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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Reviews

    The Bird and the Bee Sides and The Nashville Tennis
    Relient K – Gotee Records

    In an age where most people are downloading music, Relient K wants to give you your money’s worth on their new double album that includes an entire new EP and a slew of B-sides.

    The band sticks true to their mellow acoustic-based music, but some of their songs lack decent hooks. The songs tend to be a free-for-all, ranging from punk-reggae styles (“”No Reaction””) to simple songs with a twangy country feel (“”I Just Want You To Know,”” “”Bee Your Man””). Relient K experiments on this album more than ever, giving each band member a chance to sing lead and contribute their innermost musical styles. The band found a winning combination in their song “”The Scene and Herd.”” It is both strong musically and lyrically as Matthew Thiessen sings, “”And odds are that you probably/Magically got this song for free/And I’m not sure if it bothers me it seems fine/Cause I’m having a good time.”” What makes the album worth your while are the extras: original demos like “”Jefferson Airplane”” and “”The Stenographer””, and an acoustic version of the Relient K hit “”Who I am Hates Who I’ve Been.””

    Overall, The Birds and the Bee Sides is worth a listen for the wide range that Relient K covers, but substantially its lyrics fall short the decent hooks for which the band is known.

    – Alexandria Kassman


    O
    Tilly and the Wall – Team Love Records

    It’s difficult to say what the title of Tilly and the Wall’s third album, O, stands for. Does it refer to the “”Big O,”” a sly analogy for the Tillys’ blissful burst of indie-pop?

    Or is it a dedication to Omaha, Neb., the band’s home and the birthplace of Conor Oberst’s overwrought musical stylings? Whatever the title stands for, it’s obvious the Tillys are inspired by something big and special.

    Childlike without being childish, the band sends a message of hope, true love and not taking shit from haters.

    “”Poor little baby sorry/ you can’t shake me down/well I say, ‘boo-hoo’/and I say, fuck you,”” vocalists Kianna Alarid and Neely Jenkins sing on “”Too Excited.””

    O’s best track, the new-wavey “”Falling without Knowing,”” is a sweet treatise on love in the vein of the B-52s’ “”Roam.”” Tap dancer and percussionist Jamie Pressnall gallops through O at a pace that would give Ann Miller a run for her money.

    If anyone has a “”pocketful of sunshine”” this summer, it’s Tilly and the Wall.

    – Davida Larson


    The Black Ghosts
    The Black Ghosts – Iamsound

    Dance albums are a dime a dozen these days. Luckily, UK duo The Black Ghosts have put out the perfect LP to liven up your summer playlist.

    Fans of Gnarls Barkley will appreciate the frenetic string tremolos that punctuate a hip-hop bass beat in the album’s opener, “”Someway Through This.””

    The opener is so powerful that the following tracks come as a bit of a disappointment, departing on grooves that are more upbeat and major in tonality, but no less danceable.

    The nasal voice of Simon Lord has its charm, though it may be something of an acquired taste. (Lord was also the vocalist for Simian, makers of the ever-catchy club anthem “”We Are Your Friends.””)

    “”Repetition Kills You”” has a two-part male harmony reminiscent of TV on the Radio. And while we’re name-dropping, it’s worth mentioning that Blur singer Damon Albarn contributes guest vocals. The repetition won’t kill you, though the accompanying video might – it plays like a combination stop-start/live action indie-rock fashion show, complete with lyrics written on hats and every imaginable color of men’s briefs.

    Likely to appeal to fans of Hot Chip and Freezepop, The Black Ghosts is a solid album sure to win a spot alongside all your Faint and Ratatat records.

    – Laura Hawkins

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