Noise 101 – CD reviews for Nov. 1
There are not a lot of bands that create their major label debut with as much confidence and hype as Indian Handcrafts. A duo from Toronto, the comparisons to established artists such as Death From Above 1979 and Jack White are impressive, although the sound from their album Civil Disobedience For Losers is not something you’d expect from either of the those artists. This is a heavy sound, in which IH will have a home on the Sargent House, a label that has a knack for finding the best bands in this field. This album is a very clean, well-made debut. However, the only point of this album should be to serve as a platform to convince fans to come out to their live shows, which are incredible. Expect big things in the future from Indian Handcrafts.
— Nathan Ross
Built 4 Tha Streetz
T Gramz newish album, which he affectionately called Built 4 Tha Streetz, is full of life lessons. It teaches you that replacing “s” with “z” is still as cool now as it was in elementary school. It teaches you that a “bitch can suck on a ball sack until her jaw crack.” Who knew? It also teaches that you can be a hardcore wannabe rapper while still reppin’ your boys the Toronto Maple Leafs. T Gramz tries really hard to get all gangsta up in hurr, but falls flat. This recording sounds like it’s made by a high school ruffian poppin’ beatz in his mama’s basement, which may or may not be the case. Tracks like “Toronto Crooks,” and “WTF is A T Gramz?” inspire little originality except in title. If you’re a fan of hip-hop music at all (or any music, for that matter) save yourself the time and $3.50. You’d be better off using it to send T Gramz back to his beloved streets.
— Holly Triebwasser
Lunch, Recess & Detention
I was excited when I spotted Lunch, Recess & Detention on our arts editor’s desk for two reasons. One, I loved them when their first (self-titled) album came out way back in ’97 and haven’t heard anything from them since, and two, they did covers of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which are two of the best songs of all time. They’re also songs that are covered a lot and most of the covers suck, so admittedly I was mostly curious to see how badly Marcy Playground fucked them up. To my surprise, I loved both of their versions. Wozniak should unleash his voice more often because you would never suspect he’s capable of that based on their only hit, “Sex and Candy,” which they faithfully re-recorded for this album. Lunch, Recess & Detention is a compilation of covers, unreleased tracks and B-sides, so the songs are kind of random when considered all together, but I don’t care. Fifteen years later, I heart Marcy Playground once again.
— Rachael Frey