Archive for the 'Album Reviews' Category

22
Jun
11

Treefiddy Review: The Kills – Blood Pressures

Ok, so I’m a little late with this one (the album officially launched in April) and for awhile I wasn’t going to write a review because once an album is older than a month it’s old news to cool kids like us, but I’m making an exception this time around.

 

 

Which is the long way around of saying this album is fucking awesome.

The Down Lizzo:

Alison Mosshart pissed me off when I heard her sing in the Jack White-lead supergroup The Dead Weather because it felt like she was faking it. Her vocal style and stage persona seemed contrived, something between Marla Singer and PJ Harvey, and it never sat right with me.

 

 

Then I stumbled on The Kills latest album Blood Pressures and literally one minute into the first track I found myself grinning from ear because of how dark and cool Mosshart sounded. Like butter wouldn’t melt on her tongue, like she was everything sexy and dangerous in this world, like she could kill you with a look or break you with a smile.

The Kills is her band, her little broody-beautiful world that she shares with guitarist Jamie Hince and there’s something about the fuzz and the mud and the malevolence and the majesty of it all that haunted me and continues to haunt me with every listen.

 

Sick Tracks:

Pick one. Go ahead. Close your eyes, wave your finger around and literally let it fall where it may and whatever plays will be awesome.

“You Don’t Own The Road” saunters like a drunk cowboy waving his six shooter with the safety off, “DNA” stalks purposefully through the woods at dusk, picking its way through an undergrowth of drumsticks clattering against drumsticks whilst wading through a quagmire of swampy basslines.

“Baby Says” has the melancholy of a Cowboy Junkies track, a lilting melody to keep you company in the hollow hours before sunrise, a song that echoes back to better times.

 

 

But “Future Starts Slow” is still my favourite. Stark, defiant, sexy, it has a drum track that plays like a striptease and one of the simplest, most powerful riffs I’ve heard in a good long while.

 

Should You Give A Shit:

I loved this album, but what the hell do I know? I got a dark streak a mile wide that this album really speaks to but that doesn’t mean you’ll love it anywhere near as much as I do.

If nothing else, it’s a great example of how simple, stylised riffs (played with truckloads of badass fuzzy effects) layered with amazingly complex drums and sultry, provocative vocals can seduce you to the point of infatuation.

If you want to know what the music playing in the jungles of my Tiger-mind sounds like, get your hands on this album and if you’re anything like me, pretty soon it’ll be playing through the jungles of your mind too.

Here’s “DNA” to sink your fangs into.

 

[audio: https://slicktiger.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/6-dna.mp3%5D

 

Final Verdict: 9/10

-ST

15
Jun
11

Treefiddy Review: Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See

Is this going to be an unbiased, objective review based on irrefutable, well-researched facts? Fuck, no! I love the goddamn Arctic Monkeys!

But if it’s any consolation, I know every album this band has ever recorded like the village drunk knows the sidewalk outside his favourite tavern so I can at least assess their latest offering having done my homework Winking smile

 

 

The Down Lizzo:

Arctic Monkeys made a name for themselves by perfecting the art of writing gigantic, energetic hooks and hammering them home effortlessly.

Then came Humbug, one of the first albums I ever reviewed on this site and with it, a complete departure from the sound they had carved out for themselves in their first two albums.

They enlisted Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age to produce Humbug and with his help their sound changed almost completely from infectious indie to dark, moody desert rock and God knows! I fucking love desert rock Winking smile

 

 

Did they like the direction Homme guided them in? As dark and compelling as it was, were they happy with Humbug?

Give Suck It And See a listen and it’s pretty damn obvious that the answer to those questions is undoubtedly “yes”.

 

Sick Tracks

The first time around “Brick By Brick” with its simple chord structure, dirty guitar licks and harmonious chorous is a winner, but after repeated listens the lyrics and Turner’s vocal lines get a little weak.

“I wanna steal your soul / Brick by brick / I wanna rock and roll / Brick by brick / I wanna rock and roll / Brick by brick / I wanna rock and roll” are definitely not his best lines which is a pity because it’s a great song otherwise.

