November 11 2012 Drop Box Notes Part 2

11.11.12 Part 2

Now that I have the list thing out of the way, let’s move forward with an intimate discussion of this month’s latest and greatest. I’m starting with a release that Russell dropped at the end of last month Nevermind the Name’s A Gaze into the Abyss which is atmospheric post-rock available on bandcamp. This is a terrific album for long drives around the city (and the drive from Orange County to Pasadena during rush hour can last over two hours!). The album isn’t that long, but is all instrumental. While not normally in my skill set, this album incorporates a diverse range of influence, with a touch of Kraftwerk, Can and Neu! (look them up- they were there first!) elements throughout. Thoroughly enjoyable if you are in the mood. Try “Walking the Endless Road,” “Beat Death” and opening track “In a Second.”

Yorkshire four piece, Above Them bring forth a pretty interesting second album with Are We A Danger To Ourselves. Representing a cross-section of melodic punk rock reminding me of a hybrid between Chixdiggit and Against Me, this is a straight forward melodic punk rock record with some fairly good songs. The great thing about this record is that upon each listen I find myself singing ( not loudly because my kids can hear and will complain J) along to a different track each time. Add this to your playlist on shuffle, and surprise yourself. Try “Concrete Forgiveness” “Temper like a Hand Grenade” and “Something To Keep You Positive.”

Danish indie sextet, the Alcoholic Faith Mission’s 4th album, Ask Me This incorporates more electronic elements into their indie-folk music crafting lush soundscapes with pretty melodies highlighting the differences between other practitioners of the art, such as Bon Iver and those guys who sing “The Cave” ( Mumford and Sons). This is a very modern, clean sounding record which over the course of 36 minutes, bounces around with the varied vocals broadening the band’s sound. Try”Alaska,” “I’m Not Evil” and “Reconstruct My Love.”

Raleigh North Carolina Alt-Country rockers American Aquarium appeared in the drop box earlier this year with Dances For The Lonely and the lovely track “Katherine Belle.” They return here with another excellent album, Burn.Flicker.Die. Let’s face it, BJ Barnham writes simple melodic country rockers with a flavor of Springsteen, and makes no secret of his desire to traverse the same territory. I think what makes this different, is that American Aquarium is much more comfortable with their country roots making even those songs which reference rock territory (see “Lonely Ain’t Easy”) sound authentic. There is something about this country rock blend that makes for a great listen. Try “ Abe Lincoln” “Burn.Flicker.Die.” and “Saturday Nights.”

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead return after what seems like forever unleashing Lost Songs on an unsuspecting public. Since 2010’s The Tao of the Dead Trail Of The Dead have bulked up their already massive sound and restrained their prog- rock tendencies to find the perfect balance between melody and noise. Think late period Husker Du. When you need something loud and strangely beautiful, give this record a spin. Try “Awestruck” “Pinhole Cameras” and Heart of Wires.”

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