Category Archives: Song Review

Who Did It Better? “Dream Lover”

The Original: Bobby Darin– “Dream Lover” (1959)

Cover: The Paris Sisters– “Dream Lover” (1964)

Speaking of which, check out this trippy short film entitled Kustom Kar Kommandos (1965, Kenneth Anger), featuring the Sisters’ cover of “Dream Lover.” Big shout out to Andrue Coombes for introducing me to this film and this cover version altogether. Thanks brother!

So, Glen and I we’re discussing “Dream Lover” as we tend to wax philisophical when it comes to pop music of all kinds of slime, and Glen prefers Darin’s original, whereas I am much more of a Paris Sisters man. I love Darin’s tune, no doubt, but the Sisters truly bring the song to life in ways I would have never imagined, with of course the help of Mr. Phil Spector. Maybe, this is just my ears (which have been deemed as “fucked up” by others), but their cover version sinks into an eerie underbelly of American pop music that truly makes them stand out amongst the other more famous Girl Groups of the 1960s era. It’s just a weird pop song that reminds me of The Carpenters, almost like Carpenters meets Atlas Sound!

“Dream Lover” fans, be sure to catch the most epic rendition ever on thee upcoming Wiener cassette tape, I’m Not A Musician from the legendary Gangbang Gordon!

KLYAM Song Reviews: Mid-Autumn Edition

Black Keys – “Lonely Boy” – Not the first “Lonely Boy” (King Khan & BBQ Show, among recent others, had one), but we’ve certainly have one heck of a memorable tune here. From the guitar riffs to steady drum beat down to the catchy synthesizer, this might be the most intriguing pop-rock song I’ve heard in a few years. I doubt it will make itself to Top 40 airwaves (with its definitive rock and roll edge…damn ‘electro-rock’ these days), but it certainly should keep fans — devout and marginal (like myself) — happy.

Ty Segall – “Spiders” – This is a song that surely makes noisy sound quiet. In an interview with Prefix earlier this year, Ty said he wanted to do a noise rock record. Whether this is literally the noise rock 7″ that he was hinting at or whether it’s a piece of a larger puzzle is something I guess we’ll have to figure out later. 

Thee Oh Sees – “The Dream” – Like a whole bunch of Oh Sees songs, this one keeps you on your toes. It’s a classic mix of throwback pop and distortion. The great thing about Thee Oh Sees and just mentioned understudy Segall is how well they engage listeners throughout the course of a song. Thee Oh Sees tend to go the long route, Segall prefers the short. Random screams here, random guitar clinging there, EXPLOSIVE finish; it’s all awesome. Random to only me and you…maybe.

Bad Sports – “Just Can’t Be Friends” – A nice power-pop/punker that will tickle your fancy if you’ve been digging fellow current Dirtnap bands like White Wires and Steve Adamyk Band and older stuff like Exploding Hearts. Simple and catchy. Typically, just how I like it.

The Energy – “Thinking Cameras” – Not as fast as ‘hardcore punk’, but it punches just as hard as that form of music. This is in your face punk rock. You better wear protective covering because the raw energy (pun sort of intended) on display here might just melt your clothes.

No Pilot – “Energy On” – This is a highly dancey noise/electronic offering coming via one-man band in France. With several layers of effect laden guitars and natural hand-claps as percussion, it’s easy to get lost in the music. That’s exactly what makes it so impressionable. 

Wavves- “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl” Review

Yeee kid Wavves! “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl” is the latest release from honorary KLYAMers, Wavves. This is a sneak peek at the the forthcoming EP Life Sux. I am definitely digging this tune, very catchy, very sincere. I’d say Wavves fans will probably enjoy this, but it’s not a carbon copy of anything they have done in the past and that’s a really good thing. That’s something I think everyone forgets about Wavves, how much they switch up their sound from record to record whilst still maintaining an incredible pop sensibility that destroys nearly every other current band in the universe. This track is absolutely likeable and I plan on listening to this over and over again, but I wouldn’t say this is top tier Wavves material. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a really solid track, but we’re talking Wavves here, I don’t need to enumerate the classics, y’all should know em! So, naturally my standards are higher. I guess I’m just looking for something else that isn’t quite there, I don’t know, but this one isn’t of the same caliber as their best. With that being said, it is an otherwise terrific song and also a great “End of Summer” tune to nicely transition from the beach to the classroom. Sonically, Wavves is on top of their game, not too foreign for them, but it works. It’s not King of the Beach, but sounds just as nice. You’re hooked from the first few seonds, the guitar riff is certainly memorable. At the end of the day, I get the impression that meeting Dave Grohl means something more to him than just an autograph. To me, Wavves has always been more than meets the eye. On the surface it looks like your typical hipster fare. Typical emo, whiny, teeny bopper stuff. But, what that really is, is honesty. Instead of trying to be something they’re not, they vulnerably are themselves, and in this way they can take on the world.