“All My Own Stunts” on the other hand, though it’s strikingly similar to “Potion Approaching” off Humbug is a great track. It has a cowboy twang to its chorous and a bassline that moves insidiously beneath the surface lending the song a powerful menace that Turner’s vocals compliment perfectly.

 

 

“Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” is the most powerful desert rock anthem on the album, a great and wasted track that comes on like a bad peyote trip and peaks like the cleanest MDMA you ever tasted.

There is more, much more. This album has a lot of meat to it, plenty to sink your teeth into and it gets better with every listen.

 

Should You Give A Shit?

Give a shit my friends, give more than a shit. Give two shits because while I have yet to decide if this is their best album to date (Humbug will always have a soft spot for me) it’s a spectacular effort from a band that I have the utmost respect for.

Here’s “All My Own Stunts” to play us out. Take it away boys.

 

 

Final Verdict: 8/10

08
Jun
11

Treefiddy Review: Seether – Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray

The Down Lizzo:

After over a decade of hard slog, touring, growing their fanbase and writing and performing great post-grunge / metal anthems, the most successful South African rock band to ever leave our shores and kill it in the States has finally released a follow up to their epic 2007 album Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces and it’s godawful.

 

 

Seether’s material has always walked the fine line between legitimate post-grunge and wanky hero-rock and unfortunately this time around Seether have strayed a little far into the commercial cesspool that bands like Nickleback, Daughtry and Creed float in.

Sick Tracks:

The first time around “Country Song” is ok if not a little familiar. As for the rest of it, I can hardly distinguish one song from the rest to tell you what they’re actually like, but the words “plain as mud” come to mind.

The worst tracks are by far “Here And Now” which sounds like it should be on the Spiderman soundtrack and “Tonight”, which sounds like a really, really bad version of “Rise Above This”.

The vocal melodies, chord and strong structures and production are as predictable as the plot in a Hollywood rom com and twice as nauseating.

 

 

And don’t even get me started on the lyrics (“Save me / Even as you break me / Every time you rape me / Leave me coming all undone” – snore).

They’re so loaded with hollow sentiment and radio rock clichés it’s goddamn cringeworthy.

The only thing noteworthy about this album is how poignantly honest it’s title is.

Should You Give A Shit?

Fuck no. Let’s all just pretend that this album never happened and focus instead on the musical gems that this band has produced up to this vacuous point in their career.

 

 

Although, to be fair, if you like Daughtry and co. you’ll probably dig this album. You’ll also probably dig drinking beer through funnels, 4x4s and Rohypnol but hey, who am I to judge.

Here’s “Here And Now” to drive home my point. Enjoy.

 

 

Final Verdict: 3/10

24
May
11

Treefiddy Review: King Willow – Introductions and Demonstrations

The Down Lizzo:

King Willow is the sickest band you’ve never heard and I’d say it’s high time you did something about that.

This frighteningly talented 3-piece are based in London, but two of the members (guitarist, vocalist and frontman Matthew Schönborn and bassist Darren Beukes) are born and bred Saffas, though listening to them you’d never think it.

 

 

Take The Mars Volta, mash their intricate staccato melodies with the heavy-as-fuck, blunt force of Deftones’, wrap it up in a multi-layered soundscape of Muse-like synth effects and hey presto! You’re facing down the behemoth that is King Willow, and the guys did everything (except recording the drum parts) by themselves in their home studio.

 

 

How “fuck-your-cousin” sick is that!

Sick Tracks

“Foxes” twists and turns dextrously through clean, tight strumming patterns to a climactic, thick and heavy chorous riff, brought to life through sticksman Wojciech Hydzik’s staggering array of varying beats and fills.

From Beukes’ fuzzy bassline at the start, to Schönborn’s bone-chilling guttural roar in the bludgeoning chorous, “Death On A Pale Horse” kicks you square in the balls, takes it down a notch for a melodic interlude, and then kicks you square in the balls again. Listen out for the fucking amazing scream that Schönborn unleashes like a man possessed at the 3:20 mark. Goddamn beautiful.

