Saturday, April 30, 2011

This Week's Music: Face to Face, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Telekinesis

Not a bad bunch of records this week. Face to Face is a long time favorite. Their record is solid, not amazing. Both the Does It Offend You and Telekinesis albums are good, but not quite as memorable as their debuts.

Face to Face
Laugh Now, Laugh Later

Over the past 20 years, Face to Face front man Trever Keith hasn’t been afraid to experiment. There was the slowed-down “Ignorance is Bliss,” the nostalgic cover album “Standards & Practices,” and the nuanced solo record “Melancholics Anonymous.” But what Keith does best is write punk rock songs. After calling it quits in 2003, he recently decided it was time to get the band back together. The band picks right up where “How to Ruin Everything” left off. Following the signature Face to Face formula, the songs are both immediate--with machine gun drumming and lightning bass lines--and laid back, thanks to Keith’s behind-the-beat vocal delivery. Despite the musical detours throughout the years, “Laugh Now, Laugh Later” is right on track. On “I Don’t Mind and You Don’t Matter,” Keith sings, “I’ve come full circle/And I’m almost where I started from/In spite of all I’ve done.” That’s a good thing. This is where Keith belongs.

For fans of: Pennywise, Bad Religion
Rating: 3.5 of 4

12 Desperate Straight Lines

In the studio, Telekinesis is one-man act Michael Benjamin Lerner. It’s not surprising that his upbeat tunes caught the attention of Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, as his tunes aren’t far removed from Death Cab’s early work. Walla has produced both Telekinesis records, allowing Lerner’s sense for hooks to stand front-and-center on both records. Though “12 Desperate Straight Lines” is deeply rooted in guitar-based indie rock, it wouldn’t be out of place in the ‘90s-college-rock bin, with the fuzzy bass lines and recorded-in-the garage feel. Many of the lyrics may be about heart break, but this is an album built for rejoicing.

For fans of: Death Cab for Cutie, Say Hi
Rating: 3.5 of 4

Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

The second record from British synth rockers Does It Offend You, Yeah? doesn’t vary much from their impressive 2008 debut. The band still vacillates between brash electronic riffs (“The Monkeys are Coming”) and straight-forward new wave throwbacks (“Pull Out My Insides”). What makes this band so interesting is their ability to occupy both spaces--often in the same track--without ever sounding disjointed. The most noticeable difference with the second record is the underlying haunted-funhouse feel, with spooky synth lines sneaking into nearly every track. Though slightly off-kilter, the sounds work perfectly for a band that doesn’t quite fit in.

For fans of: Pendulum, !!!
Rating: 3 of 4

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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