Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New songs for the last day of April

here they are:

"Glory And Gore" by Lorde: Having already had two successful singles in just her mid-teens, New Zealand alt-pop sensation Lorde now has a third song up for grabs on the radio. As if that wasn't enough, this song in particular has gained popularity from being on the "Hunger Games" soundtrack (a surefire way for success, it seems!) "Glory And Gore" sounds like Madonna would if she were more of the "ice queen" type. With a pulsating, catchy beat playing over accessibly droning, frigid synthesizers in F minor, "Glory And Gore" lives up to its title. Its dark pride on the outside is glorious, yet its darker undercurrent could be said to be "gory" (metaphorically, at least).

"Higher And Higher" by Galactic (featuring JJ Grey): JJ Grey is already a blues-rock powerhouse by himself!! That being said, he must have had a really good time jammin' with funk/jazz/blues/rock combo, Galactic! And what a powerful jam "Higher And Higher" is!! Crunchy Hendrix-ian hard rock guitars and space-funk rhythms and horns a la Sly and The Family Stone combine forces in this free-flowing retro anthem! You'll swear someone set the calendars back to 1971 after hearing this one. Chances are, though, you'll never wanna come back to the present!

"Holly" by Nick Waterhouse: Nick Waterhouse, meanwhile, is stuck in an even further time warp when "James Bond" and surf music ruled the world, and his song "Holly" manages to be a catchy blend of blues, rock, jazz, and funk just like the last song I reviewed this week! "Holly" is not the name of a girl in this song (even though it's about a girl), but rather "holly", the Christmas decoration, as in "holly lights" (the only two words in the chorus of this song). Like many songs from the late '50s/early '60s, which seems to be the era Nick is trying to evoke, "Holly" clocks in at only a little over two and a half minutes, but it also manages to be a super fun song. Highly recommended for fans of other "retro" '50s rockabilly styled acts of the 2010's, like Imelda May and JD McPherson.

"I Know It's Wrong (But That's Alright)" by Hurray for the Riff Raff: Try saying the name of the band AND the song in one breath!! Probably about as much of a tongue twister as "When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around", so maybe I'll just refer to the song as "I Know It's Wrong..." from this point on, and the band by its initials, HFTRR. This one goes even FURTHER back in the musical time machine, as it has sort of a honky-tonk sound that you might be likely to hear in an old Western movie. Lead singer Alynda Lee Segarra has husky but sweet vocals that wouldn't seem out of place for a cowgirl. Thing is, Alynda is NOT a cowgirl. She grew up in the Bronx, and is of Puerto Rican descent!! Not surprising that they're currently touring with fellow country-rock contemporaries, Shovels & Rope, is it?! Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels & Rope even has similar vocals to Alynda, although as a South Carolinian, Cary Ann actually COULD qualify as a cowgirl!

"Lazaretto" by Jack White: Did anyone else here think that "High Ball Stepper" was a bit TOO experimental, even for Jack White?! Well, I guess a lot of people thought so, since the song just came and went in two weeks. In its place is "Lazaretto", a raucously catchy rock 'n' roll song typical of Jack White's material. Thankfully, unlike "High Ball Stepper", "Lazaretto" has lyrics! "Lazaretto" also gets into rather experimental territory towards the middle of the song, but maintains a consistent pattern for the most part. Jack's "sing-speak" vocals are aggressive and powerful enough to be compared to Zack De La Rocha from Rage Against the Machine, yet they seem to have an undercurrent of humor to them, unlike most of Zack's material.

"Stomp And Holler" by Hard Working Americans: Hard Working Americans contains many musicians who have had marginal success in such recent rock groups as The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Widespread Panic, and The Derek Trucks Band, all of whom could be classified as "jam bands", in the style of The Grateful Dead or The Allman Brothers Band. Hard Working Americans' breakthrough song was a quaint country-rock tune called "Down to the Well". Given all the blues-y rock musicians that went into the making of this supergroup, though, I should have known that Hard Working Americans also had some rock 'n' roll tunes up their sleeve, of which "Stomp And Holler" is one such song. An archetypal but catchy rock song, using the same rhythm as Rod Stewart's "Hot Legs" and Georgia Satellites' "Keep Your Hands to Yourself", "Stomp And Holler" is a song that makes you wanna do just that - "stomp and holler"!! This song is a definite crowd pleaser, and probably how HWA typically either open their shows, or close 'em!!

"You Go Down Smooth" by Lake Street Dive: There's great rock 'n' roll all over this blog today!! The last one for the week comes from Lake Street Dive, who graced us earlier this year with the smooth folk-jazz-rock tune, "Bad Self Portraits". "You Go Down Smooth" proves that Lake Street Dive have a more upbeat side to their catalog! This one apes the same basic guitar riff in songs like Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life" and Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?", only it has a bit more of a jazz influence than those two songs do. This song is so danceable, it kinda makes you forget that the song is actually about getting drunk!! Sorry if I spoiled anything for ya there, heheh.