By Kendall Gibson Columnist
‘Race’ – ‘Dee Day Dub
If and when humans encounter extraterrestrials, this would be a good album with which to herald their arrival. It sounds so alien. The singer’s voice is controlled and elegant, and I don’t exactly know what instruments are played in this band, but I like the sophisticated way their sounds drip in the background. Most importantly, it all sounds effortless, which is a high mark of skill. I’d call it a day and give this band a two thumbs up, but they might not recognize that gesture on the planet they’re from.
If You Like: The Mars Volta, Ratatat, Fat Boy Slim
‘Brave Enough’ – Ari Herstand
This review is an open letter to the singer/ songwriter Ari Herstand. Hey, Ari. I, too, have doubts about myself from time to time, and the best medicine I’ve found when I was in the dumps was the parroting of mindless sycophants. “Yes, Kendall,” they’d tell me, “you are awesome and nothing you do is ever bad.” Listening to them fixes absolutely nothing, however, and it is high time you get yourself a more competent producer. I.e., one that can tell you no. Your album is terrible.
If You Like: Angst, Insincerity, Musical Incompetence
‘Angel Guts’ – Red Classroom by Xiu Xiu
Brian Eno said it best when he said “Avant-garde music is sort of research music. You’re glad someone’s done it, but you don’t necessarily want to listen to it.” I am glad that Xiu Xiu has discovered how to make a woman’s screams harmonize with the sound of a dishwasher. I am glad that their “singer” has perfected the art of recording while having root-canal surgery. God’s work these gentleman are doing, but I absolutely positively do not want to listen to it.
If You Like: Die Antwoord, Aphex Twin, M.I.A.