12 April 2009

Catching up with Doves and Condo Fucks

Two new albums from two indie bands: Doves and Yo La Tengo ... well they changed their name to Condo Fucks. These two newly released albums hold a lot of promise for the music industry of 2009. Although these two bands are labeled as indie, what the hell does indie mean these days? These two bands could not be more different from one another, so I would discard the labels and just enjoy.

Doves: “Kingdom of Rust”

Another indie band (signed to Heavenly in the UK and Astralwerks in the US) hailing from England, Doves is one of the better-known bands of today indie rock / festival circuit. Doves have been active for almost eleven years and what better way to mark the eleventh year than releasing an album? “Kingdom of Rust” was released on April 6, 2009 marking the fourth album they have released. With their own talent as songwriters, and John Leckie as the album’s producer, this album was not going to disappoint. “Kingdom of Rust” is truly an album that is so diverse that it almost seems experimental; it is one of the more appaudable albums of 2009.

The band has also offered a free download of ‘”Jetstream,” a personal favorite, on their website like many bands have started to do. The album is supposed to be “schizophrenic…but strangely cohesive,” which is an odd yet interesting description coming from Jez Williams (guitarist/songwriter of Doves). The band has already released their first single of the album, the titular “Kingdom of Rust,” which has one of the most difficult lyrics to decipher. The strongest song, lyrically, seems to be “Jetstream,” which depicts a scene of hope but also despair. The actual vocals are not 100% audible, which makes deciphering the lyrics all the more fun.

Track Listing
1. Jetstream
2. Kingdom of Rust
3. The Outsiders
4. Winter Hill
5. 10:03
6. The Greatest Denier
7. Birds Flew Backwards
8. Spellbound
9. Compulsion
10. House of Mirrors
11. Lifelines

iTunes-only bonus tracks
12. Ship of Fools
13. The Last Son

Japan bonus track
12. Push Me On

Keep up with Doves at their homepage, MySpace, and Youtube Channel: Dovesoffical.

Condo Fucks: “Fuckbook”

Definitely not a mainstream band, Condo Fucks’ (formerly Yo La Tengo) new album name, “Fuckbook,” exemplifies indie, non-radio friendly music, while their sound amplifies individuality. It is hard to sum up this band and the listening experience in a few words, other than to say there is something enticing about their noise. These are not new kids on the blocks; Yo La Tengo is an experienced band dating back to 1984 and has a strong fan base; to their credit, they have rejected the non-artistic decisions that would have heralded them into the mainstream. Their craft is more important than pop popularity.

The album “Fuckbook,” has a personal vibe. It sounds like a casual concert playing at the touch of a button more than a rehearsed and refined sound, which is not a bad thing in this case. I can vividly imagine myself reaching out and rocking out at a live performance when I listened to this album, which is quite different than anything I’ve ever listened to recently. It's definitely not life-changing music, but it’s an awesome album to blast as loud as you can and see your neighbors cringe. This album is the epitome of an unpretentious band hoping to reach out to an audience looking for individuality.

Track Listing:
1. What'cha Gonna Do About It
2. Accident
3. This Is Where I Belong
4. Shut Down
5. Shut Down Part 2
6. With A Girl Like You
7. The Kid With The Replaceable Head
8. Dog Meat
9. So Easy Baby
10. Come On Up
11. Gudbuy T’Jane

Keep up with Condo Fucks on the homepage for Yo La Tengo.