August 11, 2009

Greenhouse Effect -- Columbus or Bust/Greenhouse Effect vs Radiohead

I really hope that formatting turned out correctly. I'm posting both albums here, so clicking on the album cover will take you to the download for that album.

Anyway, earlier today, I played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for quite a while, and I realized that the soundtrack for that game may just be the one thing that got me into hip-hop. KRS-One, Redman, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Xzibit, if they threw some Beastie Boys on there, it would have completed my younger self. As my life progressed, I began to listen to get into Def Jux, Doomtree, Rhymesayers, stuff on those labels. Eventually, like any good white boy, I began to listen to Aesop Rock. On Aesop Rock's awesome album
Labor Days, a rapper called Illogic makes a guest appearance. Listening to Illogic got me to start to emerge myself into the Columbus hip-hop scene, and this led to me discovering Greenhouse Effect (by means of my Chinese teacher in high school).

Greenhouse Effect is made up of Columbus MCs Blueprint and Fess (actually, it's more of a rotating crew with Blueprint being the only constant member), with beats provided by DJ Bombay. (I kind of stopped writing here and ended up looking at pictures of Red Pandas for 10 minutes. Sooooo cuuuutttttteeeee!) Hard-hitting rhymes, pounding bass beats, and solid extra instrumentation is thrown together on
Columbus or Bust, an album which glorfies my home city of the 614. Greenhouse Effect vs Radiohead is, however, the Greenhouse MCs rapping over samples and loops of Radiohead material.

Alright, seriously, I've been looking at pictures of aardvarks and anteaters and mandrills for too long and I can't concentrate. Post done.

PS What's your favorite adorable zoo animal?

August 05, 2009

Score One For Safety -- Like A Rice Filled Bird, You Explode

I couldn't find a legitimate cover for this album because this band was pretty small and then they broke up. It's still a good EP though.

Personally, I come from the school where if a song is longer than five minutes, it had better be good. I'm also a fan of lulzy song titles. Score One For Safety's "Put On Firebird Baby, 'Cause We're Gonna Do It For 14 Minutes" fulfills both these requirements. This song is a mixture of lo-fi screamy screams and borderline ambient guitar work. When combined, these mix with the drums to create a track that does a really good job of mastering the hard/soft movement that has been happening in emo music lately. The other songs on here ain't bad either, and "Kid Vs Comet" is actually really good as well.

I know I didn't write a lot, but I have to get up early tomorrow. I mean, I'm updating again and that should be enough. :|

August 04, 2009

Mountain Asleep -- Hello Anxious

After missing Mountain Asleep multiple times when they've been in Columbus, I finally got my chance to see them at Berea Fest IV this July. Right before Mountain Asleep played, Slingshot Dakota played. Right before Slingshot Dakota, The Max Levine Ensemble played. Needless to say, by the time Mountain Asleep started to set up, I was feeling kind of punked out. I powered through, however, and almost immediately after Slingshot Dakota finished, I had planted myself firmly in the front row. Almost immediately after I secured my spot, any tiredness I had within me left when Mountain Asleep's singer/yelper Jake Snider walked up to me, put his hand on my shoulder and said "I really hope I don't throw up during this". In short, my very first live experience with Mountain Asleep was being told there was a chance of getting thrown up on during their set. I was stoked.

When their set started, I discovered I had good reason to be excited. Right when the band started playing, the group of about 10 kids closest to the stage (me included) started moshing our collective asses off. Matching our stomping and thrashing to the band's off-beat time signatures and screaming our lungs out, this living, writhing mass of people soon became covered in sweat. In this slimy, sticky mass of people, everything was perfect. Everyone was dancing to music they loved, Jake (who stayed in the pit the entire set and didn't throw up) yelled his heart out and ripped his throat raw with the sheer emotion given off by the band. Band members would periodically wander into the pit, all while playing perfectly. By the time it was over, everyone was sweaty and exhausted, but most of all, everyone was happy.

I know I haven't even talked much about the album, but you should download it anyway. Dance to it. Learn every word and scream them at the top of your lungs. Then, see this band live. They bring so much energy with them and they're not afraid of getting in the thick of things and becoming one with the entity that is punk rock.
The band at Monster House, one of the 17 million times I missed them play.

The Max Levine Ensemble -- OK Smartypants

As I sit here, eating a late-night bowl of Lucky Charms, I am reminded of simpler times. Eighth grade times, to be exact. Waking up early enough to eat breakfast, riding the bus, and pop-punk. Eighth grade being the year I discovered pop-punk, or what I defined as pop-punk (maybe probably even punk, the point is, it wasn't). Flash forward to 2009, the year I discovered the Max Levine Ensemble. Even with all the catchiness contained within, I feel bad for calling this pop-punk, lest you group it with bands like Sum 41 and New Found Glory. But, I mean, this is such an assault of catchy hooks, bodacious beats, and Spoonboy's voice that it can't really be considered anything else. If you put this on at a party, you can probably expect everyone there to be dancing by the time 'Aren't All Songs Political? Aren't All Songs Vaugely Self-Referential?' comes on. If they aren't, check their pulses.