Thursday, March 31, 2016

Snuff - No Biting! 12"


10 Past 12 (2016)

It truly warms my heart when there is a new Snuff record.  These guys have been one of my absolute favorite bands for over twenty years at this point.  They are essentially the only band that can give Rocket From The Crypt a run for the top spot in my heart.  The fact that the band is still recording and releasing new music in 2016 is something to celebrate. Also, the appearance of Happy Clock on the cover again is a nice touch.

The really amazing thing about Snuff is that the quality of songs they are able to pull off has not diminished at all over the years.  The EPs lead track, "Bob's Song," immediately pulls you back into the late 90's/early 2000's Tweet Tweet My Lovely era of the band.  Bouncy guitar riffs, catchy hooks and perfectly placed trombone accents make this on of the highlights.  As is usual for any Snuff release, you are going to get a variety of styles as each of the EPs seven songs unfold.  From the harsher, more hardcore leaning "Conductor 71," to the every so slightly metal guitar tinges on "Rue The Day" to the flat out wackiness of their cover of "Galloping Home (Theme From Black Beauty)," Snuff is firing on all cylinders and haven't lost a step.

No Biting, coupled with a recent reissue of my favorite Snuff album Demmamussabebonk, and a recent UK tour have Snuff front and center once again.  Hopefully this leads to more music, more touring (maybe America again?) and to a new full length.  I have a lot of Snuff records in the collection, but there's always room for more.

Snuff - No Biting 12":
(It's just a  little preview video thing with clips of each song, I can't find any whole songs streaming anywhere)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Audacity - Counting The Days 7"


Suicide Squeeze (2014)

This was an extra 7" that I received when I pre-ordered the new Audactiy full length.  I've only had the full length play once in the background, so I can't really say much about that just yet, but I'll take a crack at this 7".  It's a little odd, the A-side is also the lead track of the new Audacity full length, but it looks like this 7" was released all the way back in 2014.  That raises two questions: 1. Why did it take so long for the full length to come out? And 2. How did I not know this 7" had been released?

I guess at the end of the day it doesn't matter.  "Counting The Days" is a great song, even if it is something of a departure from the band's last album Butter Knife.  This song is definitely more of a raucous endeavor with strained vocals and bags of fuzz heaped on the guitars.  It also has all of the hooks and catchiness you'd want out of an Audacity song.  Even the crazy guitar solo in the middle fits in nicely, and as you may know, I'm not usually big on solos.

The B-side "Mind Your Own Business" doesn't grab me quite the same way.  It's a cover song that was originally done by Delta 5.  I'll admit to not being particularly familiar with the Delta 5 version, but I fired it up on YouTube before writing this review.  Can't say I really I'm a big fan.  The Audacity version is definitely a fuller song with quite a bit more muscle behind it.  At the end of the day I just don't dig this song, but again, it's a cover song and a B-side, so it's really just a bonus more than anything else.  Especially since it was free.

Audacity - Counting The Days 7":

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

JJCNV - Braniac Handsome LP


Flab Fjord (2013)

I've said it many times in the past, if you send me an album to review I will eventually get to it.  Especially if it is on vinyl.  There have been a few over the years that I've just dragged my feet getting around to and Braniac Handsome is one of those records.  It was sent to me a few months ago and I just couldn't get motivated to write about it.  Since it originally came out back in 2013, there didn't seem to be a real rush on a timely write up.

I'm not entirely sure what lead JJCNV to my website.  I wish I knew what reviews I've written in the past that made someone think I would like this.  Sure, I have a definite affinity for 90's sounding music, but I can't really think of bands similar to these guys that I've positively reviewed in the past.  

Well, to try to get to the point, JJCNV is playing a very sludgy, dark strain of Melvins style rock and roll.  There's a good amount of shouting and noise, but to the band's credit the alternating male/female vocals and the fact that they're not afraid to slow things down every once in a while gives Braniac Handsome and more dynamic feel than I would have expected.  Additionally, it seems like the band isn't afraid to be a bit wacky every so often.  I give kudos to that as well.

What it really boils down to for me is that I really don't like this sort of thing.  The deep, distorted bass, the AmRep guitar howl and all of the yelling is just not my cup of tea.  If that is yours, it may be worth checking these guys out.  I personally can't see myself listening to this again.

