Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In winter when the air gets cold and breathing causes white ghosts to appear...

Dear readers! I heartily congratulate all of you a Happy New Year! 
I wish you good health and all the best! 
In the New Year we are waiting for a lot of music! 
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jeremy Enigk ‎– Return Of The Frog Queen (1996)

Great surprise. Return of the Frog Queen comes out of nowhere, in no way the follow-up to Jeremy Enigk's two previous LPs with Sunny Day Real Estate. Enigk chooses a really remarkable path, taking his highly dramatic, angst-ridden singing to a totally new sound. Now he favors harshly played acoustics. Way more surprising, Enigk lassos a whole orchestra to flesh out the background of each song! Enigk still screams like the abandoned child of Plastic Ono Band Lennon and "Heart Shaped Box" Cobain, a real shake-up. Likewise, his orchestra has equally dangerous intents. The most startling musical moment of all 1996 is the second half of the otherwise buried "Shade and the Black Hat," where the pent-up frustration inherent in this whole LP is suddenly let loose like Enigk were the delirious keeper of Pandora's box. He pounds a piano and howls like his wife just left him for his best friend, as the violins, violas, and cellos scrape at their strings as if to break them, and the flutes, piccolos, trumpets, trombones, French horns, and clarinets blow like they were hired by a wolf to blast a few recalcitrant pigs' houses down. The waves of classical countermelodies are extraordinary, adding on to each other to create an "1812 Overture" anvil clarion call, a roar so dense, so overpowering, it's like gasoline exploding, even more so as they back Enigk's fevered wail as if he were long past desperation. There are many other smaller, striking moments — many far sweeter, too, though always tempered by Enigk's dark voice — found throughout the LP, such as the chorus of "Carnival," where the man and his players turn positively paranoid to the suddenly depraved strains of circus sounds. The overall songwriting is superb, too. A truly remarkable work that has done the unthinkable, Frog Queen breaks new ground yet remains a direct hit, with the passion, power, and rage of punk; the simple, appealing babbling of folk; and even the multidimensional, nasty din of modern Russian classical. Wow.
Jack Rabid

With the ambitious and fervent Return of the Frog Queen, the former Sunny Day Real Estate frontman plays everything from guitar and drums to harpsichord. Then he surrounds himself with a strings, woodwinds, and brass. Lyrically, he's elliptic; musically, he strays from the pretty pop to a kind of sober psychedelia. Ultimately, he clearly feels the need to make a grand statement. Of course, grandeur is often delusional, and big, as often as not, is merely bloated in its infancy. With this undeniably enchanting album, however, one can't help but wonder what's next for Enigk. And that in itself is impressive. He's upped the ante enough that we can anxiously anticipate his failures as well as his achievements.
Steven Stolder

Now, this is odd: an artist from Seattle who does not have that Seattle grunge sound that quite frankly so many of us are getting sick and bored of. Something new, something fresh is always exciting, and Jeremy Enigk has delivered just what the doctor has ordered. Enigk is the former lead vocalist and song writer for Sunny Day Real Estate, another Sub Pop band. Many have wondered, or have even been concerned, whether Enigk could follow up the success of SDRE, but he has come up with a very interesting and moody original album. Mellow is the general feel, but there are powerful moments as well. Enigk's unique and distinctive emotional voice fits in extremely well with the remarkable music which consists mostly of acoustic instruments and an orchestra. This album is full of artistic beauty and could even be considered a musicians' masterpiece. Highlights are "Carnival," "Abegail Anne" and "Shade and the Black Hat," all well written songs with a lot of feeling. The album as a whole seems to fit well together. It's great to hear an alternative album from Seattle not sounding like the same old thing. If you're tired of it like I am, check out Jeremy Enigk.
Greg Gitzel

Jeremy Enigk ‎– Return Of The Frog Queen (1996) 320kbps

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Reupload news

1997 - Mineral / Jimmy Eat World / Sense Field 7" was reuploaded in 320kbps.

M.I.J. - Single & Rarities

1993 - Demo Tape

1. Distraction
2. Wait
3. My Seed
4. Relay
5. Graflin
6. Loss


1995 - Chewed Smooth Center

1. Distilled
2. With Time Badderlocks
3. Whistle On Lackaday
4. Algia Butterfly
5. First Water
6. Propelled Soft Skies
7. Leafy Green
8. Running
9. Sand Path

1996 - 300 Miles 7"

1. Do You Miss?
2. Lamp Light
3. 300 Miles
4. Untitled

M.I.J. ‎– The Radio Goodnight (1999)

M.I.J. has been together and playing since 1994. In indie rock terms, that’s at least a couple of generations. Think about it. Back in 1994, CaP’n Jazz were still together and making music, and no one had ever heard of them. Unlike the prolific offspring of CaP’n Jazz, however, the three members of M.I.J. has not been putting out many albums. This is only their third release and their first full-length (also had a four-song EP on Caulfield last year and a single previously). Apparently, the band prefers to spend their time playing and having fun rather than recording and perfecting. Although, all that time playing live and touring has gone pretty far toward perfecting.
Now, for the music itself. M.I.J. plays powerful melodic post-hardcore, but, then, who doesn’t these days. What sets this band apart from, say, every other band is the sheer power of the guitar and drums and the vocals. The vocals are key, because of the very unique, high-pitch quality of singer/guitarist Jeff Hanson (not one of the Hanson brothers). If you have heard Magstatic, and few have, I draw immediate similarities. The vocals are also on a par with Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate at times. Unfortunately, they’re often difficult to understand, but still as lovely.
“Say it in Words” starts off slow and then blasts off, very loud and fast. The drums are the focal point here, crashing and booming. But the lyrics, as on this entire album, make this song. They flow with the rhythm and then break into this so beautiful chorus in a style that I haven’t heard anyone other than Jeremy Enigk pull off, very high-pitched and sweet-passionate. The title track doesn’t let down on the intensity. The vocals draw out so perfectly, it’s beautiful. Again, the drums are the loudest here, but the sonic wave of guitar rock beneath it is the perfect accompaniment. Oh, there’s some great jangly guitar parts here too. The band can slow it down, too, playing more melodic pop like in “Right Downtown.” But don’t get too comfortable, because the song takes off, faster and louder, more power-pop than hardcore but just as intense. There’s even some pretty piano parts. “Sometimes in Sleep” is just so pretty and soft, the vocals almost hushed and accompanied by acoustic guitar. “Then the Last Time Was” is an excellent emo-rock song, powerful and loud, with plenty of “yeahhhh….” thrown in. My guess is this song is the crowd pleaser, and you can catch most of the lyrics here. “Do You Miss” is very slow and chimey to start, but then it builds again. I love the way this band manages to go from the slow, softer pop songs to the loud and intense rock songs all in the same song. This one reminds me a lot of some of the old Mineral stuff that I love so much. “Your Stories” is a good example of how Hanson manages to draw out his vocals, creating such an amazing sound, almost like a fourth instrument in this trio. And it finishes up with “Again Today,” a slower track with some great acoustic and then electric guitar, bringing to mind the sweet pop of Oasis or The Beatles, an interesting finish.
M.I.J. really combines some amazing elements of different styles of music into one that’s all their own. The power and drive of these songs is just amazing. There’s elements of Sunny Day Real Estate, Radiohead, Elliott, and a dozen others, but don’t think M.I.J. copied anything. They’ve been around just as long if not longer than most of these, and their sound is really all their own. This is just some amazing powerful emo-rock, and don’t have me if you hate the term “emo.” It’s passionate stuff, so there!
Jeff Marsh

Melodic yet powerful at the same time. The second full-length release from M.I.J. fails to serve a frail moment of weak, generic pop. A harmonious, gentle charm remains throughout Radio Goodnight as the soft-spoken vocals layer throughout an uptempo beat of happy but mature emo. A lot of this sound has been spawned since the 1995 release of the Promise Ring's 30 Degrees Everywhere, but M.I.J. manage to shake off the generic labeling with their own punch of sharp emo pop.
Mike DaRonco

The awaited debut full-length from this long-running Milwaukee trio who come from the same Wisconsin post-punk trip as Cap'n Jazz, Promise Ring, Joan of Arc, and Braid. A solid blend of creative melodies and powerhouse rock delivery driven to expand the possibilities of the genre.

