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  • Slipped Discs - April 2009

    Discs You May Have Missed
    by John Noyd

    Pet Shop Boys

    Pet Shop Boys

    Initial Thoughts

    Spring is here and the world is washed in a renewed sense for the future. With this in mind, April’s focus is on freshmen efforts. Full of promise, the following six successfully shake off winter’s slumber, so put out the welcome mat, show your support and greet these firstborn beauties.

    Disc Reviews

    Other Lives - Other Lives

    Other Lives - Other Lives

    Other Lives

    Album title: Other Lives
    Record Label: TBD

    A debut filled with good-byes, the sweet melancholy of Other Lives employ sympathetic strings, poignant piano and spiraling guitars to convey their sad regrets. Sumptuous chamber-pop filled with somber, soaring sentiments, “Other Lives,” waltzes through windswept parables, humble testaments to restless affections, bitter lessons dressed in fond memories, effervescent empathy and hopeful minor chords.

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    Other Lives online:

    Download Other Lives from Amazon
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    Wolff - The Brass Ceiling

    Wolff - The Brass Ceiling


    Album title: The Brass Ceiling
    Record Label: Wolff and Tuba

    Tribal tuba, soupy loops and plundering drums concoct cosmic gumbo as Wolff’s two-man army churns out chugging, interstellar funk; splicing catacomb vocals to interstellar samples for uniquely alien rhythms and bombastic, monastic panache. Mind-boggling combinations result as, “Brass,” triumphantly crashes past ordinary categories for squishy, trippy robo-soul that grooves to subterranean funk.

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    Wolff online:

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    Ida Maria - Fortress Round My Heart

    Ida Maria - Fortress Round My Heart

    Ida Maria

    Album title: Fortress Round My Heart
    Record Label: Upper 11 Records

    Connecting directly with electric aplomb, this lusty Norwegian spitfire scrambles past pretense to wrap sorrow inside a whirlwind of impatience, anger anchored by short, sharp beats and straight-faced sizzle. Unleashing a flood of splintering skiffle wedged between catchy sledgehammer pop and love-torn ragdoll rock, the explosive, “Fortress,” tears down all walls.

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    Ida Maria online:

    Download Fortress Round My Heart from Amazon
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    It Hugs Back - Inside Your Guitar

    It Hugs Back - Inside Your Guitar

    It Hugs Back

    Album title: Inside Your Guitar
    Record Label: 4AD

    Still waters run deep as England’s IHB conjure hypnotic layers of guitar and organ, breaking into chaos, generating finely-wrought furies and methodically singing unassuming tunes in a lulling subtlety of soothing translucence, unwavering slow burns and eerie, organic calm. Purring modestly in mildly narcotic splendor, the warm and fuzzy, “Guitar,” gently disarms.

    (2777) Page Views

    It Hugs Back online:

    Download Inside Your Guitar from Amazon
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    Gramercy Arms - Gramercy Arms

    Gramercy Arms - Gramercy Arms

    Gramercy Arms

    Album title: Gramercy Arms
    Record Label: Reveal Records

    Members of GUIDED BY VOICES, DEAD AIR and LUNA join former DAMBUILDERS’ Dave Darby, creating sterling gems of seamless harmonies, polished verse and unruffled melodies. Deceptively uncomplicated, Gramercy Arm’s well-placed hooks, easy-going vibe and nonchalant competence makes this laidback super-group a fine driving buddy, navigating romance’s rocky road through unerring skill and pop-rock diplomacy

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    Gramercy Arms online:

    Download Gramercy Arms from Amazon
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    Micachu & The Shapes - Jewellery

    Micachu & The Shapes - Jewellery

    Micachu & The Shapes

    Album title: Jewellery
    Record Label: Rough Trade Records

    A cauldron of mashed rapture, ripped mixtures and proto-punk busking bursts in brazen bombshells of cartoon brilliance, Micachu’s thrift-shop chops squawk and rock in impish waves of innovative grime. Brandishing outlandish vision, fashioning attractive contraptions, producing funhouse party rondos, “Jewellery,” clanks, clatters and contorts, delivering sly, kinetic inventions that surprise and delight.

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    Micachu & The Shapes online:

    Purchase Jewellery on Amazon

    Final Thoughts

    While some acts are just starting out, others are refining the synergy that comes from building a substantial catalogue, revealing a sophisticated maturity that can’t be ignored. Hitting the double-digit mark, the PET SHOP BOYS affirm their presence in, “Yes,” as roadhouse-blues guitarist MICHELLE MALONE’s earthy, “Debris,” is anything but broken leftovers. Clocking in at over twenty releases, Seattle’s GREEN PAJAMAS return this month releasing a two-part folk-pop concept album, “Poison in the Russian Room,” while the relatively young METRIC reunite after a brief hiatus for their fourth, fabulous, “Fantasies.”