, but plays the violin/keyboards. More info on this band: http://www.deus.be
Oh, and be sure to check out their podcast (http://podcast.deus.be) where you can watch their entire concert in Paradiso, Amsterdam. Then judge for yourselves if their new songs are "unremarkable", as you describe.

At 1/15/2009 7:28 AM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

Thanks for the correction. You are clearly a serious fan of dEUS -- do you think the new album is as good as WCS or The Ideal Crash?


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