New releases, Tuesday, September 29
Paramore is one of those bands that I like in theory, but not so much in execution. “Misery Business,” off their last album, Riot! kicked so much ass that it was unbelievable.
But as amazing Hayley Williams is as role model for young girls (being more than just some cute little thing backed by a bunch of guys), the songs just sound like Kelly Clarkson. While I’ve nothing against Ms. Clarkson (“Since You Been Gone”? Stone cold fucking jam, for serious), there’s nothing that really makes Brand New Eyes stand out beyond anything else on the market right now. “There’s no need to apologize/I’ve got no time for feeling sorry” is a couplet from “Feeling Sorry,” and it pretty much typifies the whole making up, coming to terms with stardom thing that No Doubt explored much better in the three or four minutes of the “Don’t Speak” video.
Dethklok is a fake band that became a real band. Like the Archies, but with songs about killing people. Their first album, Dethalbum, was simultaneously a send-up of most metal cliches, while at the same time a pretty solid metal record. This time…with Dethalbum II, the music is pretty cliched. The songs are a little too monotone, and with the exception of “The Cyborg Slayers,” don’t really offer anything that seems like a sense of humor about what’s going on. In addition, “I Tamper With The Evidence At The Murder Site Of Odin” sounds vocally similar to Disturbed, and that is never, ever a good thing.
Much in the same vein, Agents of the Underground, the new album from Strung Out, is just more of the same. It’s melodic hardcore, and I’ve always liked the hardcore part of the genre more than the melodic part. The band was fairly influential — you can hear where bands like Rise Against got their sound, but sweetly crooned vocals over roughshod guitars has never been my cup of tea. Occasionally, like when Jason Cruz spits out the vocals at the beginning of “Carcrashradio,” I can get into it, but for the most part, the sing-along pop vocals on songs like “Ghetto Heater” just sound like New Found Glory trying to be tough.
MP3: Strung Out, “Black Crosses”
MP3: Strung Out, “Vanity”
As a matter of fact, I think the only new album this week that I did like is the one that I thought I wouldn’t like: the Avett Brothers‘ I and Love and You. After my first listen, I was slightly let down. It wasn’t as instantly gripping as Emotionalism, and the title track that opens the album would be the closer on most records. The songs have, for the most part, a sparseness to them, letting the vocal harmonies do the work. This album resembles nothing so much as the best work that the singer-songwriter gods of the ’70s did, like Elton John’s Honky Chateau or George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass.