This week’s releases are pretty decent, but I’m still reeling from Snoop Dogg’s Bush, probably my favourite funk hip hop album going on right now. I’ve been kind of behind on new tunes, mostly because I am slowly morphing into a 40-year-old yelling at kids to stay off my goshdarned lawn and complaining that I don’t understand the wacky techno music of this generation. Or whatever. Just listen.
Incubus – Trust Fall (Side A) EP
Already the masters of longer song intros, it makes sense that the new Incubus EP, Trust Fall, starts with a minute-long instrumental intro that only excites us into listening to it more. OK. Here’s the thing: Incubus is on my list of top 5 (AT LEAST– but probably top 3) favourite bands. Ergo, this EP was a gift from the gods for me. And when I’m listening to it and hearing Brandon Boyd’s voice sound exactly the way I’m used to it sounding was Very Emotional on a new record. “Trust Fall” is a superb opener song, and “Make Out Kids” is an interesting follow-up and album inclusion. The EP format chosen for Trust Fall (Side A) is great– a bit of a teaser for what’s yet to come, but the songs on it are full-bodied enough to stand alone as a four individual brackets. I’m impressed, even though “Absolution Calling” wasn’t my favourite thing that they’ve released. Overall, this was well done. I was nervous, the way you’re always nervous for your favourite band to come out with something new (What if it sucks? How will I defend them then?), but it’s unique enough to stand alone and not need defending.
Steve Aoki – Neon Future II
I really thought it would be more time before Steve Aoki released the follow-up to his Neon Future album (which, by the way, I LOVED, as it featured Fall Out Boy), but I’m not complaining that it’s out. This one features Snoop Lion, Linkin Park (heh), Walk Off The Earth (sigh), and everybody’s favourite idealized self-deprecating, bespectacled nerd, Rivers Cuomo. Neon Future II is interesting and well-mixed, but not too radically different from the first one. Understandably, though, since this is more of a companion piece than anything. The Snoop Lion song, “Youth Dem (Turn Up)” is probably the one of the best on the record, but “Hysteria” with Matthew Koma really has a spot in my heart right now, being slightly slower and more synthetic than the others. Still, I feel like the first one was still just a tad better. But perhaps I’m too picky.
Tallest Man On Earth – Dark Bird Is Home
The new record from Kristian Matsson is more personal than his other recordings, more direct, painful, forward, honest, open, like a gaping wound left untouched and feelings left bleeding out to paper. Beautiful and still indie folk at heart, Dark Bird Is Home is a musical masterpiece having been recorded during Matsson’s travels, in barns and studios in different countries. “Singers” is a storytelling piece of work, showcasing Matsson’s open tuning focus when playing guitar and other instruments, and also showing how his music largely comes from the instruments–playing intricate melodies and harmonies and creating unique sounds with the banjo– an instrument so associated with Mumford & Sons, it’s basically become damned. But The Tallest Man On Earth manages to make it shine.