JJCNV - Braniac Handsome LP:

Monday, March 28, 2016

The No Marks / Spoilers - Split 7" - Gray Vinyl (/330)


Brassneck / Boss Tuneage (2016)

This fun little 7" came out on Brassneck records, familiar to some as one of the great labels that PopKid records got to co-release the Chestnut Road record with.  I've been a fan of Brassneck for a bit now.  In the short time they have been a label, they've managed to amass a catalog of bands that I'm really into.  One of the bands towards the very top of this list is The No Marks.

Their side of this 7" contains 3 songs, each highlighting a different strength of the band.  "Spirit" starts off with a cavernous drum beat that quickly bleeds into jagged guitar riffs and gravelly vocals calling into the night.  On "Guilt As A Control Mechanism" the band picks up the pace with a breakneck verse traveling at a thousand miles an hour, but just wait for the chorus that hook will pull you in immediately.  Lastly they serve up "Get Out," a 30 second semi-hardcore blast, not dissimilar from the sort of track Snuff would toss on a record to break things up.

Speaking of Snuff, that leads to the folks on the other side of the record, Spoilers.  Coming off the heels of a strong 12" EP (which I do have, but haven't reviewed yet), the two songs on this 7" are my favorite songs of theirs to date.  They have a strong Snuff influence, clearly seen on the organ fueled "The Same Again."  The backing 'whoa's' are right where you'd want them and there's a fast, catchy mod vibe that reminds me a lot of The 'Tone on top of the already mentioned Snuff influence.  

Their second contribution "Lost Your Way" is more straight forward.  It's faster, though I would say the drumming isn't particularly dynamic for most of the song.  Though everything comes together nicely at the end for an extremely poppy chorus.  It's the weaker of the two songs, but this is a band I will absolutely be keeping tabs on.  The flashes of brilliance they have are extremely bright.  All in all this is a pretty great 7".  Two bands making the kind of punk rock I want to listen to.

The No Marks / Spoilers - Split 7":

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Self - Gizmodgery LP - Blue Vinyl


El Camino (2015, Reissue)

There are a lot of vinyl reissues going on these days.  Many of them instances where a CD only album is being put to vinyl for the first time.  Some of these are kind of ridiculous and while I guess there's a demand, I can't help but feel they're just clogging up pressing plants for the most part.  On the flip side, there are so many albums out there that I am just begging to be put out on vinyl.  Shipwrecked by The Sultans and Onehundredpercentfreak by Alligator Gun immediately jump to mind.  Self's Gizmodgery is kind of in the middle of these two extremes.  As far as reissues go, I'm not sure it was essential that it get released, but I do like this record and am happy to have it on vinyl.

I don't know if I would go so far as to call Gizmodgery a guilty pleasure.  I don't think there's anything embarrassing about liking this record.  I don't think cool points are subtracted for owning it.  But, it's definitely something of a gimmick.  All of the songs on Gizmodgery were recorded using toy instruments only.  It give the album a very unique feel and it's a pretty remarkable set of songs that were able to be crafted with such an odd set of resources.

Luckily, the songs underneath the gimmick are also pretty strong.  There's a certain poppy Beck like quality to everything and a little genre hopping.  From the bouncy power-pop chorus of "Dead Man" to the Casio-fueled, stupid-lyrics-containing "Trunk Fulla Amps" to the surprisingly fun and faithful cover of "What A Fool Believes" there's no shortage of interesting sounds throughout.  Is this the kind of record that you can listen to all the time, a staple in the rotation?  Probably not, but it's certainly fun to pop on every so often and just indulge in a little sugary pop.

Self - "Dead Man":

Self - "What A Fool Believes":

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Les Chaussettes - Triple Water 7" - Red Vinyl


Punk Fox (2016)

I had reviewed the first Les Chaussettes 7" when Punk Fox had sent it to me for review.  I said some less than flattering things about it, but then again I less than enjoyed it.  You could say I felt some trepidation about firing up this latest 7" of theirs, but it turns out their new one is significantly better than the last.

On this 7", Les Chaussettes is definitely moving more in the direction of jangly guitar bands like Baby Shakes.  I realize that Baby Shakes are becoming a somewhat common reference point that I use for female fronted guitar bands, but since they are undoubtedly my favorite of those kinds of groups it should be taken as a flattering comparison.