M.I.J. ‎– The Radio Goodnight (1999) VBR

Friday, September 27, 2013

Rainer Maria ‎– Atlantic (1999)

On Sunday during a band practice I attacked myself with a drumstick when it slipped out of my hand and cut up a large area under my left eye. Because I'm such a rock star i finished the song before doing anything about it, and by then i had painted my snare drum a pinky colour, and I looked like I was doing a pathetic imitation of a Scottish warrior. Anyhow, lying in bed with antisepctic cream all over my eye area after watching the Superbowl, which was a damn good game by the way, I was listening to this ep and it managed to distract me from the pain of my eye. 

Rainer Maria have this astounding ability to rock without you really noticing it. This was not an element of theirs readily available on their first record, a gritty angst ridden scream fest of an album, and at first i didnt appreciate the change on the second record, because I naively thought they had forgot to rock. But just because you are playing these wonderfullly pretty pop songs, it doesnt mean you can't rock. This single is very similar to the last album, three songs with a greater emphasis on the girl vocals, which though suit the new sound, is one of the things that annoys me, because I thought the dual boy/girl vocals thing was such a great (and original) concept. But the songs, especially 'atlantic' are so good that this one little flaw seems so unimportant that it really doesnt matter. Buy this record, but don't do what i did and buy it at tower records for six pounds on import, and don't attack yourself with a drumstick either.
Dan Baker

Rainer Maria's Atlantic EP gathers three pretty, earnest songs that continue the quieter direction of Look Now, Look Again: the ballads "Atlantic" and "There Will Be No Night," and the relatively upbeat "Soul Singer." The first two songs in particular showcase the group's talent for writing subtly hypnotic guitar figures and feature some of Kyle Fischer andCaithlin De Marrais' best singing and harmonies. "Soul Singer" sounds more like standard-issue Rainer Maria, with driving guitars, catchy songwriting, and, once again, those harmonies. Atlantic documents another interesting musical shift in one of emo/indie rock's most engaging bands.
Heather Phares

Rainer Maria ‎– Look Now Look Again (1999)

DeMarrais' austere and slightly husky phrasing shines onLook Now Look Again (Polyvinyl, 1999), an album that refines all elements of Rainer Maria's approach. The best songs are more than music: they are psychological studies. Rise is an elegant, hymn-like composition that relies on a calm delivery (recalling Nico's childish odes) and on hypnotic strumming (the guitar-piano progression being eerily reminiscent of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon). Discordant counterpoint and syncopated drumming form the backdrop for another noble vocal flight by DeMarrais, Lost Dropped And Cancelled. On the contrary, Breakfast Of Champion charges with blind fury and lets the male/female vocal harmonies duel almost free-form, with little respect for the melody. 
To the trio's credit, they animate each song with turbulent instrumental parts and creative interplay. To their credit, most songs have an impetus that is almost punk. On the downside, the noisy, chaotic arrangements of Feeling Neglected and I'm Melting do not seem to benefit the album's atmosphere.

Rainer Maria's Look Now Look Again could quite possibly be the last great album from the now tired emo rock scene. Using the loud-soft dynamics of emo and the catchy playfulness of indie pop proves to be a delicious combination, and Rainer Maria pull it off with grace and intelligence. Sometimes sentimental, but never too sappy,Look Now Look Again showcases the band's strongest attributes: boy-girl vocal dueling, stripped down production to reveal the core emotion of a song, and the melodic and furious attack of a band in its prime. Guitar, bass, and drums tastefully play cat and mouse, weaving in and out of each other, laying a solid foundation for Caithlin De Marrais' poetic lyrics. Her verbal gymnastics are a pleasure to listen to, lyrics like "Like foreign post/I leave twice a day, but take a week to get there" or "I'm certain if I drive into those trees/It would make less of a mess/Than you've made of me" are examples of her subtle wit. Although they probably will not be the messiahs of a dying genre, Rainer Maria will be a band whose creative future is beyond promising; Look Now Look Again is their proof.
Dale T. Nicholls

Oh god it's the new Rainer Maria and I at last own one. I could write some stuff about it, but the truth be told - this is my =2nd favouritest band in the world (I can have lists if I like), so I am not exactly going to tell you it sucks. Even so, I haven't seen a bad review of it yet. People keep saying: "well, it's not perfect, and there's bits that don't seem quite right, but, but, I love it!". Maybe that's some of the inherrent appeal of this band - that they aren't spot on all the time. Yup, the production is nice (an improvement on previous), yup the instrumentation is nice, yup the vocals are nice. And it all gels together fantastically, in a whirl of flawed emo indie rock beauty. 

It's not as dark sounding as the last album (though the occasional lyric begs to differ: "And I'm certain if I drive into those trees, it'd make less of a mess than you've made of me"), relying more on twinkly, sweet pop, or persistent, repetitious guitars that chime away, or even perhaps the occasional more driving track - "Breakfast of Champions" careens away at the start - and Kyle sings less too. The lyrics seem a bit more positive overall, though they are still exceptionally vulnerable, and poetic without being too obscure. I particularly love "Lost, Dropped & Cancelled" and "I'm Melting!" which are just awwwww-inspiring. But they do still do have those impeccable dual vocals from Kyle & Caithlin that just make you go. (just go). And "Feeling Neglected" could have quite easily been culled from "Past Worn Searching". 

First truly great album of 1999 for me. I know that it is going to be a long time before I press a combination of buttons other than "Direct + 3" on my CD remote when I am uncertain of what I want to hear next. 

My only complaint? It's not long enough. Caithlin could sing to me forever. I wouldn't get bored. Repeat play mode anyone?
Andy Malcolm

The band's second LP, Look Now Look Again, was released in April 1999 to the open arms of fans and critics alike. Stellar reviews and write-ups appeared in The New York Times, Alternative Press, Magnet, CMJ, and The Village Voice to name a few. Rainer Maria appeared in Spin three times in the latter half of 1999 and Look Now Look Againwas named one of the magazine's 20 best records of the year. The band would go on that year to record and release Atlantic, a three-song CDEP recorded at Pachyderm Studios (P.J. Harvey, In Utero) in August. Just days later, the band relocated to the East Coast.

Rainer Maria ‎– Past Worn Searching (1997)

Nestled inside any other genre, Rainer Maria's caterwauling duets would probably be hung by their britches — but this is American emocore, which necessitates musicians caress while sounding like atonal Wire demos. A tricky business, to be sure, and it's not an envious occupation. Past Worn Searching repeatedly builds on the deception of traditional rows and loud-soft choruses, puncturing holes in transitions, never minding the inclusion of off-key belts and stories of Hepatitis A. This is mostly a neutered trick despite itself. The album never overcomes its usual trappings either in the album's own ingredients — one can see the volume jolts coming a mile away — or the genre itself. In many ways, a beggar's version of the Tiny and Vanessa dynamics in Ultrasound.

