Thursday 3 July 2014

Mid-Term Review

Music websites are having their "mid-term reviews" because it's a cheap and simple way to fill up pages. And because there's a fairly annoying tendency in American music criticism to use academia as a frame of reference.

There's a Dean of American Rock Critics (disclaimer: I think Professor Griff and Dr Dre either got their qualifications off the internet or hip hop isn't considered important enough for those titles to be recognised formally).

You'll have either read several reviews or got thousands of press releases describing something as "sophomore". The word they're after is "second". I've stopped reading any review and deleted every press release that uses sophomore when it should be second.

Anyway, record stores shops are doing mid-term reviews this year. I know, it's never-ending. So this post isn't a mid-term review. It's a collection of a few things I haven't until now had a chance to blog about.

Strand of Oaks: Goshen 97
I love the sound of falling in love with music. Goshen 97 is about "when the magic began" in a basement. There's celebration and regret in equal measure "I was lonely but I was having fun...I don't want to start all over again". And then there's J Mascis on guitar.

Girlpool: American Beauty
You can pick any one of the 7 songs from their tape and find knockout lines like "it's not enough to watch a movie/eat me out to American Beauty". Girlpool have got all the spit of Dogs Legs and the sass of Slutever, only they strip everything right back to the bare bones.

Little Big League: Year of the Sunhouse
They can't write a bad song. Or if they have done, they've thrown it away. Another 2 hits and even better they're loving doing it as much as I am listening to it: "They ask are you still playing basement shows with the band?/Doing the music thing? Well yes I fucking am!"

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