And The Hits Just Keep On Comin': June 2006

And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

A Music Journal Collective Effort

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday June 16/2006 (Happy B-day B-Wil)
Artist: Matt Mays
Album: Matt Mays and El Torpedo
Reviewer: Graven

I must say that Halifax has always been a place that has drawn me,
both physically and mentally, and if given the chance and the right
indicators, I would move there with my wife and take up lodging by the harbour.
That being said, I have a certain well-known bias for a certain sound that
eminates from that area with Matt Mays being a key contributor. Having
just recently picked up his first full length cd, I have a sweet taste for the
tunes that Matt Mays pumps out and this full length self-title with his new
band El Torpedo has won a lot of acclaim, both Canadian and internationally.
The songs are guitar-based and mellow rock driven, and occasionally
remind you of a young Tom Petty, but Mays has very much his own vocal
style - usually raspy but always full of passion and well-spoken. Like
a lot of Halifax rockstyle music, the meat is not only in the music but
in the words.

Mays is very 'hip to this jive' as his words always describe a personal
setting but in a very common form that all can appreciate - from the strum
first rangy, distorted chord of 'Stand Down at Sundown' , we are taken on
a journey into a world where you learn to 'get yourself gone...from now on'.
Obviously toting some heavy relationship woes, Mays wanders through
a landscape of sort of 'figuring things out' on a grand scheme, and with
the picture in the layout of the album, one can sense that he is someone
who draws alot of his energy and drive from nature. Mays also displays
an ability to 'rock out' with the pop hit 'Cocaine Cowgirl', portraying a serious
undercurrent and story of a tortured girl but with intense instrumentation
and fast drumming.Tracks like 'Good People' also bring us to an apex of
realization and strength, as we can sit back and realize the more important
things of life and not get so caught up in the fray of everything invalid and

This album also shows a few real human struggles as Mays battles with his
indie to spotlight status in the song 'On The Hood' as he talks about
wanting to just hang out with his friends and his girlfriend rather than
worry about his image, radioplay, public profiling and everything else
that gets attached to celebrity status. A good listen overall, though one
of my lame-music taste friends at work actually calls this album bland,
but I think it is really HE who is bland, but I can understand that there
are a few lulls in the slower tracks, but really, Matt Mays is doing what
he is most gifted at what he loves to do so how could we want it any
different. The rich instrumentation of pedal steel, guitars - both acoustic
and electric - and soundscape vocals makes you beg for more.9/10.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


So, I as a poor student, have resorted to ripping off music from the internet, and before we get into the moral dilemma of how horribly wrong that is, let us take some time to review a cd that, well, just isn't out yet. Sufjan Stevens has already produced albums with brilliance and vigour of someone twice his age. Stevens' Illinois album struck a chord with me for being one of his best yet. And for there to be almost a "part two" if you will (and i think you will) for his latest makes me as giddy as a school girl, on speed, at the fair, eating cotton candy.... you get the picture. Not to mention the fact that there are three brilliant versions of "Chicago", one of my favourites from the previous album. Versions include a mellow “acoustic” version, a swooning “adult contemporary easy listening“ version and a static “multiple personality disorder“ version.

Once again, in "soofyan" style, as I like to call it, his songs have the long titles to match long heart-felt songs. And the more exciting, good walking songs, like "Dear Mr. Supercomputer" add to this album the elation that I felt for Illinois. As well the title track “The Avalanche” (the bonus track on the Illinois vinyl) has to be one of my favourites, bringing back banjo/piano solos and brilliant lyrics that lead me to believe that Sufjan outdoes his father Cat many times over. (Don’t hate me for that, it’s just how I feel).

So, as the release date for this album is over a month away (July 25th to be exact), I very much recommend picking it up when it does come out. And for those of you who decide they can’t wait… feel free to download and enjoy before you purchase.

For my man Sufjan, a 10/10.

Queens of The Stone Age
Lullabies to Paralyze

The masters of modern metal are back at it, even after
such an impossible act to follow like the heavily-touted
'Songs For The Deaf' wherein the old drummer from one of
the last 2 decades' most pivotal and popular bands, laid
the rhythm tracks for the album in its entirety and toured
with them. Impossible to follow? Debatable.

In a departure from riding on the coat tails of Dave Grohl
(the afforementioned drummer and now lead brain of the Foo Fighters),
Josh Homme of QOTSA has come into his own realm as a
songwriter and musical creator in this LP. In order to do so,
he had to fire the old bassist, let Dave go back to being Foo-ed,
and head out on his own path. The result is a little bit
puzzling at times as it seems that Mr. Homme is stuck in a
sort of 'high-school-metal-experimental-garage-band 'writing
zone with lengthy tracks like 'Someone's In The Wolf' and
'The Blood is Love'. But the truth is, most of it still rocks ass.
With a penchant for a new faster, catchier edge, songs like
'In My Head' and 'Everybody Knows That You're Insane' display
the instumental talent (lots of rhythmic tricks, stops, starts,
and things to keep you guessing) of the band and keep you
humming the melody hours after you've heard it. These songs
and 'Little Sister' (which pales in comparison to a lot of other
songs from this album) are showing a maturity of Mr. Homme
who seems to stepping away from the arena of 'kill-em-all' metal
and into a more reflective, intelligent songwriting style.

But fear not ye metalheads because Homme definitely does not
depart from the realms of his ever-haunting but captivating vocal
melodies and insanely cacaphonic, yet masterfully orchestrated,
ear-splitting guitar riffs. There's lots of that good stuff to go round,
and not really being a metal fan, myself, I can really appreciate
this album's complexity. The only area which could still use some
development is Homme's lyrics which seem to be a little too
caught up in 'the girl that went wrong and screwed me over' scenario,
but hey, I don't know his life. And no matter how criticized his lyrics
may be, they are still easy to relate to -anyone who's ever
struggled with letting go and moving on from a failed relationship
will appreciate the climactic juxtaposition in'Tangled Up In Plaid':
I could keep you all for myself / I know You gotta be free /
So free yourself.So do free yourself, in fact, and your ears to a new
age - The Queensof the Stone Age. Well done, chaps. 9/10.

The Preface
So the idea behind this new idea is to combine some review writing
talent that is in my extended network and filter it into one source
that will gain wealth, fame, public attention and critical leverage
amongst all who matter in this life.

Well...probably truthfully none of that, but at least we'll get to say
a lot of STUPID CRAP and people will read and LOVE it.

Enjoy as the hits just KEEP on COMIN'......

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