Local CD Reviews – August 2008

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36 Grit Slurry
Demo
Self-Released
Street: 08.05
36 Grit Slurry = Sneaking up on your grandparents and scaring them
This band's name makes no sense to me, but I give them a big ol' thumbs up "Welcome to Gotham" style for being creative and whacky. If Alice In Chains still made albums and stuck to their early '90s sound, this would be what their new album would sound like. The riffage on this record is intense and tight—It locks you in and the lyrics are flat out amazing. I'm excited to check them out live at The Avalon Aug. 4. – Jon Robertson

¡Andale!
Self-Titled
Pseudo Recordings
Street: 06.07
¡Andale! = Yeah Yeah Yeahs + Pretty Girls Make Graves + The Wolfs
After years of teasing and torturing with a single-track acting as the only officially released material, ¡Andale! have finally released a full-length album. Although the wait was long, the self-titled album lives up to the precedent set by "Hit the Ground," the track featured on DBS II. The album opens with the infectious and hard-hitting "Walk Away" and only gets better from there. The chuggy guitars and laughable lyrics featured on "Fucking Tourettes" lead quite nicely into the mellow verses and addictive chorus of "I Liked You Better When." Two of my favorite tracks were "Unforgiving Sky" and "Messed Up," but really any way you add it up all 10 tracks on this album are delicious. Bravo, ¡Andale! – Jeanette Moses

Ask The Dust
Try. Fail. Trust.
Self-Released
Street: 06.26
Ask The Dust = Coheed & Cambria + Death By Stereo + a cello
On the surface, Ask The Dust might appear to be another vanilla-bland rock band playing vanilla bland tunes, but you'd be dead wrong, if you stuck with this assumption. The thing that sets this group apart is their use of a cello as one of their leading instruments, rather than just a supporting character in the group. The songs are quite good and original enough to give their band a distinctive enough style to stand out among the pack of rock/metal here in the valley. -Kat Kellermeyer

Calico
Black Pyramid
Self-Released
Street: 07.01
Calico = Vincent Gallo + Valley of the Giants + Vetiver
Oh Calico, how do you infatuate me? Let me recount our days. Just as your opening song begins— silently we grew stronger and my heart beat loud like the ringing of a triangle. Vibrations from your percussion and low keys transcended me into a great high. There the sounds steadied as we lay next to one another, "In the Sun." Naked, not holding hands, for our "Hands are Sand" and as useless as our hearts. We listened while birds chirped and flapped around a "Black Pyramid." My heart and ears pulsed with Calico's psychedelic tones staggering through the sky, where we spent most of our time—nine erotic minutes—only to be forced into the spaciousness of "Heaven" by soft chords from an acoustic guitar and relaxing rhythms of a keyboard. Your quickening pace increased my "Bloodflow" with your Thom Yorke vocals. Like stolen, shining "Diamonds," I am impressed by such a luminous performance of troubadours who generate heat to such musical endeavors (Brownham, Chanticleer the Clever Cowboy). Sadly, Calico, you do not love me in return. I should feel alone, but your bleak honesty fills any empty space. –Jennifer Nielsen

The Devil Whale
Like Paraders
Self-Released
Street: 04.10
The Devil Whale = Palomino + Aqualung
The Devil Whale gets my vote for the best serenading band in Utah. I can already see girls and boys getting weak at the knees. This is one of those bands that can appeal to everyone because the music is so personal. Brinton Jones must have some connections with the man upstairs because he has definitely been blessed with some heavenly vocals. In fact, this whole album is blessed. Each instrument fits together so well that it's hard to detect a single flaw. It's the perfect blend of pop, folk and rock, something you can cry to, laugh to and dance to. I think their promise in the track "Turn around the car," "I will let you down, but not tonight" needs to be rephrased. The Devil Whale won't let us down, not tonight or ever if they keep coming up with music like this. –Lyuba Basin

