• Picks of 2009

    2. Jan. 2010, 16:10

    30 - 21 breakdown on Heavier ~ Than ~ Air here

    30Two Fingers - TWO FINGERS
    29Beat Radio - SAFE INSIDE THE SOUND
    28Shark Speed - SEA SICK MUSIC
    27Neko Case- MIDDLE CYCLONE
    26Asobi Seksu - HUSH
    25Surefire- SUREFIRE
    24Manchester Orchestra- MEAN EVERYTHING TO NOTHING
    23Twin Atlantic - VIVARIUM
    22Silversun Pickups - SWOON

    20 - 11 breakdown on Heavier ~ Than ~ Air here

    20Enter Shikari - COMMON DREADS
    19The Thermals - NOW WE CAN SEE
    18Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band - OUTER SOUTH
    17Little Boots - HANDS
    16VARIOUS - Dark Was The Night
    15Doves- KINGDOM OF RUST
    14The Flying Change - PAIN IS A RELIABLE SIGNAL
    13Frank Turner - POETRY OF THE DEED
    12Katatonia - NIGHT IS THE NEW DAY
    11A.C. Newman - GET GUILTY

    10 - 1 breakdown on Heavier ~ Than ~ Air here

    9Dirty Projectors - BITTE ORCA
    8Appleseed Cast - SAGARMATHA
    6Alice in Chains - BLACK GIVES WAY TO BLUE
    4Baroness- THE BLUE RECORD
    2Mastodon- CRACK THE SKYE
  • REVIEW: Little Boots - Hands

    6. Dez. 2009, 10:29

    Kicking off with the swaggering, Numan-esque New in Town, the line between club dancefloor packer and hit single is walked effortlessly, the song evoking memories of any great night you've had on the cheap. Equally upbeat but shifting Victoria's voice into more emotional territory, Earthquake follows and maintains the momentum with it's FX-laden, immediate chorus.
    Read the full Heavier - Than - Air review of Little Boots - Hands here:
  • Albums of the Decade (2000)

    24. Nov. 2009, 16:33

    At the Drive-In - Relationship of Command

    "All told there could be no denying that At The Drive-In's 'Relationship of Command' was the most influential, enjoyable, and consistently brilliant album laid into my sweaty post-teen mitts at the turn of the century.

    A caustic collection of dynamic, raging post-hardcore mixed with introspective (but no less enthralling) slow burners, it can be difficult to assess whether Relationship of Command was before its time or a direct reaction to it. Created at a point when the often Neanderthal approach of nu-metal prevailed....."
    [read more]:
  • Top 30 Artists Q&A

    15. Nov. 2009, 12:50

    Haven't done one of these for aaggggeees. I believe they were invented for 4am amid ill-timed caffeine imbibing?

    1. How did you get into 29?
    Animal Collective - 'Fireworks' was given away on some free comp CD, I believe. Then they cemented that with a sensory overload at ATP May 2008. I swear it wasn't because P4K threatened me at gunpoint.....SWEAR!

    2. What was the first song you ever heard by 22?
    The Suicide File - It was live and I didn't know them then, so I forget. Bought the CD there, though, so it'd be the first (and title) track on 'Twilight'.

    3. How many albums by 13 do you own?
    The Raconteurs - 2, debut physically and sophomore digitally (legal, honest RIAA).

    4. What is your favorite song by 15?
    36 Crazyfists - 'Kenai' always does it for me.

    5. What is your favorite song by 5?
    TV on the Radio - More about the albums as a whole with these guys for me, but 'Blues From Down Here' certainly is a jam.

    6. Is there a song by 6 that makes you happy?
    Mastodon - Oh my yes, there are many but just past the 4 minute mark of 'The Czar' they break from slow and meditative into the most heroic riffing. Always perks me up.

