Noise 101 – CD Reviews for Oct. 18
Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs
With a sonic aesthetic that can only be described as “drone folk”, Chelsea Wolfe’s sound finds a fitting imagery for the “once-orphaned songs given a home” on her third studio album Unknown Rooms — one could imagine wandering through a dimly-lit cellar at the bottom of a homely shanty.
Walking barefoot on the cold, damp floor, you hear a steady, canted strumming in the distance, poorly muffled by the thin wood walls, echoed wistful vocals. Opening door after door to find the source of this eerie sound, you see the same sullen, guitar-grazing girl sitting on the ground, but with no sound coming from her open mouth, nor from her twiddling fingers.
As if composed of fifty hollow tree trunks, bursting with the secret lives of organisms, isolated from the world, Wolfe’s arrangements show a side to solemnity that boast a certain gentle approachability – one where one cannot settle upon a single conclusion.
— Martine Balcaen
The 2nd Law
Warner Bros. Records
Muse has been around for a long time. Maybe you’ve been a fan since their alternative rock days, or have caught up with them since their recent success at adding a symphonic element to their brand of spacey progressive. Either way, it’s evident that Muse’s tendency to go balls-out has benefitted them as far as being entertaining.When frontman Matt Bellamy released a trailer for The 2nd Law and cited Skrillex, the almighty father of brostep, as an influence on several of the tracks, all bets were off. Muse’s unwillingness to have their obnoxious schtick go stagnant was a turn off for many listeners and most of anyone who appreciates integrity in music. Those same listeners were ultimately proven right on tracks like Follow Me and Unsustainable, which sound like bad remixes for even worse songs that didn’t make the cut to the album.
When not playing a desperate overacting character in a rock opera tackier than the movie Rent — wait, that’s all there is. Nothing else to see. Not even any depth in the literal writing.
— Martine Balcaen
First listening to The Darkness’ new album Hot Cakes, it is be right to wonder whatever happened to that band with the 2003 “hit” Get Your Hands Off My Woman.
Apparently, they haven’t released an album since the 2005’s disappointing One Way Ticket to Hell…And Back.
Skepticism of the band comes easy with headman Justin Hawkins attempting his sub-par Freddie Mercury impersonation again after a seven-year hiatus. The results were average, if not slightly above.
The Darkness have managed to tap into the resurgence of 70s related rock brought on by the popularity of bands like The Sheepdogs.
By dialing up the distortion and adding in the occasional male early-eighties yelp, the British band will bring back needle-nostalgia from anyone who didn’t make it into the grunge era.
If you’re looking for a campy hit then check out Everybody Have a Good Time, not quite Bob Segar but it is in the same ballpark of expected pedantic rock.
— Todd Colin Vaughan