Jeremy Spence
Pieces
Self-Released
Street: 10.16.2007
Jeremy Spence = Dashboard Confessional + a pimping press kit
Anyone touting a press kit that hints they sounds like Coldplay better be packing a lot of heat to back it up. Unfortunately, after listening through this album three times, I couldn't even hear a hint of Chris Martin, let alone any trace of a Euro-pop influence. The saddest part is that somewhere inside this collection is a great song dying to get out. Unfortunately, all that manages to come across is a monotone collection of whiny pop ballads and lyrics that barely rate as contrived and cliché. There are a few moments where Spence gets it. On the tracks where he shifts away from rock and goes acoustic, you can see an almost Damien Rice-like potential. It's just not here yet. Teenage girls will no doubt eat this up, but that's about it. -Kat Kellermeyer

My Own Time
Rise From the Downfall
Self-Released
Street: 06.21
My Own Time = Otep + Crisis + Walls of Jericho + Kittie
From the ashes of Oxido Republica come My Own Time, a very different machine than Oxido. The obvious highlight of this five-track demo is Karla "Agony" Olivia's vocals. There is a great amount of energy behind her lyrics, and it just feels like she is singing from her own pain, when nowadays many female singers scream just because they can. Agony has a Karyn Crisis vibe behind her, but she maintains her own style and strength. The music is rooted in groove metal, but there is plenty of thrashing moments and moody melodic portions setting the tone for a dark set of recordings. On some tracks, the guitars falter and seem to lack a bit of intensity, but the guys hit it right on the head with their song "Pain Lulls Me to Sleep," the most technical-sounding track of the demo. It's also the most moving. The production sound for a demo is for the most part excellent. The drum sound gets lost in the mix at times, but it has a tape-recorded quality to it that gives the songs a gritty and harsh tone. I'd honestly listen to My Own time over anything that Otep or Kittie have released. The band has true promise in all aspects. –Bryer Wharton

Purr Bats
And The Cows Came Home In
Pirouette
Self-Released
Street: 02.27
Purr Bats = Devo + Ouija Boards + Sego Lilly bulbs
Anyone who's ever picked up an album by Purr Bats knows the sort of insanity they're getting into, but for those unfamiliar, let me try to explain: imagine a much more twisted version of Devo, blending a folk-western style into a techno-rock hybrid. Add in near psychotic, well-layered lyrics and you'll have a good idea of what Purr Bats are all about. And The Cows Came Home In Pirouette is more than worth a listen before these guys release their fifth album later this year. -Kat Kellermeyer

Salt Town Greasers
Self-Titled
Self-Released
Street: 06.14
Salt Town Greasers= Dave Alvin +Southern Culture on the Skids + The Irish Brothers
I can't tell if these folks are trying to create an eclectic sound or if they just can't make up their minds up on what to play. Country, punk, psycho and rockabilly all find their way into the mix, but with little thought as to how to play these genres well. This is an alright band that is going to play lots of fun shows around town maybe get to open up for someone like Reverend Horton Heat, but beyond that, they're just going to be that local band that everyone sees a bunch of times. And hey, there's not a damn thing wrong with that. At least there out there making some noise. I don't want to discourage anybody here because every city needs a couple bands like this to represent us as far as rockin' good times go. Anybody remember the Salt City Bandits from a couple years back? They were the same deal as these guys, and not just because they both have salt in their names, but because they're a good rock 'n roll band that doesn't care whether they make history or not. –James Orme

Team Mom
Self-Titled
Leaky Roof Studios
Street: 04.18
Team Mom = Cerveris + Weezer
I was not prepared to be so pleasantly surprised. This album is darn good. With a surge in the indie-pop scene as of late, Team Mom is a welcome addition, bringing new-age alternative with a twist of '60s folky electric guitar and swing-jazz drums. That doesn't mean they don't have an edge, however. As you listen to the album and hear how they approach each different song, you'll quickly realize Team Mom is no one trick pony. The tunes are catchy enough that the album's opening song, "Rabbit In Red," was stuck in my head for two days after listening for the review. While they're not reinventing the genre, they sure are doing a fine job working it. -Kat Kellermeyer