Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mopey, Novaks and Plaskett reviews

I got some more album reviews published in todays issue of The Scope. Instead of just hyperlinking them like last time, I'll just paste them up here for your reading convenience.

Mopey Mumble-Mouse
I Am Happy Being Nothing
Righteous local weirdos Mopey Mumble Mouse hot off the heels of their 2nd RPM challenge album, release their new full length disc I Am Happy Being Nothing. The album plays like a concept album with all songs—from the WGB cover “Babylon Mall” on down—dealing with Mopey’s rabid contempt for big box stores, blatant commercial capitalism and the de-humanizing industrial trappings of modern day life. The album is by far the most energetic, brutal and confrontational release from Mopey yet. Songs like “Young Professional” and “Food Fair” come at you like a bucket of snarling, frothing werewolves in a swirling centrifuge. The album is a party bag of hardcore punk, experimental pop noise, and melodramatic cabaret that Curtis Kilfoy’s impassioned vocals and the bands endless enthusiasm sell every second of.

Stream or download the album from here!

The Novaks
Things Fall Apart
(Sonic Records)
In the four years since The Novaks last album they’ve had to re-invent themselves as a power trio. As a result Things Fall Apart is much more riff oriented, and the band has moved to a more hard hitting classic rock sound which is more early AC/DC or T-Rex than The Heartbreakers. The change does them good, Mick Davis’ swaggering, woozy howl is better served in a boogie-rich, amped up environment then in the more jangly sounds of their earlier material. I got really hooked into picking apart his vocal theatrics—the way he extends the “staaaaaaaarr-aahh” in “Billy The Kid” is borderline ridiculous (but awesome) and the way he twists and contorts “truuu-uuuu-uth” in “Sometimes I Gotta Go Down” is truly perverted. The big glammed out hooks dig in deeper the more you listen to them and the beats do their job getting your fists pumpin’.

Joel Plaskett
This is an odd day and age to be releasing triple albums. This is a day and age of iPods permanently set to random play, careers made on a single shared mp3 download and world tours to support 4 song ep's. Who has the patience and enough ability to concentrate nowadays to listen to close to 2 hours of mid-tempo, mostly acoustic folk pop? Not me really, but I did. Joel Plaskett decided to go the way of modern day Prince and release his triple disc, numerology obsessed "Three". On it are a good few very enjoyable tracks with sparse arrangements, tasteful acoustic flourishes and intimate vocal harmonies, but as with all projects like this where the main selling point seems to be showing off the artists great prolificness; the bloat gets in the way and chokes the listener with a profundity of half baked, middling ideas. With stronger editing Joel could've sliced the album down to one enjoyable single disc instead of trying the listeners patience with an extra 14 or so uninspiring songs about sunshine or the road. Sadly Plaskett couldn't pull a "69 Love Songs" out of his ass, so do what most people will do and find the 8 or 9 songs that move you the most and keep the rest in the recycle bin.