Grade: Light 7 to strong 8, this track is seriously growing on me, excitement is brewing in the air!


Song: “Lovers Lane”
Artist: Hunx and His Punx
Label: Hardly Art

Comments: “Lovers Lane” is the first single from the upcoming Hunx and His Punx debut album (their first release was a singles compilation and a great one at that!- Gay Singles), Too Young to Be in Love, set to be released in March.  I can’t wait! If the rest of this record is as solid as this first single then we are in for a real treat. I am a huge Hunx fan and I haved followed this song as a demo and as a favorite Youtube video of mine for nearly a year now. Before I could tell there was something definitely special brewing, but now finally hearing the completed studio version I am confident this will go down as one of the finest Hunx singles ever released. Okay, so  to the music itself. This shouldn’t be any surprise for Hunx devotees, it’s still the same old Hunx and Seth Bogart’s vocals are typical in this sense, but are top notch as usual.  His singing recalls 60s girl groups, which the group perfected in their previous release, and in this tune Seth really wraps himself in the song instead of simply being the Hunx persona. Though, you totally have a Hunx feel here, it definitely expands beyond that, and I’d say this is their most “60’s” song so far.  Much of this is due to the incredible vocal range of singer , Shannon Shaw of Shannon and The Clams. I’d wager her vocals are the star of the show and they truly sound exactly like the female bubble gum pop singers of the 60s.  Overall, I’m hardpressed to find anything I dislike about the production or any specific aspect of the recording. Other things I noticed were the guitar “solo” toward the end of the song, which didn’t feel pretentious at all and simply added to the song’s awesomeness , for lack of a better word. Erin Emslie’s drumming is spot on as well; simple, but certainly effective and makes the song feel almost epic in a way. In terms of lyrics, I honestly was so enthralled by the music itself, it just hit me now after countless listens that this is a  Teen Tragedy, a staple of the aforementioned decade/era and a favorite of mine. And just like “Leader of the Pack” and “Dead Man’s Curve” the lover parishes and will be missed for the rest of time. In short,  I will be listening to this obsessively in anticipation for the forthcoming LP, until then I can be found at Lovers Lane…

Grade: 9/10


Tour dates (Boston = TT The Bears Sunday April 24! )
4/2 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom Of The Hill
4/8 – Los Angeles, CA – The Ech
4/9 – San Diego, CA – Tin Can Ale House
4/10 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
4/12 – Austin, TX – Emo’s
4/13 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
4/14 – New Orleans, LA – Spellcaster Lodge
4/15 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
4/16 – Nashville, TN – The End
4/18 – Durham, NC – Duke Coffee House
4/19 – Baltimore, MD – Golden West Cafe
4/20 – New York, NY – Cake Shop
4/21 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
4/22 – Swarthmore, PA – Olde Club
4/23 – Brooklyn, NY – Glasslands
4/24 – Cambridge, MA – T.T. The Bear’s
4/26 – Montreal, QC – La Sala Rossa
4/27 – Toronto, ON – The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
4/28 – Detroit, MI – The Old Miami
4/29 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
4/30 – Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club
5/1 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry
5/3 – Fargo, ND – The Aquarium
5/4 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown Jr.
5/5 – Kansas City, MO – The Record Bar
5/7 – Denver, CO – Hi Dive

Song Review: “Heartbreaker”

Band: Girls
Release: 11/2010
Featured On: Broken Dreams Club EP

Comments: Listen to this song and you won’t confuse it for anybody other than Girls. Girls are Girls. They’ve got the suave bass lines, the jangly acoustic guitars, and even a little bit of piano thrown in the mix. This song is good stuff. “When I said that I loved you, honey, I knew that’d you break my heart” is typical Christopher Owens fare. Add a strong guitar solo at the 3/4 mark and you’ve got a real song in your ears. It’s not as amazing or heavy as “Lust for Life” or “Morning Light.” It’s more of a “Lauren Marie” type of tune.

Grade: A-

Free Download:
Acoustic Version:

Walkmen Song Reviews [LISBON!]

