Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kick-Ass Pop from Chicago

When I think about the development of my music taste, I can notice at least one thing: it is getting more and more hard rock -oriented! It can be stated that 2011 was my first big hard rock year. It can get bigger, though... Meanwhile, I still enjoy power pop just as much as before. And when it comes to just about any kind of music, I can be really slow. I got this album more than a year ago and not until now I can say that I have found the essence of it. I am talking about The Webstirs album So Long, released in 2009.

Sometimes the Webstirs sound like Weezer, sometimes like KISS or the Beatles, sometimes even 80s ELO. All the time they sound like an excellent pop rock band with music that is not really bubblegummy or candy-coated but melodically it definitely is pure candy. Every song is fantastic and memorable, and for some time I didn't feel like listening to anything else because So Long sounded so good. Excellent songs and sounds, solid performance and well-written lyrics make a gorgeous music experience.

There is also of course the thing about the Effingways. The Webstirs are also the Effingways, with the difference that Doug from the Sun Sawed in 1/2 takes care of the lead vocals. And what do I think about Doug? Don't even get me started, he is the greatest singer in the universe! I hope to hear an album by the Effingways in the future. Doug actually sings background vocals on So Long and you can hear him very well. At first I was a bit confused but... He sounds awesome and this definitely adds to the quality of the music.

Here is Wesley Station, a video that I already posted here a long time ago but here it is again. I don't think it is the best song of the album but it definitely is good. The last time I checked the entire So Long album could be listened to on Spotify.

Greatness from Farrah

Now, another music video.. I just noticed there is also a video made for Swings & Roundabouts, a song from Farrah's self-titled album. Do yourself a favor and check it out - it is a wonderful song!

Music Video Time

Taylor Locke & the Roughs released the great album Grain & Grape last year. You can also see the album in my "best of 2010" section. Here is a video for Jennifer.

Best of 2010 – Part Two

Time to wake this blog, once again... Well, what can you do when you also have lots of other things to do all the time? Here is the second part for my very modest 2010 ”year end list”. I must remind you that I am a real slow listener. I have a tendency to start buying albums a long after they have been released (and listening to them may take years..). If I happen to be really active for some reason (it is an album by my favorite band, for example), I might even buy a CD on the day of its release but usually I wait for other people's year end lists and then buy the best music... It actually sounds like quite a good method of skipping disappointing albums.

So, here are a few other 2010 albums I like. I still didn't mention everything but I had to finish this to move on to other topics.

Ben's Diapers: Up in the Mountain, Deep in the Sea

The great band from Turku made probably the best album of their career. I loved listening to it during sunny summer days. Every song is catchy and the style varies from country rock to 70s hard rock feel – not forgetting the catchy power pop. I also like to look back to the two Ben's Diapers gigs I witnessed in 2010. This band is always cool to see.

Farrah: s/t

As usual, a new album by Farrah needed some time to grow. But when you let it grow, the results are amazing... The album practically becomes something quite different in the process. Farrah is still great in many different ways, not least because of Jez Ashurst's lovely voice. The music is still cheerful yet bittersweet – as we all probably know, it is a match made in heaven. In a way, this album is Farrah's most peaceful album by far. On the other hand, Farrah has never been much about wild rock & roll. Sweet and catchy songs always make my day!

Seth Swirsky: Watercolor Day

A real grower this one! Everyone who reads this blog knows that I am a sucker for loud, distorted, overly happy and bubblegummy music but I do enjoy quieter music too. Watercolor Day is an album that is quite easy to judge too quickly. Underneath the peaceful soft pop surface there are many songs that you will remember for a long time. There is definitely something very special about this release. Some material from the album has come back to my mind at some completely random moment like a warm summer wind. This album also made me listen to the Red Button album She's about to Cross My Mind again – and it was still lovely! I think I really should get myself Swirsky's previous solo album as well.

Taylor Locke & the Roughs: Grain & Grape

A side project album from a member of Rooney? Yeah, why not. Before I knew it, I actually ended up finding this more interesting than Rooney's two previous albums. There are really catchy songs on this album, the sounds are spectacular, and Locke's voice is just great – everything is great. The music feels like sincere and has a lot of emotion. There is always room for great albums like this!

The Coral: Butterfly House

Well, if the media thinks it is one of the highlights of 2010, I have to agree... Seriously, Butterfly House is an impressive album from the always lovely British Coral. It is partly very much like the previous album but there is something that makes it atmospheric in a whole different way. Great album, great band.