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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CD Reviews

    Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the long-reigning Irish punk septet is releasing another robust, yell-worthy album to pound your pints of Guinness to. Float, Flogging Molly’s sixth major album, is laden with Celtic punk anthems that will make you proud to be Irish – or at least want to be.

    Float kicks off in typical Flogging Molly fashion with “”Requiem For a Dying Song,”” complete with upbeat, streaming fiddle and mandolin and a chorus that is made to be chanted by fans.

    Float
    Flogging Molly – SideOne Dummy Records
    3 1/2 stars

    “”Paddy’s Lament”” resembles everything to love about Flogging Molly. The track blasts off into a fierce intro with strong, upbeat, drilling drums and an ominous and quick fiddle.

    The title track slows the pace of the album only for a moment with a somber song offering grave advice and starting off with a strumming acoustic guitar and building deeper with fiddle and drums.

    Both “”You Won’t Make a Fool Out of Me”” and “”Lightning Storm”” are quick-paced, dynamic and intense with choruses that the staple sea of Irish flag-wielding die-hards can chant along to in a live setting.

    Other memorable tracks include “”Punch Drunk Grinning Soul”” which flaunts clenched-jaw lyrics in the verses and the repeated chorus “”Hey now, stay proud.”” Bridget Regan’s fiddle skills deserve special recognition in this particular song.

    Float carries out with a few more tracks that sound similar to one another, yet are well-rounded songs.

    “”The Story So Far”” closes the album with a slow-paced ballad that isn’t typical for the band, but is solid nevertheless.

    Go ahead, throw your fist in the air and slam that Irish car bomb because Flogging Molly has shown once again that it isn’t going anywhere.

    Kelli Hart


    The transition of a strong live band’s performance to a strong album release is not always possible. So is the case of Ghostland Observatory, an Austin-based electro-dance duo. Gathering a fanbase and much respect due to the strange stage antics of eccentric vocalist Aaron Behrens and synthesist Thomas Turner, the duo’s third release, Robotique Majestique, falls short of capitalizing on their energetic stage shows.

    “”Opening Credits”” aptly kicks off the album with a slow crescendo of synth beats and a pulsating drum machine, dramatically acting as an introduction into the unfortunately lackluster second track, “”Heavy Heart.””

    Robotique Majestique
    Ghostland Observatory – Trashy Moped
    2 1/2 stars

    Full of obnoxiously voiced verse lyrics, “”Heavy Heart”” has backing instrumental sounds akin to Michael Jackson’s “”Beat It.”” While the chorus, “”Heart, heart, heavy heart/ heart, heart, heavy heart,”” redeems the verses regardless of its monotonous nature, and the brief heartbeats lead to a polished dramatic musical interlude, the poor execution causes the track to ultimately fail as a production.

    “”Dancin’ On My Grave,”” is a solid track, but is hindered by Internet circulation of the outstanding “”Let There Be Vinyl”” remix. As a dance track it succeeds as the chorus prompts the listener to “”keep on dancin’.””

    The highlight of Robotique Majestique is the title track which has the effects of an ’80s pop song, but still manages to keep a rock vibe, largely due to Behrens’ unpolished erratic vocals.

    The album ends with “”Club Soda,”” a kickback to SEGA game music from the ’90s. It starts off with a vending machine distributing a soda can, increasing to the whirl of the beats and, about halfway through, introduces a rougher backing beat. Although the track is entertaining and would serve its purpose in a club atmosphere, it is a disappointing end to a seemingly uninspiring album.

    Jamie Ross


    MGMT, a duo that first met at Wesleyan University, bursts onto the scene with its debut album, Oracular Spectacular, with the youthful declaration, “”This is a decision/ to live fast and die young/ we’ve got the vision/ now let’s have some fun.””

    The opening track of Oracular Spectacular, “”Time to Pretend,”” captures the whimsical dream of rock stardom in perfect pop. The band facetiously lays out plans of Parisian heroin binges and temporary marriage to models while ultimately resigning it all to a dream: “”We’ll choke on our vomit/ and that will be the end/ we were fated to pretend.””

    Oracular Spectacular
    MGMT – Sony
    4 stars

    Oracular Spectacular keeps up this jubilantly jaded montage of capricious youth with outstanding pop sensibility and catchy indie dance grooves.

    Though your parents might give you shit for listening to disco, “”Electric Feel”” delivers a fresh sexy dance sound with lyrics ambiguously between artfully tacky and genius: “”Started in the Amazon/ voltage running through the skin/ standin’ there with nothin’ on/ she’s gonna teach you how to swim.””

    The next track, “”Kids,”” has every right to be an anthem. It’s got amazing production, building and falling into epic beat drops and breakdowns that press you to dance like you’re on ecstasy at a club in Ibiza even if you’re just on Chipotle strolling to a class in the ILC. The lyrics might be a little too forcefully deep at times – “”You were a child/ crawling on your knees toward it/ making momma so proud/ but your voice was too loud”” – but you can’t blame the duo for a valiant effort. They deliver exactly what you need to get down: a catchy chorus and a pseudo-profound pronouncement to break into it.

    While hitting alternative dance moments the likes of which Of Montreal dreams, MGMT still manages a diverse and unique sound on the album. The acoustic and comparably raw “”Pieces of What”” might not be the pinnacle reached on their more produced tracks, but it does manage to avoid feeling disingenuous and forced; a feat for a divergent track on a debut album.

    Despite the album not being perfect, a few of the tracks come damn close, and the rest of them paint a pretty picture of a diverse duo with real talent.

    Mitch Levine

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