    7. What is your favorite song by 10?
    Aereogramme (R.I.P.) - 'Barriers' ("Let me tell the truth/Let me come alive/Let me build bridges into your life")

    8. What is a good memory you have involving 30?
    Coheed & Cambria - Seeing Claudio play guitar with his teeth at the Agora in Cleveland sticks with me, for some reason.

    9. Is there a song by 19 that makes you happy?
    Killswitch Engage - Their cover of 'Holy Diver' is particularly overblown and never fails to cause a grin.

    10. How many times have you seen 25 live?
    Isis - Just the once in Sheffield and it was utterly mind-blowing.

    11. What is the first song you ever heard by 23?
    The Shins - 'Phantom Lib'. Took me many listens for the subtle loveliness to sink in, for some reason. Fool.

    12. What is your favorite album by 11?
    The Bronx - No. 2, inventively entitled The Bronx II, is probably the best.

    13. Who is a favorite member of 1?
    Tool - Can't really see past the enigma of Maynard James Keenan, despite the talent of the others.

    14. Have you ever seen 14 live?
    Frank Turner - Yes, many times. Had I not, my life would be all the poorer for missing him. GO SEE FRANK TURNER!

    15. What is a good memory involving 27?
    Counting Crows - They go waaay back in all kinds of memories. Plead the 5th or some such....

    16. What is your favorite song by 16?
    ....And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - 'Mistakes & Regrets'

    17. What is your favorite album by 18?
    Soundgarden - 'Superunknown' is a classic. One of my faves full stop.

    18. What is your favorite song by 21?
    Enter Shikari - 'Solidarity' is frantic, energising, and quite wonderful. Try it on a Monday morning for extra zzzzzzzzzing.

    19. What is the first song you ever heard by 26?
    At the Drive-In - 'Cosmonaut', SO influential.

    20. What is your favorite album by 2?
    Clutch - Choices, choices.....?! 'Elephant Riders' got me into them and I love it, but 'Blast Tyrant' is probably my preferred overall.

    21. What is you favorite song by 3?
    The Hold Steady - 'Massive Nights' suitably describes most evenings I've watched them.....woo-ohhhhh-ooo-OHHHH.

    22. What is you favorite song by 8?
    Okkervil River - 'Savannah Smiles' is beautiful.

    23. How many times have you seen 17 live?
    Deftones - 3, I believe.

    24. What is the worst song by 12?
    The Bronx - There are a few weak moments on III....non titles come to mind, though. Just buy I and II to be safe.

    25. What was the first song you ever heard by 28?
    Biffy Clyro - Probably 'Justboy' or '57' courtesy of all those years ago at Uni.

    26. What is you favorite album by 7?
    Katatonia - I just thought about this as I re-listened this week. Having not heard the full new one, I'd plump for 'Last Fair Deal Gone Down'.

    27. What is your favorite song by 24?
    Nickel Creek - 'Somebody More Like You'

    28. Is there a song by 9 that makes you happy?
    Against Me! - Has to be 'Pints of Guiness Make You Strong'. That one's always gonna get you drinking Irish tonight.

    29. What is your favorite album by 4?
    The National - 'Boxer'

    30. How many albums do you own by 20?
    Murder by Death - 2 physical, 1 digital. Don't know why it matters but there you go.
  • LIVE REVIEW: Fuck Buttons @ Lancaster Storey Institute

    12. Okt. 2009, 23:25

    "Fuck Buttons don't so much deal in songs as they do sonic textures. They have an unerring ability to kick up a pulsing beat, get the body moving, then warp it into something almost unrecognisable without making the listener aware that a shift has occurred. There are brief lulls as they reset switches and fiddle with the various gadgets (two tables full of 'boxes', a bog standard tom, and what appears to be a 1980's childrens recording toy) at their disposal, but the pounding bass rarely ceases for long and the lasting impression is one of an adventure into sound through various identifiable but intrinsically connected passages."

