CD reviews

Days of the NewDays of the New

It’s been a while since we have heard from Days of the New. This new CD is somewhat of a let-down.

Being more serious, and with lots of what seem to be fill-in-the-gap lyrics, which do not make sense or have rhythm; it’s not what I expected to hear from them. If you are a hard core fan, this CD could be what you are looking for. Anybody else, save your money and look elsewhere.

However, there are two songs worth mentioning: “Giving In” and “Dancing with the wind.” They have a nice mix of sounds and does resemble traditional Days of the New.

Now, a rant about the case presentation: The case itself is ruby red in color, and has a CD lock that resembles the famous Scanavo “case of death.” Good luck trying to take that sucker out of the case without bending it or applying pressure to the CD surface. (Outpost)

— Alejandro Tanaka

q-burns abstract message

invisibleairline

In what will easily be the most diverse disc I will hear this year, (or what remains of it) q-burns abstract message have taken the opportunity to musically shoulder a burden bigger than Atlas. q-burns (basically the whole band is techno whiz m. Donaldson and vocalist Liz Shaw, with some session guys brought in. Sort of a new age Steely Dan, but more on that later) have attempted to fuse techno-jazz-pop-Rasta rap-delta blues into a collective scrap heap that would rival anything Fred Sanford could produce.

Invisibleairline is twelve tracks in length, five techno instrumentals with a less edgy Daft Punk feel to them, but none- the-less enjoyable. Five tunes feature lyricist/ vocalist Shaw working her best jazz grooves, or attempting to create pop standards. Lyrically, she’s got an edge with such lines as “If I could die again, I’d do it differently. With my dignity, my sanity,” or “You didn’t follow heart. You didn’t from the start. Its a shame you never asked me to stay.” All of Shaw’s work is nice, a word I use correctly here; very unassuming, not overpowering, well within her vocal range, which makes Sade look like Celine Dion in comparison, but just very nice. I realize “nice” doesn’t get you heading hell bent to the store, but there it is.

The remaining songs feature blues legend Elmo Williams covering his own “Mother’s Dead,” complete with slide guitar work layered over the dance grooves and heavy bass. Interestingly, at best, and the last tune features swamburger turning a one-minute Rasta rap into a six-minute funkenstein piece. That works for about one minute. You do the math.

Calling invisibleairline ambitious would be the understatement of the year (or what remains of it), but it’s testament to the ever-changing face of the industry that the record is even out there. This disc is a little too diverse for its own good, but still it wasn’t that long ago that a record company wouldn’t even have thought of funding a project like this, for fear of consumer alienation factor (which I just made up by the way), but the smaller companies are throwing stuff like this out there in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle, which is a good thing, even if sometimes it pays to put a little less junk in the jug. (Astralwerks)

—bdp

Sense Field

Tonight and Forever

This group made up of Rob Pfeiffer, John Stockberger, Jon Bunch, Chris Evenson and Rodney Sellars was influenced by West Coast punk and D.C. hardcore. Their third album, Tonight and Forever, examines all aspects of life from love to the things we say when we do not mean it. Originally this group was known as Reason to Believe; Sense field was their side project that allowed them to explore other kinds of music types. This lead to their punk rock sound they are now known for. Being too busy to handle two bands, they made Sense Field their number one project. They released their 1994 debut album Killed For Less and the 1996 album Building. Adding to this is their new album Tonight and Forever, that was done in only an amazing six months. Overall the sounds are a mix of Weezer, Bloody Valentine, and more or less blink 182. (Netwerk)

— Alejandro Tanaka

Way Out West

Intensify

This album by British techno group Way Out West is nothing less than awesome. With rhythmic melodic sounds that engulf the air space, making it alive and happy. Totally interesting and exciting futuristic Techno sounds. This is not your mainstream techno but rather a more club/trance oriented.

According to group members Nick Warren and Jody Wisternoff, “We wanted to create music to be remembered and not to be forgotten.” In the case of mainstream techno, most songs are big for a while and then they fade and people forget. In the case of Way Out West, the songs are always alive and they don’t seem to have a “boring” factor which plagues most techno songs after a while. Surfacing out of Bristol, England they stormed the British club scene with their dynamic electronic sounds and unreal lyrics. (Netwerk)

— Alejandro Tanaka

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