Over the years I’ve brought on interns to help out with CDs. The results have been surprisingly good, though never enough to ever get me caught up on the CDs stacked on my floor. I’m bringing on another intern today — Brendan Greene-Walsh. You may know him as the soundguy at O’Leaver’s or “that hippie-looking dude wearing the suspenders.” He’s also in the band Life Without Laserdisque, but you knew that already. Brendan asked if he could help out with reviews, and so, here’s his first effort. The caveat remains as it was with the other interns — you’ll receive Brendan’s take on the CD, but you’ll also receive my comments. Here goes:
Head Like a Kite, Random Portraits of the Home Movie (Patter25) — After an initial listening, I wasn’t really sure what to make of this album. I had a hell of time figuring out what writer Dave Einmo was trying to convey. I couldn’t even figure out how to classify his music. The songs on Random Portraits of the Home Movie are just that. Random. There is a very simple rock sense about most of the songs. Melodic guitar lines are often doubled on the bass and keys. Easy-going progressions, catchy choruses and the like.Then comes the weirdness that threw me off the trail: Tons of samples and even more electronic drums give the album an almost industrial-techno feel. The whole flip-flop effect. One thing that was clear from the onset, though, was that this album was well produced. I would hate to say overproduced, but without even catching the producer’s credits it was obvious that someone with some serious pop sensibility was key in making this album happen. That someone was Brian Deck who also has worked with Modest Mouse and Iron & Wine.Luckily enough, Head Like a Kite had a scheduled Omaha stop around the time I received this disc. I expected a four or five piece band. Two guys showed up. With the orchestration on the album, I figured there was no way that they could play it with the same effect. Out came the third member. A 17-inch Powerbook. Half of the live show came from that beautiful titanium box. To my surprise, these two gents pulled it off. The highlight of their set was “A Dime and a Cigarette,” which also is the best song off the album — a song which could easily be heard on the radio or MTV. And thankfully, most of the filler material found on the album was left out of the live set. Rating: Yes. — Brendan Greene-WalshTim sez: “Your Butt Crack Smile” is pure Goo-era Sonic Youth meets Kraftwerk with Sonic Youth winning out. The SY comparisons continue on the laid-back, mumbly “A Dime and A Cigarette.” They shift back into Kraftwerk gear for “Interested in Worms?” Do you see a pattern here? I didn’t. For the most part, the short instrumentals are filler or placeholders, while the vocal tracks are sneering SY-influenced mid-tempo indie rockers. Not bad, but not enough to keep me interested. Rating: No
More reviews to come. Tonight, Brendan will be busy working the O’Leaver’s board as Omaha’s Virgasound takes the stage with Mountain High. $5, 9:30 p.m.
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