The songs are more upbeat than on the prior Lew Chaussettes single.  I still think the vocals are the weakest part of the band.  While they're a massive step up from the dead inside monotone of their last record, I still never get the feeling that they are really all that excited about singing these songs.  I just wish they had a bit more oomph.  Still, I particularly like the little Pizzicato Five-esque chanting part thrown into "Russian Boy."  As a whole it's such a big improvement from their last 7" that I'm curious to see where they go next. 

Les Chaussettes - Triple Water 7":

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Leatherface - Discography Part Two LP


Rejected (1998)

Even after all of these years, I have a few holes in the collections of some of my very favorite bands.  At this point it's mostly just some variants, but of course the ultimate goal is to catch them all.  I've been keeping an eye out for the Rejected records version of the Discography Part Two LP for quite a while.  It was never really a priority though, as I already have the Deranged records version that comes with a bonus 7", plus I had the CD version of the Rejected release.

What I was really waiting for was a good price.  I wanted this in the collection, but it wasn't until one popped up on Discogs for $15 that I finally picked it up.  Happy to have it on the shelf, though I probably won't actually end up listening to it too much as in some cases these are the third or fourth times I've bought most of these songs.

Oh, but what songs they are.  Leatherface put out a good amount of singles over their career.  Despite the fact that nothing that Leatherface released on Fire records was able to be included, there's still quite a few hits.  The absolute highlight for me os one of my very favorite Leatherface songs, "Dreaming." This sucker is worth the purchase all on its own.  Throw in the live staple cover of Wat Tyler's "Hops and Barley" and their blistering take on Abba's "Eagle" and baby, you've got a stew going.

This certainly would feel more complete if the songs from the 1992 Compact and Bijou EP could have been included, but considering the limitations Discography Part Two is a pretty good little compilation.  I do still think it's weird that Discography Part One never came out on vinyl, though that one only contained live recordings.

Leatherface - "Dreaming":

Leatherface "Eagle":

Monday, March 21, 2016

Superchunk - Come Pick Me Up LP


Merge (2015, Reissue)

Superchunk is one of my favorite bands in the world.  They've got some records that I could listen to over and over again.  They've graced this website multiple times, especially as I was finishing out my collection of their 7"s a few years back.  There is a section of the band's catalog where I don't have all of the Superchunk full lengths on vinyl.  This was during a stretch of time where it was more cost and space effective to grab new albums on CD rather than on vinyl.  Come Pick Me Up received the vinyl reissue treatment last year, so I figured it was time to add it to the collection.  

As much as I love everything Superchunk released up until Here's Where The Strings come in and their two most recent albums they put out,  There was a three album run that I was less fond of.  Come Pick Me Up is right in the middle of that run.  When it came out, I was wrapping up my time in college.  I remember thinking the record was just too slow, there wasn't enough punky energy for me at the time.  Going back to it now, I definitely have a greater appreciation for what they tried to accomplish on this record, but in some ways I just can't shake those feelings from 1999.

I like a nice slow song from Superchunk.  I've always felt that they make for a great change of pace on their albums and let you catch your breath.  That being said, when you have an album that is essentially full of slower, sparser songs, I start to miss the fuzz and the energy a bit.  There are some tremendous moments.  I've always loved the songs "Hello Hawk" and "1000 Pounds," But I think I would like them more if they were followed up by some punchier pop songs.

The reissue is pretty simple.  The album has been remastered and put on 180 gram vinyl.  Everything sounds as good as you'd expect.  Let's be honest here.  This is a Superchunk record and all of their records are pretty great.  I just think that some of their other releases stand a bit higher than this one.

Superchunk - "Hellow Hawk":

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Defect Defect - Deefography Cassette


Snuffy Smiles (2015)

In the never ending quest to own all of the Snuffy Smiles releases, some tapes have been sneaking in over the last couple of years.  I don't know what spurred the label to begin releasing cassettes.  This is a pretty new phenomenon. There aren't really many cassettes released over the label's twenty-plus year history.  I'm also unsure why Snuffy Smiles releases so few CDs these days, but at the end of the day I'm always happy to support my favorite label in the world.

