Another update straight from the envelope to you! Yeah that’s right, this is getting to YOU before it’s even getting to our DJs (how’s that for exclusive?!). The album in waiting is “The Roots, The Leaves” by Cars & Trains. The album rides on my favorite musical goodies such as tape samples, banjos, children’s toys, organs and loops loops loops. The album is bedroom-intimate and very much a story-telling album but told through the medium of a bedroom full of toys that also happens to be filled with fog. Just gloomy enough to be believable (disclaimer: I don’t know why I believe people more when they’re gloomy, but I do) and still musically complex enough to not simply be a boy and his poems. The sound to me overall sounds like a combination of Why?, Okay, and The Microphones. In short, wonderful. This is good wintertime music, too, so listen up for it (click here for the myspace!)!
Another new arrival at KZSC: The new Beach House record “Teen Dream” is out now on Sub Pop. Straight forward consensus? The best I’ve heard of them so far. Which is saying something. A lot of the lo-fi qualities from their previous two records are gone. Each song is a bit less shrouded in fog and there’s more of a range of emotion. The emotional build-up in some songs is more impressively huge than so much of what they’ve created before. Not to say that the height is better or worse than the echoing quality of their previous work–but it’s certainly something. The album is cleaner but still calls upon the same haunting qualities — the same organ, Victoria’s ever-powerful voice, and incredible song writing. It’s a favorite for me already. Here’s a weird video of the new song “Norway” for some audio sampling. For more listening, listen to selected KZSC programming or check out their myspace.
Your favorite station just received some much-anticipated tracks from Best Coast, the beachy lo-fi noise pop that I feel in love with back in October at CMJ. (remember?) Keep listening to your favorite shows to try to catch a glimpse of our new record. Until then, a video of her song “When I’m With You”!
Aaaand if you’re really digging it, Best Coast will be playing February 8th at the Crepe Place with the Vivian Girls!
On Friday Elvis turns 75, wherever he is. He changed popular music forever and to celebrate KZSC is giving away copies of the new “Elvis 75″ CD, covering The King’s hits from the Sun label era of rockabilly to his “hunka hunka” Burning Love days in Vegas. Tune in to “Test of Time (noon-2 pm) and “Block of Bliss” (5-6 pm) for our Elvis tributes and your chance to win.
5. Between The Buried And Me - The Great Misdirect (Victory)
Not much else to say but BTBAM. This album is good, but not ‘Colors’ good, giving it the 4 spot.
4. The Black Dahlia Murder – Deflorate (Metal Blade)
I was a little concerned with this album at first, thinking that TBDM’s overall sound would change considering they replaced their lead guitarist. Deflorate, while more technical, remains as brutal as TBDM can be, and still retains that signature TBDM sound. I do miss the solos a bit, but Ryan Knight is a solid replacement. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this album, and enjoy every track on it, a must have for every TBDM fan.
3. Lamb of God – Wrath (Epic, Roadrunner)
This album was a pleasant surprise after Sacrament. I thought LOG had lost it, but they proved me wrong this year, as this album kicks some serious ass!
2. Conducting From The Grave – When Legends Become Dust (Sumerian)
I found out about this band just a few months ago and if it weren’t for Creature, this album would be number 1. These guys have tons of talent and I look forward to their future offerings.
1. Within The Ruins – Creature (Victory)
Just found out about this band but definitely my favorite album of the year. Their creativity and uniqueness has made it next to impossible for me to take this album out of my cd player.
10. Mastodon - Crack They Skye (Reprise)
I won’t even attempt to tell you what this album is about lyrically, but, this album reversed my decision on hating Mastodon, so I felt it deserved a mention on my list, but, it’s also a really good album.
9. Adagio - Archangels In Black (Listenable)
Adagio is a great power metal band that I think might get overlooked at times because of their similarity in name to that of Brazilian power metal band, Alagio. However, this album proves that they are definitely different.
8. Stratovarius – Polaris (Edel, Ear music)
I was shocked when I heard this album, it didn’t really sound like Stratovarius at all. Quite heavy, not what I was used to for them, but it was a pleasant surprise.
7. Sonata Arctica – The Days of Grays (Nuclear Blast)
I’m pleased to announce that Sonata hasn’t lost anything by replacing their guitarist. I was worried that it wouldn’t be the same Sonata Arcitca that I had grown to love, but this album is very good, and so long as Tony Kakko is still in the band, they’ll be fine.
6. Dream Theater – Black Clouds And Silver Linings (Roadrunner)
Dream Theater is my favorite band, and they would have gotten the number 1 spot, because I love this album, but I felt that other bands were more deserving, so here they are. If you don’t have this album already, get it.