Dean Carlson

Rainer Maria takes a unique approach to traditional emocore on Past Worn Searching, building their frenetic songs from a groundwork of delicate guitars and lovely male/female duet vocals. 
Jason Ankeny

Talk about preserving your anonymity. The cover of this CD - some kind of brownish / purpley textured thing. No band name, no album title. On the side of the box, in the tiniest writing ever, these 'minor' details are revealed. Of course, only an emo band would practice such self-effacing / pretentious (depending on your POV) behaviour, and that's what Rainer Maria are. 

You bought that Van Pelt album yet? You wanna substitute talky bloke for guy & gal vocals? Vocals that tug at your heart from every direction? You want to make it a little noisier? You got Rainer Maria then. Personal lyrics and melancholy tunes to drag you down, down, should that be what you want. Alternatively, a beautiful noise. 

Like the Van Pelt, RM deal mainly in simple, slightly minimal songs, occasionally exploding into sporadic action with bursts of emo-rock. "Half Past April" establishes everything they do in one song. The noisy, shouty vocalled section, against the more subdued, less intrusive bulk of the song. 

No bad songs on here, though admittedly once you've honed a style such as this, I expect it'd be pretty hard to mess up, as you can do virtually anything, and so long as it has some structure and ain't 'art', it sounds awesome. 

First time I listened to this, it rained. What an emo cliche. I'm going to put it on next time it rains too. Music for the depressed wuss in you. Go on, you know you want to.
Andy Malcolm

Past Worn Searching, Rainer Maria's first album, signaled the beginning of Rainer Maria as a full-time band. Recorded at the sweltering hot, now defunct Ghetto Love studios in Chicago during the summer of 1997, Past Worn Searching and its stripped-down production ushered the full arrival of dueling vocals, sonic excess, and youthful exuberance. That fall, Rainer Maria toured the entire continental U.S. for the first time — more than 50 shows booked by Kuehn himself, including a west coast tour with Braid.

Rainer Maria ‎– Rainer Maria (1996)

Wisconsin trio Rainer Maria, led by singer songwriters Kyle Fischer and Caithlin DeMarrais, specialized in a solemn and touching blend of "slo-core".

Rainer Maria is the first CD release by indie rock band Rainer Maria.
Rainer Maria ‎– Rainer Maria (1996) 320kbps

Friday, September 06, 2013

February Stars Union

Mid to late 90’s emo band from IL.

Once again, there is no info on this band, except for the fact that they were together during the 90's and from Illinois. They played sweet emo jams similar to My Favorite Citizen, Boys Life, and Christie Front Drive. There's a male and a female vocalist and which sounds really cool. Sometimes they scream a bit too which is interesting. Unfortunately they only have 7 songs. Evergreen Trio, who they did a split with, is also a very good band, but I think they only have the songs on the split.

1998 - Kicked Out Spokes 256kbps

Various Artist ‎– For Want Of... (1995)


A Christie Front Drive – After The Parade 
B1 In/Humanity – The In's And Out's Of A Waste Of Flesh
B2 Baby Harp Seal – New No Truth (Live)
C1 Torches To Rome – Torches To Rome
C2 Solar Bomb Kit – Wicked I Shift
D1 In/Humanity – Rocket Park
D2 Kurt – Franklin (Kleiner Landbesitzer)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Knapsack ‎– This Conversation Is Ending Starting Right Now (1998)

Boasting a slightly sharper production (courtesy once again of Drive Like Jehu drummer Mark Trombino) and more desperate sound than its predecessor, Knapsack's third album sounds like what it was - a great band making their somewhat angry final record. Criticized for sameness in the past, Knapsack attempts to stretch out a bit more on This Conversation, with some degree of success. Ultimately, though, what made people like the band was what the band delivered: straightforward, no frills emotional rock. While certainly not groundbreaking, they did it remarkably well.
Josh Modell

It's easy to reminisce upon days you never lived. To look back upon the memories you never experience, and even tell stories of the life you never lived. I know I'm guilty of it, aren't we all? And while I'm far from a habitual liar, I like to think I was a child of 90's emo music. I'm not, at all. I feel a much stronger affinity towards those emotional 90's masterpieces In the Aeroplane Over The Sea and Either/Or than I do towards Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Superunknown, or the grunge movement. Needless to say, as much as I wish it weren't the case, I was a giddy child meeting the Backstreet Boys (Yes, I met them; and this is a judgement-free-zone, right?) while Knapsack was busy releasing a seminole record in third-wave emo music. A testament to the powers of emotional lyrics and parallel guitars driving a record forward rather than louder, more abrasive instrumentation, This Conversation Is Ending Starting Nowis a too beautiful record to be overlooked as often as it is. 

Highly melodic, This Conversation Is Ending Starting Now is Knapsack's third and final record. The pinnacle of their short-lived career, the record is highly melodic, as the hypnotizing guitar riffs are the main draw of the record. Each song is sounds fresh as can be, even after we're opening it up from the vault over a decade later. "Katherine The Grateful" is a romping, fast-paced example of this quality on full display. The percussion often follows suit ("Arrows To The Action," doubles as a catchy single and a furious display of subtle percussion), as it manages to go from the forefront of the performance to a softer backbone to lean on in the blink of an eye. Everything from the bass to the guitar to the drum is very tight and well-produced, as is expected from a producer such as Drive Like Jehu drummer Mark Trombino, the indie-rock is fitting and cohesive. The aspect that surely set Knapsack apart, though, is Blair Shehan's vocals. You may have heard his later work as vocalist on The Jealous Sound, but nowhere else do his whispery screams feel so at home as they do one This Conversation Is Ending Starting Now. Emotional and heartfelt, his voice is what sets apart Knapsack from both contemporaries or predecessors. It's certainly not the most talented voice in the world, but the raw yet crystal clear style is what my personal affinity for Knapsack revolves around. His whispers that abruptly erupt into all-out screams are an enticing burst of energy that prompt the listener to join in, and the lack of pretension or cliche in the lyrics (I mean seriously: read that damn title, not too clever, but clever enough) make you believe in what you're singing, too. 

Yes, it's been done before in more exciting and groundbreaking fashion. To be honest Knapsack doesn't offer a whole lot new to the palate of the emo aficionado, but it does something more than that: it makes you like it. This Conversation Is Ending Starting Now is a record that's an incredibly catchy, likable version of an experience most people shove aside as daunting, and Knapsack at its best is an experience to cherish within itself.

I'm sure a fair amount of you enjoy, or at least are familiar with the band The Jealous Sound. You may or may not know that lead singer Blair Shehan had a band prior to The Jealous Sound, that band was Knapsack, and this is their finest work.

Their career as a band spanned only a meagre three albums, but the talent and cohesiveness of this band can't be measured in the number of albums in their catalog. Because of the success of the Jealous Sound, Knapsack are often overlooked, but this album will let you know exactly why they're not a band to be cast over.

The place that Knapsack really draws you in is with Shehan's voice. It's a talented voice, but at the same time something you feel like you can sing every word along with. It's honest, and it's strong, and unique in a way you don't find with many indie rock bands on the scene today. The voice is something you can find yourself identifying too, and that's how the lyrics are tied in as well. It grabs you as soon as you hear it, and takes you on a ride throughout the albums duration. The sincerity of Shehans voice puts every listener in a place where they understand what this music is about. The lyrics are intelligent, without ever being pretentious or cliché. "The shake of the shame, But it hangs around your name, for the first time you're afraid, And you take what they left, choke on their success, but you're nothing anyway."

