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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CD Reviews

    Audioslave has an epiphany

    There is a lot to unveil in Audioslave’s third album, Revelations, which will leave the listener’s ears glued to this masterpiece of a record.

    Revelations reminds listeners of the time when albums were jam-packed with great hits. The times when every track could be a potential single also come to mind.

    Audioslave is so rich in sound it takes a couple listens to even fully appreciate the meshing of the drums and guitar with the vocals of Chris Cornell.

    Cornell’s voice is better than ever before. It has matured and evolved into Cornell’s slave, ready to throw in a falsetto or to hit a low note.

    Songs that stood out are the riff-heavy “”One and the Same,”” the drum-driven “”Revelations”” and the vocally astounding “”Somedays.””

    Expect many great things from this promising album, Audioslave’s best record to date.

    Rating: 9/10

    – Ernesto Romero


    Showbread signals the arrival of Age of Reptiles

    Using synthesizers and the vocals from Josh Dies (yes, that’s his real name) and Ivory Mobley, Showbread’s previously self-titled “”raw rock”” is now “”reptilian raw rock.”” That’s some heavy alliteration, but don’t think that their sophomore release, Age of Reptiles, is a silly endeavor.

    Fans of Showbread’s first album, No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical, will find that it’s still the same band they love, minus some of the more intense screamo songs. It’s a little disappointing at first, based on the expectations that this album would make you want to pogo in your living room, but the toned-down screaming solos don’t make the album any less listenable. If anything, this album is more consistent from song to song than the first release because it doesn’t ping-pong between extremely upbeat and mellower songs.

    Christian rock isn’t a genre solely for clean-cut acts like Reliant-K anymore. Thanks to brother-labels Tooth and Nail Records and Solid State Records, the image of Christian rock has morphed into screamo-based groups who have a taste for ink. This is not to say that listeners should be restricted to devout Christians – the hard-rocking sensibilities and piercing lyrics can appeal to all religious preferences or lack thereof.

    Fans of Underoath, Emery and As Cities Burn will appreciate these songs that range in subject from love, social stereotypes and lizards to faith, dancing and emotional pain. The rocking melodies with synthesized backbeats and passionate vocals are fun pleasure to the ears.

    Showbread illustrates their knowledge of the importance of thematic consistency; with songs titled “”The Jesus Lizard,”” “”Dinosaur Bones”” and “”Age of Reptiles,”” the album is a completed project that serves to convert the infidel to the beauty of raw rock.

    Rating: 8/10

    – Alexandria Kassman


    Nouvelle Vague, Bande A Part

    In the musical “”Gypsy,”” three burlesque dancers sing to Gypsy Rose Lee that to be successful, one has “”to get a gimmick, if you want to be a star.””

    Parisian band Nouvelle Vague (French for new wave) has taken this advice to heart, conjuring up a clever, fail-safe gimmick – putting a frothy French twist on classic punk, post-punk and new wave tunes.

    And what could be sexier or more eminently likeable? Girlish vocals dance over sprightly bossa nova beats, and one can imagine a beatnik Audrey Hepburn doing an interpretive dance to it. This is boudoir music for the hip and eternally bored.

    On their sophomore release, Bande A Part, when it works, it’s swoon-worthy, like on the Buzzcocks’ “”Ever Fallen in Love,”” or on a haunting cover of Echo and the Bunnymen’s “”Killing Moon.””

    When it doesn’t work, like on an embarrassingly flat version of the Cramps’ “”Human Fly,”” their music becomes obvious for the hollow fluff that it is.

    Rating: 5/10

    – Davida Larson


    Yo La Tengo, I Am Not Afraid of You
    and I Will Beat Your Ass

    With such an aggressive title, you get the impression that Yo La Tengo’s new album would be harsh and loud. But really, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass is more laid-back folk rock than anything.

    The tracks are somewhere along the lines of Ben Folds meets The Doors meets a laid-back, instrumentally focused sound.

    “”Watch Out for me Ronnie,”” is a guitar-heavy rock song, but sounds like it could easily be played sock hop.

    The overlapping vocals between the male and female voices are not the main focus most of the time and sometimes even dull, yet often they are appealing and near to perfect.

    It would be easy to just call Yo La Tengo’s latest release “”cute.”” More than that, the band’s talent and depth will make you want to keep exploring the nuances of the sound.

    Rating: 8/10

    – Amy Wieseneck

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