what is coming out today 7/24...U.N.K.L.E...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 23, 2007 10:47pm | Post a Comment
I had almost forgotten about Unkle. It seems so long ago that "Psyence Fiction" came out. I guess 1998 was almost 10 years ago. If you remember correctly, this album was huge. These were the years when Electronica was breaking through to the mainstream. This was one of the albums that really put the genre on the map and made people start noticing electronica acts as artists. One of the reasons they got so popular is because they combined all these different genres into one album. With the help of DJ Shadow they incorporated sounds of hip hop with dance. Trip Hop had already been created and this had been done before. But Unkle also brought in major popular rock vocalists such as Thom Yorke from Radiohead and RIchard Ashcroft from The Verve. Like many new fans, this is what first made me check out the album. I was obsessed with Radiohead and The Verve. So I was obviously going to check out anything that they were attached to. I did not pay much attention to their second album out in 2003. But I am again finding myself listening to Unkle.

The new album is "War Stories." There is also a larger special version that comes in vacuum sealed plastic. I think they made it with one of those vacuum sealers that they advertise on infomercials. This time, we have vocals by Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Autolux, Gavin Clark, 3D of Massive Attack, the Duke Spirit, and Ian Astbury of The Cult. Ian Astbury is actually on two tracks. "Burn My Shadow" and "When Things Explode." So far they seem to be my two favorite tracks. Maybe this is because I have been a big Cult fan for a very long time. I sort of keep it a bit of a secret. But I really do love myself some Southern Death Cult, Death Cult, and Cult. His vocals, especially here, sound a lot like Jim Morrison. He has one of those voices that is very recognizable. I could not really imagine these songs working until I actually heard them. It ends up working beautifully. His voice fits in nicely with the orchestrated electronics on the album.

However, it is not just the Ian Astbury songs that are making me like the album. It is actually kind of a loud sort of rock album. It might make some people upset who are expecting a 90's trip hop album. But I really do like it. And I am still a bit surprised. I really went into this expecting to not like it. But the folks of Unkle managed to prove me wrong. I actually really like the album. But I do keep going back to those Ian Astbury songs. I am going to for sure listen to some Cult tomorrow.

Also out this week is a new EP from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. As a big Yeah Yeah Yeahs fans, I am happy to take anything that they give me. The songs on this EP were written in 2004 in between touring for "Fever To Tell." The songs are "Rockers to Swallow," "Down Boy," "Kiss Kiss," "Isis," and "10x10." Three of the tracks were featured on the live DVD "Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow." The version of "Down Boy" is amazing. It sounds like everything you want the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to sound like. Karen O is really one amazing lady. If you have never seen her live it is really hard to get the whole Yeah Yeah Yeahs obsession. Shehas an absolutely amazing stage presence. When I saw them at the Fillmore a couple of years ago she ran back and forth from each side of the stage during every song. She seemed so excited to be up on stage performing for us. And the songs always sound fantastic live. She is just one those ladies that loves to be on stage. Or she at least comes off that way. I also got to meet her briefly when she stopped by Amoeba a couple of years ago. She was super nice and a little awkward. Kind of what I expected.

At least three of these songs will be familiar to fans who have seen them live or at least seen the DVD. The songs are just as good as any that made it on the last two albums. But "Down Boy" really does stand out as the best. I can't stop listening to it. This EP only leaves me wanting more. I am not sure how long we will have to wait for a new album. But at least we have something to help us get through the period while we are waiting.  They are also going to be releasing a new DVD soon of a live show.

also out today...

"Four on the Floor" by Juliette & the Licks

"101 Tambourines" by The Dilettantes

"Martin Hannett's Personal Mixes" by Joy Division

"The Freed Man" Reissue by Sebadoh

"The Simpsons Movie" Soundtrack

"Send Away the Tigers" by Manic Street Preachers

"Hands Across the Void" by Tiny Vipers

Relevant Tags

Yeah Yeah Yeahs (12), The Cult (3), Unkle (2)