Down to the Bone – Supercharged
Narada Jazz (6/19/07)
Hi, I’m Jeff, and in their seven-album history, Down to the Bone has not disappointed… ever. On Supercharged, the British acid jazz troupe continues with the high-quality material output. “Funkin’ Around” is classic Down to the Bone, and is a horn-driven masterpiece bound to have the hipsters nodding their heads. No, not those hipsters… the real ones. Bill Cosby would be proud of this album, in particular tracks like the title track and the savvy “Greedy Fingers”. The great Roy Ayers makes an appearance on the disco-heavy, Faze Action-esque “Electric Vibes”, while Hil St. Soul shows up for a cameo on the solid “Smile to Shine”, which would probably be the group’s easiest cross-over hit. I declare that there should be more of this. I kind of wish that acid jazz would have taken off instead of emo. Sure, that means that eventually it would have become as watered-down and contrived as emo, but watered-down, contrived acid jazz would still beat the trousers off of anything else on the pop radio right now. Interesting to to note: band leader Stuart Wade doesn’t play any instruments. Instead, he composes the ch00ns in his head and hums them into a dictaphone, to then be translated by the band. That has got to be the best job ever, besides maybe professional condom tester.
Hi, I’m Sean Hannity1, the most patriotic man in America. Luckily, Jeff had the good judgment to include me for this special Independence Day edition of his column. While I do like jazz, I think it goes without saying that the most patriotic type of music is country music, specifically the music of one Toby Keith. No one will make you love America more than Toby Keith. In fact, just thinking of Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” makes my jingoistic heart flutter like a red, white and blue butterfly. I think we should bomb Syria, because they are terrorists. I also believe that we should bomb Iran, because they are terrorists. I also believe that the government should be able to install cameras in all of your houses, because otherwise the terrorists win. This album makes me feel like I’m making sweet love to Ann Coulter.
Silverstein – Arrivals and Departures
Victory Records (7/3/07)
Post-hardcore / Emocore
When I was an angry teenager, I had Sepultura and Korn. While Sepultura and Korn are still, indeed, around, they apparently have become outdated, as the kids prefer this kind of stuff instead. I just can’t wrap my head around it, thoughâ€”how it’s cool to scream and growl in one bar and whine like a wiener in the next. And it’s not like they have a separate guy just to do the growling; it’s the same guy. Sure, some of the songs are catchy, but they tend to get broken up by the growling. If it were all growling or all whining, then at least it would be consistent, but it ends up sounding like the singer isn’t sure whether he’s angry or forlorn. It’s like the entire genre is made by and for people with bipolar disorder.
I have no idea what this is supposed to be, but it’s sure not music. In fact, I would swear that it’s the music of terrorism, but there’s no bowed spike-fiddle or end-blown flute, so I’ll just guess that it’s something cooked up by those crazy liberals. They just sound so angry… that’s probably because they know that liberals will never again control the government. Don’t let Barack Obama fool you; liberalism is on a steady decline and by 2011 it will be completely eradicated. That will come immediately after the entire country sees how good of an idea it was to put up a giant electricified fence along the entire border with Mexico. Sure, it will cost $700 billion dollars, most of which will go to construction companies based in Saudi Arabia, but (along with the chips implanted in all of our necks) it will give us a ever-present feeling of complete security. Did you ever notice that Mexicans eat a lot of rice, and so do Middle Easterners? Coincidence? I think not! In fact, I think I’ll talk to Bill O’Reilly and see if he wants to set up a rice boycott, because apparently rice is the food of terrorists. That and falafel.
The Automatic Automatic – Not Accepted Anywhere
B-Unique Records (6/26/07)
Pop / Rock
Almost a year after Not Accepted Anywhere was released in the UK and Europe, Welsh group The Automatic is finally being pushed in North America, with slightly different album art and an extra “Automatic”. A self-proclaimed “electro-disco-metal-rock” band, I see none of these except the rock part. Yes, there are some slight electro bits and pieces, but nothing to warrant being called “electro”. Listing Jarcrew and Blur as influences, this for the most part is a Brit-pop band, with many similarities to Museâ€”who were also very big in Europe before hitting it big on this side of the pondâ€”if they tried to be a pop-punk band. The Automatic Automatic will be playing at Warped Tour, and they should fit in just fine. Songs like “Raoul” and “Monster” will have the kids pogo-ing around, while “Recover” has some Bloc Party dance-type stuff going on. “Lost at Home” has the emo thing to keep the girls happy, as “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” has subtle hints of At the Drive-In. The album’s not bad, as it brings a nice energy, but this type of thing has been heard before several times over. The band should try and market themselves in the U.S. by capitalizing on their Welsh roots. Then at least they could be “That Welsh Pop-Punk Band”. Chicks like accents.
Since the UK is an ally in The War on Terror, I will give this album my official Sean Hannity seal of approval. It’s just like a normal seal of approval, except it’s louder and much more important. I propose that we drop 300 cases of this CD on South Wiziristanâ€”the mountainous region in northwest Pakistan on the Afghanistan border where bin Laden is suspected to be hidingâ€”with the hope that one will land on Osama bin Laden. If none of the crates land on Osama bin Laden, maybe those wacky terrorists will figure out how to use a CD player and will have a change of heart after listening to this album. If not, there’s always the Bobby Brown idea.
Capitol Risk – Dream EP
Pop-punk / Emo
Purchase it here
This kind of music is the opiate of the masses. Sure, it’s energetic, and sure, I suppose it’s decent for an amateur act, and yes, the lead singer looks like Grady Sizemore. But it ends up being just cookie-cutter pop-punk that’s ready to break into a genre that should have been deep-sixed several years ago. Tracks like “Give It to Me” and “The Getaway” are the same as anything ever released on Vagrant Records, with the obvious angst-ridden riffs and vocalist who sounds like he’s undergoing an appendectomy without anesthesia. If you are a 14-year-old girl, or you happen to like Fall Out Boy, buy this, because it’s more of the same shit, but it just costs a lot less and at least you’ll be supporting local music.
I hear that these guys are from the Beltway, and because of that, I like this album as well. Sure, it’s nowhere near as good as Toby Keith or even James Taylor, but it has promise. These boys are still young enough to choose to become successful players with the GOP. Believe me, when we finally decide to roll out The Masterplan, we’ll need as many people as we can get who are trusted within the youth community. You just look at these guys, with their studded belts and terrible hairstyles, and you know that the kids just love them. I predict on their next album, with proper guidance, they will be singing about Homeland Security, doing meds with Rush Limbaugh and dating Ann Coulter and the Bush twins.
1 In an effort to prevent any legal action or threat of legal action from Sean Hannity or the Fox News Channel (and you know that they’d totally do it), MachineGunFunk.com must disclose that this is not really Sean Hannity. It’s actually Widro dressed as Alan Colmes.