I'll admit that Defect Defect is not really a band I have paid too much attention to over the years.  They've had the occasional song pop up on my radar, most notably through other Snuffy Smiles 7"s, but they've never really grabbed me.  This cassette is supposed to be something of a discography release.  Poking around on Discogs, it does seem like this is almost everything they've released.  There's a few songs here and there that didn't make it on, most notably the ones from the band's recent 7", also on Snuffy Smiles.

The music itself is kind of hit and miss for me.  When the band is playing a bit slower and really lets that Wipers-esque downstroking be in the forefront, they churn out some pretty great songs.  These songs remind me a lot of the better moments of The Estranged.  But when Defect Defect really picks up the tempo and starts yelling, I tend to lose interest.  There's a wide range of songs here, but the ones that I seem to like the most are the cluster that made up the band's only LP.  

I don't know if I like Defect Defect enough to actually go pick up that album on vinyl, but it's certainly an OK listen.  That being said, no matter what music was on this tape, it's an automatic buy for me as I need to keep the Snuffy Smiles collection complete.

Defect Defect - Self Titled LP (About half the songs on this cassette are on this LP):

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hollow Mountain - Maiden 7"


Tall Pat (2014)

Sure, I do buy a lot of records.  And yes, I have an awful lot of them floating around, but even I don't think I have so many that it makes sense losing one of them.  That's what happened to this Hollow Mountain 7".  I picked it up in Chicago when I was went out there to see Drive Like Jehu.  Somehow, I brought it home and misplaced it.  I just stumbled across it again and realized that not only had I not written about it on this website, I somehow managed to never even listen to it.  Rest assured, I'm making up for lost time.

Hollow Mountain is another fine example of The Tall Pat Sound.  This is a band that understands the value of a sharp, biting guitar tone and that tone is used masterfully over the course of this 7".  The band just can't help but sounding like they mean business.  Their sound is tough, but tempered by the subtle catchiness and the disarming vocals of Esther Kim.  Something of a contrast for sure, but it really sets Hollow Mountain apart from the rest of the rabble.

Tall Pat is at the center of some pretty great things happening in Chicago.  Hollow Mountain is no exception.  Sure, I was a bit late to the party with this one, but it's never a bad time to catch up on some quality rock and roll.

Hollow Mountain - Maiden 7":

Monday, March 14, 2016

Yawners - So Long 7" - Splatter Vinyl


Punk Fox (2016)

Up today is another 7" sent to me to be reviewed by Punk Fox records.  This time they've tapped the city of Salamanca and released three songs by Yawners.  As long time readers of this website know, Punk Fox has not been a label that I have enjoyed consistently, however they have a winner on their hands this time with Yawners.

Female fronted, high energy pop songs are what you're going to find on this 7".  This is a band that picks out their three chords, lets the drummer loose and cranks out catchy songs with nice loud, crunchy guitars.  They remind me a bit of Baby Shakes, but with less harmonies and a meaner sounding guitar tone.

Although Yawners are not reinventing the wheel, these are three pretty fun songs.  Worth checking out if you wish Cub used a bit more distortion on their songs.

Yawners - So Long 7" (This is actually a stream to a full album of theirs, but the first three songs are the three songs on this 7"):

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Doctor Bison - Dewhursts: The Musical / Bring It On 2xLP - Gray / Yellow Vinyl


Boss Tuneage (2015, Reissue)

Along with The Jones record that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, this Doctor Bison album is the one that I was most excited to finally be able to purchase on vinyl.  Kudos to the kind folks at Boss Tuneage for giving me something so wonderful to spend my money on.

Dewhursts: The Music came out when I was in college.  Specifically it was out right when I was the music director of my school's radio station.  No one sent a copy of this in to us, this was a record I liked so much that I brought a in a copy for the station myself.  Let me tell you how many completely different kinds of DJs coalesced around this record.   Everyone loved it.  In particular, the banjo fueled, ever so slightly country tinged "Fractured Jaw" was probably played every few hours for a while there.  

The way that the incomparable Dickie Hammond poured his energy into these songs, mixing his dynamic punk rock assault into a band that leaned towards a much more to soulful side of things is something to behold.  I was hooked after the first time I ever heard "Delusion of Grace."  Please, take that Pepsi challenge.  If you like the records I typically review here, I think there's a good chance you'll be a fan as well.

