Tag Archives: Indie

Album Review: The Dears – ‘Degeneration Street’ (2011)

9 Mar

The Dears – ‘Degeneration Street’

(Dangerbird)

Skipping the alpha and going straight for the omega, Montreal neo-romanticists kick off fifth studio album Degeneration Street with the funk laiden, groove departure ‘Omega Dog’. It’s a statement of intent from leader Murray Lightburn that see’s his recently reshuffled ragamuffins give their emphatic rock a new twist and a little added spice.

Having fallen off the radar somewhat it’s clear they are willing to make amends. The album is long, weighing in at the one hour mark, and as dense as they come. It’s a lot to wade through. The lasting impression however is nothing on said opener. The music ebbs and flows, reaching dizzying highs on the beautifully melodic ‘Unsung’, ‘Thrones’ and the reminiscent poignancy of ‘Yesteryear’. But it is fundamentally too bi-polar as it then immediately sinks in tracks like ‘Galactic Tides’ and the hysterically operatic closer ‘Degeneration Street’. There simply isn’t enough consistency and we’re left feeling
slightly miffed as with such great individual composition the mish-mash of styles and themes never really come together as one coherent album.

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Track of the Day: 03.02.11

3 Feb

Noah and the Whale – ‘L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.’

Charlie Fink of England’s very own Noah and the Whale is a most endearing fellow. After his break up from Ms. Marling he was hit by the uglies and 2009’s ‘First Days of Spring’ reflected those uglies immensely. It was a great break up album but in contrast to their debut ‘Peaceful the world lays me down’ it was a step down in our opinion. You see, Noah and the Whale are one of those bands you put on to feel good about yourself. They do that happy folk, uplifting tune better than most. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. is one such track.

We at The Quilted Generation hope this is a return to happy times. Fingers crossed. Absolutely great track and a tempting little taster for the new album, due out on 12th March 2011.

Happy days.

*This is the radio edit of the track and even contains some of Zane Lowe and his fat fucking voice. For the full version either youtube it or spotify.

Favourite Album of 2010: The Thermals -‘Personal Life’

31 Jan

"...a monster of an album that chronicles the delightfully moody intricacies of relationships with a brutal honesty."

The Thermals – ‘Personal Life’

(Kill Rock Stars)

The Thermals’ latest record reads like a sequence of poignant (if tongue-in-cheek) love songs, but it sounds like indie-punk dynamite. ‘Personal Life’ consists of ten songs and all of them have the same manic energy; there’s no slowing down, no pausing, and absolutely nothing that doesn’t deserve to be there. The Thermals have paired their ability to write absurdly catchy riffs with their penchant for the noisy buzz of guitar rock, creating a monster of an album that chronicles the delightfully moody intricacies of relationships with a brutal honesty.

Kill Rock Stars’ famous history of putting out unforgettable indie-punk records (Bikini Kill and Elliott Smith, anyone?) means that it shouldn’t be entirely unsurprising that the Thermals, who changed labels after their third record to work with KRS, have fully transcended their genre, no longer relegated to the dull improbabilities of being a good indie band. They’re simply a good band. The melodies buried beneath layers of distortion and drums might be obscured, but they are still very much there and most of them are close to genius. Years in folk (Hutch & Kathy) and pop (All Girl Summer Fun Band) music have taught the Thermals how to implement hooks and snares that are both sneaky and effective. The result is more than impressive; in an alternate universe, leading single ‘I Don’t Believe You’ could top the charts for weeks.

More than merely fun to hear, ‘Personal Life’ has an easy timelessness to it. With lyrics that rip apart the trite simplicities of the Love Song, the Thermals create a new archetype that makes no effort to hide the agitations, confusions, furies and (of course) elations of being in love. Personal Life’s cathartically messy narrative, equal parts self-deprecation and introspection, is a love story that pulls no punches.