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All reviews - Music (49)

Life Is a Grave & I Dig It! review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 July 2007 11:55 (A review of Life Is a Grave & I Dig It!)

Legendary psychobilly band Nekromantix is back, but after a couple of years out of the game, it seems like they’re still flogging the same dead horse. Main man Nekroman is once again behind the washtub bass but has replaced his backup band with some rockabilly hacks, and reduces his lyrics even more, dealing with—you guessed it—ghouls and goblins. In fact, his two ringers actually outdo him here as his vocals are so laid back, it sounds like he’s sleeping. This doesn’t even come close to the sense of pandemonium of forefathers the Meteors, so even diehard psychobillies will have a hard time getting through this.


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Kelis Was Here review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 July 2007 11:53 (A review of Kelis Was Here)

Kelis’s first non-Neptunes produced album is an unpredictable, somewhat inconsistent but highly satisfying effort filled with quirky musical effects. As with lead singles from her previous sets “Caught Out There” from ’99’s Kaleidoscope and “Milkshake” from ’03’s Tasty, lead single “Bossy” is a sassy slice of funk from the spunky hip hop/soul singer. But there are many other superb moments: the Raphael Saadiq-produced “Circus,” a cautionary tale about the music industry, and the instantly memorable “Till the Wheels Fall Off,” (one of several tracks produced by the ubiquitous will.i.am) are just two examples. Likewise, more intimate songs like “Living Proof” and “Goodbyes” prove that Kelis is not only here, but she’s here to stay.


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Come Whatever May review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 July 2007 11:51 (A review of Come Whatever May)

Stone Sour—what, people are eating rocks now?—have perfected that pop metal sound a few years too late. A middle of the road sound. All the licks are there, the riffs are in place and the hooks are pre-teen friendly too. Opener “30/30-150” is the perfect track for the credits of some half-assed post-apocalyptic action flick. Come What(ever) May probably would have turned heads back in the ’90s, when metal clashed with drum & bass and techno on the Spawn soundtrack. But this is toast with no jam, no peanut butter, or even butter.


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Empire review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 July 2007 11:49 (A review of Empire)

This relentless glam rock bombardment, complete with strings, horns and huge-ass riffs, reduces their debut album to rubble.


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The Open Door review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 July 2007 11:47 (A review of The Open Door)

The second album from Evanescence marks the return of their paint-by-numbers whine-metal with sure-fire start/stop dramatics and chugging, syncopated guitars, dragging the late ’90s kicking and screaming into ’06 with sampled breakbeats. Fans won’t be disappointed, as nothing much has changed despite the departure of founding guitartist Ben Moody and recent departure of bassist William Boyd. The obligatory piano ballad is here in “Call Me When You’re Sober,” and for fans of Amy Lee’s voice, she belts them out like a nu-metal Celine Dion. Love it or hate it, this is gonna make a lot of money.


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Meds review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 July 2007 11:43 (A review of Meds)

Part awful, part mediocre, all pro—their formula still has its qualities, but Placebo’s latest bit of tortured teenage glam is strangely devoid of potency.


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Stigmata High Five review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 July 2007 11:40 (A review of Stigmata High Five)

This tech/grind blast coming out of O town is up there with fellow Ontarions the End and Winnipeg’s Malfaction, and Stigmata High Five will definitely help put Canada on the extreme-music map. This is 37 minutes of pure ballast with all of the cut and paste arrangements of Calculating Infinity-era Dillinger Escape Plan and some of the most ferocious crusty-core female vocals you have ever heard. FTF know not to blow their whole wad and pull punches with proggy keyboards on “La Derniere Image” or the quick power metal interlude on “The Wrecking,” but FTF really score points when they just hunker down and pulverize.


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The Looks review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 July 2007 11:38 (A review of The Looks)

The mixing formula of Toronto’s MSTRKRFT, which has previously transformed indie-rock hits into club bangers, has a slightly repetitive, unoriginal quality when stood on its own. Take out the artistic direction that remixed artists brought to the earlier tracks, and what’s left is an album which is ultimately of, rather than ahead of, its time. The sound is fabulous, however, and to be fair, there are a few party-rocking gems on the disc, most notably “She’s Good for Easy Love,” which might just be the ultimate aerobics-workout anthem, and “Paris,” the track in which they most fully achieve their death-by-distortion-disco goals.


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CSS review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 July 2007 11:36 (A review of CSS)

With practised petulance, largely English lyrics delivered in an affected Brooklyn-brat accent, and a dash of e-clash rehash (“Meeting Paris Hilton”), this Sao Paulo sextet, Sub Pop’s first Brazilian signing, speak the musical language of shabby-chic art-school hipsters worldwide. There’s some gold in there, though—dig the kick-off anthem “CSS Suxxx,” the electro-snotcore attack “Artbitch” and sweet, reggae-fied pop of “Alcohol.” And then there’s “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above,” a dizzy mystery-disco joint that’s just too damn catchy (and sexy too, something the album title says these five ladies and one dude are tired of being).


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The Dutchess review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 July 2007 11:33 (A review of The Dutchess)

Black Eyed Peas’ and former Kids Inc. child star Stacy Ferguson’s debut LP is a molotov cocktail of every pop cliché from the past five years. But the shit is not bananas, nor does it bring sexyback. There’s a passable Ciara copycat (“Glamourous”), an old Motown tune gets desecrated (the Temptations’ “Get Ready”) and even Paris Hilton’s faux reggae finds its way here (“Mary Jane Shoes”). She merely had to produce one track as agonizingly catchy as “My Humps,” but she doesn’t even accomplish that. Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé just raised the bar for pop albums, and Fergie isn’t close.


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