    Read the full Heavier ~ Than ~ Air review here:
  • REVIEW: Doves - Kingdom of Rust

    12. Okt. 2009, 23:16

    "Across their four albums, Doves consistently evoke imagery of the grimly beautiful industrial North West. With their newest title, they simply push the link further into the grey. Ushering things in with a suitably confident air, lead single Jetstream is to this album what Black & White Town or There Goes The Fear were to the Some Cities and The Last Broadcast albums, respectively. A fresh, memorable song, it announces the band's return after four years with subtle gusto......"

    Full Heavier ~ Than ~ Air review of 'Kingdom Of Rust' here:
  • REVEW: Isis - Wavering Radiant

    14. Sep. 2009, 4:23

    Following on from 2007's suitably labyrinthine effort 'In the Absence of Truth', Isis has long since passed the point of needing to compare their newest work to the previous outing. From 'Oceanic' onwards, the band has carved its way to the forefront of expansive, intricate music that loosely fits under the post-rock/metal genre. As they release 'Wavering Radiant' - the fourth full length on Ipecac and fifth in all - the band is essentially expected to deliver a cohesive set of songs with an overall vision summarised by the music. Simple, right?

    It's important to take a step back and realise how consistently excellent the work of Isis has been over the course of this decade that we unfortunately have to label the noughties. This album closes it out in ever glorious style, with dense soundscapes conjured up as nonchalantly as any one of us may scribble out our signature.

    Feeling as natural as the band has sounded since the aforementioned (and landmark release) 'Oceanic', the album opens up with the broad Hall of the Dead......

    As with the album, the review is significantly more in depth than this scratch of the surface......and it's here for public viewing, uh huh:
  • REVIEW: Alejandra O'Leary - Nothing Out Loud

    14. Sep. 2009, 3:51

    For some listeners, singer-songwriters can blur into one another very easily....especially when one attends a local free venue for more than a few hours, watching the performances come and go. An acoustic guitar and a voice can form a particularly limited weapon when faced with a loud, indifferent crowd.

    Thankfully, Alejandra O'Leary has more than enough firepower in her musical arsenal to not only take the good fight to the masses, she'll also have little trouble winning the so called 'battle for hearts & minds'.

    On new album 'Nothing Out Loud', the (recently uprooted from NYC) Ann Arbor-based singer-songwriter takes the stripped down versions of her acoustic numbers, adds a subtle keyboard line here, some delicate percussion there, and polishes them up until they positively sparkle........

    For the full review, mosey on over h'yerrr:
  • REVIEW: Silversun Pickups - Swoon

    21. Jul. 2009, 7:14

    ....with sophomore effort 'Swoon', Silversun Pickups has returned with the rounded out, well-balanced album at which they had only previously hinted.

    It holds onto the fuzzed out, Smashing Pumpkins-heavy 90's influence - something which seems to have become an unfortunate millstone around the neck of the band in certain critical corners - but pushes further on, lending a sweeping majesty to the album. This confident dynamism offers a greater depth to the band's sound, which broods in places, only to shake itself from the temporary funk and come back brighter with a joyous attack of guitars and unrestrained drums. Nowhere is this better evidenced than on the magnificent Growing Old Is Getting Old, which arrives inconspicuously but surfs out on a powerful wave of guitar noise.

    Read the full review here:
  • REVEW: The Perms - Keeps You Up When You're Down

    21. Jul. 2009, 7:10

    Despite the fact that the album was released last autumn, I have a feeling that I was supposed to hear it just as the weather improved. Delivering a relentlessly upbeat, breezy set of rock songs that chiefly take their cues from classic Cheap Trick, The Perms' 'Keeps You Up When You're Down' is an ideal summer time listen.

    Kicking off with the aforementioned single - and, unsurprisingly, one of the band's strongest tracks - things get off to a cracking start with a short, snappy song, the chorus and hooks of which will require invasive surgery to remove from one's mind. The vocal harmonies in particular, when mixed with the call and response of the chorus, add up to one huge tune that Foo Fighters or Weezer would have been happy to pen......

    Read the full review here: