Browsing All posts tagged under »pop rock«

Caution Horses – City Lights (pop-rock)

June 11, 2012


The songs on City Lights are tightly orchestrated in guitar driven arrangements of a sort that might be attract the irritating descriptor ‘soft rock’, but sound more to me like a species of post-punk, à la Joe Jackson. A prominent, mid-rangy bass weaves sinewy counter-melodies through a weft of cleanly recorded and crisply played drums, while bright and rhythmically precise (acoustic and electric) guitar fills out the harmony; a variety of other elements are added to this basic structure, such as analogue synth and multi-tracked trumpet in ‘Sound of America’, a guitar and scat unison solo in ‘Letting Go’, electric piano and flute in ‘So What?’ or organ in ‘Start A War’. On paper that sounds like a recipe for an elaborate mess, but …

Chad VanGaalen/ Xiu Xiu – The Green Corridor # 02 – Split 12”

April 17, 2012


When two artists share a split release, there’s usually an immediately apparent reason for it, a close stylistic correspondence, or a specific creative contrast within the context of a broader similarity. Punk and hardcore bands often release splits together, as do sludge and stoner metal acts. So when two halves of a split release seem, on the face of it, to pursue radically divergent artistic agendas, it seems an invitation to consider each in the light of the other. The established practice of the split release almost compels the listener to read the two sets of sounds striking their cochlea as equivalent in some way …

Various Artists – Singles & EPs

October 6, 2011


Marley Butler makes music of remarkable clarity: his soundscapes are usually clean, open affairs, in which the boundaries between sonic elements are clearly defined; his rhythms are regular, precise and simple; ideas have room in which to breathe, and although he does not overuse spatialising effects such as reverb and delay, the worlds he creates are three dimensional ones. He’s not bucking the trend with this two track release, and why should he?

Echo Rain – ‘Hold On’ and ‘Bad Guys’ (alternative pop-rock)

April 23, 2011


self released, 2010, DD tracks, free Echo Rain picked two tracks to send me, although there are several more on their Facebook page: one of the two reviewed here, ‘Hold On’, has a download button. The first thing I’ll say is that this is beautifully recorded and mixed, with some really juicy instrumental […]

Raising Maisie – “Etc, Etc” (indie pop)

April 20, 2011


Studio Dog Records, 2010, CD album, 34m 38s, £7 Raising Maisie are not badass, intimidating or scary in any way. Neither are most hardcore, extreme metal or gangsta rap artists, but Raising Maisie aren’t pretending. Pretension is no part of their uncomplicated, well crafted, concise and extremely entertaining pop-rock. Regular readers of my […]