Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Reviews: Local H, Say Hi, Ting Tings

Local H
12 Angry Months

Local H’s seventh studio release is supposed to document the myriad of emotions experienced after the bitter end of a long relationship. But it turns out frontman Scott Lucas really only feels one thing--anger. “So, baby could you do me a favor?” he rants on the opening track, “Fall off the earth and I'll see you later.”

The lyrical vitriol of “12 Angry Months” is matched throughout by Brian St. Clairs’ abusive drumming and Lucas’ heavy, 70s rock guitar riffing. The duo’s approach has always been heavy-handed, but on previous records they have managed to avoid metal monotony by delivering plenty of hooks. Other than the soft strumming of “The Summer of Boats,” where Lucas admits “Life was perfectly sad, it’s perfectly sadder now,” there is not much worth remembering about his angry year. A disappointing release by our last living link to the grunge area.

Rating: 2 of 4
For fans of: Nirvana, Soundgarden

Say Hi
The Wishes and the Glitch

The band’s name has gotten shorter—cut down from Say Hi to Your Mom—but the sound has remained pretty much the same. Minimalist guitar, buzzing synth and electronic drums mixed with Eric Elbogen’s wobbly tenor and plenty of melancholy.

The tracks are beautiful in their simplicity. Channeling the The Cure’s poppy years, “The Wishes and the Glitch” allows you to dance without actually feeling happy. Elbogen’s faux-British vocals are not always in tune, but you can’t question the sincerity in his delivery.

Rating: 3.5 of 4
For fans of: Headphones, Bishop Allen

The Ting Tings
We Started Nothing

Teenager girls rejoice! The Ting Tings’ debut album has arrived just in time to be the soundtrack of your summer. When they’re not being featuring on the latest iPod commercial (with their bass-heavy disco romp “Shut Up and Let Me Go”) the British boy-girl duo are writing infectious, dance party anthems filled with cheerleader-shout vocals.

Though “We Started Nothing” has plenty of great material for a mixtape, it is so sugary sweet that it is difficult to take in one sitting. But if you can make past the half-way point, you’ll be rewarded with Cynder Lauper-esque “Keep Your Head” and the record’s best moment, the bouncy-but-restrained “Be the One.” This album isn’t rocket science, it’s summer school. Sit back and enjoy it.

Rating: 2.5 of 4
For fans of: CSS, The Raveonettes

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