Noise 101 – Fresh new tunes reviewed and previewed
Mogwai : Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
Release date: Feb. 14
Not sure Mogwai is the perfect soundtrack to your Valentine’s dinner, but hey, one couple’s Mogwai may be another’s Barry White. Mogwai is the legendary Scottish post-rock experimental band, who survived the lethal ’90s U.K. alternative rock curse that made others like Pulp or Supergrass somewhat obsolete. Mogwai is known for their intense, distorted sound and their brand of melodic instrumental metal. The awesomely-titled Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will is their seventh studio album — their first for indie label Sub Pop after leaving long-time home Matador Records. By now we can only expect the best from these rock pioneers who have expertly honed their sound over the years. If you like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, check this album out. Download their first single, the promising, entrancing instrumental track “Rano Pano” at pitchfork.com.
— Lynne Hogan
If I Were President: My Haitian Experience
Release date: Feb. 21
With a title that is sure to divide listeners, Wyclef Jean’s eighth studio album If I Were President: The Haitian Experience chronicles his experiences in Haiti.
Jean’s presidential campaign was embarrassing and no one took him seriously because a) he hasn’t resided in Haiti for years, and b) it seemed to be an ego-stroking, albeit charitable move. The music video for “If I Were President” features images of his presidential campaign, singing about his political promises and strangely, Jean dressed as a construction worker playing a bedazzled guitar.
His lyrics suggest discrimination based on his celebrity status and his politically limited clout is an oppression of the truth.
Honestly, this seems like a little boy’s temper tantrum in response to being told no. On the bright side, maybe Jean’s Haitian-reggae-rap will draw more attention to a nation that needs everyone’s help, not just his.
— Lynne Hogan
Iron and Wine
As the title suggests, 20 Odd Years is a showcase of where Buck 65 has come in the past two decades. Lovers of Square will dig the clever, intriguing samples in the fairly salacious “Lights Out.” “Gee Whiz” is rem- iniscent of Buck a la Situation, with rapid scratching and his trademark sauntering folk-rap. On “Whispers of the Waves,” Gord Downie’s booming voice lures us in right away. What sets his latest album apart is that Buck’s brought friends along for almost every track, without compromising his own voice.