The musicianship is tight, and cohesive. The guitar isn't too complex, the drumming isn't exceptional, and the bass isn't overpowering, but it all just fits. Knapsack have even incorporated some quite uncommon instruments into this record, including sleigh bells and an organ. These instruments fell right at home in the music, they don't feel forced as some bands do. The main problem with bands like this is usual feeling of "haven't I heard this song before?" "No," is the answer here. With the added incorporation of a cello, and a violin, there's enough distinction between each song to keep things interesting. Clocking in at around 30 minutes, you won't find yourself having to skip anything here.

This is solid, straightforward indie rock at it's very finest. Music you'll be humming and singing along to as long as your CD will last you. Standout songs are "Katherine The Grateful," "Cinema Stare," and "Change Is All The Rage."

If you enjoy bands such as the Jealous Sound, Rival Schools, Far, and Benton Falls, this is something you'll be doing yourself a favor to purchase.

Knapsack ‎– Day Three Of My New Life (1997)

Davis, CA, pop-punk band Knapsack's second album has an excellent title and music to match. Sure, this kind of earnest, emotional rock had been done a million times - particularly by Samiam, whose Sergie Loobkoff would actually join Knapsack before their next record - but the songs and style of Day Three are ultimately quite timeless. The themes - romance and the loss thereof - are also fairly typical, but when handled by singer/songwriter Blair Shean's gritty voice and witty pen, they transcend.
Josh Modell

If I could rate Knapsack as a band rather than their individual albums they would surely be in my top tier. Each one of their full-lengths is an album you find yourself liking. Yeah, that's it, just liking, at first. Well, this is me, at least. Until one sunny afternoon or some bullshit like that, you realize you've played This Conversation Is Ending Right Now to death, an infinite amount of times and it feels even fucking fresher, more memorable and distinct than when you first laid ears on it a year ago. Blair Shehan's gritty vocals are so utterly grimy and imperfect, but you don't go long without singing along to "Decorate the Spine" or something, it just doesn't happen. This is Knapsack as a band though, we haven't even gotten as far asDay Three of My New Life yet, thanks to my fittingly lackadaisical reviewing. 

First though, it'd be helpful to gain a better grasp on the band. Remember the days of early 90's emocore... of Rites of Spring, Embrace, Other Obvious Namedrop, those bands? Me neither, but we wish we did, don't we? Anyway, Knapsack is a sad representative of the bastard spawn of that era. One of the many, I might add. Before pussy shit like American Football and after pussy shit like The Get Up Kids became the norm for the genre, Knapsack was balancing on the thin line, maintaining the invigorating energy of emo while incorporating the friendlier, indie aesthetic of more digestible influences. They weren't alone by a long shot-- Texas Is The Reason, Mineral, Braid, Christie Front Drive, and a million other bands were doing more or less the exact same thing next door. Thing was, Knapsack basically perfected it. They might not be sharing the limelight with aforementioned bands, but Knapsack's music was a lot more fun than said bands, anyway: louder than Texas Is The Reason, catchier than Mineral, more fun than Braid. Chugging guitars, equally emotional and nonsensical song names and lyrics, and a vocalist you weren't sure whether to bow down to or just shake your head in pity at (either way, it's memorable), Knapsack defined the middle ground stuck between catharsis and catchiness. They were the late 90's bastard of earlier emo bands.

And yet, Day Three of My New Life is a disappointment in ways. It's like Knapsack only had a set amount of dynamism for their record, and chose to spend it all on the first four songs only instead of divvying it up. Fuck, I don't blame them. If the dull, monotony of "Henry Hammers Harder" and "Boxing Gloves" is the sacrifice for the orgasmic perfection of "Thursday Side of the Street," you've got yourself a deal, Shehan and company. The liveliness of each throat-groggling, bright, anthem that graces the beginning of Day Three of My New Life is enough is enough to warrant as many duds as they'd like further on. Well, not really, but it's difficult not to think so at times. Forgive Knapsack for their flaws on their second full-length... for making one of the most unbalanced records ever, for losing their early, abundant energy, and for inevitably causing you to lose your voice the day before your philosophy presentation (uncontrollably singing along to "Thursday Side Of The Street" and scorching your throat, of course). Cut ‘em a break. They haven't quite reached their consistent potential of This Conversation, but they're showcasing some of their best here. Or, you could just listen to the first four songs off of Day Three of My New Life, remember that Knapsack are a genre-defining little group from California, and scream your lungs out to 
"He says, thanks for coming home,
If not for the bar i'd spend my life aloooone,"
Not sure why, I just love that line. Most of them, for that matter.

Knapsack is a college band in every sense of the word. The type of band that evokes the sound, smell and feel of those tiny, rocking live music clubs with a stage that's just barely off the ground. The type of band that easily helps you forget your obligations and encourages you to just drink some beer and hang with your buds while you soak up their no frills rock. The type of band that a college radio station without commercial intentions would play in a set with Generation X, The Godfathers, Leaving Trains and early Replacements.

Formed at University of California at Davis in 1993, Knapsack consists of vocalist/guitarist Blair Shehan, drummer Colby Mancasola and bassist Rod Meyer. An unpolished chip off the same rock as early Goo Goo Dolls, Knapsack's sound is simple but gets the job done. Shehan sounds like a Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum)/David Lowery (Cracker) hybrid with raspy touches of Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs) as he sings his way into a sort of yell-shout that convinces you he's putting everything he has into the delivery.

Day Three of My New Life, the band's sophomore release, was produced by Drive Like Jehu's Mark Trombino. And Knapsack opens with "Thursday Side of the Street", a number propelled by Shehan's vocal surge, power chords, pulsating bass, pounding drums and crashing cymbals. Typical of the offerings here, its hook is the big crescendo at the chorus where Shehan belts his guts out. "Diamond Mine", "Heart Carved Tree" and "Sleeper Than We Thought" stand out here as the few tracks which forego the build-up but retain the energy and drive.

Knapsack's high fueled approach is short and to the point, with all ten tracks clocking in under five minutes. But like a good roller coaster or thrill ride, it will keep you coming back for more.
Joann D. Ball

Knapsack ‎– Silver Sweepstakes (1995)

Knapsack play driving indie rock in the vein of Superchunk. Though the album is good, the lack of tempo changes can grow frustrating.
John Bush

This is the first release from Davis's late and great knapsack. It's also their only release as a four piece. Knapsack also shared a member with Samiam.

I once read that Knapsack is one of those bands that people think they should listen to but never quite get around to it. Well, if you haven't heard them yet you should listen to them until your ears start to bleed. As you probably can tell they are one of my favorite bands (and this is a really bad review).

Well now I'm on to describing their sound. This is their most gritty of their records. They can go from slow bass driven verses to power chord dripping choruses that stay in your head forever. The choruses, although driving, are not heavy or fast, but still move with the slowness of the verses. This not an annoying drawn out slowness like one found in Mineral; however, it is more of a slowness that just feels right.

Blair's voice is one of the best I have ever heard. He can go from whispering to bone chilling screaming all in one breath. The way he screams is not like the singer from grade or the heart broken backups on thursday; it is more of a melodic grating sound (whoa that's an oxymoron). All in all, these are the saddest songs I have ever heard.

I suggest everyone listen to this. Also check out the jealous sound, Blair's new band.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Penfold ‎– Our First Taste Of Escape (2001)

Although it's probably unintentional, there's a small dose of irony in the title of Penfold's first full-length release. While Our First Taste of Escape is the band's debut long-player, one of the first places their music surfaced was on the Deep Elm collection,The Emo Diaries Chapter 3: The Moment of Truth. And while Penfold's brand of indie rock could certainly be labeled "emo" and sit nicely alongside any of the other Deep Elm bands, it would really be an injustice to the complexity of their sound. So there's almost a double meaning to this "escape" as the band's debut on Milligram will hopefully allow it to avoid being pigeonholed.

