The Rapture – In The Grace Of Your Love

The antithesis of starring 5 songs on it’s first listen through (see ) is starring none.

I really wanted to love The Rapture’s new album.
Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks (their first EP but not the first in my collection – I’ll admit that much) was a solid EP hinting at the brilliance that was their debut Echoes.
Pieces of the People We Love was a great follow up, chock full of songs to dance to (including one of my favourite lyrics “too esoteric for a Saturday night”). It was a bit of a departure from their debut but I still loved it.
Tapes (their DJ album) was my running soundtrack for ages.
In The Grace Of Your Love sounds like they’ve used up all their tricks.

They’ve relied on their individual sound to carry them through, but there’s no substance.
Nothing that makes me want to get up and dance, and nothing that makes me feel like conjure up of thoughts of that magical moments when they play Open Up Your Heart at a festival.

Sail Away opens the album and whets the appetite for what’s to follow, but then the rest of the album fades away into nothingness.

Miss You comes the closest, with the signature handclaps that made Pieces of the People We Love, but it sounds like rapture-inspired rather than The Rapture itself.
Everything else seems to falls away into the abyss.

I hope that I’ll pick up this album in the peak of summer with fresh ears and rediscover it, but for the minute it remains a little unexciting.

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Death Cab For Cutie – Codes and Keys

When an album has 5 songs with stars on it’s first listen through that’s generally a good sign.

It’s an album that screams Saturday morning.
It’s almost perfection.

There’s no nauseatingly poppy songs, but it treads that line between strange and weird and delightful.

Ben Gibbard’s voice conveys emotion. It makes you feel things. I listen to this album and I can feel sunshine and ran. The smell of freshly cut grass.
Pretty pastel colours and ice creams on the lawn.

Codes and Keys takes me away to all sorts of different places. It’s transporting, ethereal, magical.

It’s on high rotation.

The Grates – Secret Rituals

Ahh, The Grates – Secret Rituals.
Now just a two piece after Alana went off to bake cupcakes, their energy and enthusiasm hasn’t worn off.

After releasing two album with some killer singles, Secret Rituals is no different.
Turn Me On and Sweet Dreams begin the album in the right direction. The promise of fun is just around the corner.
But we don’t get around the corner. There’s no Lies Are Much More Fun, no 19 20 20, no Carve Your Name, nothing that you can sing, loudly in your car. This is number one on my list of wants on a Grates album.

The album has its fans. They were loud and many at their recent appearance at On The Bright Side, and young enough to sing all* their songs.
I simply wanted more fun from this album.

The homespun album artwork is fantastic as always. So much love and care has gone into this album.

I just wanted more opportunities to sing along with Patience (loudly, in my car, annoying those stuck at the traffic lights with me).

*I’m way to old to be singing Change (AKA The Puberty Song) in my car.

Umpire – Now We’re Active

Umpire’s self titled EP has been on my playlist for a few years now.
It’s a solid EP revolving around their 2009 WAMI song of the year, Streamers.

So I was quite eager to hear a full length album.

On first impressions I was underwhelmed.

There are some clever songs on the album. Corner An Owl In An Alcove and The Canyon are stand outs, but they’re surrounded by unenthusiastic melodies which don’t seem to reach the promise of their EP.

On a first listen, I was missing the narrative that their EP had. The story is still there, but it takes longer to find.
The more I listen to it, the more I like it.
But it hasn’t become an album that I’ll listen to on high rotation. It’s an album I have to remind myself to listen to.

Umpire are finding their feet, and I believe they will firmly entrench themselves, as they have done in the WA music scene, in the Australian music scene.
I just don’t quite see it happening on the back of this album.
I want to like it more than I do, but I don’t.
And that makes me sad.

Foster The People – Torches

I’m glad piano’s are back in fashion, it makes for some awesome piano hooks. Foster The Peoples debut album is chock full of them.

With their single Pumped Up Kicks, Foster The People have shown they can write a catchy, stuck in your head all day, pop song. The rest of the album shows that it’s not a one off.

Their catchy, poppy vibe will make it super easy to dance to at a festival.

It’s chilled enough for Sunday morning but alive enough for a Saturday night.

Verdict? It should have been released in Summer. It’s definitely suited to lazy days on the beach and summer road trips.
Definitely making my high rotation list.

The Kills – Blood Pressures

Firstly a disclaimer.

I love The Kills.
I love Alison Mosshart.
I watched The Kills by myself in 08 at V Fest whilst all my mates were watching Madness.
I saw The Dead Weather (almost a year ago to the day) and watched Alison more than Jack White. And defended her when my boyfriend was yelling “eat a sandwich”.
They are one of the bands where I own every album.

I was more than likely always going to like this album.

So with all my bias out in the open, I completely adore this album.

I love how some of the songs are so catchy, if they weren’t sung with Alison’s growling menace they would be immediate pop songs.

It sings of betrayal and lost love without smacking you over the head with ‘woe is me’.
It sounds like it has the grit of No Wow, with the song writing of Midnight Boom.
It typifys the sound of the Kills

And it’s currently in the 15 – 20 play count per track after a week.

Stand out tracks – DNA, Nail In My Coffin, Damned If She Do, Future Starts Slow

Rise Against – Endgame

I’m currently listening to the stream of Rise Against – Endgame

I have 5 of their albums, The Unravelling, The Sufferer and the Witness, Siren Song of the Counter Culture, Revolutions Per Minute, and Appeal to Reason. So i’m not unaquainted with the band.
I saw them last year at Big Day Out and thought they rocked.
They know their stuff. I know who they’re writing for.

They’re writing for the teenage emo kids who are being bullied at school.
Every song is for them.
I never felt like it was being so blatantly rammed down my throat.
Continue reading Rise Against – Endgame

First impressions – Wolf Parade & Trail of Dead

Wednesday afternoon just went well.
Wolf Parade – Expo 86 arrived (finally) after being lost in the mail.
So that got listened to about 3 times on repeat, before listening to their first album again.
First impressions, it’s good.
As good as their first. Continue reading First impressions – Wolf Parade & Trail of Dead

We Are Scientists – Barbara

After going through some line up changes since their last album, they’ve come back with a strong album which will have you tapping your feet and nodding your head in your skinny jeans and converse.
Sounding a bit like ‘the hot lies’ (which may be a redundant comparison if allmusic.com doesn’t recognise who they are – but those who have heard the Adelaide 5 piece will agree), there’s nothing unexpected or out of the ordinary here, but what they do deliver is a reliable, enjoyable brand of indie rock.

Rules Don’t Stop is a good opener, and a good indicator of the rest of the album.
Buy it if you like cruising, good, straightforward indie.

Jack’s Mannequin – Everything in Transit

Jack’s Mannequin is Andrew McMahon, lead singer from Something Corporate in his ‘other’ project.
It’s a simpler, less punk sound than SoCo but still manages to enchant and intrigue.
The acoustical nature of Jack’s Mannequin allows Andrew McMahon’s natural song writing ability to really shine through and the piano licks tie it all together nicely.

The end result is very pleasurable album which is easy on the ears, and feels right at home in a college dorm away full of people trying to find themselves.