Noise 101: CD Reviews for Oct. 6
New Times in Black and White
Local Calgary band Raleigh released their full-length debut album New Times in Black and White this past spring. The trio have all been (or currently still are) members of other local bands, but together this threesome weaves a folky combination of alternative and progressive rock.
Cellist Clea Anais’ vocals have an edge while bringing their sound upwards and around guitarist Brock Geiger’s soft, but pleasantly beautiful voice. Grounding it all is Matthew Doherty’s percussion arrangements, giving it a necessary weight. The beginning track “Tunnel Vision Gently” introduces you to their music. At nearly seven minutes long you become comfortable with their sound. But rather than lulling you into a comfort zone, the second track, “Balloon Boy,” picks you up for a fun ride. The album continues to please the ears with layers of music and thoughtful lyrics.
The tracks are long, but easy to get lost in. The only disappointment is when the album ends and your journey is over.
Dine Alone Records
Dinosaur Bones has been known in the Toronto music scene for some time now, but hasn’t made the same impact nationally as many of the bands they toured with. That all changed when they released My Divider earlier this year. For their first album, the group has an incredibly mature sound around them.
At first, nothing seems to stand out about the album. However, after a couple listens, those lyrics and guitar riffs that didn’t seem all that noticeable are running through your head and you don’t want to get them out. Songs such as “N.Y.E.” make a great single, but tracks like “Bombs In The Night” and “Royalty” prove why the hype surrounding this band is completely deserved. Keep your eyes out for Dinosaur Bones as they continue to turn up all over North America.
The Fall is a far cry from Gorillaz 2001 self-titled debut, which was an electro-infused poppy jaunt through a re-imagining of hip-hop as a virtual band. It was a concept album revolving around the band’s tour through the United States, and this may explain the seeming disconnect between tracks.
There really is no flow from one to the next.
The first track, “Phoner to Arizona,” is a bit of an ambient parade anthem. It builds with lo-fi bass and tinny pings and other abstract sounds around a beat that never happens. As an experimental piece, it is interesting, but leaves you wanting more. “Detroit” promises some of those catchy ninja beats they usually turn out, but ultimately the track lacks an organic element that was present in past albums like Plastic Beach. I just didn’t realize it was there until it wasn’t anymore.
Overall it seems this album is best filed in a remix album slot in their discography.