Penfold certainly brings a scope that is uncommon to bands normally pegged as emo. Their music is alternately loud and raucous and sweetly solemn, moving adroitly between emotional extremes and setting up sonic textures to enhance moods. There's also a simple musicality to Penfold that escapes many of their brethren. Although each member of the band is skilled enough to take note of, Michael Jones's drumming truly holds this album together with varied beats that sound just as good at the forefront as they do when supporting the wailing guitars. And while the vocals waver into the all-too-familiar keening wails of emo-dom from time to time, there's equal emphasis on actual singing of melodies. Vocal duties (and songwriting credits) are split between Brian Carley and Stephan Jones, but unfortunately there's no indication of which songs belong to whom or else I'd give more specific credit.

Our First Taste of Escape lets you know that this will be a unique indie rock listening experience from the get-go with "The Opportune Moment",, a track of spacey electronic keyboards that blends into "Fate, Confidence and an Encounter" (the "two" songs actually share a combined title but separate track numbers), a melodic slow-jam that features beautiful rising tempos and glides on Stephan Jones's reverberating double bass lines. However, there are plenty of all-out rockers that will fulfill the guitar lover's desires in songs like "The Secret Nine", "Sea of Crisis", and "May I Have This Dance".

But it's on songs like "Human Drama", the title track "Our First Taste of Escape", and "Brilliance" that Penfold really stretches its wings to show the various dimensions the band is capable of. "Human Drama" forefronts the combination of Michael and Stephan Jones's drums and bass (none of their press info states whether or not they're brothers, but it wouldn't surprise me) and shows Penfold to possess some of the majesty and power of metal, but tempered by an artistry and sensitivity that makes their "rocking out" seem warranted rather than gratuitous. Likewise, "Our First Taste of Escape" nods towards the metal spectrum, but this time to the art-metal of Tool. A tense, dense song that drifts under the heavy bass line in a way extremely reminiscent of "Sober", even the vocals are delivered in a manner that obviously draws on Maynard Keenan's particular style. Probably the most memorable song on the disc, "Our First Taste of Escape's" main rival is "Brilliance" and it's sad-core reference of Billie Holliday.

Closing with the piano-only "Early Morning, Maudlin Street", Our First Taste of Escape is not the typical indie rock album. Penfold shows that it is as comfortable working within the wall-of-guitar sound as it is with the subtle spaces of melody, producing an album that continually grows on you as you unearth new hooks with repeated listens. Thematically, the poetry of isolation and loss runs throughout the disc, staying within the safe borders of the emo side of indie rock, but musically this is an album that actually manages to transcend its genre, and hopefully will make the rest of the world take note.
Patrick Schabe

For my money, the general genre of emo/indie rock was absolutely at its peak in the 90's, and has suffered a pretty drastic downfall since that timeframe. However, there are occasional outfits that come along and really recapture the affecting power of those classic days, and Penfold was without a doubt one of those select few bands that kept the true aesthetic of that niche alive into the present decade – and created a downright incredible album in the process.

Formed in New Jersey in 1997, Penfold played an incredibly beautiful yet dark, textured form of what I've always referred to as "emo/indie rock" simply for lack of a better term. Technically that is the category that this music would fall into, but it's so much more than that… On the band's sole full-length, 2002's "Our First Taste of Escape", the song structures seem basic on the surface, but there's a great deal of subtle detail and layering underneath. Guitar lines weave together against flighty basslines and fluid drum patterns, moods shift from calm and somber to energetic and oddly catchy, two amazing vocalists seamlessly trade off lead duties without a hitch… it's just wonderful material. Some of the rhythms border on heavy post-hardcore grooves; sporadically a jagged or discordant chord progression will make an appearance; and of course there are tons of smooth, flowing clean passages (at times layered with acoustic guitars or keyboards). You just can't lose, and the gorgeously flawless production and highly impressive packaging simply seal the deal. If you're a fan of related genres this is an essential release, and easily ranks among the finest such records in the post-90's age.

Intricate and very calming, this is probably one of the best indie/rock and roll releases I've reviewed in a long long time. Very quiet, and moody, it delves into emotions like no band I've ever heard. Their lyrics are a work of art, and read like a story instead of mispieced songs just thrown together. The song that left the biggest inpression was "The Secret Nine" - a very soft and touching piece... one of the lines struck a chord in me.... "the secret nine and i, will stay with you tonight, and we'll watch these tears dry. at least we'll never have a reason to say goodnight." This release stands worlds above 99% of the other indie/emo slop that I have ever reviewed. Heartfelt and soft spoken, this will leave an impression on you for a long time.

Penfold ‎– Amateurs And Professionals (1999)

"...if you're frightened of dying and... you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth."
Penfold - Amateur Standing (cites Meister Eckhart, voice sample from Jacob's Ladder film)

Sadness is one of the easiest feelings to portray through music. A minor key, a slow tempo and a sad vocal melody and you're done. But doing it convincingly and well is another story. Whilst not ever daring to breach the walls of indie/emo, Penfold's Amateurs and Professionals constantly generates a solemnly pretty and emotionally grating atmosphere, and although they may be following the footsteps of their counterparts, they are sure to cement their own flavour in along the way.

Their 'flavour' being one that flickers between sweet guitar melodies and loud, raucous sections but is always carried by voice. It's understandable how some may find the vocalist's timbre a little repetitive, perhaps whiny at times, however we've all heard people say that about Jeremy Enigk. Vocal melodies are the real driving force behind the songs for the majority – the other instrumentation merely providing a backdrop for the singing that sometimes seem to shimmer ever so slightly out of tune, but to positive effect. The clean and crisp production of it all is a necessity because of this, allowing the typical indie-band instrumentation to come to life even in the musically simpler sections.

The potential highlight of the EP, "I'll Take You Everywhere", follows a similar descriptive tale, with the guitarists providing a canvas of delicate arpeggios whilst the vocalist paints the track with his sombre melodies. Comparisons with art would not be too inaccurate actually; however subjective 'art' may be, most can agree that art is about expression. The well crafted climax of this song complete with its tasteful gradual tempo increase and dominant vocal shouts will ensure you that Penfold definitely express.

Not only do they work their magic of empathy at a low gear, they are also fully capable of packing forceful energy and musical skill into their songs for added feeling. It's not uncommon for music to lose some of its emotion when the band is clearly hiding behind simple dynamic changes and a wall of distortion, however Penfold utilise their sense of loud instrumentation sparingly, to good effect. Such a moment reveals itself in the intense "Traveling Theory" [SIC], where they accompany the loudness with evolving drums, pleasant yet strong chord progressions, and multiple, overlapping vocals.

This won't be the most original thing you've ever heard, and nor will it be the most heart-wrenching, but it's an inspired release of feeling and mood. Like the EP title suggests, some parts are amateur, and others professional. But Penfold are definitely qualified sorrow-stirrers. Amateurs and Professionals is just another album to coincide with your rainy day.

"This space starts out empty, and I know it can't hurt more than it already does, it falls around and hits me in the face and falls onto the ground".

And so begins the undeniably emo lyrics to this record, and if I was to describe the things i feel while listening to this album, this is how I would do it. From the moment it began i was lost inside the beauty of it, for it dragged me motionless and senseless around for the thrity plus minutes of it's existence in a way that no record has done for such a tragically long time. And the reason I am sounding like a cliched emo lyricist is simple, I am merely preparing you for the lyrics of the album. 

