Wednesday, 23 March 2011

SINGLE REVIEW: Foo Fighters - Rope

Their frontman Dave Grohl has recently been awarded with prestigious NME Godlike genius award, it has been just over two years since their last album and their previous six have been Grammy nominated. I think it’s fair to say, from the very beginning, Foo Fighters have set the bar sky high. On the eve of the release of their new single, ‘Rope’, from their upcoming album ‘Wasting Light’, it is certainly no different. And, as ever, Grohl and Co. certainly do not disappoint.

Lauded by long-time fans as some of their heaviest material yet, the Foos do not shy away from their deep-rooted rock credentials whilst also clearly incorporating influences from Grohl’s super massive super group Them Crooked Vultures. Heavy, choppy riffs form the meaty underbelly of the track, complimented by Grohl’s signature rough-around-the-edges vocal propelling the track forward, punctuating the 4:19 with regular, hedonistic interjection of “yoooow!” Compared with previous hits such as “The Pretender”, Grohl’s vocal is, to some extent, tamed by Taylor Hawkins’ smoother tones melding to almost-delicately harmonise amongst the rawk.

My personal highlight comes when the track escalates into a brilliant noisy climax of thumping guitars and face-melting guitar slides, showcasing the intense technical ability that lies at the heart of everything this band do. Classic, excellent, moshtastic Foos.

Written for The Whiteboard Project

Thursday, 10 March 2011

SINGLE REVIEW: Crystal Stilts - Through The Floor

With last year’s release of albums from the lo-fi Best Coast and Wavves and Lovvers’ debut the year before, I think it’s safe to say that the garage rock revival is in full swing. And much like that of Blue’s upcoming Eurovision appearance, this is a revival that I welcome with open arms. Best of all, the widespread success of aforementioned Californian (and, err, Nottingham) bands has seen a number of similarly scuzzy new bands rise from the woodwork. One of these bands joining the ranks is Brooklyn locals Crystal Stilts with their new single “Through The Floor”.

Despite being short and sweet at just 1 minute, 55 seconds, “Through The Floor” provides a injection of much needed sunshine into an otherwise arctic March. All of the usual suspects get an airing by the quintet: a driving rhythm established by thumping percussion, grungy guitars offset by a jangly tambourine and a vocal drenched in reverb. All of these elements messily flung together have an endearing quality to cast me back to hazy cider-fuelled summer afternoons. However, unlike their American cousins, the focus is not so much on drawling, cutting vocals but rather on the instrumental itself. In fact, the lyrics to “Through The Floor” are almost incomprehensible, shrouded by the heavy drums and tattered guitar riffs. Contrasted with the upbeat, poppy tambourine is the weight of the track which lies with the deep vocal drawing comparisons with Ian Curtis of Joy Division fame. This mix of overt brightness and darkness results in Crystal Stilts’ delightful discord that makes them so distinctive. “Through The Floor” is a slice of sunshine-laced garage rock that will make you feel like it’s summer inside…if not out

Written for The Whiteboard Project