Volcom’s Wild In the Parks @ American Fork Skatepark 05.08.10
Volcom’s 2010 Wild In The Parks #1
Volcom’s 2010 North American Wild in the Parks Tour was kicked off in style at American Fork’s own Greenwood Skatepark on Saturday, May 8th. With 200 competitors shredding the park for a chance at invites to this year’s $25,000 WITP Championships in Arizona.
Needless to say, it was a ruthless battle consisting of everything from a kickflip back tail shove out to tre-flip boardslides. The skill level of the skaters was off the charts and gave everyone more than enough to think about on their way home at the end of the day! Photos: Gage Thompson
14 & Under:
1st: Chandler Seipert
2nd: Christian Ridgeway
3rd: Christian Bourne
4th: Keddrick Tanner
5th: Tristan Hays
6th: Shyl Lo Sweat
7th: Noah Olson
15 & Over:
1st: Tyson Bowerbank
2nd: Daniel Roman
3rd: Derek Rivera
4th: Logan Summers
5th: Nick Meyer
6th: Jordan Brown
7th: Dylan Fisher
1st: Brodie Penrod
2nd: Matt Fisher
3rd: Oliver Buchanan
4th: Aaron Lopez
5th: Chaise Striwerda
6th: Garrison Conklin
7th: Kevin Federson
Electric’s $50 “Hype of the Day” Award:
Reviews of: Manic Street Preachers reissue, The Angels of Light, Zirafa, The Static Age, Augie March, Drop The Fear.
Manic Street Preachers
The Holy Bible 10th Anniversary Edition
Generally speaking, the body tends to wash ashore, the mystery fades and eventually everyone forgets that there was a story associated with a particular piece of art. In the case of the Manic’s The Holy Bible, the folklore of Richie Edwards and his untraceable disappearance lives on. This would prove to be the last evidence of Richie’s bitter brilliance and regardless of what might have come before, it was here that he proved to be one of the most dangerously intelligent musicians the UK had seen since The Clash were taking Broadway.
Only this time, America didn’t bat an eye because Kurt Cobain was dead and nothing else in the foreseeable future mattered beyond that. Not that I can set myself up as an example; I didn’t find them until Richie was far gone into the night and the band was back standing tall riding the slightly more optimistic, somewhat watered-down path. Still, none of this matters if the music isn’t any good. Thankfully, it is.
Not nearly as loud as you might expect, although a far cry from their hits that would follow (the album was overlooked for the “best of” compilation Forever Delayed save for the stormer “Faster”). Instead of sheer noise, the edge comes in the dissonant lyrics and the crumbling exterior. They were after all poised to implode from the very beginning; self-destructive, self-consumed, warped and gritty Britpop at its heartiest.
Here in its 10th Anniversary form, we find the classic album (both the UK release and the alternate American mix) remastered with bonus BBC sessions and live versions along with a DVD capturing the band in a full masterstroke of arrogant swagger. Rock n’ roll should always be this good. As for Richie, I like to think he escaped to where Kurt was trying to get to.
The Angels of Light
Michael Gira (Swans) returns with an album that is familiar while remaining a departure from what you might expect. Gone are the grandiose epics and hypnotic peaks replaced by a starkness that finally allows a glimpse of the brilliance without the antics getting in the way. It is as if Johnny Cash recorded one last record about sex, death and God and left it to find its own way into the world.
Acoustic guitar balanced out by strings and organs without the safety net of drums gives the album a warmth that suddenly seems missing from the darker but similar Murder Ballads of Nick Cave. Perhaps it is Gira’s most approachable work, but don’t let that deter you; just when you get comfortable, something dissonant gargles from below.
Risk the Rook
Turnstyles starts off nicely with breaking glass and electronics, somewhat reminiscent of what Depeche Mode did with “Blasphemous Rumor.” The second track, “Lost,” however, hints at something far more than interesting with its lighthearted piano giving way into distorted guitars and washed vocals. There is something slightly hip-hop by way of jazz in the drums that seems to pull the loosest of threads together.
It’s sparse and beautiful, noisy and disjointed, but it works rather well. Then you hit track six and it all goes astray. The cheese jazz of “Flipcut [pt. 1]” is unbearable, so much so that even though the remaining tracks are better, the slightest hint of smooth jazz negates everything around it. Had it been a six- or seven-track EP, I would have been all the happier. As it is, I’m just reminded that some things are best left forgotten.
The Static Age
Neon Nights Electric Lives
Having toured with AFI, you might expect something with a little more of a punk rock kick from The Static Age, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they’re actually closer to Catherine Wheel than Davey Havok & Co. Not that you can’t find the smallest similarities between AFI’s mixture of punk-goth in The Static Age, but you can just as easily find guitar effects that are very reminiscent of A Flock of Seagulls (and somehow they didn’t make the press sheet).
Between the raspy voice, light synths, pulsing bass lines and reckless guitar, you could compare them to a The Cure/Joy Division/Psychedelic Furs/Gene Loves Jezebel cocktail. The only problem is that like much of the music that surrounded the previously mentioned bands, Neon Nights Electric Lives feels over-produced and completely without risk. I like it, but it doesn’t demand anything else of me and ultimately it won’t get anything more than that.
When Elbow’s vocalist Guy Garvey sings the praises of Australia’s Augie March, you can’t help but feel like he’s being narcissistic. It isn’t that Strange Bird steals from Elbow as much as it implements the same mumbled vocals over a down-tempo atmosphere that dominates Elbow’s recordings. While many might find this endearing, I find it rather bland.
It works for Elbow; it doesn’t have the same effect here. The truly bright moments on the album are when they inject a little bounce and come out swinging like Clinic. Maybe it comes across as campy, but at least it gives you reason to notice. Unfortunately, more often than not, they are content to mumble.
Drop the Fear
Drop the Fear
Drop the Fear
The comparisons to the Cocteau Twins are going to be rampant even though they aren’t exactly accurate. Neither the guitars nor the vocals are anywhere as layered or complex, but still there is something there that does recall the cascades and swirling tide that defined 4AD in the 80s.
In fact, guitarist Robin Guthrie’s post-Cocteau Twins Violet Indiana is a far better reference point. That is, unless you count the few tracks that are so painfully slow they feel like they are being played at half speed (and the vocals droning on don’t help suggest otherwise). Still a solid album for the shoegazers.
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