However unoriginal the lyrics or sound may be for an emo record, i could not deny the brilliance of it. Think Mineral with a bit more power and speed, and a lot less whining, and you have Penfold. It begins with the slowest, prettiest song, June (I think with my collection of emo records, i have a song named after every month of the year) to some of the more hardcore-y songs like tuesday (i think with my collection of emo records, I have a song named after every day of the week) this record shows perfect balance and with seven songs, doesn't overstay it's welcome like many a album i have bought recently does. However unoriginal this album may be, I still love it, and I don't care what you think. Now I think I shall go and write some poetry.
Dan Baker

Monday, August 05, 2013

And I want to know the difference between what sparkles and what is gold

What do you think about the Mega? It's better than rusfolder?

Sideshow ‎– Lip Read Confusion (1995)

Lip Read Confusion was the third and final full length put out by Bernie Mcginn’s (founder of Caulfield Records) band Sideshow. Because he was unable to put the album out on Caulfield due to its busy release schedule at the time he released the album on Flydaddy Records. Lip Read Confusion was the cumination of all the hard work and evolution of a band that started in the late 80s and was originally a hardcore band. The album was released in 1995 and the band broke up shortly after. The vinyl was put out on Caulfield.

Sideshow ‎– Lip Read Confusion (1995) 320kbps

Sideshow ‎– Eggplants And Sunspots (1993)

Emo. Stupid name, but once a perfectly acceptable and listenable form of music. Perhaps time is turning the "e" word into a love/hate badge of pride, or it's still an incurable disease, I don't know. I would say the third wave has ruined it for everyone. Sure as hell ruined it for me.

So. Sideshow was a trio that hailed from Lincoln, Nebraska and along with KC's Boys Life and Giants Chair, were the "indie rock" faction of the Midwestern scene (a verbose way of saying "Sideshow was an indie rock band"). To my knowledge they put out four 7" singles, one vinyl album and two albums on CD. I would do an entire discography but I have no means of ripping vinyl right now, so you'll take what I give ya. I should mention that bass player Bernie McGinn operated the mighty Caulfield Records which also released the majority of the Sideshow discography.

As it was likely a love for Sideshow that brought you here in the first place, then i'll spare you my achingly inaccurate descriptions (except the mess above). If not, then bask in the sunny Midwestern greatness and decide for yerself.

Sideshow ‎– Eggplants And Sunspots (1993) 320kbps

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Christie Front Drive - Christie Front Drive (1994) reissue (2013)

Back in print after 20 years, First LP features all 6 songs from the debut LP on Freewill Records. Recorded in 1993 (an era plagued by horrible compression issues in the recording realm), the 2013 treatment has been completely re-mastered by Josh Bonati.
Magic Bullet Records

1. Turn
2. Dyed On 8
3. Long Out
4. Lot
5. Pipe
6. Dirt

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Jets To Brazil ‎– Four Cornered Night (2000)

Leaving his punk roots completely behind him, Blake Schwarzenbach, former singer/guitarist for Jawbreaker, plays it very sweet on Four Cornered Night, the second record from his slightly arty indie rock project Jets to Brazil. His songs have always been melodramatic, even Jawbreaker's most fiery, emo-punk classics like "Chesterfield Kings" or "I Want You." But with Four Cornered Night, he indulges in the sort of over-the-top sentimentality that is more reminiscent of a lengthy novel by Proust than anything you'd expect from a rock band. But these ballads do rock at a lazy pace, and while "All Things Good and Nice" is too sappy and self-centered, other numbers like "In the Summer When You Really Know" and "Pale New Dawn" are lovely, heartfelt beauties and among the best tunes Schwarzenbach has ever penned. With Four Cornered Night, it is obvious that Schwarzenbach is making exactly the sort of record he wants, and though his old punk fan base has long since fled, indie kids go bonkers over his more sensitive side, as they should.
Adam Bregman

If I were on a jet to Brazil, I would probably be going to Rio de Janeiro-"European style sunbathing", nahsayin'?  If I were in a record store with $10 in my pocket, I would probably buy the new Jets to Brazil LP "Four Cornered Night".  This second offering from the Jets sounds markedly different from their initial effort "Orange Rhyming Dictionary", also on Jade Tree.  The majority of the tracks on Dictionary were songs lead singer Blake Schwarzenbach wrote following the demise of his legendary outfit Jawbreaker.  As such, "Four Cornered Night" is more of an amalgam of all members of the band.  The guitars aren't as grating, the tempos are slowed, and Schwarzenbach's angst is (at least in part) replaced by the cello and the piano.  While some may feel this is a case of too many chefs spoiling the broth; the result is a thoroughly engaging and unique recording.  Even if Jets to Brazil's "Four Cornered Night" is not as groundbreaking as their earlier effort, it is nonetheless a worthy sophomore follow up.

Based out of Brooklyn, NY, Jets to Brazil shows a softer side of former Jawbreaker frontman Blake Schwarzenbach. Leaving behind the hardcore punk base of Jawbreaker, Jets to Brazil is a much sappier, yet accessible rock sound. Four Cornered Night is the band’s second release, their first being 1998’s Orange Rhyming Dictionary. The band broke up less than a year after the release of their third album, 2002’s Perfecting Loneliness. With a melodramatic rock style covering a wide range of topics, this album is the band’s most artistic and personal venture. But with greater risks come greater rewards.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Damn you, Blake Schwarzenbach, with your ridiculous name and your sweet, mellifluous voice. Not enough people are aware of this indie rock gem, based out of Brooklyn, NY. All it takes is a little dusting off, and Jets to Brazil will surely become a favorite for anyone who places this album next to Jets to Brazils' contemporaries, Death Cab For Cutie, The Arcade Fire, or maybe Jimmy Eat World. I'm sure we've all had certain albums, some superb and some downright horrible, trapped in our heads for extended periods of time. Four Cornered Night, Jets to Brazil's second album, has been playing on repeat throughout my head virtually unceasingly for the past three days. Blake really opens up here and lets his contradictory gloomy yet hopeful lines fill your head with images of hammocks, lazy rivers, and sunny summer afternoons with nothing to do. This is most likely due to the addition of Brian Maryansky to the band, which allowed Blake to concentrate solely on the piano. Don't get me wrong, Jets can still rock when deemed necessary, but it's really the slow, deliberate punch-lines perfectly executed by Blake's unique voice that stand out.

The biggest difference between and Jets to Brazil's debut is the lack of instrumentation. They have relegated the guitar to the background and replaced it with their prominent vocals. Content with simple guitar melodies, Jets to Brazil put all their chips into the pot, banking on the vocals and lyrics. For the most part, this seems like an advantageous decision.

At first, having a catchy song like "Orange Rhyming Dictionary" trapped in my subconscious wasn't dreadful. Before I downloaded the entire album, that particular song was a top favourite of mine in the entire Jets' repertoire. It's a sluggish, thoughtful song with some all-time great depressing lyrics, brought to you in front of an adequate guitar line. "Doooo the stars conspire, to kill us all with loneliness?" Blake asks the listener, patiently awaiting an answer.