As a bonus, the 2nd LP contains the Bring It On EP that the band had released many years later along with some extra unreleased songs.  I'll admit that I never had the Bring It On EP for whatever reason.  Honestly, it came out and I didn't find out about it for a couple of years after.  Then it just sort of slipped off my radar for whatever reason.  Rest assured, these are also phenomenal songs.  Maybe they're not quite at the level of perfection that Dewhursts reaches, but keep in mind that I have an extra 17 years or so of listening to those Dewhursts songs.  So it's tough to compare them fairly.

Regardless, this is an amazing reissue, one that I'm just thrilled to be able to add to the collection.  And one more CD I could theoretically move into storage.  If I was theoretically moving any CDs into storage.  Which I'm not.  I probably should though, I'm running out of room.

Doctor Bison - "Delusion of Grace":

Doctor Bison - "Fractured Jaw":

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Chestnut Road - LPII - Orange Vinyl (/428)


PopKid / Brassneck / Snuffy Smiles (2016)

So, you can probably file this one under conflict of interest or paid advertisement.  The fact that I do a record label with my buddy Alan hasn't really bled into my dumb little website here too often, primarily because it's been twelve years since we've put out a new record.  That drought has finally come to an end as PopKid is one of the lucky labels that gets to release the newest album from Chestnut Road.

If you're a long time reader, there's a better than average chance you probably know Chestnut Road already.  I've reviewed every one of their records here.  I'm not reviewing their new LP because PopKid is releasing it, PopKid is releasing their new LP because I love to review their records.  Without question, Chestnut Road is one of my favorite current bands.  You can find example after example of me gushing over how great they are.  Their latest full length is no exception.

Chestnut Road's LPII embraces the past work of the band while continuing to develop their songwriting skills.  In many ways it reminds me of the growth that Broccoli showed on their 2nd album, Home.  Each track on LPII packs a huge blast of the catchiness and intensity that I love of Chestnut Road, but there are moments where the sounds expand and the band really puts it all out there.  From the full throttle, hook filled "Handshake" to the dynamic guitar work of "Bittersweet" to the blistering chorus shouting "die alone!" on "Lost In The Snow," this is Chestnut Road really standing up and proclaiming themselves as being every bit as good as their influences.

Leatherface, Broccoli, Hooton 3 Car, Jawbreaker, Dillinger Four, Hot Water Music and the list goes on and on of bands that have been playing raspy vocaled, intricate punk rock that is catchy and intense all at the same time.  You can add Chestnut Road to this list.  They've earned it.  I would be writing this exact same review regardless of who put out this record.  It's simply amazing and the fact that PopKid is able to be a part of it is wonderful and humbling.  The fact that we're able to co-release with Brassneck Records and Snuffy Smiles also blows my mind as I have infinite amounts of respect for both labels.  I hope everyone else out there loves it as much as I do.

You can pick up the record a few ways.

In North America, you can buy the full length vinyl LP from PopKid records at:

If you're not into records and just want MP3s, the PopKid Bandcamp page can assist:

If you are in Europe, Brassneck Records will be your destination.
Lastly, if you are in Japan, you can grab a copy from Snuffy Smiles.

Chestnut Road - LPII:

Monday, March 7, 2016

Cancers - Missed 7" - White Vinyl


Debt Offensive (2015)

Every so often I come across a record that I'm kind of at a loss for words over.  Cancers may fit the bill as one of these records.  I'll do my best to describe it, but I feel that any words I put to page here are not going to truly encapsulate what Cancers is doing on this record.

I can't say I've ever listened to this band before, so when the label's website describes this as a departure from the band's earlier work, I can't really chime in with anything.  What the band is doing is recording everything on this 7" with the sort of production that makes it sound like it's being broadcast live from an underwater cave.  There's mountains of static and fuzz on everything. Vocals, guitars, drum machine loops; they're all buried in a distortion avalanche.

With a few notable exceptions, that sort of production isn't really my thing.  While I do tend to favor bands with a grittier recorded sound, there comes a point where there's so much ambient crust I think the songs start to get lost a bit.  For me, that's what's going on here.  There's a couple of pretty decent indie pop songs hidden in here somewhere.  I'm just having a hard time digging them out.

Cancers - Missed 7":

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Brother Kite - Model Rocket


Clairecords / Light Fighter (2013)

Back during that hectic year of 2006, my buddy Jason in Baltimore had hipped me to an album called Waiting For The Time To Be Right by The Brother Kite.  It was a very enjoyable record, but for one reason or another, I never really kept up with the band.  2006 was a low point for me musically.  The toll of a lengthy stay in the music industry was starting to affect me.  I didn't really want to go to shows anymore and frankly I was getting burned out on music in general.

After I left "the biz" I was able to enjoy music as a hobby again and as you can see from the results of this website, my love for buying records has never been stronger.  Somewhere along the way, The Brother Kite continued to release records that I wasn't aware of.  When I was picking up the Unlikely Friends CD, I noticed this album hanging around in the label's distro.  What do you know, The Brother Kite was still around.  Sure,Model Rocket came out a few years ago at this point, but it's brand new and wonderful to me.

I will go so far to say that it is even better than Waiting For The Time To Be Right.  The band's light and upbeat vocal melodies soar over a bed of crunchy guitars and big, big hooks.  Maybe a sunnier Superdrag? Perhaps a punkier Fountains Of Wayne? A faster Pernice Brothers? Regardless of how you want to compare them, this is a great guitar pop record and frankly, I'm almost a little bummed that it took me this long to realize it was out.  I assure you, this one will be making up for lost time on my turntable.

The Brother Kite - Model Rocket:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sebadoh - Bakesale LP


Sub Pop (2011, Reissue)

This is an attempt of going back to the 90's to give another chance to a record I didn't really pay attention to at the time.  I'm not really sure why I never listened to Bakesale when it was out.  Bakesale was the current Sebadoh record available when my friend Joe and I stumbled across them in high school.  For some reason I was first drawn to their wackier, lo fi releases.  I had the Freed Weed CD and several Sentridoh albums as well (I was also going through a tape label phase at this time).

By the time I was in collage and '96 rolled around, I picked up their record of that year Harmacy.  Bakesale was a record I skipped and I have no real valid reason aside from possibly lack of funds.  But that's not really a great excuse as I sure managed to buy a lot of other records during that timeframe.  Back to the task at hand, Bakesale is pretty damn great.  This is a revelation that is probably not much of a surprise to a lot of folks, but it's likely the Sebadoh record I like best now.  That is extremely noteworthy as it is a rarity for my favorite record by a band to not be the one that I heard first.  To go back 20 years later and have this replace The Feed Weed as my favorite is definitely an anomaly.

I think it has a lot to do with how well this album is constructed and how strong the pop hooks are.  Sure, they're not really blatant, in your face singalongs or anything, but this record has a real knack for drawing me in with its droopy catchiness.  It's a reminder that there's still a lot of music out there to check out.  Even a record as obvious as Bakesale eluded me for a while.  Who knows what else is out there waiting to blow my mind?

The reissue LP comes with a download code that has a bunch of extra stuff.  Some interesting, some not so much.  The CD reissue is the one that got the real deluxe treatment, so that might be worth grabbing for some.  For me, I'm just happy to own the regular album on vinyl.

Sebadoh - "License To Confuse":

Sebadoh - "Not A Friend::

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Why+The+Wires - Flame Failures LP - Clear Vinyl


One Percent Press / Jetsam-Flotsam (2015)

There's a few things about this album that I really like.  I'll always be partial to gruff vocals like this.  They have a sort of lived in quality that reminds me a bit of Eric Bachmann from Archers of Loaf.  Those gruff vocals are really the only similarity to Archers on this record.  I also really enjoy the saxophone.  It's used very much in a Circa: Now sort of foghorn blast.  But again, for me, the Rocket From The Crypt comparisons end there.

More than anything, this reminds me of the sort of somber, midwest rock that was prevalent the late 90's and early 2000's.  I immediately start thinking of bands like Sweep The Leg Johnny or Karate or Dianogah.  Basically, I could really see this as the sort of thing Southern records would have put out.  It's a mixed bag for me because although I never had anything against those bands and thought they were all fine, I never bought any of their records.

There's just a bass fueled darkness that surrounds records like this.  While I can appreciate the craft and respect the musicianship, it's never been the sort of thing I wanted to spend much time listening to.  So, if that's the sort of thing you can get behind, absolutely give Why+The-Wires a chance.  But if you're looking for something upbeat and hooky, this probably isn't going to scratch that itch.

Why+The+Wires - Flame Failures: