Saturday, July 16, 2011

Odds and Ends

Each week I use this space to post some mini-reviews, cool tracks, random thoughts, neat news, or whatever else I damn well please.

Afterlife Parade “Death” [EP]
– A bit of a throwback to the post-Radiohead bands, gentle pop rockers Afterlife Parade are focused on writing reflective lyrics set to atmospheric sonic textures. As one can surmise from the title, the theme of their debut EP centers on endings – the ending of an era, a life, an idea, and even the world. To counterbalance this happy topic, a follow-up EP will be entitled “Rebirth”. Afterlife Parade is the brainchild of singer/songwriter Quinn Erwin, who has a Thom Yorke quality in his voice, with hints of Mike Peters (The Alarm). The title track, “Death”, is not a harsh or even haunting tune, but quite light and radiant with an expertly picked acoustic guitar riff carrying the verses forward to a rewarding chorus. “Nothing But Love Can Stay” sounds like a Springsteen penned tune performed by Coldplay – quite beautiful, but not the most melodic ballad. “Arrows Fly” may be the strongest cut lyrically, but failed to engage me at a musical level. My favorite track on the EP is the closer named after the project itself, “Afterlife Parade”. This song actually gets past 50 beats per minute and the upbeat pace is refreshing, as are the wonderful harmonies in the chorus. Considered with “Death”, the song “Afterlife Parade” gives me hope that Erwin can better surround his terrific lyrical ideas with catchier melodies. Recommended for fans of Palo Alto, Arcade Fire, and Travis. More on the band can be found here.

Surprise of the week
Lady Gaga is not the only one to give Weird Al Yankovic a hard time about doing a parody of their songs. Paul McCartney actually refused Weird Al’s request to parody “Live and Let Die” as “Chicken Pot Pie”. Sounds like it would have been pretty funny to me, but Paul didn’t want to promote the eating of animals. More on the story here.

Finally some new Soul Asylum on the way to follow-up the excellent “Silver Lining” release from 2006. New record is tentatively entitled “Rough Air” and features guests from Prince and Replacements alumni. Check out the story here.

Noel Gallagher (Oasis) is ready to release his solo album, and according to him it is brilliant. Read about it here.

You call this a reunion? Bush is said to be back together to release a new album, “The Sea of Memories” in September – their first since 2001. The “reunion” only consists of Gavin Rossdale and drummer Robin Goodridge. More on the story here.

Iconic rock n roll magazine “CREEM” is coming back! Check it out.

Random iPOD song of the week
“Him” was the follow-up to Rupert Holmes’ smash hit “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)”. I think I like “Him” better.