Later, it becomes apparent that this is just the tip of Blake's iceberg of melancholy emotion. Another highlight of Four Cornered Night is "Empty Picture Frame". This song provides the listener with a bottomless impression of loneliness. Blake is reminiscing about a past relationship, knowing things will ultimately improve in the future, but still unable to overcome these dejected sentiments. However, Night does reach a low with the song "All Things Good and Nice", the last song on the album. For twelve songs, Blake managed to walk fairly well on a very thin line of sappy lyrics and over-sentimentality. The problem goes as such: that line is like a median strip of a four-lane highway, and when Blake crosses it, he jumps two lanes out and gets hit by a large oncoming vehicle traveling very fast. There was a point when I was singing this song to myself and it made me want to do the same. Yeah, it's that bad. Blake takes the time to mention every member of his family and his band and just exactly why he loves them. At first listen, I prayed that this was just sarcasm leaking from the singer's mouth, but that's not Jets' style.
Despite an extremely impressive start and a pitiful ending, Jets manage to slip in some quality songs to the middle of the album. "In the Summer's When You Really Know", "One Summer Last Fall", and "Pale New Dawn", all deserve recognition as delightful songs with Blake's sentimental lyrics. Nevertheless, the reason I'm able to mention them all in the same sentence is because the music behind Blake's voice becomes stale background music that all sounds similar.

In retrospect, there's few albums I would have rather had stuck in my head, right now. Despite a few mishaps in "All Things Good and Nice" and "Air Traffic Control", Jets to Brazil managed to do what most bands have a very difficult time trying to do. They notably altered their previous sound and also managed to put together an excellent album. Sure, old Jawbreaker fans are most likely going to detest this, but to me it sounds like a stepping stone onward to bigger and better endeavors for Jets to Brazil.

I work too much.
The other day, around 6:15 pm, the normal mad dinner rush hit my sandwhich shop with full force. Some new chick decided she had a 'headache' and called off, leaving only me and my worthless, nicotine-fiend of a manager to run the place for the rest of the night. I wasn't feeling too hot myself, but I needed the money, so I pushed on. To make things just a little worse, the head manager had taken the stereo home with her, so now I was left to jam to the mall's contemporary rock station all night.
Believe me, one can only take so many John Secada, Backstreet Boys, and Genesis songs. Needless to say, I wasn't the super friendly, nice young gentleman I always try to front to the customers. People could tell I was pissed, so most of them would just take their sandwiches, say 'Thank You', and go sit down. But then - oh but then...
"Hey man. You workin' hard or hardly workin'?" said a voice from the past.
"Workin' hard." I said sternly, because, well, I was.
"Why aren't jammin' to the Jets today?"
"Huh?" I said, looking up.
It was him. The kid who became a chopping block for me not even a month ago. His face had healed up quite a bit, but his ear still looked pretty bad. There was something different about him this time. He wasn't all punked out. Instead, he had a nicely trimmed haircut, some cheesy square glasses, and a Jawbreaker shirt on.
"Nice shirt man!" I said extactly.
"Thanks." he said, smiling. "You know, I did a lot of thinking while I was in the hospital, and I decided to give Jets to Brazil another chance. What do you know, I immidiately became hooked. Their words are just so awesome. Have you got their newest album "Four Cornered Night" yet? Aww man, if you don't have it, you gotta get it. It's a little more pop, a little more mellow than Jawbreaker or the first Jets album, but there's still some rockers on it. I love 'Milk and Apples'.
"Yeah man I got it." I said, trying to pay attention to him and the orders being placed simultaneously.
"I love the words on "Orange Rhyming Dictionary". They're sooo good. I wonder why they put it on the new one instead of the first album?"
"I don't know. That's cool that you like them. They're really good. Well, I gotta get cookin." I said, trying to be as polite as possible to this kid, seeing as how he apparently forgot about me beating him down with a spatchula.
By now, the orders were getting backed up.
"Do you have 'Dear You'? Dude, that's such a great album. One of the best ever. I had to order it online for 35$, but it was worth it. I went into the record store here but they only have 'Bivouac'. Is that one any good? I haven't heard it yet. What about 'Unfun'? I don't have that one either."
"Come on man, you need to move along. I'm trying to work here. Come up and talk after all these customers are gone." I said in a cooking frenzy.
"My friend's got 'Four Cornered Night' on vinyl. Talk about sweet. He found it for only 8$ in Columbus. I bet you wish you found a deal like that, don't ya. I know I do. I think I like the first Jets album a little more than the new one. It's a little too soft for me."
"Fathead, stop talking and start cooking. Don't get behind." my manager screamed.
The grill was sizzling. My manager was screaming. This kid was rambling. N'sync was playing. My nose was running. My head was pounding.
"You know who else I really like, thanks to you? The Get Up Kids. They are awesome!!"
I snapped again. I grabbed the spatchula, leaped the counter, and decked the kid, AGAIN! I pinned down his arms and proceeded to slap him silly.
"Don't ever say I made you like the Get Up Kids. They fucking suck. Don't ever say that you little piece of shit. Don't ever say...."
In a matter of seconds, the security guards had me cuffed and in the police car. The kid was crying, my manager was flipping out, and everyone in the food court was staring at me. I knew I fucked up this time.
I don't know if God really likes me or what, but just by chance, I stood in front of the same judge who let me off last time.
"You again!" he said.
"Yes sir. It's me."
"Aggrivated assault with a spatchula, AGAIN! Son, this is your second offense. Now I tried to be leaniant and understanding last time, but you better have a damn good reason this time, or you're going away for a while!"
"I'm so sorry, your honor, I was so stressed. So many things all at once, and then this kid said he liked the Get Up Kids because of me, and my manager....."
"Stop right there." the judge said with a shocked look on his face." What did you say? Someone likes the Get Up Kids?!?!? Son, you did the right thing. Balif, let this man go. We can't have vigilantes like this tied up in court cases. He's got to be out there, protecting kids from the dangers of the Koufax, the New Amsterdams, and heaven forbid, the Get Up Kids."
"Thank You sir, Thank You so much! It will never happen again."
"Oh, it better happen again. Fathead, I'm appointing you leader of a new office, The Office of Music Security. From now on, it is your duty. Now don't let me down."

Jets To Brazil ‎– Orange Rhyming Dictionary (1998)

Being one of the more anticipated independent releases of 1998, Orange Rhyming Dictionary combines emo-inflected pop sensibilities with the occasional keyboards. Despite the occasional use of wah-wah pedal guitars in "I Typed for Miles," which sounds almost identical to Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box," Jets to Brazil live up to their hype. Most of the songs clock in at an epic length while containing storytelling lyrics with Blake Schwarzenbach's (formerly of Jawbreaker) trademark raspy vocals. Mood swings also accompany the sound of Orange Rhyming Dictionary, which can move from laid-back and gloomy too upbeat and not as gloomy, all in a good sort of way though. Definitely recommended.
Mike DaRonco

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

After the demise of seminal 90's punk trio Jawbreaker, lead singer and main lyricist Blake Schwarzenbach formed new band Jets To Brazil not too long after. With leaving on what some consider the perfect note (though many will disagree) with the 1995 album 'Dear You', Jets To Brazil were, naturally, hyped up. And before getting into details, they lived up to it, at least with their debut album 'Orange Rhyming Dictionary' (a play on how no word rhymes with orange in English). With former Texas Is The Reason drummer Chris Daly and bassist Jeremy Chatelain formerly of Handsome and now of Helmet, completed with Blake's signature voice and personal lyrics, it's as though the breakup of Jawbreaker wasn't all that bad, or at least a better way of taking it.

It is natural that fans will compare it to albums of Jawbreaker but it really is unnecessary, as 'Orange Rhyming Dictionary' is some of Blake's finest (and different) work that is strong enough to stand on its own. However that's not to say fans of his past material won't like this, as they most likely will. His emotional, raspy but at times smooth voice is as good as they've ever been and his introspective lyrical views on the world from a social outcast and relationships are still in tact. Songs range from the pop-punk inspired opener Crown of the Valley, to the more dreary experimental intro of Morning New Disease and the beautiful acoustic ballads like Sweet Avenue and everything in between.

