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Friday, July 22, 2011

Penguin Prison - Fair Warning

"I can't help it any more"

When is the Penguin Prison album coming out? I feel like I've been waiting for this for years. Each song he releases is consistently amazing, and this is no different. I was obsessed after just one listen. He's got such a knack for mixing cool indie production with lush, instantly hummable hooks. There's so much melody here. In that way, he kind of reminds me of a solo Hall & Oates (in their 80's resurgence). There's nothing out there quite like him right now. This is big glossy pop music masquerading as something only the "cool" bloggers and insiders should know about. In reality, everyone should know about Penguin Prison. This music should be in the top ten, especially come late Summer when this song would sound especially enticing. The album, whenever it's released, is definitely one of my most anticipated of 2011.

Penguin Prison - Fair Warning by alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the EPs here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pop Blitz 7/21/2011

Rebecca Black - My Moment
The subversive part of me really wants this girl to carve out a career based solely on her WTF story. However, this song isn't gonna do it. It's neither good enough to leave an impact, nor bad enough to laugh at. C

Selena Gomez & The Scene - Love You Like A Love Song
Selena's got some team surrounding her. It's not like she's a powerhouse singer (at all), but her brand of radio pop keeps getting better and catchier. This is another surprisingly excellent, dub-step influenced, hit. A-

Calvin Harris - Bounce (ft. Kelis)
Essentially a Kelis song wrapped in Calvin Harris production, this is a summer dance tune that certainly goes down easy. It's nothing revolutionary, but the instrumental hook works and Kelis's vocals sound nice. B+

DJ Fresh - Louder (ft. Sian Evans)
More UK dance music, though the aggressive production makes this a little less clubby than the last track. It's grown on me, but I don't think I'll be playing this beyond the Summer. B-

Six D - Best Damn Night
This was featured heavily on American reality show The Dance Scene, and that's probably the only reason I sort of like it. Now that I've heard it more often, though, I'm convinced it is a little too harried and derivative for its own good. C+

Hot Chelle Rae - Tonight Tonight
Every summer, America seems to pick one "rock" song to get obsessed about (last year it was Neon Trees' Animal, btw). This is not as good. It actually reminds me a little of a borderline novelty song from the 90's. It could be a whole lot worse, but it doesn't do a lot for me either. C+

Rizzle Kicks - Down With Trumpets
While I'm not really sold on this song, I think this rap duo has heaps of potential. They do need a better hook, though. This feels just a bit lazy, even with the nice sample and funny lyrics. B-

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Foxy Shazam - Drain You

"It is now my duty to completely drain you"

SPIN Magazine has done something kind of cool and released a free album of indie bands covering Nirvana tunes. This alone wouldn't interest me all that much, as I've never really been more than a casual Nirvana fan, but one of the coverers (?) is none other than Foxy Shazam. I don't think I'm anticipating anything more in the music world than Foxy's next album (whenever that'll be... hopefully soon). And while I prefer them doing original (and more melodic) stuff, this is a nice little treat while we're waiting for their comeback. The song they've covered is Drain You, which isn't one of my favorites, but they've foxy'ed it up and... well, I'm a bit of a completist so this is something I am definitely keeping (even though it's not exactly my cup of tea). I would have loved to hear them tackle Teen Spirit, with Eric in full voice on the chorus.

Foxy Shazam - Drain You by holyemre

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Get the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Zener Diode - Neon

"We never change"

Thanks to some intrepid readers who responded to my "summer drought" post last week, I've had a few bands/artists to (try and find the time to) listen to recently. The first group that stood out to me is Scotland's Zener Diode. First off, I had never heard of this band before (which is increasingly rare) and I could tell right away, just by looking at their photo, that they'd be "my thing." I was very eager to listen to the music. A little too eager, probably, as I built them up so far in my head before even hearing the album that I wound up a tiny bit disappointed. On one hand, the music and instrumentation is breathtaking. It's exactly the huge, dramatic mixture of electro and rock that I always fall in love with. It's clear that the frontman has quite the persona too, which is a definite plus. The one aspect I'm not yet convinced by are the songs themselves. This is obviously very important, but it could change. After all, I haven't had time to live with the album yet. It could be a grower, and I'm hoping it will be. At the very worst, this is an incredibly interesting group with a lot of potential to be massive in my eyes. Here's a taster, which is pretty representative of their sound. What do you think? Eager to hear more?

Neon by Zener Diode

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Monday, July 18, 2011

The Sound Of Arrows - Magic

"The world was endless with possibilities"

Every time The Sound Of Arrows release a new music video I fall in love with them more. But this song is an especially interesting case because (unlike the other singles), Magic in its original form was not my cup of tea. Since then, though, two things have happened. First, the song was given an update on its production, which is superb. And second, the duo have released a stunning, cinematic video. As it stands now, I can see this becoming my favorite single release of the summer (though honestly, there's not a whole lot of competition). I am just madly in love with the band's sound and image. And like their other fans, I'm not all happy that the album keeps being pushed back. I feel like we've been waiting for years now. Luckily, the duo have signed with a major label in the UK. I hope this means good things are coming. Even if we never get an album, I'd be happy with a string of music videos. They make the BEST music videos. And this single deserves to go top ten. It's a HIT.

The Sound Of Arrows - Magic by alienhits

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the single here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.