The Squeezebox: PJ Harvery Let England Shake (2011)

24 02 2011

Veteran Singer/Songwriter PJ Harvey Makes a big statement with her newest LP, Let England Shake: a wide-spanning concept album dedicated to her own country and the price of War.  Staunchly British, this album is filled with all sorts of Britishisms.  Shuffling Folk Rock and occasionally dreamy ballads dominate this album; bringing in boozy horns, Jalopy sounds and Peppy Choruses and Chants that turn what could be a drawling, preachy album into something immediate and, at parts, even kind of bouncy and fun, despite the Vivid and often Brutal lyrics.  Her words strike with conviction and sadness about her home country during wartime—A message that while even in the US (of which some of the lyrics express a bit of resentment)  can still be heard and hit close to home. The words might be a little heavy-handed at times, particularly the middle of the album, Which turns Let England Shake into something more impressive and thought-provoking than enjoyable. But I seriously doubt that’s what Ms. Harvey what’s going for to begin with.

86% – Armordillo


The Squeezebox: The Megaphonic Thrift – Decay Decoy (2010/11)

26 01 2011

Hailing from one of my favorite music hubs of Norway, former members of Low Frequency in Stereo form a new band with some new blood and venture their way into Noise-Pop:  Blistering  passages of sonic squalls and dive bombing guitar techniques balanced out with smart melodic hooks and sense of song-craft.  There is a definite 90s influence going on here – Bands like Seam and New Radiant Storm King come to mind – but this album is most often being compared in the press and listeners to Sonic Youth.  While I definitely hear this  in the effects pedals and the storm of distortion (check out the crazy guitar shredding of the opener Undertow or the thrashing and dynamic Candy Sin) this tag can be a little misleading. It’s not as snotty/obnoxious ( I mean this in the most loving way as a SY Fan) and sometimes there’s  a sense of delicacy/intimacy to the songs – something Sonic Youth hardly ever tries.  Tracks like Mad Mary and Sister Joan can sound downright vulnerable amidst the Chaos. An album I can’t get enough of, I suggest you get this if you enjoy the angular alt rock of the 90s or just Guitar Rock in general. 84% -Armordillo

Check This Album out in February 2011, when it will be officially importing into the “colonies”

Opening Track From Decay Decoy, Undertow

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