One of the key or noticeable aspects of 'Orange Rhyming Dictionary' is the song lengths. With most tracks reaching over five minutes, the songs get plenty of time to build up, but simultaneously as a con might drag on some, like the album opener. However tracks like the epic I Typed For Miles get gradually better all the way until and final minute. The albums broad overall mix of indie, pop, punk, and rock come off with a unique twist that is difficult to describe. Many of the songs have a mellow, melodious feel to them, but there are still the occasional fast rock and punk influenced tunes, something the band is not new to. Crown of the Valley, while one of the lesser songs here, brings back the Jawbreaker-esque riffs similar to Chemistry (from 'Dear You') but is ultimately a misleading intro and one soon forgettable. Resistance Is Futile does what the former tried but takes it to a better level. However it is not coincidental that two of the albums weakest tracks are two of the most poppy and upbeat.

'Orange Rhyming Dictionary's bright cover (which bares similarities to influential and fellow Jade Tree band Cap'n Jazz's anthology album) is rather deceiving, as the albums general tone is quite depressing, but it is actually one of the records greatest strengths along with the lyrics, though they intertwine. Blake is always open with his poetic lyrics as they come off as personal, inspiring, relatable, authentic and anything else along those lines. Telling stories of desperation and alienation, to more abstract lyrics that one might not even understand at first, they are the main point of focus here and the album succeeds at that vastly. Instrumentally, many songs are filled with distortion, lightly strummed chord intros and a superb, creative drumming from Daly. Production-wise it has a clean, audible yet at times rough sound similar to 'Dear You'.

The record is not as consistent as it could be in terms of memorable songs, but there are a certain few tracks that make the album worth getting alone that make up for it. I Typed For Miles, with an intro sounding eerily like Nirvana's Heart Shaped Box, is perhaps the finest moment on the album. It's creepy intro of gently strummed chords, and Blake's passionate vocals, the song steadily turns into one of the heaviest on album with Blake yelling “You keep fucking up my life!”, the song is nothing less than powerful for the entire six minutes. Chinatown is another undisputed highlight with another sinister guitar intro and calm, but precise vocals. The album saves one of the best for last with Sweet Avenue, a beautiful acoustic love song that emphasizes on the vocals and the soft guitar that leaves the album on a memorable note.

Jets To Brazil's underrated debut is up there with some of Blake's, or any of the band member's most excellent work. Full of many moods and styles, honest and thought provoking lyrics, and a select group of some of the best songs you'll come across. 'Orange Rhyming Dictionary' could be enjoyed by not only fans of the member's past work, but anyone who enjoys honest, abstract lyrics to relate to, and some great music to go with it.

Recommended Tracks:
I Typed For Miles
Sweet Avenue
Sea Anemone

Ex members of Jawbreaker, Texas is the Reason, and Handsome. Interesting album, more poppy than rock. Lyrics reminiscent of Guided By Voices. This album definitely grows on you with more listens. It's not quite like anything I've heard before, and so most reviews I’ve read pretty much don't sum up the band. I know this doesn’t either. But I think this is the direction rock is headed, as many former emo bands seem to be breaking new ground (Jawbox, Promise Ring, Jimmy Eat World). Listen for the keyboards, it's not so much a throw-back to 80s synth new-wave rock, but a sure sign that any instrument can work in a rock song. I saw them live, and they sounded incredible.

About two weeks ago, something very bad happened.
I was cooking a sandwhich at the steak shop I work at, listening to this album. I was bobbing my head, trying to ignore the customers staring at me, making sure I wasn't spitting in their food. They always stare at me. The next sandwhich was called over the loud speaker and, like the "slave to the man" that I am, I emidiately began to cook it. I looked up to see who this customer was (I was hopeing for maybe a short-haired brunette girl with a perfect smile and a big ol' butt, but no such luck) only to see a disturbingly ugly young lad with died black hair, several chains and facial piercings, and an Exploited t-shirt on.
"What's up man." I said, as I normally do to people dawning the punk style.
"What the fuck are you listening to?" he said rather rudely.
"Jets to Brazil, and could you not curse in front of the other customers." I replied, just as rudely.
"Jets to Brazil...oh yeah, I've heard them. They fucking suck. They sound like R.E.M. or some shit like that."
"R.E.M.!!! Dude, you obviously haven't heard them. They're like post-punk, but completely different from anything out there, with some of the best lyrics you'll ever hear, and please, don't curse in front of the customers."
I was begining to get a little heated with this guy, and believe me, I don't get mad very often.
"Whatever. I've heard them and they fucking suck. Please don't call them punk cause they sure as fuck aren't punk. They're slow and sad, and their lyrics don't make any sense. Just fucking stupid if you ask me."
At that moment, I walked back to the back, changed the cd player to song 2, "Morning New Disease", and replied "Listen to this fucking song and tell me they don't rock."
He stood there listening to the song, in my opinion, the best on the album, but still, no luck.
"It's crappy alternative music, man. They fucking suck. Go get a fucking Fear album, you fucking putz."
"Man, FUCK YOU. I like Fear, but Jets to Brazil is way fuckin' better than Fear. They have more thought in one verse than Fear ever had in their lives." I said, my temper rising.
"Wait a second....I knew I knew you from somewhere. You were at that party on Lincoln St. last month weren't ya. AHHAAHHAH! You puked off the deck all night and passed out in the yard.AAAHHHAAHA!"
Granted, I was there, I was shitfaced, and I probably did puke at some point in the night, but one thing I don't do is pass out before all the beer that is there to drink has been drunk.
"Fuck you man, that wasn't me." I handed the asshole his sandwhich and said "Get the fuck out of my face."
"Later pussy, have fun cooking and listening to your pussy rock. Don't puke on the grill, pussy."
At that moment, something inside of me snapped. I grabbed the spatula, leaped the counter in a single bound, and ran after the guy. When I reached him, I grabbed his shoulder, spun him around, and decked him with my cooking utincil.
"Aww, Fuck, you broke my..."
I continued to pound away as if he were a piece of chicken on the grill. One of his facial piercings was now lying a few feet away, and he was crying like a baby.
"Get off me man, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm mmmmhhmhmmh...."
Just as I began to get the spatula into his mouth, the mall security guards pulled me off him, slapped some cuffs on me, and took me to jail.
Yesterday, after two weeks of waiting in a very lonely cell, I finally stood before the judge.
"Fathead, you are charged with aggrivated assault with a spatchula, how do you plead?"
"Guilty, your honor"
"What the hell were you thinking son?"
"The guy just kept on talking trash about Jets to Brazil, and I guess I just snapped."
"Well, seeing how this is your first offense, I'm going to let you go with a $25 fine, as long as you don't let it happen again."
"Thank you sir, thank you." I said exstatically"
"Just one more thing..." he said in a stern voice. "Do you have a copy of "Dear You" I can borrow, I can't find it anywhere?"
"Hahaha, I sure do,Judge, I sure do!"
Mark Williams

Friday, July 05, 2013

How to download from Rusfolder

Due to the increasing requests for help.

1. Use Google Translate
2. Copy the link of the file you want to download and paste to Google Translate
3. Click "Translate" button

I very hope that now everything is clear.

P.S. I know that rusfolder little uncomfortable. But it does have a number of important advantages: unlimited storage and the ability to extend the storage life of files. But most importantly, guys from rusfolder don't care for copyrights.

I hope for your understanding and patience. 
Thank you for what you are near to me, despite the fact that some so far away.