Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New Releases 9/25 - Deadmau5, Steve Harris, Murder By Death

> Album Title Goes Here <
Label: Mousetrap Records / Ultra Records (US distro)
Released: 9/25 2012
Genre: House

The last Deadmau5 album I got did not impress me, but it was also mostly remixes. This is all brand new material and he seems to be pretty big in the EDM scene - and not producing dubstep, which seems to be some kind of feat these days. So... what do I think about this?

It's house music. Even when he manages to slide in some fuzzy bass and wobbles it (to give it that dubstep asthetic) it's house music. Because fuzzy wobbly *wubwubwub* is not dubstep, this sticks firmly to 4/4 dance beat timing. Which means, overall, I can't call it bad. Because there are very few house and rave-style dance albums I don't like. Something about them is all so very catchy.

But there are parts that drive me a little mad. Especially when I sit down to Listen to this. There are several 7 and 8 minute tracks, and less than half hover around 4 minutes - which tends to lose me. I'm definitely of the 3-4 minute/40 minute album preferences. My punk roots showing, I imagine. After 7 minutes (much less 8) of repetitive beats, with few drops, change ups or breaks, my eyes roll into the back of my head. It's like EDM DJs still just want to fill up the entire CD - and at nearly 1 hour and 20 minutes this album uses every last centimeter with music.

But! if you just put it on and don't Listen so much as let it wash through the room, it's not bad. Catchy, bouncy, and I find myself stopping every now and then to bop along for a few minutes before tuning it back out and into background music. It almost makes you miss the 90s.

Steve Harris
British Lion
Released: 9/25 2012
Genre: Hard Rock, Metal

I am a big Iron Maiden fan, have been for a few decades now (even through the Blaze years). When I heard Steve Harris was putting out a solo album I had to read the news twice. Steve hasn't, since founding Iron Maiden, done anything of note outside the band. Anything at all. I'm not even sure he put in a guest appearance on his daughters debut album. He's been the backbone, and primary writing force behind Maiden from Day 1.

So, what's this then? It's kind of generic Hard Rock. He gathered together a bunch of mates, went into the studio, and put down some pretty good rock music. Thing is, it still sound a little bit like he's writing for Iron Maiden. And this group (while full of seasoned and talented musicians) is not Iron Maiden. So, it comes off like a knock-off group, which is a little ironic.

It's not bad, I mean this is pretty good rock music. But it is weighted down by the name behind it. If you have no idea who Steve Harris is, then you'll probably like this for the British Metal sound alone - if you like that kind of thing. The solo effort just failed to grab me in any significant way. I'll probably revisit this in the future someday and come to like it a lot though.

Murder By Death
Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon
Label: Tentshow Records / Bloodshot Records
Released: 9/25 2012
Genre: Rock, Country

After that bout of mediocrity we move onto a band I just discovered. Their first album (reviewed recently) did not impress me much. I was expecting more generic indierock kind of music.

Holy shit was I wrong. This is a kind of subtle, slow, country-styled, rock that really gets into the skin. Equal parts Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, and Richard Thompson - while being None Of Them hums deep down inside. They have found the kind of dark-americana that resonates.

Seriously, this album is dark, light, slow, fast, deep, and rumbles through the songs like a train in the middle of the night.

OK, enough with the metaphors. It's good music. Really good music. Country and Rock rhythms trade places across the album, nothing truly innovative is done, but what they do is just put together so well it doesn't need to cover new ground. I really really recommend this to, well, everyone. This is the winner for Buy That! this week.

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