erasing clouds

TonyDoug's CD Reviews

by tonydoug wright

All Smiles, Ten Readings of a Warning (Dangerbird Records)

The Band: Jim Fairchild featuring Janet Weiss, Joe Plummer, Danny Seim, and Solon Bixler

The History: Jim Fairchild is a former member of Grandaddy and Ten Readings of a Warning is his first solo release, featuring musicians from Sleater Kinney, Modest Mouse, Lack Thereof, and Great Northern.

The Review: I知 going to start this review by stating that I知 not that familiar with the music of Grandaddy. Yes, I know that some indie listeners get a boner when you mention Grandaddy but I never took the time to check out their albums. I知 still young so I promise you that I値l listen to some Grandaddy before I die.

Ten Readings of a Warning is an album of acoustic driven music where the only downside is that it suffers from repetitiveness. Jim Fairchild痴 folk pop is good, but I don稚 have time for the same song over and over again. Imagine listening to an album where a majority of the songs sound like 前ur House by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Ten Readings of a Warning is one of those albums where you anticipate the big rock moment but all you get is half-an-hour of the same old stuff.

Dora Flood, We Live Now (Elephant Stone)

The Band: Ville Viloppen, Michael Padilla, Stephen Cavoretto, Aaron Robberson, and Sean DeGaetano

The History: Dora Flood is a shoegazer band from California that has released six EPs and LPs.

The Review: A month ago, I noticed a flyer for a show at a local venue. It was a shoegazer event and I was surprised because I thought the genre was pretty much dormant. It痴 good to know that there are some bands out there staying true to the sound.

There is a thickness to the songs on We Live Now by Dora Flood. A wall of fuzzy guitars welcomes the listener on 善hoenix Rising, the opening track. From there the band continues to impress listeners with their psychedelic and heavy guitar rhythms. Overall, We Live Now is not a bad album, and it is recommended for those seeking a shoegazer or psychedelic fix.

The Website:

El Boxeo, Awake and Dreaming (Suburban Sprawl)

The Band: Lisa Norton, Zach Norton, and Danny Sperry

The History: This trio hails from Livonia, Michigan and has been together since 2001.

The Review: Our non Spanish speaking readers may wonder what El Boxeo means and the answer is 澱oxing. Yes friends, the mean streets of Livonia, Michigan are no place for pencil neck geeks so the kids there must be trained in the 都weet science. Don稚 start trouble with the locals because you could be knocked out by a vicious uppercut.

A violin, a bass guitar, and drums are the three weapons of rock choice for El Boxeo. Don稚 be fooled because Awake and Dreaming is surprisingly good thanks to some catchy instrumentals and nice originals. Lisa Norton痴 violin is prominently featured on a majority of the tracks and the band should think about more tunes featuring her vocals. El Boxeo delivers some steady punches but they do not deliver the knockout punch that would leave reviewers yelling 哲o mas!

The Website:

The Hero Cycle, Lakes and Ponds (Hidden Shoal)

The Band: Frank Smecker, John Gorman, Mike Prall, Adam Fuller, Hannah Wall, Tom Kelly, Charlie Gerry, and Kristen L脱sperance

The History: The Hero Cycle is a Vermont based band that features ex members of Drowningman, Escapist, Magogs, Fire the Cannons, Starlight Conspiracy, and The Year痴 Best. Lakes and Ponds is their first EP to be released on Hidden Shoal.

The Review: I致e never been to Vermont but the wife and I have it on our 杜ust visit list. Currently, it痴 tied for with Italy for our dream destination. Is our trip to the Green Mountain State fueled by the love of skiing or by the chance to see the homestead of President Calvin Coolidge? No. I致e got two words my friends: Ben & Jerry. Well, that痴 actually three words but you must understand our love of ice cream.

The Hero Cycle痴 Lakes and Ponds EP is a five-song release influenced by the likes of Sonic Youth and Modest Mouse. 羨merican Proxy and 塑ou vs. Them are the two strongest tracks. When a band releases an EP they need to make sure that there is no filler because they have only a handful of songs to impress the listener. The Hero Cycle has definitely placed their best material on Lakes and Ponds and this listener is impressed. Also, my indie rock hating co-workers liked this album and they had little if any complaints about The Hero Cycle痴 music.

The Website:

Paper Airplanes, Boyhood (54コ 4O or Fight!)

The Band: Marcus Stoesz, Anthony Piazza, and Nathan Wilder

The History: Paper Airplanes are a Wichita, Kansas trio that has released their first album on the Michigan based label 54コ 4O or Fight!.

The Review: This album was released on a label titled 54コ 4O or Fight, which is named after a squabble over some disputed land in the Oregon territory. During the 1840痴 there was a bit of tension with the United Kingdom over the land and a slogan used at the time was 擢ifty-Four Forty or Fight! We did not go to war but consider this your daily dose of history.

There is no disputing the fact that Boyhood is inspired by The Flaming Lips. Vocally and musically there are similarities, but Paper Airplanes is not a copycat band. They致e incorporated folk/Americana music with the usual indie ingredients. As you can tell by the title, Boyhood is an examination of youth but lyrically you do not have an obvious reflection because the band has taken the poetically obscure route. Boyhood might sound like a good album because this review comes off as The Flaming Lips recording an album about adolescence on the prairie. But what we have here is another album suffering from repetitiveness. The guys Paper Airplanes are more than likely competent musicians but for some reason Boyhood fails to capture my attention because every song sounds like the last one.

The Website:

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