Saturday, May 30, 2009

You Cannot Contend with the RPM

Another new record that's rocking my socks off these days is Hey Everyone! That's the title of the full-length debut by Scottish six-piece Dananananaykroyd. They put the sex in sextet, and they endeared themselves to me by having two drummers (an exciting feature shared by the Butthole Surfers, MX-80 Sound, Beachbuggy, and the Fall circa 1983; as well as Adam Ant, Gary Glitter, the Allmans, the Dead, and the new Southern metal band Kylesa).

I've read comparisons between Dananananaykroyd and Los Campesinos, but I don't hear it. To me, Dananananaykroyd sound a bit like McLusky and FOTL (especially on "Black Wax"). But the mood is more giddy than angry, except on "One Chance", which is straight-up 1980's hardcore. There is also a touch of Ponytail in Dananananaykroyd's ecstatic sound: the lead guitarist is brilliant, and the songs on Hey Everyone reach crescendo after crescendo. "Watch This!" is their statement of purpose: like an attention-seeking hyperactive child, the song packs in every R-O-C-K signifier from pick slides to rim shots. I think my favorite song is "Some Dresses", which fills the void of awesome songs about tailoring women's clothes.

If you've been following Dananananaykroyd's history (haven't you?), you may notice some overlap between the songs on the new LP and their previous EP's. Early classics like "Totally Bone" have been rerecorded and amped up. The two drummers are captured distinctly, and the album sounds great at loud volume. I've taken the unprecedented step of adding Dananananaykroyd to my sidebar as one of the Greatest Bands of All Time. In the words of Bryan Evening, it's THAT GOOD.

Dananananaykroyd: Some Dresses

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A.Camp Tours U.States

Nina Persson's band A.Camp released its second album, Colonia, last month. The album is an intelligent set of orchestral pop, anchored by the pure tone of Persson's voice (which is not unlike Karen Carpenter's). To most American listeners, she may forever be known foremost as the singer of "Lovefool", but there is nothing lightweight about A.Camp's music. Highlights for me are "I Signed the Line" (which seems to address both recording contracts and marriage), and "Golden Teeth And Silver Medals", a duet with Nicolai Dunger that breaks down the fourth wall of the recording studio ("I'm so glad I met you in this song").

A.Camp's first tour of the US started this week in NYC. The two week tour continues through Boston, DC, Philly, Chicago, MPLS, KC, Denver, Seattle, Portland, SF and LA.

A.Camp will release a covers EP next month, featuring "Us and Them" (Pink Floyd) and "Boys Keep Swinging" (Bowie). Watch A.Camp perform "Love Has Left the Room" on WFMU here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another Green Mess

Oh no, blog neglect! Better post something before blogrot sets in... Sometimes I wonder why I pay attention to the hype on new bands, because the music is often disappointing. I hate to sound like an old crank, but the amount of new music out there has increased exponentially in the last two decades, and the quality can't possibly equal the volume. I guess I worry that I will miss something good if I don't try to keep up.

One pearl among the swine is the British trio Johnny Foreigner. I overlooked their album Waited up til It Was Light when it came out last year. I got it about a month ago and have been playing it almost daily since then. Each of the songs has been my favorite at one time or another. It's a frenetically noisy record (albeit very well-produced), so it takes a few listens before the songs sink their hooks into your brain. I soon found myself singing along with such unlikely phrases as "one green mess to another green mess" and "mutton dressed as mutton dressed as mutton dressed as lamb".

Singer/guitarist Alexei Burrows yelps like Black Francis or David Gedge, and singer/bassist Kelly Southern (who must inevitably suffer comparisons to Kim Deal) has a pleasing voice and a vicious scream. Burrows is an inventive guitarist (he often creates interesting melodic patterns by tapping the fretboard), and Junior the drummer is great too. The band won me over by quoting the dEUS classic "Hotellounge" on the ballad "Absolute Balance". There's a great fan site here, co-authored by the music writer J.Breitling.

Johnny Foreigner: Eyes Wide Terrified