14 September 2010

Catching up with Cassette Kids and Les Savy Fav

Okay, summer has come and gone, and we were not able to get to a few albums… but better late than never. So one previously released album, and a new one. This post is about Australian newbies and American veterans, and I am just going to say a few things about them to whet your appetite. Hope you all had a great summer (or winter); enjoy the autumn (or spring, depending on where you are in the world).

Cassette Kids: “Nothing on TV” (above)

Les Savy Fav: “Roots of the Ruin” (below)

Cassette Kids: “Nothing on TV”

Cassette Kids’ debut album is finally out: “Nothing on TV” (16 April 2010 in Australia, available in the USA as import since 4 May 2010), following up their debut EP, “We Are.” Though it was released before the beginning of summer, it has taken some time to hit this side of the Pacific. And it surely wrapped up my summer vacation on a bright note.

The lead single, released in 2009, is "Lying Around". It's that type of song that has that very synth-pop rift to it, and you will automatically get hooked on it. Not to mention that the lyrics are quite easy and can easily become a sing-along when you’re in the shower or in the car by yourself, and I better hear no comments about my singing!

You will definitely be spinning when you listen to the second single, “Spin.” And even in your dizziness, you will find the beat very hypnotic, humming along to the song even after the iPod goes off. Though they are talking about vinyls and not a cassette (and I know at least one blogger happy about that), it is besides the point of the song; it’s just a fun fucking song.

"Freaky Sweetie" was by far one of the most interesting tracks on the album. It starts off with a typical white-boy-urban-ghetto-club-beat created by a kick drum and eventually is expanded and accompanied by a guitar, synths, and choppy bass line. I find this as one of my favorite songs for some strange reason. Could it be that the be that my high school years of hearing club music is catching up to me or maybe it just simply works well with the song? At this point, I am done questioning what to think of it, all I know is that it is the type of song you can shake your ass to when it starts to play.

With a name like Cassette Kids, you know that this band is harkening back to the 80s. “Nothing on TV” is the type of album that is just fun to listen to, uncomplicated and not burdened down with broody lyrics. Synthpop and dance punk fans

Track Listing:
1. Insomnia
2. Spin
3. Lying Around
4. Coming Back
5. Big Jerk
6. Freaky Sweetie
7. Game Player
8. You Shot Me
9. Nothing on TV
10. Wherever You Are
11. Hey Baby
12. Fatal Attraction

Keep up with Cassette Kids at their homepage, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.

Here are the links for their videos from their MySpace Video page.

“Lying Around"

Les Savy Fav: “Roots of the Ruin”

Lately, I have been listening to more electronic music than anything else, but there is nothing like a good rocking album. Whether it is old school or (post-)punk, I am game to bobbing my head and zoning out to some kickass guitar rifts. And my latest dose is Les Savy Fav’s “Roots of Ruin” (3 August 2010 as digital release, 14 September 2010 physical release). They are one of these underappreciated bands. Hailing from New York City, they mesh rock, indie trends, post-punk, post-hardcore, and art rock. And in this field of 80s revival and electronically driven music, this is a treat.

They have this unique urgency to them, amazing considering how they can vary their sound and themes. One moment they have a song about the beauty of a woman, and the next sheer carnality, while singing, “We didn’t kiss, we just touched our lips together.” They have everything going for them: diverse approaches to their songs and lyrics that vary from serious to tongue-in-cheek.

The one track that really does the trick for me is “Lips ‘n Stuff.” This one rubs me so right in so many ways! From that post-punkish guitar opening, to that NYC matter of fact attitude, to its sense of urgency, this one is unforgettable. And that rhythm… you want to more than bob your head – pounce around, or maybe body surf.

“Excess Energies” is another phenomenal song by these guys, harkening more towards their punk influences. Just a driving kick drum beat, with some funky guitar playing. This song is almost an insulting song. “I’m not my father’s son, watch me undo what he’s done.” And later, “Was it worth it?” Music as therapy? Maybe. Riveting? Absolutely.

As I am from the NYC area, I have to really say check out Les Savy Fav. “Roots of the Ruin” is an amazing album, and lifts that bar a bit higher for 2010. And again, Les Savy Fav proves that verterans can deliver when left to their own devices.

Track Listing:
1. Appetites
2. Dirty Knails
3. Sleepless in Silverlake
4. Let’s Get Out of Here
5. Lips ‘n stuff
6. Poltergeist
7. High and Unhinged
8. Excess Energies
9. Dear Crutches
10. Calm Down
11. Clear Spirits

Keep up with Les Savy Fav at their homepage and MySpace.

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