Friday, July 23, 2010

KMFDM - Day Of Light

Released: Spring 2010
Availability: online download from band
Label: KMFDM Enterprises (independant label)

Just a moment to pause and say a few words on releases, tracks, and limited edition.

Day Of Light is a two-track single from KMFDM originally released only on 7" vinyl, limited pressing (250 I believe). Which when I first found out infuriated me. There's just something utterly anti-music about Limited Edition tracks.

I don't mind a LE package with shirts and posters and sweatbands and the like. But LE Music tracks truly annoy me. I thought artists made music to be heard by as many people as possible, at least I like to think that. I like to think that all music should be perpetually and easily available.

After all in the modern day it seems to me for very little overhead a label could keep massive catalogues of music perpetually available for digital sales and downloads. Small, steady, streams of income can't be a bad thing. It just can't.

It was several months before KMFDM relreased the tracks digitally for download. The collectors (and while I'm a very hardcore fan, I'm not a hardcore collector of KMFDM) get their LE vinyl, I get my music.

Don't even get me started on Bonus Tracks only for specific stores - that's an even bigger scam.

Day Of Light - A pretty solid industrial-rock track, positive and upbeat. Good on the dance floor.

Beach - three and a half minutes of waves crashing on the beach. The B-side on the vinyl, it's not music, but it is relaxing. If I need to take a quick break at work due to stress I put this track on and take a quick walk outside.

It's the principal of the idea - music for an audience, why limit the audience artificially.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kerli - Love Is Dead

Released: Summer 2008
Availabilty: easily found in actual music stores
Label: Island Records (major label)

Kerli Koiv is from Estonia, moved to the US in 2005 and managed to get a contract to cut a few records. Her debut album is a mix of goth, darkwave and europop swirled into a mix of danceable tunes and off-beat ballads.

Love Is Dead - The album starts with some hard snare hits and a pretty cool guitar riff. I'm pretty sure this is a love song, even if it's not it's a cool track to listen to.

Walking On Air - This is a really cool goth-rock track. A bit creepy, a lot about living ones dreams. I love the lyrics whole bunches.

The Creationist - A very pretty little piano track, another song about the power of self belief. There's a spiritual message in here, how you take it is based on how you look at life. I'll leave it in your hands, no matter the song is pretty.

I Want Nothing - Picking up the pace with a guitar riff, it comes off as very old-school goth-rock to me, and fast like punk rock.. I like. Also, I think this song is about a girl telling a guy off.

Up Up Up - I love this song, it's happy and upbeat, and manages to keep a medium tempo. It reminds me of laying about on a sunny afternoon.

Bulletproof - A slow ballad type song with fuzzy guitars all over the place. Not much of a fan of this song actually. It's the guitars, too much fuzzy here.

Beautiful Day - Another slower song, but more percussion and less fuzzy guitars. And also, happier in tone. I like songs that are uplifting and positive.

Creepshow - This one belongs in a club scene, at high volume. One of those high energy dance-tempo songs. The lyrics are also a bit non-sensical, but fun. Kerli also sings in her native tongue for parts of the song, the only track on the album she does so. The song almost feels like an album opener instead of stuck on the back end like it is, but it's also a good break from the more subdued tracks around it.

Hurt Me - Not quite fast, not quite slow. The song seems self-destructive in nature. Not really a fan of this one either to be honest. It seems to be missing some much needed Punch to the tone.

Butterfly Cry - Not a light song, but soft and airy. Ultimately, it's a sweet ballad that belongs on a playlist for rainy days.

Strange Boy - Another track that would be at home in a club, a hard pulsing beat with a neat little riff. The chorus is also fun, almost something to chant along to. Very danceable song, just turn it up and let it carry.

Fragile - And we end the album with a slow track, about that we're all vulnerable despite ourselves, and that we can carry on regardless. There are strings that appear here, and I think the song could have been stronger if they backed the entire song instead of being mixed in as they are. Also, I would have removed the guitar in favor of violins.

The album as a whole has its ups and downs, it doesn't really keep a pace going across the whole length. Lots of good pieces to add to playlists of various moods though. And Kerli has a voice that's pleasant to listen to.