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Best of the 00s: The Blood Brothers, The Coral & The Coup

Posted by April 29th, 2011 No Comments »

Best of the 00s: Gabe Joins the 21st Century
Part 18: Blood Brothers, Coral & Coup

Nada Co-founders Matt and Gabe are listening to 197 of the music press’s picks for “best albums of the 00s” for a series called Gabe Joins the 21st Century.

The Blood Brothers – Crimes 
Nada’s #33

Gabe: My notes indicate that Crimes is “interesting borderline metal ruined by unintelligible screeching.” Since “borderline metal” is not a recognized genre, I went to Wikipedia, which informed me that Blood Brothers were a “post-hardcore” band. Apparently, post-hardcore “is typically characterized by its precise rhythms and loud guitar-based instrumentation accompanied by a combination of clean vocals and screams,” which is a remarkably precise description of Crimes. I really enjoy the loud, complicated music, which at times reminds me of older Metallica and also White Stripes, particularly on the tracks with vocals sung rather than screeched. Grade: LIKE

Matt: My favorite punk rock record of my adult life, Crimes slinks and slithers along like some sort of hard-core film noir spy theme while destroying everything in its path over the course of 19 great songs. It’s rare that I hear guitar-driven rock music that truly does not sound like anything else that’s come before it, but that’s certainly the case here. The band’s two lead vocalists, Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney, have equally odd, sometimes unsettling vocals that somehow complement each other perfectly. And “Loves Rhymes with a Hideous Car Crash” is one of the most unique and wonderful songs of the decade. Grade: LOVE

Heads up: the music contained within this album is not goodThe Coral – The Coral  
NME – #21

Matt:  Sometimes it’s a good thing when you pop in an album and can honestly say you’ve never heard anything quite like it before. Then there’s the Coral. This British band is all over the place, and each of those places sucks in its own unique way. “Spanish Main” has the flamenco vibe that its name implies, but the vocals are terrible. “Siamond Diamond” is an annoying march that may or may not be about the professional wrestler of the same name. Despite all the stylistic variations – organ, horns, flamenco, spaghetti western – they end up sounding like a bar band fronted by a Drunken English Bono. In fact, I kind of feel like this is why we shouldn’t let British people form opinions about bands. Grade: DNL

Gabe: Rhino’s Nuggets box set collects an amazing group of garage rock classics epitomized by “Louie Louie.” The Coral – with their British Invasion vocals, psychedelic bits, and and dopey lyrics – would be right at home on Nuggets. Right at home, that is, if the songs weren’t mostly lifeless turds. It’s really puzzling how a so-called “guitar group revival” band could so completely fail to capture any of the energy and joy of the guitar groups they are emulating. It’s like they were trying to recreate the feel of “Break On Through (To The Other Side)” but ended up with “Touch Me.” Also, speaking of The Doors, have you heard their song “Five to One”? That song is awesome. So is “Peace Frog.” Grade: DNL

Original artwork showed them blowing up the WTCs, but they pussied outThe Coup – Party Music   
The Onion #42   

Gabe: For a fat cat white lawyer whose job consists of helping the rich stay rich, listening to Party Music results in some vicious cognitive dissonance. The Coup raps about revolution over tracks with all sorts of tasty soul, R&B, and funk touches. Once in a while the rhymes and music stray close to dumb/obvious territory, but mostly they make me want to shake my over privileged ass. At least until I remember that I’ll be up against the wall when the revolution comes. Grade: LIKE

Matt: Boots Riley’s juvenile lefty politics might add to the overall appeal of his Oakland-based hip-hop project, The Coup, were his songs consistently good. But even on this, their most critically acclaimed record, he’s battin’ .500 at best. Opener “Everything” demonstrates his lyrical prowess with clever snaps like “every search is involuntary.” “Wear Clean Drawers” mixes mellow soul with a great sense of humor and “Tight” perfects Dre’s SoCal funk, but there are too many throwaway tracks. And boring hip-hop tracks and aggressive, over-the-top political grandstanding do not make good bedfellows. Grade: DNL

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