Last night, Wild Flag performed “Romance”. I haven’t gotten a chance to listen to their debut album, but I do plan on getting on that soon. I really dig this song. It reminds me of a more melodic/pop-ish Angry Angles and that extremely addictive part of the song, beginning “Hands down we like” sort of reminds me of that part in “Trapped Here,” — “Relax, relax, relax, my little victim” [CLICK HERE TO WATCH]
And then one week ago, Black Keys did a real rocking performance of “Gold On The Ceiling,” which is on El Camino, which was just released. [CLICK HERE TO WATCH]
Making their way to the top of the venue chain are the Black Keys. They last played Boston in 2010 at a sold-out Bank of America Pavilion. The Arctic Monkeys themselves have climbed through the ranks and will play their first Boston arena show as the opening act. Is this a must see event for a pretty big Arctics fan? I’ve never seen a concert at the Garden and, in fact, have just one arena show to my credit — Bob Dylan & Elvis Costello at the Ryan Center in Rhode Island. It could very well be a first.
1. “Lonely Boy” – A 2. “Dead and Gone” – B 3. “Gold On The Ceiling” – B- 4. “Little Black Submarines” – B
5. “Money Maker” – A-
6. “Run Right Back” – B 7. “Sister” – C 8. “Hell Of A Season” – C+
9. “Stop Stop” – B-
10. “Nova Baby” – B
11. “Mind Eraser” – C+
Comments: Before legions of Black Keys fans begin tearing me to pieces let me preface my little review by saying that I’m neither a committed or knowledgeable fan of the band. I’ve liked me some “10 A.M Automatic” for a while now and I thought Brothers was a pretty good album. “Lonely Boy” is deceiving. It’s the best track on here. One of my favorite singles I’ve heard all year, in fact. It’s deceiving, because the rest of El Camino (except for the comparably heavy/catchy “Money Maker”) really doesn’t give “Lonely Boy” a run for its money. There are another slew of tunes (“Sister,” “Hell of a Season,”) that on the surface seem to rock pretty hard, but are just similar, blander versions of other better Black Keys songs. I can definitely see where a big fan of more recent BK albums may really end up enjoying those songs. They could be growers. The organ, which appears in a few of these songs, doesn’t bring much more to the mix. This is a good record. A better record for people with more Kings of Leon/pop-rock leanings than grittier, more psychedelic rock ‘n roll leanings.
The soundtrack for Need For Speed: The Run, the long-running racing video game, has just been announced and most importantly it features some fine music (otherwise I wouldn’t have made this post). Black Lips‘ “The Lie” (Arabia Mountain, 2011, Vice) is in the game as is The Handsome Furs “Damage” (Sound Kapital, 2011, Sub Pop) and “Lonely Boy” (El Camino, 2011, Nonesuch) by Black Keys.
As I believe I’ve written before, video game soundtracks more or less were the forerunner to a pretty significant amount of music that I like presently. Musicians and bands like Jay Reatard, The Walkmen, Pixies, and Editors would hardly or doubtfully be among my favorites today if I hadn’t been exposed to them via video game back then. It’s encouraging to read about how my favorite band is going to be in a widely played game. The video game soundtrack is a great platform for exposure, especially when it reaches out to people who perhaps otherwise would never get a chance (or want a chance) to listen to Black Lips or Handsome Furs.
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.