The albums come in never-ending waves. They blur together. Sometimes
they stand out. And when they do, I try to tell you about them. Here
are two that have stood out in the past couple weeks.No Through Road -- Winner.
Yes, the period is part of the title. Thank you, TV on the Radio and latest album Dear Science,
. Punctuation is your friend.......
Through Road hail from Adelaide, Australia, where apparently the music
world is stuck in a 2002 timewarp, and where all the cool kids are
listening to Interpol and The Strokes. That's okay. I like Interpol and
The Strokes, and this band recaptures the sound really, really well.
"Party to Survive," the video shown above, sounds like a lost track
from Is This It?
, and a great
one at that. "Berlin Wall" and "Your Fall" are just as good, and the
album careens right along until it flames out on the final track, the
10-minute, feedback-bedraggled "(this isn't) Rock 'n Roll." It's
technically true. It's mostly noise. But there's a lot of great rock 'n
roll along the way.Two Cow Garage -- Speaking In Cursive
a more just universe, Columbus, Ohio's Two Cow Garage would be playing the
big summer festivals. Instead, they detonate their killer live shows
night after night in front of mostly indifferent fans in dive bars in
Sounding either like Steve Earle fronting The
Replacements or Paul Westerberg fronting Drive-By Truckers, take your
pick, these four lads rock and lope, but mostly they bash the hell out
of their instruments and sing their rough and ragged but literate tales
of the lost and the losers, kids who were raised on Jesus and Disney
movies and meth labs, bored and lethargic and intermittently, furiously
committed to busting out of their dead-end farm towns.
Schnabel the band has not only a thoroughly captivating, gravel-voiced
singer, but a fine writer who piles up little cinematic details that
somehow manage to capture a whole lifetime of beauty and waste: "She
wore a Led Zeppelin T-shirt, a Virgin Mary tattoo/On her left shoulder
like a badge of honor, but faded green to blue." That's the start of
the disarmingly desperate "Sadie Mae." Damn, dude, you had me at the
There are thirteen songs here and thirteen winners;
raw, jagged slices of visceral rock 'n roll that redefine both the
words "poetry" and "slam." Speaking in Cursive
is Album #4 in an ongoing series of criminally ignored releases. It's
one of my favorite albums of the year, and it needs to be heard.