Written by Vincent Jones
A Belgian born Australian, Gotye, real name: Wouter “Wally” De Backer, has been a pop star in his native Australia for a number of years. Indeed, this is his third solo studio album (he is also one third of, the Melbourne based indie act, The Basics). However, Making Mirrors is the first Gotye LP that the world has really taken notice of. This is due in part to the hit Somebody That I Used To Know which is off the album. The song was a global hit, attaining number one status in various charts around the world. The song also gained in popularity due to a cover version that went viral. Yes, that video where five people play one guitar at the same time. In case, you haven’t seen it (and if you haven’t, check it out), Canadian indie rock band Walk off the Earth decided to do a cover version. They uploaded their version of the song to YouTube in January of this year and the response was phenomenal.
In the cover, all five band members play the guitar simultaneously. The cover has been such a hit that they have even performed the song live on the Ellen show. At present, the Walk off the Earth version has been viewed over 89 million times on YouTube. Despite the fact that Gotye is in danger of ‘losing’ his song, you have to feel that, ironically, Gotye would probably approve.
Gotye is known for being, shall we say, experimental? Making Mirrors is little different, so if you’re hoping for an album full of anguished Somebody That I Used To Know-esque melodies, think again. Indeed, the LP has not fared as well as a whole as the Somebody That I Used To Know single. Unsurprisingly, the LP was a number one hit in Australia. Occupying the top spot for eight weeks. Response elsewhere in the world has been lukewarm, with the album gaining only top 20 status in the influential UK charts. Unfortunately, I found the album to be more top 20 material than number one material. The LP seems to venture from one influence to the next and is rather hit and miss as a result. Of course, for hardcore Gotye fans, the experimentation will be nothing new and will even be welcomed in some quarters. However, with most of the world only waking up to Gotye as a result of Somebody That I Used To Know it is important to note this album has a wide variety of influences and styles. Gotye seems to be heavily intrigued by the tools and instruments at his disposal. He has talent, as Somebody That I Used To Know demonstrates, but a little more concentration on a core sound would certainly help him. The best songs on the album are, in no particular order, Somebody That I Used To Know, Eyes Wide Open, In Your Light and I Feel Better. Outside of that, the album is decidedly a miss for me.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 May 2012 18:30
Written by Dan Savoie
Last Updated on Monday, 07 May 2012 19:30
Written by Dan Savoie
Trioscapes is a relatively new outfit that plays punked up jazz music. Headed by Between the Buried and Me bassist Dan Briggs, the trio (completed by Walter Fancourt (tenor saxophone/flute) and Matt Lynch (drums)) take the ideas of jazz, fusion, progressive rock and meld it with a bit of a punk attitude. The result is a six track album of rock music lead by infectious wind instruments.
Not Metal Blade Records usual fare, Trioscapes might be a hard sell for the label. The instrumental music is something more akin to a live show rather than a recording, but could be a treat for those looking to experiment with their regular sound intake. The standout track is the band’s take on Mahavishnu Orchestra’s "Celestial Terrestrial Commuters" which sounds more progressive rock than the jazz of the original. There’s a touch of RUSH and Yes in this piece that gives the 70s song a modern sound.
Definitely not something for everyday listening, Trioscapes is more of an assault on the senses and most certainly a mental mind fuck.
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 May 2012 23:03
Written by Dan Savoie
San Diego death grinders Cattle Decapitation have returned with Monolith of Inhumanity, their seventh full length release (and fifth with Metal Blade Records). The album shows quite a bit of growth as the band pulls out an occasional melodic riff and several attempts to include melodic vocals. Although it’s a bit of a stretch to expect screamer Travis Ryan to drop the shrieks and adopt a melodic style, it is nice to hear a bit more than just deep growls.
The Monolith is an outstanding moody track that seems more like something Marilyn Manson would record, but it gives Cattle Decapitation a chance to have their words heard, rather than growled. Ryan gets to add a bit of theatrics to the lyrics with his less brutal attack on the words.
The other notable song is the albums lead track The Carbon Stampede, which mixes some of those afore mentioned melodic riffs with an all out power assault. Kudos to drummer Dave McGraw, who shows no signs of slowing (literally!). It’s also a good debut for the newest member, bassist Derek Engemann, who makes his recording debut with the band. The bass in death metal is an often forgotten and neglected instrument, but Engemann makes his presence known when the band slows down from time to time.
It’s often exciting when death and grindcore metal bands add some melody and slower song elements in the song arrangements, like Cattle Decapitation has done here. It gives new fans a chance to explore the meaning of the words, especially when a band like this has something to say.
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 May 2012 22:32