 

 

I could go on. I could write about the eerie, whispered vocal lines and broken jack-in-the box guitar tones of “Lapdance” or the total change in pace that is the quiet resignation of “Magdalen”, but I’m fast running out of words here.

Let’s just say that there is something about every track on Introductions & Demonstrations that is either haunting, beautiful or badass.

Should You Give A Shit?

Yes, you should give a shit.

You should download the demo here, play it to your friends, play it to your enemies, and when this band is headlining at every major stadium across Europe someday, you can turn up your nose at all their screaming fans and say, “Yeah, well I knew them from when their first demo dropped…”

 

 

Kudos to the King Willow boys for one of the best demos you’re likely to hear in a long, long time.

Here’s “Death On A Pale Horse”, enjoy 😉

Final Verdict: 9/10

-ST

06
May
11

TreeFiddy Review: Stone Collar – Trial By Fire

It’s been awhile, but I think it’s high time I launched into another TreeFiddy review where I sum up new albums in 350 words or less for easy consumption, digestion and err, let’s just leave it at that…

The Down Lizzo:

Stone Collar is a South African band that’s been kicking around Cape Town for the last four years, melting faces with their brand of metal / hard rock in the tradition of legends such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and Creed.

 

 

Their debut album Trial By Fire is rife with the kind of epic guitar riffs and solos that would have Guitar Hero enthusiasts bashing their little dorky plastic guitars to bits in frustration as they failed time and time again to keep up with lead guitarist Sean Tait and rhythm guitarist Clinton Jurgen’s masterful shredding.

Sick Tracks

The tracks on this album are all pretty much on a par. If you like one, you’ll love them all and you’ll probably know within two minutes of hitting play.

 

 

“Not For Good” is a sprawling, high-energy metal ballad that perfectly showcases Tait and Jurgens’ ability to match one another riff for riff as they tear through time honoured metal chord progressions.

In their single “SQT”, singer Leshem Peterson’s vocals soar triumphantly above the Tait / Jurgens metal maelstrom while drummer Bryan Nicol punches out some of the album’s tightest fills, lending his otherwise meat and potatoes drumming style some impressive flair.

“Poison The Well” is another standout track that builds nicely to a badass, chunky verse riff and a surprisingly catchy chorous and “…As The Crow Flies” is nice change of pace from the tight, lightning fast, palm-muted strumming that defines much of the album.

 

Should You Give A Shit?

First off, let it be known that the band recorded, produced, mixed, mastered, marketed, designed and are distributing the album all themselves so hats off to them for a killer effort.

However, I feel that the 80s and early 90s flogged the metal / hard rock / alternative genre to death and though they are incredibly tight musicians, Stone Collar’s debut feels like it landed 20 years too late.

“I’m born of a dying breed,” Petersen sings in the final track on Trial By Fire and I tend to agree. Still though, if you dig old school metal / hard rock you’ll love Stone Collar and I would highly recommend buying Trial By Fire.

In the meantime, hit play below to hear “SQT” and if you dig that crazy shit, be sure to head through to Mercury on Tuesday 17th May for their official album launch.

 

 

Final Verdict: 7/10

05
Apr
11

TreeFiddy Review: Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

We’re trying a new thing today folks. Because you’re all a buncha attention deficit, slack-jawed, interwebs-trawling goofballs, I’m changing the way I write music reviews.

Gone are the days of long, sprawling, descriptive paragraphs about the delicate arrangement and superior production of song x, y or z. Fuck that, nobody cares.

From now on we’re stripping away all the bullshit here at SlickTiger Industries and pumping out reviews that are 350 words or less with rad videos, pics and tracks to stream. They’re easier for me to write, they’re easier for you to read, everyone’s a winner.

Oh, and did I mention these reviews will be peppered with gangsta rap lingo? Yeah, apparently that’s what the kids these days are into – fo’ SHIZZLE!