Band: The Walkmen
Album: Lisbon
Release: Fat Possum [9/2010]

1. “Juveniles” – Known in some circles as “Tragedy,” I’m just amazed by Hamilton’s delivery on the choruses. I, too, love the laid back, Caribbean-esque feel. What a great album opener! Grade: A+

2. “Angela Surf City” – This one is marked by Matt Barrick’s drumming. At least that’s what stands out to me. I do like this song — Hamilton is as passionate as ever — and how it, like “Blue” that follows soon, has an enormous explosion of instrumentation. Grade: A-

4. “Blue As Your Blood” – Known in some circles as “The Sky Above,” this builds up pretty good. The initial guitar plucks and percussion stay constant — as a good rhythm section usually does — throughout the duration of this tune. I got a feeling pretty early on that this thing was going to explode. Indeed, it does. There are some really nice intricacies toward the end of the song — like a subtle keyboard push and twangy guitar parts. Grade: A

8. “Woe Is You” – This one is comparable to “Tragedy” in how it sounds Caribbean. I really enjoy how it flows. The left panned keyboard sequence is cool at the end. Sorry, I can’t think of anything else to say! Grade: A

10. “While I Shovel the Snow” – A tad tad slow for my liking, but I’ve got to give praise to the lyrics. This one feels old — you know like Sun Records old. Leonard Cohen inspired as well. Tentatitvely I won’t give it the benefit of the doubt, but we’ll see by the time the entire record comes out. Grade: B+

Song Reviews! 07/12/10 Style

These reviews are more reactions considering I need multiple days of listening before I develop a pretty accurate opinion. Even then it’s hit or miss.

Song: “Barricade”
Band: Interpol
Album: Interpol [9/2010]
Comments: The verses are standard fare for Interpol/Julian Plenti. There’s the small guitar parts and the overwhelming bass line. The chorus is rather uplifting and dance-esque with creative strumming and outstanding drumming. After the first chorus, the song keeps up a nice pace. I have to say Banks is a characteristically depressing song-writer. I hate to stereotype, but damnit just when you try to have a little fun listening to this song, you realize this is a downer. Just think of barricades themselves. These aren’t entrance ways or revolving doors. These are cut-off points. Is there anything fun about that? I do like this track.
Grade: (A-)

Song: Stranded
Band: The Walkmen
Album: Lisbon (9/2010)
Comments: Anyone whose been following The Walkmen for the past 10 or so months will realize that this song has been kicking around in their live repertoire for a while. Some avid fans initially dubbed it “Starry-Eyed” because Ham sings that phrase. As Ham said to NPR, this is probably more apropos on You and Me — it being horns heavy, down tempo, and vocal-centric. This comparison might be totally off — and please forgive me — but don’t the horns parts sound like the Christmas classic “Silver Bells”? At any way this is a big song. A masterpiece of a work. I prefer a lot of heavier Walkmen material, but songs like this amaze me.
Grade: (A)

Song Review: “Post Acid”

Band: Wavves
Label: Green Label Sound
Upcoming Album: King of the Beach [8/2010]

Comments: It’s clean and clear blah blah blah blah blah blah. Wavves has fun with this song clearly and it has a what/the/fuck-i-heard-this-in-the-1990s-on-pop-radio verse-chorus dynamic. It’s brief enough that I do get some pleasure from listening to it. It’s nice to know that this just wasn’t Nathan Williams fucking around on his computer to make this. Or was it? At any rate, it seems like quality mattered on this one. Was the band going for the 1990s pop-rock card or does it just sound that way? It’s memorable, but it fades fast.

Grade: B+

Mnstrm Song Reviews

Call this a new feature of KLYAM. It probably won’t be something written regularly, but it will show up every now and then. Basically, I’m going to do short reviews of songs that are currently dominating the airwaves of local hip-hop machine JAMN 94.5.

Ludacris Ft. Nicki Minaj – “My Chick Bad” – Grade: B+ – Luda lude drops some sweet lines that deal with shit along the lines of cartoons, hard liquor, and Tiger Woods’ wife. The chorus is weak, yo’. It’s rap chorus writing 101. Minaj, like her boy Luda lude, does no self-censoring of herself. Fuck that. She unleashes some explicitly great lines — most impressive being the first words out of her mouth: “Now all these bitches want to be my bestie, but I leave them hanging like a testy.” That’s just amazing.

Usher Ft. Will-I-Am – “OMG”Grade: C- – What the fuck is this shit? Seriously. A fake audience clapping alone to a shitty song? Repeats of “oh my God” and “oh my gosh”??? A completely average beat. The verses aren’t completely terrible thanks to some decent instruments. Even the hook to the bridge stands well on its own. Other than that, Will-I-Am and autotune kill this song. Kill in a bad way.

Rihanna – “Rude Boy” – Grade: B – This might be my favorite Rihanna song. There are some songs in her catalog that are absolutely terrible, some average, and that’s about it. This one doesn’t really feel like it has been done before. It sounds surprisingly original for a song of its nature. This does make for quite a club bangerrr. It took enough writers (six) to come up with this, but I’ll let that one slide for now.

Drake – “Over” – Grade: C – Simply stated this song is boring. Even the rapping isn’t anything spectacular. It seems like Drake is racing against a clock once he starts dropping lines.