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Played This Week

April 10, 2009

Some of what’s been going on this week:

Constantines – Kensington Heights: I was stuck on a bus earlier this week, on account of detours and crazy traffic caused by a fire in an apartment building, and listened to this whole record. Sounds just as good as it did last spring.

The FutureheadsThe Futureheads: This was one of the best things to come out in 2004. It came out of nowhere, too, nobody in North America had heard of them, and there was only a little bit of promotion for the record. It did fairly well, though, and some of the songs got pretty popular. It came out in the midst of the post-punk infatuation of the early 2000s, which, although resulting in some good records, led to some one-dimensional interpretations of old groups for the purposes of comparison and led many people, furthermore, to disappointment when they found out that the new bands didn’t really sound much like the old ones. The Futureheads did their thing well, though. They had a great sound that nobody else was doing, with four-part vocal harmonising, and it made this record stand out. Plus, the songs were really great. They’ve become a good power-pop outfit and have had two more albums in the years since this first album, but neither have quite met the potential this one set out for them. They could still make another really solid record, though.

Motörhead – Ace of Spades: This record has been popping up in the world recently. Seeing it in a shop a couple of weeks ago would have been the first thing, I suppose. Which isn’t really remarkable, as what record shop doesn’t have this on the shelf?  It came to mind again, though, after listening to the Death record and pondering the shared space of hard rock, metal, and punk (early Motörhead records being probably the best benchmark for that). And then I heard a good portion of it in the student diner at school (you never know what’ll be on in there, good or bad). Sadly, I don’t have a copy anymore (there’s no real excuse for that other than all my old tapes being no longer extant), but I used to listen to the first few Motörhead records all the time. Between 77 and 82 they were so on, and there’s a string of great records there. Anyway, I’ve been watching some of the old videos on youtube. Those ones (which I had recorded and memorised from the Power 30 in high school)  that are just the band playing on some hazy stage. The bullet belts, Lemmy’s Rickenbackers, Phil Taylor’s shark-mouth bass drums, Eddie Clark’s wood-grain guitar, iconic stuff.

Wild Beasts – Limbo, Panto: A strange, infectious record. This seems to be really popular in England, but I’m not sure how it’s been received over here. Its Englishness and exaggeration might make it a bit impenetrable at first, and its sound seems to make some people cringe, but, there’s some great stuff on this.

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