So, with no further fucking around, I present to you my first TreeFiddy review featuring my good friend Dave Grohl’s band, Foo Fighters and their new album, Wasting Light.

 

The Down Lizzo:

The Foos are back for album no.7 and this time around they threw all the modern new-fandangled methods of recording out the window and literally set up a studio in Dave Grohl’s garage and did the whole thing on brown analogue tape that they then cut together by hand using fucking razorblades for god’s sake!

Check out this sick NME vid that explains everything:

 

Sick Tracks:

“Bridge Burning” will make you thrash around the room like an idiot savant who just hit a bong and downed a pint of rubbing alcohol. The drums and fucking cannon blasts, the four-chord riffs are fucking machine gun fire and Grohl’s voice is a flame thrower, roasting everything in its wake.

“Rope” follows with the catchiest, most badass Foos chorous riff since “Low”. The bridge is a goddamn carpet bomb of awesome riffs and awesome soloing.

“White Limo” is sheer, hedonistic rock music at it’s most awesome. Just watch this fucking video. It stars Lemmy from Motörhead for god’s sake! How fucking badasss is that?!

 

 

There are countless other anthemic, arena-ready rock masterpieces on this album, so I’m not going to go into the rest. All there is to say is that there isn’t one ballad or poefta acoustic track among the 11 on this album, THAT’S how hard it is.

 

 

Should You Give A Shit?

It’s very simple. This album is a testosterone-fuelled, rock behemoth that will fuck your shit up. It is an unapologetic, insanely addictive, intravenous shot of everything that is badass and rocks about the Foo Fighters and you’d be a fucking saddo not to buy this album.

 

Final Verdict: 9/10

-ST

09
Mar
11

Album Review: Radiohead – King Of Limbs

As a music critic one of the biggest schoolboy errors you can make is to write off a Radiohead album as rubbish because those same songs that went over your head completely on the first few listens can become your favourites given time.

It is for this reason that I am extremely hesitant in calling King Of Limbs the weakest album that Radiohead has recorded to date because I realise fully that my initial perception of it could change at any moment.

 

 

Still though, at 20+ listens I’m usually batshit over their albums and sadly that’s not the case with King Of Limbs.

Sure, the production is slick and Thom Yorke’s vocals are as dexterous, haunting and fresh as ever, especially on the album’s first single “Lotus Flower”, but there’s something quintessentially RADIOHEAD that’s missing from this album.

The opening tracks “Bloom” and “Morning Mr Magpie” float past in a stuttering, meandering arrangement of pianos, customary post-OK Computer shuffling drum beats, blaring horns and repetitive melodies that don’t have a single hook to share among them.

“Little By Little” is a great track though and sounds like it would be right at home on Hail To The Thief with its full, multi-layered percussion, catchy basslines and ingeniously subliminal guitar parts. It’s the Radiohead we know and love and one of the few rays of light on this album.

 

 

“Lotus Flower” is also a phenomenal track. It hangs in the balance between the sinister and the sublime, finally breaking free in a moment of catharsis as Yorke’s vocals soar above the stratosphere as the song reaches its climactic chorous.

“Slowly we unfurl / As Lotus flowers / And all that I want is the moon upon a stick / Dancing around the pit / Just to see what it is” Yorke sings in a voice so pure and unrestrained it gives me chills every time I hear it.

In comparison the rest of the material on King Of Limbs is pretty mediocre. “Codex”, for all its glorious melancholy sounds like a recycled version of “Pyramid Song”, “Give Up The Ghost” sounds like a bad cover of “Nude” and the instrumental track “Feral” is pure, unadulterated filler.

And that, bar the echoey, limp closing track “Separator” is that. Eight tracks that are almost all pretty much instantly forgettable and it’s over before it ever really started.

There are rumours of a second King Of Limbs album being released shortly and all I can say is I hope they’re true and I hope that the second one is better in every conceivable way than the first because if this is the best this band can do then I sense an imminent hiatus on the cards.

Final Verdict: 6/10




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